Falcons notebook: Defense held Washington to 1-of-9 on third down

LANDOVER, Md. — The Falcons had a strong day of third down work going until there was a major breakdown in the secondary.

The Falcons stopped the Redskins on their first seven third-down situations, but on the eighth, wide receiver Santana Moss went streaking down the middle of the field on a post route and no one went with him.

He hauled in the Kirk Cousins’ pass for a 77-yard touchdown.

“We had the absolute blown coverage on a third down and 12,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “Again, that’s a great learning experience for us and the players.”

It’s unclear if safety William Moore was supposed be over the top on that play. It appeared that free safety Thomas DeCoud was passing the receiver along.

The Falcons have not had many blown coverages this season as the stable play of the secondary has been a part of the team’s early success.

It was Washington’s only successful third down conversion of the game as the Falcons held them to 1 of 9 (11 percent) for the game. Entering the game, opponents were converting on 48 percent on third down against the Falcons.

“I thought we did a nice job of our mix with our defenses,” Smith said.

Other than the big play, the defense was happy with it’s play on third downs.

“We knew if we could get them to third down we could increase our chances of getting off the field,” defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux said. “We tried to do our best with stopping the run. They got some yards and we need to do better with that.”

Drive starts

The Falcons lost the field position battle for most of the game. A total of 11 of their 13 drives started on their side of the 50.

All of their first eight drives started at their 21-yard line or lower.

“We were first in the league coming into this game in terms of drive starts,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “They did a pretty nice job of flipping the field on us a couple of times and we had to start inside our 5-yard line. That makes it just that much more difficult.”

The first drive started at the 8-yard line after kick returner Jacquizz Rodgers had a 47 yard return to Falcons’ 46 called back. Linebacker Robert James was called for holding at the 23 yard line. Instead of starting at the 46, the Falcons opened their drive at the 8-yard line. James’ miscue was essentially a 38-yard penalty.

Hawley the receiver

Joe Hawley, a backup center and guard by trade, was pressed into fullback duty against the Redskins in the Falcons’ “elephant” package.

He was used mostly as a blocker last week against Carolina, but the Falcons actually threw two passes to Hawley against the Redskins. He dropped both of them.

“Hopefully, they’ll give me another opportunity,” Hawley said. “I was the check down on those two.”

Wide receiver Roddy White said, laughing, “the funny thing is that he catches all of them in practice.”

Injury report

Running back Antone Smith re-injured his hamstring against the Redskins in the first half and did not return.

Linebacker Stephen Nicholas suffered an ankle injury, but returned to the action.

Etc

The Redskins were 8 of 8 in goal line situations – with eight touchdowns – before being stopped by the Falcons in the third quarter. Billy Cundiff came on to make a 23-yard field goal. …After Matt Ryan was sacked a career-high seven times and hit 12 times against Carolina, the Falcons held the Redskins to one sack and three quarterback hits.

68 comments Add your comment

Joe Smoove

October 7th, 2012
8:26 pm

Joe Smoove

October 7th, 2012
8:26 pm

Singletary

October 7th, 2012
8:40 pm

Wow. Pinch me. Okay, don’t. The Falcons are 5-0 and Tony G needs one TD for 100 on his career.

Sly Ty

October 7th, 2012
8:50 pm

@Singletary: You are not dreaming, oh and by the way, the other teams in the NFC South have combined for less than 5 wins. Laughing My Ankle Off (LMAO)!!!!

Falcon James

October 7th, 2012
8:52 pm

I am so proud of these Falcon! They are truely the best built team in the history of the franchise. We may not be playing our best ball, but the record speak for itselt. This team could go undefeated if they start hitting on all cylinders.

What the Saint record again?

soullrenaissance

October 7th, 2012
9:14 pm

Thanks for winning and proving we are not a cursed sports city. 5-0!!!! 1st in history and first in the NFC!

CGD..

October 7th, 2012
9:28 pm

Settle down grasshopper,

The Fal-cons opponents are 39-57 combined.. Yea a bunch of nobody’s..

6-0 going into Philly. At the end 13-3…

And there’s the Playoffs… PLAYOFFS??????

Mr Blank must be so proud of his investment into this schedule? Hmmmm

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CGD..

October 7th, 2012
9:31 pm

“What the Saint record again?”

Here ya go GENIUS:

SuperBowl Wins,

Saints= 1

Fal-cons= maybe never

Now go ahead and swallow that..

CGD..

