There’s nothing I can say to make you feel better about what the Falcons did yesterday. After an 0-2 start, they desperately needed a win to salvage their season and Dave Choate’s sobriety. Instead, they took a commanding lead into the second half and still found a way to lose. It was, in a word, “rough.”
The Falcons have a lot of soul-searching to do going forward. The injuries are piling up and it’s anyone’s guess how bad things will need to get before Arthur Blank cuts ties with Dan Quinn. But before we take the long journey down that bumpy, windy road ahead, let’s take a quick at some of the best and worst individual performances from Falcons-Bears.
3 Falcons Up
I’ve been in Hill’s corner since the Falcons drafted him, and I like to toot my horn about it. He needed a little bit of seasoning to prove himself, but his 35-yard rushing touchdown with 4:37 to play in the first half was fun to watch and it put the Falcons ahead, 16-3. With Todd Gurley getting off to a slow start, let’s hope the Falcons find a way to get Hill more involved going forward.
The chemistry that Ridley has with franchise quarterback Matthew Thomas Ryan is something. Ridley managed to rack up 110 receiving yards on 5 receptions, including a 63-yard gem of a touchdown reception on the offense’s third play of the game. There will come a time in the not so distant where Ridley takes over as the Falcons’ WR1, and we may be witnessing the beginning of that transition now.
You have to feel for Jarrett. He’s an otherworldly interior pass rusher, but the walls are crumbling all around him. Jarrett logged a sack, 2 QB hits, and 2 tackles for loss in yesterday’s loss. In short, just another day for the star defensive tackle.
3 Falcons Down
Oh, Dan, how far you’ve fallen. This has gone from frustrating to sad to embarrassing really quick. I wish Blank would just pull the trigger, but it looks like the Falcons will need to fall into a deeper hole before that happens.
I hate to include Ryan on this list, but it’s a necessary evil. He simply wasn’t himself yesterday, throwing a late interception that sealed the Bears’ victory.
Here’s what Pro Football Focus had to say about Ryan’s performance Sunday:
“While he didn’t face the heat often on the day (just 12 dropbacks), he completed only two passes under duress, gaining eight yards.”
Can’t blame this one on the offensive line, unfortunately.
Signing Todd Gurley seemed like a good idea at the time. It really did. His knee injury could be managed and the UGA alum would get a chance at a career resurgence in Atlanta. The results have been ... lackluster. Gurley has just 197 rushing yards through 3 games. He does have 2 rushing touchdowns, but neither has blown my socks off. What’s more, he’s been a complete non-factor in the passing game, pulling in only 3 catches on 7 targets. I’m unimpressed.