Safety Thomas DeCoud gave the defense a B-minus

CMGd Single Player – AJC



By Michael Cunningham

Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud gave the defense a “B-minus” for its performance against the Raiders on Sunday.

If that’s the case, two high marks in the second half allowed the unit to pull through with a passing grade after some failures.

Defensive end John Abraham’s sack and forced fumble led to a field goal and cornerback Asante Samuel returned an interception 79 yards for a touchdown. Those big plays allowed Atlanta’s defense to come after Oakland’s offense had played at a higher level than its lackluster rankings.

“It wasn’t pretty,” Samuel said. “Really ugly, especially the first half. We all realize that. We started off bad but we bounced back in the second half. That’s the sign of a champion. You’ve got to do whatever it takes to win.”

With their offense misfiring, the Falcons needed their defense to set up easy points. Abraham and Samuel came through.

In the third quarter Abraham got to Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer and knocked the ball loose at Oakland’s 28-yard line. Teammate Ray Edwards scooped it up and ran to the two-yard line.

“I just hope I get a chance one-on-one,” said Abraham, who finished with three sacks while also drawing a handful of holding penalties. “And when I get one-on-one I’ve got to win.”

The ensuing field goal tied the game at 13-13 and the Raiders were driving for a potential winning score in the fourth quarter. With less than three minutes left, Samuel stepped in front of wide receiver Denarius Moore and intercepted Palmer’s pass and took it for the touchdown.

Those plays offset what had been a frustrating day for Atlanta’s defense, especially in the first half.

Late in the first quarter Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey ran 20 yards on third down, shaking Abraham on an end-around, to set up a field goal. Falcons linebacker Mike Peterson missed a tackle at the 17-yard line on Moore’s 25-yard touchdown catch that gave Oakland a 13-7 halftime lead.

“The big plays we gave up it wasn’t anything particularly they did,” Falcons safety Dunta Robinson said. “It was busts on our end. In the first half we had a lot of ‘my bads’ and we can’t play that way. They played tough, man.”

Atlanta’s defense stiffened in the second half but still allowed some key gains. After Samuel’s touchdown, the Raiders completed two 17-yard passes and converted a third-and-11 during an eight-play, two-minute drive that tied the game again.

“We let them out of a few situations,” DeCoud said. “We missed a few tackles here and there, me included. (To still win) is a testament to our resiliency and our ability to play together as a team.”

CMGd Single Player – AJC


    LATEST NEWS

OTHER RECENT STORIES

Falcons shrugging off critics

Nicholas held out of practice with ankle injury

5-0 start boosts Falcons’ TV ratings

Tony Dungy tells Mike Smith, ‘Get Michael Turner back involved’

Get instant updates on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC Falcons.

40 comments Add your comment

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired

October 14th, 2012
7:59 pm

John Abraham played lights out today. I just wish some of the other defensive linemen would step up and help him out. I definitely would not give the overall defense a B minus today. That’s way tooooo high since they were pushed all over the field for the majority of the game.

It was a WIN…..not pretty or solid….but a WIN. Hopefully the bye week can help the team refocus and correct the mistakes heading to Philly.

And Thomas DeCoud...

October 14th, 2012
8:03 pm

…gets a “F” for his game – what a wuss when it comes to tackling – if the Falcons had lost it would rest solely on him and no one else, well, maybe Ryan, too for his errant throws, but DeCoud was just plain awful the whole game…

Jesse

October 14th, 2012
8:21 pm

People better not get too excited about this undefeated thing. They aren’t as good as a 6-0 team. They’ve had luck on their side. Which is needed in the NFL, but people should calm down a little on all of the hype.

[...] for the West Coasters. With just one more win, Mike Smith can make history. He w more… Safety Thomas DeCoud gave the defense a B-minus – blogs.ajc.com 10/14/2012 CMGd Single Player – [...]

falCANS

October 14th, 2012
8:55 pm

Best Team with best talent in NFL. Period. Run D should be top priority during by week

Shawn

October 14th, 2012
8:58 pm

Enter your comments here

Shawn

October 14th, 2012
9:03 pm

More like c – minus. This was just an ugly game all around. We have had our share of these that we ended up losing so a win is a win. Got to get it together for the tough stretch after the bye. The dome was insane today! GO FALCONS!!!!!

StuDirtyBird

October 14th, 2012
9:18 pm

ENJOY the win today and tomorrow FALCONS, then rest, then get ready for Philly! Go up there, whip their ass, and tell ‘em how we do it DOWN SOUTH!

LDawg

October 14th, 2012
10:20 pm

More like a D. I love my Falcons, but we made the Raiders look like champions. They had GAPING holes to run through. And how many tackles were missed by flailing their arms at a runner instead of wrapping up? The one bright spot was Abraham.

Big Crimson 75

October 14th, 2012
10:31 pm

The last drive after the Samuel int lowered the grade a bit.
However, no way the grade is below a B-.

They had to overcome 3 offensive turnovers plus a missed FG which gave Oakland good field position.
The pick 6 won the game.
The defense & special teams won the game.
McFadden had 70 yards on 27 carries.
We playe the vast majority of the game without one of our better defenders Steve Nicholas.

B- is the right grade.

Falcon James

October 14th, 2012
10:36 pm

Sure the game looked ugly. Sure the Falcon had some mistake. But who really gives a flying flip? The Falcon are 6 and O. They are a great football team. Great football teams identify, adapt, and overcome. That’s what makes them great. Can’t wait until the next game!

It’s a great day to be a Falcon Fan!

Michael M.

October 14th, 2012
10:41 pm

Give the whole Team a C- flat whatever that could be,…….the Team as a whole needs a bye and time to refocus ………….and lol and behold, ” Looks like the Atlanta Falcons will be the one and only Undefeated Team in the NFL in about another hour ”

6 – 0 , first in the NFC SOUTH and the only undefeated Team in the NFL !

Falcon James

October 14th, 2012
10:51 pm

Which kinda makes the Falcon the Undisputed Heavy Weight Champion of World! Until someone step up to the plate and actually does something more that “almost win”, the Falcon are the best team in the NFL.

Falcon James

October 14th, 2012
10:53 pm

When you get your ear bit off and still and win the bout. That what make you a champion.

Michael M.

October 14th, 2012
11:22 pm

Amen ………..Falcon James

Sly Ty

October 14th, 2012
11:50 pm

@All Falcons fans: Like it or not we are 6-0. Our running game is hurting because Todd McClure is old, undersized, and not very strong anymore. However, his knowledge and experience leave him as our best option at center.

Sly Ty

October 14th, 2012
11:52 pm

I hope we can continue to get away with Todd McClure, until Peter Konz is truly ready to step in and replace him. Konz was a center at Wisconsin, not a guard. McClure is so undersized, that it directly effects our power running game.

LOL at the Aints

October 15th, 2012
12:12 am

havent seen JSS today, must be at the Pride Parade.

[...] Safety Thomas DeCoud helps us break down the defense [...]

[...] Safety Thomas DeCoud helps us break down the defense [...]

[...] Safety Thomas DeCoud helps us break down the defense [...]

biscuteater

October 15th, 2012
1:45 am

How bout a D Minus for the whole dame team..THIS IS THE 3RD GAME IN A ROW that you should have lost, however kudos for 6-0 start..
Lets see how the final 10 go..The coin toss says you will finish 9-7 & miss the play offs this year..AND.. you will NOT win a playoff game IF you make the playoffs!

Adogg36

October 15th, 2012
2:56 am

Now I want y’all to wacth how dey praise philly over us on nfl network dis week we da only team out of 31 undefeated dat says alot about our team.Dis team is special dis year wacth we gone beat philly to Dey aint got no oline just Dline Rise up Haters!!!! Go Birds!!!

okeetee

October 15th, 2012
7:22 am

The bottom line is this Falcon team isn’t much different than the past ones we’ve had. We are still “pretenders” on defense with way too many lapses in the secondary to stop teams like Green Bay, New England, the Giants and probably the 49er’s. All of them would probably slap 50 points on us if we face them in the playoffs. I will say we do have a few play makers in the secondary that have come up big….but the busted coverages and the wide open receivers will not work come playoff time. Offensively, we’re struggling big time with our running game, and our passing game sputters at times. We’ll cut Ryan some slack because he generally never makes the mistakes he’s make the past few games. But if he doesn’t clean up his act, we could lose 2 or 3 in a row easily. We will make the playoffs with our schedule. But we’ve only beaten 1 team with a winning record and improvement must happen in every facet of the game if we expect to win a playoff game this year. However, we are the last undefeated team in the league…..and 6-0 at the bye week is something we never dreamed of when the season started!

