Falcons Three-and-Out: Week 9 vs. Bucs
The Atlanta Falcons defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Thursday Night, 43-28, improving their record to 6-3 for the season.
1. NFL's Highest-Flying Offense Continues to Soar
Quarterback Matt Ryan continued his hot streak as he threw for 344 yards and four touchdowns against the Bucs. The Falcons offense put up over 400 yards of offense and has scored 23 or more points in every game this season.
The offense did a nice job of running the ball and opening up play action passes down the field to wide receivers Julio Jones and Mohammed Sanu, as well as the other weapons at Ryans' disposal. Ryan is playing at an MVP-caliber level through the first half of this season.
2. All About the Ball
Falcons head coach Dan Quinn continues to preach the importance of protecting the ball on offense and taking the ball away on defense. The Falcons did exactly that Thursday night, as they forced and recovered two fumbles and only had one turnover on offense.
Additionally, the revamped Falcons pass rush made Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston uncomfortable all night, sacking him three times. The Falcons struggling defense can continue to yield yards as long as they force turnovers and get the ball back to their potent offense.
3. Trufant Leaves Game with Shoulder Injury
Cornerback Desmond Trufant dropped to his knees with a shoulder injury in the first half and was ruled out after halftime. Losing Trufant, one of the best cornerbacks in the league, would be bad news for an already bad defense.
However, the Falcons can turn to 2014 second round pick Jalen Collins to fill in for Trufant if they need it. Collins missed the first four games of this season due to a suspension for PED use, but has the size and athleticism to take the next step in his development.
The Falcons have a long break before they travel to Philadelphia to play the Eagles next Sunday. Following that game, the team has its full bye week before beginning its journey through the second half of their schedule.
Josh Schultz is a staff writer for Pro Football Spot's Atlanta Falcons Coverage. Follow Josh on twitter @draftblackboard and on his Facebook page: Josh Schultz, Pro Football Spot.