Falcons ‘due for major regression’ despite dramatic roster improvement

NFL: AUG 04 Atlanta Falcons Training Camp

The Falcons are primed to challenge the Saints for the NFC South title and punch their tickets to the postseason, returning for the first time since 2017 and hosting a playoff game for the first time since 2016.

Atlanta invested heavily into the roster this offseason, spending north of $250 million on extensions and free agent contracts, netting a haul of impactful additions — Jessie Bates III, Calais Campbell, David Onyemata, and Kaden Elliss to name a few.

However, the dramatic improvements are falling on deaf ears. Some just can’t seem to believe the Falcons might be an ascending organization. Dan Zaksheske of Outkick is one of those people, who believes the club is due for major regression.

Outkick isn’t to be taken too seriously. The blog is more interested in stirring the political pot than analyzing sports. So, it should be no surprise how off-base this outlook for the Falcons is.

For starters, Zaksheske notes the improvements made to the defensive side of the ball, mentioning a player no longer on the roster. “They also added three interior defensive linemen — Calais Campbell, David Onyemata and Eddie Goldman — plus edge rusher Bud Dupree, cornerback Mike Hughes and linebacker Kaden Elliss.”

The Falcons went 7-10 in each of Arthur Smith’s two seasons, with far less talented rosters. In fact, it’s shocking Atlanta was able to even squeeze out 14 wins with a shell of Matt Ryan and Marcus Mariota, who is likely close behind his predecessor on his way out of the league. The offense and defense have improved, and though there are question marks surrounding Desmond Ridder, the quarterback won’t need to make a ton of difficult throws.

Arthur Smith’s offense emphasizes the run game and positionless football to scheme matchups and easy completions for Ridder. He won’t have to make hero throws very often; all he has to do is act as a point guard and get the ball in his playmakers’ hands.

That’s another thing, Zaksheske mentions Drake London and Kyle Pitts as the only pass catchers… wrong. Bijan Robinson, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Jonnu Smith could garner as many targets as Mack Hollins. It doesn’t matter that it’s a nontraditional offensive philosophy if it works.

There’s no guarantee that Demsonsd Ridder is the next franchise quarterback, but he’ll almost assuredly be better than Marcus Mariota. What’s hilarious is the roster is in the best state of Arthur Smith’s time with the Falcons, but Zaksheske still sees the club’s ceiling as seven wins.

“I don’t understand the win total at 8.5 and they should easily go under that number. The Falcons, to me, are a seven-win team AT BEST, and more likely for 6-11.”

Photographer: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire


Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: