It’s hard to put into words just how upsetting yesterday’s loss was for Falcons fans. It’s been a difficult off-season and a win to start the year would’ve been ... well, nice. But we simply can’t have nice things and a disappointing loss is what the doctor ordered. Deal with it.
Let’s take a look at some of the best and worst performances from Sunday’s loss.
3 Falcons Up
Koo knocked two, 49-yard field goals yesterday. I don’t care about the botched point after attempt, it’s clear this kid will be more confident from longer distances going forward. He also had another successful onside kick. It’s going to be exciting to watch him kick this season, and it looks like he and rookie holder/punter Sterling Hofrichter are on the same page.
The defensive line
Holy pass rush, Batman. The Falcons generated a healthy amount of pressure all day, racking up 4 sacks. Dante Fowler, Jr. had a particularly nice play during the first half while playing run defense. He shed his blocker, set the edge, and stopped the running back in the backfield. Fowler is going to do his damage as a pass rusher, but his willingness to play hard against the run today spoke volumes. Meanwhile Grady Jarrett had 1.5 sacks and Takk McKinley set a franchise record with 5 QB pressures during the first half. There’s a lot to like about what we saw from this unit.
The passing attack
You don’t expect to lose games where you have 3 receivers over 100 yards receiving. But alas, these are the Falcons. They make mind-numbing mediocrity look good. Not only did Matt Ryan pass John Elway for 9th overall on the NFL’s passing yards leaderboard, he managed to throw for 450 yards with Jamal Adams in his face all day.
3 Falcons Down
Isaiah Oliver getting absolutely torched by D.K. Metcalfe was such a perfect moment. Yes, perfect—it perfectly summarized the beating the Falcons secondary took yesterday. But it wasn’t just Oliver getting embarrassed. (And let’s be clear, I’m looking at Jeff Ulbrich and Raheem Morris and wondering why man coverage with a single-high safety was the right call there.) Oh, and A.J. Terrell gave up a completion every time he was targeted. So that’s fun!
Oh, Dan. Dan, Dan, Dan. Not only did your team fail to convert any of your ill-advised refusals to punt yesterday, they opted to include an ugly, botched fake punt/fumble thing, just for good measure.
There’s just no reason this team didn’t score more points earlier in that game. It’s inexcusable. Someone is responsible and that someone is Koetter.