Well, recapping the weekend is definitely bittersweet.
Lets start off with the good.
Matt Ryan’s 5 touchdown effort, a career high, produced a passer rating of 148.1. The bad follows up quickly, because that’s the best quarterback performance in a loss in NFL history. Regardless, Ryan had zero touchdowns and 374 passing yards. Steve Sarkisian has pieced together two great offensive performances back to back, and we may see some hope the team ends up with a top offense.
What’s the deal with Calvin Ridley? The team’s top draft pick was ignored in week 1, produced a little in week 2, and in week 3 we had trouble covering all his touchdowns. Watch his first touchdown here. His second touchdown here. And his third touchdown here.
The Saints had no answer for Ridley, who gained separation at will. Don’t call this one a fluke. Ridley almost had an additional touchdown if not for a missed pass interference call. The offense evolved into a true “pick your poison,” where players like Julio Jones can take up defensive attention and open things up for other players.
Lets get to the real bad. The worst of it is we are bracing for real bad news on Ricardo Allen. You don’t need us to tell you the defense is already decimated by injuries. Losing Allen could be a major hit to an already struggling defense.
Jason Butt of the Athletic thinks it’s time for the Falcons to add some new players to make up for the injuries.
Injuries have caught up to the Falcons in only three weeks, drawing the question of whether they will add a player from outside the organization: https://t.co/wydTdTCj8u— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) September 23, 2018
Vic Beasley has gotten a lot of criticism recently, and heading to the tunnels while the game is still going won’t slow down any of that. However you interpret it, it probably isn’t Beasley turning the corner into a consistent pass rusher.
The Falcons lost yesterday, thanks in part to a few coaching miscues that allowed the Saints both time and opportunity to get the ball back, score, win the coin toss, and reach the end zone. Yes, it was very reminiscent of the Super Bowl. The Falcons were laughably bad with tackling, highlighted by Drew Brees spinning around two defenders to run in a touchdown.
Dan Quinn commercial on proper tackling technique just aired during Sunday night football. The irony pic.twitter.com/2tCIXIlCUl— vaughn mcclure (@vxmcclure23) September 24, 2018
Jeff Schultz of the Athletic has an interesting take on the Falcons. Basically, the Falcons have a pretty low ceiling if they lose games where they put up 37 points.
The Falcons are 1-2. Their ability to not let this season slide off the rails may be directly linked to how many dizzying offensive numbers they can put on the board. The upright remains of this team’s defense just isn’t built for 17-13 wins. https://t.co/VUJvd6SKc2— Jeff Schultz (@JeffSchultzATL) September 24, 2018
The offense looks great, but we need much, much more out of the defense. We know Takkarist McKinley should be back soon, and hopefully Deion Jones and Ricardo Allen won’t be gone for too long. There’s still hope, but right now the current players need to step up.
If that makes you too sad, enjoy our fun new podcast of Crossfire, where our writers debate things like Steve Sarkisian’s future and if Vic Beasley is good or not.