Falcons Fall to Saints

Another Big Loss (C.Compton/AJC)

Will be back with a much more in-depth analysis and post about the game, but wanted to let all The Bird Cage faithful get their venting out. The Falcons lost to the Saints at home AGAIN and this brings back all the worries that this team just isn’t elite, no matter how you slice it. The Falcons haven’t had a big win over an elite opponent feeling like ages now. How good really is this team when you lose 4 games to legit teams and only can manage to beat the decent and below average teams? Back with much more breakdown of the game that was, but now it’s your turn to talk about the huge loss to the Saints………..

348 comments Add your comment

MO

November 14th, 2011
1:30 am

Get rid of this bum and go and get Bill Cowher. Maybe Mike Smith can hang around in the H2o distribution and jockstrap retrieval department.

Reality

November 14th, 2011
2:16 am

The Falcons are what they are; generally entertaining but without hope against the elite. They cannot be considered elite at all.

trademark

November 14th, 2011
3:42 am

Just gonna vent…have to do that or jump off a “§)(&§/$% bridge…just vent once and not think about this crap until the Falcons get back into the playoff hunt (or not…)

Smith-Have to disagree. Look, gutsy call, play to win rah, rah, rah and all that, but the situation was wrong. Have to, HAVE to consider the risk/reward here. There is the possibility of not getting it, which, surprise, surprise, is exactly what happened. New Orleans was already in field goal range. Overtime. Game over. Seriously, Smith and his history of gutsy or non-gutsy calls on 4th down are HIDEOUS. This is not the first time this has happened, he has no feel for situations sometimes. It shows in the players as well, sometimes they can’t move the ball an inch, sometimes they seem like they can move at will. Sometimes they can stop the other team in any situation, sometimes they have more holes in the defense than Switzerland’s best cheese contest. In the end…wrong side of the field. Bad call, you give your defense no chance, make it or not.

Ryan-Deep ball accuracy cannot be ignored anymore. At first, the benefit of the doubt was is, he was solid. Yesterday, he missed wide open receivers deep down field. Hit one of those, different ballgame, but hey, you can say that about any NFL game really, this is just something that needs to be worked one, not the end of the world, and not what cost us the game.

White-OMG. I don’t even really want to type his name, I think my blood pressure rises about 100 points every time I think about his “game” yesterday. ” dumb-@$$ penalties. Dropped more balls, including the possible game winner. Man. Do you really, really want to know the one person responsible for losing this game yesterday? It wasn’t Smith, although he helped. Roddy, WAKE THE §&%$ UP. You can play better than this, and you damned well know it. And get your head back in it, too. Somehow in the past year, your success in the league has transformed you into just another loud-mouthed, can’t-back it-up “superstar” receiver that the NFL is inundated with. Don’t be that guy, really. You’re better, just be yourself…again, I guess. Like you were a couple of years ago when you were keeping focused more on the game than your damn celebrity status and Tweets. Please, for the sake of not just our team, but your career as well. Ask Andre Rison. If he could have stayed focused, he’d be in the Hall of Fame, and won a couple of rings and MVPs and all that. And damn, Roddy, really, you’re more skilled than he ever was. This is a desperate plea from a fan of not just the Falcons, but from you as well. I don’t know you from the next guy, not personally, I just know your play and how you represent yourself, so this is pretty raw criticism from no where and no one, I know. But I am someone that just wants the best from you and your important role in the team, things that you CAN and HAVE delivered in the past. Come back Roddy, and we win these things. Really.

D-Fence- Solid, actually. Yes, no pressure on Brees, and that is troublesome. But holding New Orleans to 23 points in regulation is pretty solid. This is the league’s top offense, and you held them in check. Stuffed a pretty potent rushing attack as well. Nice job. Find a way to ratchet up the pressure on the QBs, and our D is humming like some of the league’s elite units.

Overall-We handed this one to them on several occasions. Dumb, poor concentration on some plays (which is a sign of poor coaching), some flashes of brilliance in others (a sign of good coaching and good players). Very Jekyll and Hyde, and not what you can play like if you want to beat the “elite” teams. The Falcons could’ve yesterday, they were that close, which means they can do it, and actually, easily. They just are their own worst enemies right now. It’s a mentality. They are soooooo close to getting it all together too, they aren’t lost in the woods. Just need to write a better ending to the script…like catching touchdowns with less than 10 seconds left and 1st and goal….that’s how this one should’ve (could’ve, would’ve) went. At least we can see the way it’s supposed to be now. Frustrating that we just aren’t there yet, but think about how sweet it will feel and be when we are.

