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3 Falcons up, 3 Falcons down in Week 7 loss to Patriots

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Yikes.

Atlanta Falcons v New England Patriots Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Riding a two-game skid, the Atlanta Falcons had a chance to avenge their devastating Super Bowl loss against the New England Patriots.

Instead, the offense was dominated against one of the league’s worst defenses, and Atlanta fell to 3-3 after a 23-7 loss in Foxborough.

Who’s up and who’s down in the loss?

Up

Devonta Freeman

Why would you pay him if you refuse to give him the ball? Freeman has just 21 rushing attempts in the past two games, and he’s averaging well over six-and-a-half yards a pop. He finished with 72 rushing yards against the Patriots. Feed this guy.

Julio Jones

Atlanta’s stud receiver finally found the end zone after he bullied a jump ball away from Malcolm Butler. Jones caught 9 passes for 99 yards as the Falcons figured out it might be a good idea to target their best pass catcher.

Keanu Neal

The second-year safety more than held his own against Rob Gronkowski. Neal was targeted four times while on Gronkowksi, allowing just one catch for 14 yards. He was also busy in the run game, finishing with 10 tackles on the night.

Down

Matt Ryan

Even with a clean pocket, Ryan was missing throws he made in his sleep last season. Last year’s MVP missed Sanu and Julio more than just a couple times on what should’ve been touchdowns. On the year, Ryan has thrown for just seven touchdowns to six interceptions — although four of those turnovers were tipped balls. Still, it looks as if Ryan’s confidence is shot and he’s not nailing throws he should make.

Andre Roberts

Remember the complaints about Eric Weems? Roberts hasn’t looked good in the return game at all. To make matters worse, he dropped an easy catch in the first quarter that would’ve given the Falcons a first down in the red zone. Instead, the Falcons came away with no points after Matt Bryant’s field goal attempt was blocked.

Steve Sarkisian

There’s a lot to say about Atlanta’s rookie offensive coordinator. A jet sweep on fourth and goal at the half-yard line? It looks like he’s way in over his head.