After a strong rookie season with the Falcons, tight end Kyle Pitts‘ numbers are down considerably in 2022.
Pitts caught 68 passes for 1,026 yards with one touchdown as a rookie. That works out to 4.0 receptions per game, 60.4 yards per game, and 15.1 yards per catch.
The only number that’s gone up in 2022 is his touchdowns — he has two of them so far. But Pitts has just 25 receptions for 313 yards. That’s 34.8 yards per game, 2.8 receptions per game, and 12.5 yards per catch.
Part of the decrease is the quarterback, as Marcus Mariota has been up and down in his effectiveness. But head coach Arthur Smith said this week Pitts is still performing well, even though the connection between Mariota and Pitts doesn’t seem to be clicking.
“There’s been a lot of different reasons, some of it’s just timing with the routes,” Smith said in his Monday press conference. “I mean, [Pitts] has been successful; he doesn’t have the Tyreek Hill numbers everybody — you guys panic and act like it’s some great failure, but Kyle’s had a good season. Certainly, we don’t have a ton of passing attempts either so that’s certainly, a part of it but like a lot of things that we do, we can do it better and that’s what we’re looking to do.
“I’d be discouraged if it were one thing where a guy wasn’t necessarily productive, when in man, not just in zone but I don’t think that’s necessarily been the case. There’s a lot of things, sometimes there’s been a comedy of errors, timings sped up, maybe it’s the pressure, maybe the ball comes out quick, you don’t get into a clean pocket, or we have missed him, whatever it is. There’s a lot of different reasons but I’m very confident in both of those guys, especially Kyle.”
Pitts hasn’t had a game with 100 yards this season, and only twice has he recorded at least 80 yards. We’ll see if his production increases in Week 11 as the Falcons take on the Bears.