The Falcons sit at 1-7 on the year at the halfway point of the season.
As the Falcons enter their bye week, the story of the first half of the season can be told by a few main themes:
- Slow starts have crippled the Falcons as Atlanta has been outscored 144-50 in the first half of games.
- The Falcons haven't created enough turnovers defensively. To put things in perspective, Atlanta's last turnover came in Week 2 during its only win of the season, a 24-20 win over the Eagles.
- Consistency in the run game has been non-existent with the Falcons ranking No. 29th in the league in rushing offense.
Although the record doesn't suggest there's been many positives, there are have been a number of strong individual performances, especially on the offensive side of the ball.
Here's a breakdown by the numbers of where the Falcons are halfway through the season:
Three good numbers
The Falcons have the No. 1 ranked passing offense through eight games, averaging 317 yards per game. Matt Ryan is off to an exceptional start throwing for 2,170 yards, which is eighth in the league. His 15 passing touchdowns rank fifth in the league.
In addition to having the No. 1 passing offense, the Falcons also rank No. 2 in passing touchdowns. Ryan has thrown 17 touchdown passes this season. Hooper leads the team with five, Jones and Calvin Ridley both have four and Devonta Freeman has three. Mohamed Sanu recorded the other touchdown before being traded to the New England Patriots.
The Falcons rank No. 7 in total yards on offense as they average 385.5 yards per game.
Three not-so-good numbers
The Falcons are dead last in sacks on the year with seven. To put into perspective how low this number is, the New England Patriots lead the league with 31. Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett leads the Falcons with three on the year. First-round picks Vic Beasley and Takk McKinley have combined for just two sacks.
The Falcons are 31st in the league in the turnover differential at minus-11 on the year. Atlanta's defense hasn't generated as many turnovers as they'd hope to have at this point. The Falcons have just two interceptions and have forced two fumbles. On the other the side of the ball, the Falcons haven't taken care of the ball like they need to. Atlanta has turned the ball over 15 times, nine interceptions and six fumbles.
Atlanta's defense is giving up an average of 31.3 points per game. Only the Miami Dolphins (0-7) are giving up more points a game as they're allowing 34 points per game.
Take a look at the Falcons' photography team's favorite images from Week 8 in this gallery, presented by Woolfson Eye Institute.