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If the 2019 season is as fruitful as we hope, the Falcons may be in a position to best some of their single season franchise marks. Here’s a handful that might be up for grabs if all goes well in 2019, as we so fervently hope it does.
4,944 yards, Matt Ryan (2016)
38 passing touchdowns, Matt Ryan (2016)
651 passing attempts, Matt Ryan (2013)
117.1 passer rating, Matt Ryan *2016
It’s not a stretch to think Ryan might be able to break all his own records in 2019. Dirk Koetter will bring an offense that’s heavy on the gunslinging to Atlanta, giving Ryan the opportunity to throw the ball a lot to one of his most talented group of receiving options ever. Couple that with a concerted effort to re-build the offensive line and give him more time and you have a recipe for another tremendous year.
Is he likely to best everything he did in his MVP season? No. Is it within the realm of possibility? Yes, I think so.
1,871 receiving yards, Julio Jones, 2015
Realistically, Julio is not touching the receiving touchdowns record held by Andre Rison, who reeled in 15 in one season back in 1993. It’s also unlikely he’ll top his absurd 136 catches in 2015, given that the team is less hyper-reliant on him as the top target and he’s never come within 20 receptions of that in any other season.
The yardage record is certainly within reach, however, given Julio’s insane per game and per catch production. With Calvin Ridley, Mohamed Sanu, Austin Hooper, and Devonta Freeman in the fold and healthy this year, defenses are either going to have to prioritize Julio and get burned elsewhere or ease off him a bit, which could open him up to a huge year. Just from a talent perspective alone, you have to at least acknowledge the possibility that Julio can do this, and perhaps even make a run at Calvin Johnson’s all-time NFL mark.
17 total touchdowns, Michael Turner (2008)
If this were just rushing touchdowns, Devonta Freeman wouldn’t really be in the discussion here. But as it’s combined touchdowns and as it’s going to a pretty productive year for the offense, at least on paper, there’s a chance Freeman could equal or exceed this.
Freeman has already come close twice, putting up 14 touchdowns in 2015 and 13 in 2016. His pass catching acumen—and Dirk Koetter’s strong inclination to exploit those—means he’d likely only need to get 10 or so touchdowns on the ground to make a real run at the mark. It will depend on Freeman’s health, of course, but opportunity-wise this year might represent his best shot of breaking the franchise mark.
10 picks, Scott Case, 1988
The only reason this is included here is because of Damontae Kazee’s performance a year ago. Kazee, of course, tied for the league lead with seven interceptions in a little less than a full season as the starting free safety. In this year’s role as the team’s full-time nickel cornerback, he’ll have his opportunities to build on that total and seriously challenge Case, whose mark hasn’t been touched in over 30 years. It’s a longshot, but Kazee has the talent and the opportunity to get there.