Report card: Falcons’ grades for win over Raiders





Here are the Falcons’ grades for the 23-20 nail-bitter over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
C-plus — Quarterbacks: Ryan has his worst game of the season. He completed 24 of 37 passes for 249 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. His passer rating of 59.4 was his lowest since he posted a 50.6 in a 17-10 loss at Houston on Dec. 4, 2011. This would have been a ‘D’ if he didn’t complete 5 of 6 passes in the game-winning drive.
F — Running backs: The Falcons have their power rushing game in moth balls somewhere. They had 15 rushes for 45 yards and quarterback Matt Ryan had the longest gain, 15 yards. Sounds like Michael Turner is getting tired of all the pass-happiness. Jeff Schultz column.
A — Receivers: Julio Jones (15.8 yards per catch), Roddy White (12.0) and Tony Gonzalez (10.5) averaged more than 10 yards per catch. White’s 4-yard touchdown catch was his fourth of the season and 49th of his career. He currently ranks third on the club’s all-time receiving touchdowns list behind Terance Mathis (57) and Andre Rison (56).
B-minus — Offensive line: The unit gave up just one sack, but did allow nine quarterback hits. The protection was solid on most throws, but was a factor in Ryan’s third interception when a linebacker – Ex-Georgia Tech standout Philip Wheeler — was not picked up by a back. The team’s inability to run the ball in short yardage situation was exposed when they couldn’t run it in from the 2-yard line. After an incomplete pass, Turner picked up a yard and Jason Snelling was dropped for a yard loss.
A — Defensive line: Defensive end John Abraham and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux had strong games. Abraham had five tackles, three sacks, two quarterback hits and a forced fumble. “John Abraham had a monster game,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. Babineaux had five tackles, three tackles for loss and a forced fumble.
C — Linebackers: Linebacker Sean Weatherspoon and cornerback Dunta Robinson tied for the team lead with nine tackles. Stephen Nicholas, who was coming off an ankle injury, played only on special teams. Mike Peterson played in the base defense and Akeem Dent took over for Nicholas in the nickel. Peterson whiffed on a tackle on Denarius Moore, who went on to score a 25-yard touchdown. Dent had eight tackles.
C-minus — Defensive backs: Asante Samuel picked a perfect time to get his first interception with the Falcons. He returned it 79 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Raiders passed for 353 yards. Denarius Moore had five catches for 104 yards and one touchdown.
A — Special teams: Matt Bryant’s 55-yard field goal was his second game-winner this season. The kick was the second longest of his career and his longest as a Falcon. It was his 14th game-winning kick. Since joining the Falcons in 2009, Bryant has connected on 21 of 28 field goal attempts from 40 yards-or-deeper, including all five of his game winners. Punter Matt Bosher had a good day striking the ball. He had excellent hang time on his punts and averaged 52.8 yards on four punts.
B — Coaching: The Falcons managed to get a win while playing some sub-standard football. The tackling was shoddy, Matt Ryan tossed three interceptions and they are searching for a rushing attack. With all of that, the Falcons still found a way to become the league’s only undefeated team.
NEXT UP: The Falcons (6-0) travel to play the Philadelphia Eagles (3-3) at 1 p.m. Oct. 28 at Lincoln Financial Field. The Eagles are also on their bye week.

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112 comments Add your comment

Getaway

October 15th, 2012
9:40 am

6-0 but a very troubling 6-0.

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired

October 15th, 2012
9:48 am

It was an ugly win but congrats to the team on being 6 and 0; and to coach Smith for tying Dan Reeves win record.

DLed – Just for the record….I can’t understand how you would rate the offensive line a B minus. Ryan was rushed all day long in the pocket and the offensive line still hasn’t been able to open any type of crease for the running backs. We’re stuck with the line that we have for the year, but the coaches need to come up some creative way to utilize their talents so that they can be more efficient.

Getaway

October 15th, 2012
9:53 am

Okay, it seemed early like Turner was getting yards, then they went with Rodgers who wasn’t. But they stayed with him anyway for a number of series, then went back to Turner. I’m not sure it’s just the passing that’s getting to Turner or ‘quiz getting carries in situations that traditionally have been Turner’s.
I disagree with the coaching grades. I think there was a distinct lack of a game plan offensively for the Falcons and I think Smith missed a couple of challenges. That near interception at the end was very close, too close not to challenge. I’m also not sure that Turner didn’t break the plane on that 1st and goal. I can understand not challenging that one since it was a risk, but the booth has got to get on the ball and tell Smith what he can challenge.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

October 15th, 2012
9:56 am

Sick — You might be right. That B -minus is probably too high for the Oline.

