The 2018 season is now in the rearview mirror, so we can look back on it and reminisce. There is plenty of bad to look back on, but this series of articles will focus on some of the good.
The Atlanta Falcons finished the season ranked sixth in the NFL in total offense (6,226 yards) and 10th in scoring offense (25.9 points per game). This grouping of articles will highlight the five players who had the greatest impact and contribution to those very good rankings, counting them down from five to one.
Here is the fourth-best offensive player for the Atlanta Falcons from this past season.
4) Alex Mack
Alex Mack has easily been among the three best offensive players for the Atlanta Falcons in the past two years, but he falls just outside the tenacious triumvirate this season.
Mack took a small step back in performance this year, in comparison to 2017 and 2016, but he was nonetheless still an elite center in all of football. Mack earned a 77.3 overall grade from Pro Football Focus, ranking him as the third-best C in the NFL, and the 20th best offensive lineman overall.
Mack was Atlanta’s most consistent blocker in both the passing game and the run game, earning high marks of 79.1 and 76.4 in both of those categories. He did allow three sacks this year, which is uncharacteristic, but the fact that he gave up only four QB hits indicates that he suffered from some back luck in that sack department.
Mack played 1057 snaps this season, tying him for second-most on the team (Desmond Trufant played 1061).
It’ll take something massive to get Alex Mack to not play — this is the same guy who played in Super Bowl 51 despite having a fracture in his leg, after all.
It must give Matt Ryan a huge sense of relief to know that, despite how bad the protection may be at times, he doesn’t have to worry too much about the middle of the line getting caved in on him the way it routinely used to before Mack arrived ahead of the 2016 season.
Mack continues to reward Thomas Dimitroff and Dan Quinn for the $45 million investment they made in him in the spring of 2016. He’s three years into his five-year contract, and Atlanta could not have asked more of him thus far.
The center position is one of the most solidified on the team going into next season, thanks to Alex Mack.