Before the Julio Jones trade, the Falcons receiving core was one of the most feared units in the league. Defenses constantly gave up 300-yard passing games to Matt Ryan, while Calvin Ridley, Russell Gage, and Jones would consistently put up triple-digit receiving yards performances. This year, things have changed. Before the Tampa Bay game, there wasn’t a single receiver with a 100+ yard game.
But against the Buccaneers, Russell Gage finally broke that threshold. He caught 11 of his 12 targets for a career-high 130 yards in the 30-17 loss. That obviously gave him some confidence going into the next game against the Panthers because he couldn’t stop… rapping?
Gage hauled in four of his six targets for 64 yards in the Falcons 29-21 win over the Panthers last Sunday, making it four straight weeks where Matt Ryan has targeted him at least six times. It is fantastic to see how the team interacts on the sidelines in the middle of the game, and who knows, maybe the former LSU Tiger does this all the time. Either way, it was incredibly entertaining. I always find it fascinating that rappers want to be athletes, and athletes want to be rappers, but like in most cases, Gage might be better suited to stick to ball.
Coming into the season, expectations were sky-high for the former sixth-round pick. Gage caught 72 passes for 786 yards in only eight starts a year ago, which provoked many (including myself) to think he would step into a full-time role. Well, he had a slow start to the 2021 season, recording under 100 yards in the first couple of months of the season as he dealt with an injury. It is clear Gage is nothing more than a complementary piece, but the positive energy he brings is invaluable; after all, this game is supposed to be fun.
Photo: Dannie Walls/Icon Sportswire