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Falcons vs. Colts: 3 Falcons up, 3 Falcons down after Week 3 loss in Indianapolis

Fact: Devonta Freeman can sharpen a pencil with his teeth

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Indianapolis Colts Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

I’d like to call yesterday’s loss inexplicable. I’d like to say the team simply lived up to expectations. I’d like to say there’s a silver lining. But I can’t. I just can’t. The Falcons are spiraling and there are more questions than answers right now.

Looking forward, it’s hard to envision a turnaround, even for this eternal optimist. At 1-2, the Falcons have got to get it together quickly, before the entire season goes up in flames. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best and worst performances from yesterday’s game.

Three Falcons Up

Devonta Freeman

Freeman’s 2019 was off to a slow start, but he came out swinging against the Colts, averaging 5.5 yards/carry on the day. His 28-yard run during the Falcons’ first offensive drive was equal parts exciting and nostalgic. Freeman’s 88 rushing yards was more consistent with the production the Falcons have come to expect from their RB1. Given that Ito Smith is likely to miss some time, the Falcons need Freeman to be hitting on all cylinders and it looks like he’s starting to do just that.

Austin Hooper

Hooper came into the season fresh off his first trip to the Pro Bowl. He has since picked up right where he left off in 2018. Hooper racked up 66 receiving yards on 6 receptions yesterday, scoring twice. He’s just ... solid.

Julio Jones

Jones nabbed yet another touchdown reception and surpassed the century mark (128 receiving yards) for the second time in two weeks. If Julio can manage 4 receiving yards next weekend, he will be the fastest wide receiver to accumulate 11,000 receiving yards in NFL history. (Julio has played in 114 games. Calvin Johnson did it in 127 games.)

Three Falcons Down

Matt Ryan

Ryan found himself on this list last week, and I hate to put him here again, but when you throw 6 interceptions over the season’s first 10 quarters, someone is going to hit the alarm bell. It’s not clear what Ryan is struggling with his decision making or why, but a moratorium on targeting Luke Stocker near the end zone would be a good start as he looks to right the ship. Ryan did turn things around in the third quarter, completing 12 of 12 passes and earning a passer rating of 140. Ultimately his stat line was solid (29/34 passing, 3 touchdown passes and 1 interception) but that early reception was a momentum killer.

The Falcons secondary

Sure, the pass rush got off to a slow start. And sure, the secondary had looked pretty solid through the first two games. But Jacoby Brissett completing his first 15 passes is unacceptable. Hopefully the unit can get back to playing like they did against the Eagles but Brissett’s early success in this game set up the Colts’ running game

Dan Quinn

The embattled head coach has a difficult road ahead if things don’t change. His seat was warm headed into the game. Now, after another inexplicably lackluster performance, his seat is officially “hot.” If the Falcons can’t rattle off a couple wins in the near future, he may not make it to the bye week. Look, I like Quinn. I think his coaching skill set is valuable and he’s got an uncanny eye for talent, but the lack of disciplined football we’re seeing from this team (the Falcons have now racked up 35 penalties for 264 yards) is his responsibility.

Are you frustrated, Falcoholics? Good, you should be.