Matt Ryan changed the outlook on the Atlanta Falcons
By Nick Halden
The Atlanta Falcons are coming off of a 7-win season that saw the team become surprise wildcard contenders deep into the season. Despite this past success, Atlanta is heading into the 2022 season viewed as a contender for the top pick in next year’s draft. Despite improving at nearly every position this off-season the Falcons are not being given the same respect they were headed into the 2021 season.
Even the positions Atlanta has failed to improve they have added depth and competition for a team not looking to actively tank.
This speaks to the impact and role Matt Ryan played for the Falcons and how much-unrealized respect he garners around the league. With Ryan, this team is better than the seven-win version of the Falcons we watched last season. However, without him, they are nothing more than a bottom five roster looking to land a top draft pick and complete the rebuild next off-season.
Those looking forward to the 2023 season for Atlanta are correct. They know that this will be a painful rebuilding season where many fans and pundits come to realize just how much Ryan did for this team and the franchise in a while.
Marcus Mariota is a good quarterback but will not have close to the same impact Ryan had during his time in Atlanta.
Without a franchise quarterback your team not only isn’t going to compete for the Super Bowl in today’s NFL but your team won’t be competitive. Atlanta has had a front-row seat to this fact watching as division rival Carolina continually fails to contend due to their lack of answers at the most important position.
Carolina has had a good roster the last two seasons but has been stuck with a franchise quarterback capable of elevating the team into contention. Atlanta now has this same problem without the benefit of a good roster.
Low expectations for this team are fitting for a franchise without a long-term answer at quarterback and still a season away from recovering from terrible contract decisions. The 2022-season is all about setting the team up for next year and attempting to find what Matt Ryan brought to this franchise for fourteen years.