We’ve known that the 2016 Falcons offense is electric and entertaining for weeks now. They’ve been atop the league at several points throughout the season in total yardage and passing yardage, and are still the #1 scoring offense in the league through Week 12.
With those 11 games under our belt, we can now see just how historically good this season’s offense could be. Spoiler alert: it’s by far the best offensive season Atlanta has ever had.
Old Record: 442 (1998)
2016 Projection: 520
Atlanta’s previous highest scoring season was the 1998 team that went to the Super Bowl. That’s pretty impressive company, to say the least, but this year’s squad is significantly better. The 2016 Falcons are projected to outscore that 1998 team by a whopping 78 points.
Old Record: 6,026 (2011)
2016 Projection: 6,584
The team with the most total yardage was, somewhat surprisingly, 2011. In Julio’s rookie year, the Falcons put up a monster 6,026 total yards. This year, Atlanta’s offense is projected to post 6,584, topping the previous record by over 500 yards. Wow.
Old Record: 4,719 (2012)
2016 Projection: 5,114
Matt Ryan already holds the team record for passing yards in a season with the 4,719 he posted during the 2012 season. He’s been incredibly efficient this year—Ryan is currently 3rd in the NFL with 3,516 yards for a ridiculous 9.3 YPA. He trails the leader Drew Brees by 73 yards, but Brees has thrown the ball 64 more times than Ryan. Kirk Cousins, in second, leads Ryan by only 24 yards, but has thrown the ball 37 more times. That’s pretty insane.
Old Record: 32 (2012)
2016 Projection: 38
Ryan also holds the franchise record for passing TDs in a season with the 32 he posted during that magical 2012 season. Despite the effectiveness of the running game stealing TDs from Ryan, he’s still projected to throw 38 TDs in 2016. That’s a pretty big jump.
As you’ll notice, the 2016 Falcons aren’t just barely touching these records, they’re blowing them away. Barring some dramatic turnaround, this offense seems destined to break all the records just mentioned. How the team performs over the final five games will determine just how much better they are.
Unfortunately, the Falcons aren’t quite approaching the NFL-record type offenses that they were projected to be over the first part of the season. Still, I think we’re all pretty thankful for only a franchise-best offense. Kyle Shanahan, you brilliant offensive wizard.
Where do you think the 2016 Falcons will end up? Are you confident that they’ll continue their offensive success through the end of the season?