FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. – Today's Early Bird Report includes takeaways from the Falcons' Monday-night win against the Giants as well as what it could mean moving forward.
Atlanta earned a big win heading into the bye week by knocking off the New York Giants on Monday night and building on the momentum it created against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
As is the case after each game, NFL.com published several takeaways from the game. This time, writer Jeremy Bergman was the one sharing his insights from the contest.
"If it wasn't for Atlanta's sub-.500 record, [Matt] Ryan would be right there in the MVP conversation," Bergman writes. "The 2016 Most Valuable Player is completing 71.1 percent of his passes and averaging 333.6 yards per game with a 15:2 TD-to-INT ratio. Even in this pass-happy, quarterback-friendly era we're living in, those numbers stand out as something special."
Bergman's other key takeaways from the game included the Falcons keeping their playoff hopes alive behind big performances from kicker Giorgio Tavecchio and Julio Jones as well as Grady Jarrett's return bolstering Atlanta's defense.
To read the rest of Bergman's notes from the game, click here.
Here are some other articles for Falcons fans to check out today:
ESPN: Julio Jones' offseason work with Terrell Owens is helping now
Before arriving in Flowery Branch for training camp, Julio Jones made news by working out this offseason with Hall of Famer Terrell Owens. One of the most physically imposing wide receivers in NFL history, Owens knows a thing or two about winning against defenses with size, speed and skill. Now, fresh off his fourth 100-yard game of the season, it's clear that offseason work is paying off for Jones.
"T.O.'s work ethic, everything about him, what he stands for ... he was a pro for so long," Jones told ESPN's Vaughn McClure. "He played into his mid-30s. And just his regimen, it's always good to learn and keep bettering yourself."
McClure wrote more extensively about Jones' offseason work with Owens, which you can read here.
AJC: With two wins in a row, are the Falcons back? Well …
After their 1-4 start to the season, the Falcons best possible record heading into the bye week would be 3-4, which is exactly what their record is after Monday night's win. Does stringing together consecutive home wins mean Atlanta is back and closer to hitting its stride in the second half of the season? That's the question The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Mark Bradley asked after the game.
"Those seeking a Statement Game from the home side on Monday night with ESPN in the house – and the roof open! – didn't get it," Bradley writes. "The Falcons won, yes, but it would be hard to lose to the Giants right now. The Falcons have won two in a row, yes, but those victories were at home against teams that are a collective 4-9, and the margins of victory were five and three points. I wouldn't start planning that parade down Peachtree just yet."
To read the rest of Bradley's thoughts on what the win means moving forward, click here.