Report card: Falcons’ grades for win over Redskins

FLOWERY BRANCH – Here are the Falcons’ grades for the less-than-stellar 24-17 win over the Washington Redskins on Sunday.

Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner carries the ball into the end zone for the winning touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. Atlanta defeated Washington 24-17. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner carries the ball into the end zone for the winning touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Md., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012. Atlanta defeated Washington 24-17. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

 
 C-plus — Quarterbacks: It wasn’t Matt Ryan’s best game. He completed 34 of 52 passes for 345 yards, two touchdowns and one interception that was returned for a touchdown. His passer rating of 89 was his lowest of the season.

C — Running backs: The Falcons had 28 rushes for 83 yards (3.0 per carry). Michael Turner ran well late and scored the game-winning touchdown. He finished with 67 yards on 18 carries.

A — Receivers: Tony Gonzalez and Julio Jones turned in big games. Gonzalez had 13 catches for 123 yards for his 29th 100-yard game. He also had his 99th touchdown reception, which tied him with Don Hutson for eighth on the NFL’s all-time touchdown reception list. Jones had 10 catches for 94 yards and a touchdowns. Harry Douglas continued to block fiercely in the run game.

A — Offensive line: The unit gave up just one sack and three quarterback hits. On most plays, Ryan had time to scan the field.

B — Defensive line: The unit did a good job maintaining their rush lanes against Robert Griffin III and kept him from breaking loose on some runs. Defensive end Kroy Biermann was used to drop into coverage on some defensive calls.

C — Linebackers: Sean Weatherspoon led the team with 11 tackles. Stephen Nicholas had four and Akeem Dent had two tackles. Washington’s Alfred Morris rushed 18 times for 115 yards.

C — Defensive backs: The secondary blew a coverage that allowed Washington a 77-yard touchdown. Dunta Robinson had a strong game with two pass breakups and an interception. Thomas DeCoud continued his ball-hawking ways with another interception.

A — Special teams: During the coin toss, kicker Matt Bryant was still testing out his cleats. The extra work led him to change to his long-spiked cleats on the wet track. They were key to getting proper footing on his 53-yard field goal. Bosher had a net average of 38.5 yards on six punts.

A — Coaching: You have to give the coaches credit for sticking to the game plan. The Redskins rope-a-dope strategy helped them take a lead into the fourth quarter. The offense kept chipping away until they outscored the Redskins 17-7 in the final quarter.

NEXT UP: The Falcons (5-0) host the Oakland Raiders (1-3) at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Georgia Dome.

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128 comments Add your comment

lowdownjj

October 8th, 2012
10:35 am

Spoon’s hit on R2D2… A+

Michael M.

October 8th, 2012
10:37 am

ha ! ha ! he got knocked out……………welcome to the nfl kid !

Michael M.

October 8th, 2012
10:39 am

NFC SOUTH STANDINGS

Falcons 5 – 0
Mucs 1 – 3
Pansies 1 – 4
Caints 1 – 4

Falcon James

October 8th, 2012
10:45 am

I think you too hard on the Defensive Backs. Yeah they blew one play, but the rest the game they did at least a B- Performance. Dunta even played like he wants a new contract.

North FLA Falcon

October 8th, 2012
10:48 am

The Skins had one (1) conversion on 3rd down! They scored 1 TD on a pick 6 and another on a big pass play, give them credit on that one … but still … dominating defense … and so many weapons on offense … fear the Falcons!!!

Fan since 66

October 8th, 2012
10:59 am

Enter your comments here

Grape Nuts are neither grapes or nuts

October 8th, 2012
11:02 am

The cheerleaders were hot!

