Haason Reddick had five tackles and an assist which is not bad considering he played less than 60% of the snaps in a timeshare with Joe Walker. At this early stage, it is hard to say if this was by design or simply an effect of Reddick not yet being completely healthy. He was questionable leading u0p to the game with a sore knee.
A couple of guys that did live up to expectations were inside linebacker Jordan Hicks and safety Budda Baker who both played every snap. Hicks finished with a team-best eight solo tackles and six assists, while Baker was not far behind at seven solo and one assist. The way Baltimore ran the ball against Miami, Hicks and Baker should give us an encore performance this week.
The Cardinals pass rushers showed up large in the game as well. Chandler Jones finished at 4-0-1 with a forced fumble and a recovery while Terrell Suggs came out on fire at 5-2-2 with a forced fumble. I always like the matchup of a star facing their old teams, so look for Suggs to stand out again this week against the Ravens.
One surprise to come out of the Falcons Week 1 loss was the limited snap count for middle linebacker Deion Jones. He missed time over the summer with a foot issue but was not expected to be limited once the regular season arrived. Jones played 33 snaps against the Vikings while De’Vondre Campbell drew the full-time duties and led the team with six solo tackles. The good news for those that drafted Jones, he managed five tackles despite the limited action. Keep an eye out for word on Jones’ status for Week 2. If he did not suffer a setback, his playing time should increase.
After watching the Falcons defense through the preseason, we anticipated Damontae Kazee having a significant role as the third safety. Instead, he shared that role with Kemal Ishmael with the two seeing 24 snaps between them.