Falcons Celebrate National Tight End Day with Kyle Pitts
The Atlanta Falcons know how to celebrate National Tight End Day. Kyle Pitts, the rookie tight end had the game of his young career. The statistics alone speak volumes about his performance, but the numbers only tell half the story. Pitts made plays at critical times and was the driving force behind a 30-28 victory over the Miami Dolphins in Week 7.
He also made a play that will put him in the discussion for the catch of the year. Late in the second quarter, Matt Ryan floated a perfect ball to Pitts. Number 8 was running a straight fly route in man coverage and made the Dolphins pay. He also proved the nickname – unicorn – is a fitting one as he magically pulled in on a one-handed grab to pick up 39 yards. The catch also came against coverage that was penalized for defensive pass interference. The catch led to a field goal.
Keep in mind, Pitts is 6-foot-6 and 246 pounds, but he is making defensive backs look silly. Get used to watching this highlight because you will see it a lot.
That’s the biggest highlight, and it should be, but it will overshadow the rest of his performance. 163 yards on seven receptions. Although he did not have a touchdown, he was involved in every scoring drive. On the second possession, already down by a touchdown, Matt Ryan took an 11-yard loss. But two plays later, Pitts caught the ball over the middle of the field, dragging some defenders to get 13-yards back and putting the Falcons into comfortable field goal range.
The Falcons went right back to Pitts to start the second half. On first down, Ryan found the fourth overall pick from the draft for 26 yards. Two plays later the Dirty Birds were in the end zone.
Pitts with a Clutch Performance
However, the Dolphins came back and were leading late in the game, it was up to Pitts to come up big again. Down 28-27 with just 2:27 left on the clock, Ryan took the snap at his own 25-yard line. He found the 2-year-old for 23 yards. On the next play, Ryan once again spotted his new go-to receiver, for another 28 yards and just like that, Atlanta was in field goal range. A few clock-eating snaps later, Younghoe Koo made a 36-yard field goal as time expired to win the game.
I’ll admit, I’ve never heard of National Tight End Day until I saw Pitts wearing a shirt in the pregame warm-up that said: Block. Release. Catch. Spike. I am a Tight End. The Falcons may need a new shirt with a different ending for Pitts. It would read: I am a Unicorn.