The Atlanta Falcons (3-2) have struggled in both of their road games this season, but whenever the team plays at home, something seems to go wrong. The Falcons defeated the Texans 21-19 on Sunday, giving the Falcons a 3-0 lead at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
With the team’s next two home games, Atlanta has a chance to get completely back on track and pick up a few more wins. The Falcons passing attack hasn’t been much of a threat this season, however, Sunday’s game was a different story.
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Hopefully the improvement in Atlanta’s offense is a sign of things to come. Here are our week five cleats and old shoes.
You’d be forgiven for forgetting that Kyle Pitts was the team’s starting tight end heading into Sunday’s game. Pitts had little impact in Atlanta’s first four games. After weeks of criticism, the former No. 4 overall pick had his best game of the season with a team-leading 87 yards on seven catches. Even though it was just one game, it was a step in the right direction for the offense.
Behind Kyle Pitts is Derek London, who took a step forward this week after some forgettable games early in the season. It was crucial for the Falcons to get the passing game going, and with Pitts and London backing up Desmond Reed and the offense, they did just that. The sophomore wide receiver had six catches for 78 yards. Additionally, London completed a smart 22-yard pass on Atlanta’s second possession.
The criticism for Desmond Reed extends far beyond the start of the season, as his name has been mentioned as a potential concern throughout the offseason. While those concerns may have persisted through the first four weeks, Reid put up a career-high 329 passing yards and two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) in Week 5. Considering all the pressure Reed is facing in this game, seeing him respond with the best performance of his career is a great sign.
Alford totaled six tackles, two passes defensed and one tackle for loss in Sunday’s win. While the secondary gave up some big plays, the former undrafted free agent maintained his starting five-star status despite the team’s offseason additions of Mike Hughes and Clark Phillips III.
Patterson has dropped down the rankings this season, which is a shame because he has been a very interesting player the past two seasons. Patterson totaled just 7 yards on one catch, playing primarily as a receiver. Not a bad role for one of the greatest returners in NFL history. For now, though, the team seems committed to splitting the offense between Robinson and Allgaier.