Must Win? – Falcons @ 49ers Preview

Big Game Against Upstart Niners

Finally Turner & Burn Unit's Day? (Bob Andres/AJC)

Many fans and professional prognosticators alike picked the Falcons to be 2-1 at this point and headed out favored to get past the 49ers. Falcon followers and media didn’t foresee the Falcons losing the way they did in Foxboro, complete with many three and outs, failure of backbone in playing and play-calling, and a feeling that the Falcons never had a real chance to win. The Birds are 2 and 1, but if there ever was an early must-win game, it’s this one. The 49ers have developed into one of the best defenses in the league and have shown that last year was no fluke, but the Falcons look to have a tough, hard road ahead with games coming up against the Bears (3-1), Cowboys (2-2), Saints (4-0), Giants (4-0), and Eagles (2-1). You have to wonder that if the Birds drop this one, how many more might they drop?

Falcons Defense vs. 49ers Offense

NFL Ranks

Falcons Defense (Rush – 25th, Pass – 27th, Total – 30th, Points – 8th)

49ers Offense (Rush – 15th, Pass – 28th, Total – 28th, Points – T-4th)

Falcons Bruised & Battered vs. 49ers O-Line

DE – John Abraham vs. LT – Joe Staley

DT – Jonathan Babineaux vs. LG – David Bass

DT – Trey Lewis/Thomas Johnson vs. C – Eric Heitmann/RG – Chilo Rachal

DE – Kroy Biermann/Jamaal Anderson vs. RT – Adam Snyder

The unit catching some of the worst criticism is the Falcons defensive line. They blew it out of the water against the Dolphins, registering 4 sacks in one game, but haven’t had one since. They generated hardly any pressure on Jake Delhomme and didn’t lay as much of a finger on Tom Brady in Foxboro. Something has to give on the defensive line if the Falcons hope to achieve any of the their preseason goals (check out DOL’s D-Line blog). How long will Jamaal Anderson get from the coaching staff? Abraham hasn’t had a sack since game one, and is getting no help from his line mates. Babineaux had a pretty game against Carolina, but has shown an inability to produce pressure without a big body next to him. Thomas Johnson nor Trey Lewis has shown any capability filling in Peria Jerry’s spot after his injury. They run up against one of the better centers in Eric Heitmann and a big road grader in David Baas. Abraham will have to find his sack magic against tough LT Joe Staley and Kroy Biermann finds a favorable match-up against Adam Snyder. Maybe Trey Lewis can return to his preseason/rookie form The defensive line can silence many critics with another big game, but we’ll believe it when we see it.. Edge – Gold Rushers

Falcons Best D-Unit vs. 49ers RB’s and Vernon Davis

SLB – Stephen Nicholas/SS- Erik Coleman vs. TE – Vernon Davis

MLB – Curtis Lofton vs. FB – Moran Norris

WLB – Mike Peterson vs. RB – Glen Coffee

The linebackers are the heart and soul of the Falcons defense so far this year. Peterson, Nicholas, and particularly Lofton, have been making plays all over the field this year. It is fairly obvious to see the athletic upgrade at the positions. Curtis Lofton recorded a ridiculously high number of tackles with 19 and Peterson has been cleaning up a lot tackles that escapes the defensive line. Stephen Nicholas’ ability is obvious, but his pass rushing skill doesn’t seem to being used correctly. The linebackers are likely having to make too many plays, with the poor performances of the defensive line. If not making the tackle outright, the D-Line has to help their teammates out by at least getting penetration and getting some hits on the running backs and quarterback. Erik Coleman has had a solid start with his run support and above average cover of tight ends. The LB’s draw one of the best TE’s in Vernon Davis, who appears to have finally turned the corner. He is the best and most reliable of targets for efficient QB Shaun Hill. He has shown to be an innate threat in the red-zone. The loss of Frank Gore for the Niners is huge, and Peterson, Lofton, and Co. should put the pressure on Hill and the passing game. If Gore were healthy, this one might tip the other way. Edge – Birds

Falcons Most Porous Unit vs. 49ers Passing Attack

CB – Brian Williams vs. WR – Isaac Bruce

CB – Chris Houston/Tye Hill? vs. WR – Josh Morgan

Nickel – Brent Grimes? vs. WR – Arnaz Battle/Michael Crabtree?

