If it wasn’t clear already, the Falcons are a better offense with Kyle Pitts on the field than when he isn’t. His ability to line up on the boundary, in the slot, or inline stresses defenses to account for him in different looks. Then, in those various alignments, Pitts can essentially run the entire route tree.
There are a million ways Pitts can threaten defenses. In the short passing game, he can take a four-yard slant for 24 yards, as we saw against the Buccaneers. His run after the catch ability is as impressive as any tight end in the league. Pitts can also hurt defenses in the middle of the field with a deep crossing or seam route. He is a freak of nature, so this next stat shouldn’t surprise anyone.
“The Falcons are averaging 5.3 yards per play with Pitts on the field and 2.61 with him off the field, according to TruMedia. Their longest completion without him in the formation is 8 yards. They have 26 plays of 9 or more yards with Pitts on the field,” Josh Kendall of The Athletic writes.
“The Falcons are averaging 5.3 yards per play with Pitts on the field and 2.61 with him off the field…”
Seems obvious, he should never come off the field. Play em both ways https://t.co/rbSdXDPLkB
— SportsTalkATL Alex (@GeauxSportsTalk) September 21, 2021
I am obviously kidding about playing Pitts both ways, but I am dead serious about him being on the field for all of the team’s offensive snaps. Against the Eagles in the season opener, he was not only absent from the offense’s first red zone trip of the year but also only played in 68% of the snaps. That is unacceptable. If he doesn’t have a firm grasp of the playbook, I could see why Arthur Smith would do this. However, I don’t think that is the case because that number jumped to 79% of the offensive snaps in Week 2 against the Buccaneers.
The staff appears to be slowly working Pitts into a groove. He has to learn the nuances of the offense from a pass catcher’s and blocker’s perspective. It is evident Matt Ryan and company are more potent with him on the field, but he can’t play without knowing the offense. Hopefully, his learning takes an exponential path because he’s already averaging more yards per catch — 11.6 — than any other pass catcher on the team.