Mike Franklin

October 8th, 2012
11:03 am

have to agree on… not all but MOST of those grades. The Falcs are looking a little tired. Glad they have a bye coming up after the Raiders…

Fan since 66

October 8th, 2012
11:05 am

Whoops! That’s what happens when you push enter instead of shift! Agree with most of the grades DOL. Maybe a B + for the receivers… saw a couple of drops, but then again, maybe Julio’s TD makes up for them. Spectacular catch in the endzone! And maybe a B+ for the special teams…hated to see that hold on the opening kickoff. Negated a great runback from my man…Jaquizz!!! All in all, a steady performance from our team. If you think we didn’t play up to our potential, try remembering the Smith years. we are light years from those kind of performances!

MaxxFalcon

October 8th, 2012
11:05 am

Skins didn’t score an offensive TD until Cousins came in the game. Alfred Morris had a lot of yards but no scores. Hats off to our Defense, they held it down today

North FLA Falcon

October 8th, 2012
11:10 am

We need a running game. Take away his TD stroll and Turner had fewer than 3 yards per carry. That will not take a team far in the playoffs. Ryan threw 52 times …

Answer This

October 8th, 2012
11:11 am

Besides that blown coverage our DBacks deserve a B! They played well and had to tackle a guy who was running like he drove a 91 Mazda and that now he wants a Benz! These guys are getting better every week and to think we really miss Grimes. We will continue to get better as the weeks proceed but here we go again with another running back who can run the ball this week at the nest. I would like to see our D Line get after it a little more this week by putting some pressure on Palmer and making him get off his mark and move his feet this week. Lets go BIRDS! On three RISE UP!

Michael M.

October 8th, 2012
11:12 am

Bet STB4 drinked some whiskey during the Caints Sunday night ballgame last night………..hehehehe
lets see if we can make it 6 – 0 next week and then take a little break before we play the so called big boys……………………………….still think Gonzales can play until he is 40 years old…………………….

I was on the other blog yesterday during our game and it was unreal how some call theirselves Falcons Faithful Fans when they doubting their own Team on every single play……………..they make me sick to my stomach !

Answer This

October 8th, 2012
11:16 am

Agreed Michael M….I had a few disagreements with those so called “fans”. Dont know if they are jaded from the past but we have to leave the past where it is! This is the future and right now its so bright we wearing shades. Come on Nation, it has to be all in or not in at all! Its ok to get scared a little but you got to believe in the Angry Birds becasue as you can see they believe in each other and never think they are out of the game. Lets go BIRDS!

Esquire

October 8th, 2012
11:22 am

Grape Nuts are neither grapes or nuts
October 8th, 2012
11:02 am

The cheerleaders were hot!

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

You can order their calendar, proceeds go to charity. Probably tax deductible.

TDnoclue

October 8th, 2012
11:25 am

Is RG3 still crying about getting hit too hard?

Mike Franklin

October 8th, 2012
11:26 am

Michael M. – It’s all about how one approaches the game… and since everyone is different, we each have our own individual personalities that react differently. Hell, I holler, kick and scream when we’re losing. When the Dawgs crashed & burned in Spurrier’s chicken coop this past Saturday, I buried my face in a gallon of beer and tried to drown myself.

Just because folks get a little edgy and worried during a game doesn’t make them bad fans. It just makes them like everyone else, different than everyone else.

PMC

October 8th, 2012
11:29 am

Nothing good comes from posting during a game. Especially watching this team. Just enjoy the sausage once it’s cooked.

The Real Facon

October 8th, 2012
11:32 am

The Defense gave up over 100 yards rushing to Morris so I belive a lower score is needed.

BIGBEN42

October 8th, 2012
11:37 am

Agree with your grades. I’m going to keep saying, that in order to go far in playoff’s.This team has to get better in stopping the run.Another game of giving up over 100 yards rushing.

Fan since 66

October 8th, 2012
11:37 am

Agree with both of you, Michael M, and Answer this. Those slamming the Falcons don’t seem to remember the “Dark Days” of the Smith regime. While we have had a few missteps in the last 10 years, overall we have progressed dramatically, into a true top-notch quality NFL team. I mean, really…isn’t it nice to expect to go to the playoffs every year? True, we haven’t progressed to the next level yet, but we will get there. Have some faith, Atlanta faithful!

