The Falcons aren’t going to scare many teams on paper. If they’re to upset a few opponents this year, it will come from some unlikely sources, including Arthur Smith and his staff out-coaching opposing staffs.
They’re rebuilding; that’s just the current situation of the team. However, they still boast several worthwhile foundational pieces on the roster. As it stands today, the roster has six former Pro Bowlers — Cordarrelle Patterson, Kyle Pitts, Jake Matthews, Grady Jarrett, Deion Jones, and Younghoe Koo. Jones is clearly not the player he once was, but the rest of those players are still producing at a very high level while Pitts hasn’t even reached his prime.
One player not mentioned who could potentially be selected to his first Pro Bowl this season is Chris Linstrdom. He’s certainly one of the better guards in football, easily top ten at his position. Lindstrom had his fifth-year option exercised and will be a part of this team for a long time. Offensive linemen, in general, aren’t exactly praised in the media because it doesn’t get clicks, but they’re a necessary piece of successful teams. Moreover, Lindstrom was even named the team’s secret superstar by Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus.
Lindstrom seems to be a victim of the Falcons’ offense collapsing around him, but he has maintained an extremely strong start to his career, improving in each season since entering the NFL. In 2021, his 83.7 PFF grade ranked sixth among guards. He didn’t allow a sack all season, surrendering 31 total pressures across 661 pass-blocking snaps. His run blocking was among the elite at the position, and he has been flagged for penalties just five times in three NFL campaigns.
Atlanta’s offensive line allowed 40 sacks a season ago, making the group one of the worst in the league. However, Lindstrom, along with Jake Matthews, are the lone bright spots. He was one of only three guards in the NFL not to allow a sack in 2021. Lindstrom is only ascending, too, constantly working on his craft. The Boston College product has said this offseason he’s been working on his posture in pass protection, trying to get better in that area. The Falcons still have three positions along the offensive line to solidify, but right guard and left tackle aren’t among them.
David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire