Atlanta Falcons: 3 Players with rising stock after Week 6
2. Austin Hooper, TE
Seven total receptions for 48 yards isn’t exactly mind-blowing, but tight end Austin Hooper was reliable on Sunday. He even made a clutch third-down and short reception just before the Falcons threw it all away.
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On third-and-three to go, quarterback Matt Ryan threw a rifle into the gut of Hooper, who was surrounded by white and teal. He was able to haul it in and secure the ball while taking more than just one hit. That play probably led to Ryan feeling even more confident in the tight end than he should have though.
On the very next play, from the Miami 23-yard line, Ryan went for the home run. Hooper was deep, but double covered and Matty Ice tried to fit it in. Hooper never had a chance on that one and really, the ball should have never come his way there. The result was a pick and the game was over.
Hooper wasn’t alone in being a solid receiver on the day. Wide out Julio Jones was good for 72 yards on six catches, but wasn’t targeted as much as he should have been — especially on that last drive.
Instead, they were going to Justin Hardy. The young wide out did make a couple big catches, and had three for 34 yards on the day, but it should have been Julio getting force feed if they weren’t just going to a wide open player.