Less Than Stellar in Seattle – Falcons Barely Hang On

Birds Fairly Uninspiring in Win

Definitely Not the 3rd Quarter (AP)

A win’s a win’s a win, especially in the rough and tumble and highly competitive National Football League. The Falcons got a tough win on the road and got back to .500, but fans looking to gain confidence in their 2011 Falcons after a less than stellar beginning campaign found none after Game #4 in Seattle. Yes, an ugly win is better than a pretty loss, but the Birds are a shell of their 2010 selves right now.

1) That Old 3rd Quarter Collapse

Like an old friend (really enemy) that keeps popping up every time the Falcons play, fans can guarantee that they will see the Falcons completely implode in the 3rd quarter. This has been a hallmark of the Mike Smith reign in Atlanta. No lead is safe with these Falcons, and even though they came out and fired a 50 yard bomb to Julio Jones in the first series after halftime, you just knew they would find a way to let the Seahawks back in the game. And sure enough, they did.

A stat popped up that said the Falcons have been outscored 52 – 13 in the 3rd quarter. That’s embarrassing and unacceptable. There’s absolutely no one to blame except the coaches here. Halftimes are supposed to be for adjustments and trying to improve, right? This has been an issue since Smith took over and the buck stops at his door. Fans can count on their hands how many teams they’ve seen the Falcons put away in the last 3 years. Granted, the Seahawks are a gritty team, but they are in a serious rebuild mode. How can fans expect their Falcons to even compete with the big boys of the NFL if they can’t even put away the lesser teams?

2) Fast Start

Turner Looked Good in 1st Half (AP)

After starting flat to begin games in the 2011 season, the Falcons finally got off to a fast start on both sides of the ball. One of the hallmarks of the 2008 Falcons was to get the ball rolling quickly and score on their first possessions. The defense held the Seahawks to a 3 and out and the offense drove down the field for a touchdown on an impressive opening drive. The Birds looked poised and focused and reminded us of why the Falcons have had so much success over the last three years and helped lead to a very commanding 24-7 halftime lead.

3) A Quarterback’s Dream

This defense has to be every quarterbacks dream in the NFL. It doesn’t matter one bit whether you’re a future Hall of Famer like Tom Brady, an elite QB like Aaron Rodgers, a young gun like Josh Freeman, or a former backup like Tavaris Jackson, you will succeed against the Falcons weak and soft defense. You won’t have to worry about getting pressured, any exotic blitz schemes, and your receivers will have spaces for your receivers so wide open that jumbo jets can fit in there.

In all seriousness, when is the last time the Falcons have made life difficult for an opposing QB? A week after Cutler looked like Joe Montana against the Falcons, he was reduced to rubble against the Saints the next week. After throwing for miles of yards, Cam Newton has got to be licking his chops for his first 500+ yard game.

4) Quizz Looking Good

Maybe it’s the injury to Jason Snelling, but the inclusion of Jacquizz Rodgers more in the offense is a breath of fresh air in the backfield. Michael Turner did score two touchdowns, but he’s becoming very inconsistent and maybe its simply a case of defenses knowing what to plan against. Rodgers finally gives the Falcons a true complementary back to Turner’s grinding running style. Of course, since Rodgers looked good and quick in the first half, than he was never seen again from a Mularkey run offense.

5) Ryan’s Ball Deep Issues

Ryan Needs Deep Ball Work (AP)

Even though Ryan looked good in spots, the franchise QB has serious issues on his deep throws. Julio Jones had beaten his man several times only to see the ball sail out of bounds by Ryan. He did connect on Jones in the first series after halftime, but there were other times where his throws missed the target. He seems to have a serious issue of just throwing the ball up and letting his receivers get it. Ryan appears to throw the ball towards the sideline, perhaps limiting the chance for an interception. Michael Konen made a good point about the players having “nervous energy” under Smith and that certainly goes with the idea of limiting mistakes. Ryan obviously has the arm strength, but lacks the touch on the deep ball. Who knows the reason, but you would think the deep game would have improved by now.

6) 2011 Falcons Won’t Be a Wide Open Offense

For fans, such as this author, that were hoping the coaches would open up the offense and run a more spread-type philosophy like the Saints, Packers, and Patriots, and give the full reigns to Matt Ryan, today’s return to a conservative, run-first offense signaled that no such change will be happening this season. The team evidently wanted to get back to their “identity,” which was to be a run-heavy offense. It worked well in the first half, and when it does, the Falcons offense hums along smoothly.

Problem is, when the opponent shuts down the run, the offense seems scattered and unable to adjust. Another issue is that this Falcons team doesn’t own a road-grading offensive line and Turner can be inconsistent and goes down if he’s hit in the backfield. Just seems such a waste not trying to use such a potent offense in a more aggressive and creative manner. An offense with Roddy White, Julio Jones, Harry Douglas, Tony Gonzalez, Michael Turner, Jacquizz Rodgers, Kerry Meier, Eric Weems, and Matt Ryan just screams to be more aggressive, but that’s obviously not in the 2011 cards. Right or wrong, though, the Falcons offense will sink or swim with the run.

7) Jumbo Jet Defense

Surprised There's a Falcon in the Picture (AP)

This could be a new nickname for the Falcons defense. They allow jumbo jet size holes in their defense for the opposing team to pick apart at will. How many times can a receiver be absolutely WIDE OPEN with no one 15 yards around him. It doesn’t even appear hard for the quarterback to make the throws. There are no tight windows to be thrown in the Falcons secondary.

The Falcons allow jumbo jet sized pockets for the quarterback to throw in because you know for absolute certain you won’t see any kind of creative or exotic blitz scheme from Van Gorder or Smith. The linebacker corps is one of the Falcons best strengths, but this coaching staff seems intent on keeping them in charge of chasing and tackling only with no hope for making plays in the backfield. Tavaris Jackson just had a career high in passing yards with 319, enough said.

