The Falcons came away with a huge win week 1, beating the Chiefs 40-24 to start the season. I know the Chiefs were missing their top two defenders, but the Falcons’ new offense was as advertised and it was a good win for them on the road, where they’ve had some recent trouble. Matt Ryan was 23 of 31 for 299 yards and 3 touchdowns. However, the win was not without losses.
Top cornerback Brent Grimes tore his Achilles and was placed on IR, ending his season. Last season, Grimes was ProFootballFocus’ 3rd ranked cornerback and allowed 25 catches on 56 attempts (44.6%) for 258 yards (4.6 YPA), 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception, while deflecting 12 passes and committing 1 penalty. He was franchised tagged this offseason, but did not sign a long term deal and likely cost himself millions on any future long term deal with this injury.
The Falcons traded for Asante Samuel this offseason to shore up the #2 cornerback spot as Dunta Robinson had been struggling. Robinson will now have to step into the starting lineup with Chris Owens playing the slot. This is bad news because Robinson has struggled whenever he’s been forced to start and last year he allowed 43 catches on 77 attempts (55.8%) for 734 yards (9.5 YPA), 3 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions, while deflecting 5 passes and committing 4 penalties. He was ProFootballFocus’ 90th ranked cornerback out of 98.
Defense was already not a strong suit of the Falcons’ coming into the season and they even struggled to stop the Chiefs mediocre offense before the Grimes injury. The Falcons will score a lot of points and win a lot of games, but they’ll need to play a lot of shoot outs. This injury dampers, to say the least, a very good weekend which featured the Falcons winning big and the Saints losing at home.