ATLANTA FALCONS (7-10)
New faces: QB Marcus Mariota, WR Drake London, CB Casey Hayward, WR Bryan Edwards, RB Damien Williams, OLB Lorenzo Carter, LB Rashaan Evans, OG Elijah Wilkinson, P Bradley Pinion, OL Germain Ifedi, QB Desmond Ridder, RB Tyler Allgeier.
Key losses: QB Matt Ryan, WR Russell Gage, LB Foye Oluokun, OLB Dante Fowler, DL Tyeler Davison, TE Hayden Hurst, SS Duron Harmon, CB Fabian Moreau, LS Josh Harris, P Thomas Morstead.
Strengths: Tight end Kyle Pitts had a dynamic rookie season, leading the team with 68 catches for 1,026 yards and earning a spot in the Pro Bowl. CB A.J. Terrell is a lockdown defender who should pair well with newcomer Hayward. RB-WR-KR Cordarrelle Patterson is one of the league’s most versatile players, giving the Falcons big contributions as both a runner and pass catcher. Kicker Younghoe Koo missed only two of 29 field-goal attempts in 2021 and made all 30 of his extra points.
Weaknesses: Where to start? The defense gave up more points than all but two teams in the NFL, and no team had fewer sacks than the Falcons’ measly total of 18. Mariota is a huge question mark at quarterback. He hasn’t come close to living up to expectations as the No. 2 overall pick in 2015 and will be starting for the first time in three years. Beyond first-round pick Drake London, the wideouts are a bunch of no-names. Ryan took quite a beating the past few years behind a porous offensive line.