It may not have been pretty but the Atlanta Falcons defeated the New York Giants on Sunday to move their record to 1-2 on the year. It was a critical game as they have now given themselves a better shot to potentially compete for the playoffs.
If they want to do that, however, they will need their offense to improve dramatically, as their defense carried them to a win—allowing only 14-points on the game.
This took the whole defense playing well but one surprising Falcons defender stepped up big time.
Isaiah Oliver had the best game of his career as an Atlanta Falcon.
Zero arguments, Isaiah Oliver has not been the player that Atlanta was expecting when they took him in the second round of the draft. He was expected to be one of the two outside corners for the team but has now been forced into playing nickel corner where he has played significantly better.
He has had a rocky ride in the NFL so far, but Sunday was the highest point of his career and hopefully, he can keep it up.
He played like one of the best defenders in the NFL as Pro Football Focus gave him an elite grade of 90.2.
He was featured in the NFL.com’s weekly video called the “PFF 90 Club.”
There were only three defensive players this week who managed to grade higher than Isaiah Oliver and they were Justin Simmons of the Broncos, Trevon Diggs of the Cowboys, and Azeez Ojulari of the Giants.
Simmons recorded a 91.3 grade, Diggs got a 92 grade, and Ojulari capped it out with a 92.2 grade.
Ironically, Azeez Ojulari was the Giants defender who beat Kaleb McGary right before half and strip-sacked Matt Ryan, all of it coming after Isaiah Oliver stripped Evan Engram in what felt like a huge turning point in the game at the time.
Isaiah Oliver was the driving force behind the team only allowing a total of 14 points, he flew around and negated his opposition.
Funny enough there was another defender who actually graded high and that was Mykal Walker with a 92.7 overall grade—but he only played five snaps compared to Oliver’s 57 snaps.
The third-highest graded player for Atlanta was none other than the phenomenal Grady Jarrett with an 89.8 overall grade, we all know that he is capable of consistently providing that elite play and we can only wish that Oliver will become the same type of player going forward.
The grades that Pro Football Focus gave out for the Falcons on Sunday really reflects how the game went. The three highest-graded Atlanta Falcons were all defenders, obviously being the already mentioned guys—Isaiah Oliver, Mykal Walker, and Grady Jarrett.
It just goes to show that this defense is carrying the team right now and that needs to change if the Falcons want a shot at winning more games, as the defense may have played well on Sunday but they were not playing a very healthy offense.