The Atlanta Falcons won for the first time in week one in six years. This team deserves to celebrate and be happy but there is a lot to clean up, including two areas that seriously underperformed.
Pass protection was a mess and the pass rush seriously struggled to get the Bryce Young when they only rushed four players. These two things must be cleaned up for what will be the toughest three-game stretch of the season.
Falcons must figure out their pass protections and pass rush soon
There was a lot to like from the Atlanta Falcons' week one win over the Carolina Panthers; the running game got going when they needed to, Tyler Allgeier and Bijan Robinson looked amazing, the secondary performed well, and Jessie Bates was simply special. However, the pass protection and pass rush were nowhere to be found.
With the Green Bay Packers coming to Atlanta and then road games against the Detroit Lions and Jacksonville Jaguars, the Falcons must get things fixed ASAP. All three of those teams can gain yards through the air and can get to the quarterback, which makes for three difficult matchups for the Falcons.
Atlanta isn't going to win if they play like that against those three teams, they just aren't. Ridder has to have time in the pocket to throw the ball and the experienced interior rush and young outside rush has to get to quarterback—three quarterbacks who aren't making their debut.
The biggest worry is that the Panthers' offensive line looked horrible during the preseason yet the Falcons couldn't get any pressure when rushing four.
The Panthers also don't have an overwhelming number of great pass rushers. Brian Burns is an excellent player and Derrick Brown can run guys over but if you can't block two guys for two seconds then there is a big problem.
In the end, a win is a win and maybe this was just an outlier. Maybe the Falcons just need a week or two to get their bearings. The talent is there, especially along the defensive line. The pass protection wasn't great last year but wasn't nearly this bad.
If things can improve in those two areas, then this team can be great; if they can't, then they will have to rely on opponents' mistakes to win.