Several good candidates stand out, but one may stand above the rest.
For the first time all year, we can talk about solid performance on both sides of the ball for the Falcons. Their 27-20 win against the Jets was a needed recovery after their dismal loss to Washington the week prior. The offense was on point for the entire game and finished strong. Which players made this happen? Let’s take a look.
The first round pick out of Florida finally showed us what his future may look like and he did not disappoint. Even with the Jets knowing he’d be a target in this game, he still went off. He got his first touchdown, en route to a dazzling stat line of 9 receptions for 119 yards and a touchdown.
And oh yeah, he also did this:
— Evan Birchfield (@EvanBirchfield) October 10, 2021
We all knew this guy had incredible potential and he finally delivered on it.
More of this, pretty please.
After absolutely dicing up Washington last week, Ryan looked just as sharp in this game. He challenged downfield and was accurate throughout the game. He finished with 33 completions (73.3% completion rate!) for 342 yards and 2 touchdowns and a 109.7 passer rating.
Oh yeah, he also continued to cement his Hall of Fame resume along the way. With both Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage out, Ryan and Pitts carried this offense to an important win.
If there’s one unit the team needs to see continual improvement from, it’s this one. As it turns out, we may be seeing just that. For the second straight week the offensive line gave Matt Ryan a clean pocket for most of the game. They weren’t perfect, but they’re improving and this game was a step forward. They were successful in run blocking and pass blocking and the offense only had to punt twice on the day. If this trend continues, this may be the most important offensive development of the year.
For all the hate he received last week, Smith showed he’s more than willing to adjust and learn. With his team up only 3 points late in the game, he started a critical drive with a deep shot from Ryan to Pitts that kickstarted the drive that would ultimately close out the game. This offense is improving and so is the head coach.