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Falcons use of the up tempo offense continues to thrive

The offense keeps rolling for the second week in a row

Atlanta Falcons v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

One of the big questions coming into 2016 was whether the Falcons would use more “up tempo” in their offense. After the team operated almost strictly out of the no-huddle in game one, the reigns appeared to be turned loose in game 2 against the Raiders. The results were impressive. Against the Saints, the Falcons opted to use the “up tempo” offense 18 times, with good results.

Against the Saints

Take these numbers with a grain of salt, because the game log against the Saints didn’t accurately capture every “No Huddle” entry for the Falcons offense. As such, I had to manually compile the plays that I deemed to be “up-tempo” after gathering the official statistics and re-watching the game. Some of these numbers may be off here or there, but the general theme is going to be close enough.

The team ran 18 up-tempo plays on offense against the Saints.

Of the 9 passes attempted, Matt Ryan completed 6 of them for 61 yards with 1 sack, 0 TDs and 0 INTs. That’s an average of 7.6 yards per attempt, a 75% completion percentage and what would amount to a 96.4 passer rating.

The running game had 9 attempts and gained a total of 39 yards, for an average of 4.3 yards per attempt. Devonta Freeman had 5 of those rushes for 23 yards (4.6 avg) while Tevin Coleman had 4 attempts for 16 yards (4.0 avg).

On the Season

Through 3 games, Matt Ryan’s passing statistics in the up-tempo offense:


78.3% completion percentage

306 yards

3 TDs

0 INTs

158.3 passer rating (highest possible)

I know this will be shocking to all of you, but this Matt Ryan kid is pretty good in the up-tempo offense. SHOCKING.

The running game has also benefited from the up-tempo offense. Here are the stats for Devonta and Tevin so far:

Devonta Freeman: 12 rushes, 63 yards (5.25 avg)

Tevin Coleman: 7 rushes, 32 yards (4.57 avg)

Giving credit where it’s due

The name Kyle Shanahan is synonymous with “Satan” for some fans, but he deserves credit for turning the offense loose the last two games. The team has put up 35+ points in both of those contests, and that’s while on the road. There’s reason to believe that Shanahan will continue to turn the offense over to Ryan, who appears far more comfortable in this system in year two.

What are your thoughts on the Falcons recent success using the up-tempo offense?