clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bird’s Eye View: How Atlanta’s remaining opponents played in Week 11

Let’s take a look forward at the remaining Falcons schedule.

Welcome back to Bird’s Eye View!

It’s Hate Week, and the Falcons enter their Week 12 matchup against the New Orleans Saints in desperate need of a victory. Arthur Smith says his team would use the bye week to make some adjustments and correct the myriad of issues that have plagued the Falcons at various points this season.

A win on Sunday would be a great start to the pivotal stretch of the season. If the Falcons can make a run, they have a good shot at winning the division. That would mean a spot in the playoffs, as much as people hate thinking about that right now. Let’s take a look at what that stretch run entails.

A brief refresher for those who may be reading this piece for the first time: This exercise is meant to provide a quick synopsis of how each team did the previous week. I’ll highlight a standout player from each side of the ball, and for the two teams next on Atlanta’s schedule, I’ll include a potential x-factor player for the upcoming matchup.

Here’s how the Falcons’ remaining opponents looked in Week 11:

Weeks 12 & 18 – New Orleans Saints (5-5)

Last three games:

- Week 9: Win vs Chicago (24-17)

- Week 10: Loss at Minnesota (27-19)

- Week 11: Bye

Tweet-length summary of Saints in Week 10:

Jameis Winston entered the game in the second half and helped the Saints rally late to cut this to a one-score game. He also threw two easy interceptions for the Vikings, stopping the Saints’ comeback attempt in its tracks. We missed the Jameis experience.

Best offensive player in Week 10: WR Chris Olave

Olave really is one of the best young receivers in the NFL. He again led all Saints players through the air, catching six passes for 94 yards and a beautiful touchdown in the back of the end zone. This season, Olave has 56 catches for 657 yards and three touchdowns.

Best defensive player in Week 10: CB Marshon Lattimore

New Orleans’ cornerbacks are playing very well this season, and while Paulson Adebo once again had a great game, Lattimore is the pick here. He wasn’t as involved as a tackler as Adebo, who tied for the team lead with nine tackles, but Lattimore allowed just one reception in his coverage for 6 yards. On a day when the Vikings’ offense rolled, Lattimore held his own.

It’s worth noting that he may miss the game against the Falcons, as well.

Team stat to know: New Orleans’ defense ranks 23rd in rushing yards allowed per play (4.3).

X-factor for the Saints in Week 12: Taysom Hill

Arguably the league-wide x-factor, Hill is propelling the Saints forward during the middle portion of the season. He’s a threat on the ground, through the air and as a passer, making it a challenge to figure out what he’ll do when he’s in the game and how to stop him.

With 111 rushing yards, 80 passing yards, and a couple of receiving yards against the Falcons last year, Hill is a threat the team is all too familiar with. They’ll hope to finally slow him down on Sunday.

Week 13 – at New York Jets (4-6)

Last three games:

- Week 9: Loss vs Los Angeles Chargers (27-6)

- Week 10: Loss at Las Vegas (16-12)

- Week 11: Loss at Buffalo (32-6)

Tweet-length summary of Jets in Week 11:

This was the game that may have officially ended the Zach Wilson era in New York. The Jets’ offense averaged 2.9 yards per play against the Bills, which is atrocious, and New York’s spunky season is slowly collapsing.

Best offensive player in Week 11: RB Breece Hall

Hall and Garrett Wilson are two players who really got caught up in the wake of Aaron Rodgers’s injury. Without a formidable passing game to worry about, opposing defenses have been able to load up against the run and focus entirely on Hall. He still managed 73 total yards and a touchdown against Buffalo, but he’s a far better player than that sum indicates.

Best defensive player in Week 11: LB Jermaine Johnson

Johnson had high expectations as a first-round draft pick out of Florida State, and he’s coming into his own in Year 2. He’s got five sacks on the season, and he was effective in a variety of ways against Buffalo recording three stops and a forced fumble.

Team stat to know: The Jets rank fourth in rushing yards per play (4.62).

X-factor for the Jets in Week 13: DT Quinnen Williams

Williams has the third-best PFF grade among interior defensive linemen this season, and he looks dominant at times. Although he has just 1.5 sacks this season, he has the third most pressures for interior players behind only Dexter Lawrence and Aaron Donald. Atlanta’s guards and center Drew Dalman will have their work cut out for them once again against Williams.

