The Falcons aren’t exactly heading for a lot of records in 2020. They’re likely to cap off their worst three year stretch since 2013-2015, but that’s not exactly a record and it’s not exactly a positive. This is a Falcons-free football Sunday, though, so I wanted to keep it light by looking at some positive single season franchise records the team could break.
As I see it, these are the three records that stand some chance of falling in 2020. It’s very possible that 2020 will simply be a very forgettable year, at least in terms of the on-field results and statistics, but maybe at least one of these sneaks through.
Single season passing yards: Matt Ryan’s 4,944 in 2016
In 2016, Ryan averaged 309 yards per game. In 2020, he’s averaging 305, and that’s with two relative duds where he put up under 250 yards. With 7 games to go, he’s at 2,746 yards, and would need to average 315 yards the rest of the way to glide by his own franchise record.
This doesn’t seem particularly likely, but there are some lousy secondaries coming up and there’s a good possibility the Falcons will need to pass their way through games against capable offenses like Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Kansas City...well, really every game left, frankly. There’s an outside chance that Ryan gets here, especially as he’s seemingly rounding back into form.
Single season rushing touchdowns: Michael Turner’s 17 in 2008
Todd Gurley is not really in danger of breaking Turner’s 2008 yardage number, to say nothing of franchise record holder Jamal Anderson’s. He is, however, at least within striking distance of Turner’s single season touchdown mark.
Gurley has been a scoring machine, averaging a touchdown per game thus far and twice scoring two touchdowns in a single week. Because Dirk Koetter loves using him near the goal line and because Gurley’s strength makes him such a potent goal line back, I’m not at all comfortable ruling out this possibility.
Likelihood: Possible but unlikely
Single season field goal percentage: Norm Johnson’s 96.3% in 1993
Incredibly and quietly, Younghoe Koo has been converting field goals at such an efficient clip that he’s within striking distance of the best season in team history by field goal percentage. Koo is at 95.5% today on 22 attempts, where Johnson finished with 96.3% on 27 field goals back in 1993. He’s running just ahead of Matt Bryant’s brilliant 95.2% clip in 2018, if you need a sense of the company he’s keeping.
Koo’s only miss this season is from 40-49 yards and he’s already converted all three of his kicks beyond 50 yards, something Johnson only had to do twice in ‘93. Koo also generally gets favorable kicks because this offense is great between the 20s before stalling out in the red zone, so if he keeps it up there’s a very good chance he’ll finish right with Johnson, if not ahead of him. The only question is whether he can keep it up, because his career sample size is not huge and his fine 2019 didn’t suggest he could do this.
Possibility: Very real
These are the three I identified, but if you have more I missed, take to the comments.