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Falcons week 17 PFF ratings roundup

Matt Ryan played very well but he was rated lower than one rookie linebacker. Plus, Alex Mack continues to play well.

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Welp. That’s it. The regular season has come and gone. Luckily, the Falcons aren’t done and have playoff games coming up next! First, though, they dismantled the New Orleans Saints in the final regular season game at the Georgia Dome.

Let’s take a brief look at who was responsible for a great first half, leading to a big team win.

Top performers

  • Deion Jones, 88.7
  • Alex Mack, 86.4
  • Matt Ryan, 86.3
  • Julio Jones, 84.0
  • Robert Alford, 83.0
  • Keanu Neal, 82.8

Before the somewhat scary fourth quarter, where the Saints scored 19 points, the Atlanta defense held Drew Brees and the New Orleans offense to 13 points and under 200 yards at halftime. Deion Jones, Keanu Neal, and Robert Alford were a huge part of that impressive first half effort. Each one of those defenders played very well in their respective roles: Jones had six tackles and three passes defended, Neal had five tackles and a forced fumble, and Alford had three tackles with a pass defended—he looked very solid in coverage for most of the day.

On the offensive end, it was essentially what we’ve all gotten used to seeing from the Falcons: fireworks. Matt Ryan led the offense on five straight touchdown drives in the first half, dissecting the Saints defense, no matter the down and distance or the variety of looks New Orleans sent his way—this game was a great exclamation point on Ryan’s MVP campaign. Julio Jones finally got some work in the redzone (since the Saints didn’t double him every chance they got) and was the same guy he has been all season, when he is healthy. It is also great to see how good the Falcons offense has been due to Alex Mack and his consistent, high quality play this season. New Years Day was no different, as Mack was a force along the line of scrimmage in both the running and passing games.

Best/worst grades

This week, I will not be doing a worst grade, as I don’t really see an issue with the ratings this week, plus I want to continue the positivity within the fanbase. Rather, I will give you all the rating Drew Brees had for the game and let you enjoy that: 45.4.

On to the best grade!

This week, the most accurate grade is Deion Jones. This kid is special. It’s so impressive to see him progress as the season has gone on, and his presence on the defense completely changes the make up of the team. The Falcons are more athletic than they ever have been and Jones is right at the center of that. He led the team in tackles and played well in coverage, though the defense continues to struggle with underneath routes and crossing routes. Jones is consistently getting better and the defense is improving with him.

Side note: Keanu Neal also played a fantastic game as he continues to act as the enforcer for the Atlanta defense.


A lot of people are making far too much about the second half in this game, saying that the Falcons demonstrated some flaws that should worry fans heading into the playoffs. Nothing that happened during the fourth quarter takes away from the first half the team had, and nothing that happened was particularly surprising: the defense is not good yet, despite the fact that they are getting better, and the offense took its foot off of the gas with the game in hand.

Nonetheless, Matt Ryan should be the MVP this season but even if he isn’t, this offense gives the Falcons a chance for a great run in the postseason. The defense remains a little suspect but the pieces seem to be improving from week to week, which is all you can really ask for when you are this young and this banged up on defense. Let’s enjoy this team and get ready for a playoff game!