It’s the first day of the off-season. Instead of gearing up for a playoff run, the Falcons will return to Flowery Branch, pack up their lockers, and start to look forward to 2020. This is not what we envisioned at the beginning of the season. All that said, a 6-2 second half capped off with a thrilling overtime victory over the Buccaneers isn’t the worst way to end the year.
Let’s take a look at some of the best and worst individual performances from yesterday’s game.
3 Falcons Up
Touchdown! Ty’s 35 yard touchdown reception was the longest touchdown reception for a player that weighs 300+ pounds in NFL history. He has a bit of a tortured history in Atlanta, and his contract was a bad idea. But that was fun to watch nonetheless.
Young Money knocked down 5 field goals today, including a 45 yarder and a 33 yarder that sent the game into overtime. You’d like to see him show that he can be relied on from 50+ yards, but given his overall consistency and uncanny onside kick skills, the job is probably his to lose in 2020.
Ricardo Allen said linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich forecasted Jones’ game-winning pick six in overtime, which is neat. Jones also recovered a Ronald Jones fumble during the first quarter. All in all, a solid day.
3 Falcons Down
Ryan’s performance today was emblematic of his year as a whole. His line (30/51 for 313 yards with 1 passing touchdown) won’t blow your socks off, and he looked apprehensive at times. That probably has something to do with this:
Matt Ryan has taken 48 sacks this season, the most ever in his career. He also missed a game due to injury, so this number has occurred in 15 games.— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) December 29, 2019
I know, he’s a rookie. And the NFL learning curve is real. But McGary was abused by the Buccaneers pass rush throughout the game. He needs to show considerable improvement in 2020.
The Falcons haven’t decided what they intend to do with Koetter. We know Dan Quinn is “inclined” to stick with Koetter, but it’s anyones guess what that means. Aside from Sambrailo’s 35 yard TD reception, the offense was anything but spectacular yesterday. It’s time for Dirk to go.