Atlanta Falcons report card is ugly reading after loss to Buccaneers


It was inevitable. If the Atlanta Falcons continued to play the way they have the past two weeks, they would eventually get burned. Inside the Georgia Dome, costly mistakes at critical points in the game gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers an opportunity, one they grasped with both hands.

Turnovers have become problematic for Atlanta. It’s not just the number, but rather when they are happening. Here’s the Falcons’ report card after the tough loss.

Quarterback: D

Matt Ryan‘s stats look good, throwing for just under 400 yards and two touchdowns, but in reality it was another performance marred by mistakes. Ryan threw a costly pick, and was involved in the fumbled handoff to Devonta Freeman. The Falcons were 2-of-5 in the red zone. Ryan is making way too many mistakes.

Running backs: C

The Buccaneers stacked the box early and made a point of stopping the run, and they had success doing it. Devonta Freeman ran hard and played well again, making 88 yards from his 21 carries without finding the end zone. Tevin Coleman was used sparingly again, rushing only three times for 11 yards.

Wide receivers: C

Julio Jones put in a typical Julio-like performance, catching 12 passes for 162 yards and a touchdown. He didn’t have much help from his fellow receivers, though. Sound familiar? Roddy White caught two passes for 24 yards, and there is still appears to be a void at the No. 2 receiver spot. Rookie Justin Hardy made his debut, and made two grabs for 21 yards. Hardy looked good.

Tight ends: B

Nov 1, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons tight end Jacob Tamme (83) celebrates his touchdown catch in the third quarter of their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Georgia Dome. The Buccaneers won 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Jacob Tamme stepped up in the receiving game, hauling in 10 passes for 103 yards and a touchdown. The Falcons desperately needed a performance like that without much help from the wideouts not named Julio Jones. Levine Toilolo made one grab for seven yards.

Offensive line: C

Penalties were an issue, and Mike Person‘s poor snap resulted in a costly turnover deep in Tampa Bay territory. The pass protection was solid allowing just one sack, but the run blocking struggled to create lanes for Devonta Freeman when the Bucs committed to stopping the run. 

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Defensive line: B

The Falcons allowed 117 yards rushing, but this was an impressive performance against a strong ground game. Doug Martin was effectively kept in check, averaging just 3.1 yards per carry for his 71 yards. Jameis Winston‘s three rushes for 24 yards and a score were damaging, especially considering the touchdown came on a broken play.

Linebackers: C

There wasn’t too much to get excited about from the linebackers. Brooks Reed continues his return from a groin injury, and Justin Durant is only recently back. Paul Worrilow put in a solid performance.

Secondary: C

The secondary is banged up right now. The Falcons entered the game without safety William Moore, and corners Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford left the game with injuries. All things considered, it was a good performance from the defensive backfield.

Special teams: C

Believe it or not, the Falcons didn’t punt once. Matt Bryant converted his two field goals, both of which were essentially chip shots. He’ll take it, though.