Preston Thompson

October 8th, 2012
11:37 am

And to think Grimes is making $10 million this year and all he has to do is watch. Pretty nice.

Cleveland Ave. Turk

October 8th, 2012
11:38 am

STAND UP FALCONS!!!…..WE IN DIS B@#%&!!!!

Archie

October 8th, 2012
11:38 am

I strongly disagree with the special teams grade. Who can remember the last time the Falcons returned a punt for positive yards? Punt returns have gotten so bad, I find myself happy when they simply fair catch it without letting it hit the ground. Kickoff returns are the same way, aside from the first return of the season by Jaquizz, not a single drive this season has started beyond the 25 yard line.

Matt Bryant is near automatic, and Bosher is putting his kickoffs deep in the endzone, but beyond that the special teams are a liability.

The defensive grades are harsh, they gave up 10 points to an offense averaging 30 points per game. Also, 1/3 of the passing yards came on one busted coverage for the TD and 1/3 of the rushing yards came on one run right before the missed field goal. I can live with giving up one or two big plays a game.

Cleveland Ave. Turk

October 8th, 2012
11:42 am

All yall wack FALCON haters!!!!…. KILL YASELF!!!

joewhite

October 8th, 2012
11:42 am

Defense gave up yards but not points, missed field goal, babe makes a td saving tackle held them to 3 then we go down score 7. That is football for sure. 5-0 we will beat oakland to go into the bye at 6-0 give polite some time to heal be ready to pound philly to death.

Blake

October 8th, 2012
11:42 am

I’m proud of the Falcons….scratched out a tough road win yesterday!

Blake

October 8th, 2012
11:43 am

Your not always gonna be on top of your game and they won anyway!

Cleveland Ave. Turk

October 8th, 2012
11:44 am

Shot out to Claude Humpries and Tommy Nobis!!!

Cleveland Ave. Turk

October 8th, 2012
11:49 am

I got my 4 black throwback FALCON car flags flying. Wit da gangsta new era FALCONS fitted to da back. All true fans. REP YA TEAM!!

B'Red

October 8th, 2012
12:02 pm

The running game, the running game, do something about the running game. MT looks likes he’s running in slow motion, especially on the sreen play, by the time the play developed The Red Skins whole defensive unit was waiting on him. Now I know what Mularky ment when he said he didn’t have the personnel to run the screen play, it was MT.

Ackshun

October 8th, 2012
12:13 pm

ALL RIGHT SAINTS!!! Leap from the cellar and now tied for 3rd place in the division! In other news, the San Diego Chargers have filed an appeal demanding the return of the replacement refs.

Funbunch5

October 8th, 2012
12:17 pm

Hmmmn if RG3 doesn’t leave game does Atlanta still win?

JunkyardDawg2011

October 8th, 2012
12:20 pm

RGIII learned an important lesson about the speed of the NFL yesterday. The days of him outrunning everybody in college are gone.

I’m glad he’s OK though, stand up guy, just took a vicious legal hit from Spoon.

Fan since 66

October 8th, 2012
12:26 pm

@ Funbunch5…I seem to remember a riddle from my youth…something about if my Aunt Jean had a certain anatomical part, she’d be my Uncle Fred. That’s part of the game. I don’t recall people giving the Falcons a break when MR2 had his turf toe issues a couple of years ago. Bottom line… RG3 left the game due to a hard, and yes, LEGAL, hit from Spoon. Good, hard fought win, on the road. Good teams do that! Go Falcons!

old falc

October 8th, 2012
12:28 pm

@B’Red your right to slow

Falconfever

October 8th, 2012
12:33 pm

IF ifs and buts were candy and nuts….. IFs dont matter if uyou WIN!! go Falcons!!!!

