Dejected. That’s how I feel right now. I hate to admit it, but I let them fool me. I believed the hype after what appeared to be a successful second half turnaround in 2019 and a solid off-season. I shouldn’t have, but I did. Shame on me.
Where do the Falcons go from here? I have no idea, but the road ahead won’t be pleasant. Grab your barf bags, because you’re going to need them. Let’s take a look at some of the best and worst individual performances from Monday night’s loss.
3 Falcons Up
Zaccheaus was the Falcons’ leading receiver Monday night, pulling in 8 receptions on 9 targets. His sure handed performance was timely because Julio Jones didn’t play during the second half and Calvin Ridley didn’t catch a ball all night. Zaccheaus racked up 86 receiving yards, including a 16 yard reception. Say what you want about this team, they’re still deep at receiver.
As much as we worried about McGary’s NFL pedigree last season, he’s met and exceeded expectations during the first quarter of his sophomore campaign. According to Pro Football Focus, he’s logged 117 pass blocking snaps this season, surrendering only a single pressure. He garnered a 73.5 rating from PFF, making him the Falcons’ 4th highest rated offensive player last night.
With a PFF rating of 67.6, Harris was the Falcons’ highest rated defender last night. He only had two tackles, but he made them count, logging 1 sack and 1 tackle for loss. Harris was also the only defensive player to log a sack last night. Notwithstanding his relatively small price tag in 2020 (cap number of $1.9 million), Harris has been more productive than Dante Fowler (cap number of $6.6 million this year, $18.6 million in 2021, and $19.6 million in 2022).
3 Falcons Down
Ryan just wasn’t himself last night, and that was particularly evident as he and Calvin Ridley struggled to get on the same page during the first two offensive possessions. Ryan did manage to put up 285 passing yards and QBR of 79.7, but he threw some lackluster balls, particularly under pressure. In short, Ryan has shown us over the last two weeks that he isn’t perfect. He’s going to need some help from the coaching staff and his supporting cast going forward.
I often wonder if Koetter just sits up at night, thinking up new, creative ways to waste football talent and frustrate the Falcons fan base. His play calling is abysmal and he needs to go. Immediately.
Fry knocked down a 23 yard field goal and went 1 for 2 on point after attempts. That said, the Falcons appeared hesitant to deploy Fry, suggesting his tenure with the team might be short-lived.