Well, this week didn’t go the way we all wanted it to go, and things are looking very different compared to last week’s loss. A penalty-riddled performance that resembled pulling teeth at the dentist rather than watching football. Let’s take a closer look at who struggled a little more this week. In honor of the three points the offense scored in the second half, we’ll only look at three people on each side of the ball this week.
As is the custom, offense first.
- Matt Ryan, 59.2: This was not one of Matt’s best performances this season. In fact, this performance was a lot closer to 2015 Matt Ryan than the MVP-caliber quarterback we’ve gotten used to this season. He forced the ball to Julio far too often and was not sharp enough in the redzone. He was under pressure all game, so a lesser performance is expected—hopefully this is an outlier for the season.
- Julio Jones, 90: Julio got work in early and often against the Charger defense as he accrued 174 yards on nine catches. He once again was the victim of a questionable non-call late in the game—I’m not sure what he needs to do, at this point. Julio was a bright spot in this offense on an otherwise poor day.
- Alex Mack, 77.1: The offensive line appeared to be struggling all game but the pressure was really coming from the edges through Ryan Schraeder and Jake Matthews. Mack played a pretty solid game in pass protection, but struggled with the run game at times. Ryan only got pressured up the middle a time or two and Mack was a big part of that.
- Desmond Trufant Brian Poole, 85.4: In a game that featured Atlanta’s painstaking attempt at something close to defense, Trufant was a very consistent, impressive part. He made a number of plays when the ball was thrown his way, but, like the whole defense, he missed some assignments. Poole had some interesting matchups this week—from Tyrell Williams to Antonio Gates—and he played pretty well despite that.
- Keanu Neal, 82.9: In a game where his position is very important against an offense like San Diego’s, Neal did a pretty good job in coverage but was stellar against the run, for the most part. The rookie was quick at diagnosing plays and flying to the line of scrimmage to hit Melvin Gordon before he could really get going.
Once again, this week sucked. There are few things to take away from this that make anyone feel encouraged after a game like this, but there are some bright spots: Julio, Desmond and the two rookie DBs all played pretty well. Also, the defensive line as a whole played very well.
SIDE NOTE: Adrian Clayborn graded out at an 80.1 for this game. This game doesn’t make or break the season but it does put quite a damper on the momentum that the team seemed to have. We’ll see if they bounce back this week against Aaron Rodgers and company.