Before I get into the article, I would like to remember all the victims of the 9/11 tragedies. If you haven’t already, please take a moment to remember the victims. All the fire fighters that gave their lives to save the people trapped in the buildings, to all the passengers on the planes, and the people who were in the buildings as they collapsed. My prayers go out to the family’s of these victims.
On a much lighter and cheerier note, week 1 has wrapped up, and it was worth the wait. I will give you the guide to what happened this weekend in the NFC South, all in one article.
If you would like some great analysis of the game, click here for Greg’s great wrap-up of the game. I have a few notes that I noticed. There may be some overlapping statements from me and Greg’s articles.
The first and most obvious point I saw was the play of Matt Ryan. Boy, did he look elite. That is right, I said ELITE. Matt Ryan looked as good as anyone this weekend at the quarterback position. Not only did he look sharp, it seems he sees the game in a whole new light. It is his team now more than ever it seems. He made the passes he needed to make. What impressed me the most is his ability to spread the ball, which isn’t the most difficult thing if you’re a quarterback with those types of weapons.
The second thing I noticed was the lack of play from Michael Turner. Honestly, he looked slow. The stats showed that he doesn’t fit the fast paced offense has become the Falcon’s. On 11 attempts, Turner rushed for only 32 yards, with his longest run being at 11 yards. If you take out the 11 yard run, you get a total of 21 yards on 10 attempts, which isn’t good. To put that into comparison, Matt Ryan had 3 rushes 25 yards. Let’s hope Turner picks up the pace in game #2.
The third thing I noticed is the great play of the wide receivers. I could have a separate topic on each of these guys, but that isn’t necessary. I will start off with Julio Jones. He earned his wings this weekend. Beside the fact he had two touchdowns, 108 yards, and 6 receptions, (which is phenomenal, and deserves all sorts of credit) the thing that stuck out to me was the way he broke the first tackle. He never went down, he just kept on shaking off tackle after tackle.
Let’s move on to Roddy. Roddy had a very underrated performance. While he didn’t score, he seemed to be there when the Falcons needed that reception to get the first down. He did have a drop, but it was a tough catch, so I am not concerned by that. He had the best catch of the game in my opinion. I am not sure exactly when it happened, but it was a 3rd down, and he had one of those drag-your-feet-while-making-the-catch catches.
Gonzalez had a very solid day. While he didn’t wow anyone, he played like a hall-of-famer. He got a touchdown on his old field, and he got 5 receptions. I just love watching this man play the game of football, and love it when he is out there doing what he does best.
The third thing I noticed was the offensive line didn’t do a horrible job. They were adequate, and honestly-that was all I expected from the offensive line. I just want them to protect Ryan long enough for him to get the ball down field, which they did. While there could be improvements made, I am not going to sit here and complain about it.
The fourth thing I noticed were not even the players. I noticed the replacement ref’s fine job. They weren’t horrible. They kept a nice flow going, and they let the game be played. They called what needed to be called, but I had no problem with the refs in this particular game. Although I did have a problem with them in other games, not this one.
That is what I noticed in the game. Overall, the Falcons looked great. A win is a win is a win, but a 40-24 win is very, very nice.
There are a few more things I would like to mention about the NFC South. The first being the Saints. I don’t know about you, but watching the Saints lose is almost as satisfying as watching my Falcons win. The way RGIII went in to New Orleans and beat Brees in his own place, was great. Any loss that the Saints get only can help us. I call them free wins. Those are the games where I expect the Saints to win, but they lose, and it increases the Falcon’s lead in the NFC South. I have a feeling that game will come in to play late in the season, when the playoff push roles around.
I now know that the Panthers will not be a big threat this season. While they will be competitive, I don’t see them pulling 12 wins out of their hats to contend for the division. I don’t think the Bucs are a very good team, and it was a game the Panthers should have won if they truly pose a threat to us and the Saints.
The worst news of all the weekend was that Brent Grimes is out for the year. If you want to read about that, click here. This will effect us this season, and guys like Daunta Robinson will need to step up this season big time.
I know I really enjoyed all the craziness that was week 1. I know I can’t wait for week #2, when we take on Peyton Manning. Look for plenty of insight on that game coming throughout the week from the crew here at BD. Until next time folks, Cam is signing off!