Yes, you read that title right, Pro Football Focus gave the Atlanta Falcons one of their highest-team grades when looking at overall grades.
The 7-10 Falcons, who missed the playoffs, came in with a top-ten grade and were surrounded by teams who made the playoffs. Atlanta ended the season with the eighth-highest grade in the NFL.
Pro Football Focus gave the Atlanta Falcons a top-ten overall grade
One thing you can give the Atlanta Falcons credit for in 2022 was their ability to keep games close. They suffered just one loss of more than ten points during the 2022 season and Pro Football Focus gave them an overall grade that reflects just that—a team that remained competitive virtually every week.
During the 2022 regular season, the Falcons were given an 85.7 overall grade which puts them up with a majority of the teams that made the postseason.
Here are the PFF grades, and where they rank among the 32 teams, for all of the teams who made the playoffs (plus the lonely Falcons):
- Eagles: 93.5 (1st)
- 49ers: 93.1 (T2nd)
- Chiefs: 93.1 (T2nd)
- Vikings: 92.5 (4th)
- Ravens: 88.9 (5th)
- Bengals: 88.5 (6th)
- Bills: 86.6 (7th)
- Falcons: 85.7 (8th)
- Cowboys: 85.5 (9th)
- Dolphins: 84.9 (10th)
- Seahawks: 80.7 (15th)
- Jaguars: 80.6 (16th)
- Buccaneers: 77 (T23rd)
- Chargers: 76.2 (25th)
- Giants: 68.6 (29th)
According to these grades, the Falcons were better than seven playoff teams and worse than seven playoff teams. They were also the highest-graded non-playoff team in the NFL.
One thing that is evident with PFF grades is that they are heavily weighted by certain subsets. The Falcons had six subsidiary grades (pass, defense, run defense, tackling, pass rush, and coverage) that were graded below 70, but their special teams and rushing were both over 90.
While PFF’s grades had a pretty accurate correlation with playoff teams (9 out of the top 10 graded teams made the playoffs), it seems as though the Falcons’ volatile grades skewed things significantly.
I think we would all rather have a more well-rounded team, even if it means we don’t excel in anything.