What is the Falcons floor in 2023?

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The Falcons have expectations in 2023 for the first time in a while. Terry Fontenot spent over $250 million this offseason on free agent deals and contract extensions, and the results are a competent roster, something Arthur Smith hasn’t had since taking over as head coach.

After back-to-back 7-10 seasons with much worse talent, there’s no reason the Falcons shouldn’t compete for a playoff spot in a weak conference and even weaker division. Not to mention, Atlanta has one of the easiest schedules on paper entering the season.

If Desmond Ridder can continue to improve, the Falcons offense should be a must-watch, featuring incredible talents like Bijan Robinson, Kyle Pitts, and Drake London behind an elite offensive line. The defense should also be much improved following an influx of talent this offseason. However, there remain some question marks that could hold this team back.

The biggest one is the aforementioned Ridder. What if he proves not to be the long-term answer at quarterback and struggles mightily? Injuries are also always a concern in the NFL, especially when taking a look at the Falcons depth.

The offensive line has already lost Ethan Greenidge and Matt Hennessy. By themselves, it’s not a big deal, considering they were going to be backups. But now if one of the starters has an extended absence, it could be trouble.

Defensively, the Falcons are also relying heavily on their health. The cornerback room is already missing Jeff Okudah, and Mike Hughes has also had some issues throughout the preseason. Another injury to that group, and the Falcons could be in deep waters when it comes to defending the pass. Linebacker is also a position that can’t afford an injury. Kaden Elliss and Troy Andersen are two promising first-year, full-time starters, but the depth behind them leaves a lot to be desired.

It’s easy to see how things could spiral out of control if injuries arise, and of course, quarterback play can always hold a team back. Falcons fans know that all too well after watching Marcus Mariota last year. So, what happens if everything goes wrong?

On the latest episode of SportsTalkATL, we discuss the floor of the Falcons in 2023 if things don’t go as we expect. You can find SportsTalkATL 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: John Byrum/Icon Sportswire

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