Little did I understand what I was signing up for when I volunteered to write a “player of the game” article for that game.
Nevertheless, like the Joker:
Therefore, we gather today to celebrate none other than Wayne Gallman! Yes, Wayne Gallman. He of the 15-carry, 55-yard triumph for which we congregate today.
Where would we be without the 17-yard carry he had on the final play of the third quarter? What about the big 10-yard run on first down late in the game? Still on the wrong end of a 43-3 blowout? Yep, that’s true.
But, on a more serious note, Gallman at least provided something worth praising. He ran hard while the game was far out of hand, which should give some insight into the culture Arthur Smith and his staff are trying to instill. This is as much about the process of getting batter as it is the week-to-week results.
Sure, winning the games matters. Smith knows that more than anyone. This isn’t a zero-sum game, though, and the Falcons know they are building to something more than just this one season. Gallman’s willingness to play hard speaks to a professional’s mindset, yes, but it’s also showing that Smith is bringing in professionals and has them going until the final whistle.
Sunday’s game was the exact opposite of what most expected out of the Falcons in this really tantalizing potential NFC showdown. It turned out to be a matchup that saw Josh Rosen and Gallman playing most of the fourth quarter. Of all the Falcons players in Week 10, at least Gallman took this opportunity seriously.