What a win for the Washington Football Team to improve to 2-2 and maintain second place in the NFC East. It was darn near a must win if the Washington has any hope of repeating as the East champions this year. The vaunted defense that led them to the title last season, however, is still nowhere to be found, as the Falcons offense had its best outing of the season.
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It was a roller coaster day for Taylor Heinicke. While he didn’t end up with a pick on the stat sheet, he still put the ball in harm’s way with a couple turnover-worthy plays. He missed a number of easy throws on the day and finished with only a 66.7 adjusted completion percentage. In the end, though, he gave his guys chances to make plays when it mattered most.
What a finisher from J.D. McKissic. While Antonio Gibson did the heavy lifting on the ground with 63 yards on 14 carries and 49 after contact, McKissic did his damage through the air. He hauled in all five of his targets for 44 yards, including the game-winning score.
Mckissic FLEW pic.twitter.com/iUpVjIrg91
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) October 3, 2021
Scary Terry is still very much that guy. He caught six of his 13 targets for 123 yards, including one of the highlights of the day.
Heinicke continues to take huge risks, but McLaurin makes it work because well, McLaurin is a beast pic.twitter.com/QIcgCXmyLc
— Mark Bullock (@MarkBullockNFL) October 3, 2021
Even though Curtis Samuel was back this week, no other Washington wide receiver had more than 20 yards on Sunday.
The Washington offensive line more than did its job in pass protection against an admittedly weak Falcons defensive line. The unit combined to allow a grand total of two pressures all game. Charles Leno Jr., Ereck Flowers and Chase Roullier all had clean sheets in pass protection on the day.
It was a monster performance from defensive tackle Jonathan Allen, who had five wins as a pass-rusher. Outside of him, though, Washington’s line had a decidedly quiet performance.
Jon Bostic continues to be an issue for the Football team in coverage. After allowing 197 yards over the first three games, Bostic may have only allowed 22 yards Sunday. But those 22 yards came on two targets with one going for a score and the other a first down.
William Jackson’s struggles in a new system continued for Washington. He was lost all day at the catch point and got bailed out by a number of drops from Falcons wide receivers. While he allowed only three catches on seven targets for 32 yards, he very easily could have given up four more catches on the day.
It’s a shame the Falcons couldn’t sneak out the win, as Matt Ryan looked easily the best we’ve seen from him all season. He hit multiple deep balls and finished with two big-time throws after managing only one in his first three games.
Once again there was zero room for the Falcons running backs to work with. Mike Davis gained only 14 yards on 13 carries — 26 of those yards came after contact, which means he was hit nearly a yard into the backfield on average.
It was a career day for veteran Cordarrelle Patterson. He was only on the field for a grand total of 12 receiving snaps yet hauled in touchdowns on three of them. Patterson finished with five catches on five targets for 82 yards.
Cordarrelle Patterson with a 42-yard touchdown, deeeeppppic.twitter.com/1NVwjsM79i
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) October 3, 2021
While the Falcons offense as a whole got moving a little better Sunday, the offensive line still failed to create holes in the run game. The grades have yet to be finalized, but let’s just say it won’t be pretty. The unit combined for only 12 positively graded run blocks on 27 rushing snaps.
The Falcons' inability to affect opposing quarterbacks continues. Their defensive line didn’t have a single sack or hit on the day and only combined for seven pressures on 34 pass plays. It’s going to be nearly impossible to consistently win games in the NFL when that’s the case.
Everything was shaping up to be a vintage Deion Jones performance before his missed a tackle on J.D. McKissic that led to the game-winning score. He finished his day with 10 total tackles, including three stops.
With Isaiah Oliver leaving early on with a knee injury, the Falcons were behind the 8-ball with their cornerback group Sunday. Fabian Moreau struggled, but rookie Avery Williams excelled with his added playing time. He allowed only two catches on four targets for 14 yards on the day.