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Falcons vs. Rams: 3 Falcons up, 3 Falcons down after another embarrassing loss

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Fact: at birth, Devonta Freeman slapped his doctor for waking him up from his nap

Los Angeles Rams v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Happy Monday, Falcoholics!

If you’re like me, then you’re still trying to wake up from the nightmare the 2019 season has become. And if you’re like me, you don’t own a futuristic remote control that can fast forward us to next season, but you’re willing to invest unreasonable amounts of money into such a product.

As Falcons fans, we’re required to endure extreme and unreasonable hardship over protracted periods of time, right? So since we’re here anyway, let’s take a look at some of the best and worst individual performances from yesterday’s game.

3 Falcons Up

Matt Schaub

Wowza! Talk about an intriguing prospect! Schaub was perfect in relief of an injured Matt Ryan, completing all of 6 of his passes for 65 passing yards, including a laser-like touchdown pass to Austin Hooper late in the 4th quarter. Schaub simply dazzled onlookers and made a strong case for replacing Ryan long-term. You may be wondering whether cap space can be created to sign Schaub to a multi-year extension before he hits free agency in 2021. But let’s be honest, after they do the right thing and send Ryan packin’, there will be tons of cap space to go around! We’ll be swimmin’ in it! Sure, there aren’t any real problems with Ryan’s numbers this season, but we’re not winning games, and that has to be his fault, right? It’s time for us to hitch our wagon to a different Matt. Schaub! Schaub! Schaub!

Julio Jones

There was a ton of chatter about Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey before the game, but Julio quickly showed him who’s boss, torching Ramsey on a 39 yard reception late in the 2nd quarter. All told, Julio racked up 93 receiving yards on 9 receptions, which is about what we can expect from him in any given week. Lucky us.

Calvin Ridley

Ridley is admittedly getting the nod here because yesterday’s game was generally miserable and there weren’t a lot of standout performances to choose from. That said, Ridley pulled in 4 receptions and threw a gnarly block, and that has to count for something. Speaking of that block ...

3 Falcons Down

Devonta Freeman

Freeman had big goals coming into this season and I’m sure he’s acutely aware of the fact that he hasn’t come close to meeting them. Given that, and because I truly believe he’s being victimized by Dirk Koetter, I don’t want to beat up on Free too much. But he had only 19 rushing yards (on 7 attempts) yesterday. Then he proceeded to get kicked out of the game after making an unwise decision to throw a punch at Aaron Donald. I’m all for playing the game passionately, but the Falcons can’t afford to have their RB1 thrown out of games. All in all, this has been a season to forget for Free. He’s only rushed for more than 30 yards twice, and he hasn’t broken the 100 yard mark or scored a touchdown all year.

Kaleb McGary

Rookies are rookies until they aren’t, so don’t take this as a long-term indictment of McGary, his abilities, or his skill set. What’s more, the entire offensive line struggled mightily yesterday, leaving Ryan on his butt far too often. But Dante Fowler manhandled McGary all game, essentially allowing him to go unblocked on several occasions. Fowler was a man possessed, racking up 3 sacks on the day.

Dan Quinn/Dirk Koetter

That’s right, Quinn is still employed by the Atlanta Falcons back on this list. There’s no use deflecting blame, because the buck stops with Quinn. But this week we’re lumping Quinn and Dirk Koetter in together, which is only fair, given their incredible incompetence. It’s astounding that Koetter has managed to get so little production from this offense, particularly when every position group was considered flush with talent before the season began.