The Atlanta Falcons find themselves in a 0-1 hole — both overall and in the NFC South — after Sunday’s 31-24 season-opening loss at home to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Let’s take a look at three Falcons whose stock is up after the game, followed by three whose stock took a dive.
The quarterback looked infinitely more comfortable than he did at any point last season. He finished with 334 yards and two touchdowns on 27 of 39 passing, despite a few drops from his receivers. Most importantly, he had no turnovers. Ryan did throw a few passes behind his receivers, including a couple on the game’s final drive, but he turned in a very good day overall.
Coleman’s improvement in the passing game was evident. He led all receivers with five catches for 95 yards, highlighted by an impressive 47-yard catch and run. His receiving performance was key since the Falcons had a tremendous amount of trouble running against the Bucs defense.
Outside of a couple of drops, Sanu’s debut as a Falcon was solid. His first catch went for 59 yards, and he scored the team’s first touchdown of the season from five yards out. The former Cincinnati Bengal took a few steps to proving he was worth the price of admission.
It was a forgettable game for Atlanta’s top draft pick from 2014. Matthews gave up the first sack of the year and was responsible for two penalties. Not a good start for the left tackle who turned in a solid year last season.
It’d be an understatement to say Chester had his hands full with Gerald McCoy. The matchup was mostly one-sided as the Bucs’ defensive tackle consistently beat the Falcons’ right guard. The 11-year veteran can ill-afford to play like that again, particularly since he was locked in a battle with rookie Wes Schweitzer.
Seven penalties for 74 yards is unacceptable no matter how you slice it. It’s difficult to win when you shoot yourself in the foot multiple times. Quinn can’t afford for the team to play as undisciplined as they did.
What’s your take?