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Falcons vs. Broncos: 3 Falcons up, 3 Falcons down after Week 9 victory at home

Fact: Matt Ryan’s Christmas tree decorates itself

Denver Broncos v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Falcons defeated the Broncos yesterday in a game they almost threw away during the 4th quarter. But in the end, they walked away with the W, and I suppose that’s all that matters. At 3-6, the Falcons are still in a very deep hole. The fact that they’ve gone 3-1 since Dan Quinn was fired is equal parts confounding and maddening. But it is what it is; it’s not like they can go back and re-play those first 5 games.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the best and worst individual performances from yesterday’s Week 9 victory.

3 Falcons Up

Matt Ryan

Ryan went 25/35 yesterday, racking up 284 passing yards. He threw 3 touchdown passes and 1 interception on an underthrown ball. But notwithstanding the absence of Calvin Ridley, Matt Ryan lit up the Broncos secondary, completing 5 passes over 20 yards. His 51-yard touchdown pass to Olamide Zaccheaus capped off the Falcons’ second offensive drive, put the Falcons ahead 10-0, and effectively set the offensive tone for the rest of the game.

Foye Oluokun

Foye sacked Drew Lock for an 11-yard loss on the first play of the Broncos’ third offensive possession. They punted 2 plays later. Foye nearly sacked Lock a second time during the fourth quarter. He also added some solid special teams play (recovered onside kick), stout run defense, and a tackle for loss for good measure. In short, Foye does everything and continues to have a breakout year.

Olamide Zaccheus

Zaccheus’ one-handed catch during the Falcons’ first offensive drive forecast his big day. He racked up 103 receiving yards on 4 receptions (6 targets), including the aforementioned 51-yard strike from Ryan that put the Falcons ahead, 10-0. The Falcons have no shortage of talent at wide receiver, as evidenced by the fact that Zaccheus is the their WR4.

3 Falcons Down

Brian Hill

Hill managed a pedestrian 24 rushing yards on 8 attempts. He also dropped a key pass with 7 minutes to play in the 4th quarter. That was Hill’s only target all day, and after the ball slipped through his hands, the Falcons were forced to punt. The Broncos then managed to put another 14 points on the board, coming within a touchdown of tying the Falcons in the game’s final minutes. In Hill’s defense, he’d caught 16 of 19 balls thrown his way this season, so this particular dropped pass was an anomaly.

Russell Gage

Gage caught 2 balls today (6 targets), infuriating fantasy owners who expected him to break out with Ridley sidelined. He also got hit with an offsides penalty.

Matt Schaub

Schaub didn’t complete a single pass yesterday. He also dropped his clipboard at least once.