LT Jake Matthews, 67 snaps
I wouldn't say Matthews had his finest game yesterday, getting nailed with a costly holding penalty and allowing pressure to flow through to Matt Ryan on a few occasions. That said, he handled every snap, mostly held his own and stayed healthy, so I'm finding it hard to kill him for those mistakes.
Matthews will need to clean up some of his footwork and certainly the mild penalty issues going forward, and if the Falcons do lose more than one lineman, they're going to lean heavily on his good work on the left side going forward.
DE/DT Ra'Shede Hageman, 14 snaps
Just 14 snaps for Hageman, and he didn't make much of an impact in those 14. I know he's a project, but I think we're well past the point where he should be getting a larger slice of the snap pie to try to accelerate his growth.
FS Dezmen Southward
Southward got the most snaps he's gotten all year. It wasn't enough for a grade, but you could see his speed and athleticism on display a handful of times in pursuit of the ball carrier. He still didn't do much, and I don't expect that to change much.
RB Devonta Freeman
Just a handful of touches for Freeman, who looked much better than he did against Tamp Bay and continues to be a useful pass catching back. Again, not enough snaps for me to award a grade, however.
ILB Prince Shembo
The tackle numbers look good for Shembo, who is growing week-to-week. Nonetheless, he struggled to fight through blockers on Sunday and was not a hugely impactful run defender, so I can't give him a great grade. It's encouraging to see him take over the starting job and stay active out there, though.
OLB Tyler Starr
Starr was, as per usual, inactive.
If the injuries do pile up, you could see a UDFA or two getting snaps, and I'll add them into the rookie report in future weeks if that's the case. Your thoughts on how the rookies fared?