A year after finishing 7-10 in an awful NFC South division race, the Atlanta Falcons are hoping their restocked offense can power them to better things in 2023.
The Falcons had a middle-of-the-road offense last year. They average 21.5 points per game, 15th in the NFL, but did crack the top 10 rushing offenses behind a very effective combination of Cordarrelle Patterson and rookie Tyler Allgeier. At quarterback, the combination of Marcus Mariota and rookie Desmond Ridder were less effective in turning the passing game into a consistent threat, but Ridder did at least show enough promise to get a shot at being the starter this season.
Still, they’ll need to be better on defense than they were last season, when the Falcons gave up 22.7 points per game. They were especially vulnerable against the pass, giving up nearly 232 yards per game and allowing 26 passing touchdowns overall. Worse, they had just 21 sacks; only one team managed to record less.
We’ll take a look at the latest DraftKings Sportsbook lines and predict if the Atlanta Falcons can beat their 2023 win total. The odds below are as of April 29, 2023.
NFC South win totals
Notable offseason moves
To shore up the defense, the Falcons brought in Calais Campbell and David Onyemata for the interior line. They signed Bud Dupree to help their sagging pass rush. They signed Mike Hughes and traded for Jeff Okudah to address holes at cornerback. On the other side of the ball, Atlanta brought in former Washington backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke to give them a reliable option in case Ridder struggles.
The Falcons were getting panned for their first-round pick in the draft this year, choosing running back Bijan Robinson with the eighth overall pick. Not that Robinson’s a bad player, but the Falcons were already pretty well off at running back. Making the decision look even more questionable was the fact that Georgia defensive tackle Jalen Carter was still on the board.
Falcons prediction: UNDER 8.5
It’s hard to go with the over when it comes to the Falcons. The only team in the division that didn’t improve this offseason was the Buccaneers. The moves on defense don’t look like they’ll be enough for the Falcons to contain the rest of the NFC.
What moves might change our prediction?
Ridder could be a good quarterback, and he’ll certainly have more offensive weapons to work with this year. Plus, they do have an easy schedule; that could go a long way toward helping the Falcons to nine wins or more.