Atlanta Falcons: Good, bad and ugly from week one

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Atlanta Falcons

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – SEPTEMBER 13: Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons warms up prior to facing the Seattle Seahawks at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 13, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Atlanta Falcons were back in the field for the first time in 2020.

The longest offseason in Atlanta Falcons history is finally behind us. Being able to see the Falcons take the field in their beautiful all-black uniforms meant more today to fans all over the world. We knew coming into week one that Russell Wilson and the Seahawks were going to be a very tough mountain to climb.

With no traditional offseason or preseason for the Atlanta Falcons, we all had to expect this to be a very sloppy contest and that is exactly what we got.

There were questions that had to be answered on both sides of the ball – how would this offensive line look, would Todd Gurley be effective, could Hayden Hurst step into the role vacated by Pro Bowl tight end Austin Hooper, could the defensive line finally get after a quarterback?

All of those questions led to a lot of good, bad and ugly for the Atlanta Falcons.

The Good

Quite honestly, there wasn’t a lot of good in Mercedes Benz Stadium but there was enough to build off of moving forward.

Hayden Hurst

We have been steadfast at Blogging Dirty that Hayden Hurst was going to be an upgrade over Austin Hooper. It was tough for some to see because Hooper had developed into a Pro Bowl-caliber tight end but Hurst is faster, more athletic, and a better blocker.

We saw all of that on display today.

His numbers may not be eye-popping but his athletic ability absolutely was. His diving catch in the first half had everyone picking their jaws up off of the floor. Hurst is going to be a lot of fun to watch over the next couple of seasons.

Defensive line

The Atlanta Falcons defensive line absolutely got after it today. Grady Jarrett, Takk McKinley, Dante Fowler Jr combined for three sacks, four tackles for loss, and nine QB hits.

Grady is an absolute beast and once again he was very difficult to contain. We maintain that 2020 is going to be his breakout year and that was solidified today.

Deadrin Senat and John Cominsky played quite a bit as well and the defensive line as a unit played the best game they have played in quite some time. It was fun to watch Takk move around and create havoc up front.

Give Seahawks offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer all the credit in the world for realizing that Wilson was going to have to get rid of the ball early and for using screens to try and combat the Falcons defensive line.

Julio Jones and Matt Ryan

Both had fantastic opening days despite the loss. Matt Ryan threw for more than 400 yards – a personal best in season-opening games. He passed John Elway for ninth all-time on the NFL all-time passing yards list.

With more than 150 yards today, Julio Jones passed Hall of Fame receiver, Charlie Joiner, for 24th all-time on the NFL’s all-time receiving yards list.

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