Headlining the trio of thanksgiving games, the Saints were looking for revenge. Just three weeks ago, the Falcons pulled off a stunning upset against the division leaders. However, that same magic wasn’t around this time. The Falcons offensive line collapsed and proved to be the demise of the offense this week. Despite this, there were some highlights.
The defense played well again. Gage and Graham finally made a statement. And it is now evident Dan Quinn will be losing his job any time now. The season is now effectively over, as they have been officially eliminated from playoff contention. As the Falcons look to the future, we will take a look back at Falcons v Saints. Let’s dive in.
For once, it wasn’t the defense fault Atlanta lost. The offensive line had been absolutely destroyed. Yet, everyone has been quick to blame Matty Ice for the failure of the offense. However, Ryan can’t play well with this level of protection. Because of this terrible protection, the Falcons squandered a miracle comeback in the last three minutes.
After recovering back to back onside kicks, down by 8, the offensive line let the Saints pass rush through on every single play to end the game. Ryan was, of course, sacked on all of them. Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff needs to address the offensive line more this offseason to give this offense even a little chance next season.
Despite the terrible ending, there were some bright spots. Calvin Ridley played phenomenal in place of Julio Jones as the number one receiver. Ridley caught 8/10 targets for 91 yards. Fill-ins Russell Gage and Jaeden Graham finally had the game we’ve been expecting. Both got touchdowns and combined for over 90 yards each for the Falcons v the Saints.
The score doesn’t speak to the level the defense played. The Falcons defense got tons of stops, which of course, were squandered. They held Brees to only 184 yards and one touchdown. However, unlike the previous weeks, they were unable to get any sacks or turnovers. The defense has been stout three out of the four last weeks. It’s good to know that the defense is starting to become less of a problem. It’s evident that it is Dan Quinn’s time to go and that they need to repair the offensive line.
The Falcons get some extra time to heal up, especially with Julio Jones(shoulder) missing this game. They’ll rematch with the Carolina Panthers on the eighth.
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