The Atlanta Falcons offensive line was absolutely horrendous, nothing else you could say. It was about as bad of a performance Matt Ryan has had in front of him in his career – and that is saying a lot.
They were routinely pushed right back into Ryan’s lap, the Eagles did not have to do anything special, just bull rush straight to the quarterback.
Matt Ryan did not look good in his 2021 debut simply because of the fact that he had no time to read defenses, he constantly had to look down to see multiple guys in his face.
With all the bad, there were positives for the Falcons offensive line.
You might be wondering how there could possibly be any hope coming from the last game’s performance. The answer to that is the fact that the bad play came from select players upfront, while the others played pretty great.
Matt Hennessy and Kaleb McGary were awful and Jalen Mayfield was horrendous.
Unfortunately for the Falcons that is over half of the offensive line, but Jake Matthews and Chris Lindstrom were brilliant despite all the chaos swirling around them.
According to Pro Football Focus, Jake Matthews allowed a grand total of zero sacks, pressure, hurries, or hits on Matt Ryan, while Chris Lindstrom allowed only two pressures and hurries and that is all.
Kaleb McGary allowed five pressures, three hurries, two hits, and zero sacks. That looks good compared to Mayfield, but in normal circumstances, this is really bad for the most part.
Matt Hennessy was responsible for three pressures, two hurry, zero hits, and one sack. Matt will be one of the three Falcons who needs to seriously improve if he wants to stay in the starting lineup, and sadly things will not get any easier for anyone in the next few weeks.
Last, we have the horrendous debut for Jalen Mayfield, who allowed a stunning eight pressures, four hurries, two hits, and two sacks. His stats alone will lower your chances of winning the game by a significant margin.
The purpose of listing all these stats – courtesy of Pro Football Focus – is to show how little help Lindstrom and Matthews had surrounding them, yet they were able to play like elite blockers.
Matthews may not have had a great day run blocking, but he makes up for it in his shut down pass blocking. This allows Matt Ryan to not worry about his blindside while passing the ball, and will all the chaos in Ryan’s face, it is hard to imagine what things would be like if he had to worry about what was happening behind his back.
Another thing worth mentioning is how Drew Dalman played in the very few snaps he was given. He did not allow a single pressure, hit, hurry, or sack. While he may have only had three pass-blocking snaps, it is still three fewer pressures allowed than if Mayfield was still in.
All of this is to show that there is some hope left. If the other three players can at least step up a little bit, things will improve a good amount.
Matt Ryan may have to worry about every other place, but he certainly does not need to worry about his blindside and players rushing up the middle-right side.