The Atlanta Falcons won three NFC South titles in the 2010s. They made it all the way to the NFC Championship game twice, once losing to the San Francisco 49ers in 2013, and once dominating the Green Bay Packers only to lose to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI, one of the most unforgettable games in sports history. Plenty of outstanding players have come through the doors in Atlanta during the 2010s. Now that the decade is over, it’s time to choose the Atlanta Falcons All-Decade Team.
2010s Atlanta Falcons All-Decade Team: Offense
Quarterback: Matt Ryan
This is a no-brainer. Matt Ryan started all but one game for Atlanta throughout the decade, winning NFL MVP in 2016. He’s the best passer in Falcons history, and has a borderline Hall of Fame case. He’s been as consistent as it gets for Atlanta and will one day have his No. 2 jersey retired by the team.
Running Back: Devonta Freeman
Freeman enjoyed back to back 1000 yard rushing seasons from 2015-2016, scoring 11 touchdowns on the ground in each. He was also a dual threat, racking up over 2000 yards through the air in 77 games for the Falcons. He was one of the NFL’s most explosive backs for a couple seasons, and though injuries derailed his career a little early, he’s unquestionably Atlanta’s best back of the decade.
Wide Receiver: Julio Jones
Well, duh. Julio Jones is a top three NFL receiver currently, and a surefire Hall of Famer. He has a special combination of size, speed, power and hands, rivaled only by Calvin Johnson. He is in the midst of a six year run during which his lowest output in yardage has been 1394, last season. He’s one of the most entertaining and impressive players ever to play the position of wide receiver, and has a chance to go down as a top 10 wideout in NFL history if he keeps it up. His best season was in 2015, in which he caught 136 balls for 1871 yards and eight touchdowns. His No. 11 will fly high at Mercedes-Benz Stadium when he calls it a career.
Wide Receiver: Roddy White
Roddy White and Julio Jones formed one of the best receiver duos in the league before White called it quits in 2015. He enjoyed three 1000 yard seasons in the 2010s, most notably in 2010, when he caught 115 passes for 1389 yards and 10 scores. He was a fan favorite in Atlanta, and is probably the second best wideout in Falcons’ history.
Wide Receiver: Calvin Ridley
Ridley broke out as a rookie in 2018, catching 10 touchdown passes from Matt Ryan. Though his career is still young, he has shown a lot of promise as Julio Jones’ franchise counterpart and eventually, replacement. He’s quick and a deceptively good route runner, and has a promising future in the NFL.
Tight End: Tony Gonzalez
Gonzalez spent only five seasons as a Falcon after a long tenure with the Kansas City Chiefs. He’s widely regarded as one of the very greatest tight ends of all time. He scored 29 touchdowns for Atlanta in the 2010s, and was Matt Ryan’s security blanket when Ryan was still growing as an NFL quarterback. Though he played only four seasons into the 2010s, he was selected to the Pro Bowl in each of those four seasons, making him the right choice here.
Left Tackle: Jake Matthews
Since being drafted in 2014, Matthews has been a centerpiece on Atlanta’s offensive line. He’s started all 16 games in five consecutive seasons, and was named to the Pro Bowl in 2018. His lowest PFF grade in the last five seasons was in 2019, at 79.7, still elite.
Left Guard: Justin Blalock
Though he was never recognized nationally as an elite guard, Blalock was a steadfast piece of the Atlanta Falcons’ offense for eight years, five of which came in the 2010s. He only missed three games in his NFL career and was a valuable piece on the Falcons team that went to the Super Bowl.
Center: Alex Mack
Mack has been one of the NFL’s best centers since entering the league with the Cleveland Browns in 2009. Atlanta acquired him as a free agent in 2016, and he’s been named to three Pro Bowls since. He has a legitimate Hall of Fame resume, and a lot of his best work has come as a member of the Atlanta Falcons.
Right Guard: Andy Levitre
Levitre only played 47 games for the Falcons, but he was solid, and started 16 games on the unit that helped Matt Ryan win MVP in 2016. He earned a PFF grade of 85.6 in 2016, considered quite elite for a guard.
Right Tackle: Tyson Clabo
Clabo was a Falcon for the first half of the 2010s. He was named to a Pro Bowl in 2010, and started 48 games over three seasons for Atlanta. Ryan Schraeder was the other option here, but Clabo’s Pro Bowl just pushes him over the edge.
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