Falcons record projection for 2022 season

Matt Urben
Falcons Wire

How will the Atlanta Falcons fare in 2022?

If you listen to most football analysts, the answers aren’t pretty. Despite fighting for a wild-card playoff spot for much of the 2021 season, the Falcons had more flaws than their 7-10 record would indicate.

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And as encouraging as last year’s record was, the Falcons traded away the steady arm of veteran quarterback Matt Ryan over the offseason, and most seem to think it will be too much for the team to overcome this year.

Atlanta Falcons head coach Arthur Smith addresses his team after a voluntary offseason NFL football practice Friday, June 3, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

In a new subscriber-only feature from USA TODAY, Nate Davis predicts each NFL team’s final regular season record in 2022. While it should come as no surprise that the Falcons are ranked among the league’s worst, Davis is projecting the team to finish dead last with a 2-15 record this season.

"Coach Arthur Smith and his staff squeezed seven wins out of a club that was outscored by 146 points in 2021," Davis wrote. "Hard to envision anything close to a repeat performance sans steady Ryan." 

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Marcus Mariota and Desmond Ridder have taken over for Ryan, although neither signal-caller has accomplished anything close to the former league MVP. Even if Mariota — the presumed starter — plays well, this Falcons team has so many new faces that it’s hard for national analysts to buy in.

Davis is right to have doubts, and it’s hard to fault him for ranking Atlanta so low. On the other hand, if Falcons head coach Arthur Smith was able to squeeze seven wins out of a roster that didn’t fit his scheme, imagine what he can do with a team that is better-suited to run the offense he wants.