Matt Ryan

Atlanta's offense has been thrilling for a lot of the season. However, they've struggled at certain key points in games.

Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons have their work cut out if they plan on making the NFL postseason. At this moment in time, the NFC South is up for grabs, and it looks like it will be that way for the foreseeable future. However, Atlanta’s performance on the road, gives the Falcons no margin for era.  Maybe the division can be won with an (8-8) record, but if Atlanta is ever to think about earning a wildcard berth, they’ll have to play better than .500 football.  

During the wins, Atlanta has found plenty of success utilizing the running game. In two of the three losses, the Falcons haven’t reached the 100 yard mark on the ground. Although the offense has been more than adequate as a whole, Atlanta has a lot of improving to do as the schedule heads towards November.  

So far, the Falcons have been careless with the ball. In five games, the offense has committed 11 turnovers. However, it does include a four turnover game in the 56-14 win over Tampa Bay. Those miscues were glossed over at the time, but they can’t be ignored any longer.  

In the last two fourth quarters, Atlanta has been outscored 27-0. They carried leads into the fourth quarter of both games, but were unable to sustain late game excellence. The Falcons were out gained on the ground in four of the five games. That’s part of the reason why they haven’t been able to hold leads.  

With all of the offensive weapons at the receiver position, it’s easy for Atlanta to fall into the “chuck n duck” offense. Julio Jones leads the Falcons with 40 catches for 552 yards.  Jones’ 110.5 yards per game average is more than double the next player on the team. Roddy White averages 53.3 yards per game.  

Atlanta has a goldmine at running back with Antone Smith. In his limited role with the Falcons, he has been electric in the open field. Smith leads the Falcons with four touchdowns and his average per touch is beyond great. In 11 carries, Smith has 121 yards and two touchdowns. He also averages 26 yards per catch with two more touchdowns. Still, Atlanta is unable or unwilling to get Smith on the field for more plays.  

If they are looking for a slightly better outcome as the season progresses, the Falcons should look in Smith’s direction more. The Falcons face the Chicago Bears in another highly anticipated match up at home.   


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