The Atlanta Falcons’ playoff hopes ended last Saturday in a game that perfectly encapsulated the season for the Falcons. It was a game of missed opportunities and continual chances to put themselves ahead they were never able to capitalize on.
Part of Atlanta’s problem this season has been the quarterback position and never being able to count on Marcus Mariota to get the ball to Kyle Pitts or Drake London with any level of consistency. Leaving it fair to wonder if the 2022 Falcons would be in the playoffs had they stuck with veteran Matt Ryan?
Let’s be clear here the Falcons jumped off of Matt Ryan at the perfect time with the veteran struggling in Indy and clearly overpaid. Getting his contract off of their cap space after this season and getting a third-round pick in return appears to have been a savvy move. One the Falcons would make again in a heartbeat if they had the chance to do the deal again.
Moving on from Ryan was about making their future brighter and opening up cap space. It was the right move even if it hurt the Falcons in the short term. Adding Tyler Allgeier, Drake London, and improving the offensive line objectively would make the Falcons a playoff team with Matt Ryan this season.
Factoring in the improved passing game and Ryan’s familiarity with the Atlanta Falcons offense it isn’t a stretch to believe this team could have made the playoffs even with what is left of Ryan. His ability as a passer and chemistry with Kyle Pitts would give Atlanta the plays in the passing attack that Mariota consistently missed.
While moving on from Ryan was the right decision for Atlanta’s long-term future it is hard to ignore the veteran would have been a clear upgrade this year. One that could have been benched eventually for Ridder and moved on from this off-season.