Atlanta Falcons 2023 Preview. The Falcons have the easiest strength schedule for the 2023 NFL season when calculated in terms of the total number of wins by their opponents in 2022. It’s so easy that all games are winnable except for the Lions and Jets.
Atlanta’s 2023 Season Schedule
Friday, Aug 11 at Miami Dolphins (W: 19-3)
Friday, Aug 18, vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Thursday, Aug 24, vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 1 vs. Carolina Panthers
Week 2 vs. Green Bay Packers
Week 3 at Detroit Lions
Week 4 at Jacksonville Jaguars (at Wembley Stadium, London, England)
Week 5 vs. Houston Texans
Week 6 vs. Washington Commanders
Week 7 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 8 at Tennessee Titans
Week 9 vs. Minnesota Vikings
Week 10 at Arizona Cardinals
Week 11 BYE
Week 12 vs. New Orleans Saints
Week 13 at New York Jets
Week 14 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 15 at Carolina Panthers
Week 16 vs. Indianapolis Colts
Week 17 at Chicago Bears
Week 18 at New Orleans Saints
Defense Needs to Add Pressure
The Falcons only had 21 sacks in 2022, 31st in the NFL. In 2021, they only had 18. I guess you could say they’re at least improving, but they’d better pick it up a notch if they want to have a decent defense. They added a few pieces, including defensive lineman David Onyemata who had a good season with the Ravens last year despite being 36. He’ll be joined by DL Calais Campbell, who didn’t do that well with the Saints last year but was impressive in 2020 and 2021. They also added outside linebacker Kaden Elliss and linebacker Bud Dupree who was an effective pass rusher with the Steelers.
A Run-First Offense
Instead of looking for a high-level quarterback, the Falcons opted to go with the top running back of the draft for their first pick. By choosing Bijan Robinson, Atlanta confirms their desire to focus on the run. At least it should take some pressure off of Ridder, who will be the starting quarterback for 2023. They already have good players for the run game, including Tyler Allgeier, who rushed for 1,000 yards as a rookie in 2022.
They have one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, averaging 32.9 carries per game in 2022. That should continue, but their challenge is to bring up the defense and the passing game. If they do, they could become one of the better teams in the division.
The Falcons Passing Game
Quarterback Desmond Ridder didn’t stand out in the final four games of the season in which he started, but he did show his potential. He isn’t physically impressive, but he’s a fast thinker and knows the game well.
Ridder and receiver Drake London were both rookies in 2022 and worked well together. Tight end Kyle Pitts had a fantastic rookie year in 2021, averaging 60.4 yards per game. He dropped down in 2022 before a torn ACL ended his season after ten games. He didn’t get a chance to pair up with Ridder but will make a good target when he’s back in the lineup. Recently signed wide receivers Mack Hollins and Scotty Miller will fill out the receiver corps whenever the Falcons aren’t running the ball.
Atlanta’s Sports Betting Predictions
In 2022, Atlanta only won twice in their six games against NFC South opponents. They were at the bottom of an already soft division. They ended the season with a 7-10 record, and that’s only because they were able to win their last two games. (Marcus Mariota was the starting quarterback for most of 2022 but was replaced in the final four games by rookie Desmond Ridder.) They have failed to surpass seven wins since 2017 when they were 10-6. Having an over/under of 8.5 shows confidence in their upgrades over the summer – and their easy schedule.
NFC South Division Winner Odds
New Orleans Saints +130
Atlanta Falcons +230
Carolina Panthers +400
Tampa Bay Buccaneers +800
Best Prop Bet
Bijan Robinson to win Offensive Rookie of the Year +300
New Orleans Saints 2023 Season Odds
Win Total 8.5
Win Division +230
Make Playoffs +104
Win NFC +3000
Win Super Bowl +8000
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