Atlanta Falcons PFF Grades for Week 1: Ricardo Allen Leads the Defense


The Falcons were able to hold onto a 26-24 upset victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. Atlanta took a commanding 20-3 lead into halftime, but the Eagles were able to storm back in the second half and eventually captured a 24-23 lead. Matt Bryant’s field goal put the Falcons back up, and a missed Cody Parkey field goal along with a Sam Bradford interception help seal the game for the home team. The game was full of highs and lows, so lets take a look at who stood out.

The Good

Julio Jones (+5.7)

Roddy White (+3.1)

Ricardo Allen (+1.8)

Julio’s shocking number of +5.7 is almost absurd. Coming off inking a monster contract, Jones showed why he was worth every penny. The Alabama product caught 9 balls for 141 yards and 2 TDs on Monday night. He was all over the place, and his night really should have been better. He had several plays called back due to offensive pass interference penalties on his teammates. In Kyle Shanahan’s offense, Jones is in for a career year and expect these kind of performances to continue.

Jones’s counterpart, Roddy White, also had a very nice game. White caught 4 balls for 84 yards, and most importantly looked healthy for the first time in a long time. The famous Falcon graded out as an exceptional run blocker to go along with his receiving stats.

Ricardo Allen was one of the few bright spots on the defense for 4 quarters. The Falcons defense was suffocating in the first half, only allowing 3 points to an explosive Eagles offense. However, they came out lackluster in the second half and had trouble stopping Philadelphia. Allen was all over the place on Monday and came up with the game winning interception.

The Bad

William Moore (-4.4)

Justin Durant (-3.8)

Andy Levitre (-3.7)

William Moore is finally healthy and back on the field for Atlanta. Unfortunately, he did not play his best game of football on Monday. Despite having a game changing interception, Moore rated below average against the run and dreadful in pass coverage. He missed tackles and had several blown coverages throughout the game. He may be one of the veterans of the Falcons defense, but if his play does not improve, he has to be replaced.

Justin Durant graded out poorly against both the run and the pass overall. Durant was acquired in free agency coming off a torn biceps injury last year. He did however have several key plays throughout the course of the game. He was not expected to be a game changer for Atlanta, but fans should certainly expect more from the veteran linebacker.

Unlike his counterpart, Chris Chester, who graded out at a (+1.3), Levitre struggled mightily in his Falcons debut. The Falcons gave up a 2016 6th round pick and a future conditional draft pick to acquire the guard from Tennessee. He was not bad at pass blocking, but graded out at an awful -3.6 in the run blocking category. Levitre’s play is what landed him in the doghouse with the Titans. If he cannot perform better, it will not be long before he finds himself in the same situation.

Other Notables

Matt Ryan (-0.6)

Leonard Hankerson (-2.2)

Jake Mathews (1.2)

Jacob Tamme (-3.0)

Vic Beasley (-1.4)

Desmond Trufant (1.0)

Ra’Shede Hageman (1.3)

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