The season is extremely young, but some Falcons are already either making franchise history or are chasing it at a full sprint.
For fun while we wait nervously for kickoff against the Rams, let’s talk about some of those marks and the players chasing them.
Grady Jarrett climbs the sack charts
Quietly, Jarrett’s 1.5 sacks last week put him ahead of the great Jonathan Babineaux for 14th-place all-time on the franchise sack list. His 28 also puts him in striking distance of a few players in front of him.
Here’s that list:
- Brady Smith - 32
- Lester Archambeau - 31
- Rod Coleman - 30
- Rick Bryan - 29
The next highest total on the list is 37.5—that’s a three-way tie between Vic Beasley, Don Smith, and Jeff Merrow—and expecting Jarrett to set his career high and then some this year is probably a bit much. Picking up at least four sacks the rest of the way seems very doable for a player who was a one-man wrecking crew in Week 1, however, and so it seems reasonable to expect that Jarrett will wind up all alone at 10th on the all-time list by season’s end. Let’s see how close he can get in Week 2.
Drake London chases Kyle Pitts’ still warm rookie records
Last year, Kyle Pitts broke Julio Jones’ franchise record for receiving yards and receptions by a rookie, piling up 68 grabs and 1,026 yards.
This year, Drake London will be chasing Pitts, and he’s off to a good start. His five grabs for 74 yards puts him on pace for 80 receptions and 1,184 yards on the season, and while there will be an ebb and flow in targets and production this year, London benefits from the attention on Kyle Pitts and is a damn good receiver in his own right already. It’s going to be worth watching him closely this season to see if he can break those records just one year later, because it doesn’t really feel all that far-fetched. Remember, Pitts only cleared 74 yards in a single game four times in 2021.
The other player London can chase after? Junior Miller, the franchise record holder for touchdown grabs by a rookie, with 9.
Younghoe Koo is top 5 bound
With six field goal attempts—unlikely but not impossible for today—Koo will be fifth all-time in field goal attempts. With eight makes, he’ll pass Jay Feely for fourth all-time in field goals made. He’s already atop the franchise leaderboards in field goal percentage for a player with more than one season in Atlanta, and he’s high on the lists for every extra point metric, if not quite top five.
It’s still remarkable to me that Koo is so good right after the Falcons moved on from Matt Bryant, who was easily the greatest kicker in franchise history when he wrapped up his NFL career, but he’s well on his way to at least challenging several franchise marks. At the very least, in a week or two he should be climbing the leaderboard.
Cordarrelle Patterson eyes single season marks
Okay, this is unlikely, which is why we saved it for last. The Falcons don’t want to give Patterson the kind of bruising workload that will have him wearing down late in the year, after all.
Still, Patterson’s off to a roaring start with 120 yards and a touchdown on the ground, which puts him on pace to at least challenge some franchise records with 16 games left to go. Jamal Anderson has the single season rushing yardage mark with an astounding 1,846, but Patterson’s on pace for 1,920. Michael Turner has the franchise record for touchdown runs with 17, and Patterson is on pace for 17.
Again, this is unlikely in the extreme, because it would require a season-long heavy workload for a player who is over 30 years old, and the Falcons have plenty of other options at running back. Because everything about Patterson’s late-career resurgence is wonderful and improbable, though, let’s not dismiss it out of hand.