The Falcons played some lackluster football yesterday. But that’s what we’ve come to expect this season, isn’t it? I don’t know where this team goes from here, but there’s plenty of soul searching to be done.
For now, let’s highlight some of the best and worse performances from yesterday’s loss, shall we?
Three Falcons Up
Hooper caught 9 balls yesterday, good for 130 receiving yards. He just doesn’t stop, and as reliable targets go, Matt Ryan is damn lucky to have him. Hooper is on pace for nearly 1,000 (944) receiving yards this season, for what that’s worth.
Campbell was all over the field yesterday. The man racked up 17 tackles, forced 2 fumbles, and threw in a couple tackles for a loss for good measure. He did all that notwithstanding a rib injury that had been nagging him all week. Campbell hasn’t had the breakout season we hoped he would, but there was no questioning his effort yesterday.
The Falcons run defense
Derrick Henry is a big boy. At 6’3, 245 pounds, he’s not an easy running back to contain. And coming into Sunday’s game, defenders were only tackling him on first contact at a 57 percent clip (6th best in the NFL). Henry rushed the ball 27 times and gained 100 yards on the ground, which on its face is a solid stat line. But Henry only gained 29 yards during the entire first half. And Vic Beasley managed to stuff Henry on a 4th and 1 early in the fourth quarter. In short, while imperfect, the run D wasn’t horrible today.
Three Falcons Down
Quinn is a good guy. He’s got plenty of positive attributes, including but not limited to his uncanny ability to sloganize pretty much everything the team does. But the writing is on the wall now, and it’s written in sharpie. I don’t how much longer the Falcons will continue to dance around the inevitable, but something’s got to give.
Notwithstanding last week’s performance, Freeman hasn’t been his same self this season. He carried the ball 12 times for 28 yards yesterday, marking the third game this season where he’s been held to less than 30 rushing yards. Free is averaging only 3.3 yards/carry this season, which is a little shocking, all things considered.
Trufant had a rough day on Sunday. He’s looked like his best self through the first month of the season, but he regressed substantially agains the Titans. Yesterday was just not his day. Rookie wide receiver AJ Brown made Trufant look downright foolish twice, once on a way-too-easy play-action pass that resulted in a touchdown and later on a fade route that also resulted in a touchdown. Trufant gets the benefit of the doubt because of his play through the first 3 games of the season, but yesterday’s performance was hard to watch.
Again, it’s difficult to know where this team goes from year. Can they rattle off 2-3 wins and somehow recapture some of the optimism we reveled in during training camp and the preseason? Or is this just the tip of the mediocrity iceberg? If it’s the latter, then it’s time to buckle our seatbelts, because we’re in for a bump ride.
Discuss, Falcoholics. Discuss.