Report card: Falcons’ grades for win over Eagles

tlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan leaves the field after leading his team to a 30-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

tlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan leaves the field after leading his team to a 30-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

PHILADELPHIA — Here are the Falcons’ grades for the 30-17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

A-plus — Quarterbacks: Ryan bounced back from his worst game of the season in grand fashion as he directed the Falcons to scores on their first six possessions. The Falcons set the tone with the 16-play, 80-yard touchdown drive to open the game.

B-plus — Running backs: Michael Turner, Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling all did some damage. Even wide receiver Julio Jones helped the rushing attack with a 9-yard gain. Turner’s numbers were not great (24 for 58 yards), but the Falcons kept pounding away at the Eagles defense in order to slow down the pass rush from their “Wide Tackle Nine” alignment. Rodgers came through with the back-breaker 43-yard run and Snelling caught a touchdown pass. Overall, the Falcons rushed for 146 yards on 37 carries.

A — Receivers: Julio Jones had a big day with five catches for 123 yards and a 63-yard touchdown. On the touchdown grab he used his speed to run past Philadalphia’s Nnamdi Asomugha. Jones averaged 24.6 yards per catch. Drew Davis filled in for Harry Douglas with two catches, including a 15-yard touchdown.

A-minus — Offensive line: Rookie Peter Konz made his first NFL start at right guard for Garrett Reynolds (balky back injury) and held his own. “It went good,” Konz said. “It’s always tough to play in an away environment, especially in your first game. I think it went pretty well.” Center Todd McClure and head coach Mike Smith concurred. The line approached the game like it was an 80-round fight and tried to maul the Eagles for 80 rounds. Things started out slow in the run game, but they eventually wore down the Eagles and slowed down their pass rush. The unit gave up two sacks and contained Philly ends Trent Cole and Jason Babin.

A — Defensive line: The Falcons debuted their “Big Tackle Three” alignment against the Eagles. They used tackles Jonathan Babineaux, Vance Walker and Peria Jerry on some running downs for their ability to get penetration and get off blocks in order to slow down Philadelphia running back LeSean McCoy. Corey Peters played for Jerry in the alignment some in the second half. He played 20 of 63 snaps (32 percent) in his first game back from his stress fracture injury. Defensive end Kroy Biermann had a big game with seven tackles and a sack. John Abraham had his eighth sack of the season.

A — Linebackers: Stephen Nicholas and Sean Weatherspoon created some mayhem for the defense. Nicholas appeared fully recovered from the ankle injury he suffered against Washington as he had five tackles, one pass breakup. Weatherspoon, before leaving with an ankle injury, had six tackles and one quarterback hit. Middle linebacker Akeem Dent played 22 snaps (35 percent) and had one tackle.

A — Defensive backs: Asante Samuel returned to his old stomping grounds and had a solid game. Nickel back Robert McClain finished with six tackles, one quarterback hit and one pass breakup. Safeties Thomas DeCoud and William Moore stayed deeper than the deepest receiver and eliminated the long-ball from Philadelphia’s attack.

C — Special teams: This grade is low because of the blocked punt by Eagles linebacker Casey Matthews. Punter Matt Bosher had most of the day off with just two punts. Kicker Matt Bryant made all three of his field goal attempts.

A — Coaching: You’ve got to give defensive coordinator Mike Nolan an ‘A’ for creativity. He had to fix the run defense and went with a “Big Tackle Three” alignment to slow down the Eagles. With the aid of the “Big Tackle Three” the Eagles became the first team the Falcons held to under 100 yards rushing this season. Defensive end Ray Edwards lost some playing time as he played on 10 of 63 defensive snaps (16 percent). Give coach Mike Smith and offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter credit for sticking with the rushing attack throughout the game. They didn’t know what new Eagles coordinator Todd Bowles was going to do so they countered with some old-fashioned smash-mouth football. Also, Smith became the winningest coach in Falcons history with the victory as he moved past Dan Reeves.

NEXT UP: The Falcons (7-0) face the Dallas Cowboys (3-4) at 8:20 p.m. Sunday at the Georgia Dome. The Cowboys are coming of tough 29-24 loss to the New York Giants.