8.) Special Teams Blunders

It’s becoming a weekly issue with special teams. Matt Bosher did kick a few to the back of the end zone, but he also kicked on out of bounds at a very bad time when the Seahawks were gaining momentum. Another punt was returned inside the Falcons 10 yard line and set up another Seahawks touchdown. It appears that issues aren’t just limited to offense, defense, and coaching. Eric Weems did do a better job of not letting punts roll to the 1 yard line, so that’s a positive.

9) Team Looks Out of Sorts

2011 Team Has Odd Feel (AP)

Who knows exactly what’s going on up in Flowery Branch, but this team just has an odd feel and look to it. The players don’t seem to having a very good time and a usually cool and collected coaching staff, mainly Smith, seems erratic and ruffled. Several times the camera panned to Coach Smith and he just looked not like himself. After Hauscka missed the field goal, it seemed to be a sense of relief that he didn’t lose instead of being happy to win. Maybe it’s the fact that the Falcons haven’t been able to fly under the radar after last year’s success or maybe there’s deeper issues. Whatever the case, winning cures all.

10) Where’s the HD Inclusion?

Obviously, this seems like a silly question since Harry Douglas is the slot receiver and the #4 option behind White, Jones, and Gonzalez, but the Jonesboro product has been abnormally silent with only 64 yards receiving after a great preseason. This goes back to the Falcons living or dying with the run and evidently refusing to open up the pass game, even with such a potent arsenal. Don’t even mention where Kerry Meier and Eric Weems are. What some offensive coordinators wouldn’t give for the Falcons weapons.

11) Smith – Dimitroff Disconnect?

Thomas Dimitroff traded away 4 picks to get Julio Jones and he is off to a very good start. The question here is whether Thomas Dimitroff and Mike Smith are on the same page anymore. They both talked about being explosive over the entire off-season and they have been anything but. When pressed to look at their issues over the first 3 games, the coaching staff decided to double-down on the run-heavy philosophy.

Some believe that Dimitroff is trying to take the Falcons towards the new type of passing and aggressive offensive philosophy, while Smith is stuck in the ultra-conservative run-reliant mode. Question is why did Dimitroff feel the need to get Jones and trade away so many picks if the offense was going to be the exact same. Torrey Smith, Titus Young, or Michael Jenkins for that matter, could be a #2 receiver in a run-heavy offense and the Falcons would still have all four picks left.

Your Turn

Analyze the meek win if you decide………

401 comments Add your comment

uga_b

October 2nd, 2011
11:47 pm

First! Now I will fade during my 2nd half comments

D3

October 2nd, 2011
11:59 pm

One last thing before I forget…….

Everyone remember that nice drag route that had Julio catch, run, and make a nice gain? Only to never see it again the rest of the game. Mularkey’s route tree consists of curls, outs, wr screens that don’t work, and the occasional straight go route. Expecting anything more than that is just crazy talk.

Also like how Quizz was looking really good, only to not be seen again. Used to think we might be a couple of coordinators away from being a legit contender………Not so sure anymore.

uga_b

October 3rd, 2011
12:06 am

I think we have to gear more run-heavy because of the impact it has on the OL. We were throwing 71% of the time and giving up 5 sacks. Today we ran more and kept Matt relatively clean. I guess Michael Turner rushing for -1 – 2 yards is better than Matt getting drilled and getting happy feet.

On Defense, no team can cover anyone if the line can’t get sacks and players keep getting out of position. At least they came up and made hits this week. I agree we need to get more creative with the blitzing but we really shouldn’t have to with Abe/Edwards and Babs/Jerry. But I believe that is ZERO sacks in 2 games? I am also not sure what scheme we could run for Dunta who is constantly on the ground around the ball carrier and getting torched on double moves. Decoud seems to be the Tony Romo of free safeties.

tcmafreak

October 3rd, 2011
12:12 am

D3, why are you not at the Flowery Branch press conferences asking Smith about these issues? I seriously want to know, because these are exactly the same things I’m seeing/wondering.

Clockwork

October 3rd, 2011
12:20 am

Here are the stats on two defensive linemen…who do you start?:

Player A: 9 tackles (5 solo); 1 sack; 1 PD; 1 int. 50 yd for TD.

Player B: 6 tackles (5 solo); 0 sack; 0 PD; 0 int.

The Falcons coaching staff will start Player B….thank God they are not running my FF team!

BigLou

October 3rd, 2011
12:26 am

@ Clockwork

Kroy plays special teams as well. If you start him on the defensive line, he wouldn’t be able to make those type of plays. That’s why he’s a sub.

DHunt

October 3rd, 2011
12:46 am

Couple of other good things we saw today. Matt Ryan apparently does know how to slide up and/or sideways to avoid the rush. That godawful roll out play isn’t as useless as we thought, just nees to be called against the right defense and with the right route combinations. The O-line isn’t completely hopeless. The quick slant, screen pass, and HB flat pass are in the playbook, which was confirmed for the first time today. D3 mentioned that drag route that worked so well with Julio. So we know there are other plays in the playbook other than the 15 that keep getting recycled. Maybe it will take Arthur sending down an executive order, but I have a feeling those plays are going to make more than just a cameo appearance in upcoming games. The defense laid some wood today as well. Seahawks fluttered to the ground all day. We saw some press coverage at critical times on third down, and on one play, I actually saw more than the front four rushing the passer.

A lot to build on this week. Hopefully there will be more changes and even better strategy for the big home game next week.

