The Falcons and Jaguars both entered Sunday’s contest in London hoping to bounce back from some piss-poor performances in Week 2. Unfortunately, only one team accomplished that, and it wasn’t the good guys. Atlanta turned in another stinker with a 23-7 loss to the Jaguars as they move to 2-2 on the season after starting out with a couple of encouraging wins.
What Went Right
Bijan Robinson rebounds
Robinson was held in check for the first time in his career against the Lions in Week 3, but he looked like a superstar once again in Week 4, racking up 104 yards on the ground on just 14 carries. He also added 32 more yards through the air on five receptions, averaging over seven yards every time he touched the ball. The young man is a superstar, and it’s unfortunate the Falcons weren’t able to lean on the running game more because they fell so far behind in the first half.
Jonnu Smith has a big game
Jonnu Smith was acquired in the offseason in a trade with the Patriots, reuniting him with Arthur Smith after the pair spent time with each other in Tennessee. Jonnu Smith was pretty quiet through the first three weeks, but he was by far the Falcons leading receiver in Week 4, hauling six passes for 95 yards. He now leads the Falcons in receiving on the season with 179 yards, which isn’t exactly a promising sign given their other weapons, but we will get to that in a moment.
Defense once again comes up huge
The team is still 2-2 going into Week 5, but if these trends continue, I can see there being some beef between the offense and defense. One unit continues to do a stellar job, while the offense sputters and turns the ball over. Atlanta’s defense gave up just 16 points to a very good Jaguars offense and even came up with a critical four-and-out after Desmond Ridder‘s second interception of the game. It’s disappointing the offense might be the worst in all of football, because this defense is the best the Falcons have had in decades.
What Went Wrong
Desmond Ridder might be the NFL’s worst starting QB
In Week 3, a lot of the Falcons offensive woes were because the entire group failed to do their job. The offensive line was atrocious, Ridder was inaccurate, and Arthur Smith didn’t adjust. In Week 4, most of the blame deserves to lie on the shoulders of Ridder. His two interceptions in the second quarter took the Falcons out of the game, and both were just disgustingly poor decisions, one of which resulted in a pick-six. We are now eight starts into Ridder’s tenure as the starting quarterback in Atlanta, and he’s shown next to no improvement. That has to change, or I’m not sure how much longer Arthur Smith can continue to trot him out as the team’s starter.
The usage of Kyle Pitts and Drake London
This has been a theme every week in this piece, and I’m not going to stop talking about it until it changes. These two top ten picks combined for five catches for 49 yards on Sunday. That just isn’t going to cut it, and Arthur Smith’s fantasy football comments aren’t going to hold up when the offense has combined for 13 points over the last two weeks. The Falcons have weapons, but they aren’t being utilized correctly. That has to change, or Arthur Smith’s tenure as the head coach in Atlanta may not last for very much longer.
Photo: Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire