In their first meeting against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season, the Atlanta Falcons lost. The 4-10 Falcons will travel to face the Kansas City Chiefs next week, and then head south to face the Buccaneers again to wrap up the regular season.
For now though, all we can do is try to enjoy the games and look for some optimism, if any is to be found. This won’t be a deep dive into the analytical side of the numbers put up, but more of a broad outlook on random stats and factoids, and any records that may have been broken over the weekend.
Without further ado, lets get started.
Matt Ryan passes Fran Tarkenton on career passing touchdowns list
Heading into Sunday’s matchup with the Buccaneers, Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan stood at 11th all-time in passing touchdowns in a career with 340 passing touchdowns. Due to his three passing touchdowns, he has now moved into 10th all-time passing Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton who played for both the Minnesota Vikings and New York Giants from 1961-1978.
Younghoe Koo breaks franchise record for field goals made in a season
One of the few bright spots this season is knowing the Falcons are likely set at kicker for the next decade. The team had a rough transition from Falcons legend Matt Bryant to Koo, but Koo is now performing as well as anyone could hope. On Sunday, Koo made his 35th field goal of the season, breaking the franchise record of 34 field goals made in a season held by Bryant in 2016 and 2017. With two games remaining, and the Falcons horrible red zone offense which has put Koo into prime position throughout the season, there’s no reason he can’t kick a few more.
Falcons in the record books for blowing leads
I know, it’s exhausting. The Falcons have built themselves a culture where losing is in their DNA and blowing leads for absolutely no logical reason is just what they do. It’s a stigma that the team won’t let go away and only continue to double-down on it.
After being up 24-7 in the third quarter, the Falcons allowed the Buccaneers to come back and win, naturally. In 2020. only two teams have lost three games where they led by at least 14 points — the Los Angeles Chargers and Falcons. Also, the Falcons are the third team since 1940 to have multiple games in a season where they led by 17+ at halftime and lost. This is fun.
Tom Brady is now 7-0 all-time against Falcons
When it’s all said and done, Tom Brady will probably go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame considered as the best quarterback in NFL history. In his historic career, he has a huge undefeated streak against one team, the Falcons. Entering Sunday’s game, the Falcons were actually tied with the Minnesota Vikings who, thanks to their week 14 game, joined the Falcons at 0-6 all-time against Brady. The Falcons departed the pairing a week later, losing the Brady and the Buccaneers 27-31. They’ll also face him again in two weeks, giving him another chance to take the record further.
Ridley nearing the top-10 franchise list in receiving yardage in a single season
On Sunday, Calvin Ridley recorded 163 receiving yards which put him at 1,192 receiving yards in 2020. This is good enough for the 17th most receiving yards in a single season, passing up Eric Metcalf’s 1,189 receiving yards in 1995. What makes this so impressive is Ridley missed a game earlier this season, and was shutout against the Green Bay Packers in week 4, failing to record a catch. With two games remaining, Ridley is on pace for 1,375 receiving yards, which would put him at 9th all-time. The eight listed ahead of him are all Julio Jones and Roddy White, and they were selected to the Pro Bowl in each of those seasons.