The Atlanta Falcons are a little more than a month away from officially kicking off the 2021 season and the start of training camp.
With a roster that has seen major changes as well as a new coaching staff, the Atlanta Falcons have very little expectations outside the franchise confines in Flowery Branch. With the loss of Julio Jones, not many people are giving the Falcons a chance to be successful despite the fact that the offense is still loaded with talent.
While most know the Falcons defense is the biggest issue and culprit behind their lack of success over the last three seasons, there is still a lot of pressure on Matt Ryan to elevate his play in 2021 with a new coordinator, head coach, and playmakers around him.
Atlanta Falcons x-factor in 2021 will touch the ball every play
As we look ahead to the season, the biggest Atlanta Falcons x-factor will be center Matt Hennessy.
For the last five seasons, former center Alex Mack started 78 of a possible 80 games and was a big reason Matt Ryan’s touchdowns increased and his interceptions decreased.
Hennessy has big shoes to fill.
For the Atlanta Falcons to average 30 or more points per game in 2021, Matt Hennessy is going to have to be as good as Mack was between 2015 and 2019. He is going to have to be the glue that brings the offensive line together and elevates their play.
That is a lot to ask of a second-year player and first-year starter at center but is absolutely necessary if Mike Davis, Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley, Kyle Pitts, Russell Gage, and Hayden Hurst are going to be able to be effective in Arthur’s Smith offense.
Having an eight-year pro at left tackle and one of the league’s best young guards at right guard will help Matt Hennessy as he attempts to replace a six-time Pro-Bowl center.
The Atlanta Falcons offensive line has an opportunity to be a strength in 2021 as both Hennessy and rookie Jaylen Mayfield will have plenty of opportunities to establish themselves as forces to be reckoned with upfront for offensive line coach Dwayne Ledford.
If Hennessy is the guy that many expected him to be coming out of Temple, the Atlanta Falcons offense will indeed be one of the best in the NFL and the Falcons will have a legitimate chance at getting back to the playoffs for the first time since 2017.