Atlanta Falcons rookie tight end Kyle Pitts enjoyed his best career game in London over the weekend, but another rookie also played some of the best football in his young career.
Defensive back Richie Grant, who the team selected with the 35th overall pick, played 50 percent of the team's defensive snaps. It's the first time Grant has lined up on defense since playing six snaps in Week 1.
Grant did not disappoint. He racked up three tackles and a pass defensed in the 27-20 win over the New York Jets.
The Falcons' secondary has taken several hits over the first five weeks, with safety Erik Harris and cornerback Avery Williams missing time and losing Isaiah Oliver for the season.
Coach Arthur Smith's approach with rookies has been extremely conservative, as seen with Pitts and Grant. But last week there was a willingness to take the young players out of the bubble wrap and let them loose.
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On this episode of "Locked On Falcons," host Aaron Freeman invites Andy Gallagher (Blogging Dirty, Pro Football Network) to recap the Atlanta Falcons' impressive Week 5 win over the Jets in London.
The pair first discuss how the Falcons managed to exceed their low expectations entering the weekend, before discussing Matt Ryan and other standout performances on Sunday.
Then, they discuss the breakout games for rookies Kyle Pitts and Grant, and how the team can maximize their impact for the rest of the 2021 NFL season.
Andy then gives a first-hand account of watching the Falcons live on Sunday in London, including if he was worried if the team would blow their lead against the Jets.