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3 Falcons takeaways from nail-biting Week 7 win over Dolphins

matt ryan, kyle pitts, calvin ridley, falcons,

It took them a while, but the Atlanta Falcons seem to have finally kicked things into groove in this 2021 season, as they beat the Miami Dolphins 30-28 on Sunday to improve to 3-3 on the season. The win was their second straight and third in their last 4 games, and gives them the opportunity to move into second place in the NFC South if games later in the slate bounce their way.

Tua Tagovailoa gave Atlanta quite the scare, as he led the Dolphins to a lead with 2 and a half minutes left after coming back from down 13 points in the fourth quarter. However, following a great drive from Matt Ryan and some hard-earned yards from breakout stud Cordarrelle Patterson, Younghoe Koo drilled the game winner as time expired, continuing his place as one of the most interesting players in Falcons lore.

Will the Falcons stay hot and make a run at a Wild Card spot this year? Or is this recent stretch a mere flash in the pan? Here are 3 key takeaways from Sunday’s game that will help us decide.

1. Cordarrelle Patterson should be the workhorse back in this offense

Patterson’s never lived up to the hype he received as a first round draft pick back in 2013, which makes his outstanding performance thus far in 2021 quite the sight to see. Though primarily a kick returner and back wideout over the course of his career, he’s blossomed into an amazing running back this season, averaging almost 90 scrimmage yards per game despite only getting starts on offense a couple games ago.

He continued his hot streak against the Dolphins as well, racking up 60 yards on 14 carries as well as a gritty touchdown run, making that the fifth consecutive game he’s achieved at least 100 scrimmage yards or a touchdown. Patterson simply brings the Falcons a different burst when he’s in the game, as he offers speed, power, and versatility that they haven’t had since Devonta Freeman was in his prime. Sorry Mike Davis.

2. Kyle Pitts is a certified monster

Pitts had his breakout game last week as he eclipsed 100 yards and a touchdown in London, and he topped that performance once again in Week 7. Catching 7 balls for 163 yards, including this clutch grab along the sideline to set up the game-winning FG, he’s finally beginning to show why he deserved such high draft capital, and could have a historic season for ANY tight end, not just a rookie. He’s not Julio Jones, but they’re similar in that they’re high football IQ, athletic freaks, and Pitts could seriously build something special during his time here with Matt Ryan.

3. The Falcons have a real shot at playoff contention

I know it sounds crazy, as the Falcons opponents who they’ve beaten have a combined 4 wins, but Atlanta could sneak into the Wild Card this year. Out of their remaining 11 games, only 5 offer opponents that offer a winning record (3 if the Saints lose on Monday night). Now that the NFL has expanded their playoff format, simply having a winning record gives teams a good chance at a playoff spot.

Ridley, Pitts, and Ryan are all healthy and clicking on all cylinders now, and they could be dangerous down the stretch.