Prior to the Falcons’ Week 5 loss in Tampa Bay, multiple players on Atlanta’s squad made an appearance on PFF’s early All-Pro Teams. Sam Monson had an interesting twist on the criteria. Instead of just using PFF grades, consideration was given to role, supporting cast, and consistency. Chris Lindstrom, the Falcons’ right guard, was named to the first team, while rookie receiver Drake London was given second-team honors.
Lindstrom earned one of the highest single-game grades ever recorded this past week. He has been a dominant force as a run-blocker, and while his pass protection has been weaker, the offense Atlanta runs means he has surrendered just three pressures.
Lindstrom had his fifth-year option picked up this past offseason, and it seemed like a no-brainer at the time. Now, it’s even more clear. He’s a valuable member of this team and one of the best players at his position. When Arthur Smith was hired, he came over from Tennessee, which had a dominant rushing attack. Smith noted Rodger Saffold was a driving force in the Titans’ run game, and it seems Lindstrom is stepping right into that role.
The Falcons 2022 No. 8 overall pick is PFF’s highest-graded offensive rookie. London has totaled 266 yards and two touchdowns on 22 catches, which puts him on pace for 74 receptions, over 900 receiving yards, and six touchdowns over 17 games. This piece was put out before the Falcons’ Week 5 loss to the Bucs, so it doesn’t account for those stats, which would’ve certainly negatively impacted London, who only put up 35 yards on four receptions against Tampa.
If you compare that to the NFL’s leading receivers, it’s kind of questionable that London was included. As it stands, the rookie is 39th across the entire league in total receiving. Justin Jefferson has totaled 547 yards, more than double London’s total. Still, I’m not complaining. It’s fantastic to see the Falcons get national attention.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire