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Tabeek's roster predictions: Falcons quarterbacks


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here belong to Matthew Tabeek and not the Atlanta Falcons, unless noted otherwise.

ATLANTA – As long as Matt Ryan is in uniform (and standing upright), he's the undisputed starter and, quite frankly, leader of this team. He is the face of the franchise.

So, the only real mystery here – if you can even call it one – is who will back up No. 2. And, to be honest, that one is not really up for debate, either. At least not right now. Matt Schaub, who had a subpar performance in the Hall of Fame Game way back on Aug. 1, rebounded nicely the following week against the Dolphins and reminded everyone why he's the Falcons backup quarterback – and why the Falcons signed him to a two-year contract extension back in March.

There was some chatter early on in training camp and especially after that first preseason game that Kurt Benkert might make a push for the backup, but he ended up on the injured reserve list after suffering an unfortunate toe injury in that exhibition opener.


More milestones for Matty Ice: Matt Ryan, who has only missed two games in 11 seasons and owns virtually every passing record in franchise history, enters his 12th season with a number of milestones within reach. Ryan is five touchdown passes away from 300; is 3,280 yards away from 50,000 career passing yards; and is five fourth-quarter comebacks (27) away from 32 – and he'd surpass Brett Favre (28), Fran Tarkenton (29) and John Elway (31). Ryan completed 69.4 percent of his passes in 2018, fifth best in the NFL and the second-highest mark of his career. He attempted the third-most passes in the league with 608 and ranked second in completion percentage among quarterbacks with at least 500 attempts. In short, Ryan is arguably playing the best football in career right now.

Recent history

Here are the number of quarterbacks the Falcons have kept in previous seasons:


  • Matt Ryan
  • Matt Schaub

On the bubble

  • Matt Simms
  • Danny Etling

Tabeek's prediction

2019 roster forecast: 2 quarterbacks

There are no big surprises or even debates worth mentioning when it comes to this position group. The Falcons will once again carry two quarterbacks, and it will be Ryan and Schaub. The Falcons will likely keep Etling on the practice squad and here's why: His value to the Falcons will come in helping them prepare for the mobile quarterbacks they'll face this year. Quinn said as much about Etling's versatility, noting "with the amount of mobile quarterbacks that we face, it's a big deal. No offense to the incumbents, in terms of preparation for mobile quarterbacks."

  • Matt Ryan
  • Matt Schaub

Injured reserve: Kurt Benkert

Predicting the 53-man roster

Projected practice squad

There's always a chance that the Falcons could sign a player who is not currently on their roster, but if they stick with their own players, this is my projected 10-player practice squad:

  • RB Tony Brooks-James
  • WR Christian Blake
  • DE Tre' Crawford
  • DE Austin Larkin
  • DE Durrant Miles
  • TE Jaeden Graham
  • OT Jaelin Robinson
  • S Chris Cooper
  • QB Danny Etling
  • LB Del'Shawn Phillips

What do you think?

Do you agree or disagree with Matthew Tabeek's roster predictions? Have a comment or a question you'd like to ask about the Falcons? If so, submit it here. Please remember to include your home state (or country if you live outside the U.S.). Your question could be selected to appear in Straight from the Beek. Thanks for reading.

Kyle Pitts catch


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Matt Tabeek and Will McFadden weigh in with their final thoughts before roster cuts.

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