Matt Ryan, Sarkisian’s Play Calling Looked Sharp in Loss to Saints

Atlanta Falcons Vic Beasley (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Atlanta Falcons Vic Beasley (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) /

Sarkisian’s play calling vastly improved as Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons lost to the New Orleans Saints in a high scoring affair.

The offense for the Atlanta Falcons looked sharp and, honestly, reminded me of the 2016 season where Matt Ryan spread the ball around and eventually earning MVP.  He had 5 touchdowns on 374 yards and completed 26/35 pass attempts, boasting a 148.1 QB Rating, per ESPN.

Oh, I can’t forget about the zero interceptions he had.  Yup, you read that right.  Zero interceptions.  Z-E-R-O, zero.  I will gladly say that Matt Ryan looked like 2016 Matt Ryan and the entire offense looked great.  It started off a little slow, but once the game was well underway the offense had all of the momentum.  Unfortunately, so did the Saints’ offense.

The Saints’ offense moved up and down the field with ease as if there was no one on defense.  Our defense perfectly resembled Swiss cheese.  There were holes everywhere and a talented quarterback like Drew Brees can punish a defense who resembles the good ‘ole aged cheese from northern Switzerland.  Though we were without the young, talented edge rusher Takk McKinley, who is nursing a groin injury, and obviously without Deion Jones (foot, will return late in the season) and Keanu Neal (ACL tear, out for season), among others.

Our offense is banged up with Devonta Freeman dealing with some knee issues and Andy Levitre out for the season but is easily repairable.  Our defense, however, is aching in pain (pun intended).  That is why we allowed 43 points and 534 (!!!) total yards.  That is unacceptable.  I understand that we are banged up, but 534 yards allowed and 43 points are not good.  I said that the offense looked like the 2016 legendary offense, well the defense looked like the 2014 defense when that kind of performance was practically the norm.

Also, the Atlanta Falcons are very unlucky when a game comes down to overtime.  From the coin toss to just the overall play-style, the Falcons are not good in overtime.  I do not understand why the NFL cannot adopt NCAA’s overtime rules where both teams have a chance to score because it would provide a much better outcome and probably better ratings instead of a team winning by chance.  It is a silly way to decide a game, but that is a subject for another day.

In all seriousness, I think the Falcons can figure themselves out on defense and hopefully keep doing the same thing on offense before they go into next week’s game versus the Bengals.  The Falcons have a great defense (obviously when they are healthy) and talented second-stringers, but everything needs to be re-evaluated.

From the pass rush to defensive coverage, everything should be restructured for this new group on defense.  If they can somehow figure out a better game plan for this new defensive unit, then everything should be fine as the season goes on.

A couple of hiccups aren’t bad, but learning how to come back out there and approach it in a different way may be necessary in order for our defense to hold up their own.  Let’s hope the offense can continue being great and win against the Bengals next weekend.

Next. Ryan Makes Forbes Top List. dark

Oh, before I wrap this one up and tie a bow on it, just want to say that Steve Sarkisian’s play calling was fantastic.  Calvin Ridley shined among others who played very well.  The New Orleans Saints could not keep up with the fast-paced offense and it was good to see multiple receivers torch their defenders.  Our offensive line needs some work, but that isn’t his fault.  So, kudos to Sark for practically redeeming himself from whatever his “playcalling” was against the Eagles back in Week 1.