The Falcons have a wide variety of offensive weapons for Desmond Ridder to distribute the ball to. Many expect it to be a run heavy offense like it was with Marcus Mariota in 2022; however, I expect it to be a combination of the 2021 pass heavy offense with Matt Ryan and last year’s.
Atlanta went out and added Bijan Robinson, Jonnu Smith, and Mack Hollins to a group that already featured Tyler Allgeier, Cordarrelle Patterson, Drake London, and Kyle Pitts. That’s a lot of mouths to feed but all are capable of hurting defenses.
“There’s a lot of guys that should get the ball, that can get the ball, a lot of talented dudes,” Robinson said.
So, how will Arthur Smith divvy up the touches? The Falcons are still going to run the ball, and Robinson is expected to lead the club in that metric, but I don’t expect Allgeier to be too far behind. Moreover, Patterson should garner a decent amount of touches; however, his distribution will look closer to 2021 — 50/50 carries and targets.
As far as the pass catchers go, the Falcons will likely give London and Pitts very similar targets. Following them will be Cordarrelle Patterson, Mack Hollins, and Jonnu Smith then Desmond Ridder Scotty Miller. Then, there will be a conglomerate of guys who will only get a handful of touches — KhaDarel Hodge, MyCole Pruitt, Parker Hesse, etc.
Here’s my guesstimation in terms of percentages:
- Bijan Robinson: ~30% (210ish carries and 90ish targets)
- Tyler Allgeier: ~17% (160ish carries and 15ish targets)
- Kyle Pitts: ~10% (100ish targets)
- Drake London: ~10% (100ish targets)
- Cordarrelle Patterson: <10% (50ish carries and 40ish targets)
- Mack Hollins: <10% (70ish targets)
- Jonnu Smith: ~5% (50ish targets)
- Desmond Ridder: ~5% (50ish carries)
- Scotty Miller: ~5% (45ish targets)
- KhaDarel Hodge: <5% (30ish targets)
- MyCole Pruitt: <5% (15ish targets)
- Parker Hesse: <5% (10ish targets)
300 touches for Bijan Robinson might seem like a lot, but hell, the club drafted him 8th overall — might as well use him! He’s as effective as a receiver, so expect him to be fully involved in both facets of the game
Last year, Tyler Allgeier led the team with 210 carries and 1,035 yards, but nobody should expect that to be the case this season. His carries will likely be cut significantly.
As far as targets go, I think Pitts or London could lead the team. It will likely depend on the circumstances. Who is the defense doubling? Who does Desmond Ridder favor? Who does the route concept have as the first option?
Cordarrelle Patterson might seem like he’s going to get lost in all the hustle and bustle, but I don’t see it that way. He’ll be a complement to those four and will see his touches progressively increase as the season goes on.
This is just my best guess, though. We’ll see what the Falcons do in a couple of weeks.
Photographer: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire