Atlanta’s worst game of the year, but should give them great motivation going into the bye.
It is hard to polish up this one. The offense never got rolling. The defense looked as bad as it has all year. Even special teams was full of penalties, gave up huge gains, and for some reason still featured Eric Weems. It was a complete collapse against a struggling team after a long week. At the same time, this is the NFL. Any team can win on any given Sunday. The Falcons will enter their bye week tasting defeat, and this will hopefully be good motivation going into the last part of the season. Because this game certainly wasn’t good for anything else.
It’s easy to get caught up in how your particular team looks without considering the NFL in general. Yes, the Falcons looked flat and mostly awful on Sunday. Yes, it was disheartening to see so many mistakes and missed opportunities. No, it doesn’t mean this team is really that bad. Every team is prone to at least one or two “bad” games and this appears to be one for the 2016 version of the Falcons. There are definitely issues to correct, and the defense is probably not going to get dramatically better this year, but this is still a team that can get back to winning after the much needed bye week.
That was such a bizarre game to watch. The optimist in me (yes, twitter, that exists) wants to believe this game was nothing more than a divine intervention to get us ready for the home stretch. Think about what happened in the game: Matt Bryant misses his first PAT as a Falcon, Julio drops the football equivalent of a layup on an 8 foot hoop, and the defense, bad as it has been, allowed two Eagles drives with a combined time of nearly a whole quarter AND SOMEHOW we were still in the game right to the end.
The pessimist in me, however, is extremely concerned at the state of the offense. Matt Ryan was off on multiple throws, the play calling sequences after gaining a few 1st downs was atrocious, and the team still does nothing after turnovers. OL play (against a very good Eagles front) was average at best. If we're going to think playoffs, the OL must be better. This game should tell you all you need to know about the Falcons from here until Matt Ryan retires: as the offense goes, so do our W’s.
Look, this wasn’t fun to watch. The Falcons got pushed around on the offensive line, pushed around on defense, and made too many mistakes, and you’re not wrong to worry about that happening again.
The good news is that the Falcons finally have a bye week in which to get healthy, rest, and take a look at their recent play for deficiencies. They’re still very much on track to go 10-6 on the season against a less intimidating six game slate, so there’s no sense in panicking yet, even if the Falcons getting pushed all over the place will stick with us the next two weeks.
This game was way too weird. Matt Bryant missed an extra point for the first time since 2006 and Julio Jones dropped a key wide open pass. The Falcons got destroyed in the trenches on both sides on the ball, and even though they took a brief 15-13 lead off a 74-yard Taylor Gabriel touchdown, it never felt as if they were truly in the game.
I’m not ready to panic quite yet, but the bye week couldn’t come at a better time for this team.
Three observations from this one: (1) we saw the return of the “all Julio all the time” offense. That’s not a healthy game plan. (2) Give credit to the Eagles for good tackling. Several of our pass plays (including at least two to Julio, both passes to Sanu and the pass to Robinson) were designed for yardage after the catch, but the defenders were able to take the receivers down immediately and prevent the Falcons from getting first downs. (3) At this point our frustrations about our kickoff return game should be aimed at coordinator Keith Armstrong, not Eric Weems. By now Armstrong should be instructing Weems to take the touchback rather than risking an ineffective return, a holding call, or an injury. And now that the inevitable annual game against the Eagles is in the rear view mirror, it’s time to take a break, get back to basics during the bye week practices, and get healthy for the final stretch run - which includes two more divisional games.
Kyle W McClendon
This was very similar to the game against San Diego in a number of ways, the most important of which is the strength of both of those defenses was their front four. Philadelphia has a monster front and they don’t miss tackles in space, so the Falcons had to play almost a perfect game on the offensive line and Matt Ryan had to throw receivers open and neither of those things happened. Did this suck to watch? Yes. Do the Falcons have issues? Yes, but here is the thing: these issues may last all season--it doesn’t look like Atlanta can make huge strides of defense and the offensive line has some big weak spots. Luckily, not every team has a great defensive line, Vic Beasley is still performing like a monster, and the offense is still capable of putting up big points--even if Sunday’s game says otherwise. If the team can get healthy and make the most of this bye week, they stand a chance to make the playoffs and maybe get through at least one round. The Eagles are a good team that many Falcons fans overlooked, and while the game sucked to watch, it brings expectations back down to Earth for this team. Let’s just try and enjoy the ride while it lasts.
This game was concerning mainly due to the lack of fire the team showed. The Falcons came out flat and didn’t play inspired ball, which thankfully hasn’t happened much this season. But, in truth, this was a very tough matchup for Atlanta. Philadelphia is a completely different (and better) team at home, and their defensive line might be the best in the league. This Falcons team has been bruised and beaten through a devastating opening schedule--I think they’ve proven they are one of the NFC’s best teams. The good news is the Falcons now get their bye to work things out. After that, the schedule is very favorable. The Falcons don’t play a winning team other than the Chiefs (7-2), who are good but not unbeatable. We could see the Falcons rattle off 4 or 5 wins out of the remaining six games.