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Key takeaways after the Atlanta Falcons squeak by the Detroit Lions

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Fact: Matt Ryan’s pancakes apply syrup to themselves

Atlanta Falcons v Detroit Lions Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons love to win in dramatic fashion. It’s their modus operandi, and we’ve grown accustomed to it. Basically if the Falcons aren’t giving you heart palpitations, then you’re probably just highly inebriated, watching some team that isn’t the Falcons, confused about what you’re watching. The close calls the Falcons have navigated so far in 2017 don’t overshadow their perfect record. That said, today’s game taught us a few things.

Matthew Thomas Ryan is still human

If you only checked out the box score after the game, then you may not know that two of Ryan’s three interceptions weren’t his fault. Overall he was 24/35 on the day and threw for almost 300 yards, but it was obvious early in the game that he wasn’t quite right. He overthrew his receivers a couple times, trying to get the offense going. The point is that Ryan is bound to have an “off” game here and there, but with a running back tandem like Devonta Freeman/Tevin Coleman, he can afford a mental lapse or two. He’s also got an up and coming defense backing him up, which takes us to our next takeaway.

This defense is capable of picking up this offense, if need be

The defense didn’t play a perfect game Sunday afternoon, but they certainly left it all out on the field. The Falcons defense gave Stafford fits in the first half, forcing the Lions to repeatedly settle for field goals. His first touchdown pass came in the third quarter, after the Lions were able to make some adjustments during halftime. Rookie Takkarist McKinley got his first career sack and tipped one of Stafford’s passes late in the second half. He and the rest of the defense’s front seven played solid football today, particularly in the first half. My point is that this defense is good enough to hold up their end, even when the offense struggles a little bit.

The right side of the offensive line will be a liability until it’s not

Ty Sambrailo isn’t a bad football player. He’s a solid backup forced into a starting gig by Ryan Schraeder’s concussion. (He was also forced to start while still learning the playbook.) But Schraeder will come back. Soon. Wes Schweitzer was good enough to beat out Ben Garland. He obviously hasn’t lived up to our expectations - that’s the honest truth. That said, he will improve as the season goes on. Both Sambrailo and Schweitzer struggled today, and if we’re honest, we knew that was coming. Patience is key here. Schweitzer will be much better by mid-season and Sambrailo will find himself back on the bench sooner rather than later.

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