The Falcons have completed 25 percent of their season and sit with a 3-1 record after four games. Atlanta has a bye week to heal and contemplate the next portion of their season. But before that, John Fricke looks back and hands out grades for the first quarter.
Offense (B-): For all its turnover issues, this club is still fourth in the league in total offense (388.8 yards per game) and sixth in scoring (26.0 ppg). It’s not the No, 1’s they wanted, but it hasn’t been awful. Red-zone woes have been costly. They have also struggled on third down (19 of 44). They have exhibited balance in the attack (ninth in passing in the league, 10th in rushing per game).
Defense (B): So far the defense is 13th in total defense, but only 18th in scoring defense (22.2 ppg). The downside is they have only two turnovers in four games (near dead last in both picks, fumbles), but they are tied third in sacks (12) and have made multiple critical goal-to-go plays to save two road wins.
Special Teams (A): Matt Bryant and Matt Bosher are the same and solid as ever. Andre Roberts has infused the return game. A bright spot.
Coaching (B): It will take a little time to get into sync with two new coordinators, maybe longer for Steve Sarkisian to mesh with the offense. Overall they have done a very good job managing around major injuries.
Overall (B): A 3-1 record is hard to argue with no matter how rocky a road it was. A dominating win over the Packers and three conference wins (two on the road) looks great, all while dealing with those injuries.
The Falcons could be 4-0. They could also be 1-3. The Packers win was their best game, but this club has not produced what it (or I) would consider an “A” game so far this season.