Atlanta suffered their first lost of the season on Thursday night to the division rival New Orleans Saints. The Saints came out fired up at home looking to save their season, while the Falcons continually found ways to shoot their selves in the foot. Miscues were the story of the game, as Atlanta had two fumbles lost, a blocked punt and a botched snap on a fourth down all in the first half. New Orleans was able to get their offense going in the second half and keep the game out of reach.
James Stone (+2.6)
Matt Ryan (+2.5)
O’Brien Schofield (+2.4)
Desmond Trufant (+2.0)
Devonta Freeman (+1.4)
Aside from the fact that Stone completely muffed a snap in the redzone for a turnover, he actually played extremely well. He rated out at a (+4.1) in the run blocking category, as the Falcons continued their terrific newfound ability to run the ball.
Matt Ryan bounced back nicely from last weeks debacle. He threw for just under 300 yards and 2 TDs. The night could have been a lot better too, if not for the amount of costly mistake in the redzone.
O’Brien Schofield was the star of what was a poor defensive performance Thursday night. He managed to rack up four quarterback hurries while only playing 29 total snaps. With the Falcons pass rush continuing to struggle, look for Schofield to start to see the field more.
Desmond Trufant did what he always does. He had another solid performance on Thursday and has yet to put together a poor performance all season. Devonta Freeman also had another great game. He had 100 yards rushing on just 13 carries and also had 8 receptions for 56 yards. He has been tremendous and his 2 touchdowns against the Saints puts him at an NFL leading 10 on the year.
Paul Worrilow (-3.0)
Jonathan Babineaux (-2.2)
Leanord Hankerson (-1.7)
Most of the bad came on the defensive side of the ball. Paul Worrilow, who has made tremendous strides in his game this season, struggled mightily against the Saints. While he was decent in stopping the run, his pass coverage was absolutely brutal. This is something he really has to work on if he wants to take his game to the next level, which I believe he can.
Babineaux also had a rough evening, except most of his struggles came against the run. Babineaux has been really solid for the Atlanta defense all season, so this should be nothing more than slip up in what has been a very nice season for the veteran defensive tackle.
Leanord Hankerson has been up and down all year, and on Thursday he was definitely down. He and Matt Ryan seemed out of sync all game and it did not help that he had two critical drops that should have been easy catches. Hankerson clearly has the talent to be a big part of this offense, but Thursday was not his best performance.