Last season was a memorable year for Atlanta. Matt Ryan set multiple personal bests, Roddy White became the franchise's all-time leading receiver and the Falcons made their second trip to the conference championship. Keep the balloons and confetti (keeping it PG) in stock, because several records are about to be broken in 2013.
Let's look at some of the milestones that are bound to be passed this upcoming season.
Ryan had a decent 2012 season. All the stats shown above are single-season records Ryan set last year. Given his progression and the transition to a heavier passing offense, it's reasonable to believe all these marks could be broken in 2013. Steven Jackson's arrival might mean more rushing plays, but Ryan continues to make strides every season.
A historic year potentially looms on the horizon. Ryan has thrown for 18,957 yards and 127 touchdowns on 1,654 completions in five years. He needs 27 scores to tie Bartkowski. Ryan hit 27 touchdowns for the season last year in Week 15 against the Giants, so we could be witnessing that passing of the torch in December.
Ryan is 217 completions and 4,513 yards away from the two other all-time records listed. He will easily surpass the first, but the latter will be at least a bit more suspenseful. Prior to passing for 4,719 yards in 2012, Ryan's previous high was 4,177. Again, his fifth season (like many quarterbacks) was the point where he really came into his own, and Dirk Koetter coming in as offensive coordinator elevated the passing attack.
Steven Jackson probably won't be breaking any records. Jamal Anderson rushed for 1,846 yards on 410(!!!) carries in 1998. Sorry, that's not happening again. Michael Turner holds the single-season touchdown with 17 in 2008. Jackson's highest is 13, which he set in 2006. The Falcons get a lot of red zone looks, but I don't see it happening.
White holds the single-season records for:
1) Receptions - 115 (2010)
2) Yards - 1,389 (also 2010)
With White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez and Jackson all battling for targets, it will be a difficult task to top either of these records in 2013.
Andre Rison holds the franchise single-season records with 15 touchdowns in 1993. White has never caught more than 11 in a season, and Jones set his high last year with 10. Gonzalez caught 11 way back in his Chiefs days. Your record is safe, Andre, wherever you are.
White is already the all-time leading receiver in catches and yards for the Falcons, but he should emerge as Atlanta's leading scorer in the receiving category this year. Terance Mathis finished with 57 touchdowns in 2001. White is only five away from tying that number. He's caught at least six touchdowns every season since 2007. Get ready to celebrate another one.
The Falcons could shatter their previous mark of zero Super Bowl wins in 2013. You know, that record.