Nerdy Birdz: Three telling stats for Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Austin Hooper

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The Falcons are back home in Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday and this game against the Los Angeles Rams is one you won’t want to miss. We have some approaching milestones and players who are expected to shine playing this team from the West Coast. Check out these three stats:

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1. Always open like Waffle House

As I am sure you all saw, the Rams were quite busy this week. After trading Marcus Peters to the Ravens, placing Aqib Talib and John Johnson on IR and trading with the Jaguars for Jalen Ramsey, Eric Weddle will be the only defensive back that has started a game for the team this season. Yes, we have all heard that Ramsey is talented, but he will have only been able to attend two practices with his new team this week and it is not guaranteed he will play Sunday. So, watch out for Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu and Calvin Ridley to take advantage of this. Those three guys are averaging over 9.5 yards per reception and each has recorded at least 25 receptions, no other team has three wideouts doing that. If Ramsey does play Sunday, it would be his first time ever going against Jones and the Falcons.

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2. One of a kind

Last Sunday, Matt Ryan completed 30 of 36 passes for 356 yards and four touchdowns had a 144.9 QB rating. His 83.3 completion percentage marked his 10th game completing at least 80 percent of his passes since 2012. Drew Brees is the only other quarterback who has more such games (12) during that span. The 356 passing yards against the Cardinals marked his sixth-consecutive game with at least 300 passing yards this year, joining Kurt Warner (2000) and Steve Young (1998) as the only players in NFL history to accomplish the feat in each of their team’s first six games of a season. So far in 2019, the Rams defense has only allowed one 300-yard passer, but with their drastic changes in the defensive backfield and how well Ryan is playing this season, we could see history in the making on Sunday.

3. Hoop, there it is

Austin Hooper. I am sure a lot more of you are recognizing his name if he’s on your fantasy team or you had to face him, but the fourth-year pro is flourishing this year. Hooper has 42 receptions (most among tight ends), 480 yards (second among tight ends), three touchdowns (second among tight ends). Through six games, he is currently on pace with former Falcon and Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez’s 2012 season, when Gonzalez finished with 930 yards, eight touchdowns and went to the Pro Bowl. Hooper keeps exceeding expectations and his statistics every year since he’s been in the NFL. In the Rams last two games, their opponents each had a tight end post more than 75 yards against their defense (Will Dissly 81; George Kittle 103) and now the Rams are going up against Hooper. Let’s see if Hooper will continue the streak this Sunday.

The Atlanta Falcons were testing their ups in the second practice ahead of a Week 6 match up against the Rams. Take a look at those drills and more in this gallery, presented by Quikrete.

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