Having watched the Falcons for many years now, the loss against the Chargers may have been one of the ugliest. It’s easy to look for a single person or play to blame, but the reality is that there was plenty to go around. While many are already jumping off the Falcons band wagon (bye), I don’t think it’s time to panic. With that said, here are three takeaways from the game against the Chargers.
Pass rush coming along
Vic Beasley is finally living up to his draft potential, notching two sacks against the Chargers and being disruptive for a good bit of the game. However, Beasley wasn’t alone. Guys like Brooks Reed and Adrian Clayborn got in on the act, and the Falcons pass rush generally did a good job of giving Rivers a very short pocket to work out of. Unfortunately, Phillip Rivers is one of the best in the league at getting the ball out quickly.
The final score shouldn’t sour what was an otherwise pleasant performance by our front line. This unit has gotten better with each game, and it’s clear they are an improving (if still not good) unit. If this defense is going to improve into being a good unit, it’s going to start with the guys in the trenches.
Sloppy play all around
False start penalties. Blown coverages. Off target throws. Drops. Missed tackles. All of that permeated the game against the Chargers, and it was arguably the worst collective effort we’ve seen from the team all season. It also may be a sign that the brutal road schedule the NFL handed us to start the season did take a toll. Consider this: other than the first game against Tampa, this was the first game where the Falcons didn’t finish strong. Even in the loss against the Seahawks, the Falcons came out firing in the second half.
Hopefully, with another week at home, the fatigue will wear off and the sloppy play will be cleaned up.
It’s still only one game
I know it’s a cliche, but with 2015 still a painful memory in our heads, many fans are wondering if this game is a sign of things to come. Here’s the reality: it’s still only one game. It was a painful loss, and it’s hard not to feel like the world is caving in, but we are still only 7 games into the season. In these first seven games, we’ve faced two of the best defenses in the league (Denver, Seattle) and three of the top offenses in the league (Oakland, New Orleans, San Diego). Take away a blatant no-call in Seattle, and this 4-3 record would be 5-2.
None of this will change the Falcons current record, but I still believe this is a team headed for a winning season.
What are your takeaways for this game?