Esquire

October 15th, 2012
9:58 am

B minus offensive line……………….very generous!!

PMC

October 15th, 2012
9:58 am

much more disappointed in Quizz than Turner so far. We’re having issues blocking everything right on the line which is no real suprise, but we are 6-0. I’d like to see more of Snelling as well.

Less Stretch plays more draws more counters. Our backs do not have the speed to get outside.

DR. FALCON

October 15th, 2012
9:59 am

GETAWAY, ON A DAY WHEN THE EAGLES, TEXANS, 49ER’S, & CARDINALS, ALL LOST AT HOME, I’LL TAKE A “TROUBLING” 6-0, ANYTIME! DON’T WORRY, WE CAN FIX OUR PROBLEMS!

Esquire

October 15th, 2012
10:00 am

Ryan got hit a lot yesterday and at one point I thought he was down.

PMC

October 15th, 2012
10:01 am

We knew before the season started that they were going to be weak at MLB (pretty much abysmal so far for Dent) and on the Offensive line, because they didn’t do anything to improve the talent this year, they just got rest and a better coach and play caller.

It’s still going really well. No team is perfect, but one teams record is unblemished.

dean p.

October 15th, 2012
10:02 am

Real dissapointed in QUIZZ, not very productive and should not run in between tha tackles ,get him out in space! where are the screen passes?
He also does not look that fast to me….
We need a much better rushing attack to go far into playoffs…….

tonyb

October 15th, 2012
10:03 am

D, I agree, you way over rated the O line. At least one of Ryans picks ( the Wheeler hit) was clearly on them. Goes the coaching staff have no faith that they cant block enough to get a ball two yards on 3 downs? I’m starting to get really concerned about the Oline…if they can’t block more effectively, we are got going to win a championship.

But it is great to 6-0.

DR. FALCON

October 15th, 2012
10:04 am

LOVE YOUR GRADES, LEDBETTER! COULDN’T HAVE DONE IT ANY BETTER! THIS IS THE LEAGUE! IT’S NOT ALWAYS GOING TO BE PEACHES, AND CREAM! WE’RE STIL 3-4 GAMES UP IN THE DIVISION! BY THE WAY, HAVE YOU SEEN, HIRAMSAINT, AND SEENTHISB4?

Grape Nuts are neither grapes or nuts

October 15th, 2012
10:04 am

Trivia –

What do you call a man with no arms at a Falcons game?

Dunta Robinson……..OK….It looked like he had no arms trying to make tackles. Instead of wrapping up, he launches himself towards the ball carrier and does not make the tackle…..He may have led the team in tackles, but he sure missed a lot trying to be a head hunter.

tonyb

October 15th, 2012
10:06 am

DeanP Quzz is what he is, a mid round pick at running back. He has been, since he was taken, highly over rated by the fan base. His biggest problem is that he can’t make people miss in the open field. He has improved at that this year, but still its lacking. If used properly, like on screens or getting him on the edge, he is effective. But if your looking for a between the tackles runner, he is not your man.

Joe

October 15th, 2012
10:14 am

D-Leg, that B- for the O-line is being really nice on your part, I think its more like a C

Joe

October 15th, 2012
10:14 am

D-Leg, that B- for the O-line is being really nice on your part, I think its more like a C

Esquire

October 15th, 2012
10:16 am

R. FALCON
October 15th, 2012
9:59 am

GETAWAY, ON A DAY WHEN THE EAGLES, TEXANS, 49ER’S, & CARDINALS, ALL LOST AT HOME, I’LL TAKE A “TROUBLING” 6-0, ANYTIME! DON’T WORRY, WE CAN FIX OUR PROBLEMS!

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Absolutely…………….!!!

geoff cobb

October 15th, 2012
10:20 am

I think that your last two grades for the offensive line are way too generous. If the offensive line had done its job the falcons would have scored at the goal line and Ryan would not have had at least one of is picks.
Turner gets criticized for being too slow, but a lot of his inability to gain yards is down to poor line play and lack of push against the defensive line.

