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4 Falcons on franchise record-breaking pace in 2016

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These players are going to vault up the all-time career rankings in 2016.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Oakland Raiders
Julio Jones, being awesome.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Julio Jones’ bonkers pace for the season puts him on track to enjoy another elite season, but it also means he’s likely to continue his assault on the franchise record books. He and Devonta Freeman are the two players who are likeliest to move up the list in categories that include passing yards and rushing yards, as we’ll outline below.

You won’t see Matt Ryan on this list because he already owns every franchise passing record.

Receiving Yardage, Career

Roddy White: 10,863

Terance Mathis: 7,349

Julio Jones: 6,689

Julio needs just 660 yards to tie Mathis, and it’s exceedingly likely he’ll get there before season’s end (and potentially before the bye week). Then he’ll be about 3,500 yards away from Roddy White’s franchise mark, which he’ll break in 3-4 years if he stays healthy.

I guess what I’m saying is that Julio Jones is insane. He’s also just 27 years old.

Receiving Touchdowns, Career

Roddy White: 63

Terance Mathis: 57

Andre Rison: 56

Alfred Jenkins: 40

Julio Jones: 37

It’s unlikely that Jones will touch the top of this leaderboard this year—he’s on pace for 12 touchdowns, which would put him at 49 and within striking distance of everyone else—he should pass Alfred Jenkins very soon for sole possession of fourth place on this list.

Rushing Yards, Career

Suffice to say Devonta Freeman, who has 1,626 yards rushing, isn’t going to get near Gerald Riggs (6,631 yards) this year, and he may never. But Freeman needs 640 yards on the season to jump all the way from 17th on the franchise rushing list to 9th, ahead of Lynn Cain (2,263). That’s an impressive achievement, and I’m very willing to bet he’ll get it done.

Rushing Touchdowns, Career

Michael Turner: 60

Gerald Riggs: 48

Jamal Anderson: 34

T.J. Duckett: 31

William Andrews, Warrick Dunn: 30

Haskel Stanback: 25

Michael Vick: 21

[...]

Devonta Freeman: 13

Freeman put up some big scoring totals last year, so it’s certainly possible that he could wind up with enough touchdowns to tie or exceed Vick, which would put him at 8th on the all-time list. Tying Lynn Cain at 19 by scoring six additional rushing touchdowns (which would be good for 9th place) is well within reach, at the very least.

Field Goals Made, Career

Morten Andersen: 184

Matt Bryant: 170

Remarkably, this is within striking distance for Bryant, who can very legitimately stake a claim as the best kicker in team history. He’s back off to a hot start in 2016 after a little bit of injury-related offseason intrigue, and I think it’s extremely likely that he’s the team’s all-time leading field goal artist when 2016 wraps up.

Scoring, Career

Morten Andersen: 806

Matt Bryant: 774

Same situation here, except it’s basically a given that Bryant will break this by the end of the year, given the clip at which this time is scoring. To top Andersen, he’ll need just 33 extra points, 11 field goals, or some combination of the two, which seems more reasonable. We’ll spend some time later this season talking about just how great Bryant has been, and why he’s been so important to the Falcons franchise.

Sacks, Career

John Abraham: 68.5

Chuck Smith: 58.5

Patrick Kerney: 58

Travis Hall: 41.5

Brady Smith: 32

Lester Archambeau: 31

Rod Coleman: 30

Rick Bryan: 29

Jonathan Babineaux: 27

This one is not a lock. Babineaux has no sacks thus far in 2016, and as a rotational player at this stage of his career, his opportunities are likely to be a bit limited. If he could get five or six sacks, though, he’d leapfrog 4-5 other players for 5th or 6th on the career sack list, which would be an impressive accomplishment. We’ll be rooting for him to do so.