The Atlanta Falcons were handed their first loss of the season on Sunday against the Detroit Lions. The 20-6 defeat felt larger because the offense sputtered all game.
ESPN released their Week 4 NFL Power Rankings on Tuesday. They moved the Falcons down five spots from No. 11 to No. 16.
They change their theme from week to week with their rankings. Ironically this week, they chose each team’s biggest issue on offense. Michael Rothstein, ESPN’s Atlanta Falcons beat writer, may have sugar coated the problem with his answer: Finding Early Rhythm.
“After every game, quarterback Desmond Ridder (and others) have lamented how Atlanta hasn’t been able to find an offensive flow early in games,” wrote Rothstein on ESPN. “The Falcons have two first-half touchdowns in their first three games and the struggles have led Atlanta to have more pressure put on it in the second halves. Twice, the Falcons have found second-half rhythm, but that’s not a sustainable way to play — and it starts with more consistency from Ridder and better protection from the offensive line.”
Frankly, the Atlanta Falcons offense has only shown flashes of consistency. Blaming rhythm is letting too many people off the hook.
That said, the Falcons are 2-1 on the season, right where we expected they would be after three games. The Detroit Lions are a good team. They went to Kansas City and beat the Chiefs in Week 1, and that game was no fluke.
Furthermore, the Jacksonville Jaguars are coming off an embarrassing 37-17 loss to the Houston Texans. They’re going to be a better team on Sunday against the Falcons than they were last week against the Texans.
We had the Falcons 2-2 after four games enroute to a 10-7 season. They’re on schedule right now. However the offense is going to have to play a lot better to be a playoff team this season.