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50 comments Add your comment

The Falcon Project

October 29th, 2012
9:12 am

Good article, D. Led.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

October 29th, 2012
9:19 am

The Falcon Project — Thanks you kindly!

SawThat1nce

October 29th, 2012
9:22 am

I’d have to give the special teams a B, at the least.
Good to see them beat the Eagles, now the Falcons won’t have to play them next year, maybe.

SawThat1nce

October 29th, 2012
9:26 am

Great day, the Falcons won and the saint s lost.
Should keep the trolls at bay.
Go Falcons!

STB4

October 29th, 2012
9:36 am

I see that DOL and his blog monitors have blocked my access again! What’s wrong AJC? Can’t handle a bit of opposing dialogue?

Go Cowboys!

SawThat1nce

October 29th, 2012
9:41 am

Filter on certain words. Figure it out.

SawThat1nce

October 29th, 2012
9:41 am

Mike is Back

October 29th, 2012
9:45 am

Good stuff Dled

HOW BOUT THEM BIRDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

STB4

October 29th, 2012
9:47 am

Yeah, no joke. But when he filters on my blog name it makes it seem as if I’m not owning up to my posts and running from yesterday’s results.

I’m still here for those of you who are looking for me.

Joe Dirte formerally J-MAN: I checked your alternate blog site, seems a bit dead over there. At least this morning.

STB4

October 29th, 2012
9:49 am

On the other hand, the imposters can’t post using my normal handle either! LOL!

GregKennesaw

October 29th, 2012
9:49 am

welcoms back STB4 – let’s see 7-0 vs 2-5, let’s hear your opposing dialogue. Go Broncos! Let’s hear your dialogue on which is worse the ain’ts Offense or Defense?

GregKennesaw

October 29th, 2012
9:51 am

@STB4, hey dude I hope Vilma wins his appeal, then the ain’ts have to pay him and he gets to play! He looked awful……… look at this way you get great draft picks this year, oh wait you lost your second rounder!

Mike is Back

October 29th, 2012
9:59 am

I thought Dirk and Mike schemes were the difference in the game. I especially like the formation with Turner and Rogers, and Stell and Rogers in the backfield together.

I seen the fake reverse to Jones…I think Jones and White could take one to house on one of those carefully timed reverses.

RISE UP BIRDS…BEAT THEM COWBOYS…LET’S GO…LET’S GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Esquire

October 29th, 2012
10:00 am

Hey DLed, are you hitting the Halloween Party at The Cheetah.

HearThisB4

October 29th, 2012
10:01 am

Blocked me again!

You know DLed, you’re getting petty now!

HearThisB4

October 29th, 2012
10:04 am

@GregKennesaw: Goodell would have done us a favor if he had suspended the entire defense, the replacements could not have done any worse.

@DLed: Keep trying, I’ll always come back.

Esquire

October 29th, 2012
10:04 am

Congrats Peter Konz ……we need ya baby!!!!

monty

October 29th, 2012
10:05 am

Seriously, the run game was simply not there when it was needed most. Too many times in the red zone Turner was nailed at or before the line of scrimmage. Late in the game we needed to pick up a 1st down by running and we go 3 and out twice. We came away with field goals when we needed TD’s. In the end it worked out because to be honest that is the worst Philly team I’ve seen in ages. We should have had this one in the bag after 3 quarters but we made it a fight till the end. We gave them too many chances to get back in the game, a good team would have. Great to be where we are, but until we fix the run game where we could actually feel good about running for a 1st down if it was 3rd and 2, this team is suspect. Every “great” team can pick up a 1st down more times than not on 3rd and short by running. This team has to pass in that situation. Get the picture?

Mike is Back

October 29th, 2012
10:07 am

I meant say Snell and Rogers…my bad

Mike "CHOKE" Dogs To Death

October 29th, 2012
10:11 am

I guess Matt “CLUTCH” Ryan finally found a way to shut Choke up once and for all, by whipping the tar out of his dream boy yesterday.

