In a game that really seemed like one the Falcons had no business being in contention for at the end, the Atlanta Falcons showed some great offense (as usual) and some... not so great defense against Alex Smith and the Chiefs. I really think this was a game that just didn’t go Atlanta’s way for a number of reasons—meaning, it’s a game that Atlanta simply wasn’t supposed to win, for some reason.
We are going to shake up the format a little today for the sake of time and variety, so if you don’t like it... it isn’t for a lack of trying. Here we go.
- Julio Jones, 89.3
- Alex Mack, 85.4
- Grady Jarrett, 81.8
- Patrick DiMarco, 81.6
The Atlanta offense really had some great moments against the Chiefs defense, but the achilles heel from last year resurrected itself: red zone inefficiency. Anyway, Alex Mack continues his strong play as he was a huge part in the success of the run game and allowed Matt Ryan a place to step up into the pocket when his edges were getting mauled.
Julio looked like Julio early on. He was a force on the first drive and on the next couple of possessions, but when he got hurt later in the game, it seemed as though the offense still played pretty well—either way, Julio looked great and the Falcons will need him 100% if they want to improve from that performance yesterday.
Patrick DiMarco is the best fullback in the NFL. He looked like he was especially motivated Sunday and regularly created lanes for Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman in the running game. Not very many negative things you can say about him.
Grady Jarrett really seemed to get better as the game went on: the run defense got much better, plus he teamed with Vic Beasley to get a strip-sack on Alex Smith at a key point in the game. He has potential to be very, very good—he’s got to learn to finish.
The best, most accurate grade from this game has to be Alex Mack. He has become the picture of consistency for the Falcons offensive line and seems to make things so much easier for Matt Ryan.
The worst, least accurate grade from the game is Matt Ryan at 48.6: Ryan definitely made some dumb mistakes and had a game that was out of character for him in 2016. I don’t think, however, that he was as bad as this score suggests. The bottom line is that he made plays that kept the Falcons in the game, and, while his picks didn’t help, he didn’t give up a touchdown on a fake punt or let the Chiefs’ offense sprint down the field on the opening drive.
Turnovers is simply what the Chiefs do and they do it to everyone—it doesn’t matter how good a QB is, if he doesn’t have his starting left tackle or his primary target, he is going to struggle against a defense like the Chiefs. The Falcons lose by 21 without him and had a chance to win with him—I would’ve given him at least a 60 rating on the day. Then again, I’m not a PFF scientist, so don’t @ me.
A couple of breaks kept the Falcons from winning the game but there is still a lot of opportunity in this season. We need to keep it in perspective and don’t let this loss discourage us too much. Now, if we lose to the Rams and the 49ers, I’ll understand the “scrap it all” crowd. I don’t see that happening, though, so let’s all move on and keep supporting this team.