With the Falcons’ 23-16 win over the Denver Broncos, there’s plenty to celebrate, and plenty more to digest. Here’s some early reactions worth considering.
#Falcons have now beat both Super Bowl teams from 2015 in back to back weeks.— DW (@FalcoholicDW) October 9, 2016
But keep on hating ...
Ha ha! DW is talking about me.
Seriously, though, this is incredibly impressive. The Panthers look like a diminished team compared to a year ago, but the Broncos are still an incredible team, and the Falcons just dominated them in Denver. You can’t hate that.
Quinn on the decision to start Kemal at LB: Kemal is one of our best tacklers. #ATLvsDEN— FalconsKelsey (@FalconsKelsey) October 9, 2016
For what it’s worth, I thought Ishmael was extremely impressive at linebacker, and may have warranted a longer look there going forward. If Ishmael can play at a high level as a reserve linebacker and safety, he’s going to command a pretty penny in free agency, and I certainly hope he won’t be leaving Atlanta.
Grady Jarrett must have said "Hey, I want in on the sack party!" Falcons' pass rush ignited --> 6 sacks today. #ATLvsDEN— FalconsKelsey (@FalconsKelsey) October 9, 2016
Think about how crazy it is that Atlanta got six sacks, when this team literally went weeks upon weeks without equalling that total several times in recent years. Whether this winds up being a bit of a fluke effort fueled by a weak Broncos line or not, you can see the glimmers of upside here, particularly for Vic Beasley and Jarrett.
#Falcons offense really deserves the praise today. As well executed a game plan as you’re gonna see against the league’s premier D.— Aaron Freeman (@falcfans) October 9, 2016
The numbers through the air don’t jump off the page, but considering Matt Ryan was often harried, Denver’s defense is incredibly difficult, and the Falcons ran the ball exceptionally well, who really cares? Aaron’s right: The Falcons dominated this one on offense, and Kyle Shanahan should officially shed his status as one of the most reviled men in Atlanta.
Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman accounted for 77% of the #Falcons total yardage output today.— Mike Conti (@MikeConti929) October 9, 2016
It was a truly incredible effort for the best running back tandem in football. Freeman was great on the ground and useful through the air, while Coleman was solid on the ground and exceptional through the air. These two are the focal point of this Falcons’ offense most weeks for a reason, and it’s because they are genuinely terrific, and incredibly difficult to stop.
Keanu Neal's performance today was clutch for the Falcons. Swarmed to the ball, tackled well. Impact player for this defense. #ATLvsDEN— FalconsKelsey (@FalconsKelsey) October 9, 2016
There is a pattern in Atlanta this year where we question this team’s moves, especially the ones that Dan Quinn seems to have masterminded, and we wind up (mostly) eating our words. Derrick Shelby may not be the best example, here, but Keanu Neal is.
Everything above is accurate. Neal was everywhere, he was incredibly physical, and he’s really been a key player for Atlanta since he got back. I look forward to seeing how good he can be with more time under his belt.
Feels good, doesn’t it?