It feels great to watch a football game and feel like your lifespan wasn’t shortened because of it, right? The Atlanta Falcons made sure that was the case in their week 14 domination of the Los Angeles Rams, beating them 42-14. Let’s take a look at who is responsible for such a great performance.
- Deion Jones, 90.9
- Vic Beasley, 87.9
- Andy Levitre, 83.9
- Ricardo Allen, 81.8
- Keanu Neal, 81.0
It is no surprise that the highest grades of the week come from defensive players. Especially Deion Jones and Vic Beasley, both of whom played their best games so far this season, making the evening incredibly difficult for Jared Goff and the Rams offense from start to finish. And Levitre was the highest rated offensive player (Matt Ryan was second-highest at 79.8) and it was pretty easy to see why as the game went on: Levitre posted the highest run-grade for any Atlanta offensive lineman and was very solid in pass protection, as well.
Atlanta’s two safeties were all over the place Sunday, with Ricardo Allen tallying an interception and a great grade in coverage and Neal flying across the field to punish Rams in the open field, while also being pretty solid in coverage.
Best/Worst grade of the week
The best, or most accurate, grade of the week was Deion Jones. He looked like a pro bowl linebacker yesterday in ever facet of his game: a pick-six, a 95.4 coverage grade, and a pass break up. Jones is joining the Defensive Rookie of the Year conversation and quickly becoming the leader for that huge award. This is just a hunch but I think that this guy is pretty good at football.
Now, the least accurate grade this week is actually the same as last week but it is for a different reason that PFF does not take into account when they make their grades: Matt Ryan. I understand that Ryan was competing against the Rams defense, but for him to put up the numbers he did without his two biggest weapons: Ryan hit nine different receivers on a day when he went 18-of-28 for 237 yards and three touchdowns. I don’t expect PFF to factor injuries into their analysis so I understand why Matt got the grade that he did, but it is incredibly impressive to see him play the way he did—especially on a day when the run game was really hurting.
The Falcons played the second-worst team in the league (maybe third-worst?) and they did what a good team is supposed to do to a bad team: they dominated the game. The offense was pretty good, considering Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu were out, but the defense really owned the day. Vic Beasley had three sacks, a forced fumble, and a touchdown, while Deion Jones tallied five total tackles, a pass deflection, and a pick-six; both of those guys led the defense to a great performance against a lackluster opponent. After such a crapy loss two weeks ago, it feels great to enjoy this win without having to say, “Yeah but...” because of how solid the win was. Let’s hope the Falcons keep it up against San Francisco this week.