I started doing this site full-time when I graduated college back in 2018. For the entirety of the time, the Falcons have been an almost unbearable product to cover.
Thomas Dimitroff and Dan Quinn’s tenure ended horridly. They overpaid aging players, leading to underwhelming results, and perhaps more detrimentally, left behind a mountain of dead money and a mess for Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot to clean up. For the last two seasons, the Falcons have featured a piss-poor roster, one incapable of making the postseason, yet Smith squeezed the most out of his teams, winning seven games in each season. It was impressive given the circumstances, and now the Falcons finally have a roster with a shred of competence.
This isn’t a team that’s ready to win a Super Bowl just yet. Their quarterback is unproven, and there are plenty of holes that still needed to be patched up, but as I’ve said several times this offseason, they are moving in the right direction for the first time in five years. There is positive momentum surrounding Atlanta’s professional football team, and that continued last night as we got our first glimpse of the Falcons first team offense in Week 2 of the preseason against the Bengals.
Okay, it was only one drive, and it featured a slew of penalties and ended in an interception, but that doesn’t tell the entire story. This offense, featuring Desmond Ridder, Bijan Robinson, Kyle Pitts, and Drake London looked explosive.
Let’s start with Ridder. He is going to be the biggest talking point for this team all season. Everything is in place for him to succeed. The offensive line is elite, and he’s surrounded by a ton of talent at the skill positions with a creative play caller calling the shots. Ridder is driving a Ferrari; all he has to do is make sure it doesn’t crash. I don’t think anybody really knows what to expect, but I can tell you I’m a lot more hopeful than I was after last night.
Ridder was spinning it with confidence. He had a couple of throws behind his receivers, but Kyle Pitts and Bijan Robinson were able to make the grab. Ridder will have to clean that up, but he also had a couple of dimes, like this throw to Drake London for a critical first down.
That is a picture perfect throw and catch. If that’s what Ridder is going to show us this season, the Falcons are going places.
Now, on to Bijan Robinson. The highest drafted running back since Saquon Barkley touched the ball five times, totaling 26 yards. But in all honesty, he could have taken off the pads after his first carry. I had seen enough.
Primary takeaway from Falcons preseason Week 2#PROBLEM
— SportsTalkATL.com (@SportsTalkATL) August 19, 2023
I don’t need to see Robinson the rest of the preseason, and that’s not a joke. Get ready for Week 1 baby, because this is going to be fun. A lot of people were quick to criticize the Falcons for taking a running back with the 8th pick, but they won’t be when he’s leading the league in total yards and emerging as a legitimate MVP candidate. I’m not sure anybody is quite ready for how electric Bijan Robinson is going to be on Sundays.
If Desmond Ridder can be a competent quarterback, this offense has the ability to be something special. We haven’t said that since 2016, and the defense will be by far the best the Falcons have had in the last five years. I know it is the preseason; I know it was one drive, but it’s okay to be excited about the Falcons. Sundays are going to be fun again in Atlanta.
Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire