The start of the season is always a confusing time. Typically, teams haven’t totally gotten their game-plan figured out yet. This is very evident in the Atlanta Falcons Week One performance. Turnovers, a stagnant offense, and an inconsistent defense were big contributors to this poor outing. Let’s take a look back at what went wrong and how Atlanta will look moving forward.
Matt Ryan’s Horrible Outing
Matt Ryan is one of the true greats in the NFL. He’s simply a guy who can get it done in any scenario. Unfortunately, today was not his brightest performance. He finished with 304 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Overall, that doesn’t look too bad. His two scores came in garbage time, so when it mattered, Ryan was either getting sacked or turning the ball over. It wasn’t entirely his fault, however. As mentioned prior, he was constantly getting hit which gave him little time to make good throws. His run game contributed absolutely nothing just like last year. As well as a fearsome Vikings defense constantly smothering his receivers.
This performance isn’t necessarily indicative of much. Matt Ryan will most likely bounce back next week against a horrendous Eagles secondary that was roasted by the Redskins in week one. Look for Matt Ryan and the rest of his offense to have a much more productive week.
A Horrendous Start With Turnovers
The Falcons got themselves in a hole no sooner than the first drive. They had their punt blocked which later turned into six points for Minnesota. The next drive, Matt Ryan threw one of two interceptions on the day. Which then led to another Vikings touchdown. Two drives later, when the Falcons were driving down the field, Devonta Freeman fumbled the ball, which then led to ANOTHER Vikings touchdown. Down 21 points at the half, the Falcons were struggling. Atlanta had three turnovers and a punt to get the game started. Their offense was absolutely stagnant and that would be a huge theme throughout this game. To cap it off, when the Falcons were about to make it a two-score game, Matt Ryan threw his second interception. That lead to another Vikings touchdown. Which in turn, put the final nail in the coffin.
Despite two garbage time scores, the Falcons offense was absolutely thrashed throughout this game. Sacks, turnovers and a smothering secondary ruined any chance for success on the offensive side of the ball. This was an absolutely poor performance for the Atlanta Falcons in week one. The Falcons will try to have a much cleaner game against the strong front seven of Philadelphia in week two.
While the offense was a travesty, the defense was much brighter. However, inconsistency led to lots of points for Minnesota and fewer possessions for the Falcons. While they did start in their own territory twice to start the game, they should’ve been able to stop at least one of those scores. Instead, Dalvin Cook and Co. ran over the defense for the first two scores of the game. Then the Falcons defense was stout until allowing another touchdown in the second quarter. In the second half, the defense played significantly better, which could’ve been a product of the Vikings taking things easier. Despite allowing one score, they gave the offense the ball back a few times but all those opportunities were squandered. If the Falcons defense can play like they did that second half, they will be very successful in getting stops and getting the ball back in the hands of their offense.
The Falcons defense will go up against Desean Jackson and the rest of the hot Eagles offense in week two where they will need to play much faster to keep up with Philadelphia’s speedy game plan.
Week Two Preview
With this disappoting Atlanta Falcons week one performance over, we can look to next week. Atlanta (0-1) will face Philadelphia (1-0) in prime time on Sunday night in Atlanta. While this could have just been rubbing off the rust for Atlanta, the Eagles are coming off a 20-point comeback victory over Washington. The Eagles are no joke defensively (except in the secondary) where they can cause more havoc for Matt Ryan. The offensive line will see some new faces, with Kaleb McGary and Jamon Brown starting along the right side. They will hopefully relive Matt Ryan of the constant abuse he suffered last week. If the Falcons can play a much cleaner came and their defense stays consistent, the Falcons can protect home turf for the victory.
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