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Falcons 21, Jaguars 14: Top 5 Observations

After a hideous two-game stretch in which they were outscored 68-3, the Falcons are back to their winning ways

The Atlanta Falcons got back on track Sunday with a win over the hapless Jacksonville Jaguars.

Our Top 5 observations from TIAA Bank Stadium:

1. Cordarrelle Patterson's Triumphant Return - After missing the last game and a half with an injury, Patterson returned and made a statement. He ran for a career-high 108 yards and scored the team's two touchdowns in the first half. 

He's been the team's best player this season with nine total touchdowns - five in the air and four on the ground. Patterson's presence on the field gives Matt Ryan a reliable option and someone that can help open the play-action game . If the Falcons are going to win games down the stretch, Patterson will be a big reason why.

2. The offensive line had its best game of the season today - The offensive line has struggled mightily this season, but the unit deserves a lot of credit after today's win. The team's 149 rushing yards is a season-high and Ryan was only sacked once. It makes a world of difference when your quarterback is upright and you are winning battles in the trenches. Most games in the NFL are won at the line of scrimmage, and the Falcons won today's game there.

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3. Russell Gage steps up when needed - With Calvin Ridley out and no return in sight, Gage has had to step up in a big way. He hadn't lived up to the hype so far, but today he did. He led the team with six catches for 62 yards and a score. Gage doesn't need to be a superhero for the Falcons, but he needs to provide an option outside of Patterson and rookie tight end Kyle Pitts. If he can prove to stay reliable, the Falcons can move in the right direction.

4. This team still doesn't know how to close out games - Despite holding an 18-point lead late in the third quarter, the Falcons saw themselves fighting to close the game inside the two-minute warning. It's a theme all too common with Falcons fans and despite the personnel swapping in and out every year, any player with a Falcons jersey on can't seem to figure it out.

The Falcons dominated this game through nearly three quarters and they cannot let the foot off the gas, regardless of the opponent.

5. The Falcons have some of their swagger back, but the job is incomplete - A win today is a step in the right direction, but this team has a long way to go. At 5-6, the Falcons are still in the thick of things in the playoff race, even if this team doesn't feel exactly playoff-caliber.

The goal for this team should be to make the playoffs since it isn't too far out of reach. The schedule does begin to toughen up after this week with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on deck, but as we've seen this season, anything can happen on any given Sunday. Maybe if the Falcons play like they did today, they can capture a win against the defending champions.