Atlanta Falcons vs. Houston Texans: Winners and Losers from the October Clash

If Desmond Ridder can string more performances like today together, the Falcons might just have their franchise quarterback.
Houston Texans v Atlanta Falcons
Houston Texans v Atlanta Falcons / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages
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The Atlanta Falcons beat the Houston Texans backed by the passing offense finally turning it on for a game and stout, staunch defense. The Falcons showed what has to happen for the offense to really take off. They could end up being one of the best offenses in the league if they can string together performances like what they had today... minus the turnovers and stupid penalties that cost points. Some of the winners today had some bad plays. And some of the losers today had some good plays. But if they can really put it all together and play a near-perfect game, this is a team that could end up winning in a blowout.

Winner: K Younghoe Koo

Younghoe Koo's stat line for the day looks very pedestrian. Two field goals hit from 33 yards and 37 yards out that he accompanied with an extra point. The key component is when he hits those field goals. Both field goals were hit with less than seven minutes left in the game when the Falcons needed him to be as clutch as he could be. And both field goals led to the Falcons winning the game. Not to mention, he hit yet another game-winner when time expired. That clutch gene is why Koo has stuck around Atlanta, and he looks like the kicker they gave a big contract to again.

Loser: C Drew Dalman

While Drew Dalman had a very solid day as a blocker and snapper, the Falcons missed out on a field goal because of a boneheaded personal foul penalty that he committed. The Falcons have a good center here, but he can't continue to make stupid decisions like he did there. Atlanta would have been at the Houston 29 and set up a 46-yard field goal. Instead, they were backed up to the 44 and forced to punt.

Winner: FB Keith Smith

Keith "Beef" Smith had the longest catch of his career today when he hauled in a 28-yard catch on a play-action pass in the second quarter of the game. However, his real benefit to the offense was his run and pass blocking. On a day when the offensive line wasn't getting much push up front, Smith was able to create some lanes for Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier to run through. Fullbacks are normally not given much notice, but Smith is arguably the best fullback in the NFL not named Kyle Juszczyk.