Not too long ago the Atlanta Falcons occupied the basement of the NFC SOUTH. The reasons for the fall were injuries, especially to their star wide receiver Julio Jones. In the world of the National Football League no one cares that your favorite team’s roster has been decimated by injuries. It’s a perfect time to kick a team while they’re down. They didn’t win their third game until week 10 last year and week 13 in 2013.
Well, it appears that the Falcons are “Mad as hell and are not going to take it anymore.” The team is healthy and their record and play shows it.
After three games Jones has 34 receptions for 440 yards. He’s averaging 12.9 yards per catch and already has 5 catches for more than 20 yards. His average yards per game are an incredible 146.7 yards.
Falcon QB Matt Ryan is playing well too. He is just 54 yards shy of 1,000 yards passing and we completed only the third week of the season.
They went up against the then undefeated Dallas Cowboys last Sunday and, although it was a close game, the Falcons won it.
Many are saying that the game was the coming out party for Falcons running back Devonta Freeman. He ran for 141 yards and three touchdowns as he spelled rookie starter Tevin Coleman who was out with an injury.
Jones had his third consecutive 100-yard game –- actually 164 yards –and a touchdown.
Although Brandon Weeden had to substitute for Tony Romo at QB for the Cowboys, the game was still close. The Falcons had to struggle from a 14-point deficit three times. Weeden actually started with nine straight receptions. But reality set in after a second quarter interception. He finished with 22 completions in 26 tries for 232 yards.
Because the Cowboys lost DeMarco Murray to the Eagles, the team is relying now on a running game by committee. Joseph Randle had a decent game. He started with 85 yards in his first three carries that included a 37-yard touchdown run. However, he gained only two yards on his last 11 rushes. The whole Cowboys offense was stymied in the second half achieving only three first downs after collecting 20 in the first half. FALCONS 39 COWBOYS 28
The only team in the South division of the NFC who might be able to catch the Falcons is the Carolina Panthers. They battled division rival New Orleans Saints last Sunday.
Luke McCown had to replace Drew Brees as the Saints QB and did well completing 31 passes in 38 attempts for 310 yards. However, Panthers QB Cam Newton outdueled him by completing 20 passes in 31 attempts for 315 yards and scored his 35th rushing touchdown of his career.
Helping Newton was Panthers tight end Greg Olsen, who caught eight passes for a career-high 134 yards and two touchdowns. Panthers’ cornerback Josh Norman made the big play that cinched the victory with an interception of a McCown pass in the end zone with only 1:09 remaining.
The Saints defense had to play without starters Keenan Lewis, Jairus Byrd, and Dannell Ellerbe. PANTHERS 27 SAINTS 22.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers played well enough to beat the Houston Texans last Sunday, but their placekicker, Kyle Brindza, didn’t come through when they needed him.
He started out well kicking a 58-yard field goal with room to spare. However, he went on to miss kicks of 33, 41, and 57 yards.
The other problem was the Bucs’ running game. They mustered only 57 yards on 20 attempts. Bucs’ QB Jameis Winston was also too inconsistent. He completed 17 passes in 36 attempts that resulted in a QB rating of only 69.3. However, he showed a spark with two throws to Louis Murphy in the fourth quarter, as he appeared to find a rhythm late in the game. He also showed that he’s a rookie when he threw an interception on the first drive of the third quarter. The pick came at an inopportune time as the Bucs were winning 9-7 and the pick set the Texans up for a field goal. The team also hurt themselves with bad penalties suffering three on the first offensive series alone. They finished with 10 penalties for 84 yards.
Meanwhile, Texans QB Ryan Mallett threw for 228 yards and a touchdown and running back Alfred Blue gained 139 yards and had one TD. TEXANS 19 BUCCANEERS 9
NFC SOUTH STANDINGS
CAROLINA PANTHERS 3-0
ATLANTA FALCONS 3-0
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 1-2
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 0-3
NFC SOUTH SCHEDULE
PANTHERS @ BUCCANEERS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2015
TEXANS @ ATLANTA SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2015
COWBOYS @ SAINTS SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2015
Courtesy of Profootballspot.com