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The team made sweeping changes this offseason, bringing in HC Raheem Morris (Rams DC), OC Zac Robinson (Rams QBs Coach), and DC Jimmy Lake (Rams Assistant HC).

They overhauled the passing game as well.

They signed QB Kirk Cousins and WR Darnell Mooney while trading for WR Rondale Moore.

They obviously still have WR Drake London and TE Kyle Pitts on their rookie deals, and this offense will undergo what I predict to be the largest year-over-year shift in offensive personnel deployment we’ve seen in recent history.

Look at the contrast between the Rams (where this new Falcons staff came from) and the Falcons:

11 personnel:

  • 95% – Rams – #1 in NFL
  • 62% – NFL average
  • 17% – Falcons – #32 in NFL

All plays with 2 TEs:

  • 61% – Falcons – #1 in NFL
  • 27% – NFL average
  • 5% – Rams – #32 in NFL

All plays with 2 RBs:

  • 32% – Falcons – #4 in NFL
  • 10% – NFL average
  • 0% – Rams – #32 in NFL

This team needed to get aggressive in free agency and the trade market to land additional wide receivers because they will need them and didn’t have them last year.

Last year, the Falcons had just one WR with over 30 targets.

That was the first time a team had only one WR with over 30 targets in over a decade.

The last time was 16 years ago in 2008 when both the Browns (Braylon Edwards) and the Chiefs (Dwayne Bowe) had just one WR with over 30 targets.

The Falcons’ most targeted player was London. But then it was Pitts, RB Bijan Robinson, and TE Jonnu Smith. WR Mack Hollins, the #5 most targeted player, had just 30 targets. And he’s in Buffalo.

To run 3+ WR sets at one of the likely highest rates in the NFL, the Falcons needed more hands on deck, and they got them in the form of the Moo-Crew: Mooney and Moore.

But they didn’t get any help in the draft. They famously drafted Cousins’ eventual replacement with their No. 8 overall pick and followed that by drafting four straight defensive players with their other picks in the top 150. 

So the offense didn’t improve in the draft at all, but the hope is the pieces on the offense weren’t the problem. It was the QB (who has been replaced) and the scheme (which has been replaced).

After all, the dream of the Falcons offense with the following young skill players is still a nightmare for opposing defenses:

  • WR Drake London
  • WR Darnell Mooney
  • WR Rondale Moore
  • TE Kyle Pitts
  • RB Bijan Robinson

The key is getting these guys to play up to their potential.

This analysis continues in the 2024 Football Preview

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