Dec 15, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Steven Jackson (39) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Redskins during the second half at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons defeated the Redskins 27-26. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
The Atlanta Falcons are now 4-10. What that means for the team and the draft position is inverse and completely up for how the fans feel. But one thing is for sure: The team is not giving up. The coaches and players want to win. Regardless of if they have what it takes to win a large amount of games, they find a way to win. Let’s look at how.
Paul Worrilow led the team in tackles yet again with 9. If anything can be taken out of this season, it’s that Worrilow has everything it takes to be the future starter at inside linebacker for the Falcons for years to come.
Matt Ryan didn’t have an awesome statistical day, but if you watched the game I watched, you saw a good quarterback in a bad situation. The offensive line didn’t give the running back much of a chance and even let a dismal redskins defense constantly put pressure on Ryan. However, he consistently threw amazingly accurate passes in very tough situations. Ryan threw one interception of a high pass. The announcers talked about inaccuracy or letting it float, but I thought that was more of Darius Johnson’s fault. Ryan was trying to throw it high so Johnson could jump and come down with it. Johnson made no attempt and the near-by back just had to keep from dropping it.
Tony Gonzalez is going to finish his career off strong. Even though this has no influence on the future of the Falcons (since Toilolo isn’t getting many snaps) it’s great to see a fantastic Falcon get so many chances at helping the team. It’s what he loves and he’ll go out loving the game. Regardless of the record.
Zeke Motta wasn’t necessarily a force in this game, but he proved he can hang with the best of them. He’s a solid tackler and can cover as good as anyone else on the team. If he doesn’t prove to be a starter in the last two games, he is at least a long-term back up.
Roddy White is healthy again! After facing a season of recovery, he finally seems to have come to form. He’s fast, has great rout running, and can catch as good as anyone on the field. He’ll help keep the Falcons close for the rest of the season and will explode back into the offense when the 2014 season starts.
Jonathan Massaquoi is also proving himself. With a lot of players fighting for that last defensive end spot, Massaquoi is separating himself as the second best pass-rusher to Osi. If Atlanta doesn’t get Clowney in the first round, Massaquoi will be the starter for 2014.
Steven Jackson also didn’t get much blocking, but the few holes he did get, he made the most of them. He’s still got gas left in the tank. He might even have enough to complete the next two or three years.
Overall, the lines are abysmal. Offensive and defensive, but there are enough tools to complete the basics. Other than the trenches, Atlanta seems to be set (except maybe a solid punt/kick returner) and they are only a good free agency and draft away from being a Super Bowl contender away. Unfortunately, the few holes the Falcons do have are big enough to derail this season as it has.
Keep your heads up, Falcons fans, the future is still bright.