DHunt

October 3rd, 2011
12:52 am

Clock, Kroy was getting chewed up against the run last year, and that’s a big part of why Ray is out there on early, or run likely, downs. With our D-line rotation going the way it should, Kroy and Sid should be getting their fair share of plays. The fact that Kroy is putting up some stats is indication of that. The D-line is one of the things we don’t have too much to worry about right now.

bobwhite

October 3rd, 2011
12:53 am

The Falcons suck..plain and simple..here we are 1/4 of the season gone..we are 2-2..should be 1-3..
We keep pointing out the same ole tired problems with the Falcons BUT nothing changes from week to week! Today’s game is a prime example..Seattle adjusted and we did NOT! We tried to play ball control or prevent defense and it dam near cost the game!!
We need Coach’s who dare to be great and drive the last nail in the coffin..Who can make the adjustments necessary depending on the flow of the game..
I for one think T.D. should be Coach and GM of the team..I think he has the balls and moxie to pull it off!!
Unfortunately the 2nd quarter of the season will NOT provide much relief for the birds..I see them 0-4 over the next 4 games.

Screen Pass

October 3rd, 2011
1:21 am

“The Falcons suck..plain and simple..here we are 1/4 of the season gone..we are 2-2..should be 0-4… – bobwhite

There, fixed that for you. It is weird to finally see lots of people get the same reaction I got to games we lost last year but ended up in the win column. I got my anger and frustration out last year as I just don’t seem to have it in me to get too riled up anymore. I made peace with knowing MM was awful and being pretty sure BVG was terrible. I do still take consolation in the fact we have a very talented roster that can play when it wants to or the coaches foul up and call the occasional good play. D3 called it on the money we said the big changes by the coaching staff was to make no changes. Back to the same old same old. How long will it be before people realize we gave up 2 WHOLE drafts to get a wr that can block a little bit? I dont think the team can go back because anyone with an I.Q. that is a positive integer will sooner or later realize that either T.D. has to go for drafting Julio or Smitty and co have to go for not being able to utilize him. There can be no middle ground in the end. Julio pick was “all in”…those chips will be cashed by someone. Will it be T.D. who lets himself be the scapegoat of this debacle? I wouldn’t bet on that.

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E43

October 3rd, 2011
2:33 am

1) Collapse- I blame the DB’s. DB’s aren’t supposed to be glued to their zones. The DB’s need to do a better job of paying more attention to the receiver instead of the zone. Sometimes they release the receiver like they have better things to do and sometimes its obvious that they don’t.

2)Fast start- I felt like they did a better job of including more players and it made it hard for the seahawks to keep up… In the beginning.

3)Last quarterback hostile defense?- I think the last time the falcons made life consistently miserable for QB’s was around the 1976/77/78 era.

4)Quizz- Don’t know why the change of heart in the 2nd half. Then again I also don’t know where Douglas was or where Meier has been. Also makes me wonder where Finneran still is.

5)Deep ball issues- Ryan has always had deep ball issues on streak/go routes. It seems like his most efficient deep routes involve the posts, double moves or corner routes. All of which he has no time for.

6)Wide open offense?- Matt Ryan is on pace to throw for about 4200+ yards along with 48 plays of 20 or more yards and that’s without going through the leagues leakiest defenses. Putting the ball up is going to get Ryan killed. I don’t think the Oline is there just yet. Falcons are just going to have to develop a good tailback system unless the line can get back in sync.

7)Smith Dimitroff disconnect- You cant be explosive with your quarterback on the ground. I have no problem with the Falcons going back to the run and I think they should continue to do so unless they can put the ball up safely. Dont think the Falcons are failing in the “explosive” category because they can still easily get 4000 yards out of Matt Ryan if they reverted to last years system and that’s with all the sacks included.

Ed

October 3rd, 2011
2:45 am

Excellent article D3 and dead on throughout. Just lost everything I wrote, oh well…I will say Turner is no longer the “Burner” and this team is going no where with MM leading the offense and (most likely) Smitty has done about as much as he’s going to be able to do for this organization.

Big Ray

October 3rd, 2011
4:22 am

I believe that this year’s results are going to go a long way in determining if the Falcons are going to keep this coaching staff or not. Seriously.

Dimitroff did not trade up for Julio to watch us pound Turner 26 times for 72 yards. But we also have to take into account that it may not have been all Dimitroff’s idea (or was it?) Blank more than put his blessing on this, but it may really have been Dimitroff’s idea, especially after Ryan gushed about Larry Fitzgerald and Calvin Johnson.

Here’s the thing – nobody is winning big with our style of football. And I mean NOBODY. Not the Steelers, not the Packers, not the Saints, not the Lions. It’s a passing League. And guess what else? This season is going to determine that for us. Dimitroff will have to sh!t or get off the pot.

Or there won’t be anymore Smitty, and no more Mularkey (unless he promises upon pain of death that he will open up the offense to be more pass happy).

Granted….I say that because we played another bad second half and it showed. Our defense got jammed up and our offense all but quit. Sorry, but I don’t know how you don’t put that on Smitty at this point. How is it your defense just collapses in the secondary?

Like D3 , I see too many inconsistencies. The pass rush is one thing…sometimes we just don’t muster enough (I don’t care who starts, the question is who is making plays?). But when that happens, we can’t keep letting our secondary get shredded.

We don’t run an aggressive defense, despite have aggressive players. Seriously, who can say that guys like Sean Weatherspoon, William Moore, Stephen Nicholas, Abe, Kroy, Peria, and D-Rob aren’t aggressive? All of those guys get after you. And they aren’t the only ones. We have absolutely NOBODY who will shy away from a tackle…they might miss here and there, but they’ll hit you if they can reach you.

So why the non-aggressive approach? This isn’t working, and that is on Mike Smith.

