Tuesday, May 30, 2023

The Falcons Already Enjoy An Early Schedule Advantage

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(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)


In the NFL, when fans and pundits predict a team’s win total during an upcoming season, strength of schedule is important, so much more than in any other sport.

The Atlanta Falcons have struggled ever since they lost Super Bowl LI, and they haven’t made the playoffs since the 2017 season, but 2023 may be the year they get back on track.

They had the good fortune of drafting University of Texas running back Bijan Robinson, and they also have wide receiver Drake London, who had a strong rookie season in 2022.

In addition, the Falcons will have the weakest schedule in terms of the strength of their opponents.

Last season, they went 7-10 as starting quarterback Marcus Mariota was eventually benched in favor of Desmond Ridder, who was a rookie, while a torn MCL limited tight end Kyle Pitts to just 10 games.

Pitts was a Pro Bowler when he was a rookie in 2021, and that year he posted 1,026 yards.

Atlanta also brought in Mack Hollins, a wide receiver who had 690 yards and four touchdowns last season with the Las Vegas Raiders.

The biggest concerns for them are the quarterback spot and their defense, as they finished 2022 ranked just 23rd in points surrendered and 27th in total yards given up.

Luckily for the Falcons, they play in a weak division, and although the New Orleans Saints look to be the best of a lackluster bunch in the NFC South, they may not be a lock to win the division, which would keep the window open for Ridder and crew.

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