This was a solid execution of the Falcons signature game plan. They wanted to run the ball well, and they did. They minimized penalties and mental mistakes, with Svitek’s holding call being the lone play that stood out in the negative. Big earnings for Turner, Rodgers, and even Snelling and Jones got into the act. The offensive line graded out its best this week collectively mainly because of their ability to beat the Colts in the trenches.
But this game was really a tale of the potential of the Falcons two rookies in Jacquizz Rodgers and Julio Jones. Rodgers had a solid game and the Falcons need to get him more touches on offense. Most of his touches in this game came in garbage time and they need to find more ways to get him the ball earlier in the games. Good things just tend to happen when he touches the ball.
But of course the star of this game was Julio Jones who made a lot of great things happen despite only a handful of touches in this game. His two big plays in the passing game and his two rushing attempts were big plays for this team.
Matt Ryan was up and down in this game. He looked particularly bad at the end of the first half with three poor passes on the final series. Most of his earnings ($8) came off the two big plays by Jones, and most would agree that Jones did the brunt of the work there. But he had some nice throws in the second half of the game, but overall it was a nondescript performance for him despite the high earnings. Which is probably similar to what you could describe Ryan’s overall season as.
Up front, Svitek was the highest earner mainly because I don’t subtract for pressures given up. Considering he was facing Dwight Freeney, some of his struggles were expected as Freeney’s spin move killed him a couple of times. Overall, the best game goes to Justin Blalock. Blalock’s two missed blocks came on the Falcons final two offensive series when the game was pretty much over and they were trying to run out the clock. Hawley was serviceable at right guard, but from this performance it should not be seen as a permanent option.
Mike Cox had a nice debut as a Falcon. He missed a couple of blocks, but he also a couple of impressive blocks early on. Snelling even contributed once on a Rodgers as a lead blocker. Going forward, until Cox works out some of the kinks, the Falcons should probably platoon the pair of them in Ovie’s vacant spot.