Falcons stalwart iron man recognized for impressive feat

DKB211003144 was vs atl

The Falcons offensive line is one of the better units in the league, anchored by arguably the best guard in football — Chris Lindstrom. His running mate, Kaleb McGary, leaves a bit to be desired in pass protection but forms a menacing run blocking duo on the right side of Atlanta’s offense.

Drew Dalman is an athletic center that can do some impressive things in Arthur Smith’s zone blocking scheme but his pass blocking could also use some seasoning. Next to him, there’s an opening that Matthew Bergeron will hopefully fill in 2023. And last but certainly not least is one of the most underrated linemen in football — Jake Matthews.

The stalwart left tackle has been an absolute iron man for the Falcons; he hasn’t missed a game since his rookie season in 2014, and he played in 15 games that year.

He’s started every single game since coming to Atlanta except for one, good for an NFL-leading 144 consecutive starts. That’s unbelievable for a lineman in today’s NFL. In fact, he’s one of just two linemen to start every game since 2015, along with the future Hall of Fame center Jason Kelce.

It’s no coincidence that his father, Bruce, had the fifth-longest consecutive starts streak in league history; the Matthews are iron men.

One of the best pass protectors in the league, Matthews is severely underrated among the top tackles in football. Granted, his run blocking always left a bit to be desired until Dwayne Ledford arrived in Atlanta. Matthews, along with the entire offensive line, has improved in that department.

In March of 2022, the team and Matthews agreed to a three-year extension worth $55.5 million that keeps him in Atlanta until 2026, which is his age-34 season. Given his ability to stay on the field, there’s no reason to think he can’t stay with the Falcons for the entirety of the deal.

Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: