The Atlanta Falcons were finally put out of their misery this season. The playoff hopes were just lingering around like a mosquito for way too long but after the team’s loss to the Ravens and subsequent wins by the Panthers and Saints, they can officially close the book on extending their season past week 18.
That brings up the question of what’s next when it comes to the rest of the season? What should we be looking for?
What is next for the Falcons before they enter their offseason?
Although the Atlanta Falcons will be entering their offseason early, that doesn’t mean these final couple of games are insignificant. There is a lot to learn about this team in their final two games against the Arizona Cardinals and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Surprise, surprise, it starts with Desmond Ridder and his progression to wrap up his rookie season. The jump from his first start to his second start was obvious. He made more great throws and he cut down on the bad/risky throws. He will be going against a Cardinals defense that has not exactly been great this year, so we should see his skills on display.
Past Desmond Ridder, I think we all would love to see Drake London continue to make plays and, obviously, stop the fumbles. We know London will be here next year but Olamide Zaccheaus is a different story. He was Marcus Mariota’s favorite target and since Mariota was benched, OZ has been a non-factor.
If he doesn’t make an impact over the final two weeks then he may be looking for a new team in the offseason (how much do you want to bet that the Buccaneers will grab him?). At this point, it doesn’t matter one bit that he had chemistry with Mariota.
On the defense, of course, the rookies are a big factor. We want to continue to see Troy Anderson, Arnold Ebiketie, and DeAngelo Malone.
But Rashan Evans is a name to watch because he is trying to prove to everyone that he deserves another contract. He has been playing well so if he continues that then expect him to return.
Those things, in my opinion. are the things that we should be focused on over the next couple of weeks. Past that, we will start focusing on free agency and the draft as we start anticipating the 2023 season.