The Atlanta Falcons are undefeated through four weeks of the 2015 season. They improved to 4-0 on Sunday with the easiest win they've picked up in quite some time, dominating the Houston Texans from start to finish.
Devonta Freeman was stellar. Ryan Mallett looked horrendous. It reminded us of that game where Raheem Morris was coaching the Buccaneers, and they came to the Georgia Dome for one of the worst beatdowns I've ever witnessed.
If you missed Sunday's game, you should make time to watch a replay. It will be the most fun you've had since
The only time during Week 4 the Falcons looked off was their first drive of the game. A quick three-and-out left a few fans grumbling on Twitter, but it didn't take long for everyone to completely forget that even happened.
Arian Foster took the first pass of the game from Mallett for 15 yards. Of course the collective thought was, "Here we go," with that Joseph Randle performance still in mind. Two plays later, Jonathan Babineaux intercepted a tipped pass, and the floodgates opened.
Freeman was instrumental on the Falcons first scoring drive, catching a 24-yard pass in traffic an immediately taking the next carry for 16 yards up the middle for a touchdown. The Falcons took the 7-0 lead early, but that was just the start.
Brooks Reed made his presence known early with a tackle for a loss. William Moore put a huge hit on Chris Polk. The Texans had another three-and-out. That was basically their formula for the majority of the game.
Penalties started to plague both teams. The refs seemed a little flag happy. But the Falcons were still rolling. Leonard Hankerson was getting involved, Roddy White caught a pass(!) and Julio Jones finished the first quarter with three receptions for 32 yards.
Just 21 seconds into the second quarter, Freeman broke free straight up the middle again for a 23-yard score. The Falcons took a 14-0 lead, and fantasy owners were already celebrating Freeman's day.
The Texans ran through another quick three-and-out, but the J.J. Watt imposed his will on the Falcons offensive line the following drive, forcing them to punt. He was one of the few bright spots (as usual) for Houston.
Mallett kept testing Desmond Trufant, but he wasn't having any of it. After a breaking up a pass intended for DeAndre Hopkins, Trufant scooped up a fumble by Arian Foster and took it 24 yards to put the Falcons up 21-0. This all happened within two minutes of their previous touchdown.
Late in the second quarter, Matt Ryan found Freeman wide open for a big gain, and then he connected with Hankerson for a third-yard score. The offense was basically running on a hemi (I think that's good, I don't know much about cars).
28-0 heading into halftime.
Is that bad?
The second half started off with some fireworks. Ra'Shede Hageman literally tried to decapitate Foster on one of the most blatant facemasks you'll ever witness. After a 26-yard completion, the Texans actually looked like they could threaten to score. But Mallett wasn't allowing that. He threw another awful pass on fourth-and-3 from the Falcons 32, giving Atlanta the ball again.
Hankerson made arguably his most impressive play of the season a few minutes later, catching a quick pass from Ryan and hitting the next gear to burn downfield for 56 yards. He nearly broke away from everyone, but Freeman was right there to punch it in for a 6-yard touchdown shortly afterward. That's 35-0 for those of you keeping track at home.
The Falcons started to let Terron Ward see extended action, and he help orchestrate their third 6-minute scoring drive of the game. Ward capped off the drive with an 8-yard touchdown, making it 42-0 with 2:56 to play in the third.
Houston had seen enough of Mallett by the end of the quarter. His 12-for-27 passing display was not cutting it, so the Texans put Brian Hoyer in on the drive following Ward's touchdown.
The Texans were finally on the board after Hoyer hit C.J. Fiedorowicz for a five-yard touchdown, making it 42-7. No shutout today for Atlanta. Sigh.
Ryan's took a seat as the Falcons let Sean Renfree take over. Renfree looked sharp handing the ball off multiple times without any errors. He is seriously good at giving the ball to Ward in the backfield.
Hoyer connected with Cecil Shorts on their next drive for a huge gain to put the Texans just short of the end zone. Allen Bradford made the tackle of the game, stopping Alfred Blue dead in his tracks right at the goal line. Check out this hit. Chris Polk managed to find room on the right edge for a 1-yard touchdown the following play, making it 42-14.
Renfree kept working out his handoffs. I think he's figured it out.
The Texans kept driving after another Falcons punt, with Hopkins eating in garbage time. Shorts scored on an 8-yard touchdown to make it a 42-21 game. Hopkins nearly scored a touchdown to end the game, but he couldn't quite keep his feet inbounds.
On the final play of the game, Bradford knocked the ball lose as the Texans tried to come up with anything they could to get in the end zone. It was a wild scene as Nate Stupar picked up the fumble and took it 84 yards for a touchdown. Falcons win 48-21 (Atlanta took a knee instead of kicking the XP).
The Falcons played a lot of backups throughout the second half, and the Texans made the most of garbage time. But this was a dominant win for Atlanta. How are you feeling about the Falcons at 4-0?