The Atlanta Falcons have quietly put together one of the most impressive offensive seasons in league history. It’s hard to believe an achievement like that would be referred to as “quiet” but that’s exactly how it’s been.
There’s the Dallas Cowboys and to a certain extent the New England Patriots that have been talked about as the two best teams in the league this season and rightfully so. More recently the streaking Packers, Giants and Steelers are all talked about as Super Bowl contenders before the Falcons.
What the Falcons possess is well documented. They sport arguably the best running back combination in the league in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Freeman, proving his rookie year was no fluke, is closing in on 1,000 yards rushing on a near 5-yard per carry average. In addition to that, he also has double-digit touchdowns and almost 400 yards receiving. Coleman has more than 400 yards rushing and receiving and has more than 10 touchdowns combined as well. Proving to be a balanced threat in both the running and passing game.
On the outside, the Falcons possess arguably the best receiver in the game, statistically, in Julio Jones. Despite missing chunks of the last few games, he is still 3rd in the league in receiving yards as the only person in the league averaging more than 100 yards a game. He’s a game-breaking receiver, one that will demand double teams come post season time. That will allow Mohamed Sanu, Taylor Gabriel and the duo out the backfield all the space in the world to roam.
The leader in sacks this season hasn’t been Von Miller, Khalil Mack or Cliff Avril but rather Vic Beasley Jr. Now, the Falcons defense is not among the best in the league. But they have a competent defense that has managed while the offense did more of the heavy lifting. They’re a bit undersized but they’re fast and they have one of the best pass rushers in the league, which helps.
Among the League’s Greatest
Now onto Matt Ryan, he is among the leaders in the MVP vote this season. He’s playing out of his mind right now sporting stats that are incredible to look at. He’s averaging 9.26 an attempt that if it holds would be an NFL record. He has thrown 34 touchdowns to 7 interceptions with a rating of 115.5 and a QBR of 81.5. He hasn’t thrown more than 1 pick in any game this season and is nearing 5,000 yards passing this season.
Matt Ryan’s stats this season could be read continuously but he has lead this Falcons team to averaging nearly 34 points a game. If they score at least 30 points against the Saints this week, they’ll have the 8th best offensive season in NFL history. Up there with the 98’ Vikings, undefeated Patriots, Peyton’s historic 13’ season, the “Greatest Show on Turf,” an Aaron Rodgers season and another Peyton and Brady Season. Impressive.
It’s the Year of the Falcons
Atlanta has all the chance in the world to make it to the Super Bowl this season. If they clinch the 2 seed this weekend then their chances would go up even more. Playing in the dome in the divisional round and also potentially (@ Dallas) in the NFC title game. Their offense hasn’t been touched this season and that road of playing in two domes on the way to the Super Bowl does nothing but help.
These don’t look like the Falcons of old who look destined for collapse. But rather one of the greatest offenses in NFL history that look primed for an extended run in the playoffs.
Atlanta, the ball is in your court.