WATCH: Atlanta Falcons Week 11 Superlatives
The Atlanta Falcons won their second straight game, 29-3, against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. With the victory, we get to do our Falcons Superlatives for a second straight week.
Atlanta still has a lot to do to get back into the playoff race, but with the win, the Falcons improved to 3-7 and no longer sit alone in last place of the NFC South. Here are our Falcons superlatives for Week 11:
Best Play -- Kenjon Barner Punt Return Touchdown
The Falcons failed to capitalize on an early Panthers interception, staying ahead just 3-0 midway through the first quarter. After the teams traded a pair of punts, the Falcons forced another punt with under a minute left in the first quarter. Barner returned that punt 78 yards for a touchdown.
With the way the Falcons played on offense and defense, it's likely they would have won anyway, but the 10-0 lead allowed the Falcons to continue running the ball despite poor results and gave their defense the ability to rush the passer more frequently.
The punt return touchdown was the biggest play of the game.
Best Performance -- De'Vondre Campbell
It felt fitting for a defensive player to take home the superlative of best performance, so we're giving it to Campbell, who led the Falcons with 11 tackles. He also recorded a pass defense and an interception.
In the last two games, Campbell has 17 tackles, 1.0 sack, 1.0 tackle for loss and a pick.
Most Efficient Player -- Matt Ryan
Ryan could have easily received the best performance superlative, but instead, he earns the most efficient hardware. Ryan only attempted 31 passes, but he still eclipsed the 300-yard mark by averaging 10 yards per pass.
Without his security blanket, tight end Austin Hooper, or his top back, Devonta Freeman, Ryan connected with Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley 14 times for 234 yards.
Unsung Hero -- Adrian Clayborn
Clayborn played more than usual because of an injury to Takk McKinley, and Clayborn took advantage of the higher volume of snaps by posting 2.0 sacks.
He also had three tackles, including 2.0 tackles for loss. It was his best game of the year, and if Clayborn plays like this down the stretch, the Falcons have a lot of depth on the defensive line.
Best New Falcons Coaching Strategy -- Electing to Receive at the Beginning of the Game
While the fad around the NFL is to receive the second-half kickoff, the Falcons have gone in the opposite direction the last two weeks, receiving to start the game. In both cases, they earned field goals on their first possession.
The strategy would obviously work better with a touchdown on the opening drive, but Dan Quinn may have found some gold. The Falcons are built on their offense, so why not put the best unit on the field first to get a lead?
With early leads the last two weeks, the defense has responded extremely well with better performances across the board. It sounds so simply, but getting an early lead next week will be a major key for the Falcons continuing this roll.