When the Atlanta Falcons line up in September 2018, we’ll be hoping for better from their offense. When the defense lines up, we’ll hope they can go from excellent unit to juggernaut. In both instances, we’ll hope for historically great performances from those sides of the ball, even if that might be a stretch.
For some Falcons players, a chance to move into the top ten or even top five in the franchise’s all-time record books loom. We’ve collected five of the most interesting ones below.
Devonta Freeman, #6 for rushing yards
Free currently sits at 3,248 yards through four NFL seasons, good for eighth all-time with the Falcons. He needs just 612 yards on the ground next year to leapfrog the great Dave Hampton and Michael Vick, which will put him just outside the top five. It’ll be a bit more difficult to crack the top five, though, because Jamal Anderson is sitting at 5,336 yards.
Devonta Freeman, #3 for rushing touchdowns
Freeman’s prolific scoring through his first few seasons would be impressive enough even if the Falcons barely used him in his rookie year. He currently has 30 touchdowns on the ground, tying him for fifth with Warrick Dunn and William Andrews, and needs just five to blow by Jamal Anderson for third all-time. It’ll probably be at least 2019 before he catches Gerald Riggs (48) and longer still until he catches up with Michael Turner (60).
Vic Beasley, #3 for forced fumbles
Believe it or not, Beasley’s nine forced fumbles in three seasons has him tied for seventh place with Patrick Kerney and Rod Coleman. He needs just three in 2018 to surpass William Moore for third place all-time. Beasley had only had the sack numbers in one of his seasons thus far, but this helps make it clear how much of an impact he does have.
Oh, and #1 on this list? The phenomenal John Abraham, who had 24 during his long career in Atlanta.
Desmond Trufant, #2 for defensive touchdowns
Tru has two defensive touchdowns and is tied with a raft of players, including Adrian Clayborn and recently retired great Jonathan Babineaux. He’ll take sole possession of second place if he can score one in 2018, and he’d still be two behind Jessie Tuggle at that point.
Vic Beasley, #5 for sacks
Speaking of Beasley, he’s still made his way into historic territory very quickly when it comes to sacks. His 24.5 through three seasons is good for 11th all-time, and if he can pick up eight in 2018 he’ll wind up leapfrogging several players including Brady Smith (32), Rod Coleman (30), and Jonathan Babineaux (27) to hold fifth place all to himself. He’ll still be looking up at Travis Hall (41.5), Patrick Kerney (58), Chuck Smith (58.5), and of course John Abraham (68.5).