What we learned from the Atlanta Falcons 35-28 win over the Oakland Raiders

There were plenty of positives to take away for both teams in a high-scoring affair in the Bay.

What we learned from the Atlanta Falcons 35-28 win over the Oakland Raiders
Tevin Coleman scores the final touchdown in Atlanta's 35-28 win over Oakland | Source: Marcio Jose Sanchez - AP

The Atlanta Falcons marched into the Oakland Coliseum on Sunday afternoon with a point to prove and they did exactly that, beating the Oakland Raiders 35-28.

Both teams were exceptional on offense and we learned plenty about the Falcons and Raiders going forward into the rest of the season.

No Huddle Works!

The Falcons ran the no-huddle offense for a large portion of Sunday's game and it worked brilliantly for Matt Ryan, who has always thrived in a no huddle gameplan. Ryan was heavily criticized for his play last season but looks much improved so far this season and Sunday's game was a great example.

Matt Ryan's stats in the no huddle vs Oakland:

85.7% completion, 2 TDs, 220 yards, 158.3 passer rating.

While there has been plenty of pressure on offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, his best bet going forward may be to run the no huddle, something that suits his quarterback well.

Matt Ryan was brilliant in Week 2. (Source: Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Matt Ryan was brilliant in Week 2 | Source: Jason O. Watson - Getty Images

The Falcons Pass Rush Needs Work

Atlanta's pass rush is an obvious concern and it was even more obvious on Sunday, despite recording their first sack of the season. It came when Vic Beasley Jr. forced Derek Carr to scramble out of bounds, technically registering a sack, but the pass rush struggled all day.

Carr was able to thrive in the pocket and when pressure finally arrived, he was escaping with ease at times. Going forward, Atlanta has to improve on getting to the quarterback and limiting scrambling outside the pocket if they want to stop opposing teams from scoring at will. 

Raiders Defense Must Improve Fast

The Raiders spent a lot in the offseason, especially on their defense. The signings of Reggie Nelson, Sean Smith, and Bruce Irvin were praised highly and rightly so, but it's been a slow start to the season and it has to change quickly for Oakland.

Oakland are the first team since the 1967 Atlanta Falcons to give up 500+ yards in their opening two games of the season and with all the talent on that side of the ball, that shouldn't be happening. The Raiders have given up 69 points through the first two games, but it's unlikely that continues once their free agent signings step up.

Kemal Ishmael Earning More Opportunities

After first round pick Keanu Neal went down in pre-season, Kemal Ishmael stepped in to fill the gaping hole at safety and has impressed in the opening two games. On Sunday specifically, Ishmael led both teams with 15 tackles and also notched a pass deflection.

With Neal expected to return soon and reclaim his starting spot, Ishmael has done more than enough to earn more reps and perhaps even partner Neal in some packages.