Atlanta Falcons' Rookie Tight End Levine Toilolo Needs to Step Up in the Moment

By Daniel Chi
NFL: New York Jets at Atlanta Falcons
Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Since that infamous game where the rookie tight end dropped a potential game-changing touchdown against the New England Patriots, Levine Toilolo will be getting many more opportunities to make his mark for the injury-riddled Atlanta Falcons who are desperately in search of playmakers.

With Tony Gonzalez as his mentor and most importantly his teammate, the 6-foot-8 rookie has been slowly getting better with each passing game. Although Toilolo is still a very raw player that has much to learn, his red zone threat is a huge plus, as the Dirty Birds have struggled all year in this area of the field.

With the uncertainty that surrounds key players such as Steven Jackson and Roddy White along with losing Julio Jones for the year, the Falcons will be looking for other ways to attack opposing defenses. The once prolific aerial attack of the Falcons will all be gone unless other players such as Toilolo pick up the slack and step up their game exponentially.

While Gonzalez is second on the team in receptions (33) behind Jones (41), teams will now double, if not triple team the tight end with the goal of taking out the Falcons’ best offensive player if White is unable to suit up.

If teams are in fact solely focusing on shutting down Gonzalez, this will open the door for Toilolo to become not only a beneficiary of the situation itself, but give him the opportunity to make plays and help the Falcons who are in unfamiliar territory of being a desperate 1-4 team.

Against the New York Jets, Toilolo made a beautiful catch for a touchdown to make up for the one he dropped, as that gave him two touchdowns on the year.

For the Falcons to have a chance to adjust their offensive scheme and be effective, they will need Toilolo and others to rise up. Although Toilolo is just a rookie, this will be a golden opportunity for the first-year player to make his mark and accelerate his learning curve on the go.

The Falcons need Toilolo to man up, and it will be up to him if he wants to make his mark by dropping touchdowns or hauling in touchdowns and being a difference-maker for a team looking for playmakers.

Daniel Chi is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @DanielChi24, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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