Atlanta Falcons week one rookie report
By Nick Halden
The Atlanta Falcons put yet another 4th quarter collapse on tape on Sunday in a great example of how not to coach when holding a lead. The coaching staff and front office might have changed but on Sunday it was the same old Atlanta Falcons that choked away a late lead against the Saints making it all the more painful.
While Sunday’s game might be one Falcons fans are ready to put in the rearview there were some bright spots for Atlanta in the game including two rookies who made an early impact on the team.
Arnold Ebiketie 1.0 sack
Atlanta’s rookie pass rusher consistently created pressure when he was on the field early against the Saints. Getting home for his first sack getting Jameis Winston in a four-sack performance for the Falcons. While Ebiketie started the season as a rotational edge rusher this tape should have him in the starting lineup as soon as next week.
Outside of Grady Jarrett, he was Atlanta’s best shot at getting to the passer on Sunday and didn’t look like the rookie that he is. While there are sure to be growing pains it appears the Atlanta front office finally found a capable pass rusher capable of pushing the team in the right direction.
Drake London 5-catches 74-receiving yards
When Marcus Mariota was desperate for a play on Sunday it wasn’t Kyle Pitts or even his former Raiders teammate Bryan Edwards Mariota looked for. Drake London was Mariota’s primary target Sunday and showed what made him a top-ten pick this past off-season. What he lacks in straight-line speed he makes up for with elite hands and the ability to find consistent separation. Playing the Saints’ defense in week one is as good of a test as the rookie will get this season.
London responded with 74-receiving yards and was one of the lone bright spots for the Falcons in this game doing everything he possibly could to secure the victory.
Tyler Allgeier and Desmond Ridder DNP
Desmond Ridder was never expected to find his way into this game barring an injury to Mariota. However, Allgeier was a favorite throughout camp and the preseason to unseat Damien Williams as the traditional running back with Patterson continuing to play the utility role.
Instead, he was inactive for week one and after an injury to Williams Patterson was forced into action as the primary running back. The move worked out well for Patterson who finished with 120-rushing yards and a touchdown. It would be surprising if we don’t see Allgeier in week two.