I think I should mention a highlight from our prediction article: “They really should win this game, but will probably do it in an uninspiring fashion that doesn’t make you feel better about the season.” Well, here we are, mostly. I feel a little better about the Falcons. They won it despite four (!) fumbles. If things get cleaned up, this could be the start of turning the ship around. At the same time, we still have the same problems with special teams and offense (four catches to split between Julio Jones and Tevin Coleman?). This game is definitely an improvement, but there’s still a long way to go if they want to beat Carolina on the road.
From the outskirts, it looked quite ugly despite the win for the Falcons. If you go box score hunting, you’ll notice that the Falcons held the Jets to just 279 total yards, 5-of-15 on third downs, 43 rushing yards (two yards per carry), and recorded three sacks. While the offense racked up 386 total yards and averaged 6.2 yards per play. There were some glaring moments that were tough to look at (multiple drops, uncomfortable amount of fumbles) but all in all, the Falcons got a much-needed win and for a team that was on a three-game losing streak with the season on the verge of a downfall, it’s tough to discredit a hard-earned victory.
In the situationally-adjusted words of the farmer from Babe, “That’ll do, falcon. That’ll do.” Atlanta didn’t exactly sing in the rain against the gang green, but Matt Ryan looked like his 2016 self (sans the aqua fumbles, which sounds like the name of an awful doo-wop group), the defense made some plays here and there and Steve Sarkisian avoided another week of his condo being egged with a decent-enough bounce back with the play calling. The Falcons needed that win badly if they have any desire to play football in January, and next Sunday’s road game against Carolina will be the barometer to see where this team really is. Right now, the visage is still a bit misty, but we at least know this: these birds fly better in rain than in fog.
The Falcons played well in the torrential rain, all things considered. On the plus side, the defense only surrendered 3 points in the second half. That was after allowing 17 in the first, though. The offense made plenty of trips to the red zone, but only converted 2 for touchdowns. It was a mixed bag overall, but it could be the confidence booster this unit needs. It’s hard to derive any firm conclusions after that kind of game, so I’ll reserve any bold proclamation until after the upcoming Panthers game.
Yay, a win!
You know that feeling when you’re trying to screw in a bolt in a hard to reach area, and you’re fumbling around with it, almost have it right and the threads are crossed, and THEN, after 100 more attempts complete with swearing...you get that relief feeling when you FINALLY feel the bolt grab in just the right way?
I think that’s about what this win felt like. Still some work to do, but maybe, just maybe, we’re starting to tighten the screws a little as opposed to trying to hit them with a rubber mallet.
All I know after watching this game is that the Falcons played better on both sides of the ball than they did the week before against the Patriots, despite extremely unfavorable weather conditions. That might just be a momentary bright spot in an otherwise long slog of a season, but I think (and hope) it might indicate that the team is finally starting to figure out some of its weaknesses. We’ll see what happens when they finally face off against the Carolina Panthers this weekend.