Atlanta Falcons: Gloomy report card after loss to San Francisco 49ers


The Atlanta Falcons were disappointing again in defeat to the San Francisco 49ers, but now enter the much needed bye week. Here’s the report card from Sunday’s loss.

Quarterback: C

Matt Ryan‘s stat line looks good, but he’s the leader of this offense and the unit was sluggish again. He had no run game to lean on this week and limited options at receiver outside of Julio Jones. He found Devonta Freeman and Jacob Tamme at times, but we need to see more from Matty Ice. The top quarterbacks elevate the talent around them, even if there isn’t much.

Running backs: F

It’s hard to achieve balance on offense when the run game is held to 17 yards from 12 carries. Devonta Freeman’s main contribution came in the receiving game, but he was bottled up on the ground. Rookie Tevin Coleman was only featured on one carry, which went for three yards.

Wide receivers: C

It’s depressing to think where the offense would be without Julio Jones. Outside of Jones, Falcons receivers made five catches for 37 yards. Roddy White made just one catch for 20 yards, and Matt Ryan only turned his way twice. Rookie Justin Hardy made four catches for 17 yards.

November 8, 2015; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Atlanta Falcons offensive assistant Mike McDaniel (left) and wide receiver Justin Hardy (16) during the third quarter against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi

Tight ends: C

Jacob Tamme continues to carve out a niche in this Falcons offense, and Matt Ryan has leaned on him in recent weeks. Tamme made six catches for 61 yards, which is a useful contribution from a tight end.

Offensive line: D

The offensive line couldn’t open up any running lanes, and the Falcons eventually opted away from the run. San Francisco deserves credit for the way its front seven played, but the o-line needs to do a better job. Matt Ryan was sacked twice.

Defensive line: F

Against a backup quarterback and a makeshift group of running backs, the Falcons needed to be aggressive and generate pressure. Yet once again, the pass rush was nonexistent and the 49ers were able to move the ball on the ground with Shane Draughn and Kendall Gaskins. Vic Beasley made a nice interception. 

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Linebackers: C

Phillip Wheeler led the team in tackles with 10 and Paul Worrilow made five, two of which were for a loss. The pass rush left a lot to be desired.

Secondary: C

A banged up secondary had an OK game, but wasn’t helped out by the pass rushers. Phillip Adams made an interception and defended a pass, while rookie Jalen Collins had five tackles.

Special teams: B+

Eric Weems put in an excellent performance in the return game, returning four kicks for 115 yards and four punts for 76 yards. Matt Bryant hit all three field goals with a long of 44 yards, and Matt Bosher averaged a solid 43.4 yards on his seven punts.