The Falcons didn’t play the prettiest game in the world, but they did what had to be done to win the game. It was a hard-fought and very much earned win against a quality opponent in a hostile environment. The defense played as good as it ever has under Coach Mike Smith and DC Brian Van Gorder against a very potent offense. The offense was fairly sporadic, but did what had to be done when it counted and did some good things against a pretty tough defense. Will be back with another post very soon with more in-depth analysis, but for now let’s hear from The Bird Cage Faithful on your thoughts of the big win…………
We here in The Bird Cage have given plenty of criticism directed towards the defense for some time, but its also fair to say that we also give credit where it’s deservedly due. The Atlanta Falcons defense was absolutely fantastic yesterday. It was one of the best defensive performances since Coach Smith and DC Van Gorder took over the defense. They responded by being called out as the worst team in the NFL on 3rd down conversions with an astonishing 1-10 conversion rate for Detroit. The Falcons were aggressive, hit hard, and help one of the hottest offensive teams in absolute check. The defense has gotten better each week and it appears that the Falcon Faithful may finally be seeing what we’ve been waiting on with this D for so long.
Matt Ryan still has his share of improving to do, especially on his deep pass touch, but anyone questioning this guy’s fortitude or commitment to this team as the Falcons unquestioned leader got their answer on Sunday. The slow-motion replay showed a brutal looking injury and fans feared the worst. He was on the ground for some time, which is atypical for him. He went out of the game and headed to the locker room. He returned only a series later to fire a huge 3rd down conversion to Harry Douglas for a 49 yard pass. The team rallied around him and were quick to his defense after the game regarding a few Lions players. This team may not be the prettiest and Matt Ryan may not be elite yet, but they sure know how to fight.
Who knows the reason, but the simple fact is that the Falcons are just better on offense with Matt Ryan calling the plays and running the no-huddle offense. The offense always seems to have a better flow and rhythm when the quarterback is calling the plays. Perhaps it’s not necessarily OC Mularkey’s fault, but the truth is that the offense is just better. Not only do the passing plays appear better, but so do the running plays as well. It seems as though all the big Turner runs come after Ryan has changed the play. As with the 3rd and goal timeout, maybe Coach Smith is not letting Mularkey run his offense and interfering too much, but the results speak for themselves. Needing a jolt to the offense, Matt Ryan ran the no-huddle towards the end of the half and went 5-5 for 61 yards that ended in a touchdown pass to Roddy White. Who knows what that means for Mularkey and his future with the Falcons.