Falcons Offense Will Soar as Far as Offensive Tackles Take Them

The Atlanta Falcons new offense puts more pressure on offensive tackles Kaleb McGary and Jake Matthews.
Atlanta Falcons right tackle Kaleb McGary must continue to improve as a pass blocker for Kirk Cousins and the offense to thrive.
Atlanta Falcons right tackle Kaleb McGary must continue to improve as a pass blocker for Kirk Cousins and the offense to thrive. / Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
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There are plenty of exciting storylines surrounding the Atlanta Falcons, as training camp is just in a few short weeks. A story that may not be talked about enough is the state of the Falcons offensive line.

While media outlets like Pro Football Focus (PFF) give lofty grades on offensive line play before the season even begins, there is one thing for sure – Atlanta will have a new offensive scheme that will get the big boys up front moving.

Like any other player, linemen get in a rhythm. They get in sync when they can chip away in the run game. With new offensive coordinator Zac Robinson at the helm, the boys up front should be regular chain movers, but with a change in scheme, comes more stress on the starting offensive tackles.

Can the Falcons count on their bookends to hold up in a more pass-oriented offense?

High-quality OT play from Jake Matthews will make the Falcons a playoff team in 2024. 

Jake Matthews, a 6-5 310-pound left tackle, is back for his 11th NFL season, a testament to his unwavering commitment to the Falcons. His career average of playing in 98% of the team's offensive snaps for the past decade clearly reflects his dedication. His professional and personal life is equally impressive, as he welcomed his first child in 2022 and still managed to play the same day. 

He is a respected player and leader in the team locker room, and as he enters 2024, the team could see a possible resurgence in his play. Like Matt Ryan, Kirk Cousins brings a veteran presence and leadership that should make life easier upfront with a more effective passing attack, especially considering that Matthews is a better pass blocker than a run blocker.

Matthews's pass blocking grade from PFF has been at least 77.2 or higher since his rookie season, and he had an 80.1 last year.

Kaleb McGary must thrive in one area for the Falcons to succeed.

The Falcons starting right tackle, Kaleb McGary, isn’t quite as seasoned of a veteran as Jake Matthews. However, he is still a veteran nonetheless. The 6-6 310-pound product from the University of Washington will enter his sixth season with the Falcons. He had his best season as a pro in 2022 under Arthur Smith, and he set a career-high pass-block grade last year with a 69.5.

As evidenced above, McGary can be an effective punch on the right side of the Falcons line. This year, consistency and the ability to carve lanes for Bijan Robinson in the run game will be critical for him–he thrives in the run-blocking department.

If they were to play at a high level for both Matthews and him, Atlanta’s offensive line would be nearly impenetrable. This means they can have their way with their opponents and put plenty of points on the board. With high-level performance from their tackles, the sky is the limit for the Falcons offense in 2024.

CJ Errickson