This season has been the complete opposite of fun for Falcons fans. In fact, watching the Falcons stumble their way to a 1-7 record has been the functional equivalent of a chore. But that’s what we’re here for; we aren’t just fans during the good times. And with any luck, the Falcons will get back to the winning ways in the not so distant future.
That said, it’s the bye week. And now seems like a good time to take a look at some of the more disappointing Falcons players. Here are my top three:
When the Falcons decided not to rescind Beasley’s $12.8 million 5th year option, many Falcons fans were justifiably skeptical, and that’s putting it lightly. In truth, Beasley hasn’t lived up to his first round grade since 2016, when he turned in 15.5 sacks.
Beasley has just 2 sacks this season. In his defense, he’s played some solid football against the run. But with the exception of weeks 1 and 8, his pass rush grades have been abysmal. And to be clear, this isn’t all about sacks. In fact, according to Pro Football Focus, Beasley ranks 89th among edge players in pass rush productivity (a measure of pressure created by snap). There’s no nice way to put this: Beasley is not a good pass rusher. And we have an absurd amount of money invested in him this season. If that’s not a complete and utter disappoint, I don’t know what is.
Campbell has seemingly fallen off a cliff this season. He’s frequently out of position, meandering around the field aimlessly as the opposing offense converts yet another third down attempt. Campbell had a great game against the Titans, but he’s graded out as below average or worse in every other game this season. Truth be told, Campbell peaked during his sophomore campaign in 2017, and we saw signs of him hitting his ceiling last season. He is a solid tackler when he manages to get his hands on the ball carrier but he can’t be trusted against the run or in coverage.
I’m going to start with an important disclaimer before I lay too much blame at Freeman’s feet: the offensive line has played some horrible football this season. So in some respects, Freeman’s lackluster numbers aren’t his fault. But that said, Ito Smith has looked much better playing behind the same offensive line. Freeman is still a valuable member of this team in that he’s a true threat in the passing game and there isn’t another running back on the roster that can pass block like he can. But given that he’s being paid like a franchise RB1 and not playing like one, calling him a disappoint isn’t unfair.
What say you, Falcoholics? Who has been the most disappointing Falcon this year? Discuss!