SS – Erik Coleman vs. TE – Vernon Davis

FS – Thomas DeCoud vs. QB – Shaun Hill

Save some good performances by Thomas DeCoud and Brian Williams, the passing defense must improve. Some of it may be due to the play-calling, but this unit should be renamed “throw-it-whenever-and-wherever-you-want” instead of “bend-but-don’t-break”. The pass defense was great versus the Dolphins, but have spiraled down since. Steve Smith had his way in week 2, and Tom Brady had his way in week 3. They seem to hold fairly good until 3rd down, when their true lack of man-to-man coverage shows its vulnerability. As mentioned many times, Brian Williams becoming the number one CB off waivers seriously says something about the corners on our current roster. Chris Houston needs a really good game to get the critics off his back, and is this the week we finally see what Tye Hill’s got? Brent Grimes continue to keep Chevis Jackson and Chris Owens on the sideline. Vernon Davis is their biggest receiving threat and Shaun Hill has been efficient and managed the games enough to win. Michael Crabtree finally ended his prima-donna holdout and maybe we’ll see him in, but it’s doubtful. Time to see what we have in the likes of Tye Hill, and if Chevis Jackson and/or Chris Owens will be of any help to us this year. Due to Gore’s injury and lack of WR threat this one’s a tie. Otherwise, it would be a 49ers lock. Edge – Tie, Not Because of good Falcons Pass DEF

NFL Rank

Falcons Offense (Rush – 25th, Pass – 20th, Total – 23rd, Points – 20th)

49ers Defense (Rush – 4th, Pass – 10th, Total – 6th, Points – 2nd)

Falcons Burn(ed) Unit vs. 49ers D-Line

LT – Sam Baker vs. DE – Justin Smith

LG – Justin Blalock vs. ILB – Takeo Spikes

C- Todd McClure vs. NT – Aubrayo Franklin

RG – Harvey Dahl vs. ILB – Patrick Willis

RT – Tyson Clabo vs. Isaac Sopoaga

Time to Return to Form (Curtis Compton/AJC)

The likes of Baker, Blalock, McClure, Dahl, and Clabo have been pretty good at protecting Matt Ryan and giving him time to throw, even though not look down field, but they have been pretty weak to say the least in the running game. It certainly hasn’t been all of their fault, with Michael Turner tip-toeing a little bit at the line of scrimmage, but they surely have under-performed compared to last year’s superb performance. Hopefully, they have taken the bye week and all the criticism personally. Coach Boudreau, Coach Mularkey, and Coach Smith used the week off to figure out their issues in the running attack, which paved the way for the second leading rusher in the NFL last year. Their first job back doesn’t get any easier with one of the best statistical defenses in the league. They better bring their lunch pail, because the guards and center will have their hands full with, arguably, the best defensive player in the league, LB Patrick Willis. Justin Smith is the typical working man player that Singletary loves. The new coach has helped Spikes, Franklin, and Sapoaga work into one of the best defenses in the league. Let’s really hope the bye week provided the spark we need, because on paper this one might get ugly. Edge – Gold Rushers

Falcons Second Most Criticized Unit & TG vs. 49ers Linebackers

RB – Michael Turner/Jerious Norwood vs. OLB – Parys Haralson

FB – Ovie Mughelli vs. ILB – Patrick Willis

TE – Tony Gonzalez vs. OLB – Manny Lawson/SS – Michael Lewis

Is this the game where the Falcons rushing attack gets back to last year’s form? Let’s certainly hope so. After having the second leading rushing offense in the league last year, the Pro-Bowl running back Turner has gained 65, 105, and 56 yards, respectively, in each of the first 3 games. The lone 100 yard performance was the most hard-earned century mark in some time against the Panthers, really only picking up steam in the second half. Although the O-Line hasn’t been up to par, Turner the Burner shares some of the blame with his lack of drive and urgency to hit the hole. Too many 1, 2, and 3 yard runs in the first three games, which is fine for the first half, but not the entire game. Norwood has been hurt pretty much the entire season to this point, and maybe that has been the issue, giving a threat to the outside and not allowing the defense to key the middle of the line. The Falcons have played some of the better defenses in the NFL, but they won’t get any easier, with the Bears, Giants, Jets, Eagles, and Saints on the horizon. Lawson and Haralson have surely benefited from the Hall of Fame Linebacker and are playing with fire. Michael Lewis has regained his swagger from his excellent days in Philly. Don’t bet on Coach Mularkey making the same mistake of not finding some way, any way, to get Gonzalez involved early and often. Expect TG to have a big game in this one. Until proven otherwise, can’t give this nod to the Falcons rushing attack. Edge – Gold Rushers