But it seems awfully quiet on these here blogs without Choke’s little smiley-faces. I kind of miss him — NOT!

HAHA :)

North FLA Falcon

October 29th, 2012
10:16 am

How about Chris Owens, with a nice 3rd down pass breakup. A great team victory. We still need to tweak our running game but we are playing very, very well right now.

Zgreen

October 29th, 2012
10:18 am

We have to find someone that can return punts! Franks is horrendous! I believe in next years draft we pick a player like Ace Sanders, someone who is very agile and has great accelleration. I don’t care who it is as long as they show life back there. UGA as well, McGowan as a PR…….are u kidding me?

Roswell Falcon

October 29th, 2012
10:22 am

Every team in the NFL has plays where they lose yardage. I was feeling encouraged by the running game, or should I say the o-line play. I saw us pick up short yardage with the run a couple of times.
Great win!

Esquire

October 29th, 2012
10:29 am

Matt Bryant just keeps doing it!!

kd

October 29th, 2012
10:31 am

we are the toast of the nfc, mercury and the dolphins of 72′ are getting anxious to pop their bottle of pink champelle lol

ijonathan

October 29th, 2012
10:31 am

Ray Edwards plays less, Falcons D steps up.

Coincidence??

Esquire

October 29th, 2012
10:32 am

“Big Tackle Three” ——– LOVE IT….!!!!

D man

October 29th, 2012
10:51 am

I grade the Falcons A+ for winning on the road at Philly. That was so awesome. I love it, love it, love it… Now let’s get focused on Dallas next Sunday night on prime time.

BlockThisB4

October 29th, 2012
11:08 am

Lol he said he would keep coming back. It’s so sad this guy has nowhere else to geaux. I give the Falcons an A overall. They must be telling Franks to just catch the ball or let it bounce but under no circumstances is he to attempt a return. Konz is the RG from here on IMO. He even makes Clabo better. Ray Edwards is a waste of pads and cleats.

single white dove

October 29th, 2012
11:09 am

Did anyone see the fox d-bag squad say about the falcons? That the eagles defense lost the game for them…

bb

October 29th, 2012
11:13 am

wheres seenthisbefore and hiraimst i cant stand those guys, big W keep it coming

Redcoat

October 29th, 2012
11:33 am

Seen,STB4, or Hear…….apologized for that al qaeda remark yet?…….what kind of person are you?….are you the only person that does not “Remember”?…

mark

October 29th, 2012
11:34 am

The more I look at our run game the more I think Turner has go to go. He hits the line so slow I have to believe that our offensive line is opening holes that are closing up due to his lack of quickness. I am not sure Rodgers is the full time replacement but I like his quickness and he has a lot of Darren Sproles in him from the pass game. I would also like to see more of Snelling just because of his ability to catch the ball.

FalconJim

October 29th, 2012
11:45 am

DLed, I pretty much agree with your grades….but may have given our Special Team a B -, instead of the C.

Anyway, a great road win for us, and I say, bring on Tony Homo and The Cowgirls!!!

GO, YOU DIRTY BIRDS!!!

backatcha

October 29th, 2012
12:02 pm

Stay focused ATL! Stay focused!!! I hope the Spoon is alright!!! God bless ATL!!!

warfalcon

October 29th, 2012
12:17 pm

“A“LETS GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[...] Atlanta Journal-Constitution gave out a lot of top scores on their report card from Sunday’s win over the [...]

Th

October 29th, 2012
12:37 pm

Looked to me like the “Big Tackle Three” was mainly to give Abe and Biermann a rest without putting Edwards on the field. How many plays were they on the field? Five?

If Spoon is hurt (man, I hope not) who steps in?

I am so glad Lofton is gone. Did you guys see how bad he was last night? Lots of tackles after seven yards just like when he was here. Worst pass rushing LB in the league.

Season Ticket Holder

October 29th, 2012
1:32 pm

With the upcoming trade deadline, should the Falcons try to acquire a running back to suppliment the offense? There is a rumor that the Rams may trade Steven Jackson.

