The Falcons ended their three game skid with a game that was far from inspiring, but got the job done. The Jets have been playing well as of late and aren’t the “tanking” team that many have made them out to be. Here are my takeaways from the sloppy road win on Sunday.
Offensive success - sort of
The Falcons were able to get into the red zone repeatedly on Sunday. For the most part, the Jets defense was unable to keep Matt Ryan and company from driving down the field. However, the team struggled to punch the ball into the end zone, only netting two touchdowns and four field goals on the afternoon.
That said, the weather likely contributed to a drop by Austin Hooper that would have been a touchdown. On another drive, an inexplicably terrible no-DPI call against Julio Jones (seriously, what does he have to do to get a call) helped end a drive early that would have been on the goal line with first down.
There are still concerns, though. Julio Jones and Tevin Coleman are still seeing very few targets overall in the passing game. In fact, Levine Toilolo got two targets before either Coleman or Jones got one. Ugh. The play calling was better, but the most successful drive came out of the no-huddle (broken record, I know), which the Falcons quickly abandoned - for no apparent reason.
A mostly good defensive effort
The Jets successful first drive for a touchdown is still imprinted on my mind and watching Trufant get beat for another was kind of shocking, but the defense really had a good game overall. Minus those touchdowns, the Falcons defensive line finally contained the running game. It’s hard to say whether Athyba Rubin was the main factor, but it was clear that they were done with being run on freely.
Additionally, the defense only allowed a single field goal in the second half of the game, helping the team to claw back from behind to take the lead. Even with the torrential down pour, we saw fewer missed tackles overall as well.
Granted, the Jets offense isn’t what you would call a good offense, but the issues that have plagued this defense for the past several games were largely corrected on Sunday.
No big conclusions
Unfortunately, the sloppy field and heavy rain created all sorts of havoc for both teams - though it looked like the Falcons were the far sloppier team initially. Because of that, it’s hard to draw any firm conclusions from a game like this. Is the Falcons offense back on track? Is the defense improving? To be honest, there’s really no way to know for certain. I think we’ll all have to wait for the next couple of games to play out before we know who this team really is this year and whether the three game slide was an anomaly or not.
What are your takeaways from the game on Sunday?