Takeaways: Falcons rookies shine in blowout win over Buccaneers

The Atlanta Falcons defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 18 to close out the season with a 7-10 record. While the Buccaneers rested their starters in the second half, it was still a promising performance for the Falcons’ rookie draft class.

Tyler Allgeier and Drake London set rookie records, and Desmond Ridder had his best showing yet to lead the team to a victory on Sunday. Here are five takeaways from the season finale.

Ridder steps up big

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After three games without a touchdown pass, Ridder got the monkey off his back in Week 18. The rookie threw two touchdowns, while competing 19-of-30 pass attempts for 224 passing yards and no interceptions. Ridder has consistently shown poise in each of his four starts. On Sunday, we saw what the young QB can do when he plays with confidence. We don’t know whether the Falcons will address the QB position during the offseason, but Ridder’s consistent progression is something this team will need to take into consideration.

Tyler Allgeier rushes his way into team history

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Tyler Allgeier was 100 yards away from a 1,000-yard rookie season coming into Sunday’s game. The former BYU start had a career day, rushing for 135 yards and setting a new Falcons rookie record for yards in a season. Williams Andrews held the previous record of 1,023 rushing yards, which he set back in 1979. Allgeier is clearly the future of the Falcons’ ground game. He finishes his rookie year with 1,135 rushing yards and three touchdowns, with 139 receiving yards on 16 catches. Not bad for a fifth-round pick!

Drake London tops Kyle Pitts' rookie catch record

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Drake London left the game in the first half but returned to set a new Falcons rookie record for catches in a season. London surpasses second-year tight end Kyle Pitts, who previously held the record with 68 catches. For the season, London officially finished with 72 catches for 866 receiving yards and four touchdowns. The Falcons passing attack has been lacking all season, but we saw glimpses of what it could be with Ridder and London leading the way.

Brady suffers first loss vs. Falcons

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The Atlanta Falcons have finally done the impossible, they defeated Tom Brady in a game. Brady came into Sunday’s game with a 10-0 record against Atlanta for his career — which is insane. Even though Brady was benched midway through the game, Sunday’s game officially drops Brady to 10-1 against the Falcons for his career. Don’t worry, Tom, you can’t win them all!

Same record, better team?

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The Falcons finished with the same record they did one season ago, but you could argue this team is significantly better than last year’s squad. The team established a clear identity as a run-first offense that will cram the ball down your throat. Despite numerous offseason changes, the Falcons were competitive in nearly every game this season. With cap space, another high draft pick and Kyle Pitts set to return next season, the future looks bright in Atlanta.

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Story originally appeared on Falcons Wire