The Atlanta Falcons showed some no-huddle, converted their opportunities in the red zone, overcame a Matt Ryan interception and tallied more than 500 yards of offense in their 35-28 victory over the Oakland Raiders at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum yesterday. The Falcons improved to 1-1 and the Raiders dropped to 1-1.
Matt Ryan completed 24-of-36 passes for 397 yards and three touchdowns. He said be believed going no-huddle was part of the reason for success today.
“Yeah I thought we did a great job offensively getting in to a rhythm, Ryan said. “We didn’t do a whole lot in the first quarter, but once we kind of found our stride, we kept going and played really well. [We] did a better job in the red zone today, still have some opportunities to continue to improve, areas we can get better. But, for the most part, I thought our guys played really well today.”
Running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman rushed for 93 and 46 yards respectively. They combined for 139 yards on 29 carries and one touchdown, a marked improvement from the 42 combined rushing yards last week against Tampa Bay.
“I thought both our backs did an awesome job running,” Ryan continued. “Tevin [Coleman] and Devonta [Freeman] were physical the entire day, ran with great vision and made some plays, kind of cutting the ball back and getting outside. I thought they were awesome for us, caught the ball well out of the backfield. We’ve got two really good guys, but to me, it’s all about the offensive line. Our guys up front, they stepped up to the challenge and played really well across the board. That was fun to see.”
In the passing game, Julio Jones overcame an ankle injury and notched 106 yards on 5 catches with a long of 46 and a touchdown reception. The tight ends Austin Hooper, Levine Toilolo and Jacob Tamme had outstanding days. Tamme had 8 catches for 75 yards and a touchdown, Toilolo had two catches for 21 yards and Hooper had 3 catches for 84 yards. Toilolo and Hooper played their college ball 35 miles away at Stanford University.
“That’s right, 12 Cardinal, that’s what we call them, man,” Ryan said when asked about the tight end play. “Those guys got in there, did a good job for us. Levine [Toilolo] and Austin [Hooper] made some really good plays. Jacob [Tamme] did a great job for us. We spent a lot of the game in 13-personnel which is for us, one wide receiver, three tight ends, one running back. I thought that was a good matchup for us today and our guys did a great job.”
Falcons Head Coach Dan Quinn was exemplary of his team’s fighting spirit, overcoming the turnover in the red zone. the penalty by Robert Alford in the 1st quarter that led to a Raiders touchdown.
“It was a big day for the offense,” Quinn said. “Even showing the resiliency when we had the turnover down there – we came right back on the next series and had a good one again. The guys really executed the plan. We had a real design of how we wanted to go about it – both in the field and in the red zone – and I thought the guys just kept attacking. We’re a very fit team, and it was a hot day, and our group kept going and kept attacking, I thought that was a real factor in this game.”
The Falcons travel to New Orleans to play the Saints in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Monday, September 26. Kickoff is at 8:30pm EDT on ESPN. The Saints lost to the New York Giants in East Rutherford, New Jersey 16-13 and are 0-2 on the season.