It's hard to find many positives from last week's performance, but one stands out as a great sign for this week's game against the Panthers: The performance of the receivers.
The Falcons were expected to crumble completely under the weight of injuries and ineptitude, and to a large extent, that's exactly what they did against the Cardinals. Yet the young receivers—and HD, who isn't that young—showed a great deal of promise against a difficult Cards defense. You have to chalk some of that up to the sheer volume of passes Matt Ryan was slinging around, but 21 receptions for 238 yards and a touchdown is nothing to sneeze at.
While Douglas had the volume—12 catches for 121 yards, the second straight week where he has shown he can handle the load if called upon—Davis was arguably the most impressive. He hauled in five catches for 77 yards and a touchdown and looked sharp and explosive. We have no idea if he can sustain that—he was very quiet against the Buccaneers a week earlier—but he should get every opportunity. The Falcons are finding out the hard way that talent at receiver doesn't have to come from first round picks, and a great quarterback can make guys look even better.
As we're ramping up for the Panthers game, it's important to know that these three receivers will have a major role against Carolina even if Roddy White is able to return. The Falcons have been loath to find out what they have in their non-Julio and Roddy receiving options. It's hard not to be encouraged, even if there's plenty of work to be done. I don't think it's out of the question that all three are in the process of carving out roles for themselves in 2014.
Your teammates of the week for the Falcons?