Fact: Falcons were competitive every week despite starting Marcus Mariota

Pittsburgh Steelers v Atlanta Falcons
Pittsburgh Steelers v Atlanta Falcons / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Sometimes something is right in front of your face and you still don't see it for a while, and that is the case with this statement for the Atlanta Falcons (at least for me personally); the Atlanta Falcons were able to remain competitive virtually every week despite having one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL in Marcus Mariota.

While Mariota did have a couple of nice games, overall he was quite bad. He routinely overthrew wide-open receivers deep down the field and started out the season by making huge mistakes at critical moments. And yet, despite all of that, the Falcons had a chance to win all but one game in the fourth quarter. That right there should give you hope for the 2023 season.

The Atlanta Falcons had the chance to win every week despite starting Marcus Mariota most of the year

The Atlanta Falcons exceeded the expectations of the media during the 2022 NFL season and while that still wasn't enough to break their playoff drought, it was done despite trotting out a starting quarterback every week that looked nothing like a starting quarterback.

The intention here is not to rip Marcus Mariota apart but rather to point out the facts, Mariota was playing like one of the three worst quarterbacks in the NFL, no way around it. His struggles passing the ball in 2022 often caused Arthur Smith to call run play after run play. After all, at some point, you are going to stop passing the ball to a guy who cannot make layups (trust me, I know better than anyone).

Not making the layups in the NFL usually means you are going to get blown out each and every week yet somehow the Atlanta Falcons were able to either win or keep the game within one score in the fourth quarter, minus the game in Cincinnati.

It really is strange how a team that couldn't pass the ball and didn't have a highly-ranked defense was able to remain competitive each week.

The Falcons are now going into the 2023 NFL season with an improved team that should get better play out of their quarterback. They could have an even better running game and should have a much better defense. Not to mention, the division could be worse and the Falcons' strength of schedule is dead last.

Next. Winners and losers of the Falcons 2023 NFL Draft. dark