New England Patriots Week 7 team grades vs Atlanta Falcons
The Patriots pass defense has been torched all season. They came into Week 7 against the Falcons as the worst pass defense in the NFL, surrendering the most yards per game in the league. Many people expected that to continue against the dynamic duo of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones.
Instead, the Patriots turned in their best pass defense performance of the season. Ryan was unable to get into a rhythm, as he completed 22-of-33 for 233 yards and one touchdown. That was by far the fewest yards the Patriots have surrendered through the air this season.
Julio Jones ended the game with a good stat line of nine receptions for 99 yards, but a lot of that came after the game had already been decided. Jones touchdown reception could have easily been an interception by Malcolm Butler, but Jones ripped the ball right out of his hands for his first touchdown of the season.
Mohamed Sanu is who actually gave the Patriots the most trouble early in the game. Sanu finished the game with 65 yards on six receptions in his return to the lineup. Outside of Sanu and Jones, very little damage was done by the Falcons receiving corps.
This performance is a huge confidence boost for the team. They have struggled all season and came into the game banged up as Stephon Gilmore and Eric Rowe were both sidelined. It was a big surprise to see them get on track with those two out injured.