As for the players….I can’t fault TD for so much of this. The trio of Abe, Kroy, and Ray is pretty solid, our DTs are solid, our LBs are solid. I look at our secondary, and every time there’s a problem, it’s because somebody didn’t get whatever part of their zone they were supposed to get, or some WR left one guy’s zone and got into another guy’s zone before he knew the guy was there. It’s really f’in ridiculous and I’m tired of it. Our guys can’t be that stupid. They just can’t. And we got two quality vets out there as well in Sanders and Hayden, so TD did his job.

On offense, he added two rookies who….MY GOD…if Julio and Quizz played for the Saints, the WHO DAT nation would be enjoying and undefeated record with no major injuries (both guys are tougher than the Saints Colston and Quizz is healthier/more reliable I’m betting, than the entire Saints stable of RBs), and would be talking about a SB visit. They’d both be racking up yards and scores even as we speak.

So it ain’t TD. Only thing I can jab at him for is lack of quality O-line picks and that damn punter/kicker we have, that I defended him on. In the meantime, I sure hope that Mike Johnson and Andrew Jackson are ready to go next season, we need them. Re-signing Blalock was good, Clabo has been nearly a waste of money, Dahl is missed badly. Hawley hung in there, he’s going to get his. We need to pick three more guys next season.

Oh, and trade Jason Snelling. Yeah, I know, I know. But I’m done with the physical big RB stuff. Let Turner play his time out, keep Quizz and Smith, rotate them out. I’m not saying throw Turner out, but let him play out that contract and keep it moving.

We need like hell to build a better pass protection unit, get with the times and use the passing game weapons we have. Enough of this pound it foolishness. Last year of run first, run most. Not good enough anymore. Show me a team going deep into the postseason with that?

Big Ray

October 3rd, 2011
4:34 am

BLOG MONSTER ATE MY POST

I could have sworn I heard a burp, too…

I’ll try again….

1)The decision to remain a run first, run more than pass team has run its course, and the results of this season will show that.

2) Because of #1, it will also determine whether or not Smith and/or Mularkey are here for much longer. It almost doesn’t matter if Mularkey leaves or not. Smith is in control of this team as HC, and if he keeps this conservative “don’t mess up out there” BS up, then he just plain needs to go. We’re not going to win this way. Maybe if we were the Steelers it would work. But we aren’t.

3) I cannot understand why a secondary with this much talent is still giving up yards, plays, and scores to any and every opponent with a semblance of a passing game. I see way too much talent back there (yes, even with Dunta, Owens, Decoud, whoever you’re sick of seeing already) to say it’s a personnel issue. With the addition of Sanders and Hayden, both quality vets…it’s just too much evidence. I’m convinced it’s this stupid zone and defensive scheme. And I’m tired of piling that onto BVG. It’s on Mike Smith. Plain. Period. Simple.

4) I say Dimitroff has done his job. He brought in two rookies on offense who would be racking up yards and points on any other offensively affluent team. Julio is finally getting the ball more, but not enough (or in enough of the right situations) and Quizz gets left out the very minute he starts helping us.

It’s not Dimitroff. Our front 7 are far more solid than they’ve ever been – thanks to Dimitroff and some health for Peria Jerry. We complain about the lack of sacks, but we also forget that Babineaux, and near Pro Bowl level DT, has been out. He makes a big difference. Still, our front 7 are darn good. That goes for the ultra-quick LB unit, who is missing Stephen Nicholas right now and has to play the older, slower Mike Peterson.

We added two quality vets in Hayden and Sanders.

The only thing I’d knock Dimitroff for is not getting more help in the draft where the O-line is concerned. That and that damn punter, but WhO KNEW he’d be screwing up the way he is right now.

Beyond that? Dimitroff did what he had to do. The only other thing was re-signing Clabo instead of Dahl, though I kinda understand why that was done from a mechanical standpoint. It just turned out to be a mistake, as Clabo has played like anything but a Pro-Bowler.

As for trading up for Julio, I know what Dimitroff was trying to do. And what we’re seeing on the field isn’t it. He wanted to make this offense deadlier. Faster. Stronger. More versatile. We aren’t seeing that, although goodness knows we are seeing what Mr. Jones is capable of…and that’s with him not running clean routes all the time and with Ryan overthrowing him on deep balls.

You can’t tell me the kid can’t/won’t be even better than Roddy. He will.

R Brown

October 3rd, 2011
5:02 am

Earlier this week, I submitted a blog asking the below questions. Now after the game, here is the linescore.

Is it too much to ask that we take this game convincingly?
Check first half/Uncheck for the game

Is it too much to ask that at least 50% of the time we score a touchdown when we get to the redzone?
Check/Scored more touchdowns in one game than previous three

Is it too much to ask that we see this explosiveness I’ve heard so much about?
Check/Glimpsed the future

Is it too much to ask that the OL gets their swagger, mojo, attitude or whatever you call it back?
Check/Don’t remember Ryan getting sacked

Is it too much to ask the OC calls just 5 pass plays over 30 yards in the air?
Check/D3’s right about Ryan’s deep ball accuracy however

Is it too much to ask Michael Turner to cut left or right sometimes?
Check/His big runs involved cuts. Not Jaquizz type cuts but cuts nonetheless

Is it too much to ask our offense to outscore our defense?
Check

And finally;

Is it too much to ask that Arthur Blank NOT come on the field this game?
Uncheck/Another AB sighting on the field.

R Brown

October 3rd, 2011
5:10 am

Man, the team looked great in the first half. Maybe it was because of the team we were playing but boy did I feel real good about our prospects for the playoffs at halftime. Then the second half. There were still glimpses in the second half on both sides of the ball but D3’s bullet points tell the story.

We got the win but woe to the Falcons if they can’t finish games.

