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Falcons vs. Packers: Hat tips and head-scratchers

The head-scratchers are piling up.

Atlanta Falcons v Green Bay Packers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Another embarrassment, this time in front of a national audience! Atlanta’s season is in shambles and we’ve got some head-scratchers from Monday’s loss against Green Bay.

Hat Tips

The fourth-down stop

If Monday night’s game against the Packers was to change at any moment, this was it. With the Packers already already up 7-0 in the first quarter and on the goal line, they elected to go for it on 4th-and-1. Atlanta’s defensive line responded in a big way, generating solid penetration up the middle which cleared the way for Deion Jones and Jaylinn Hawkins to snare Jamaal Williams and stop him short of the touchdown.

Olamide Zaccheaus’s catch

Wide receiver Olamide Zaccheaus received a lot of attention from Matt Ryan last night, leading the team with 8 targets and 86 receiving yards. His hat tip, however, comes courtesy of his third quarter catch.

Weaving through traffic, Zaccheaus was targeted, bobbled the pass, and eventually came down with it between two defenders to move the chains. Excellent awareness in space to reel in the football.

Matt Ryan tosses a block for Gurley’s touchdown

He may not have had a very good day with his arm, but the rest of his body was a key component to Todd Gurley’s second touchdown of the evening. With the Falcons down 27-9 and in the red zone, Gurley found no space up the middle and darted to the left end. Ryan came in and laid a solid shoulder block to ensure the space and the touchdown.


Head-Scratchers

Nobody picks up Aaron Jones on first touchdown

The Packers made mincemeat out Atlanta’s defense on their opening drive and we got our first head-scratcher of the night. With Green Bay facing a 2nd & Goal from Atlanta’s six-yard-line, there was obvious miscommunication between Isaiah Oliver and Jaylinn Hawkins on who they would be covering. Both followed tight end Robert Tonyan, leaving Aaron Jones wide open for the Packer’s first touchdown of the game.

Matt Ryan’s bad night

Quarterback Matt Ryan was very good for the first couple of weeks in the 2020 NFL season, but his play has been lackluster in Atlanta’s last two losses. Against the Packers he was repeatedly mistiming throws or missing his targets altogether, and he did not seem to have his normal zip on the football. He missed Calvin Ridley for a touchdown on Atlanta’s final possession, sealing the win for Green Bay.

Deion Jones’ coverage on Tonyan’s second touchdown

Coverage is one of linebacker Deion Jones’ fortes, but he did have a notable lapse against the Packers before the first half concluded. With Green Bay in Atlanta’s red zone, Aaron Rodgers flipped a quick pass to tight end Robert Tonyan across the middle. Tonyan was able to establish easy inside leverage in front of the goal line, leaving Jones trailing the play. Touchdown Packers, and they entered the locker room up 21-3.