Early Bird Report: Isaiah Oliver explains breakdown on D.K. Metcalf's touchdown


The turning point of the Falcons' Week 1 loss to the Seahawks was D.K. Metcalf's 38-yard touchdown catch, which occurred on a Seattle fourth down early in the third quarter. Third-year cornerback Isaiah Oliver was lined up across from Metcalf on the play and had the receiver in man coverage, but couldn't keep the Seahawks playmaker in front of him.

Oliver explained Wednesday where the breakdown occurred in his coverage on Metcalf. The Falcons' cornerback showed improvement during the second half of the 2019 season, but Sunday was a rough starting ahead of an important season for Atlanta, and it showed the importance of technique with the cornerback position.

"It was definitely a technique issue," Oliver explained. "I drop-stepped with my left foot, which is going to put me behind the receiver immediately. The hands part of it was fine, I wasn't worried about that, but it's with the feet. I have to move more with a 45 (degree angle) than drop-stepping and opening up like that. When you do that with a good receiver, you're always going to be a couple of yards behind, kind of on any route he runs. That's what happened there."

If Oliver is able to get his technique more in line with where it needs to be, it should lead to success for both himself and the Falcons. Jason Butt wrote more about Oliver’s technique and details in a piece for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Week 2 NFL QB power rankings

Through one week of NFL action, Matt Ryan leads the league with 450 passing yards. Unfortunately for the Falcons, those efforts came in a loss. Perhaps it was the Falcons' inability to beat the Seahawks that prevented Ryan from moving up in Cody Benjamin's weekly quarterback power rankings. Ryan sits at No. 9 in those rankings, which is where he started the season.

"We might see a lot of Week 1-type stuff from Ryan this year -- big numbers despite an "L" in the standings," Benjamin writes. "Still, you can always count on him to give his play-makers chances."

Week 2 NFL power rankings

The weekly power rankings weren't too kind to the Falcons after their 38-25 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. NFL.com's Dan Hanzus dropped Atlanta six spots after their showing in the season opener. Although they entered the season ranked No. 18 in Hanzus's initial rankings, the Falcons now sit at No. 24 heading into Week 2.

"Give the Falcons this: They put together a beautiful box score on Sunday," Hanzus writes. "Matt Ryan threw for 450 yards and two scores. Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley and Justin Gage each had nine catches and all went over 100 yards for the day. Todd Gurley began his Falcons career with an even 4.0 yards per rush and TD. But the defense had zero answers for the Seahawks' Russell Wilson-led passing attack, and too much of Atlanta's offensive fireworks occurred after the game was already decided. Dan Quinn's team plays from behind too often -- Week 1 felt too much like what we saw last season."

According to Elias Sports Bureau, Sunday was the first time in NFL history a team had three players with nine catches and 100 yards in the same game. Julio Jones - 157 yards. Calvin Ridley - 130 yards. Russell Gage - 114 yards. Each had nine catches.

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