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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Winner: WR Drake London

This is the Drake London that everyone was expecting this season. He showed the connection with Ridder in the second half of the game on a pair of deep completions that had been missing through four games this season. While he was more or less shut down in the first half, part of that was due to the route concepts forcing him to be the clear-out before getting him involved in the passing game on a screen. Once they did decide that he was the guy to throw the ball to, he finished the game with six catches for 78 yards. While that line isn't stunning, the fact that he accounted for two of the six 20-plus yard passes in the game shows he is ready to be that playmaker that he was to close out 2022.

Loser: Pass Rush

The defense played very well, but it wasn't due to the pass rush. Part of that was due to them playing more of a contain-style defense versus a highly mobile quarterback, but part of that was also due to the lack of premiere pass-rushing talent that can both play contain and collapse the pocket. There's an element missing from this defense, and it could be solved by trade for someone along the lines of Danielle Hunter. If the Falcons are smart, they will go and make a move at the deadline for him to try and jump-start that pass rush.

Winner: TE Kyle Pitts

This is the Kyle Pitts everyone was expecting this season and last. He got 11 targets and did the most with the ones he hauled in. He did have two bad drops that he probably wants back, but he was finding the soft spots in Houston's zone coverage all game. Pitts finished with seven catches, including one for 20 yards that looked like a 10-yard out. While he's still not fully back to being 2021 Pitts just yet, he's getting closer every week and this game showed just how good his connection would be with Desmond Ridder. The most impressive stat for Pitts was his production on third downs. Ridder was 3-for-4 for 34 yards to him and converted 2-of-4 for first downs. The Falcons need to build on this moving forward for Pitts and Ridder.