After a drubbing in Week 1 on the road against the Vikings, the Falcons desperately needed to show substantial improvement at home against the Eagles on Sunday night. Thankfully, they did on both sides of the ball and writing these articles is far less painful this week.
Though Matt Ryan threw for 320 yards and three TDs, he’s left off of this week’s list because of his uncharacteristic 3 interceptions. I fully expect he’ll be back on these lists in the very near future.
The star receiver was quiet for most of the night but came through when it mattered most. His insane 54-yard touchdown reception on the quick screen showed us why he’s one of the best in the league and also made him the Falcons’ all-time receiving leader. He finished with 5 receptions for 106 yards and two touchdowns on the evening.
The second-year receiver has started his 2019 season off with two strong games. Ridley was more consistent throughout this contest, regularly beating his guys and getting open for Ryan. He finished with eight receptions for 105 yards and a beautiful deep ball touchdown. He’s quickly becoming a terrifying weapon that other defenses now have to account for.
While Devonta Freeman was mostly effective in the passing game, Ito Smith continues to be the better back on the ground through two games. He had four carries for 32 yards, including an impressive run in which he juked the entire stadium out of their pants. Smith has hammered home that he’s a very capable replacement for Tevin Coleman.
The offensive line
The Eagles defensive front is a great unit, but this rag-tag bunch of guys on the offensive line held their own for most of the night. They weren’t perfect, but considering the injury to McGary during the game and Jamon Brown having to start at right guard for the first time, this unit held up better than expected. Throw in the absolutely brutal block by Jake Matthews to free Julio up for his game-winning touchdown reception and you have an overall good performance for a unit that was awful just one week prior.
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The offensive line