Sep 15, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) straight arms St. Louis Rams cornerback Cortland Finnegan (31) during the second half at Georgia Dome. The Falcons defeated the Rams 31-24. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
After a disappointing loss last week against the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta bounced back this week with a 31-24 win against a solid St. Louis Rams team. Atlanta looked much improved this week, but there are still some things that need to be acknowledged. Here are 5 takeaways from Week 2…
- The “Injury Bug” has caught up with us: For many years, Atlanta has been lucky enough to avoid too many injuries. That has not been the case thus far, as we have seen several of our key players go down with various bumps and bruises. Asante Samuel, Roddy White, Steven Jackson, and Bradie Ewing are among the most notable who have fell victim to the notorious disease. Atlanta’s bye week comes in week 6, which now seems to have been a blessing in disguise.
- The run game is vital: Steven Jackson went down after Atlanta’s first score with an apparent thigh injury. While the Falcons did score often following that, the offense was obviously out of sync. Without a run game, Atlanta was forced to pass on almost every down. This led to many 3 and outs, and a fatigued Falcons defense. St. Louis was then able to fight back into the game, and give us a little scare. Even though we won, we must find a way to stay balanced and keep our defense off the field.
- Pass rush is inconsistent: At times, it seems like Atlanta has finally found their pass rush. Other times, there is no pass rush at all. Too many times we saw Sam Bradford stand in the pocket for 10 seconds and eventually find a target. However, we are seeing improvement.
- TE coverage was outstanding: Have Mike Smith and Mike Nolan finally ended their TE coverage woes? Possibly. Jared Cook was almost non-existent today with 1 reception for 10 yards against the Atlanta defense. This is especially good news seeing as how the Falcons struggled against pass catching tight ends late last season.
- Julio Jones is good at football: With Roddy White not 100%, Julio had to pick up the slack. The Rams knew Roddy wouldn’t be a huge factor, and that allowed them to try and take Julio out of the game. Looks like that didn’t happen, as Julio left today’s game 11 receptions, 182 yards, and 1 touchdown richer.
Next week Atlanta will take on Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins. Have some thoughts? Leave them below.