The last time the Falcons had a winning record was back in 2017. The team was quite different during this time. Players such as Desmond Trufant, Keanu Neal, Brian Poole, Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, and Matt Ryan were on the team. The previous year, they were crowned NFC Champions and went on to face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. We all know how that went down, so let’s move on. In 2017, the Falcons beat the Los Angeles Rams 26-13 in the Wild Card match but would later lose 15-10 against the Philadelphia Eagles in the Divisional Round. So, in 2022-2023, what expectations do people have for the Atlanta Falcons?
Just two wins for the Falcons?
Adam Rank of NFL Network made predictions for each team’s records about a month ago. According to NFL Network, the Falcons have the 9th most brutal schedule. The only two wins Rank sees the Falcons winning are at home against the Cleveland Browns and on the road against divisional rival Carolina Panthers. Rank also believes that third-round pick Desmond Ridder could eventually take the starting job from Marcus Mariota at some point in the season. His reason for this is that the Falcons could be playing for a top draft pick.
The Cleveland Browns likely won’t have quarterback Deshaun Watson, who could be facing a lengthy suspension over sexual misconduct while being with the Houston Texans. The Carolina Panthers are a team to watch that could potentially trade for Baker Mayfield, but for now, they have Sam Darnold. There’s so much uncertainty at the position that Rank gave us a win.
There are definite reasons why Atlanta ranks so low in record projections. They’re a relatively young team that just traded away their star franchise quarterback and are in a slight rebuild for the future. The loss of Calvin Ridley (suspended) hurts the broad receiver group. Still, players such as Byran Edwards and first-round pick Drake London will hopefully carry on the offense for the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons posted a 7-10 record last season and are looking to build a better campaign this upcoming season.