It was a heart-pumping finish, but the Falcons - who were questioned all week by everyone from the national media to my own mother (seriously) - answered the call by winning against a heralded Green Bay Packers team. Here are some key takeaways from the Sunday night game.
Defense looks good, but pump the brakes
Aaron Rodgers had a hard time getting comfortable all night, with the Falcons pass rush forcing their offense into quick strike passes that prevented them from doing big damage. Looking at the box score, one would assume that this Falcons defense has gotten dramatically better.
While they have clearly improved from last year, you have to keep these things in mind: Both Packers offensive tackles were out, and Jordy Nelson left the game early in the first quarter. I know fans don’t want to hear about injuries, but it’s something we have to keep in mind when weighing the performance we saw.
We simply need to see how this defense continues to play week after week before we annoint them with any kind of ranking.
Offense finally looks like itself with a twist
Was there a person more questioned after week one than Steve Sarkisian? Well, he answered in brilliant fashion. It was not a perfect game, but Sark made great use of many of the concepts that led to one of the best offenses ever in 2016. Play action, motion and giving Matt Ryan some freedom at the line led to a fine offensive performance from the Falcons.
Let’s hope he continues to build off of this performance with Detroit coming up next.
Injuries could loom large
Unfortunately, the Falcons got pretty banged up on Sunday night. Courtney Upshaw was injured early and Ryan Schraeder left with a concussion. Vic Beasley also exited with a hamstring injury. With their next game on the road, let’s hope some of these injuries aren’t serious. If they are, it could put a hamper in the celebration after the nice win.
What are your takeaways from the game?