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How former Falcons fared in Week 5

The struggles continue for some big names, but Foye Oluokun and Hayden Hurst are thriving.

Miami Dolphins v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Atlanta’s sitting at 2-3, having turned in a competitive effort in every single game thus far. Across the league, former Falcons are finding their fortunes with different franchises, and some are thriving on capable teams and some are...well, not.

Let’s get to this week’s review.

QB Matt Ryan

It’s time to start calling Ryan’s season to this point a bit of a disaster. There’s no question that poor line play has been a major factor—in Week 5 against the Broncos, his right tackle surrendered a 2022 NFL-high nine pressures—but we’ve never seen Ryan give away the football at this rate.

Ryan’s sitting on 1,376 yards and five touchdowns, but he’s thrown seven interceptions and fumbled an incredible 11 times. To put that in perspective, Ryan fumbled 11 times all of last year, and 12 was his career high back in 2015. The Colts are at 2-2-1 and still very much in the thick of the AFC South, but they’ve been a mess and Ryan has been a major part of that.

Chances are he’ll stabilize a bit as time goes on and the line makes some strides, because Ryan played on plenty of Falcons teams with shaky lines and shaky ground games and still did well. Even this early, it looks like production-wise 2022 will go down as a new low in Ryan’s career.

WR Julio Jones

Jones had a chance to play his former team on Sunday when the Falcons faced the Buccaneers, but once again he was not healthy enough to suit up. Jones has played in two games and has four grabs for 75 yards in Tampa Bay. If he’s ever able to take the field consistently he’ll like be a major factor for the passing attack there, but it’s hard not to be skeptical of that happening.

WR Russell Gage

He was largely a non-factor against the Falcons as a receiving option, reeling in just two catches for 20 yards. Gage did, however, provide a couple of key blocks for Leonard Fournette on the running back’s big day against Atlanta, so he’s still putting in work in that familiar way.

Gage is up to 23 catches for 175 yards and a touchdown, an average of 7.5 yards per catch, and just hasn’t emerged as one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets consistently. We’ll see if that changes as the season goes on.

TE Hayden Hurst

He’s found a home in Cincinnati. Hurst is just six catches, 64 yards, and a touchdown away from matching his 2021 production Atlanta, and he’s played in just five games. On Sunday, Hurst was a favored target for Joe Burrow, nabbing six of his seven targets for 53 yards and a touchdown. He’s also well on his way to beating his career-best single season marks, and it’s great to see him thriving, even if I remain frustrated it didn’t happen in Atlanta.

We’ll see Hurst in a couple of weeks, and given Atlanta’s struggles with tight ends at times this year, that will be a matchup worth watching.

LB Foye Oluokun

Oluokun’s quality season continues, as he picked up his first sack of the 2022 season and hit Davis Mills twice. The Jaguars are getting exactly what they paid for, and as is the case with Hurst, I’m happy to see him thriving, especially because it’s happening on a team the Falcons don’t have to run into all that often.

DL John Cominsky

He’s still on injured reserve.

RB Mike Davis

One carry for three yards this week. Davis just doesn’t have much of a role in that Baltimore backfield right now.

OLB Dante Fowler Jr.

A quieter day on a season-high number of snaps for Fowler, who did manage a quarterback hit on Matthew Stafford on the day. He continues to be a useful piece of Dan Quinn’s pass rush rotation.

P Thomas Morstead

Three solid punts and a special teams tackle for Morstead this week. If the unfortunate injuries to Tua Tagovailoa and Teddy Bridgewater keep both out, Morstead might get a lot more work this week.

LS Josh Harris

You know the game with Harris. He’s as reliable as they come, no matter where he plays.