There is not much to say about the Falcons game on Sunday. From the opening whistle the Falcons jumped all over the Texans. They headed into the half with a 28-0 lead on the backs of their stellar defensive play and Devonta Freeman. After stretching the lead to 42-0 near the end of the 3rd quarter, most of the Falcons starters got to hit the showers a little early. A few garbage time touchdowns by the Texans attempted to make the game look respectable, but make no mistake: this 48-21 victory was utter domination by Atlanta.
Paul Worrilow (+3.9)
Robert Alford (+3.4)
William Moore (+3.1)
Leanord Hankerson (+2.0)
Devonta Freeman (+1.5)
The entire defensive, but especially Worrilow, had a nice bounce back week against the Texans. Last week the inside linebacker was missing tackles and blowing coverages, but there was none of that this week. Alford also contributed with his best game of the season. With Trufant locking down one side of the field, it would be huge for the Atlanta defense if Alford could take the next step as a player this year. Alford, along with William Moore and the rest of the Atlanta secondary, completely shut down Ryan Mallet and the Texans’ passing attack.
Hankerson had his best game of the season by far. After some shaky games in the early weeks, Hankerson seems to be finding a nice role in the offense. He previously played under Kyle Shanahan in Washington, so it is no surprise that Shanahan is getting him involved early and often. Hankerson’s performance was great to see because the Houston challenged Matt Ryan to throw it to someone other than Julio Jones. Jones was doubled for most of the game and only had 4 catches for 38 yards. Hankerson reeled in 6 receptions for 103 yards and a TD in Sunday’s win.
Freeman had to get a mention since he dominated for the second game in a row. He became the first player with 3 rushing touchdowns in consecutive weeks since the great Ladanian Tomlinson. I predicted in my bold predictions that Freeman would have another big game, especially receiving the ball against Houston. Freeman racked up 149 yards of total offense including 81 yards receiving before he was pulled in the 3rd quarter.
Levine Toilolo (-6.7)
Ryan Schraeder (-3.7)
Roddy White (-2.6)
There was not a lot of bad on Sunday, but most of it came on the offensive side of the ball. The tight end position has been a huge question mark since the retirement of Tony Gonzalez and it has not gotten any better this season. Both Tamme and Toilolo have struggled when on the field, and the Falcons have opted to re-sign Tony Moeaki. Unfotunately I do not think Moeaki is the answer either, but with the Falcons poised to make a possible Super Bowl run, is a Tony Gonzalez return out of the question?
Schraeder has been nothing but solid since stepping in at tackle for Atlanta last season. He was matched up a lot with Houston star J.J. Watt, so let’s give him a pass this week.
White is an interesting story. Coming into the season, it was clear White’s best days were passed him, but he does not seem to be even a part of the current offense. He was targeted 4 times in this game and had 2 catches for 8 yards. White is not the guy to complain, but he has stated that he wants a bigger role in the offense. There have even been a few trade rumors swirling. It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season pans out regarding White.