The Falcons should be a much improved team from a year ago, given the investment in free agency. The defensive received most of the contribution, which bolstered all three levels but most notably the front. However, the offense was already loaded. It didn’t need as much TLC.
It returned four of five offensive linemen, which was one of the best units in football a year ago. The club traded up in the second round to land mauling Syracuse product Matthew Bergeron to seemingly step in at left guard. The skill group returns a dynamic running back duo of Cordarrelle Patterson and Tyler Allgeier while adding an offensive weapon in Bijan Robinson. Drake London and Kyle Pitts are joined by Jonnu Smith and Mack Hollins.
The biggest question mark is at signal caller. Can Desmond Ridder do enough to lead this team to the postseason? Well, in an ideal scenario, he does more than that. NFL Network’s Kyle Brandt dubbed the Falcons as his dark-horse candidate for the NFL’s top offense this season.
It's Whiteboard Wednesday 🖊️
— Good Morning Football (@gmfb) August 2, 2023
“The weapons are there, the youth is there, the head coach has been around and coached really good offenses,” said Brandt. “Bijan Robinson is your offensive rookie of the year, Kyle Pitts has the explosion we’ve been waiting for, and Desmond Ridder just can sling it. And it’s one of the most pleasant surprises of the season.”
The Falcons are coming off a season in which they were an average offense in scoring while being one of the best rushing and worst passing groups. Below is how that 2022 offense ranked:
- 21.5 points per game, 15th
- 318.6 yards per game, 24th
- 159.9 rushing yards per game, 2nd
- 158.8 passing yards per game, 31st
It’s not out of the realm of possibilities the Falcons are the #1 scoring offense in football, but it’s certainly not likely, especially as a run-heavy unit in a pass-happy league. It would be pretty incredible if Arthur Smith’s group was more productive than Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid, Jalen Hurts and the Eagles, Josh Allen and the Bills, along with a few other explosive offenses.
Stranger things have happened, but I doubt the Falcons are in the conversation for the #1 spot.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire