The Atlanta Falcons are staring down a uniquely frustrating fate three games into the 2018 season. Their up and coming defense has been decimated by injuries. And now it genuinely seems like the offense may need to score 25+ points a game to eek out a winning record. That amounts to an uphill battle, but it’s certainly not impossible.
As luck would have it, the offense is on the upswing! Much of their recent success can be attributed to execution. They’re running the plays as they were designed to be run and everyone is doing their job. That’s an awfully simple explanation, but it’s accurate. And we can’t talk about execution without talking about dropped passes. The Falcons aren’t dropping the ball, literally or figuratively.
The Falcons had an awful drop percentage in 2017. Falcons receivers infamously dropped 34 balls (530 attempts) last year. That’s 6.4 percent of passes; 7th highest percentage in the NFL last season. But one year earlier, during the Super Bowl year, Falcons receivers only dropped 11 balls (537 attempts). That’s 2.1 percent; 28th highest percentage in the NFL that season.
I’m mindful of the fact that we’re only 3 games in. I’m mindful that a much-improved offense won’t matter much if the defense continues on its current trajectory. But the substantially better drop percentage bodes well, doesn’t it?