The Falcons returned from London with a win and enter the bye week at 2-3. We woke early to watch this tilt between two struggling teams but enjoyed a stress-free afternoon and evening of golden slumbers on the heels of the win heading into Victory Monday.
We’ve got hat tips and we’ve got head-scratchers from Atlanta’s Week 5 win over New York.
Kyle Pitts arrives
Good things come to those who wait, and on a day where the Falcons rolled out a skeleton crew of receivers, it was clear that the offense would need to lean on Kyle Pitts.
The rookie tight end was more than ready to carry that weight.
He logged his first touchdown in a professional — sure to be the first of many — in the first quarter of the game; a grab to the back right corner of the end zone where he was one-on-one with a defensive lineman. The disrespect.
Pitts also flashed his receiving prowess with his one-handed snare of a Matt Ryan pass in the third quarter. Just pure brilliance in London from the young tight end on a day that Atlanta desperately needed him to augment the offensive production.
He finished the day with 119 receiving yards and a touchdown to formally introduce himself to the NFL. A hearty ‘Cheerio!’ to you, good sir.
Jaylinn Hawkins jumps the route
The Falcons landed in London staked with the task of fixing a hole in the secondary amid the absence of slot corner Isaiah Oliver, who will miss the remainder of the season.
Second-year safety Jaylinn Hawkins stepped up in a big way, recording his first career interception on the Jets’ second possession.
Hawkins effectively diagnosed the play and read quarterback Zach Wilson’s eyes before jumping the route on a pass intended for wide receiver Keelan Cole. He also was the highest ranked defender on the day, per Pro Football Focus.
Mike Davis meets the moment and moves the pile
While the Falcons sort out their full gameplan on the ground, running back Mike Davis has found himself an unfortunately easy target for a frustrated fanbase. That’s due in part to the unexpected ascension of Cordarrelle Patterson — but the Falcons brought Davis in for a reason and he showed it on Sunday.
In the fourth quarter, with the Falcons desperately needing a score to avoid Falconing away this game to the Jets, Davis got by with a little help from his friends on the offensive line to push the entire pile across the plane.
He’s got short-yardage power, and his late touchdown proved the game-winner in London.
Hayden Hurst loses the handle
Some helter-skelter from Hayden Hurst in this one, as his hands did not seem to want to cooperate once a football was in them.
He lost the football a couple of times with no consequence, but he coughed it up in the first quarter after a 16-yard reception when hit by New York linebacker C.J. Mosley. Of course, that was immediately after Jaylinn Hawkins picked off Zach Wilson, so Atlanta could not capitalize on the interception.
They would hold the Jets to a field goal on their ensuing drive. Hayden Hurst needs to hold on to footballs.
Kickoff return coverage
Washington Football Team wide receiver DeAndre Carter said hello-goodbye last weekend on his 101-yard kickoff return touchdown in Atlanta’s loss, and the special teams woes reared their ugly head again in this one.
Former Falcon Tevin Coleman nearly made a house call on his kickoff return to open the second half, dodging tackles and taking the ball all the way down to New York’s 29-yard-line.
The Falcons have to get the return coverage cleaned up during the bye.