Winners and losers after Week 2 for the Atlanta Falcons With the game firmly in our rearview and a little time before we pivot to hating the Saints in earnest for the rest of the week www.falconsauthorizedshops.com , it’s time to look at whose stock is up and whose stock is down heading into Week 3. We think the names this week are pretty obvious. WinnersQB Matt RyanHe had the quintessential Matt Ryan bounceback game, one designed to erase any doubt about his fitness for the office of quarterback. Aside from three bad throws, he was accurate, he moved well in the pocket, and he was an absolute scoring machine through the air and on the ground. The fact that he did so against a tough Carolina front is awfully encouraging, because he’s going to get a break from rough defensive lines over the coming weeks, by and large. RB Ito SmithSmith had a very quiet, borderline useless preseason, but preseason doesn’t mean much. Smith proved that by turning 18 snaps into a quality day where he piled up over 50 total yards, showed shiftiness and power, and proved to be an excellent complement to Tevin Coleman. Brian Hill didn’t even see the field, so I’d expect Smith to keep getting a nice workload with Devonta Freeman out. WR Calvin RidleyAfter a dismal first week, Ridley was a monster. He finished with four catches for 64 yards and a touchdown Womens Jake Matthews Jersey , displaying his obvious physical talent and tremendous route running on the touchdown grab, in particular. He’s going to be the #2 receiver here for all intents and purposes, and Sunday was probably just the start of what we all hope will be a fine career in Atlanta. G Wes SchweitzerSchweitzer has barely played left guard, and to my recollection never has taken a regular season snap there. So it was beyond encouraging to see him step in on a day where the rest of the offensive line was terrific and hold his own, especially against Carolina’s stout interior defensive line. Schweitzer will head back to the bench the second Andy Levitre’s healthy, but this was a good audition for him to replace Levitre in 2019, and a strong case for being the first guard up at either spot if an injury happens again. LB De’Vondre CampbellCampbell led the team in tackles, but that’s not really indicative of the fine work he does. He’s quality in coverage, he’s probably the team’s best Cam Newton spy with Deion Jones out because of his physicality and aggressive play, and he’s the most sure-tackling, impactful linebacker on the field at the moment by a wide margin. The Falcons will continue leaning on him heavily as Duke Riley and Foye Oluokun get up to speed. S Ricardo Allen Allen’s value doesn’t typically show up on the stat sheet, but happily his interception off a tipped Cam Newton pass was a highlight-worthy play. He also made a couple of key open field tackles against Carolina, and remains a critical safety net for a defense that needs on right now. LosersWR Mohamed Sanu Through two weeks http://www.falconsfootballauthentics.com/matt-ryan-jersey-authentic , Sanu has six receptions for 37 yards, or about 6.2 yards per reception. The Falcons will continue to use him because he’s a potent blocker and a reliable short-to-midrange option, but it’s telling that Julio Jones dominated targets in Week 1, Julio and Calvin Ridley split them in Week 2, and Sanu has been largely left in the dust both weeks. There are big weeks ahead for him, but they’re likely to be few and far between, and his role in the passing game is only going to diminish if Austin Hooper and Ridley keep coming on. G Andy LevitreLevitre plays well when he’s healthy, but health is becoming an increasing concern. He missed games at the end of last year, exited in the playoffs, and then exited the second game of the season. We’re waiting for an update on his health, but you might want to get used to seeing Wes Schweitzer or Ben Garland at left guard this year. DE Vic BeasleyWe covered this earlier this morning, but Beasley’s just not having much of an impact at the moment. The former first rounder isn’t getting many pressures, has had some open field tackling adventures in the first two weeks Youth De'Vondre Campbell Jersey , and is rarely an above average run defender. He always has the talent to come on and make that impact, but until he does the Falcons are going to continue to have intermittent success rushing the passer. LB Duke RileyWe’re not going to beat up poor Duke much longer. The Falcons will see what positives they can find from his performance as the starting middle linebacker, but there were plenty of miscues, including bad angles and missed tackles along the way. Riley may just need some time to acclimate to the position and the number of snaps he received, and we’re certainly willing to grant him that. The question is whether the Falcons will. S Jordan Richards Like Riley, Richards was thrust into a prominent role and found wanting. He’s solid in run support and has value as a special teamer, but middling instincts in coverage and worse angles than a four-year old’s crayon drawing of a triangle are a problem, and Richards showed us plenty of those against the Panthers. Kazee will be right back into a starting role if he’s not suspended, with Richards potentially mixing in at times on obvious run downs. Who makes your list?The Falcons are on pace to let Matt Ryan get sacked a career-high number of times Matt Ryan mercifully came out of Sunday’s game against the Steelers healthy, or at least not “the X-ray revealed something terrible” unhealthy. We take that for granted with Ryan, who has missed very little time over the course of his career, but perhaps we shouldn’t after the beating he took Sunday. Ryan was sacked six times and generally knocked around by a Steelers defense that was all too willing to relentlessly rush the passer and see what came of it. If the offensive line was holding up the way you would hope they would, Ryan would have likely found himself with the time and confidence to air it out against a lousy Steelers secondary. Instead Youth Alex Mack Jersey , he was pressured relentlessly, and he’s now on pace to take a career-high number of sacks in 2018.To compensate for that, Ryan is having to make quick throws with pressure already arriving, as he did on that Mohamed Sanu touchdown that turned out to be the one major highlight from Sunday’s game. By the time Ryan gets rid of the ball, there’s already two men virtually on top of him, and that was a theme throughout the game on Sunday. Also, the snap was a little high here. To be clear, not every sack is on the offensive line, as Ryan has become justly notorious for hanging on to the ball a little too long at times in an effort to make things happen. There wasn’t a ton of that against Pittsburgh, though, and it’s still a minor issue compared to the pass protection. There’s no easy answer here. The Falcons can and should work to find ways to get the ball out quicker, especially with a cupcake Buccaneers defense up next to practice against. But there is no easy fix for Ryan Schraeder’s struggles, which have been very close to week-in Womens Ricardo Allen Jersey , week-out at this point. There’s no real replacement waiting for Alex Mack, who isn’t struggling just yet but has had some concerning stretches where he’s getting knocked around by strong defensive linemen. And Brandon Fusco and Wes Schweitzer, while game and even good at times this season, are not elite options. Ben Garland isn’t going to ride to the rescue here, and Atlanta’s tackle options (Ty Sambrailo and Matt Gono) are not inspiring at the moment.That leaves the Falcons with some question marks along the line this offseason with a regime in place that has been loathe to spend high round draft picks on the line, and at this very moment, it has to worry anyone who was at least hoping to see a high-flying offense the rest of the way.
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