Analyst Addresses Keys to Falcons’ Success in 2022


Getty No. 8 Kyle Pitts of the Atlanta Falcons.

The Atlanta Falcons will have their work cut out for them in 2022, similar to last season…and the season before that…and the season before th– well, you get the picture.

But that doesn’t mean they won’t be able to compete.

In fact, Good Morning Football’s Tom Pelissero recently broke down some keys to a successful season for Atlanta:

Step 1: Have QB plan and execute

Step 2: Be bullies

Step 3: Be good enough on defense

Now, let’s dive in deeper with Pelissero.

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Step 1: Have QB Plan and Execute

The Falcons will look a lot different than they have in 14 seasons, particularly because of what went down over the last few months.

“It’s been an unusual offseason for the Atlanta Falcons,” Pelissero recapped Atlanta’s offseason. “They tried to get Deshaun Watson. They made a push for him. So did a couple of other teams within the division: the Saints, the Panthers. In the end, that also led to them parting ways with Matt Ryan–they traded him away to the Colts.

“They end up with Marcus Mariota and third-round pick Desmond Ridder. So, Step 1: get the quarterback room right. Have a plan there and execute it, which Arthur Smith has been really good with the offense, really good with quarterbacks throughout the course of his career. He was with Marcus Mariota in Tennessee, he knows what he can do. Mariota’s issue has just been he has not been able to stay healthy. It’s always a hamstring or a thumb or something going on. Keeping him on the field while Desmond Ridder has time to develop, being able to manage the expectations when you’ve go that young quarterback the moment things go wrong. Everybody wants to see him on the field––getting that room right is key.”

The Falcons have plans to start Mariota but there’s no doubt they’re getting Ridder ready for when he’s needed. In fact, Smith recently complimented the rookie on how well he’s learning the new system.

Step 2: Be Bullies

The next key is pretty simple and straightforward. Pellissero addresses the size Atlanta added in the draft and how they cannot let it go to waste.

“Second part: be bullies. Last year, the first pick of the Arthur Smith era, they draft 6-foot-6 Kyle Pitts. They’re not satisfied with that, so this year all of these big receivers, all of these fast guys, they go, ‘we’re gunna go get 6-foot-4 Drake London out of USC. We’re gunna double-down on the twin towers designing an offense that is based around that.’ Again, this is a strength for Arthur Smith who made the most of what he had a year ago and have those two big dudes, that’s going to create some mismatches ideal for them. They’re not going to necessarily beat you with speed but in other ways.”

On that note, Pitts and London aren’t the only big targets the Falcons added to their roster.

Here are some of their other big-bodied pass catchers:

WR Geronimo Allison: 6′ 3″
WR Bryan Edwards: 6′ 3″
WR Auden Tate: 6′ 5″
TE Anthony Firkser: 6′ 2″

Step 3: Be Good Enough on Defense

And last, but certainly not least, Pelliserro said, “be good enough on defense.”

“Last year, the Falcons had 17 sacks. That was the lowest in the NFL. That was the lowest for the Falcons since 1987. They went out and drafted a couple of guys. Arnold Ebiketie is there now. DeAngelo Malone out of Western Kentucky. They’ve go to find a way––just be good enough on defense, especially in a division where you have to face quarterbacks like Tom Brady a couple of times a year.”

Under a new defensive coordinator, Dean Pees, the Falcons only ran 60% of his 3-4 defense. Pees has plans to unleash all 100% of his defense this fall, which should change up things for the better for Atlanta on that side of the ball.


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