It was a much-too-little, much-too-late performance from the Atlanta Falcons in their 40-14 dismantling of the Arizona Cardinals, but that didn’t make it any less enjoyable. Regardless of where you land in the argument about draft position, you’ve got to admit how good it felt to finally see this team succeed in all phases. It was a fun watch with very few areas to find fault.
Here’s Hat Tips & Head-Scratchers against the Cardinals.
Vic Beasley-Deion Jones alley-oop
One of the biggest offseason questions will be if the Falcons choose to move on from Vic Beasley. He’s been invisible for the bulk of the year, but put together his finest game of the season against Arizona. It started in the first quarter, with Beasley getting his hands on Josh Rosen’s pass intended for David Johnson on a swing route. Making up for last week’s two dropped interceptions, the deflection landed in the waiting hands of Deion Jones who took it back for six — a return where he ran over 19-MPH, by the way. Seems the foot is doing alright.
The play set the tone for the rest of the game, where the Falcons would mercilessly exact a season’s worth of frustrations against the hapless Cardinals.
Tevin Coleman’s big day
Tevin Coleman’s future with the Falcons will be another narrative as we look toward 2019, and he did his level best to remind the franchise on Sunday of what he can bring to the table. Coleman’s had a pretty lousy year as Atlanta’s stand-in feature back, but his explosiveness and breakaway speed were on display against Arizona. He made the most of his 11 carries, starting with a 65-yard run in the first quarter and snapping off a 43-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
He would finish his afternoon with 145 yards and a score, and provided the Falcons with a friendly reminder of what he’s capable of in the ground game.
Brian Poole’s first half
The entire defense turned in a sterling performance against the Arizona Cardinals, but Brian Poole’s first half warrants a mention here. He recovered a Josh Rosen fumble after a Grady Jarrett sack, tallied a sack of his own in the second quarter, and would later follow it with an athletic interception of a pass intended for Larry Fitzgerald. Have a half, sir.
Julio’s touchdown grab
Julio Jones now has six touchdowns on the season, and his snag in the second quarter was highlight reel stuff. Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson appeared to have solid coverage on the play off the line of scrimmage, but Matt Ryan placed a ball just outside of his range and Julio utilized his size and length to stretch for the diving score.
Julio’s game against the Arizona Cardinals put him over 1,500 receiving yards for the third time in his career.
I’m going to just enjoy this one. Sure, Tevin Coleman’s drive-killing illegal shift penalty in the first quarter was an inauspicious start, and Austin Hooper probably should have corralled Matt Ryan’s pass in the end zone. But it would be nitpicking to find discernible head-scratching moments from the Falcons resounding win over the Cardinals.