In 2022, a record projection for the Atlanta Falcons can take plenty of turns. In this exercise, we will discuss three possible scenarios for this season. The first scenario is the floor, one of the worst possible outcomes for the Falcons. There is the ceiling that signifies the best possible outcome. And finally, the projected outcome, the scenario that is the most likely to happen this season.
Which one of these projections do you believe will happen this season?
A visual representation of the schedule will be at the bottom of the article! Let us know what you think!
Record Projection for the 2022 Atlanta Falcons
When going through the “good news, bad news” routine, always ask for the bad news first. And the bad news for Atlanta is that this season has the potential to go south. Far south.
This situation has the Falcons starting the year 0-7. That’s right, zero and seven. The first time Atlanta would have a losing streak that bad since 2003, which signaled the end of the Dan Reeves era. And to find a start that bad? You would have to go back to 1996, which marked the end of the June Jones era. Do you see where this is going? If this happens, it could spell the beginning of the end for the Arthur Smith era in Atlanta.
A lot would have to go wrong for this to happen. Arthur Smith’s playcalling would not only have to stagnate, but it would also have to take a step backward. Compared to last year’s predictability, that is an impressive feat of mediocrity in itself. Marcus Mariota either doesn’t fit the billing again for Arthur Smith, or he gets hurt, thrusting Desmond Ridder into the fire too early. Ridder isn’t able to overcome the rookie wall, and the team’s offense suffers. Due to the offensive line woes, the running game would suffer, and the play-action game Smith’s offense relies on looks even worse.
The defense, in concert with the offense, also takes a hit. Bottom-half in the league, Richie Grant and Jaylinn Hawkins aren’t ready to take the reins in the backend, and the defensive line is slightly better, simply because it can’t be as bad as last year. On the bright side, Pitts and CP are probably still pretty good.
Okay, all of that nastiness is out of the window. Now for the good, no, great news. The Falcons are in the playoff race yet again! Who needs the 2023 draft when you have overachieved on your record yet again underneath the tutelage of Arthur Smith?
Kyle Pitts cements himself as one of the top receiving threats from the tight end position in the league. He joins the likes of Travis Kelce, George Kittle, and Darren Waller as the only active tight ends that have had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. Drake London and Cordarrelle Patterson are excellent second-and-third options in this offense. Damien Williams and Tyler Allgeier hold down the backfield duties as Patterson is allowed to be an offensive weapon all along the line of scrimmage.
The young pieces on the defensive line, Ade Ogundeji, Arnold Ebeketie, and Ta’Quon Graham, contribute to a physical, fast Dean Pees defense. We may not see much of Troy Andersen, but there will be flashes on both special teams and select defensive snaps.
The backend of the defense is as good as advertised as Casey Hayward, Jr. and A.J. Terrell carve out a role as one of the top cornerback tandems. Isaiah Oliver and Dee Alford fill the nickel/third safety position admirably.
Even better, in there is a four-game winning streak. Four straight games between November 10th through December 4th. The first winning streak of its kind since December of 2019.
Okay, now for the actual record projection for this 2022 Atlanta Falcons team. Honestly, it’s a mixture of the two former sections. Pitts, London, and Patterson have a chance to form a foundation for this Falcons offense to build on. Tyler Allgeier and Damien Williams perform well, and the Atlanta running game performs about average. Not bad for a team with a below-average offensive line and quarterback questions.
Desmond Ridder comes in game 10 to play the short week against the Carolina Panthers. It ends in a loss, but it’s a close one on the road for the rookie’s debut. He finishes the season 3-4 after that showing, leaving a 3-5 record for Ridder, including an upset win against the playoff-hunting Arizona Cardinals. That will make for a great episode of Hard Knocks.
The defense is as advertised, at least in the backend. The secondary makes plays while the young defensive line looks to find their stride late. The linebacker corps remains solid throughout the season as Rashaan Evans makes it difficult for Dean Pees to move on to the unproven yet tantalizing Troy Andersen.
This iteration of the Atlanta Falcons has a record projection of a competitive six-win team that makes themselves a tough out every time they play. They will lose some games that you’d rather they win. They will win some games, like against the Cardinals, that they aren’t supposed to win. And they will keep Arthur Smith employed long enough to make a run at the playoffs in 2023.
What do you think? pic.twitter.com/HKWi62CCJG
— Saivion Mixson (@MixsonS_NFL) September 7, 2022