- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter
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The injuries. The win was dampened more than a little by a rash of injuries. Running back Steven Jackson (thigh), fullback Bradie Ewing (shoulder), cornerback Asante Samuel (thigh), linebacker Kroy Biermann (ankle) and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (foot) all left the game in the first half and did not return.
"The streak stops at one." That’s what a bunch of players, following coach Mike Smith’s lead, were saying in the days after a season-opening loss to New Orleans. The saying worked as the Falcons kept up their uncanny knack for avoiding back-to-back losses. They now are 21-3 in games after a loss since Smith took over in 2008. The Falcons haven’t had back-to-back losses since the 2009 season.
The offensive line was better. This unit took a lot of criticism after the season opener, but it held up fairly well against a good St. Louis front four. The line likely is going to stay under the microscope all season, but there were signs of improvement.
Making a case. Julio Jones is showing signs he might be the best receiver in the NFL. He had 11 catches for 182 yards and a touchdown on a day when an ankle injury reduced Roddy White to not much more than a decoy.
An examination of four hot issues from the Atlanta Falcons' 31-24 victory against the St. Louis Rams:The injuries. The win was dampened more than a little by a rash of injuries.