See you next week, everyone, brace yourselves for a war, no let-downs!

E43

November 14th, 2011
5:45 am

I’d like to go out on a limb before all the bashing begins and say that I liked the way the falcons played and I’m proud of their performance despite the loss. Don’t think they could’ve done much better. They had 351 by Matt Ryan with a reception by 9 different players and 5 carries by 5 different players without any fumbles and just 1 interception that was held for a field goal.The penalties and no pass rush were definitely issues but I felt that they came out and played team football. The Saints were simply perfect.

E43

November 14th, 2011
5:47 am

Going for it wasn’t a good call but I really dont think it would have changed the outcome. Who knows?

SanoT

November 14th, 2011
6:10 am

It was not a bad call to go for it…any coach would have said to go for it. The problem was the play calling…again!!!!!!! Ryan should have fell over the line…period…done!
This game was lost by coaching, discipline and Rodey White. You don’t need to go on and on about the fault. Those three things have to be challanged today. Blank has to call in Smith…”Ok, you can wait to the end of the season..but changes need to be made.” Discipline..too many stupid penalities. No beating the Saints with stupid mistakes. It doesn’t matter how good the defense is…stupid mistakes will kill you. And third, White…not sure what he was on. Did you see him when he wasn’t in on the play. My gosh…he didn’t even look like he was on the team. Slow motion, no blocking, didn’t even pretend! There is a disconnect there and if the Falcon’s know what it is…they better fix it!

The Real Falcon

November 14th, 2011
6:52 am

So I’m in the stands Sunday screeming at the field in disbelief that our
coach would actually take the game out of the hands of his players.
But to no avail. This was a coahing loss, plain and simple.
DUMB!

The Real Falcon

November 14th, 2011
6:57 am

Now with regards to the rest of the game. Our first down play calling was so
predictable. NO has 8 in the box so we run the ball for 1-2 yards over and over.
What is that about? Coaches are supposed to take what the other teams give you.
If you have a single safety coverage you bracket that guy and throw to the open receiver.

Roddy did make multiple negative plsys which have to stop!

I don’t want my team coached by any coach. I want it coached by someone who knows the right things to do in that situation. PUNT!

SG

November 14th, 2011
7:38 am

1) Roddy needs a random drug test.

2) Coach was consistently flummoxed throughout the game:
a) hasty challenge,
b) ill-advised time out ,
c) oddly-timed onside kick, and
d) 4th and inches play call

3) The D didn’t get pressure but has now effectively stepped up against the Pack and the Saints. Kudos.

4) Ryan can throw a nice deep one. He just needs more practice on connecting, (remember that most of the play calling for 4 seasons hasn’t required it).

5) Weems gets 2 15 yard (really ignorant) penalties? It’s one thing to have your contributions neutralized by the new KO rule, it’s another to show your head’s not in the game.

6) Nearly 500 yds of O? For most of the game, it didn’t seem that MM was even in the Dome.

7) I learned a lot about Douglas, Cox and Rodgers yesterday. Fine jobs by all.

Zoomie

November 14th, 2011
8:00 am

I think something is wrong with this team at the organizational level. The players just don’t look cohesive, especially the offense. That was a pretty sloppy game yesterday. The defense was, once again, very generous to their opponent on third-and-long. No pressure on Brees. Still, the D stiffened up at the end of the game, making the disastrous fourth-and-inches call even more curious.

When the game went to overtime, the wheels fell off. Suddenly, it seemed the OC’s parking meter ran out, he left and turned over the play-calling to some 10-year-old Madden aficionado. Play-calling during the entire overtime period was agonizingly amateur — topped off by the ill-advised fourth-and-inches call.

Tons of talent shoveling out week-after-week of mediocrity. Something’s not quite right with this team.

