The Falcons finished with a 7-10 record last season, which was a bit better than many people predicted they’d do but it wasn’t enough to keep many people from having a similarly low opinion of the team’s chances this year.
A big reason for that is the trade of quarterback Matt Ryan, which has left the Falcons with Marcus Mariota and rookie Desmond Ridder competing to run an offense short on established receivers. The team’s defense has also seen a lot changes after a subpar season in 2021, but Falcons head coach Arthur Smith said on 92.9 The Game that he isn’t all that interested in what people are predicting for his team or why they are predicting it.
“I don’t give a crap what people predict out there,” Smith said. “I told the team the other day, how many people in this room have an iPhone? Damn near everybody raised their hand other than [senior assistant] Steve Hoffman because he’s the only guy who doesn’t. I said let me give you a little bit of a history lesson. There were some of the smartest people in the tech industry who said the iPhone is never going to work, Apple can’t produce this phone or whatever. I said it’s nonsense, if you’re buying this stuff, shame on you. I said there’s a graveyard of hot takes and these predictions that are just comical. So we’ve got to go out there every year in the NFL and earn it, and this team is going to compete. It should be fun to watch.”
Smith’s not wrong about the long list of preseason predictions that have wound up looking foolish, so there’s no reason for the Falcons to gather their things and go home in July. There’s also not much reason for anyone to expect the Falcons to defy those predictions until there’s a chance to see the team that Smith and General Manager Terry Fontenot have built take the field in September.