The Super Bowl just wrapped up, and the wild takes regarding next season have already begun. ESPN’s Domonique Foxworth recently had this response to a question about which team can come out of nowhere and make a deep run in the playoffs next season. His answer — the Atlanta Falcons.
— Franco Veasley (@veasley80) February 15, 2022
Falcons fans, don’t get too excited. I’m not sure where this is coming from, but there must be some sort of bias in Foxworth’s response. If you remember, he played in Atlanta for a season before signing with the Ravens, where he ended his career.
I agree with Foxworth’s take about Matt Ryan. If there’s one quarterback on a team that didn’t make the playoffs that could lead a quick turnaround, it’s probably Ryan, and it’s especially true when you consider how much better this offense could be around him in 2022. The receiver room should be totally overhauled in the offseason, Kyle Pitts will take significant strides in year two, and Arthur Smith’s offense should also run much smoother in his second season as head coach.
However, anyone who thinks the Falcons can make a Super Bowl run as early as next season is sipping the kool-aid. Outside of the quarterback position, Atlanta needs to add talent everywhere, and they have barely any money in free agency to address their needs. For Atlanta to make the kind of jump the Bengals did, Terry Fontenot and company would have to land a key contributor with nearly every draft selection. Those aren’t realistic expectations. I would say there is a much higher chance that the Falcons will finish next season with five wins or less than make it to the NFC Championship and beyond.