Michael M .

October 29th, 2012
2:33 pm

I watched the Cowgirls give their game away yesterday……………………………………………. what I saw tells me Atlanta 44 – Cowgirls – 12 ………..you can’t keep turning the ball over and expect to do anything but lose ! …………………… Atlanta will mop the floor with them next Sunday night….. 8 – 0 next week…………

NFC SOUTH STANDINGS
Falcons 7 – 0
mucs 3 – 4
caints 2 – 5
pansies 1 – 6

As for last nights Sunday night game…………….all you can say is the looks on that Caints Team told the national television audience that they were done for this Season…………..they look absolutely pitiful…………………but its all good if you a Falcon Fan ! Rise – up Atlanta ! onwards and upwards , one game at a time…………………………………….

DonofAcworth

October 29th, 2012
2:37 pm

I need to say I get very nervous watching the Falcons when they play at Philly but I watched in stunned appreciation as every time the gor the ball the just took it to those green guys and the story about the 13 game winning streak after a bye week didn’t help either. So, we have a team now that I can watch the entire game…wow! Oh, great article about the win!

Esquire

October 29th, 2012
2:45 pm

Season Ticket Holder
October 29th, 2012
1:32 pm

With the upcoming trade deadline, should the Falcons try to acquire a running back to suppliment the offense? There is a rumor that the Rams may trade Steven Jackson.
*************************************
Jackson has been a great running back but is almost 30 years old, just slightly younger than Turner.
St Louis has voided the last 2 years of Jackson’s contract so he can be a free agent after this year. That in itself is odd…….very odd, nothing for him, no trade available for St Louis. What team would trade for someone that will be a free agent after this season anyway……….except one in desperation. Believe it or not Turner was timed faster in the 40 in predraft workouts. They are similar physically, Jackson Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Weight: 240 lb (109 kg)
Turner Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m) Weight: 244 lb (111 kg)

In order to accommodate for teams dealing with Hurricane Sandy, the NFL has decided to push back the trade deadline to Thursday, November 1, at 4 p.m.

Falcons 4 Real

October 29th, 2012
3:05 pm

Another great article DLed, we have the best team AND the best beat writer. Great win yesterday, after 3 straight games that aged us all about 10 years it was nice to get back to an old fahioned derriere whuppin’. Ice continues his MVP pace, we ran better, I’m glad we don’t have to game plan for Julio and the defense played quite well.I can’t say enough about the coaching, Koetter and Nolan haad the Eagles on their heels all day and Smitty didn’t allow the history and mystique of Philly get to the team. Seaking of Smitty I heard on the radio today he’s the 3rd fastest coach to reach 50 wins behind only George Seifert (who inhereted the dynasty 49ers) and Chuck Knox. I’m hoping he gets a shiny new contract in the next few months.

The Real Rick

October 29th, 2012
3:14 pm

I hope the press continues to ignore or discredit the birds……it puts a chip on their shoulder and I like the way they are playing…just keep it up for the playoffs

Sly Ty

October 29th, 2012
3:20 pm

Falcons did very well yesterday, hope they keep it up against the Cowboys.

TommyNobisfan60

October 29th, 2012
3:47 pm

With all the offense of weapons the Falcons have, I am not worried about our run game. When teams figure out they have to stop the Falcons air attack, the run game will open up and Turner and Rodgers will shine. No way do the Falcons need to trade for a running back before the deadline. Trade is just that and the Falcons would have to give up something including a draft pick and I see no need to change the Karma in the locker room of this team.

General Bortswagger III

October 29th, 2012
3:49 pm

iS THIS TRUE?

BamaGuy

October 29th, 2012
5:01 pm

SEEN? The Broncos just scored again….Go Goodell, Taglibue, and the NFL

E

October 30th, 2012
1:50 am

Please trade for Steven Jackson that would help us alot.

RunninWithTheDawgs

October 30th, 2012
6:45 pm

Go ahead and draft Marcus Lattimore, and let him do his rehab with the Falcons as he learns our scheme. Spurrier said he will play again and I believe it. The man’s all heart.