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How the game was won
We spent a lot of yesterday breaking down the hows, whats, and who-did-bests of the game on Sunday, as you might imagine.
We checked in on who was up and down after the game, how the Falcons managed to stave off yet another heartbreaking loss, how the team emerged from a game filled with injury news in relatively good shape, and how the rest of a suddenly injury-and-incompetence riddled NFC South looks today.
There’ll be a lot more to talk about in the days ahead, including snap counts and the like, but suffice to say we’re in a celebratory mood even as we break this thing down.
Drew Brees and the thumb that changed the South
Someday, Tom Brady’s deal with the devil is going to run out and he’s going to shriek and turn into a pile of sand. It’s been an ugly week for the mere mortals in the old QB club, with only Phillip Rivers emerging relatively unscathed from an injury bug that wiped out Ben Roethlisberger’s 2019 season and is likely to cost Drew Brees half the year.
That last injury has changed the complexion of the NFC South. The Saints squeezed by the Texans in Week 1 but were no match for the Rams minus their aging star QB, and without him their potent offense is going to slow down and the cracks in the defense will only become more evident. Our own Matthew Chambers explores why Carolina’s ineptitude, Tampa Bay’s many question marks, and that Brees injury have conspired to open up the NFC South, if the Falcons are interested in grabbing it.
Ra’Shede Hageman waived/injured
In a move that the Falcons foreshadowed weeks ago, Ra’Shede Hageman has been waived/injured by the team. Atlanta will roll on with Grady Jarrett, Tyeler Davison, Jack Crawford and Deadrin Senat on the interior, with John Cominsky mixing in whenever he damn well pleases.
Technically, if Hageman clears waivers now that he’s eligible to come off his NFL suspension, he’ll revert to injured reserve for the Falcons. The team has indicated they don’t have any particular interest in keeping him around, however, and I wouldn’t expect him to be here a year from now when the Falcons are sorting out their defensive tackle depth. Hopefully he’ll be able to land elsewhere in 2020.