R Brown

October 3rd, 2011
5:16 am

Big Ray – One thing I disagree with. Trading those draft picks for one player particularly a non QB was ill advised. JJ’s doing his thing and I know it’s still early so to speak but when you mortgage the future for a wide receiver, you’d better have Jerry Rice incarnate.

bucko

October 3rd, 2011
6:37 am

completed 25 of 38 passes for 319 yards and three touchdowns. One interception, by Curtis Lofton, might have been his fault, but the other wasn’t – James Sanders smacked Zach Miller at the goal line, knocking the ball out of the Seattle tight end’s hands and right into Thomas DeCoud’s. Now that is Jackson best ever game if not for the hit he would have been four. What a D

knievel

October 3rd, 2011
7:13 am

Defense: Lay back and let’m catch the ball then tackle. Didn’t look like they even wanted to try for the interception. White, catch the ball darnit! Ball was in his hands again this week and he DROPS it. I’m tired of watchin both the dogs and falcons get up on a team, then after half time come out and DO NOTHING! Seems like, as D3’s mom said yesterday, Richt has talked to the falcons during half time

BobbyDawg

October 3rd, 2011
7:18 am

I was really looking forward to heading up to The Dome this weekend for the Falcons, Packers game, but now I don’t know. The last thing I want to see is The Birds to get steamrolled again by The Pack like we did last year in the playoffs. If we can play a whole game like we did the first half against Seattle it won’t be too bad win or lose, but that’s a big IF. “GO FALCONS”!

Chop Buster

October 3rd, 2011
7:42 am

Looks like the same old Falcons to me: conservative playcalling and bend but don’t break defense. Turner is not the answer between the tackles–nor around the edges–with this line. Use Jacquizz more than we do; no need to bring Snelling back as 2nd RB. The problem with our passing game is Ryan doesn’t lead the receivers to the point they can catch it on the run and keep moving. They always have to stop for the ball and that gives the defender time to close in. The OL did much better but this team is really starting to look like an 8-8 team to me. Very disappointing.

Chop Buster

October 3rd, 2011
7:56 am

D3, everything you said in your article is right on point. This team has too many weapons to just give the ball to White, Gonzalez, Turner and now Julio. Harry isn’t being utilized–neither is Jacquizz to extend plays. Our defense is a joke. They need to bench Dunta right away…dude gets burned constantly and he leaves his man in the end zone to go cover someone that already has a defender on him. Result…wide open TD. Go figure. This zone defense is a very, very soft zone that has gaping holes in it. I don’t even want to talk about STs…when has the Falcons ever been this bad on STs? If Smitty wants to stick to his outdated style of football then Dimitroff has a decision to make at the end of this season.

The Root

October 3rd, 2011
8:10 am

In the third quarter you do not switch from a successful run game to a pass dominated play selection. You keep pounding the rock and eat the clock. The coridinators on this team are poor on both sides of the ball are woeful. 16th last year in defense and 21st this year. More defensive people have been changed over the last few years and the results are the same.

Michael M.

October 3rd, 2011
8:14 am

No matter they win or lose always complaining……In a perfect world, everything is placed before you, live in the bounty,plenty to eat, nice and warm, money to spend blah blah !
All the folks out there, some are always going to find something to bitch about……bottom line !
Cant anybody ever be happy with anything ?
I am happy as can be this morning and one thing that adds to that happiness is that The Birds went out to Seattle and came home with the victory out of a tough road trip in a Stadium known for its extremely loud noise ! That speaks volumes in its self.
I admit it was a little shakey in the second half but thats what you have to do in the NFL to win games . Get a good lead and try to capitalize on it the rest of the game and hope you can hang on with a win ! Alot of other Teams do it all the time ! Sometimes you lose those kinds of games but most of the time you will win because it makes the other team have to take chances and that leads to turnovers and interceptions on their part.
Anyone think now is a good time to fire somebody and tade that player or what with Greenbay rolling into Town next Sunday ? If you do..then you are nothing but a idiot ! The Birds need everything they got to compete with the Packers next Sunday and they are some other tough Teams coming up quickly after next Sunday !
For some reason….I get this feeling next week Roddy White is going to Redeem his self with the Catch that wins the Game against Greenbay after dropping the pass that could have won the game at Tampa !
Some of you may call me the idiot….but yah know what ? I dont give a rats axx !
Congratulations Falcons on the Win !
Go DirtyBirdsssssssssssss!

JOHN L

October 3rd, 2011
8:45 am

Man you are SO RIGHT ON. It was refreshing to see the slants with Julio running across the field. Not sure why Ryan doesn;t seem comfortable doing it more often. I disagree that Turner is inconsistent … its just that we are too predictable
as tp when we run him. How about a play action with Turner on 1st down???? Never seen it. The Green Bays and Saints of the league continually find open receivers across the middle of the field. Doesn’t seem like running those routes are in our play book. I haven’t watched a replay of the game but it seems like the only time we sent anyone up the middle on a blitz was the next to last play of the game, Result : incomplete pass, Jackson was consistently stepping up into the pocket with no pressure up the middle, Lack of blitz translates to me as no confidence in the DB’s
Every time Dunta gets burned, he looks around to see who was supposed to be backing him up. Last comment : When we are in the no huddle and Ryan is calling the plays we seem to be a lot more aggressive. Except for one exception, when he senses blitz he adibles off to Turneer off Tackle when he might better check off to a quck slant with Roddy or Julio

Willie Coyote

October 3rd, 2011
8:50 am

The last sentence of #10 said it all.

Here’s to hoping TD uses his NE connections and robs the Gators of Charlie Weiss. I seem to remember the Pats winning a Super Bowl with him as OC. Tom Brady was there but he didn’t have the weapons that the Falcons have.

