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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Loser: RT Kaleb McGary

Kaleb McGary had a rough day in both pass protection and run blocking versus the Texans. However, he also sustained a knee injury that could hold him out for a few games. By losing the spot on the line due to injury, he may end up losing the spot on the line directly as well. When McGary was in the game, the Falcons had only put up seven points through three quarters. After he went down, they had three straight scoring drives in the fourth quarter that led to the lead and the win. If this continues, and the offense just looks better with Storm Norton in there, then McGary could end up being out of a starting job this season.

Winner: RB Bijan Robinson

The offensive line was having trouble run blocking, but Bijan Robinson did more to gain yards or minimize losses than any other player on the Falcons in this one. While he only finished with 16 total touches for 58 yards, he made three key plays that they wouldn't have won the game without—including a touchdown that he basically held the ball to his backside while he was crossing the goalline and a couple of key third downs to keep the ball moving. Robinson has been a revelation in Atlanta and has shown why they took him with the No. 8 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Game MVP: QB Desmond Ridder

Desmond Ridder played the most complete game as a pro since he got drafted. In just his ninth start, he was able to read the Texans' defense like a book and make some precision throws to really challenge their defense. He finished with 28 completions on his 37 attempts for 319 yards and a touchdown and added another 7-yard run for a touchdown as well. More than that, he made some crucial throws leading the team down the field for three scores in the fourth quarter and set up the game-winning field goal. If Ridder can show that he can consistently have games like this, he will be the Falcons franchise quarterback that everyone will be proud to have.

All advanced stats are courtesy Pro Football Focus or Football Outsiders. All traditional stats are courtesy of official team websites, NFLGSIS or CFB Stats. All RAS and athletic testing numbers are courtesy of and Kent Lee Platte's RAS Football website.