The Falcons came out on the winning side of a wild one at home and advanced to 2-4. As we’re all used to, a game that appeared firmly in hand at the half came one DeSean Jackson lateral away from a loss. It was a tale of two halves at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, with injuries once again hovering like an ominous cloud over the Falcons as we move into Monday. We’ll revel in the win, but keep a keen eye on injury updates throughout the week.
For now, though: The latest edition of Falcoholinks.
Recap time with Dave Choate
As he is wont to do, The Falcoholic Editor in Chief Dave Choate took us through Week 6’s action, quarter-by-quarter. The Falcons’ offense appeared an ethereal being in the first half, and then did just enough — aided in large part by Matt Bryant’s leg — to secure the win in the second half.
The defensive blemishes were of course there, especially in coverage, but the Falcons’ defense did a commendable job for the majority of the first half. We’re well aware that the offense is going to have to carry the load if Atlanta hopes to add to the win column, but I’d be remiss for not giving the defense credit where it’s due. Some key stops in the first quarter allowed Matt Ryan to get points on the board.
Matt Ryan passes Joe Montana on touchdown list
Matt Ryan has put together an extremely fine season so far, and on Sunday he eclipsed Joe Montana on the NFL’s all-time touchdown list. Ryan recorded his 274th touchdown pass with his flip to Tevin Coleman in the fourth quarter, and passed Joe Montana in the process.
With that TD pass, Matt Ryan passes Joe Montana for 16th all-time in NFL touchdown passes. pic.twitter.com/7dfKocFVKB— Atlanta Falcons (@AtlantaFalcons) October 14, 2018
Ridley and Sanu sidelined
The injury bug has primarily focused its attention on the defensive side of the ball, but on Sunday it took down two key offensive starters. Calvin Ridley suffered an ankle injury and was ruled out at the half, and Mohamed Sanu left the field in the second half with a hip injury and did not return.
Both of these injuries are especially concerning considering how the Falcons’ offense looked much less potent in the second half, so we’re going to have to monitor both and hold our breath for some optimistic injury news. Calvin Ridley is scheduled to have an MRI tomorrow, so we should receive an update on his status in short order.
#Falcons standout rookie WR Calvin Ridley, who left today’s game with an ankle injury, will have an MRI tomorrow, source said. But the fact that he was walking on it well is a good sign it’s not serious.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 14, 2018
Bang the gavel
Ito Smith has added a new dynamic to the Falcons’ ground attack, and against the Buccaneers he set the Atlanta record for consecutive rushing touchdowns for a rookie. Smith’s third touchdown was an explosive 14-yard score, and put him in the Atlanta Falcons’ record book.
In six games, Ito Smith has 32 rushing attempts for 102 yards and three touchdowns, and looks every bit worthy of the fourth round pick the Falcons used on him.
Fingers crossed for Matt Bryant
Matt Bryant has won many a game for the Atlanta Falcons, and he did so once again on Sunday by absolutely nailing a 57-yard field goal in the waning minutes of the game. The afterglow of yet another game-saving Bryant kick was not great, however, as he immediately grabbed his hamstring and had to be helped off of the field. We don’t have any update on this so far, but per the AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter, it doesn’t look good:
#Falcons PK Matt Bryant was dejected in the locker room. Didn’t sound promising. Team PR staff kept him from talking to the media.— D. Orlando Ledbetter (@DOrlandoAJC) October 14, 2018
That sounds pretty dismal for Atlanta’s all-time scoring leader, but we’ll continue to hold out hope that it isn’t as serious as it seems. If he is hurt, we’ll run down some potential options at kicker in the days ahead.