I watch All 22 film every week and wanted to share my thoughts on what I’ve seen
- Chris Lindstrom is playing bad. I expect him to turn that around, but his contract and role doesn’t allow him to get away with playing bad. Lindstrom must play better if this team is gonna get going the rest of the season
- Pitts lacks effort and easy targets. 3 weeks in a row Pitts looks lackadaisical. He seems downright lazy. He has lined up as a WR most of the season and just runs clear outs for other players. Smith doesn’t really utilize him like he should. Ridder can’t get him the ball either. Pitts days are likely numbered here
- Ridder has been downright awful. He hasn’t popped in any area dating back to last season. He has no anticipation. Arm is pedestrian. He has no mobility. Worst of all his pocket presence is bad and creates sacks. He misses a lot of throws. Through 6 games Ridder doesn’t look like a starter in any sense. I expect Heinicke to start at some point this season. That would be an upgrade. Heinicke is a better player by a lot.
- Smith is too complex with his scheme. The Falcons have the most non traditional personnel usage in the NFL. We have 3 TEs on the field more than anybody I’ve ever seen. Even on passing downs Smith will roll out 3 TEs at times for 3rd and long. The spacing is also a headache to watch. Every passing set is a condensed formation inside the numbers. This hasn’t helped in pass pro and it looks like Ridder is struggling with it coming from a spread college offense. Some players are getting open and Ridder is missing the downfield throw and just checking it down. It’s a give and take situation with Smith and Ridder. Without massive improvement Ridder will likely be benched for the vet. Smith can only get so vanilla with pass pro and it’s already hurting us
- McGary has been solid overall. He gets a lot of hate at times, but he has played against some top edge talent and has won the majority of his reps. You can’t really expect much better from him. His whiffs are really noticeable unfortunately, but he’s been solid. Ridders lack of mobility and pocket presence help him none
- Bijan and Allgeier are the best RB tandem in the NFL. Bijan will be one of the best offensive players in the league for many years to come. He’s every bit of CMC
- Jessie Bates is an All Pro. Point blank. Money well spent. Terrell is an All Pro too
- Calais Campbell has been very good for us against the run. Best edge setter we have had in years. He has 0 juice as an edge rusher though. Too slow and lacks explosion around the edge. He’s an easy 1v1 block and all he can do is push the tackle backwards and hope the QB holds the ball too long. To be fair none of our edge rushers are good.
- Grady and Onyemata are the best interior tandem in the NFL. They have been dominant against the run and pass. If we had an edge rusher this DL would be top 3
- Troy Anderson is not a starting LB in the NFL. He has zero instincts and fails to plug his hole far too often. Landman has played way better. Anderson may be on IR soon and we will likely get better play out of Landman
- Kaden Elliss plays a big role for us as a Swiss Army knife. He’s a solid player and has cleaned up his gap integrity since week 1. Well worth the money
- Bud Dupree has been a liability. Can’t set the edge well against the run. Can’t pass rush well either. I’m glad it’s a 1 year deal. Look for Falcons to spend big on edge next FA.
- Our 2nd unit gets gashed. Having depth is nice and keeping the starters fresh has paid off overall. When the 2nd unit is in the field they have been gashed though. All 3 games the opposing offense has taken advantage of the 2nd unit. When you see Grady and Co off the field hold your breathe.
- Our scheme is Cover 1 based. We run a lot of man and mix in blitzes at times. The same exact thing the Saints do. It’s working well. This unit will produce the rest of the season. We have a defense fellas
- Maybe the most underlooked story of the season so far. Our special teams unit has fallen off pretty hard. We have fielded a top 10 unit under Smith every season. We’re currently 26th in DVOA. It’s bad. Return game is a negative. Koo is looking shaky. Teams are winning the field position battle on us overall.