Atlanta Falcons: Grading the offense at Falcons bye week

7 of 7

Sep 27, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Atlanta Falcons tackle Jake Matthews (70) in action against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive line

Weeks 1-4: A-
Weeks 5-9: C
Overall: B

The offensive line has come a long way from what it was in 2014. Some nice offseason additions have helped, and Kyle Shanahan deserves some credit for getting some solid play out of the guys up front this term.

They were particularly impressive through the first four games of the season, and it’s no coincidence this is when the entire offense was at its best. Matt Ryan had decent protection, getting sacked six times in four games. In the five games since, he’s been sacked 11 times.

The run blocking was at its best in the first quarter of the season, too. Devonta Freeman was helped out with some excellent blocks up front early on, which helped him post monster numbers after taking the starting gig in Week 3. It’s struggled a bit since, and the Falcons managed just 17 yards rushing against the 49ers in Week 9.

Outlook: The offensive line needs to get back to its early season form. Giving Matt Ryan a clean pocket and opening up some cutback lanes for Devonta Freeman will help the entire offense find its rhythm.