After two weeks of football, the Atlanta Falcons are one of five teams with an 0-2 record, along with the Cincinnati Bengals, Tennessee Titans, Las Vegas Raiders and Carolina Panthers.
Many expected the Falcons to be here based on last season, but the Titans and Bengals are arguably the most surprising of the bunch. Since there are still 15 games remaining, though, it’s too early to write any of these teams off just yet.
ESPN’s Bill Barnwell ranks the Falcons as the least likely out of the five to reach the postseason. Even after noting that Atlanta is a play or two away from being 2-0 — two losses by a combined five points — the lack of production from A.J. Terrell and other players has created some doubt regarding whether this team can turn things around.
“What has been notable, though, is the Falcons have not gotten the desired results from their most promising young players,” writes Barnwell. “Cornerback A.J. Terrell, who emerged as a bona-fide superstar in 2021, already has allowed as many touchdowns (three) as he did throughout all of last season.”
Terrell has been targeted 11 times this season and has allowed 94 yards — nearly half of his total yardage allowed in 2021. Plus, Terrell has already allowed more touchdowns than he did in all of 2021.
Additionally, Barnwell points out how the team has been unable to get the ball to star TE Kyle Pitts:
“I watched all of Pitts’ red zone routes and expected to see a player who was getting double- or triple-teamed by opposing defenses, but that hasn’t been the case. He generally has been in one-on-one matchups, but the Falcons haven’t prioritized getting him targets in that area (or any area) through two weeks.”
Pitts has appeared on 70 pass plays through these first two weeks and has ran routes on 57 of them. Of those 57, only 10 balls have been thrown his way. Those numbers are simply not enough for a guy selected fourth overall a season ago.
While Pitts says he’s comfortable playing “selfless ball,” he has to become that X-factor on offense in order for this team to win games.
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