Every week can be an emotional roller coaster for fanbases. An all-around solid victory filled with great performances on both sides of the ball can create a genuine belief that a team is building something special. A one-sided defeat filled with turnovers and lack of execution can lead to major questions being asked of the coaching staff and whether certain key players are good enough.
That said, it’s understandable why nearly 90% of fans are feeling assured that the Falcons are heading in the right direction. Arthur Smith’s side put together their most complete performance of the season against a surging Houston team, in a game where they should have won by more if it wasn’t for multiple unfortunate fumbles. They proved they can respond to adversity and make plays when it matters most, whether it happens on third down limiting C.J. Stroud or throwing the ball to get into field goal range on a game-winning drive.
On a team with several standout players, two players are on another level right now. They both happen to be new additions that have provided electrifying moments and solidity in elevating their respective units. Bijan Robinson and Jessie Bates have played at an All-Pro level this season. Despite only being five games into his career, it’s not an exaggeration to put Robinson on the list of top running backs in the league. Bates’ longevity as one of the most intelligent, playmaking safeties has carried over to Atlanta in tremendous fashion. When it comes to being the team’s MVP, Robinson gets a slight nod over Bates. There’s a strong chance the rookie sensation will build on his tremendous start to the season against Washington.
No matter how each game goes, Desmond Ridder will surely be a topic of every conversation surrounding the team. That’s how it goes for most quarterbacks, especially unproven ones who weren’t first-round picks and are surrounded by an intriguing supporting cast filled with young playmakers.
Ridder is coming off his best game as a pro. He looked poised in the pocket, showed decisiveness in his decision-making, and remained consistently accurate for the entire game. Although his performance was hugely encouraging, there is still plenty of work to be done for him to receive more trust following two previous abysmal showings against Detroit and Jacksonville. Less than half of the fanbase’s opinion on Ridder changed after last week’s terrific performance. Hopefully, there is more to come from him.
How are you feeling about the Falcons’ trajectory and its most pivotal players?
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