Falcons Aerial Assault vs. 49ers Secondary

WR – Roddy White vs. CB – Nate Clements

WR – Michael Jenkins vs. CB – Dre Bly

Slot – Marty Booker vs. Nickel – Shawntae Spencer

QB – Matt Ryan vs. FS – Dashon Goldson

The Falcons had their moments in the first two games with Matt Ryan looking sharp and connecting with receivers, backs, and Tony Gonzalez for many 3rd down conversions and driving the ball down the field. Ryan had a pretty good game going in the first half against the Patriots, but came back down to Earth in the second half, forcing many third and outs and being reduced to short and intermediate throws. Roddy White dropped two big passes and has not shown the elite performance and chemistry he and Ryan had last year. Time for White to start earning the dough as one of the top five receivers in the NFL. His life doesn’t get any easier, running up against one of the better corners in the league in Nate Clements. Franchise receivers find ways to make plays regardless of who’s covering them. Coach Mularkey’s play-calling hasn’t helped much either. Michael Jenkins has shown that he is a legit #2 receiver and can step up when White goes missing. Some think that the play-calling represented a desire to “protect” the defense, but that shouldn’t be the problem anymore. Booker has shown flashes in the slot, but has to fill HD’s shoes in opening up the middle with TG. Goldson has proven to be one of the better, young safeties in the NFC under Singletary’s tutelage. Time to open the vertical passing playbook and start taking chances downfield, even if they don’t connect, they must at least soften up the front. Birds get the edge because they have to. Edge – Birds.

Your Turn

-Who will win this one: Birds or Gold-Rushers?

-Is this a must-win game?

-Can the D-Line find a way to pull it together?

-Can Trey Lewis shake off the rust?

-Will the Birds LB’s contain Coffee and V.Davis?

-Is this Tye Hill’s big opportunity?

-Can our secondary rise up and play like week 1?

-The Burn Unit or the Burned Unit again?

-Turner’s “breakout” game?

-Finally see the vertical passing game and our offense open up?

-How many catches will TG get?

Go Falcons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

714 comments Add your comment

Dawson Devitt (D3)

October 8th, 2009
9:59 pm

First……….sorry Sarah, had to do it.

Boxcarar

October 8th, 2009
10:00 pm

Reserved for Sarah B.

Boxcarar

October 8th, 2009
10:04 pm

D3,
Good points as usual. This may be a must win for my picks because I believe that I had the Saints losing to us both games, and they are looking tough. On the other side, I had us losing to the kittens in both games. Go figure.

Sarah B

October 8th, 2009
10:06 pm

Hey D3 that’s cheating…

Boxcarar

October 8th, 2009
10:11 pm

Nice to see a couple of ends step it up. HOF tight end state that he was off his game in blocking and needs to step it up. Possible future HOF DE tells his peers to “MAN UP” Let’s hope that these veterans’ motivational statements will help these young guys play with urgency!

Boxcarar

October 8th, 2009
10:11 pm

Sarah B.
I tried for ya!!!

Sarah B

October 8th, 2009
10:15 pm

THX Boxcar – actually I just like to block others from going “FIRST” then having nothing to add.

Boxcarar

October 8th, 2009
10:15 pm

D3,
If we predict by league ranking, we could be in trouble, but the entire league wrote us off last year and we were playoff bound. From the sounds from the Cage over time, we are a group that have Faith! Go Birds!!!

WR

October 8th, 2009
10:19 pm

Ya’ll some clowns on that first thing, D3 that was a nice move though. Sarah, I no what you mean thats why I figured I would joke about it, I remember when I could stay out to 4am and go to work at 7am and be fine, drunk but fine, those were the days, the days of stupidity yes, but it was fun for a while.

Boxcarar, good to see you on again my friend, hate to say I want be on for long tonight but I figured I check in on the cage to get a heads up on D3’s next good post.

Sarah B

October 8th, 2009
10:22 pm

EEE gads looks like SW will kicking my arse this week bye, weeks suck.

