Dropping under 40 days until the Atlanta Falcons take the field feels so different. We are nearing almost one month until we will see the Falcons on the field for the first time in eight months.
It seems like it has been forever since the Falcons beat the Buccaneers in January and hopefully these final 40 days won't be the same. Anyways, let's get to the point of the article which is to count down the season by looking at the best players to wear each jersey number—40 days equals jersey numbers 40-49.
The best players to wear each number in the 40s with 40 days until kickoff for the Atlanta Falcons
Ten days after having a group of numbers that had some absolute legends for the Atlanta Falcons, we have a group of numbers that are severely disappointing—as you might expect with numbers in the 40s. While these jersey numbers have been open to running backs, tight ends, linebackers, and defensive backs, you don't usually see players, outside of linebackers, wearing these numbers.
Nevertheless, it should still be interesting with a handful of recognizable names:
#49: Jimmy Burson, DB (1968)
Yes, that is right, a cornerback/free safety who played for the Atlanta Falcons for just one season is the best player to wear 49. While that is underwhelming, he had decent stats during his lone season in the state Jimmy Burson grew up in. He intercepted four passes for 100 yards with one touchdown and three fumble recoveries for 48 yards. And for good measure, he had 2.5 sacks in the 14 games he played.
#48: Woody Thompson, RB (1975-1977)
Things don't get much more impressive with 48. Woody Thompson, in his three seasons with the Falcons, had 242 rushing attempts for 877 yards and one touchdown. Yikes!
#47: Josh Harris, LS (2012-2021)
A long snapper! Who doesn't love a good long snapper?! Josh Harris is sitting at 12th in games played in Falcons history with 156 games. He played in every game in nine of his ten seasons and made a Pro Bowl in 2021 before signing with the Chargers.
#46: Parker Hesse, TE (2021-Present)
There weren't any better options than the Atlanta Falcons' current third-string tight end and occasional fullback. Hesse has spent most of his time blocking but still has 14 catches for 132 yards after converting from defensive end to tight end.
#45: Deion Jones, LB (2016-2022)
There is some recent bad taste with Deion Jones' final two seasons with the Falcons but let's not forget just how good he was for five years. Debo was the best playmaker at the linebacker position during his prime and you can even argue that he is one of the best playmaking linebackers in the history of the NFL. He had 11 interceptions for 379 yards and five touchdowns to go along with four forced fumbles, 652 tackles, and 8.5 sacks in six seasons for the Falcons. Debo was special.
Deion Jones even came close to breaking a significant NFL record.
#44: Vic Beasley, OLB (2015-2019)
Vic Beasley is proof that passion and drive are the most important traits of football players. Beasley showed that he could be a dominant edge rusher with his league-leading (albeit fluky) 15.5 sacks in 2016. Outside of that year, he was rather disappointing as he never had more than eight in a season, yet somehow sits in the top five in career sacks for the Falcons.
#43: Dave Hampton, RB (1972-1976)
43 is another number that hasn't been made famous for the Falcons. Dave Hampton played in 52 games and took 882 handoffs for 3,482 yards and 17 touchdowns while also adding 82 receptions for 823 yards and three receiving touchdowns.
#42: Gerald Riggs, RB (1982-1988)
Legend. Gerald Riggs was a big, imposing running back for the Atlanta Falcons. He made three Pro Bowls and rushed for 6,631 yards on 1,587 carries and had 48 rushing touchdowns. 42 was not a number you wanted to see heading toward you if you were a defense going up against the Falcons in the 80s.
#41: Eugene Robinson, FS (1998-1999)
While Eugene Robinson certainly made his hay with the Seattle Seahawks, he also had a couple of solid seasons for the Atlanta Falcons. Robinson had seven interceptions and 160 tackles and made a Pro Bowl with the Falcons.
#40: Brian Jordan, S (1989-1991)
Brian Jordan was a phenomenal athlete, no other way to put it. While his 36 games played for the Falcons might not seem that impressive, what is impressive is that he would go on to play 1,456 games in the MLB. This included two stints with the Braves. If you never watched him then you might recognize his voice from his time as an analyst for the Braves until this season.