The Falcons dropped an important division game to our rival New Orleans Saints in a shoot-out that surprised no one. That said, it’s not often that your QB can put up over 370 yards with 5 TDs and no turnover and still lose the game. It was a frustrating loss that fans will undoubtedly analyze deeply over the next week. Here are the takeaways from the game.
The offense and Calvin Ridley are for real
A week after putting up 31 points on a good Carolina defensive front, the Falcons put up an impressive 37 points against another good defensive front. People will talk about some of the lost opportunities, but it is hard to argue with 37 points from your offense, including near perfection in the red zone.
Any concerns that Calvin Ridley would disappear also were quickly dispensed. He absolutely torched the Saints with 7 receptions for 146 yards and 3 touchdowns. On a day where the opposing team sold out to stop Julio, Ridley showed he can punish them for doing so. It’s an amazing one-two punch that we’ll need to survive the potential demise of a once promising defense.
This defense could end up as one of the worst in the league
I know people don’t like excuses, but the Falcons are decimated on defense. This team is literally down four starters now and we eagerly await the status of Ricardo Allen. If he is out for significant time, every leader on this defense will be sitting on the bench.
The Falcons will have lost both starting safeties, our starting middle linebacker and our starting defensive end. That is just too much for any team to overcome and it could result in a defense that is gashed regularly, as they were today. The team won’t face Drew Brees every week, but this could be a painful stretch of football, especially with the hopes and expectations fans came into this season with.
It’s not over ... yet
If the Falcons offense can continue to play this way, they will keep this team in a lot of games. If they can survive long enough, they should get back some key guys on defense that could slow down the hemorrhaging. It’s not an ideal scenario, and the margin for error is perilously thin, but the season is far from over.