Julio Jones quiet, takeaways from Falcons win over Texans


I must take the time to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. Hold on. Ouch. That kinda hurt.

Now that we know it is not a dream to say that the Falcons secured a 48-21 victory over the Houston Texans is an understatement. Despite their record, the Texans possessed a fair amount of talent with J.J. Watt and Jadeveon Clowney and DeAndre Hopkins. This game also marked the return of star running back Arian Foster.

Here are my observations from the Falcons’ impressive victory to improve to 4-0.

Not a one man show

The first three weeks of the season was the Julio Jones show for the most part. This week however, Jones was not needed much. In Week 3, Devonta Freeman stepped into the starting spot and produced a ho-hum 141 yards and 3 touchdowns against Dallas.

This week, Freeman didn’t have a 100-yard game in rushing yet still had 149 all-purpose yards to go along with three more touchdowns. We also saw receiver Leonard Hankerson step up and tally 103 yards and a score. Seeing Hankerson and Freeman produce tremendously—along with seeing Terron Ward chipping in 72 yards and a score—bodes well for an offense that is without Tevin Coleman, Jacob Tamme, and Devin Hester.

Oct 4, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24) celebrates his touchdown run in the first quarter of their game against the Houston Texans at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

A different defense

Just looking at the box score, it will show that the Texans racked up some yardage. However, the tape shows a different story. When Dan Quinn stated he wanted a “fast and physical” defense, he meant it. No, this isn’t the Atlanta Seahawks. Yet, what we’ve seen so far is a defense that is faster, more aggressive unit willing to buckle down and get stop when needed.

The defense as a whole held Houston to 7 of 15 on third down, 54 total rushing yards, as well as chip in with two fumble recovery touchdowns by Desmond Trufant and Nate Stupar. Oh and how can I forget Jonathan Babineaux’s interception.

The small things matter

The Falcons have had many games under former head coach Mike Smith that saw them get off to a hot start and slowly let a team creep back in. We also saw that in Week 1 against the Eagles. This particular game against the Texans was different.

Atlanta took a 28-0 drubbing into halftime and instead of having the little things happen to let Houston get back into the game, Quinn’s team kept the foot on the pedal. The Falcons came out in the second half and increased the lead to 42-0 towards the end of the third. These are the little things that is taught by Quinn, Kyle Shanahan and others that will pay dividends late in the season as well as the playoffs.

Next: Five things we learned from Falcons win

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