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Kyle Pitts takes the field for the Atlanta Falcons
Kyle Pitts of the Atlanta Falcons warms up before a game against the San Francisco 49ers | Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

Doug Pederson Is the Perfect Coach to Salvage Trevor Lawrence’s Sputtering Development

The Atlanta Falcons won’t be able to navigate through their 2022 NFL schedule without at least a little bit of drama at the all-important quarterback position.

With Matt Ryan off to the Indianapolis Colts and 28-year-old Marcus Mariota aboard as the uninspiring presumptive starter, they’ll be hearing plenty of calls from the fan base to elevate third-round rookie Desmond Ridder into the lead role. The backup quarterback, after all, is often the most popular player on a bad team, and the Falcons aren’t exactly expected to win many games as they enter a full-fledged rebuild.

Calvin Ridley won’t be playing in 2022 as he serves a gambling-related suspension, but Atlanta can at least get excited about the prospect of draft class-headliner Drake London catching balls from whoever is taking snaps. Plus, Kyle Pitts should only get better after debuting at tight end with 1,026 yards and a Pro Bowl appearance in 2021.

Atlanta mustered up seven victories during Ryan’s final season at the helm, and even that might be a lofty goal for a team relying on so many unproven and inexperienced contributors. As general manager Terry Fontenot put it, per‘s Cameron Wolfe, “There may be short-term pain. But I see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

At least the youngsters should provide plenty of excitement and have opportunities to grow — or, in some cases, continue growing — on the job. The tunnel doesn’t have to be totally dark along the way.

2022 Atlanta Falcons Schedule

1vs. New Orleans SaintsSunday, Sept. 111:00 p.m. ETFOX
2@ Los Angeles RamsSunday, Sept. 184:05 p.m. ETFOX
3@ Seattle SeahawksSunday, Sept. 254:25 p.m. ETFOX
4vs. Cleveland BrownsSunday, Oct. 21:00 p.m. ETCBS
5@ Tampa Bay BuccaneersSunday, Oct. 91:00 p.m. ETFOX
6vs. San Francisco 49ersSunday, Oct. 161:00 p.m. ETFOX
7@ Cincinnati BengalsSunday, Oct. 231:00 p.m. ETFOX
8vs. Carolina PanthersSunday, Oct. 301:00 p.m. ETFOX
9vs. Los Angeles ChargersSunday, Nov. 61:00 p.m. ETFOX
10@ Carolina PanthersThursday, Nov. 108:15 p.m. ETPrime Video
11vs. Chicago BearsSunday, Nov. 201:00 p.m. ETFOX
12@ Washington CommandersSunday, Nov. 271:00 p.m. ETFOX
13vs. Pittsburgh SteelersSunday, Dec. 41:00 p.m. ETCBS
14Bye WeekN/AN/AN/A
15@ New Orleans SaintsTBDTBDTBD
16@ Baltimore RavensSaturday, Dec. 241:00 p.m. ETFOX
17vs. Arizona CardinalsSunday, Jan. 11:00 p.m. ETFOX
18vs. Tampa Bay BuccaneersTBDTBDTBD

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