Entering year three, Atlanta Falcons guard Chris Lindstrom is among the most underappreciated starters on the entire roster. He is also among the most overlooked players across the National Football League.
In 2020, Lindstrom was third in the NFL in total snaps taking 1,122 snaps for the Atlanta Falcons and he allowed just four sacks. According to Pro Football Focus, he graded out at 77.1 overall for the season, which was far better than All-Pro guard Joe Thuney, who got a five year $80 million deal this off-season from the Chiefs after spending the first five years in New England, where he helped them win two Super Bowls.
In the history of the franchise, the Falcons have had just three players make an All-Pro or Pro-Bowl team at guard – R.C. Thielemann, Bill Fralic, and Chris Hinton. Jeff Van Note also made several Pro-Bowls, but all of them were as a center.
Chris Lindstrom will be among the greatest to ever play for the Atlanta Falcons
Clearly, the Atlanta Falcons don’t have a great history of offensive line play. Sure, they have had some decent players over the last five decades but only two players in the Ring of Honor are former offensive linemen – Mike Kenn and Jeff Van Note.
Fans hate when people make statements like this, especially Atlanta Falcons fans but Chris Lindstrom has been nothing short of fantastic his first two seasons in the NFL and he made a lot of strides in year two after missing most of his rookie season.
Year three will be a big one for him because of all the changes on the offensive line, change in the coaching staff, and of course change in offensive philosophy.
Coming into the season, Pro Football Focus has Lindstrom ranked as the 12th best guard in all of football. Given there are roughly 150 guards in the NFL, being mentioned among eight percent as he enters his third season, is impressive.
When describing Lindstrom, PFF had this to say –
"A former first-round pick, Lindstrom was notably better in Year 2 than he was as a rookie, and another jump this year could see him become one of the very best in the game. Both his run- and pass-blocking grades took a jump in his sophomore year, topping 70.0 for the first time. His pass-blocking efficiency was better, too, as his 97.6 mark was up from the 96.4 he put up as a rookie."
Losing Alex Mack at the center position and having to rely on someone who has never played the position at the NFL level will create a lot of stress for Lindstrom who will take on a lot more responsibility in the middle of the Falcons offensive line.
He is the future of the Atlanta Falcons offensive line and will be a huge part of their offense over the next 8-10 years. While the jury is still out on his draft mate Kaleb McGary at right tackle as well as Matt Hennessy at center, Lindstrom has solidified himself among the Falcons young core and will be relied on heavily in 2021.