The Atlanta Falcons finished the 2017 season, two yards from the end zone at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, PA after a failed 4th down conversion at the hands of the eventual champs, the Philadelphia Eagles.
A common theme we saw from the 2017 Falcons Offense was an inability to consistently score Touchdowns in the red zone. Another thing that was different in 2017, that didn’t happen in 2016 was the contribution from multiple players, (13 players caught Touchdowns in 2016, 9 players caught Touchdowns in 2017). The Falcons have gone to great lengths to improve red zone scoring to include upgrading the right guard position with Brandon Fusco, who was formerly with the San Francisco 49ers and Ex-Falcons Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan. Luckily for the Falcons, because of Fusco’s background, he has a natural understanding of the scheme.
The Falcons also drafted Calvin Ridley out of Alabama in the 1st round to help compliment Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu as well as third-year tight end Austin Hooper.
My theory is the Falcons want to be a combination of the 2012 and 2016 Offenses.
In 2012, Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzales combined for 25 Touchdowns as they accounted for 25 of Quarterback Matt Ryan’s 32 Touchdowns.
In 2016, Matt Ryan was able to distribute the ball to a bunch of players which made the offense hard to gameplan against. One week Julio would go off for 300 yards, then Tevin Coleman would go off, then a tight end.
With another offseason in the scheme and another passing camp, Matt Ryan could be in for another career season. This season we should see not only a few players dominate (2012) but also a contribution from a bunch of role players (2016), and that could lead to something special.