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3 Falcons up, 3 Falcons down in Week 2 win over the Raiders

Hey, a victory!

Atlanta Falcons v Oakland Raiders Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons bounced back in Week 2 with a 35-28 away victory over the Oakland Raiders to improve to 1-1 on the season.

Who’s trending up after the game, and whose arrow is pointing down?


Matt Ryan

Aside from a red zone interception and a couple of errant throws, Ryan had an excellent game. He carved the Raiders defense up for 396 yards and three touchdowns on 26 of 34 passing — an 11.6 yards per attempt average.

Austin Hooper

Atlanta’s rookie tight end hauled in just three passes, but his receptions went for 44, 34, and 6. He gave a glimpse as to what he could be for the Falcons as he improves.

Devonta Freeman

Freeman couldn’t find much running room in Week 1, but plenty of holes were opened up against Oakland. The third-year running back also gained extra yardage on multiple attempts with his shiftiness. He finished with 93 rushing yards on 17 attempts.


Robert Alford

For the second week in a row, Alford was responsible for a penalty that ultimately resulted in a touchdown for the opposing team. Derek Carr sailed a bomb for Michael Crabtree that was intercepted by Alford in the red zone — except the Falcons cornerback pushed off and was flagged for defensive pass interference to set the Raiders up at the one. Alford has to clean up the backbreaking penalties.

Mohamed Sanu

A week after an impressive debut, Sanu turned in a forgettable performance, catching three passes for just 19 yards. Hopefully we see more Week 1 Sanu rather than Week 2 Sanu.

Pass rush

It’s more than one player, but it needs to be here. The Falcons’ first and only sack of the afternoon came on a technicality (credited to Vic Beasley). For the second week in a row — or more if you date back to last season — Atlanta’s pass rush was virtually nonexistent. The worst part is there are no signs of it improving as the season goes on.

What do you think?