3 Games the Atlanta Falcons must win in the 2023 season
By Nick Halden
It is clear the Atlanta Falcons will be in the 9-12 win range this season based on health and Desmond Ridder's ability to make plays when running the ball isn't an option. It is hard to imagine Ridder being anything but an upgrade over Mariota.
Even with Mariota, Atlanta was able to hang in the playoff race for much of the season and now clearly has a better quarterback and upgraded roster. The biggest roster changes are on the defensive side of the ball in the secondary and along the defensive line.
Atlanta has gotten younger at linebacker as well putting Troy Andersen in the starting lineup with Rashaan Evans still a free agent. While both sides of the ball are obviously improved the defense should be expected to take the biggest jump with a solid pass rush and great depth in the secondary.
After A.J. Terrell the Falcons have 4-5 options that can make an argument as a starter. This is the depth the team hasn't had in recent memory and paired with the improved pass rush and Jessie Bates at safety should allow for a huge jump. With this in mind, Atlanta's expectations should be to make the 2023 playoffs for that to happen there are three games Atlanta clearly can't afford to drop.