With all the hype surrounding Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons during the offseason, a letdown was possible. Luckily for Atlanta fans, the team lived up to the hype in the opening week of the 2012-13 NFL season, knocking off the Kansas City Chiefs 40-24, avoiding the early letdown. Who were the three biggest stars for the Falcons in their important opening week victory?
Most of the hype about the Falcons in the offseason was about his breakout potential. Many were predicting that the former Boston College standout could even reach 5,000 yards passing. While I would love to see him reach that total, I would rather have postseason success. In their victory against the Chiefs, Ryan played extremely well and is making those who predicted a monster season look incredibly wise. He completed 23-of-31 passes for 299 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. He was sacked just once and had a QB rating of 136.4. He also added an additional score on the ground, as he rushed three times for 25 yards.
In the offseason, Jones was the second-most talked about Falcon, and much like Ryan's performance matched the hype, so did Jones' play. He made six receptions for 108 yards and scored two touchdowns. He had the longest reception of the game, bringing down a 31 yarder. Roddy White still had a solid performance, making six catches for 87 yards, but failed to score a touchdown.
It must have been bittersweet for Gonzalez. In what could be the final season of his career, he returned to the city that he played the first 12 professional seasons, and made five receptions for 53 yards and one touchdown. He joined the Falcons in hopes of winning his first Super Bowl and his performance against his former team showed he is ready to do his part to get that ring.
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Hobson Lopes is a fan of the Atlanta Falcons, thanks to Deion Sanders and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.
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