Atlanta Falcons report card looks ugly after loss to Colts


The Atlanta Falcons fell apart against the Indianapolis Colts, dropping a 21-7 lead to lose 24-21. It was the Falcons’ fourth defeat in five games. Here’s how the report card shapes up.

Quarterback: D

Matt Ryan is the leader of this offense, and is underachieving this season. Not for the first time this season, costly turnovers have killed this team. Maybe the first pick shouldn’t have stood, but the pick-six to D’Qwell Jackson was simply unacceptable. It’s those kind of plays that lose you football games.

Running backs: D

Devonta Freeman ripped out a 39-yard run, but took a helmet-to-helmet hit shortly after which ended his game with a concussion. Rookie Tevin Coleman was unremarkable, and the ground game struggled without Freeman. They need him back.

Wide receivers: A-

Nov 22, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) tries to break a tackle by Indianapolis Colts defensive back Dwight Lowery (33) during the first half at the Georgia Dome. The Colts defeated the Falcons 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

I should replace ‘wide receivers’ with Julio Jones. Jones was excellent, catching nine passes for 160 yards. Leonard Hankerson made four receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown, but he continues to struggle with drops. It was fullback Patrick DiMarco who made two receiving touchdowns.

Tight ends: C

Jacob Tamme made just one reception for 16 yards. Is Levine Toilolo still on the team?

Offensive line: C

There wasn’t much to write home about. But as far as I’m concerned, allowing just one sack, rushing for 100 yards and not turning it over with a poor snap is a win for this team.

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Defensive line: B

Same old story. The run defense does a good job, limiting the Colts to just 74 yards on the ground, but the pass rush struggles. Admittedly, it looked a little better than it had done in recent weeks with two sacks on Matt Hasselbeck, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Linebackers: B+

Justin Durant led the team in tackles with nine. Paul Worrilow made six tackles, a pass defense and had a crucial interception.

Secondary: B

Desmond Trufant played like Desmond Trufant. As teams are learning, the best way to throw at Trufant is to never throw at him. Ricardo Allen made a key interception.

Special teams: D

Matt Bryant missed his only field goal attempt, which was from 47 yards. He connected with all three of his PATs after. Matt Bosher averaged 50.6 yards on his five punts.