Reviewing the Atlanta Falcons Offense vs New Orleans Saints


One day after the Atlanta Falcons’ thrilling overtime victory at home over arch-rival New Orleans Saints, the euphoria has finally subsided.  I’m sufficiently clear-headed for a few objective observations on Atlanta’s impressive offensive performance.

Matt Ryan appears to have moved into the elite tier of NFL QBs.

Much was unfortunately made about former teammate Tony Gonzalez’s comments during the offseason that Ryan is not an elite QB.  If the record-setting performance Matty Ice had over a top-3 ranked NFL defense that’s supposedly the best of Saints head coach Sean Payton’s tenure is any indication, than he has finally reached that level in his 7th season.

I don’t want to oversell a single game’s performance, yet it’s also difficult to downplay the importance of man-handling a division rival considered a Super Bowl contender in such stunning fashion – he was just 9 yards short of personally outgaining the entire vaunted Saints offense, 463 yards vs. 472.  Only a Lombardi Trophy will quiet his critics once and for all, but there aren’t many other NFL QBs I would want leading Atlanta’s offense.

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  • Atlanta Falcons’ offensive line has made significant strides under new coach Mike Tice.

    If I knew the two best options for guarding Ryan’s blindside at left tackle, Sam Baker and Jake Matthews, would miss all or most of Sunday’s game, I would have predicted disaster in the form of swarming Saints defenders blowing up the Falcons QB almost at will.  However, the Saints defense managed only 1 sack and 3 hits on Ryan.  This is a testament to the rebirth of Atlanta’s offensive line under Tice’s tutelage and portends great things for Atlanta’s offense in 2014.

    Falcons have big-play potential throughout the offense.

    54, 39, 35, 27, 23, 13, 12

    17, 17, 10.

    The first set of numbers lists the longest reception recorded by 7 of 9 different Falcons pass-catchers.  The second set shows the longest gains for 3 of 5 runners to tote the rock.  That 10 of 14 players to touch the ball recorded at least one double-digit gain tells me three things: Atlanta’s offensive roster is littered with playmakers, Matt Ryan knows this and is spreading the ball accordingly, and the Falcons are focused on gouging opponents this season by taking chunks of yardage instead of playing conservatively as in the past.  It’s all the more impressive because it came against a talented defense led by a very good defensive coordinator, Rob Ryan.

    Tell me your impressions of Atlanta’s offensive performance in the comments section below: