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The parallels between the 2018 Giants and 2021 Falcons

Sean : 5/4/2021 10:29 am
What do you think about the Falcons draft? I find their draft fascinating because of the parallels between their current situation and the 2018 Giants. The Falcons did not have as good of a pick as the Giants did in 2018, but they did have the opportunity to draft Fields or Jones at #4. So, it’s possible they would have drafted Wilson or Lance if available. They obviously would have drafted Lawrence. With that said, the situations are very similar:

-Matt Ryan will be 36 years old at the start of the 2021 season, Eli was 37 at the start of the 2018 season.

-Both the Giants and Falcons hired offensive minded coaches a few months prior to the draft (Shurmur & Smith),

-Both teams hired new general managers.

-The Giants were coming off 3-13 & 11-5 seasons prior; the Falcons are coming off 4-12 & 7-9 seasons prior.

-Lastly, Saquon & Pitts are rated as similar prospects. Sy had graded Saquon a 94 for example. Pitts is widely regarded as the best non QB in the draft.

Very strong similarities to the approach. Something to keep in mind too, the Falcons still have a few years of Brady in the division, yet they are opting for a win now approach.

Matt Ryan does not have 2 super bowl MVP’s under his belt either. So, are you surprised the Falcons did not opt QB this year?
Danny Kanell : 5/4/2021 10:34 am : link
Good post and I actually had this thought as well. Alot has to do with their O line. If they can keep him upright, they can still have some success. That's one thing we weren't able to do with Eli.
broadbandz : 5/4/2021 10:36 am : link
Ryan is not shell shocked like Eli was.
RE: .  
Big Blue '56 : 5/4/2021 10:36 am : link
In comment 15253001 Danny Kanell said:
Good post and I actually had this thought as well. Alot has to do with their O line. If they can keep him upright, they can still have some success. That's one thing we weren't able to do with Eli.

I'm surprised they made the 4th OA pick on a non-QB  
Eric on Li : 5/4/2021 10:39 am : link
given the robust trade market. With hindsight NE obviously wasn't willing to trade up and Chicago as it turned out didn't need to go all the way up to 4. But if I were Atlanta I don't think it would have taken much more from Chicago to say yes and prefer that offer. NO was also supposedly looking to trade up. Either way getting a future first would have been ideal to find a QB post-Ryan if they didn't like this year's group of QBs.

Also a big difference between the '18 NYG and current Atlanta team is that the '18 NYG defense had some decent players on it. Jenkins, Snacks, Vernon, Collins were each only 1 year removed from all pro seasons and a great season as a unit.

When was the last time the Atlanta defense did anything except cave in in the 4th Q?
I don't think its apples to apples  
UConn4523 : 5/4/2021 10:39 am : link
because Ryan can't be cut these next two years (maybe even 3) so they only had 2 options - trade him or try to win with him.

We could have moved on from Eli much more easily than the Falcons can with Ryan as he was very cuttable after 2018.
The only reason the Falcons did NOT  
Dave on the UWS : 5/4/2021 10:40 am : link
take a QB is his enormous contract. They are stuck for 2 more years.
Rumors stated that the Falcons wanted Trey Lance  
Jay on the Island : 5/4/2021 10:45 am : link
Had the 49’ers selected Mac Jones at 3 then it would have changed the entire top 10 with Lance going 4th Pitts going to Cincy at 5 or Miami at 6. Smith would have likely been there at 11.
Eli never recovered from that hit in late 2016...  
sb from NYT Forum : 5/4/2021 10:53 am : link Chris Baker of the WTFs.

Ryan seems more on a gradual decline (TDs, Comp %) and has a few more miles on him maybe.

But yeah, why wait until Ryan is completely toast?
Eli hit ... Thanks John Jerry! - ( New Window )
Another parallel  
cjac : 5/4/2021 10:57 am : link
they'll prob pick a QB in the top 10 next year
Opting against trading down as well..  
Sean : 5/4/2021 11:01 am : link
is a parallel.
Yes, I thought of this  
ZogZerg : 5/4/2021 11:52 am : link
when Atlanta didn't trade down and picked the best non QB in the draft.

I don't think things will work out well for Atlanta either.
There are some similarities indeed but there are also some  
Jimmy Googs : 5/4/2021 12:13 pm : link
major differences. One is that Ryan's contract is far more penalizing and they need to have that cap hit amortize down a little bit further before they can prudently move away from him. Even next year will tough but maybe possible.

The other is ATL may only have gotten their 4th best choice at QB in this draft while the Giants would be no worse than their second best choice...big difference when you are talking the QB position of course.

Also wouldn't couch this as Atlanta actually thinking they can "win now" as much as they are just trying to improve their overall roster "more now". Adding Pitts, some OL and Defensive guys does that...
RE: Opting against trading down as well..  
Jimmy Googs : 5/4/2021 12:18 pm : link
In comment 15253053 Sean said:
is a parallel.

It is, and they tried very hard to trade down actually (which may be a difference vs NYG based on what you believe). But they opted for Pitts versus the offers.

Imv, nobody really in NFL took them seriously that they were going QB because of the Ryan contract so offers probably reflected some of that. And the fact that the next group of teams after them weren't going QB either so didn't have to come all the way up to #4 to get one.
The parallel might be closer to the 2016 Giants.  
Big Blue Blogger : 5/4/2021 12:40 pm : link
Five years removed from the Super Bowl, with a QB who still looks like he can get it done if the circumstances are right.
RE: Rumors stated that the Falcons wanted Trey Lance  
eric2425ny : 5/4/2021 1:17 pm : link
In comment 15253027 Jay on the Island said:
Had the 49’ers selected Mac Jones at 3 then it would have changed the entire top 10 with Lance going 4th Pitts going to Cincy at 5 or Miami at 6. Smith would have likely been there at 11.

The Falcons and especially the Bengals destroyed any chance we had at the big 3 receivers this year.
I think if they weren't going to take a QB their biggest need was  
Stu11 : 5/4/2021 2:00 pm : link
An impact defender. They blew leads all over the place last year. Unfortunately for them their need didn't fit the value there as I feel no defender was worth the #4 pick in this draft. I would have traded back if I were them and taken the best defender on the board. Taking a hybrid TE there to me is very foolish. Now you need a partner to trade back with, and who knows if someone wanted to move up that far. All in all they were in an unenviable position at 4 unless they took a QB.
Eli wasn't bad in 2018  
djm : 5/4/2021 2:34 pm : link
the defense sucked on a brutally bad level. As usual, Eli gets the attention while the real problems are ignored. The offense did get off a slow start, but scored close to 400 pts that year. 387 if memory serves. Was it a streaky offense and one that wasn't THAT good? Absolutely, but it played better than 5 wins.

All these years and we still talk about Eli and the offense when more often than not the offense played pretty well or even very well.

Everyone is talking about the offense now too. And we will win 10 games because the defense is stacked, finally.
last year  
djm : 5/4/2021 3:03 pm : link
Ryan went 27 TDs and 11 INTs. He threw for a ton of yards. The falcons scored 396 pts, which is about average these days. They gave up 414 pts, below average.

2019 they only scored 384.

No real running game. Ryan probably should have done a little better, but I don't think he held the birds back.
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