The hiring of Arthur Smith brought the promise of a stable, modern NFL offense to a unit with some talented pieces that was in need of rejuvenation. Guys like Matt Ryan, Calvin Ridley and Hayden Hurst could be utilized properly and be more successful, or so the thinking went. The first five games have reminded us that a good offense takes some time to install and there will be bumps in the road - especially early on.
That said, there are a few guys who have been standouts in these first several games. In many ways, as other players have grown and adjusted, these guys have mostly done their part over the first five games.
I think it’s safe to say that no one expected this when the Falcons signed Patterson. He’s been the team’s most dangerous and most consistent offensive weapon and it truly makes you wonder how no other NFL team has figured this out until now. As a runner, he has 41 attempts for 173 yards and a healthy 4.2 yards per attempt average with 1 touchdown. As a receiver, he has 25 receptions on 28 targets for 295 yards (11.8 y/r) and 4 touchdowns.
He runs with a chip on his shoulder and a physicality that punishes linebackers and defensive backs alike. He’s developed a quick rapport with Matt Ryan and he’s easily having the best year of his career at 30 years old. Kudos to Arthur Smith for taking full advantage of Patterson’s skills in a way no other coach has before.
The offensive line was terrible in the first game against the Eagles, but they’ve quietly improved with each game. That said, Lindstrom is one of the only guys in the trenches who has been dependable from the word go.
He’s currently ranked 5th (out of 74) among guards by Pro Football Focus and in 5 games he has allowed no sacks, 1 hit, 5 hurries and just 6 pressures. He has turned into the exact kind of player we hoped he’d be when the Falcons took him with the 14th pick in 2019.
The veteran QB got off to a rough start in the Eagles game (as did most of the offense). A relatively good start against the Bucs was wiped away by his 3 interceptions in the game. Since then, he’s gotten back on track in a big way.
Matt Ryan the last three weeks:— Michael Rothstein (@mikerothstein) October 10, 2021
868 yards, 8 TD, 0 INT
By PFF scores, #Falcons QB Matt Ryan only registered a 90+ grade under Dirk Koetter (2019-2020) just ONCE in two full seasons.— Falconihilist DW (@FalcoholicDW) October 11, 2021
He's now hit 90+ two games in a row under Arthur Smith.
As you can see, Ryan has been lights out recently with the Falcons going 2-1 in that stretch (and they really should have been 3-0). On the year, Ryan has thrown for 1,332 yards with a 69.1 completion percentage with 10 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Ryan has these stats despite his receivers having already dropped 7 passes on the year. When using play action, Ryan has 482 yards with a 75.8 completion percentage with 3 touchdowns and no interceptions for a passer rating of 113.8. This offense is truly playing to his strengths and the payoff is really beginning to show.
What players on offense have been standouts in your mind?