PMC

October 15th, 2012
10:20 am

We have rich mans problems here.

coleski

October 15th, 2012
10:28 am

The O-line can’t block. What is there to say. When the Falcons go against the better teams, they are
going to be in deep trouble. As for Quizz, he just can’t get the job done. Where is Smith? He sure seemed to have the speed that is lacking among the other backs. I know he was injured but I hav’ent
heard about his condition in a while. 6 and 0 is mighty fine but I’m afraid we are in for a downturn if
corrections are’nt made. The schedule is going to get much tougher.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

October 15th, 2012
10:29 am

Joe — Yes, way too generious.

coleski

October 15th, 2012
10:30 am

The O-line can’t block.

DawgDad

October 15th, 2012
10:39 am

Didn’t look like Ryan had much zip on the ball yesterday. As for the problems, a team cannot let pro-bowl caliber players like Dahl, Lofton, and Mughelli walk and not suffer consequences. All three of those positions are current weaknesses, each was apparent yestederday. The salary cap has to be managed, but the Falcons are treading water in the process. Can’t trust this team is really improved until and unless they win in the playoffs.

What 6-0 does is give the Falcons a lot of cushion as they move into a more difficult stretch of games. The danger is it may breed complacency. Does ANYBODY really believe, after yesterday, the Falcons are ready to take on the Giants or Packers in the playoffs?

TroupDawg

October 15th, 2012
10:41 am

Baker is doing a better than expected job at LT ….But Clabo? he’s getting whipped way too much in these last 3 games. On a couple of plays yeterday, he was at least a step to slow against the wide 9 stance that the DE would check to from time to time during the game. Since Philly deploys that type of wide 9 DE play regularly, Matt might be in for a long day if Clabo can’t step it up. Clabo is looking very slow off the snap.

Grape Nuts are neither grapes or nuts

October 15th, 2012
10:43 am

DawgDad (the usurper)

October 15th, 2012
10:46 am

We have two DawgDads posting here. The 10:39 am post – I’ll take credit for that one.

Esquire

October 15th, 2012
10:48 am

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

Perspective

October 15th, 2012
10:49 am

@ Getaway

You said that Mike Smith should have challenged on that “almost” interception toward the end of the game… I think it was McClain that just about made the circus catch. At first I was wondering the same thing about why he didn’t challenge but realized that Smith probably didn’t want to lose a timeout if it wasn’t overturned.

Ultimately, he wound up making the right call because he ensured the Falcons were able to hold that last timeout for the very end of the game… which allowed Ryan to use the entire field to set up the game-winning Bryant field goal.

A tough call to make either way with only 30 seconds between plays to decide. However, that extra timeout was HUGE in decided whether with :40 on the clock if they should go for the win or play for overtime.

Esquire

October 15th, 2012
10:49 am

Grape Nuts are neither grapes or nuts
October 15th, 2012
10:43 am

Really?
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You started it.

Cleveland Ave. Turk

October 15th, 2012
10:54 am

Playoff wins. None of this matter if we dont win in january. Still. WE IN THIS B@#%&!!! Big win. Way to go on da 6-0…..Shot out to Terrance Mathis and Wallace Francis.

TroupDawg

October 15th, 2012
10:56 am

The Rodgers comment 10:43 not mine. Seems someone has hijacked my handle. As far as the Tony Romo remark? That’s the only thing he can win.

Cleveland Ave. Turk

October 15th, 2012
10:56 am

Dent aint putting a dent in nothing!!!

mark

October 15th, 2012
10:56 am

DLed where is Peter Kontz I thought he was going to be an upgrade the guard play and help the the power run game? I think the problem is the O-line, it has been pushed around the last 3 weeks by some pretty bad d-lines, I think off season we are going to have to upgrade talent level. What’s going on with Clabo, he is not right physically. Turner is not getting any help up front, but he is also not quick to hit the hole. This is not a gloom and doom post, some of those problems can be fixed mid-season. I love the way these guys never give up on any play and hustle the entire time.

TroupDawg

October 15th, 2012
10:58 am

Esquire! TOO FUNNY!!!!!!!!!

Cleveland Ave. Turk

October 15th, 2012
11:00 am

Esquire……… you wack. And that wuz a wack joke only a undercover guy would tell. Mr. S.S. iz wat u are. The first S stand for Secret. U can figure out wat the second one means cuz ur one.

The Falconator

October 15th, 2012
11:05 am

The O-line is a problematic mess of inconsistency and deserved a D grade. Where is the coaching? Can these guys even be coached up? We’re all sick of seeing Falcon RB’s bounce off nonexistent holes in short yardage situations because the opposing D-line shoved the Falcons O-line back into Ryan’s face. Smitty–take action. Arthur– expect much, much more from these turkeys.

