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Falcons week 16 Pro Football Focus Ratings roundup

The offense played well but the defense led the way for the NFC South Champions this week. Matt Ryan also played alright, I guess.

Atlanta Falcons v Carolina Panthers Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Falcons dominated another divisional opponent this past Saturday, beating the Carolina Panthers 33-16. After that, thanks to the New Orleans Saints and the Arizona Cardinals, the Falcons clinched the NFC South and moved up to the number two spot in the conference. Let’s focus on the game against the Panthers, though.

Top performers

  • Matt Ryan, 87.4
  • Brian Poole, 86.5
  • Robert Alford, 83.8
  • Ryan Schraeder, 79.8
  • Jalen Collins, 79.6

The offense had a pretty good game but Saturday was really a great day for Atlanta’s defense. Carolina rarely had any rhythm offensively, and the few times they did, it didn’t last long due to the solid play of Atlanta’s secondary. It’s great to see Poole continue to play better than most expected, as well as Jalen Collins—he gave up a touchdown to Kelvin Benjamin but otherwise he played a great game. On the offensive end, the Falcons played pretty well but had some issues with the Panthers’ front seven. Ryan made plenty of plays and showed how dynamic his game has become in the last few years.

Best/worst rating

I think the best rating this week has to go to Matt Ryan. He had some throws that he missed on but he also had a couple of plays that made me stop and realize how good he has been this year—the pass to D.J. Tialavea on the run was one of those. An 87.4 is not a perfect grade by any means, but it is a very high rating on a day where the offensive line had some issues.

This week is a lot like last week in the sense that everyone played well that calling a rating inaccurate is splitting hairs. In light of that, I will go with Jalen Collins. Collins is a very popular target for scrutiny from fans and media alike, but he really played a fantastic game against the Panthers, allowing six catches on 15 targets with a pick, a deflection, and one touchdown—that was a result of uncalled offensive pass-interference from Benjamin. It took Collins a while to get here but he is really playing well lately, and it will be interesting to see if his solid play continues into the postseason—since, ya know, the Falcons won the division.

Round up

This is a good feeling, huh? The Falcons will be playing meaningful football games in January and even have a chance to get a first-round bye with a win over New Orleans this week. The Falcons have had 13 different players catch touchdown passes this season, an NFL record, and the defense had played pretty well the last few weeks. I’m not sure that the defense is capable of playing that well in the postseason, but hopefully they won’t have to hold teams to 14 points or less since the offense is so good.

Let’s just bask in the glory of postseason football in Atlanta and the great season that we’ve already had—with a hope that it can get even greater.