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The Falcons are in first place in the NFC South and have the easiest remaining schedule in the NFL. Everything is just peachy in Atlanta, right?

Not exactly. The Falcons need to hit their stride on offense if they are going to hang onto this division lead, unlike last year when they were in first place around this time of year before finishing 7-10.

The Falcons are winning because of an improved defense. They are 29th in points per game and 24th in EPA per play on offense so far in the 2023 season.

Their big three on offense has yet to get rolling. Bijan Robinson is 13th in rushing yards after Sunday's well-documented one-touch effort. Drake London is 30th in receiving yards and Kyle Pitts is 56th.

Atlanta drafted each of those players in the top 10 in the last three years, becoming the first team in NFL history to take a RB, WR and TE in the top 10 in three straight drafts. 

Are the Falcons getting the most out of their investments? Let's explore.

Bijan Robinson

Bijan Robinson had one touch in Week 7, but let's take that performance out of the equation based on the fluky nature of Atlanta's handling of his illness.

Check out Robinson's ranks among RBs from Weeks 1-6: 

  • 13th in percentage of team touches (34%)
  • 21st in percentage of team rushes (45%)
  • 40th in percentage of team red zone rushes (26%)
  • 43rd in percentage of team goal-to-goal rushes (22%)

Robinson has surprisingly taken a backseat to Tyler Allgeier in the red zone area, and it's not like Allgeier is going beast mode on the competition. The Falcons ranked among the league average in red zone and goal-to-goal efficiency through Week 6. 

Bijan Robinson
ATL • RB • #7
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Yet Robinson had just two of the team's nine goal-to-go rushes in that span, and one of their six rushes at the five-yard line or closer. 

There's been 32 instances of a player with 20 rushes in a game this season. None has been by Bijan Robinson. 

He has one game with 20 touches this season. Eighteen players have multiple games with 20-plus touches this season. 

These are surprising numbers given how explosive Robinson has looked, and how much better he's been than Allgeier. 

Robinson is averaging nearly two more yards per touch than Allgeier this season. 

Thirty-nine players have had at least 100 touches through six career games since 2000. Robinson ranks fifth among that group in yards per touch (5.6). 

Most Yards per Touch in First Six Career GamesSince 2000 (Min. 100 Touches)

Adrian Peterson (2007)


Kareem Hunt (2017)


Saquon Barkley (2018)


Todd Gurley (2015)


Bijan Robinson (2023)


Atlanta is clearly better with Robinson on the field, and more likely to hit big plays. From Weeks 1-6, the Falcons averaged 5.0 yards per play with Robinson on the field and 4.2 with his backup Allgeier on the field. 

Falcons by RB on Field from Weeks 1-6Bijan RobinsonTyler Allgeier

Pct of plays



Yards per play



20+ yard plays



Per NFL Next Gen Stats, Bijan is third in yards per rush over expected (+1.2)  this season while Allgeier is 35th (-0.62) among 41 players with 40+ carries. 

Robinson was the eighth overall pick in 2023, so I'd expect Atlanta to feed him the rock more, especially in the red zone. It's not completely indefensible, though.

Perhaps the Falcons are trying to protect their investment or keep Robinson fresh for the stretch run. He was on pace for 300 touches prior to the Week 7 fiasco, which is no small number. 

Eight players had 300 touches last year. The only player exceeding their Fantasy production from last season is Christian McCaffrey.

Still, if Atlanta wants to make the playoffs, it'll ride Robinson to get there. 

Drake London

London was the eighth overall pick in 2022, but you wouldn't know it based on Week 1 when he had zero catches on one target against the Panthers

London accounts for 23 percent of the Falcons' targets this year, down from 29 percent in his rookie year. Some of those targets have gone to Robinson and Pitts, but at least it's been on the upswing lately. 

Drake London
ATL • WR • #5
REC YDs383
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London ranks top 10 in the NFL in catches (21), receiving yards (257) and targets (28) in the last three weeks. 

He's still being underutilized for a player with his skill set. He has 10 targets on throws at least 15 yards downfield this season, tied for 48th in the NFL.

Kyle Pitts

The Falcons traded a seventh-round pick for TE Jonnu Smith this offseason. Naturally, it's surprising to see Smith has more catches this year than Kyle Pitts, who was the highest drafted tight end in NFL history (fourth pick in 2021). 

Back in 2021, Pitts became the second rookie tight end with 1,000 receiving yards in NFL history (Mike Ditka in 1961). He has 654 yards in 17 games since. 

Kyle Pitts
ATL • TE • #8
REC YDs298
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The big selling point on Pitts entering the league was versatility. He's not just a tight end, but a playmaker. 

That definitely showed up in 2021. Over 90 percent of his yards as a rookie came lined up in the slot or out wide. He had 26 catches for 522 yards when lined up wide in 2021, good for an absurd 20.1 yards per catch. He had twice as many receiving yards out wide than any other tight end that year.

Kyle Pitts Lined up Wide in Career20212022-23

Pct of snaps






Rec yards



Yards per rec



That production has fallen off a cliff and I hardly blame the Falcons here. Pitts is lining up outside at about the same rate as his rookie year. He's not as explosive and is making fewer plays. 

Part of that might be lack of chemistry with Desmond Ridder, or Pitts not being fully healthy after tearing his MCL last season. 

Either way, it's clear some of his team-high 15 targets on throws 15-plus yards downfield should be going to Drake London. 

Atlanta also needs to feed Robinson if it's going to live up to their potential, until then it's like putting a boot on a Ferrari.