Why the Atlanta Falcons should give this rookie a chance
The Atlanta Falcons offense has struggled with consistency this season and Matt Ryan has been unable to get the ball into the endzone. His struggling receivers have failed to show up consistently and have left Ryan in a precarious position of attempting to run an offense without a single receiver he can count on.
Russell Gage has been Atlanta’s most consistent receiver and he has struggled this season. Disappearing at times and dropping key passes Gage isn’t a player who is capable of being a team’s number one target. He is a talented hustle player who is best utilized as a team’s third or fourth option.
Behind Gage, you have Tajae Sharpe and Olamide Zaccheaus two receivers who have combined for 489-receiving yards to go along with Gage and his 400-receiving yards so far, which is inflated by his 130-yard performance against Tampa.
The Atlanta Falcons starting receivers have combined for 889-receiving yards through twelve games
In case math isn’t your strong suit that averages out to roughly 296-yards per starting receiver through twelve games. Meaning Atlanta’s three top receivers combined are averaging 74-receiving yards per game.
That is an insane stat when you consider Atlanta is used to having receivers like Roddy White, Julio Jones, or Calvin Ridley who can exceed that number on a weekly basis with regularity. There point here is Atlanta’s receiving group is one of the least productive groups in football.
Simply put Atlanta’s receivers and their attack cannot get any worse. Both this site and many others have covered this fact and wondered why Atlanta refuses to bring in outside talent? If they are going to continue to refuse to make a move at the very least they should give every player on their roster a chance.
Enter mysterious rookie Frank Darby who is yet to make an impact this season. Despite Atlanta’s struggles at the position he plays, Atlanta thus far has refused to play Darby except in garbage time, Darby has three targets so far this season and one catch.
The catch came in what was a blowout loss when Atlanta had already pulled Matt Ryan. The point here is this, Darby is an unknown that is likely being held out of games for a reason. Pretending to know more than a coaching staff that has watched Darby practice every day knows the struggles at the position and still doesn’t play him would lead one to believe Darby has struggled in some facet.
Regardless you owe it to Matt Ryan and this team to try every weapon you have at your disposal and that means giving Frank Darby a chance. It is very hard to believe he could be worse than Olamide or Sharpe.
Even if he managed that feat it would be better to know that now and prepare to remake the receiver group completely. Giving Darby a chance is something that should happen this week against the Panthers.
Starting him in favor of Sharpe and seeing if the rookie can bring this attack to life. In the worst-case scenario, he is as bad as Sharpe has been recently and cannot separate. Best case he is an improvement and offers Matt Ryan a consistent surprise target. Regardless, Atlanta has few options left it is time to take the bubble wrap off and start Frank Darby.