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Falcons vs. Buccaneers: 3 Falcons up, 3 Falcons down after Atlanta gets Tom Brady’d again

Fact: Matt Ryan invented pork hash

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NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Atlanta Falcons Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Where do the Falcons go from here? That’s the question we all need to be asking right now. Sure, Matt Ryan’s bounce back performance should engender some confidence moving forward. And sure, holding off Tom Brady with a decimated secondary is never an easy task. But I am genuinely curious what the next 9 months look like for the Falcons. And I sincerely hope dramatic changes are made between now and the start of the 2021 season.

Let’s take a look at some of the best and worst individual performances from yesterday’s gut wrenching loss.

3 Falcons Up

Matt Ryan

Ryan played through what appeared to be a rib injury yesterday and still put up 356 passing yards, throwing touchdown passes to Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage, and Hayden Hurst. He also hit a couple of significant statistical milestones, becoming only the 9th player in NFL history to throw for 55,000 passing yards and cracking the NFL’s top ten all-time for passing touchdowns.

Younghoe Koo

Koo knocked down his 35th (a 52-yarder) and 36th field goals of the season yesterday, setting the Falcons’ single season record for converted field goals. Koo has now knocked down 35 of his 36 field goal attempts this season, including 8 of 8 from 50+ yards. He hasn’t missed a field goal since Week 3.

Calvin Ridley

Ridley caught 10 balls (14 targets) yesterday, including a 33-yard reception. For what it’s worth, that’s the first time Ridley has caught 10 balls in a game. He racked up 163 receiving yards and scored once. In short, Ridley is playing like the WR1 the Falcons hoped he could be.

3 Falcons Down

Todd Gurley

Gurley continues to be essentially a non-factor. The Falcons called his number only 3 times yesterday, twice on passing plays. Gurley’s only rush of the day went for -1 yards. As a reminder, the Falcons are paying Gurley $5.5 million this year in exchange for 3.5 yards/carry.

A.J. Terrell

I know Terrell’s mere presence here will elicit hysteria from some of you, but notwithstanding his impressive rookie campaign, yesterday just wasn’t his day.

This is what PFF had to say about Terrell’s performance against the Buccaneers:

On the defensive side of the ball, rookie A.J. Terrell was overwhelmed by the Buccaneers’ talent at wide receiver. He was targeted 12 times and allowed nine receptions and eight first downs.

Raheem Morris

When your team takes a 17-0 lead into the second half and allows their opponent do what the Buccaneers were able to do in the 3rd and 4th quarters, the buck has to stop with the head coach. Even with a huge, bounce back performance from Ryan, the defense couldn’t find a way to maintain a lead. Even if the secondary was being held together with spit and duct tape, something went horribly awry during the second half, and whether it’s fair or not, I blame Morris.