Sarah B

October 8th, 2009
10:23 pm

Hey WR how you doin’???

WR

October 8th, 2009
10:24 pm

D3, I’ll go into more tomorrow, but I’m glad you called it a must win because I honestly believe it is. The Falcons can’t afford to lose this game, not because of the teams that are coming up but because for all the talk in the last couple of weeks and especially the last couple of days about maning up, SanFran is a good team to gauge how much they mean it. More tomorrow

Boxcarar

October 8th, 2009
10:25 pm

Does anyone really think that we will see Crabtree Sunday? I really want to see him. Their offense, even without Gore is clicking. I think Crabtree upsets that apple cart.

WR

October 8th, 2009
10:25 pm

Doing good, missing you, don’t here from you much since you converted to the late nights

WR

October 8th, 2009
10:28 pm

I can’t see how Crabtree will play beyond maybe a special teams play or two. He has to get into playing shape and even if he’s been working out the guy has been hit in live action in nearly a year.

WR

October 8th, 2009
10:29 pm

has should be hasn’t, sleep is setting in

Boxcarar

October 8th, 2009
10:30 pm

WR,
Definately a game to be won or lost on emotion. I hope youngsters get some Urgency for Sunday.

Boxcarar

October 8th, 2009
10:32 pm

A good hit by Peterson across the middle is what Crabtree needs to welcome him to the NFL. That holdout was absurd. His injury dropped him in the draft. That is as the cookie crumbles. Life doesn’t play from a script.

WR

October 8th, 2009
10:33 pm

Boxcarar, its a make or break for the Falcons, the Falcons are suppose to be a team getting close to being a contender, the niners want to get to where they are, hopefully the birds will wake up and realize that they are now amongst the hunted, they did their hunting last year now they have to deal with the fact that teams want what they think and we believe the birds already have or should have.

Sarah B

October 8th, 2009
10:34 pm

Agreed, Crabtree’s holdout was riduculas. I too hope they play him Sunday.

Boxcarar

October 8th, 2009
10:34 pm

WR,
See what happens when you encourage someone to post…

Sarah B

October 8th, 2009
10:35 pm

I vote for a Lofton hit.

Sarah B

October 8th, 2009
10:36 pm

WR I’ll try to be around during the day tomorrow.

WR

October 8th, 2009
10:37 pm

Boxcarar, I agree, that holdout was awful, how do you look at the guy as a teammate, I know agents handle most of the negotiations but the player gets the last vote. Well as I said more to come tomorrow, I gotta get some rest, later all

Sarah B

October 8th, 2009
10:37 pm

Glad you missed me though.

Boxcarar

October 8th, 2009
10:39 pm

Sarah B.
That will work for me. We have to have our D line get to their QB as well. Their back up RB Coffee is no slouch, either. It is as if we are playing ourselves from last year.

John Waynesworld

October 8th, 2009
10:40 pm

D3, there’s an old saying, “too much pressure one game make”. I don’t think our guys feel any pressure (except for a few defensive down lineman), in fact they are chomping at the bit to shed that “L” that’s been sticking in their craw for 2 weeks. And the ones that are on the hot seat are gonna play eggs out in this game.

We need to bracket Vernon Davis the way NE shut down TG. He is their big third down guy and even with him the 49ers are only 28% on 3rd down conversions. Take him away and their QB doesn’t have a consistent chain mover.

Even though Gore is out I still got a sick feeling about Coffee. He’s one of those guys who isn’t great but does well against teams I like, like Craig Counsel or Danny White or that darn Erik Ainge.

Someone else we need to watch out for…Allen Rossum.

CBrass

October 8th, 2009
10:41 pm

D3,

Once again great article. You one on some great points. Again great work.

Who will win this one: Birds or Gold-Rushers? Honestly hard to say. I can’t get that horrible game two weeks ago out of my head.

-Is this a must-win game? I would say so.

-Can the D-Line find a way to pull it together? Love Abe’s comments that said it all. I think they get the job done.

-Can Trey Lewis shake off the rust? I think he can’t. It was the first time he say the field after 2 years. Game speed is different from practice speed.

-Will the Birds LB’s contain Coffee and V.Davis? I think they can

-Is this Tye Hill’s big opportunity? Yes we have to get Houston out of their. I’ve seen enough of his back to the ball.

