No. 4: Third Down Efficiency
A large reason the Falcons fell to Tampa Bay in week one was their inability to extend drives. In that game, they only converted 3-13 3rd down opportunities. This made things very difficult for Matt Ryan & Co. as they never got to establish a good offensive flow.
Against the Raiders on Sunday afternoon, the Falcons were much better, gaining first downs on 5-10 opportunities. By doing this, it allowed Atlanta to get in a groove and become more creative with their play calls.
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The ability to get into an offensive rhythm and control the clock is essential. Many of the game’s biggest plays came on third down.
There were big throws made by Matt Ryan, Justin Hardy’s ridiculous touchdown catch off of a tipped pass and Mohamed Sanu’s clutch catch to seal it at the end. If the Falcons can maintain this efficiency on 3rd down throughout the season, good things will happen.