Throughout the first three weeks of the season, the Atlanta Falcons have shown a lot of flashes of being a great team, both offensively and defensively. The offense has been able to drive and put up points at a consistent rate and the defense has shown they can put together stops.
Through the first-three weeks, the Atlanta offense has been very good.
In Week 1, the offense looked great. Mariota played well, throwing for 215 yards along with 72 rushing yards. Cordarrelle Patterson had an amazing game, totaling 126 total yards and a touchdown. Rookie receiver Drake London started off solid, catching 5 passes for 74 yards. The offense totaled 416 yards and scored 26 points.
In Week 2, the offense, in the second half, looked great again. Mariota played another solid game, throwing 196 yards with two touchdowns. The backfield took a step back, totaling only 90 yards. But Drake London once again had a very good game, catching 8 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. The offense totaled 286 yards and scored 27 points.
In Week 3, the offense looked as good as it has all season. Mariota threw for 229 yards and a touchdown. Cordarrelle Patterson had a career day, with 153 total yards and a touchdown. Drake London continued his Offensive Rookie of the Year campaign, catching three passes for 54 yards and a touchdown. Finally Kyle Pitts was involved as well, catching five passes for 87 yards.
This offense is being led by a bridge quarterback in Marcus Mariota and its two main pass catchers are a first year rookie, Drake London, and a second year tight end in Kyle Pitts, who hasn’t even been a big factor in the offense up until this past week.
Imagine what this offense will look like when all of the weapons have learned the offense and are being included heavily in the game plan. This Atlanta offense, ranked ninth in points scored through the first three weeks, has me very excited for the future of the dirty birds.
Defensively, there have also been a lot of flashes that show they can be great. Now, the stats and the scoreboards might tell you that Atlanta has had one of the worst defenses so far, while this is true, stats and scoreboards don’t tell you everything.
In Week 1, the Atlanta defense held the Saints offense to 10 points through three quarters. The Saints offense, led by Falcons-killer Jameis Winston, former Offensive Player of the Year Michael Thomas, former All Pro Alvin Kamara, and former All American Chris Olave, was held to only 10 points by this Atlanta defense. The defense totaled 60 tackles with four sacks against the Saints.
In Week 2, the Atlanta defense held the defending Super Bowl Champion LA Rams to just 10 points in the second half. The Rams led by former pro bowler Matt Stafford and reigning Offensive Player of the Year/Super Bowl MVP Cooper Kupp, was shut down by the Falcons defense after going up 28-3.
They couldn’t put drives together, and they couldn’t put up points. The defense totaled 74 tackles with one sack and two interceptions against the Rams.
In Week 3, the Atlanta defense held the Seattle offense to only 3 points in the second half. The Seahawks, led by a talented skills position group of DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett, Chris Carson, and Kenneth Walker weren’t able to get anything going in the second half, and couldn’t put the ball in the endzone after scoring 20 in the first half.. The defense totaled 64 tackles with two sacks and one interception against Seattle.
This defense has holes all across the board, the pass rush is non-existent outside of Grady Jarrett, the safeties are young and inexperienced, and the linebacker depth is thin. With all this being said, the Falcons defense has still been able to put up strong performances and numbers.
Once the secondary can get more game experience, Atlanta will have one of the best secondaries in the league. The pass rush needs help, Grady Jarrett will continue to hold things down and hopefully rookie edge rusher Arnold Ebiketie can step up.
Mychal Walker and second-round pick Troy Andersen are the future of Atlanta’s linebacking core and they have shown a ton of promise. This defense is a few pieces and a little bit of experience away from being great.
Atlanta’s young team has shown a ton of promise and are just a few pieces and the emergence of a few players away from being back in contention. With over $100 million in cap space next offseason and a potential top 10 pick, there’s no telling how good Atlanta can be.
Falcons fans should be excited.