October 7th, 2012
9:32 pm

Giants 38

Fal-cons 24

[...] Atlanta Falcons This entry was posted in Atlanta Falcons and tagged 1of9, defense, down, Falcons, held, Notebook, third, Washington. Bookmark the permalink. ← Jahvid Best reportedly will undergo tests this week [...]

Esquire

October 7th, 2012
9:50 pm

C.mon Joe, you gotta reel those in……………….!!!

DJ Sniper

October 7th, 2012
9:54 pm

And the Saints record this year is what? Yea, I thought so. BTW, Tampa Bay also has a Super Bowl championship, but how often do you hear that brought up these days? That will be the Saints soon.

CGD..

October 7th, 2012
10:01 pm

Arrogant delusional Fans…

Zero, Nada, Nothing, Zilch.

Yea, you [thought] so…..That’s your 1st problem…

Esquire

October 7th, 2012
10:07 pm

5-6-7-8
Everywhere we goooO,
Everywhere we goooO,
People wanna knooOw,
People wanna knooOw,
Who we aaa are,
Who we aaa are,
So we tell theem, So we tell theem,
We are the FALCONS!! We are the FALCONS!!
MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS, MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS !!
OHH AHH OHH YEEAHH

C from Marietta

October 7th, 2012
10:08 pm

Hello fellow Falcon’s fans.

This all started with a rookie GM, rookie head coach, and a rookie QB.
They have never had a losing season together.
They had the first back to back winning seasons EVER in their team’s history.
They have won 5 in a row for the first time EVER in the team’s history.
AND
They are all saying. We need to improve.
They are not patting themselves on the back.
They seem to be a team wanting to get better each week.

I know they have lost 3 play-off games.
However, Arizona went to the Super Bowl. The Packers won the Super Bowl.
The Giants won the Super Bowl. They all had to beat the Falcos to win it.

Enjoy the moment. I am not saying they will win the Super Bowl.
However, it’s ALOT better than it has been.

Esquire

October 7th, 2012
10:09 pm

CGD..

October 7th, 2012
9:31 pm

“What the Saint record again?”

Here ya go GENIUS:

SuperBowl Wins,

Saints= 1

Fal-cons= maybe never

Now go ahead and swallow that..
******************************************************
Frankly I prefer that to what you like to swallow.

Troll Fail……………..

[...] Falcons defense only allowed the Redskins to convert one third down conversion out of nine. The lone conversion was the 77-yard touchdown reception by [...]

Falcon James

October 7th, 2012
10:48 pm

Here is the question of the hour.

Will the Saint still be OhFur after tonight?

We are already know the Falcon record.

Esquire

October 7th, 2012
10:52 pm

Don’t ya love historical………………!!!

5-0 BABY!!!

5-6-7-8
Everywhere we goooO,
Everywhere we goooO,
People wanna knooOw,
People wanna knooOw,
Who we aaa are,
Who we aaa are,
So we tell theem, So we tell theem,
We are the FALCONS!! We are the FALCONS!!
MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS, MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS !!
OHH AHH OHH YEEAHH

dawgforlife

October 7th, 2012
10:54 pm

if we won a Super Bowl a few years back and were 0-4 now and were still living off that Super Bowl, what do you suppose saint fans would be telling us?…if they were 5-0 especially

MarkATL

October 7th, 2012
11:21 pm

Looks like Arizona lost, so only ATL and HOU remain undefeated so far.. :)

falCANS

October 7th, 2012
11:22 pm

Daunte is steppin up BIG in this scheme. He still cant cover but he is a Football player lol…. Smh @ Akeem Dent sheesus he sorry

Mikey

October 7th, 2012
11:24 pm

Defense! We are getting much tougher up front. The D-Line and Linebackers are coming together!

Michael M.

October 7th, 2012
11:56 pm

Drew Sleeze finally pulled off a victory , congrats, maybe those hairs fallin out of his scalp will grow back now and surely they need a win out of playing 5 games but the chargers gave up a 10 point lead on em and let em back in the game…………………………look out too cause STB4 will be telling us that Superbowl Story again and telling us to stock up on whiskey like way back a few weeks ago…………………………hehehehe

It wont matter, they all playing chase to catch the leader now and the 5 – 0 undefeated Atlanta Falcons definately not looking over their shoulders…………..its one game at a time, onward and upwards……………………….deal with it…………………………………………….

DR. FALCON

October 7th, 2012
11:58 pm

MIKE NOLAN, BABY!!! IT’S RAIDER WEEK! BRING ON THOSE RAIDERS, AND THEIR SORRY ASS, IMMOBILE QB, CARSON PALMER! RAIDER NATION: GET READY FOR A ROUT!

