After an incredible start to the 2015 season, Julio Jones came back down to earth on Sunday. He reeled in four receptions on six targets, totaling only 38 receiving yards with no touchdowns. The Atlanta Falcons did improve to 4-0 on the season though, throttling the Houston Texans 48-21. The offense had a total of 19 receptions, with Matt Ryan finding six different players hands. Jones might have not continued his historic start, but this was positive news for the team in a different kind of way.
The past two games, Atlanta’s wide receiving core has not played up to NFL standards, besides Jones. Leonard Hankerson had a couple of drops in Dallas, but he played a flawless game against the Texans. He had six receptions for 103 yards, while finding the end zone on a quick slant for a three-yard touchdown. Roddy White had another tough outing with only two receptions and drawing an offensive pass interference. While fans might be doubting White and believing he is on the decline, he is doing what he can to help his receivers get open.
Now making headlines throughout the NFL is running back Devonta Freeman. The second-year player had 14 carries for 68 rushing yards, while also having five receptions for 81 receiving yards. The most impressive statistic is that Freeman found the end zone on three separate occasions, and making it look easy. Who was the last player to have three touchdowns in two straight games? The future hall-0f-famer LaDainian Tomlinson was the last one to accomplish that feat. With Tevin Coleman going down due to injury, Freeman has shown he is perfectly capable of being an every-down back for this team. When Coleman comes back, watch out for this deadly duo.
The defense showed up today, and the first unit proved that they definitely upgraded their unit since last year. The final score was 48-21, but the starters were up 42-0 before being taken out. Jonathan Babineaux started the party with an interception on a deflected pass by Ryan Mallet. With 12:24 left in the 2nd quarter, Texans running back Arian Foster fumbled trying to find a way outside the defense, with Falcons star cornerback,Desmond Trufant, scooping-and-scoring for six. Nate Stupar also had a scoop-and-score on the final play of the game.
The Falcons won the turnover battle against the Texans 4-0, which is indicative on how the defense has looked throughout the first quarter of the season. With such a dominant performance, many experts are starting to find out that this team is for real. Texans quarterback Ryan Mallet is no good, but the Falcons defense absolutely embarrassed him and were the reason he was benched. The team is one of the few in the NFL that is still currently undefeated, and they look to continue to add to that record when they face the Washington Redskins (2-2) next Sunday.