This is the first time the Falcons have had legitimate hype around them coming into the season since 2017, which was also the last time they made the playoffs.
Terry Fontenot and Arthur Smith have gotten out from under the mountainous amount of dead cap that was hamstringing the team the last couple of seasons. The offense features three true game-changers along with one of the best offensive lines in the game. Not to mention, Arthur Smith has already established himself as a fantastic offensive play caller, known for his creative rushing attack. This group is going to be fun to watch, and defensively, this could be the best unit the Falcons have had in quite some time.
The interior defensive line is set to have some chops for the first time in forever. Grady Jarrett is joined by David Onyemata and Calais Campbell. Ta’Quon Graham is also back from injury. The edge room leaves something to be desired, but there is a lot more potential than last year. Bud Dupree joins the group, and there’s hope that some of the younger pieces can take the next step.
Kaden Elliss was also brought in. He’s a massive addition to the Falcons linebacking core and will also bring some more life to the pass rush. Then, of course, Jessie Bates III helps solidify the backend of this defense. This has been one of the worst defenses in the league for years, and while the depth needs improvement, they should be competent in 2023.
The roster is built to be competitive for the first time since Arthur Smith became the Falcons head coach. There’s no reason this team shouldn’t compete for the playoffs in a weak conference and even weaker division. But what if everything goes right for the Falcons in 2023? How good can this team be?
On the latest episode of SportsTalkATL, we discuss the ceiling for the Falcons this season, and what needs to happen for them to reach their full potential. SportsTalkATL can be found on the Fox 5 Local App, available on RoKu, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV. Segments like the one below can also be found on our YouTube channel.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire