For the first time in fourteen years, the Atlanta Falcons are headed into the pre-season without a clear franchise quarterback and zero expectations of contending. This is more than fair when you consider the team was a seven-win roster last season with an inferior schedule and Matt Ryan playing hero ball nearly every week to give the team a chance.
While Matt Ryan may now be in Indy it is worth noting the Falcons have improved at nearly every position. They have brought in a myriad of options to attempt to create a pass rush and find production at receiver two of their biggest issues last season.
The one area the team arguably hasn’t improved enough is along the offensive line. Extending Jake Matthews and bringing back Chris Lindstrom is a great start, however, it leaves three big question marks for the Falcons.
Throughout camp and the pre-season, the remaining three positions should all be up for grabs. Even if the offensive line improves this team is still likely contending for a top-five draft pick next season.
Though there is the longshot chance this team does become a surprise fringe wildcard contender. For that to happen three clear scenarios must happen for Atlanta to take a step forward.