WAS-ATL Grades: Devonta Freeman powers sloppy Falcons

The top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Falcons’ 25-19 overtime victory over Washington.

| 2 years ago
(AP Photo/Brad Penner)

(AP Photo/Brad Penner)

WAS-ATL Grades: Devonta Freeman powers sloppy Falcons

Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Falcons’ 25-19 overtime victory over Washington.


– An up-and-down day from Kirk Cousins (-0.5). He was solid, but struggled with accuracy and ball placement which resulted in two interceptions. His biggest issue was downfield accuracy. He only completed four passes that traveled more than 10 yards in the air.

– While he allowed three quarterback disruptions, this was the most assured first-round pick Brandon Scherff (+2.3) has looked, earning a career-best grade for his efforts. The fifth overall selection has looked every bit the rookie initially, but this was a sign that perhaps he’s adjusting to life in the NFL.

– Much was made of the Falcons matchup with the lowly Washington secondary, but they more than held their own in this regard. Bashaud Breeland (+2.9) led the way and only allowed four receptions for 39 yards on 12 targets. He also hauled in an interception and had two passes defensed.

Top performers:

RT Morgan Moses (+3.0)
CB Bashaud Breeland (+2.9)
DE Jason Hatcher (+2.7)
OLB Preston Smith (+2.5)
RG Brandon Scherff (+2.3)

Atlanta Falcons

– Highlighting the Falcons’ struggles was the performance of Matt Ryan (-2.8). He was mediocre the entire game and was careless with the football, which resulted in three turnovers. With Julio Jones not looking fully healthy, it’s becoming clear the team lacks a real second option and it’s impacting the intermediate and deep passing attacks where Ryan completed only five of 18 attempts.

– A very quiet day for Vic Beasley (-1.2). He ended up with just two hurries and one truly impressive play where he beat Morgan Moses inside with a spin move. It can’t be stressed enough that Beasley is a rookie facing a monumental task with a revolving door of top tackles on his plate; Trent Williams the latest to give him little room rushing the passer.

– A strong performance from Devonta Freeman (+1.6) with the only blight being a poor fourth quarter fumble that could have cost his team dearly. It didn’t, but it’s a worry that he’s fumbled in consecutive weeks. Outside of that, he’s been a perfect fit for the running game, with decisive cutting a key component in a dominating rushing attack.

Top performers:

RT Ryan Schraeder (+5.2)
LG Andy Levitre (+2.2)
LB Nathan Stupar (+2.1)
SLB Kroy Biermann (+1.8)
DLT Jonathan Babineaux (+1.8)

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  • Jason Kallgren

    So the reports last week were that Julio’s hamstring was a concern for the Falcons, but that it and they wouldn’t limit him much. But I swear there were some plays that he could barely move after, especially Freeman’s fumble into the endzone that Julio recovered for the TD.

    Also, I think the ‘Skins final drive of regulation was their best of the season. Yeah, they had all three timeouts, but with a lot of field to cover in just 24 seconds, they did a great job making enough plays to give their kicker a chance to nail a tying FG.

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