Despite being eliminated from the playoffs, the Atlanta Falcons won their second straight game, thumping the Carolina Panthers 24-10. Today we highlight four Dirty Birds that flew high and two who were grounded on Sunday.
Atlanta Falcons Player of the Week
Mohamed Sanu – Wide Receiver
Mohamed Sanu was the highest flying offensive player in the Dirty Birds victory over the Panthers. His versatility was on full display in week 16. Sanu led the Atlanta Falcons in receptions with five on the afternoon. He racked up 81 yards on those five catches, for an average 16.2 yards per catch.
37 of the 81 yards Mohamed Sanu gained occurred after the catch. On his eight attempts targeting Mohamed Sanu, quarterback Matt Ryan had a QB-rating of 135.9. Two of Sanu’s catches went for Falcon first downs, and one for a 44 yard touchdown. Sanu ran a great post route on the score.
The damage Mohamed Sanu did in the passing game came from the slot. He was matched up against linebackers in zone coverage for all five of his catches.
Mohamed Sanu also did damage as a runner in the Atlanta Falcons “12 gage” formation, the Dirty Birds’ version of the wildcat. He carried the ball twice in the formation and gained 29 yards.
The big run for Sanu came on third and one. He pulled the read option handoff away from running back Brian Hill, cut to the left behind a block from tight end Austin Hooper and raced up the sideline for a 25 yard gain. The run put the Falcons in the red zone and lead to their first touchdown of the afternoon.
It’s was a very solid performance for Sanu in both the running and passing games.