Week 14 – vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-6)

Last three games:

- Week 9: Loss at Houston (39-37)

- Week 10: Win vs Tennessee (20-6)

- Week 11: Loss at San Francisco (27-14)

Tweet-length summary of Buccaneers in Week 11:

Brock Purdy literally had a perfect quarterback rating against the Buccaneers’ defense, and it’s becoming hard to find a reason to think Tampa Bay will get it together this year.

Best offensive player in Week 11: LT Tristan Wirfs

This was not a good day for anyone on Tampa Bay’s offense, but Wirfs was once again reliable at left tackle. He gave up only two pressures against one of the best defenses in the NFL, although one pressure was converted into a sack. Like I said, not really a good day for anyone.

Best defensive player in Week 11: S Antoine Winfield Jr.

Winfield had an insane 16 tackles against the 49ers, which is both a testament to his physicality and an indictment of Tampa Bay’s linebacker play in this game. According to PFF, Winfield missed just one tackle against one of the best tackle-breaking teams in the league. He is a very good football player.

Team stat to know: Tampa Bay’s defense is ranked No. 1 in the red zone and No. 30 on third down.

Week 15 – at Carolina Panthers (1-9)

Last three games:

- Week 9: Loss vs Indianapolis (27-13)

- Week 10: Loss at Chicago (16-13)

- Week 11: Loss vs Dallas (33-10)

Tweet-length summary of Panthers in Week 11:

Best offensive player in Week 11: RT Taylor Moton

Moton has had an up-and-down year in 2023, but that’s been the case for pretty much every Panthers offensive lineman. In Week 11, though, he was playing much closer to his capabilities. He allowed just two pressures against a terrifying pass rush and helped fuel an efficient Panthers run game.

Best defensive player in Week 11: DT Derrick Brown

It’s a shame that this iteration of Carolina’s defense has not been able to accomplish more, because there are some really good players on this group. Brown finished fourth on the team with six tackles, which is impressive for a defensive lineman. He also had five pressures against Dak Prescott, which was a season-high for Brown.

Team stat to know: Carolina averages 4.09 yards per play on offense, which is worst in the NFL.

Week 16 – vs Indianapolis Colts (5-5)

Last three games:

- Week 9: Win at Carolina (27-13)

- Week 10: Win at New England (10-6)

- Week 11: Bye

Tweet-length summary of Colts in Week 10:

The days of classic Manning-Brady clashes are waaaaaaaay behind us now.

Best offensive player in Week 10: LT Bernhard Raimann

In his second NFL season, Raimann looks like a long-term answer for the Colts. He had a borderline elite pass-blocking grade on Sunday morning, allowing just one pressure on 28 snaps. Raimann is a balanced left tackle who should be a piece the Colts rebuild their offense with.

Best defensive player in Week 10: SS Julian Blackmon

Blackmon may have ended Mac Jones’s career in New England with his interception at the goal line, which played a big part in this game ending with a baseball score. Both Colts safeties had key interceptions late in this game, but Blackmon was tested consistently on Sunday and he came through nearly every time.

Team stat to know: The Colts’ defense has the fourth-most interceptions this season.

Week 17 – at Chicago Bears (3-8)

Last three games:

- Week 9: Loss at New Orleans (24-17)

- Week 10: Win vs Carolina (16-13)

- Week 11: Loss at Detroit (31-26)

Tweet-length summary of Bears in Week 11:

The Bears were very frisky in a game against a really good Lions team. Justin Fields had one of his best games of the season, and some big-name players made some big-time plays. Chicago still lost. Everything is going according to plan.

Best offensive player in Week 11: WR DJ Moore

Moore has developed a great connection with Fields, so it’s no surprise that once he returned from injury Moore’s production saw a big uptick as well. The former Panthers receiver finished with seven catches on nine targets for 96 yards and a 39-yard touchdown catch.

Best defensive player in Week 11: CB Tyrique Stevenson

The Bears’ rookie cornerback had a great game against a potent passing attack. Not only did he record his first career interception in the first quarter, but he didn’t allow a single catch in his coverage on 35 coverage snaps. Chicago’s secondary is starting to put some things together.

Team stat to know: The Bears rank dead last in both third-down and red-zone defense.