After Austin Hooper’s long touchdown reception in Week 1 against the Bears, Hooper and his teammates took advantage of the NFL’s new relaxed rules on group celebrations. In their home opener, they did it again.
Devonta Freeman capped off a nine-play, 86-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. Freeman celebrated with left guard Andy Levitre, who served as a hoop while Freeman shot a free throw.
NBC even played the old NBA on NBC theme, “Roundball Rock,” in honor of Freeman’s celebration.
Freeman’s celebration kept with the theme the team established in Week 1. In Atlanta’s win over the Bears, Hooper and the offense had plenty to celebrate after he hauled in a pass from Matt Ryan and took it all the way for an 88-yard touchdown against the Bears. It wasn’t a cake walk, though. Hooper had to deliver a brutal stiff arm to stay on his path to the end zone.
To celebrate, Hooper and his teammate Mohamed Sanu exchange a handshake, and then each takes a jump shot simultaneously.
It wasn’t the best basketball-themed celebration of Week 1. That was Chiefs tight end Demetrius Harris shooting a free throw while Tyreek Hill acted as the hoop. But the Falcons had a specific reason for this celebration, and it was all Julio Jones’ idea.
"It's 'Hoop.' His name is Austin Hooper, so we did a little shot. ... Yeah, it was easy. Mo did it. Hoop did it. It was good,” Jones said, via ESPN’s Vaughn McClure.
Jones is hoping to get into the end zone soon, too. He has a celebration plan, but he’s not ready to share it just yet.
"I just have to show you,” Jones said, via McClure. “I've just got to get in the paint first."
Sunday’s celebration was the very first in the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and the Falcons are hoping there will be many more.