I've said it before and'll say again, "A win is a win, right?" Especially, with how this Falcons season has gone, winning any game no matter if it's by 3 or by 20, Atlanta has to get ahead in the NFC South standings and they did just that on Sunday. Again, even if it wasn't the prettiest, there was still some good to take away from the day. Atlanta's defense has been imposing in the last three games, Desmond Ridder didn't turn over the ball, and Bijan Robinson became the fastest player in Falcons history to reach a thousand total yards from scrimmage tying William Anderson.
Defense Continues To Stand Strong
In all reality, the Falcons' defense has arguably been the best part of this Falcons defense, I really can't remember the last time the Falcons' defense has saved a season from turning into a complete dumpster fire. Starting with what I think the biggest statistical achievement is, the Falcons have yet to give up a touchdown in the last two games, and they're the only team in the NFL that has not allowed a touchdown in back-to-back games this season.
Jessie Bates had another incredible day leading the team in tackles with seven and recording another interception bringing his season total to five and giving him a new season record. There is no way Bates isn't a Pro Bowl DB this year, if he's somehow not I may riot.
Joining Bates with an impressive performance on defense was Bud Dupree who recorded two sacks bringing his season total to five only a half-sack behind Arnold Ebiketie who has the team lead. Ebiketie also recorded a sack himself against the Jets. Richie Grant also had a sack Sunday that resulted in a fumble and was recovered by Andre Smith.
Now, the Jets' offense may be bad (which is true), but using Tim Boyle and Trevor Siemian to try and lead the team to a win against any defense isn't probably the best of ideas. However, this Falcons has been on a roll lately, especially without having Grady Jarrett.
A.J. Terrell and Nate Landman both left Sunday's game with injuries, there's not a lot of information on how serious their injuries are, so we'll have to wait and see if they'll be able to go next Sunday later in the week. Jeff Okudah was also reported to have suffered an injury as well. Hopefully, none of these injuries are too serious, but especially Terrells and Okudahs as the Falcons would be down CB1 and CB2 against the Buccaneers, that's no good.
The offense scores thirteen points (that's all I got for a headline)
Even with the impressive performance the defense gave, the offense was still lacking. However, there were still positives to take away. One of those being, Desmond Ridder didn't have any turnovers. Ridder finished the day with 12 completions on 27 attempts for 121 yards and 1 touchdown. The one touchdown was a nice 20-yard pass to MyCole Pruitt (the Falcons TE3). I don't have much else to say about Ridder's performance from what I've already said in previous posts, but the big thing is there were no turnovers.
Atlanta's running backs only ran for 90 yards on 34 carries which came out for an average of 2.6 yards per carry. That's not even close to good enough. Atlanta has to run over 100 yards every game and needs to average closer to four yards per carry to be successful. The Falcons' offense is built on the run and if they get stuffed, it'll be a very long day for them. Thankfully the defense held its own and saved the day. Bijan, once more took most of the workload with 53 yards on 18 carries, Allgeier had 26 yards on 8 eight carries, and Patterson had 11 yards on 5 carries. Can't complain about the distribution, but in my opinion, I'd always prefer to see Allgeier have a few more carries and give Bijan a few more targets at receiver (on screens or drags, just routes to get him in space).
To end, the Falcons have sole possession of first place after the Saint's loss yesterday. Atlanta will welcome Tampa Bay to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium for their second matchup of the year. As the end of the season approaches and divisional matchups become heavier, Atlanta will have to rely on their run game and defensive play to win games and get that home-field playoff game. I'll have a preview of that game on Friday right on TDT Media!