Although the Atlanta Falcons have been a laughing stock in the national spotlight this season, they’ve been making a name for themselves in the history books. It’s worth noting that not all of it is positive, actually most of it is bad. Thankfully, week 3 is now behind us, and this series will discuss everything stats for the week, as we turn our attention to week 4.
Before we do that, let’s review where the Falcons stack up in regards to records, seasonal stats leaders, etc. We won’t be diving deep into the analytical side of the numbers put up, but more of a broad outlook on weekly and seasonal stats so we can keep track of milestones and where this team stands with league leaders.
Matt Ryan remains a top-5 passer
Even with the team being winless, Ryan has remained one of the better quarterbacks in the NFL, statistically speaking. Ryan’s first two weeks were solid and even though his week 3 statline wasn’t anything to write home about, he still remains in the top-5. Prior to the Monday Night Football being added, Ryan is 4th in completions (80) and passing touchdowns (7), while he’s 3rd in yardage (961). The run game was more efficient against the Bears this past Sunday which helped Ryan’s over-the-top passing stats normalize. The Falcons will likely be playing from behind next Monday, so I expect his passing numbers to return to being excessive.
Is Calvin Ridley a No. 1 receiver? He’s playing like one
With Julio Jones being out against the Bears, Calvin Ridley had an opportunity to display his No. 1 wide receiver talents. Statistically speak, Ridley is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL right now. In 2020, Ridley finds himself 6th in receptions (21), 2nd in receiving yards (349) and tied for 1st in receiving touchdowns (4). Ridley came close to joining an exclusive on Sunday, as he needed 100 reception yards and a touchdown to become the fifth player in NFL history to have at least 100 receiving yards and a touchdown in each of his team’s first three games of a season. Ridley finished the game with 110 yards but no touchdowns.
Most forced fumbles in 2020 belong to Foye Oluokun
Although the Falcons defense finds itself at the bottom of most defensive categories in 2020, Foye Oluokun is at the top on one. Through three games in 2020, Oluokun has the most forced fumbles (3) in the NFL. Although it’s not a groundbreaking stat, and all of it came against the Dallas Cowboys in week 2, it’s still something.
Making NFL history for blowing leads
If Super Bowl LI wasn’t enough, the Falcons have cemented themselves as the NFL’s premiere team in blowing leads. On Sunday, the Falcons became the first team in NFL history to lose back-to-back games despite leading by 15+ points in the 4th quarter in both games. Not only that, but no NFL team in the last 20 seasons has blown multiple 15+ points leads in the 4th quarter in a single season. It’s an embarrassing stat, but one that needs to be known.
Julio Jones closing in on two different franchise records
Since he was inactive on Sunday, Julio Jones remains just as close to two franchise records as he did following week 2. The first franchise record is most receptions (808), which he’s currently tied with Roddy White for. Jones has accomplished this feat with 109 fewer targets and 1,443 yards more yards than White.
The second franchise record is receiving touchdowns (63), which is also currently held by White. Jones has 57 career receiving touchdowns and is only 7 away from have the franchise record. When this actually happens is anybody’s guess however.
Falcons start 0-3 for the first time since 2007
Unless you’re a newer fan, 2007 is arguably the worst season in franchise history. The Falcons were forced to move on from Michael Vick, and started the season with Joey Harrington at quarterback and Bobby Petrino as head coach. The team went on to finish 4-12, which prompted them a high selection in the draft where they selected quarterback Matt Ryan.