Atlanta Falcons: 3 Season observations entering Week 9 bye

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images /
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Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images /

2. Jones, Hooper having standout seasons already

The second observation that has occurred for the Atlanta Falcons at the midway point in the regular season and entering their bye week here in Week 9 is the fact that pass-catchers Julio Jones and Austin Hooper have been obvious standouts for the Falcons through eight contests.

For the last few years and really since Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan broke into the NFL around 12 years ago, Atlanta has consisted of a high-powered offense that has ranked near the top of the league in multiple categories.

So far in 2019, even though they are struggling overall with a 1-7 record going into Week 9, the Falcons’ offense has once again been a stellar unit and has kept Atlanta in many games up to this point in the year so far. Its defense, however, is another story completely.

Pacing the way alongside Ryan under center is Jones, the leading receiver for the Falcons, and Hooper, a solid tight end target within the Atlanta offensive attack.

Jones, who is in his ninth season in the NFL and with the Falcons, is off to yet another strong start to the regular season schedule for Atlanta as it enters its bye week this weekend. Through eight games, Jones has totaled 712 yards and four touchdowns through the air for the Falcons, grabbing a total of 50 receptions while averaging 14.2 yards per catch.

Jones ranks third in the NFL in reception yards while ranking ninth in total catches and sixth in yards per game (89.0) for Atlanta.

Hooper, on the other hand, has been a really nice compliment to counter Jones and has continued to be a reliable option for Ryan and the Atlanta offense.

Hooper, in his fourth season in the NFL in 2019, has recorded 591 yards and five touchdowns receiving in all eight games for the Falcons. With 52 receptions, Hooper is averaging 11.4 yards per catch so far this year. The tight end ranks 14th in the league in receiving yards while ranking fifth in total catches and is tied for sixth in touchdown catches.

Despite the slow start to the year, the Falcons have a lot to be positive on when it comes to their receivers and especially the performances of Jones and Hooper at the midway point of the 2019 campaign.