Stephen

October 8th, 2012
12:35 pm

Someone please tell Dirk Koetter to take those “Joe Hawley in the flat” plays and bury them in the earth’s core. Also, please remind the RBs that they need to practice catching passes. It felt like they cumulatively dropped like 5 easy passes from Ryan.

Big Ron

October 8th, 2012
12:56 pm

Good win but the run defense is not great but we forget were missing probably our best D tackle Corey Peters n we play alot of nickel and also MLB may be a issue ut the jury is still out on that one but one thing on offense I just they get Harry Douglas more involved can’t figure out why he doesn’t get more touches but were rolling so I’m not complaining go birds.

Joe

October 8th, 2012
1:00 pm

D-Led, your grades seems fair however if your going to give the QB a C and the WR an A their need to be a better explination. I think you were getting at our QB missing on a lot of throws. “high passes”.

Five & O Falcons

October 8th, 2012
1:08 pm

Give Matt Bryant an A+ for the 53 yard field goal in the rain.

Whadda Ya Know?

October 8th, 2012
1:12 pm

Teams have adjusted to what the Falcons are doing on defense. If they’re in nickel package then they run, if they’re in base defense they pass. Coaching has been creative on the offensive side of the ball lately, but I’d like to see the defense move the beer man to MLB to see how he does. He has the speed to go sideline to sideline and he’s use to fighting off offensive linemen.

DLed, as Smitty if this is a possibility next time you interview (if there’s a possibility of playing Biermann at MLB). Appreciate it bow tie player!

Truckstop

October 8th, 2012
1:29 pm

Am I the only one who feels that Akeem Dent is not a very good middle linebacker. Most of the time you don’t even know he’s on the field. He doesn’t shed blockers very well and rarely makes tackles on running plays to either sideline.

Whadda Ya Know?

October 8th, 2012
1:38 pm

Truckstop…you’re NOT the only one.

ChipperisGod

October 8th, 2012
1:39 pm

Great to see the Falcons come through again. Started out a little rough, but we made adjustments, and Mike Nolan is utilizing this unit correctly for the first time ever. The coordinators on both sides are making all the right moves.

Matty looks stronger mentally and physically. This is the best Falcons team I’ve watched since 98.

The only thing I think we can do better is run defense. Sure we got burned that one play on passing, but the run is the only thing I worry about without a good MLB, our run defense is going to be picked on. Our pass D is very, very solid. We also play the nickel so much that it’s tough to stop the run. Overall though, I’ll take this defense over our defense over the last four years hands down.

Keep it up guys! This has been a great year so far!

Go Falcons!

Kurtis

October 8th, 2012
1:41 pm

It’s amazing, and kind of disheartening, to see other teams running back hit the line of scrimmage and bust out the other side and always seem to gain positive yardage. Then you watch Turner constantly briskly walk into the backs of his own lineman and chop his feet until he’s tackled for either a loss or no gain. Every freaking running play. He just needs to sit until the 4th quarter and the opposing defense is tired – that seems to be the only time he can be productive.

Kurtis

October 8th, 2012
1:43 pm

Truckstop, you have hit the nail on the head regarding Dent. Definitely not getting the play out of MLB that we’re accustomed to.

Paddy

October 8th, 2012
1:46 pm

Cleveland Ave. Turk……….Is that the King’s english? Wow, that must be hard on your teachers @ school.

The Big Fat Blogger

October 8th, 2012
1:49 pm

I was just thinking the same thing Truckstop, I was expecting Dent to be playing better than he has, especially since he played against sec opponents in college, right now, my only issue with the Falcons right now is how the defense seems vulnerable against the run (and the inconsistent pass rush from the front 4…especially Edwards). I believe Dent is going to have to tighten up and be more physical against the run, his pass coverage skills seem to be okay, it is just his run stopping ability that seems to be lacking.

Getaway

October 8th, 2012
1:50 pm

What was RGIII doing that would make some one think the ’skins were going to win that game with him? They didn’t get TD until the other guy was in there.