The Falcons ran an agonizing amount of 11 personnel last year under Dirk Koetter — 61% of offensive snaps came with three wide receivers on the field. It’s not completely despicable given the impressive wide receiver core last year, but more than half the offensive snaps out of any one personnel grouping is unacceptable. Koetter’s scheme was out of date and one of the biggest reasons Arthur Smith was hired.
Smith’s offense in Tennessee was record-breaking due to the unpredictability of it. The Titans ran 11 and 12 personnel an equal amount of snaps last season, which has carried over to Atlanta. According to Josh Kendall of The Athletic, the first-year head coach has stayed true to his philosophy as the Falcons were the only team in Week 1 to run double-digit snaps out of four personnel groupings.
The Falcons were the only team in the NFL to run double-digit snaps out of four personnel groupings in Week 1 (so far) — 17-11P, 19-12P, 11-21P, 12-22P. The rest of the league ran 22 total snaps out of 22P.
— Josh Kendall (@JoshTheAthletic) September 13, 2021
As a fan of Kyle Shannahan and Matt LaFleur’s offense, I love the idea of varying personnel packages with different formations. Smtih’s offense may have been disappointing in Week 1, but the ingredients are there to have a successful Week 2 if the Falcons offensive line can hold off a daunting Tampa Bay defensive front. Success will hopefully come; for now, Arthur Smith’s innovative offense can be seen in the first two drives against the Eagles, which both went the length of the field but stalled in the red zone.