Seth Walder of ESPN put together a list of the 100 most valuable players based on the 2022 season after he found the MVP vote was too limiting. The MVP vote almost always ends up being a battle of the league’s best quarterback. This list instead makes things a bit more interesting by focusing on other positions. When else do you get to talk about edge rushers?
That’s the perfect way for the Falcons to get their foot in the door. Marcus Mariota is definitely not earning MVP, and after only four games, neither is Desmond Ridder. Falcons fans have realistically not had a chance watching their team take home an MVP nod since, at best, 2018, when Matt Ryan had a great statistical performance on a pretty bad team.
Now 2023 and well removed from the MVP races, the Falcons definitely have the talent to place players in the top 100. Walder, per his article, focused on player value above average using “data-based evidence,” which look like advanced statistics, as well as thoughts from others.
Now who is the first Falcons player to get a nod? Maybe Chris Lindstrom among the first few guards in the 40s? AJ Terrell in the top-5 corners, maybe around the 50s? Grady Jarrett, a solid but impressive lineman, rounding out the 60s? Tyler Allgeier could even sneak into the end of the list thanks to his impressive end of season. Maybe even a surprise like Cordarrelle Patterson, Kaleb McGary, or even Drake London?
No, no, no, no and no.
The Falcons were snubbed — zero players in the top 100.
This is a bit surprising considering some of Atlanta’s top talent. Lindstrom doesn’t rank among the top three guards listed, Terrell doesn’t rank among the top 10 corners listed, while Jarrett doesn’t like among the nine defensive tackles listed.
Maybe a stat would suggest one of those players aren’t among the top 100. I don’t think there’s an argument all three don’t make the list. I think this top 100 most valuable players is an argument that the Falcons are overlooked after continually churning in mediocrity.
After all, the Falcons just wrapped up five seasons without a playoff berth. That means fewer primetime games. Less national coverage. And a lack of coverage and focus on Atlanta’s top players. While the Falcons remain in a battle against relevancy, its players will need to fight twice as hard for respect.