Post draft, we can start identifying some of the teams and offenses that we feel will outperform expectations. The Falcons, I think, look like one of them. They’ve been loading up on talent, and they’re in the right division in the right conference.
I’m not sure if I buy into the “positionless football” hype. While Kyle Pitts is a tight end who can play like a wide receiver and both Bijan Robinson and Cordarrelle Patterson can play at both running back and wide receiver, I don’t know that positional flexibility is a big deal. It may be the updated version of “basketball on grass” catchphrase that was getting tossed around a few years ago.
But the Falcons have assembled some talent, using top-10 picks on skill-position weapons three years in a row (Pitts, Robinson and Drake London). And they did some cool things with their running game last year; only two teams ran for more yards.
They’ve placed a big bet on Desmond Ridder (pictured). He needs to come through. But I think he’ll at least be better than Marcus Mariota.
And the Falcons could be helped by scheduling. They’re in the lesser conference, and they’re in a division where every team last year finished with a losing record.
If we assume teams haven’t radically changed (which won’t happen, but hear me out), Atlanta should play one of the easiest schedules. Their 17 games are against opponents that went a combined 121-165-3 last year.
Atlanta’s offense averaged an even 2 TDs per week last year – 34 touchdowns in 17 games. I could see them moving up to close to average this season.
I’m not opposed to picking a few Falcons this year (kicker Younghoe Koo in particular).
|DIFFICULTY OF SCHEDULE, 2023|