Atlanta Falcons rookies unusually silent in week seven loss
By Nick Halden
For the first time, this season for the Atlanta Falcons their rookie class went silent in a lopsided 35-17 loss to Joe Burrow and the Bengals. The score doesn’t fully indicate how lopsided this game felt and continued to be aside from one late gasp at the end of the first half from Atlanta when two big plays made it a respectable game at the time.
Drake London has easily been the most impressive Atlanta rookie who managed only one catch for nine yards and failed to make his usual impact. Putting this game on London in any way is unfair, however, when you watch the tape and look at how often he found a level of separation when on the field.
Drake London is the Atlanta Falcons’ most reliable receiver but cannot overcome poor decision-making from Marcus Mariota.
London gave Mariota the chance to find him more than once and the veteran quarterback failed. London is playing a reliant position and this game isn’t an indication of the rookie struggling but of who his quarterback is.
Troy Andersen and Arnold Ebiketie both failed to make an impact in a game in which the Atlanta defense was dominated. Ebiketie is going to make an impact as a pass rusher this season and has already shown his ability to cause pressures but the rookie’s second sack continues to be elusive.
Andersen failed to make his usual big play though the defense as a whole struggled due to the lack of reliable corners and safeties. With Atlanta down their top two corners and consistently losing pieces of their secondary in this game neither Ebiketie or Andersen can be faulted for a forgettable game.
Tyler Allgeier continued to start for the Falcons with Cordarrelle Patterson still on IR and managed 50-yards and a touchdown. While normally scoring a touchdown and making it to 50-yards in a blowout loss would be impressive the rookie managed only 3.1-yards-per-carry.
While this is far from ideal it is important to note that Allgeier ran hard against a Cincy defense that was stacking the box and daring Mariota to put the ball in the air. While it was far from his best game it isn’t fair to put blame on the rookie who was being asked to help carry the team as much as his veteran quarterback.
The lack of impact from the rookies this week stems back to both quarterbacks with Joe Burrow reminding an injured Atlanta defense and the league as a whole just how elite he is at the position. On the flip side, Allgeier and London struggling is an indication of what many Atlanta fans already know it is time for the Falcons to make a change and let another rookie get a well-deserved chance.