It was an impressive performance from the starters, who got the Falcons up 10-0 in short order. The backups quickly ran that lead to 17-0 before the Titans started to grind their way back, but a late score led by Sean Renfree ensured the victory. For a team that has legitimate question marks and needed to get off to a fast start in the Dan Quinn era, it was a nice performance all the way around.
A few highlights and lowlights as we bask in the victory:
- The defense did look more aggressive. The backups in the secondary scuffled, particularly Jalen Collins, but the team picked up multiple sacks and forced three turnovers. That had to make Richard Smith and Raheem Morris happy.
- The Matt Ryan to Julio Jones connection looked better than ever. Chalk some of that up to shaky Titans defenders, sure, but Julio was getting open at will and destroyed a defender en route to the end zone.
- Pretty obvious that Justin Hardy is going to be a nice addition for the team. He didn't snatch every pass coming his way, but he ran crisp routes, looked sure-handed and got plenty of looks from T.J. Yates. Look for him to mix in with the first team next week.
- The ground game is a work in progress. Wait to judge it until Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman return, at least.
Next week the Falcons play the Jets. Stay tuned for a more coverage, recaps, and takeaways coming up shortly.