The biggest question that the Atlanta Falcons are facing in 2023

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Expectations among the fan base have never been higher since the new regime took over in Atlanta. Entering their third season at the helm, Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith have the most talented roster since joining the Falcons. It’s put up or shut up time.

The defense underwent a complete makeover. From the defensive front to the backend, there were upgrades galore. Jessie Bates III solidifies the secondary while David Onyemata and Calais Campbell bolster the trenches.

Offensively, the line returns four of five starters and features one of the youngest, most exciting groups of skill players in the league. By the end of the season, the Falcons’ skill group will be regarded among the best in the NFL

There really is no reason this team can’t make the postseason in 2023. The division is wide open, and the biggest competition in the NFC South is a Saints team with subpar coaching and aging talent. Derek Carr is an upgrade over what New Orleans has had since Drew Brees retired, but he’s not good enough to overcome the inept coordinating of Pete Carmichael.

There is one burning question, though. And it will be the reason that the Falcons snap their five-season streak of not making the playoffs — Desmond Ridder. Is he the answer at quarterback?

It’s a Ferrari of an offense, with elite weapons at every position. Desmond Ridder has all he needs to succeed with the Falcons; all he has to do is not crash the sports car. It’s simple; Ridder is going to have to throw four or five (maybe) big-time throws. Don’t do anything more or anything less. Get the ball to your guys and let them spin. Don’t crash the Ferrari.

They had multiple opportunities to potentially upgrade the position with Derek Carr and Jimmy Garoppolo available in free agency, but the Falcons put their faith in the third-rounder. The roster is in a position to compete right now, and the only question left is if Ridder is the guy to lead this club to meaningful games in January and February.

Photographer: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

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