A win’s a win I guess. A road win is even more valuable in the NFL. The Atlanta Falcons did just enough to get that win over a Tennessee team that was without starting quarterback Marcus Mariota on Sunday.
Zach Mettenberger filled in nicely for Mariota, although he did have two costly interceptions. Mettenberger had basically the same stat line as Matt Ryan, who has not looked sharp the past couple weeks.
Ryan had two interceptions himself and the Falcons offense once again leaned on Devonta Freeman to generate the yardage. Freeman had another 100-yard game and now leads the NFL in rushing with 621 yards on the year.
Many were looking for a big game from Julio Jones, who had ten days off to nurse his hamstring injury. Jones also had the benefit of facing a banged up Titans secondary. While he had nearly 100 yards receiving and a score, Jones should have done more damage than that since he was targeted 17 times.
Matt Ryan has to shoulder much of that blame for Julio’s lack of production. Ryan was not accurate early in the game and were it not for the Falcons defense along with Freeman, Atlanta could have lost to a team without its starting QB. Not a good look for a franchise quarterback like Ryan.
Tennessee drops to 1-5, and Atlanta improves to 6-1 and will have another divisional game next week versus Tampa. The ATL can’t afford another divisional loss. 6-1 is nice, but they have to win games in their own division.
The past three weeks have not been dominating performances by Atlanta. They had lots of trouble with Washington at home but managed an overtime win. They got blasted by the Saints in New Orleans and now barely escaped Nashville with a win over a struggling Titans team.
It’s good to get some close game experience, but I’d prefer they dominate some opponents on occasion.
– Rumors of a Roddy White trade may have cooled down a bit, but I believe the Falcons should send White packing. Don’t get me wrong. I love Roddy White. The man is a Falcons legend. I just don’t want to see him reduced to a blocking receiver. He still has some great plays in him, and another team could use him. I feel he is just wasting his talent with the Falcons. I do realize Devonta freeman is eating up a lot of opportunities for White and that may be the biggest issue. Nothing can be changed there though since Freeman is running wild.
– Look for Julio to have a monster game next week against Tampa Bay. The hamstring injury should be of no more concern hopefully, and Tampa has given up the second most passing touchdowns so far in 2015.
– Freeman is the first Falcons back to gain 100 yards or more in three straight games since 2009. No one could have guessed the Birds would be sporting the League’s top rusher this year.
Julio Watch: Jones ended the Titans game with 92 yards receiving on nine catches. He also accounted for the go-ahead touchdown. Points were at a premium in this game and Jones was the difference when it came to scoring. Even Matt Bryant let the Birds down with a missed field goal very late in the game. Freeman provided the yards. Jones provided the points and now has five touchdowns on the season. He’s also is tied for second in catches with 58.
Tweets of the Game:
What it’s like to sweat out an Atlanta Falcons game:
How good it ATL?
Biggest reason for two of the past two wins by Birds:
Very cool fly through of the new Falcons stadium: