- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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Five nuggets of knowledge about Week 5:
Still No. 1: There was a lot of speculation that Julio Jones would surpass Roddy White and become Matt Ryan's favorite target this year. It hasn’t worked out that way. Ryan has had much more success throwing to White. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Ryan has completed 73 percent of his passes to White and averages 11.2 yards per attempt. Ryan has completed 51.6 of his throws to Jones and is averaging 7.1 yards per attempt.
It’s a passing league: It took the Falcons some time to realize that, but new coordinator Dirk Koetter has Atlanta throwing the ball much more than at any other time since Ryan has been in the league. Although the Falcons have led 78.3 percent of the time this season, they have dropped back (including sacks and scrambles) on 66.1 percent of their offensive plays. Their previous highest drop-back rate in the Ryan era was 59.5 percent last season.
Ready for the pistol formation: A week after facing Carolina with quarterback Cam Newton and the read-option offense, the Falcons have to be ready for Washington’s Robert Griffin III and the pistol formation. The Redskins have used that formation on 54 plays this season, and the rest of the NFL has combined for 36 plays out of the pistol formation. The Redskins are averaging 6.6 yards out of pistol sets this season.
Mismatch time: Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch has gained a league-high 199 rushing yards after contact this season. The Carolina defense has allowed a league-worst average of 2.7 yards after contact.
Win-win situation: There’s been a lot of talk this week about San Diego’s decision to let Drew Brees walk after the 2005 season and replace him with Philip Rivers. You can’t really call that a mistake by the Chargers. Since 2006, Brees ranks first in the NFL in passing yards, touchdown passes and pass attempts. Rivers is second in passing yards and third in touchdowns and attempts. Perhaps more importantly, Rivers ranks second in wins in that span, and Brees is fourth.