Willie Coyote

October 3rd, 2011
8:52 am

Matt Ryan does seem more intent on not making mistakes than he does attacking. The route combinations are too safe also. Take the reigns off of him for goodness sake.

darrell starks

October 3rd, 2011
8:55 am

Why people are talking about the picks that TD gave up to get AVATAR, Julio is a beast and plus you only traded 4picks not 5, the Falcons exchange the #27 for Cleveland # 6 so thats not and extra pick, and Falcons still sign DE Ray Edwards in the off season, Im say this if the Avatar is not traded for the Falcon could easily be 0 wins 4 losses.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Paddy O

October 3rd, 2011
9:00 am

IN this zone coverage, our DB’s cover space – if the opposition wideout is not in that specific space, our DB/S typically ignores him. It may be the grotesquely stupid defensive philosophy you will ever suffer through. We are stout in the run – but why run when if watch film, you must be able to clearly draw our non-defensed dead zones. WE MUST PLAY MAN!!!! D3 did not mention it, but I must: Roddy is NOT focusing on the game at hand – don’t know if its a jealousy thing (I am sure he could run all the deep routes that JJ does), or what, but he has started dropping needed receptions – and I pray he clean that up. Tony G started last year dropping 1 catchable pass per game, and that has continued, but not gotten worse. We have deep scheme problems.

darrell starks

October 3rd, 2011
9:07 am

Now this Van gorder, this guy have gotten worse as a DC, this zone coverge is the worse i have seen in years, every body keep talking about Dunta not being a good CB it’s not him the Blame go to DC not playing guys to there strength and Dunta is a cover guy not a zone guy so why is he still playing this sorry zone makes no sense, DUNTA AND GRIMES IS PLAYING 30YARDS OFF THE RECEIVER IS THE DUMBEST THING I HAVE SEEN, if the Falcons play this sorry cover 2 against Packers look for a 55points scored by Greenbay.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!

Samuel

October 3rd, 2011
9:12 am

The Fans have reason to be critical of this team. Atlanta across the board in sports have left their fan base little to cheer for over the years. I been here since 84 and the norm has been mediocrity. Hats off for Roddy White for admitting he’s hurting the team. How can this coaching staff except no sacks in two games. A Vangorder defense that’s out of position most of the time. I think Author Blank needs to step in and relieve one of these coaches of their duties. I listen to the general manager’s interveiws and the coaching staff. They all say the right things, but it doesn’t translate to the players and some of the talent, they have put together on this team. I think some early on success has hurt this team. when it comes to adjustments often times we get out coached. Sometimes coaches can get you to a certain point. I liken it to when Tony Dungy had the bucs and couldn’t seem to win at the next level. He was fired and Gruden got the team to the next level and one a Super Bowl.

Michael M.

October 3rd, 2011
9:18 am

I like to see Gruden work with this Atlanta Team, oh my goodness did I say Superbowl?

OC/DC Dinosaurs

October 3rd, 2011
9:54 am

Michael Turner ran the ball 26 times for 70 yards.
He lost yardage on 4 plays.
He gained zero yards on 4 plays.
He gained one to four yards on 12 plays.
He gained five plus yards on 6 plays.

He ran the ball to the left side 15 plays.
He ran the ball to middle 7 plays.
He ran the ball to right side 4 times.

Michael Turner Effectiveness on First Down
He ran the ball 14 times on first down.
He had runs of 3, 0 ,0, 5, 0, 0, 1, 10, -2, -2, -2, 1, 8, -2 in this order on first down.
He ran the ball six times on second down after running it on first down.

Conclusion
We are wasting plays running him on first down.
The offense is put in a difficult position on 2nd and 3rd downs.
The play calling is PREDICTABLE to other teams.
Put JRogers in the game to run more as a viable threat.
The OC and maybe HC don’t have a clue.
I should make my name OC/DC/MT Dinosaurs

ATL Observer

October 3rd, 2011
10:32 am

Where to start complaining?

Not to be a broken record, but this defensive backfield STINKS. Grimes is the only one worth anything. Seattle figured this out by the second half and just decided to send receivers off to the races realizing they could make Tavaris freakin’ Jackson look like Tom Brady because of the terrible matchups.

The Falcons have enough to be a decent (not outstanding, mind you, but decent) red zone defense, but who cares when you can just go over the heads of this lousy secondary and get the TD before the red zone ever comes into play?

If I have to see Mularkey call the EXACT SAME DAMN running play for Turner on first down….what happened to the great first half of plan of mixing up the playcalls and incorporating Rogers? That seemed to work well. Why abandon that? The 2nd half playcalling is the recipe for a) getting Turner stuffed and b) wearing Turner out late in the year, which, as you recall, is exactly what happened last year.

The team completely reverted to playing for field goals and field position in the 2nd half and it showed through and through. If they had aggressively pursued a TD on the last scoring drive, it very easily could have happened. They let Seattle hang around.

Had they lost this game, forget about it, game over, season over.

As it is now, they’ve played bad football and are still 2-2. That’s actually fairly encouraging in some ways. I think they’re capable of better. But if they bring this C-game into their next two games, they will get slaughtered. I’m not encouraged by their chances vs. the North powerhouses. Rodgers and Stafford just need to go over the secondary to get at Jennings and Megatron respectively and it’s easy pickings. The coordinators (esp. Mularkey) are typically overmatched. Even Cam Newton can take an otherwise inferior Panthers team to victory the same way by sending Smith over the secondary.

If the team manages to be 4-3 going to the break (which will require beating an unbeaten and beating Carolina) then there will be reason to be VERY optimistic. If not……………………..

ATL Observer

October 3rd, 2011
10:35 am

Oh…and Roddy, I love ya, but PLEASE with the drops? A couple of those, would they have been catches, would have minimized so much drama.

