A perfect record has come and passed
Being undefeated never lasts
Wake me up when October ends
Like Matt Ryan’s attempts to pass
Last year’s luck has come and passed
Wake me up when October ends
(Sung to Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends”)
Green Day sang “Wake Me Up When September Ends”. The Atlanta Falcons have rerecorded the song changing the title to “Wake Me Up When October Ends” and boy are they and their fan base glad the month is over. Coming into October the defending NFC champion boasted an undefeated season at that point. With November here they are glad to see it end as they endured a three-game losing streak before salvaging the month with a 25-20 win against the New York Jets.
October was ugly there is no doubt about that. The month of October featured games against the entire AFC East and boy, are the Falcons happy that’s over now. Until Sunday’s come from behind win against the Jets the Falcons only managed a total of seven points in the second half of the three previous games combined – all losses.
Bad weather and bas luck seemed to follow the Falcons as they remained in the northeast for the second week in a row. After fighting fog last Sunday night the weather was not much better – if anything it was wetter but at least there wasn’t any fog to battle. Despite slippery conditions Ryan did not throw an interception. That being said he fumbled and lost two exchanges from center in the first half that helped the Jets take a 17-13 lead into the locker room.
Slip sliding away, slip sliding away
You know the nearer the end zone, the more your ball slip slides away
Whoah and I know Matt Ryan, he came from ATL
He wore his passion for winning but all gone to hell
He said Falcoholic, I live in fear
My love of winning’s so overpowering, I’m afraid our winning I will disappear
(Sung to Simon and Garfunkel’s “Slip Sliding Away”
In Atlanta’s three losses they scored a total of seven points in the second half. This time it was the Jets who were shut down in the second half as the Falcons defense did not allow them near the end zone allowing only three points.
Scoring 25 points in the win is kind of disappointing to be honest. The 25 points score is the most scored by the team since week three’s win over the Lions. For the season the Falcons offense has scored ten less points a game than last season. Granted, there are nine games left in the season but it has taken far too long for the offense to start clicking again. Granted, they dealt with Mother Nature on this day but they turned an ugly day into a positive.
The running game continues to excel after a week off against the Patriots. Tevin Coleman had a nice 52 yard run, his second longest of his career and was the highlight of the run game this season that has yet to break many long runs. Combined with Devonta Freeman they combined for 162 yards of offense.
Both Julio Jones and Mohammed Sanu had 74 receiving yards as Sanu score his second touchdown this season. Sanu is starting to become Ryan’s go-to guy with all the attention on Jones. Sanu, when he’s healthy has been gold and has proven to be a great possession receiver and a great number two.
Austin Hooper also caught his second touchdown pass of the season in the driving rain. And while he shows promise at times he keep dropping passes in key moments and needs to step up his game.
Once again it was the defense that shined on this rainy day as they sacked Brian Hoyer three times and kept Jets rushers to an average of 2.0 yards a carry.
The letdown this season has been the offense despite the win in the inclement weather. And something has to give soon. The offense is reminiscent of the 2015 unit that continues to misfire and make costly mistakes. Luckily they didn’t hurt this week but with games against divisional rival on the horizon beginning next week. The true mettle of this team will be put to test next week against Carolina.
– Dave Weinthal
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