-Can our secondary rise up and play like week 1? With Tye and Williams on the field at the same time I think they can get things turned around

-The Burn Unit or the Burned Unit again? Burn Unit. This is a prideful group and they know that they haven’t been getting the job done.

-Turner’s “breakout” game? I think so.

-Finally see the vertical passing game and our offense open up? I sure hope so. It’s my favorite part of the game.

-How many catches will TG get? I say about 5 or 6. No way we can only look for him one time a game.

CBrass

October 8th, 2009
10:44 pm

Well cage I’m out. Will be around for a little in the morning then I will be heading up to Knoxville. Good night and God Bless!!!

Boxcarar

October 8th, 2009
10:45 pm

JWW,
Wouldn’t that SK if he returned one on us. I really liked him on our roster. I agree on Coffee.

Boxcarar

October 8th, 2009
10:46 pm

CBrass,
Have a safe trip, but enjoy! Go Dawgs!

Nookah

October 8th, 2009
10:46 pm

Greetings Cagers!!!

It’s nice to be able to show my face for a brief moment. The schedule is killing me man!!! However, every day I pop in to get my Falcon Fix. I enjoy your comments as usual. Just don’t have the time to put some real thoughts together. Anyway I miss you all.

On Sunday,…………FALCONS WILL WIN!!!

Go Falcons!!!

Nuff respect everytime!!!

bubblehead

October 8th, 2009
10:56 pm

Just a heads up, Dre Bly is the niners nickel corner, Spencer is there #2 CB.

Also Crabtree will not be playing, the niners recieved a two week roster exemption for him and he wont be suiting up for the game against Atlanta, his first game will be against Houston in Week 7.

Boxcarar

October 8th, 2009
10:59 pm

BBH,
Thanks for the update.

Sautee

October 8th, 2009
11:06 pm

Niners held Snakeman (aren’t those Nike commercials creepy?) Peterson to 65 yards.

Yikes!

Maybe they will underestimate Turner. At any rate TG should get some good looks if they focus THAT much on stopping the run.

I actually don’t think it’s a “must win” game, but it DOES feel like one. We must steal some road games this year, and this would be a goodr’n.

RedMan

October 8th, 2009
11:15 pm

Time to go deep, set up the zone coverage, and get the ball to Gonzales. Oh, yeah, and get some yards on the ground. See, it’s perfect!!!! Yeah, right. I’ll try it in Madden next year and figure it all out.

Supes

October 8th, 2009
11:30 pm

I have a feeling this game might turn out to be “the Green Bay” game revisited from 2008.

Not saying that S. Hill will turn all Aaron Rogers on us, but I remember the Falcons having a lot of questions to answer in that game, and for the most part they did. The offense looked balanced and handled the Packers D.

I think when it’s all said and done, Falcons will win this game and answer some critics, esp. the O-Line and Michael Turner.

Burner goes for 100 and a TD against a tough 49ers Defense on Sunday.

Falcons win a game where they play solid all around football.

Expect a big game out of Tony G. 1-2 TD and 6-8 receptions for key plays.

JMayne

October 8th, 2009
11:55 pm

Say what you want but the Birds problem is and will be the D-LINE!! Look how great the defense looked in the first game. Everyone was making plays…not just the d-line. It starts with pressure. When the defense plays good, and gets the offense on the field withe good field position equals points. Matt Ryan and Co. feed of the d. Root for the d-line. Key to the season. THE PREDATOR!!! I love it. Thats #55 for those of you that dont listen on the radio.

DePlane

October 9th, 2009
12:19 am

Growing Pains

October 9th, 2009
12:56 am

Matt Ryan 25-32 250+ yards, Michael Turner 25 carries 120+, Roddy White 7 catches 90+, TG 7 catches 70+ yards, Jenkins 5 catches 50+, Rest of recievers whatever’s left. Abraham 2 sacks, Biermann 1 Sack, Brian Williams 1 pick, Decoud 1 pick, Lofton 10 tacks, Peterson 8+ tacks, Nicholas 7 + Tacks and fumble caused recovered by Trey Lewis. Corners get swag back, D-line does good enough, O- Line does good= FALCONS WIN BIG 40-14!

