Will Falcons eclipse Vegas 2022 win total? CBS analyst thinks so – Amid a rebuild, the Falcons have little-to-no expectations for the upcoming season. Coming off a 7-10 campaign, Atlanta has finally committed to a rebuild after trading away all-time greats Matt Ryan and Julio Jones for draft capital. The roster is mostly comprised of young, inexperienced players with the intention of building from the ground up as the team’s salary cap opens up in 2023.
It’s fair to say this season will be a wash. However, inside the organization, they’re competing. Arthur Smith, Casey Hayward, and other members of the Falcons have voiced their displeasure with the notion this team is rebuilding. Well, add another to that category.
Emory Hunt of CBS Sports thinks the Falcons’ win total of five games is disrespectful. In a game of over/under, Hunt and Bryant McFadden argued what kind of team Atlanta could be.
“Hear me out… the run game, number one. They brought in Tyler Allgier out of BYU. I think he’s their foundational back along with Damien Williams; which allows Patterson to be that multifaceted option.”
Arthur Smith was praised for his run game in Tennessee, but that wasn’t the case in Atlanta last year. The Falcons were a bad rushing team, which forced Matt Ryan and Smith into predictable situations. It’s clear the staff and front office want to be more consistent on the ground, and the weapons on the outside should flourish in a run-centric system. I actually believe the Falcons upgraded at their skill positions, and Hunt agrees:
…also look at the reciever core. [The Falcons] drafted Drake London. They also bring in, via trade, Bryan Edwards, another big-body wide reciever. They have Kyle Pitts, who can be a tight end or reciever. So their going to be solid on skill positions.”
The defense was upgraded as well and should be much improved. They allowed 27.0 points per game (29th) and totaled a league-low 18 sacks — less than T.J. Watt (22.5) and Robert Quinn (18.5) had individually. However, the personnel is much different than a year ago:
On defense, the second-level is going to be athletic and aggressive. They bring in Lorenzo Carter, they draft Arnold Ebiketie out of Penn State, but they also take Troy Anderson – who I think is going to start at inside linebacker… In the secondary they have one of the best young corners in the league, A.J Terrell. Darrin Hall should step up this season. They also should get improved play from Richie Grant.”
He noted the offensive line as a weakness, but this isn’t news to Falcons fans. They were abysmal last season. Only two players are worth a damn — Jake Matthews and Chris Lindstrom. Jalen Mayfield and Matt Hennessy will have to take significant steps in their respective developments to be an even average unit. Establishing the run should ease the pressure the group faces in pass sets, but that will be where the offense is held back.
Prediction for the Faclons
I think the Falcons can win six games, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if they won four or five. They’ll have to play above their talent level in the first scenario, though.
Photographer: Ken Murray/Icon Sportswire
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