I have spent countless hours trying to forecast Steve Sarkisian’s growth from last season to this season.

Yes, I am aware of the 34 dropped passes from our elite offense, however, I still do not cut Sarkisian a break from last season. Kyle Shanahan had similar production in comparison to Sarkisian during his first season, 2015, in Atlanta.  In fact, there was only a 148-yard difference in total offense. However, Shanahan did not have the weapons that Sarkisian had in his offense during the first year. There was no star WR2 Mohammad Sanu, no All-Pro center Alex Mack. Sarkisian had a nearly identical offense of the Super Bowl bound 2016 Falcons and could not manage to exceed the offensive numbers of the 2015 Falcons. You may be skeptical, and look at the record of the 2015 season, finishing 8-8, but remember, the defense in 2015 was no where near what it was last season. In 2015, our defense ranked 15th in the league in terms of total defense. In 2017, the Falcons were 9th in the league in terms of total defense. Sarkisian has to do better. His growth in his second season will determine his longevity in Atlanta.

On a lighter note:

The year is 2018. 8 is an even number. The Falcons won the NFC South in 2010, 2012, and won the NFC Championship in 2016. In fact, as far as my eyes can scan, every Falcons division/conference championship banner up on the wall reaching back to 1980 at the beautiful place I call home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, was achieved during even-year seasons. Lately I’ve been superstitious, attempting to grasp onto a positive view of the upcoming season, one in which the Falcons compete at their full potential. One in which the Falcons click on both sides of the field, and make the very obtainable return to the Super Bowl in Atlanta this season.


Andrew Anello | @andrewanello

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