Don’t get off the bandwagon just yet
After suffering their first loss to the Bills in the new Mercedez-Benz Dome, the Falcons definitely have some questions to answer. NFL projections had the Dirty Birds coming into this game as a 6-point favorite, but injuries and controversial calls took their toll as the game went on. To the naked eye, losing to the Bills at home can seem like a pretty devastating loss when the season was beginning to look so perfect. But fear not; the time for panicking has yet to come, as there is still plenty to look forward to.
It’s no secret that Sunday ended up becoming a real grind-fest. With two of the Falcons’ best receivers out for the game in Julio Jones and Mohammed Sanu, on top of Ryan Schraeder, Ricardo Allen, and Vic Beasely already missing from the lineup it was bound to be a tough one to win. Matt Ryan has thrown 5 interceptions in his last 2 games, however, dropped passes by receivers have accounted for at least 3 of these. Some receivers were able to step up and make plays late, but ultimately the absence of Ryan’s most important targets proved too much for the Falcons to overcome and eventually led to an L in the record book. But do not fret fellow Falcons fans for there is good news to come. With the bye coming up next week (I know, no Dirty Birds next week we are all equally sad), all players on the injury list will get some well-needed time to rest and recover. It’ll be good for Matty Ice to get a week to clear his head and work on things with his new offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisan.
Some controversial calls were made in this game by officials as well. A seemingly incomplete pass from Matt Ryan ended up being called a fumble on the field that was scooped and scored for a touchdown, while another interception in which the ball appeared to hit the ground first was also confirmed, significantly turning the tides of the game. Another interception from Matt on a jump-ball to Taylor Gabriel didn’t exactly make matters better either.
In the end, the Dirty Birds are now 3-1, which isn’t a bad record to have seeing that the Patriots have proven their mortality with a sub-par start at 2-2, and the rest of the NFC South is trying to catch up (the Panthers are definitely on our heels). In the end, the Falcons are still one of the best teams in the NFL right now that got served a significant helping of humble pie. We were shown that if injuries begin to mount up, this team can become very vulnerable, and that high-flying offense becomes very stagnant. There is a silver lining in all this too. Tevin Coleman did have 9 carries for 79 yards with Freeman assisting with 18 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown. The Falcons were still able to run the ball somewhat efficiently, which will prove an important aspect of the offense to compliment that passing game.