There’s a lot to unpack after the Falcons’ 23-point loss to the Buccaneers. At one point in the game, Atlanta got within three points before the wheels came off again in the fourth quarter.
While a loss is a loss, the team showed some grit by not giving up. Here’s our studs and duds from Week 2.
Stud – RB Cordarrelle Patterson
There is no denying that Patterson has been the Falcons’ best offensive player. He’s shown an ability to move the sticks and generate big plays on offense. On the day, Patterson went for 11 rushing yards and added an additional 58 receiving yards. Patterson scored twice (rush and reception) and nearly added a third but was slightly out of bounds.
Stud – TE Kyle Pitts
We finally got to see a true glimpse of Kyle Pitts. The fourth overall selection showed his ability to contort his body and and accelerate after the catch. Pitts ended the day as the Falcons’ leading receiver by going for 73 yards on five receptions.
Stud – LB Foye Oluokun
Foye led the team in tackles with his nine on the afternoon. In addition, he also pried the ball loose from Leonard Fournette. It wasn’t recovered by Atlanta but he played a key role in the Falcons’ near comeback in the third quarter.
Dud – Punter Cameron Nizialek
The Falcons have a huge issue at punter. His two shanked punts allowed the Buccaneers to start their offensive drives in very favorable field position. This was one of the key reasons Atlanta’s comeback attempt fell short. The team is already expected to work out punters this week.
Dud – Defensive secondary
There is no true answer in the defensive secondary. Each and every week this unit has become a liability, with the exception of A.J. Terrell — who could also miss a week or more with a concussion. If Harris and Harmon soon don’t step up, it’s inexcusable to not place Richie Grant and Jaylinn Hawkins out there.
Dud – Offensive line protection
The Falcons’ offensive line is still a core issue. With their backs against the wall in the fourth quarter, Tampa Bay was able to get immense pressure on Ryan, and force two more interceptions. All game Ryan was forced to evade the Tampa pass rush and deliver off balance throws.
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