With only days remaining before kickoff, anticipation for the 2023 NFL season is at a fever pitch. Last year the Atlanta Falcons surprised NFL pundits, and put together a season that was far more promising than their 7-10 record would suggest. First year head coach Arthur Smith’s ground-and-pound approach kept the Falcons playoff chances alive for most of the season — albeit in the league-worst NFC South. But it was also a year of transition, with the combination of Marcus Mariota and rookie Desmond Ridder stepping in for the franchise’s all-time passing leader Matt Ryan, who’d played under center since the Falcons drafted him 3rd overall in 2008.
Fans are understandably anxious to see if the on-field product continues to improve. But how does their level of restlessness compare to the rest of the NFL? Here at BetGeorgia.com, we’ve dug up a study from Statista to answer that very question. In a 2022 survey of 1,020 football fans, the data website determined how much sleep fans of specific teams were getting on average. Using this info, we’ve identified the most restless NFL fanbases by zeroing in on the cohort getting less than 6 hours of rest per night.
The Most Restless NFL Fanbases
Below can see how well Atlanta Falcons fans are sleeping ahead of the 2023 season. Something you wouldn't find on Georgia sports betting apps. We’ve also shared some ideas on what might have the fanbase tossing and turning.
Why Are Falcons Fans So Restless?
Buffalo Bills and New York Giants fans are getting the least sleep, but the Falcon faithful are tied for third on our list — with 13% of supporters recording 6 or less hours of sleep. But if Falcon’s fans can’t sleep, it could be because they’re so excited for their team this year. Atlanta is projected to take a major step forward, and bookmakers have taken notice. On Draftkings Sportsbook, the team’s win total currently sits at 8.5, and the over has been juiced all the way to -130. The Falcons are also +105 to make the playoffs, and +200 to win the NFC south.
Fans could also be giddy with excitement to see new rooking RB Bijan Robinson hit the field for the first time. The All-American out of Texas was selected 8th overall last spring, and has already flashed his highlight reel speed and pass catching prowess during his limited preseason work. But it’s not all day dreams in Atlanta.
One nagging question is why the team keeps prioritizing drafting pass catchers if they don’t intend to use them. The Falcons invested top-10 picks in 2021 and 2022 to select, respectively, TE Kyle Pitts and WR Drake London. Meanwhile, the Falcons also ranked 31st in pass attempts last season. To be fair, last year Drake London put up 72 receptions and 866 yards, enjoying a nearly 30% target share during his rookie campaign. But Falcons fans are surely having nightmares that London will undergo a sophomore slump ala Kyle Pitts, who appeared in just 10 games last year, putting up a 28/356/2 stat line just one year after recording a 1000+ receiving yards as a rookie in 2021.
Will the pass attack rebound after a full offseason with Desmond Ridder as the presumptive starter? In his rookie year Ridder went 2-2 as a starter over the final four games of the 2022 season — but logged just a 49.8 quarterback rating. Nevertheless, the former Cincinnati Bearcat, who was drafted in the third round last year, showed promise in the final game of the season against division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ridder threw for 224 passing yards, tossing his only two touchdowns of the season. Should Ridder falter, former Commanders-QB has Taylor Heinicke has been brought in to pick up the slack.
For Falcons fans, however, it’s the situation on the defensive side of the ball that’s liable to induce night terrors if it doesn’t improve this year. In 2022, the Atlanta-D gave up points on 43.5% of drives — the most in the NFL. While the secondary had its struggles, it was the pass rush that destroyed the Falcons. Last season the team record just 21 sacks (second fewest) and 57 tackles for a loss (worst in the NFL). Hopefully the addition of veteran pass rushers Bud Dupree and Calais Campbell can provide some much needed pressure in the offensive back field.
But whether the Falcons prospects have you feeling hopeful, or riddled with anxiety, rest assured that BetGeorgia.com will have you covered all season long with the latest Georgia sports betting news.