The Atlanta Falcons have been a fun watch this season as they have been one of the more explosive offensive teams in the league. They currently rank in the top five in the NFL in total yards per game (402.3), passing yards per game (295.7) and have the highest scoring offense in the league averaging just under 33 points per outing. The success has largely been due to an MVP-caliber season from quarterback Matt Ryan.
In his ninth season as a pro, Ryan is having his best year. He’s completed 68.3-percent of his passes and is on pace to set career-highs in yards and touchdowns while possibly setting a career-low mark in interceptions. Fans aren’t the only people that have been impressed by Ryan’s play. His own teammates are as well.
“It’s great. Matty Ice is just phenomenal to watch,” said Falcons linebacker LaRoy Reynolds on CBS Sports Radio’s DA show with Damon Amendolara. “It’s phenomenal to watch the offense every week continue to get better and continue to put up that amount of points and to play as such a collective group is impressive to watch from the sidelines. I always catch myself just cheering those guys on and being a big supporter because I think they’re doing some amazing and special things as a unit.”
On the defensive side of the ball, things haven’t been as rosy for the team. The Falcons rank near the bottom of the league in points and yards allowed, but, there have been some bright spots. Most notably, the emergence of second-year linebacker Vic Beasley who has been a one-man wrecking crew in some games this season. Beasley has 13.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries and looks well on his way to becoming a building block for the future in this Falcons defense.
“He’s done a tremendous job, especially this season, just coming into his own and making so many plays for the defense and stepping up as a leader,” said Reynolds. “That’s the biggest thing, his performance and allowing his performance to take over that leadership role. He’s got a good group of veterans in the room with him and I think that’s what has really been channeling his growth to become such a better player.”
Despite the team’s success this season, many are skeptical of the Falcons because of what happened last season when the team opened up red-hot going 6-1 in their first seven games before faltering down the stretch going 2-7 and finishing 8-8 while missing the playoffs. As much as the media and fans have focused on that narrative, the team, according to Reynolds hasn’t even talked about it.
“Honestly, being here, we haven’t talked about last year much,” said Reynolds. “I haven’t heard any of the guys really bring up last year or last season. So much focus has been on this season and what we’re doing and where we want to go this year. Guys don’t really go back to how it was last year and how everything turned out. I think our focus has really just been on this year.”