The Falcons are not a popular pick to be very good during the 2022 season.
After all, the team did trade quarterback Matt Ryan and lost some important offensive weapons this offseason like receiver Russel Gage to free agency and receiver Calvin Ridley to a year-long suspension for sports betting.
But one of the players who remains on the roster from 2021 recently spoke positively about Atlanta’s chances.
“I feel like we’re a playoff team,” receiver Olamide Zaccheaus said, via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “We just [have] to put everything together. Really start fast at the beginning of the season and not get into a hole. I just feel like as a team, we can shock a lot of people.”
In some ways, the Falcons did that last year. Atlanta finished 7-10 in head coach Arthur Smith’s first season. But the team hardly was competitive against the upper-echelon of teams, with victories coming over the Giants, Jets, Dolphins, Saints, Jaguars, Panthers, and Lions.
Zaccheaus will make $2.4 million in 2022 after signing his restricted free agent tender this offseason. He’s effectively the team’s top returning receiver, having caught 31 passes for 406 yards with three touchdowns in 2021.