GameReviewer

October 3rd, 2011
10:36 am

Count on another BLOWOUT at the Dome on Sunday night. The Packers will pick apart this pathetic defense in short order. The GB defense will have Ryan stumbling and fumbling the whole night.

Good idea Falcons. Waste all your picks on Julio Jones but don’t get any defensive help.

DJ Sniper

October 3rd, 2011
10:43 am

I knew I wasn’t the only one who noticed the absence of Harry Douglas. I checked the inactive list and I didn’t see him, so I was wondering just what the hell was up. He was doing very good in the preseason, and yesterday, we don’t see him at all. Also, it pissed me off that Quizz Rogers was making things happen in the first half, only to have him go MIA in the second half.

It’s more than obvious now that coaching, not personnel, is this team’s problem. Mike Mularkey and Brian Van Gorder definitely get their share of the blame, but if Mike Smith just keeps standing pat and not making any changes, then I have to give him the side eye as well. Coaching is the one thing that’s holding this team back.

sam

October 3rd, 2011
11:26 am

Why is Matt Bosher still on the team? The Packers are going to rip this D apart on Sunday night. I’m so sick of Dunta Robinson getting beat on passing plays. He rather kill someone with a high hit than cover a receiver.

BVG seriously has no clue. He’s on the sideline, yelling at his players but he needs to look at himself in the mirror. Horrible coaching. We’ll be lucky to beat Carolina next week.

Forget about beating the Lions in Detroit. They know how to close out games. Plus, who’s going to guard C. Johnson?

Ken Strickland

October 3rd, 2011
11:27 am

The Falcons can still be successful being a run heavy team, but if we’e going to be successful at it we must:

1-Stop running over 90% of our plays between the tackles and on 1st and 2nd downs. We were pinned near the goal line 3 times down the stretch and needed a 1st down bad. What did we do, we ran the ball up the middle the 1st 2 downs on each series. If you’re willing to throw on 3rd and 7, when everone and their mother knows what you’re going to do, why not use the element of surprise and and uncertainty and throw on 1st or 2nd down?
2-Consistently throw to our RBs, rather than relying on them to protect Ryan as blockers. We were successful on every pass we threw to our RBs, but we only did it a couple of times during the gm.
3-If we’re not going to fire Mularkey’s dumbass, we need to convince him that it’s alright to run and pass outside of the tackles. We also have to convince him that using our RBs as receivers, and forcing 240-250LB LBs to become defenders rather than blitzers, privides far better protection for MRyan than having our RBs trying to block them.

The reason we don’t see very much of WR HDouglas is because Mularkey is reluctant to use him to replace a RB because he’s obsessed with using our RBs as blockers. Yesterday, our OFF actually improved, at least for a half, but our DEF definitely regressed. VanGorder had our DEF go into PREVENT DEF MODE right after the start of the 2nd half.

We didn’t make a single DEF adjustment during the entire gm, which is why we looked so bad in the 2nd half. We did make one OFF adjustment. We went away from what we had done so successfully in the 1st half, to the predictable and ultra conservative approach which hasn’t worked for us all yr.

HC MSmith seems to be putting his loyalties, friendships and conservative minded approach to both OFF and DEF, above the overall wellfare of the team. How else do you explain the complete abandonment of an OFF approach that built a 24-7 halftime lead, for the conservative and predictable approach he prefers, which has been a problem for us all season?

WR

October 3rd, 2011
11:31 am

Morning cage, yeah, yeah, a win is a win, counts in the W column, but probably isn’t doing much for future expectations, internally, as for the team, or externally, the fans and opposing teams.

Big Ray mentioned something I said last week, and not to restate what should be obvious to UGA fans, this is not BVG’s defense, this is Smitty’s defense. This defense is absolutely horrible, for all the talk about Cutler, Cutler was a good QB in Denver which is why the Bears gave up so much to get him, but Tavaris Jackson, again, Tavaris Jackson. I mean really, Tavaris Jackson, yeah I’m beating a dead horse, but that dead horse was just beating on the Falcons. Besides that, anyone notice how the much maligned former Falcon Chris Houston, just happens to be all over ESPN highlights now that he’s in Detroit. Funny how Dunta was brought in to replace him at the same CB position and Dunta now looks like Chris Houston reincarnated, hmmm, I guess that just happens by chance.

As for the offense, waste of time to comment because you should at least know what your commenting about before you comment and know one can tell me they have the faintest idea of what the Falcons offensive philosphy is. Hey lets just call it “well this works, so lets not try it anymore”, pretty much sums up the Falcons O. Forget the idea of dictating to a defense, that idea sucks, why keep doing something they can’t stop, or why keep doing something till they adjust and then take advantage of their adjustment, makes to much sense, this is a kids game, so adult thinking shouldn’t be involved.

Oh no there’s Tavaris Jackson going deep again, my bad, flash back, guess I’m just shell-shocked at what the Falcons have been putting on display at this point of the season. I shouldn’t take it out on Tavaris Jackson, he’s a future hall of famer, that is if he could have the Falcons on his schedule everyweek.

waynester

October 3rd, 2011
11:35 am

I know I’ve said it in a joking way, but I seriously believe the problem with Ryan’s long ball and Roddy’s drops are purely psychological. Unless Matt is near-sighted and White has a hand injury we’re unaware of, I can’t come up with a sensible reason we should be seeing these problems re-surfacing after seemingly being resolved. Matt’s golfing buddy John Smoltz had a similar setback and a sports psychologist actually helped him work through the mental aspect while he worked on his mechanics–and it worked. Hell, we’ve tried everything else, so why not give it a go?

sam

October 3rd, 2011
11:35 am

Garrett Reynolds at RG is not opening holes for our RBs. Every time we lost yards on runs b/w the tackles, I saw Reynolds in the back field on his butt. The right side is the running side and without Dahl, we’re not opening any holes.