DR. FALCON

October 8th, 2012
12:00 am

HEY HIRAMSAINT, AND SEENTHISB4, CONGRATS ON YOUR 1ST WIN! LOL! TOO BAD, IT WILL BE YOUR ONLY WIN OF THE YEAR! HA! HA! HA!

bigbobbles

October 8th, 2012
12:01 am

Esquire is Choke sckng on dck again……….yes!! What a loser!!!

bigbobbles

October 8th, 2012
12:02 am

Cluster is neded to show up the Choke also!!!

bigbobbles

October 8th, 2012
12:06 am

choke in disguise fck yourself!!

backatcha

October 8th, 2012
12:42 am

We know how to play in the regular season; however, we need to step it up in the playoffs! I’m ecstatic that we’re 5-0, but we have a tough stretch coming off the bye week! Let’s hope that we can stay healthy and hungry! God bless the Falcons! This just might be our year!!! I game at a time though!!!

Big Ron

October 8th, 2012
2:45 am

Matt Ryan is the greatest Falcons quarterback ever period!!!!

Brian N Smyrna

October 8th, 2012
3:08 am

Great win on the road. I think our coordinators are doing a good job of adjusting during the game. That is the biggest difference I see from last year. The Falcons got very stagnant after teams adjusted to us in the game. My only concern is the D-line. We are not very consistent up front. The only time we really hear the commentators mention the D-line is plays down the field, like the Babs TD saving play or when Bierman is dropping into coverage. Gotta get better up front. Hopefully Peters will be ready after the bye. Ray Edwards is a BUST.

Esquire

October 8th, 2012
7:39 am

“We had the absolute blown coverage on a third down and 12,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said.

********************************************************************

……………….and that’s an understatement……….!!! Made Cousins look like Matt Ryan!

Esquire

October 8th, 2012
7:45 am

RGIII, ya better learn to slide feet first or you will get popped. This is the NFL son.

Nice hit Spoon!!!

Esquire

October 8th, 2012
8:05 am

Time of Possession Falcons 37:01 Redskins 22:59

Skins D was gassed…………….!!!

Falcon's Blog

October 8th, 2012
8:27 am

@CGD, dawgforlife’s post made you look stupid, which is not a hard task….

Bullseye

October 8th, 2012
8:31 am

That hot shot Baylor quarterback got mashed.

Dandy Don

October 8th, 2012
8:44 am

FalCANS is right on it…great victory for the Falcons. Gotta love ‘em, but folks Akeem Dent is absoulutely pitiful. How many tackles did he have? It’s raining, on grass turf, and he’s a MLB and his uni comes off the field pristine. Key on him next game and watch as he shows simply no aggression to the ball whatsoever. I’m just sayin’…

Section 322

October 8th, 2012
8:52 am

Where is the “Who Dat Nation” Now????

Section 322

October 8th, 2012
8:54 am

@Dandy Don…You are spot on! I am a HUGE UGA Fan and I was supporting the kid but he needs to be replaced. He takes bad angles and he is always out of position. Play Peterson

just sayin'

October 8th, 2012
8:58 am

spoon cheap shot on rg3….forearm to head…should have been a penalty….

RiM

October 8th, 2012
9:15 am

so just saying…..what would that shot be worth in bounty dollars?

Replacement Ref

October 8th, 2012
9:26 am

@just sayin’ after further review the ruling on the field stands!! LOL!! Clean hit on RGIII. You do know these officials are bettr than we were.

just sayin'

October 8th, 2012
9:30 am

so, a forearm to the head is ok with you guys?….u’ll cry when it happens to melt….

just sayin'

October 8th, 2012
9:32 am

goes to show, only takes one hit to change the course of the game….wash wins without that hit….

james

October 8th, 2012
9:33 am

The passes to Joe Hawley definitely need to be featured in ESPN’s “C’mon Man!” segment.

Replacement Ref

October 8th, 2012
9:35 am

There was no forearm to the head slow your video down and you will see clean hit!!

Mike is Back

October 8th, 2012
9:37 am

Dled, HOW BOUT THEM BIRDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PMC

October 8th, 2012
9:41 am

It’s interesting hearing from the national media about these Falcons, because they are unbelievably painfully ignorant of this team.

Dome oriented? What?

just sayin'

October 8th, 2012
9:41 am

if there was no hit to the head, explain the gash on the chin and the concussion..surely didnt happen when he was tackled from behind….