Cleveland Ave. Turk

October 15th, 2012
11:11 am

TroupDawg…. Haha!!! U must be his cheerleader. Pull ya skirt down. Ya panties showing.

Dave

October 15th, 2012
11:11 am

coaching – F

a) never let Quizz run the ball ever again
b) enough with the shotgun. Matt Ryan is not Drew Brees. which leads to
c) Run Turner up the middle 10 more times a game please.

ESPECIALLY ON 1ST AND GOAL FROM INSIDE THE 5, I’M SICK OF THIS PLAY CALLING

Esquire

October 15th, 2012
11:14 am

Prose for the Caints trolls and fans!!

“The Past”

BY RALPH WALDO EMERSON
The debt is paid,
The verdict said,
The Furies laid,
The plague is stayed,
All fortunes made;
Turn the key and bolt the door,
Sweet is death forevermore.
Nor haughty hope, nor swart chagrin,
Nor murdering hate, can enter in.
All is now secure and fast;
Not the gods can shake the Past;
Flies-to the adamantine door
Bolted down forevermore.
None can re-enter there,—
No thief so politic,
No Satan with a royal trick
Steal in by window, chink, or hole,
To bind or unbind, add what lacked,
Insert a leaf, or forge a name,
New-face or finish what is packed,
Alter or mend eternal Fact

Esquire

October 15th, 2012
11:17 am

Esquire
October 15th, 2012
10:55 am

How about.. Four gays taking a bath in a tub, a wad of cum surfaces the top, one jumps out and yells Who just farted??

**********************************************
@Cleveland Ave

Lol, wasn’t me dude. Just my fan club!

Esquire

October 15th, 2012
11:22 am

You can tell the Caints trolls are sick of losing and sick of the MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS winning.

6-0 BABY!!! FEELS GOOD DON’T IT!!!

GameReviewer

October 15th, 2012
11:25 am

You better enjoy the 6-0 record because the Falcons got just FOUR first downs against the 28th ranked defense in the league. With that type of output, you can pencil in a LOSS at Philly.

Michael M.

October 15th, 2012
11:25 am

I was just looking at the Standings……………….Atlanta gets an ” A+ ” over there because it sure looks darn good to be 6 – 0 and all the competition is way below you with losses………………………………………………….6 – 0 is just perfect !

Esquire

October 15th, 2012
11:26 am

Grape Nuts are neither grapes or nuts
October 15th, 2012
10:53 am

My earlier jole was stupid, how’s this What do you call an Italian with no arms?? Hearing impaired.

Grape Nuts are neither grapes or nuts
October 15th, 2012
10:54 am

I meant a Speech Impediment

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Maybe you should take a break…………..lol…….!!!

Michael M.

October 15th, 2012
11:27 am

What will the Trolls think if Atlanta comes out after that bye week and picks up where they just left off ???……………………….lmao………………………

Esquire

October 15th, 2012
11:27 am

Esquire
October 15th, 2012
11:22 am

You can tell the Caints trolls are sick of losing and sick of the MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS winning.

6-0 BABY!!! FEELS GOOD DON’T IT!!!

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

Whoops………..did I already say that…………..Feels Good Don’t It!!

Cleveland Ave. Turk

October 15th, 2012
11:29 am

@The Real Esquire………..Well if it wasnt u den my bad. …..That wuz a sick joke.. Dis blog iz for REAL FALCONS FANS ONLY. No fakes allowed!!!….And yeh. Where wuz all these so called fans at win we lost last year.

Michael M.

October 15th, 2012
11:29 am

It is one game at a time ………….onward and upwards, win after win…………….lmao

Esquire

October 15th, 2012
11:30 am

Michael M.
October 15th, 2012
11:27 am

What will the Trolls think if Atlanta comes out after that bye week and picks up where they just left off ???……………………….lmao………………………

**********************************************
Fact is I don’t care what they think, they haven’t proven to be very intelligent. But they are gonna FEEL the pain of the MIGHTY MIGHTY FALCONS beating the Eagles and then Dallas for an 8-0 record.

FACT

Esquire

October 15th, 2012
11:32 am

Cleveland Ave. Turk
October 15th, 2012
11:29 am

@The Real Esquire………..Well if it wasnt u den my bad. …..That wuz a sick joke.. Dis blog iz for REAL FALCONS FANS ONLY. No fakes allowed!!!….And yeh. Where wuz all these so called fans at win we lost last year.

******************************************************
No prob……………..let ‘em jump on the bandwagon, there’s plenty of room.