The encouraging sign was that the O line didn’t give up any sacks. I don’t even want to talk about our D and punter b/c they just give me heart attacks.

opie

October 3rd, 2011
11:48 am

I really can’t comprehend why Arthur Blank extended Mike Smith’s Contract for three more years without never winning a playoff game. No wonder he does not operate Home Depot anymore, those dumb ass business decisions will ruin a corporation!!

All businesses operate with the bottom line results as the standard. Winning regular season games don’t mean anything!!

At the end of the day Jim Moron Mora has won more playoff games than Mike Smith. He is overrated!!. His defenses in Jacksnville never achieved anything, never finished in top 15. Why was he hired in the first place? He was hired over Jim Schwartz and Rex Ryan, both are clearly upgrades over this Steve Martin look alike!!

WR

October 3rd, 2011
12:03 pm

Ken Strickland, dead on. Apparently you were watching the same game I was watching, and you have been watching the same Falcons team I have been watching. The Falcons are probably the least aggressive team I have seen in years playing NFL, college, or highschool, football. Well it has netted them three straight years of winning football, yep, and thats about all its going to net. Some point to the idea that its up to the players to execute, well yeah, thats how they got those three consecutive winning seasons. To move beyond that takes coaching, ask the San Diego Chargers how you can have the #1 rated offense in the league and #1 rated defense yet be sitting home for the playoffs, that tells me the players are getting it done, how bout that coaching.

The Cowboys haven’t done crap since Jerry Jones decided he knew football as well as he knows business, its not that their just America’s team, they have the talent to back it up. What’s changed, Jones has decided to be jury and executioner, and his teams have lacked a coach because of that. Give him a yes man and he’s good, but the team suffers, I once heard someone say, I would like to be around some people that will tell me NO, and thats a good thing, something that apparently is missing big time from the Falcons. Personally, and it doesn’t have to be aired out in the media, but I would like to see Murlarkey or Smitty come up with one of these conservative game plans and Ryan just flat out, come out, and say hey we have to open this thing up. That doesn’t mean abandon the run, but it does mean, stop putting me in third and long situations that are going to get me killed with this predictable run on 1st, run on 2nd, pass on 3rd down crap. Stop giving me these one man pass options and a checkdown when everyone knows thats all I have to work with. Stop blaming my OL who tries to protect me the best they can given the talent, when everybody knows whats coming. Sorry, but at this point if I’m Ryan I’ve take the Jay Cutler approach, STOP HANGING ME OUT TO DRY, there’s life after football.

waynester

October 3rd, 2011
12:04 pm

opie
Blank extended Smith because he’s the most successful coach we’ve ever had–despite our post-season losses….

cal

October 3rd, 2011
12:21 pm

Ok let’s stop and look at this thing from a serious angle and not just as a fan whose team just got a must need win. This coaching staff is incapable of evolving into 21th century coaches, MM really has no clue on how to use the weapons he has or how to face modern defenses that have multiple moving parts. He come to game with one game plan and lives or dies on that plan.
The Defense is straight trash………..PERIOD! If you don’t know how to teach modern defense to your player, RESIGN! If you don’t have the player to play an effective defense, why did you keep them? Who play cornerbacks 10 to 15 yards off the WR’s every play? Why are our blitz packages so subpar? If we even blitz.
Mike Smith is supposed to be a defensive coach but who would know that from seeing this team. It was rumored when he was hired that Jack Delrio really ran the Jacksonville defense. It seems as he doesn’t know how to adjust to things that evolves to quickly which turns you into a coach who loses, but play not to look bad doing it.
Thomas you are at the helm of this whole thing, it’s nothing wrong with thanking Mike Smith for getting us to the point we are at but we need to go a different direction to get over the hump. Simply it’s time to FIRE this coaching staff. I have no doubt they are great men and hard workers, but you have an OC that can’t get 4 WR’s on the field together more than twice a game, continue to run the same dumb a$$ running plays after being widely criticized across the league fans and media. The DC couldn’t even stop water from running if he had his hand on the faucet valve.
Mr. Blank you have a problem; ticket sales are going to fall completely of next year, and after this national televised game next Sunday against Green bay, we want get but one Nationally televised game next year. Just pay attention to sports stations and see how often we are brought up……not often and if we are it’s about we were supposed to be playing in the super Bowl but we’re really over rated.
Last but not least on a small note, the O-Line is straight garbage……….PERIOD! why did it not get up grades in the off season?

Paddy O

October 3rd, 2011
12:46 pm

OC/DC – that is what I started to contemplate during the 2nd half – we squander/waste a lot of plays. Most of the Turner runs, and then that idiotic pass at the scrimmage line to Julio- it worked once, now we’ve gained 1-2 yards on it 3 times – we even tried to get Sam Baker out there to throw a block. WE WASTE scarce offensive downs. Bloody hell, we need a new offensive coordinator.

DJ Sniper

October 3rd, 2011
1:04 pm

Did anybody else in here throw something at their TV when we were backed up in our own end zone and MM tried to run it on first and second down instead of taking a chance through the air?????

gman

October 3rd, 2011
1:08 pm

D3,

I agree with tcmafreak, Why aren’t you at FB to ask these questions in person. I’m really confused as to whether or not these coaches know how to adjust. I just don’t think so. I love Smitty but come on guys.

Also, why are the only team in the NFL that doesn’t bump the receivers in the first 5 yards? That would throw off the timing for the receiver, QB, OL and allow more time for the DE’s to get in the back field. How freaking difficult is it?

I am very frustrated as everyone else that we have this much talent and don’t know what to do with it.