New Orleans is a very difficult place to win no matter what kind of season you’re having. For a 1-7 Falcons team, that task looked insurmountable. That’s why it is impressive that this offense went into that stadium, put up 26 points and walked away with a blowout victory. It wasn’t a perfect game from the offense, but it was good enough on a dominant day for the defense. Let’s take a look at some of our offensive player of the game candidates.
His stat line is somewhat underwhelming. He completed 20 of 35 passes for only 182 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 mostly meaningless interception. Yet, it seemed like some of those completions came at the exact right moment to keep critical drives alive. Ryan - on a bum ankle - also scrambled a few times to keep drives alive, showing that no matter the record, the team’s QB will never go down without a fight. It was not a great statistical day for him, but his fight to win can’t be denied.
The offensive line
The Saints defense can get after the passer. Cameron Jordan has regularly tormented Matt Ryan throughout his career, yet on Sunday, this heavily scrutinized unit came together. The running game was hugely effective for most of the game and Ryan often had enough time to survey the field. We needed to see more out of these guys and they delivered big time. Let’s hope this is a sign of things to come.
Sometimes it’s not just about the numbers. Yes, Jones had 3 catches for 79 yards, but it was clear the Saints defense made it a priority to stop him. That coverage allowed guys like Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage and even Christian Blake to contribute throughout the game.
Devonta Freeman was having a strong game before he went down with a foot injury. When Hill was asked to carry the load, he did so. With 20 carries for 61 yards and a receiving touchdown, Hill showed he can be more than just a situational guy.
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Falcons vs. Saints: OPOG
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The offensive line