FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who’s off to a monster start, graded highest in the NFL in profootballfocus.com film review grading system.
Jones caught 12 passes for 164 yards and two touchdown against Dallas. He leads the league in receptions with 34 and yards receiving with 440. He also has four touchdowns after just having six last season.
His 34 catches through three games is the most-ever in NFL history.
Jones broke the record of 31 passes caught in the first three games set by Clark Gaines of the New York Jets in 1980 and tied by the New England Patriots’ Troy Brown in 2002 and Wes Welker in 2011.
Also, linebacker Paul Worrilow, who tried to play with a calf injury, graded out poorly. He was the worst linebacker in the league, by far, in Week 3. The Falcons may want to sit him until he recovers from his calf injury.
Here’s profootballfocus.com breakdown of the Falcons after their 39-28 win over the Dallas Cowboys:
- –Quarterback Matt Ryan had the 5th highest accuracy percentage of all QBs in week 3. He got pressured only 4 times against Dallas, which takes his season total up to just 13. At this point last year, he had already been pressured 29 times.
- –Running back Devonta Freeman forced 4 missed tackles against the Cowboys in his first career start.
- –Levine Toilolo played 63 of a possible 74 offensive snaps after Jacob Tamme left the game with a concussion. He averaged 60 snaps a game last season as a starter.
- –As a unit, the Falcons offensive line has given up the fewest pressures all year, with just 8. As a result, they have the best pass blocking efficiency score, 91.7.
- –Fullback, Patrick DiMarco, was PFF’s third highest graded offensive Falcon. He has received three straight positive grades this season and is also the highest graded fullback in the NFL.
- –Julio Jones is the highest graded wide receiver in the NFL.
- –Right guard Chris Chester is PFF’s seventh highest graded guard in the NFL.
- –Left tackle Jake Matthew’s is the sixth highest graded tackle in the NFL. At this point last year, he was ranked 43rd. He’s only give up no hits, no sacks and just one hurry.
- –Defensive end Vic Beasley regressed a little bit against Dallas tackle Tyron Smith. He was the second to lowest graded Falcon on defense. He did have a sack, but Tyron Smith did a good job against him all day.
- –Middle linebacker Paul Worrilow struggled mightily In week 3. His minus-8.1 grade ranked 44th out of 44 linebackers. The 43rd ranked linebacker in Week 3, Anthony Hitchens, had a minus-3.9. He struggled in coverage by allowing 115 yards, with 86 of them being after the catch.
- –Defensive end Jonathan Babineaux had two quarterback hurries. He tied for the third highest grade for interior defensive linemen. He had a strong performance against the run.
- –Defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman turned in his third positive PFF grade of the season.
- –Weakside linebacker Justin Durant earned his first positive grade of the season. His 5 stops was tied for third amongst all 4-3 outside linebackers.
- –Punter Matt Bosher is the highest graded punter in the NFL right now. He’s currently averaging 54.5 yards per kick, also the best in the league.
- –Eric Weems has attempted five returns so far. His 20.6 yards per return average ranks 20 out of 24 returners, who have more than one kick return this year.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter and CineSport’s Noah Coslov discuss what’s led to Julio Jones’ big numbers, the Falcons’ first half struggles and the challenges ahead against the Texans on Sunday.
COWBOYS GAME COVERAGE — Falcons 39, Cowboys 28