Mick Dee

October 15th, 2012
8:14 am

Has anyone seen any comment on how Dunta Robinson let Carson Palmer catch him on the interception TD run? I expected some funny quotes on that.

shesoleo

October 15th, 2012
8:39 am

Complain,Complain, Complain that’s all people do,yes the game was ugly,yes there are things we need to improve on,yes I almost had a heart attack,yes maybe we should have won the game without it being that close, but guess what? In spite of all those things we still won, and that’s what great teams do.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

October 15th, 2012
9:15 am

biscuteater — You’re a tough grader!!!

okeetee

October 15th, 2012
9:17 am

GREAT teams dominate from start to finish…..we are not a great team. Frankly, we’ve won some games with “smoke and mirrors!” I’m not saying this is not a talented Falcon team, more so than some in the past. But there’s not ONE thing we do extremely well! We do a number of things good, some things ok, but NOTHING we do is dominating! Hey, I’m glad we’re 6-0 and I think with a bye week to rest up and recoup we can go in and beat the Eagles in Philly. But I’m not sold on this Falcon team going deep in the playoffs or even winning a playoff game. Not yet, anyway.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

October 15th, 2012
9:20 am

Falcon James – That is funny, but true!!!

[...] Safety Thomas DeCoud helps us break down the defense [...]

Andy

October 15th, 2012
11:45 am

Defense didn’t play that bad. It’s tough to continuously hold the other team when your offense is turning it over and getting 3 and outs. Plus they scored 7 points.

John Tankard

October 15th, 2012
2:07 pm

Wow! The Birds never play more football than they need to win. For years they didn’t even play that much. Clean up the act or it’ll be a long season. We fans need more than the one win needed to make Mikey the winningest coach in our long undistinguished history!

Mike Franklin

October 15th, 2012
2:18 pm

Passing D? B-
Running D? D+

Sorry… but our run D (just like our running game on the O) is looking a wee bit bushed.

okeetee

October 15th, 2012
4:08 pm

Falcon James says: “the Falcon are the best team in the NFL!”

….what have you been smoking exactly??? If we played the Giants, New England, 49er’s, or Green Bay AT HOME…..we’d be underdogs in every one of those games! We have beaten one team with a winning record, the Chargers. Our best game was actually the win against Denver, at least defensively. We need this bye week and we need it badly! Recharge our batteries, look at some game film, and refocus on fundamental football! We will make the playoffs and probably get a home game…..anything more than that…..is entirely a crap shoot!

Jst Askn

October 16th, 2012
10:22 am

Okeetee: The “best team in the NFL” is determined by the record, so Falcon James is correct. The Falcons are the BEST team in the NFL right now with a record of 6-0. Get over it!

okeetee

October 16th, 2012
2:06 pm

They may have the best record….but they are far from being the best team! Can’t stop the run, can’t run the ball. Still having major breakdowns in the secondary. Yes, we are 6-0…..but a play here and a play there and we could easily be 4-2. We have dominated nobody! We have beaten nobody with a winning record as presently constituted. That being said, because of injuries and the overall poor play of today’s NFL teams, we could win the division, host a playoff game and maybe even another one. Can we make it to the Super Bowl without improvement in all facets of the game? Extremely doubtful. Hey, I’m a Falcon fan…..but I’m also realistic and I’ve got EYES! I see the games and how they are played, just like you guys! This team is still flawed.

Jst Askn

October 16th, 2012
3:45 pm

No one is arguing that there isn’t room for improvement w/ the boyz, but facts are facts and they are the “best” team in the league right now. Your move, Oketee…

Blake

October 18th, 2012
2:16 am

This team needs to play up In Philly like they played In week 3 against the Chargers. They looked like an elite team then. They need to get back to that style of play…..

shesoleo

October 19th, 2012
12:16 pm

Everyone on here has eyes and can see that there are things that needs to improve and be worked on, but I also can see that there’s no team in the league that’s perfect and you shouldn’t expect the Falcons to be either. You nor I know who will be in the playoffs are win. The teams that everyone wants to claim as so dominating have all lost to teams we’ve either beat, or lost to teams everyone says is better(on paper). As long as they stay focused and improve each game then that’s all that can be asked of them. Just saying!!!!

Falco-Mania

October 20th, 2012
10:42 am

DeCoud gets a BIG FAT F. He missed two tackles at the end of the game that almost cost them a loss. The long run in the 4th qt. would have only been an 8 yd. gain if he makes the tackle and on the tying TD drive by Oakland he got faked out of his jock. Channel 5 just reported that he and Pascal Perez are still riding around 285 looking for it. At times he looks pathetic.