NinerDan

October 9th, 2009
3:07 am

I am wondering who shows up to play sunday? The falcons of 08? or the falcons of week 2 and 3?

theres no doubt the falcons have skill and talented players on offense and a few on defense. Niners are opp. of you with more talent on our D than our O.

But thats not the issue! See because both our teams match up evenly whats its going to come down to is our coach Vs. your coach. Admittedly I dont know much about Mike Smith. Not many do. But everyone knows what singeltary is about. He will be the difference maker in this game.

Ohh and one more thing. Watch out for Shaun Hill! You might not have seen many Niner games but if you did you would realise that his numbers lie. I havent seen him throw a bad ball all year. Not EVEN behind a reciever. His only Int was because Walker tripped on a go route. SHAUN HILL…dont underestimate him!

Unca' Bob

October 9th, 2009
7:25 am

NinerDan,

“I am wondering who shows up to play sunday? The falcons of 08? or the falcons of week 2 and 3?”

We Falcon fans have wondered the same thing and certainly hope the former. Should we show up and play to our capabilities, I like our chances. Your Defense is for real, and has played very well this season. P Ellis is a beast and was called the best LB in the NFL by Coach Smith this week.

S Hill has put up some nice numbers in his thirteen starts with SF. His numbers projected for a sixteen game season are excellent. 3685 yards, 20 TD’s, 11 Int , 64%, 38 sacks, and a QB rating around 88%+.

Hill is currently 8-5 and 5-1 at home, so, no sir, no one is taking anything lightly.

Enjoy the game and as always, let’s both get out injury free. Good luck.

Birdman

October 9th, 2009
8:05 am

Morning cage
Yes its a must win .The birds face a lot of tough games coming up and this one has to be won for a lot of reasons .First the O has got to have the breakout game and if they go in with good control on the running game it could be a blow out.Turner time is here . I think everybody is expecting him to put up some yards and to me its now or never for this year .This game will either put fire in them or put out the flame for the season.They need the fire and I think they all know it.
They will win I think tho and they will score on there first drive.
I won’t get to see this one .I’m going camping and fishing with the family at Clarks hill but you can be sure my radio on the boat will be tuned in while I’m fishing Sunday if the weather permits .

Falcons 24 49ers 14 .

Great topic D3…….Thanks man.

Lil'Dave

October 9th, 2009
8:47 am

Good morning Cage, hope everyone is having a good Friday!

I have something I’d like to point out on the D side of tha ball. I brought up a few days ago about how we should try to trade for Shaun Rogers and WR thought we should trade Norwood for him. I totally agree. But I also have another player we could look at. Aaron Kampman DE for the Packers. He’s in the last year of his contract, doesn’t like playing in Green Bay’s new 3-4 D, and I think we’d have just enough cap space to add him to the team. But Aaron Kampman is no joke at DE, one of the best in the business. I believe he’s had 30+ sacks in the past 3 years and loves playing in a 4-3 which the Falcons run. But if we could unload or trade JA98 and add Aaron Kampman the Falcons would instantly have one of the best DE combo’s in the NFL. I would say it’d be the second best pass rushing DE combo behind the Giants. Hopefully TD is working his magic as we speak.

More to come I still have to read the article :)

CBrass

October 9th, 2009
8:51 am

Lil’Dave,

Do you think they would take an unproductive JA98 for a productive Kampman?

Birdman

October 9th, 2009
8:56 am

I don’t think anybody would trade for him.

Lil'Dave

October 9th, 2009
9:04 am

Well it’s tough to say CBrass. Kampamn doesn’t like playing in the 3-4 and hes a free agent next seasons and will probably move on to a new team anyways. JA98 is still young and could probabaly slide into a 3-4 fairly easy with his type of speed. So if Green see’s a future for JA98 and then also save money by moving Kampman’s contract they might just go for it. But it would instatly change the look of our D.

Lil'Dave

October 9th, 2009
9:05 am

Wait he might not be a free agent. I know his contract was 21 million over 4 years. I’m just not sure what year he is in…but I hear he HATES playing in the 3-4 like really HATES it….enough to be traded.

Linkinpro

October 9th, 2009
9:07 am

Im predicting a coming out party for the offense and we will drop 30+ pts on the Niners and take this one!

Mary Juana

October 9th, 2009
9:11 am

…but maybe, just maybe, JA98 would be more productive in a 3-4 scheme.