The former Falcons report returns, and this week brings us quality games for a pair of ex-Atlanta legends, a rough moment for a 2021 defender, and unfortunately some injury news. Here’s the weekly report.
QB Matt Ryan
Jim Irsay basically melted down the Colts. After they stood 3-3-1 but had played a lot of lousy football, Irsay was reportedly behind the decision to bench Matt Ryan in favor of Sam Ehlinger, which was followed by the canning of offensive coordinator Marcus Brady and ultimately head coach Frank Reich. There were a lot of unhappy people when he installed Jeff Saturday, a former Colts great and until recently an NFL analyst with very limited high school coaching experience, as the new head coach.
That hire may work out and it may not, but it’s obviously spitting in the face of the work of the Fritz Pollard Alliance and the spirit if not the outright letter of the Rooney Rule. Despite all that chaos, the Colts won on Sunday against the Raiders, and they did so with Matt Ryan at the helm of the offense.
Ryan picked up where he had left off before the unexpected benching, playing pretty efficient football. He completed 75% of his passes for 222 yards and a touchdown with zero turnovers, only the second time Ryan had done so this season, and added a career-long (and frankly awesome) 39 yard scramble on the day against the hapless Raiders. He’ll likely start the rest of the season, and if the Colts are going to salvage anything out of this year, Ryan will be a major part of it. It’s good to see him back out there.
WR Julio Jones
Julio’s finally chained together some games, and as predicted, he’s become a major piece of the passing attack. This was his best effort of the season thus far, as he hauled in three grabs for 53 yards and his second touchdown of the season, showing that as long as he’s healthy enough to play, he’s still Julio.
Unfortunately for all of us, the Buccaneers passing attack appears to be finding its footing a little bit, even if it’s still far from terrific. Julio will be a major part of that so long as he’s healthy, and we may or may not see him in Week 18.
LB De’Vondre Campbell
Campbell unfortunately was ruled out against the Cowboys, but he did get to see his team beat Dallas. The hope is that he’ll be back out there soon for a Green Bay team that desperately needs to show life in an NFC North the Vikings are running away with.
S Duron Harmon
Another start and four tackles for Harmon, who has been steady enough this season for a Raiders team that seems to be imploding. Unfortunately for Harmon, he’ll have a lowlight reel moment out of this game against the Colts, as he simply whiffed on an attempt to bring down Matt Ryan on that long sideline scramble on Sunday. I love Matt Ryan, but if you get spun around by him at his age, it’s one you’re going to struggle to live down.
WR Russell Gage
Gage hasn’t been able to suit up the past three weeks for the Buccaneers, which means he hasn’t been on the field while Julio has been. The duo continues to be snakebitten by injury, but appearantly on alternating schedules.
TE Hayden Hurst
He continues to draw targets as a reliable short-range option for Joe Burrow, picking up five grabs for 35 yards in a blowout win against the Panthers.
LB Foye Oluokun
Another seven tackle effort for the man who was also a tackling machine in Atlanta, though his sterling start to the year in coverage is starting to tarnish a bit. Oluokun remains one of Jacksonville’s most productive defenders, at the very least.
DL John Cominsky
The Lions ramped up Cominsky this week, and he wound up playing 70% of the defensive snaps, picking up three tackles along the way. Detroit’s front could really use someone impactful and Cominsky is looking like at worst a solid snap-eater for them.
RB Mike Davis
Davis was once again a non-factor for the Ravens. He’s terrific depth, but unless the situation becomes dire, he won’t be needed much for Baltimore.
OLB Dante Fowler Jr.
A handful of tackles for Fowler on a rough day for Dan Quinn and the Dallas defense. He’s a useful rotational pass rusher for the Cowboys, and that should continue throughout the rest of the year.
P Thomas Morstead
He was likely bored this week, as Morstead had no opportunities to punt thanks to a rolling Miami offense.
LS Josh Harris
You know the deal. The man knows how to long snap.
DL Deadrin Senat
After seemingly carving out a solid role along the Tampa Bay defensive line, Senat hasn’t played in each of the past two weeks.
TE Austin Hooper
He’s finding his footing a bit in Tennessee. After putting up 55 combined yards through the first five weeks, Hooper’s put up 136 yards over the past four, including a five catch, 41 yard effort this past Sunday. As a volume option on shorter routes he always shone in Atlanta, and it may well be his team to revive his career in Tennessee.
TE Eric Saubert
He had one grab for twelve yards and continues to play the bulk of the Broncos’ special teams snaps.
LB/S Keanu Neal
Like Senat, Neal has seen his role shrink with Buccaneers defenders getting healthier. He didn’t play a single defensive snap in Week 10, though he played about a third of the special teams snaps for Tampa Bay.