BILLY MAYS HERE

November 14th, 2011
8:16 am

It would be awesome if we had a QB that could find open receivers for our team rather than the opponent, and accurate deep downfield passes would be a bonus. Matty Ice is a decent QB, but I’m not certain he’ll ever be more than that.

honest_abe

November 14th, 2011
8:19 am

the defense has looked pretty good over the last 4/5 weeks. that’s one positive coming out of yesterday’s loss. imperative they bounce back against tenn. next 3 game stretch will crucial to this teams playoff hopes.

waynester

November 14th, 2011
8:21 am

Neither team played it’s best game yesterday, but the Falcons seemed most out of sorts. We know we can hang with NO and dang near beat them despite our poor performance. We’re so close to where we want to be—that’s why games like yesterday are so frustrating. Eliminating just a COUPLE of those key errors would have kept us from losing that game–frustrating as hell. This one certainly reminds us that it’s a team game–one guy making one mistake can lose it for you in this league whether that one is on the field, the sideline or the coaches booth. This one was a team loss, not just on our HC, although he gets his share of the blame for letting the guys get out of control…..

GregKennesaw

November 14th, 2011
8:33 am

I’m sick of no pressure on the QB, WR’s wide open play after play, Roddy’s stupid penalties game after game, and that stupid “look at me” posing crap spoon does when he finally does his job!

waynester

November 14th, 2011
8:37 am

Reading around the sports blogs today, CMS is getting blamed by about half the fans(not just Falcon fans) and praised for having balls of steel by the other half. I have personally loved the go-for-it attitude of our HC over his tenure—but live by the sword, etc. These decisions can only be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and results count. Smith is so steady in his approach that I doubt this failure will cause him to change his M.O. but there’s also the chance that the backlash over this one could cause him to flinch down the road like he did with the decision that we COULD NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES give the ball back to Brees late in the contest for fear of his ability to pull victory from the jaws, etc…… That tendency to hesitate could really hurt us down the stretch…..

OC Dinosaur

November 14th, 2011
8:39 am

When will the Falcons Coaching Staff Get Enough of Michael Turner?</b?
Mike Smith used history as a reason for going for it on fourth down. He should have recalled the history of Michael Turner and previous attempts to gain one yard in a critical situation of a game. I can immediately think of two, one distant and one not too long ago.

December 27, 2010 Atlanta / New Orleans
It is the first drive of third quarter. The score is NO 10 Atlanta 7. The Falcons are at the end of a 7 play 4+ minute drive on the Saints one yard line. Two predictable runs into the right side of the line.
1st and 1 at NO 1 – M.Turner right guard to NO 1 for no gain.
2nd and 1 at NO 1 – M.Turner up the middle to NO 1 for no gain FUMBLES RECOVERED by NO

October 23, 2011 Atlanta / Detroit
It is the third drive of the first quarter. The score is Detroit 3 Atlanta 0. After Weems 41 yard punt return, the Falcons are on Detroit 5 with a third and 1. MS maybe overrules OC and sends MTurner back into game to pound out the one yard.
3rd and 1 at DET 5 – M.Turner up the middle to DET 5 for no gain.

Michael Turner is Not Reliable Enough to Gain One Yard
Michael Turner gains most of his yards in a game much like an event you see at a state fair or a local fundraiser. It is the Hit the Target with a Baseball and Sink the Guy. I have seen people pay to throw baseball after baseball, and occasionally the thrower hits the little target and the Guy falls into the water. The Falcons run Michael Turner over-and-over and occasionally he breaks a long run to improve his YPC average for the game.

I said this yesterday but I will repeat.
Live by the Sword; Die by the Sword.
Live by the Michael Turner Run: Die by the Michael Turner Run
We are back to the team that lost to the Green Bay Packers in the play-off game last year.

dean

November 14th, 2011
8:44 am

The team with the fewest mistakes wins 99.99% of the time. Period. NOLA had fewer mistakes. They won. A lot of “what if’s” in this game. It’s over. On to the next game.

Paddy O

November 14th, 2011
9:14 am

The Falcons were sloppy. The referring was criminal. If the ball is fumbled, it gets marked at where it goes OUT of bounds, no? Replays clearly show the tip of the ball past the 1st down marker. The offensive pass penalty on Roddy? How do you call that unless you are paid off?How? That ruined a 1st down catch. Why does HD disappear when JJ is in there? Is our CS so inept that they can’t design routes for 3 WR simultaneously? I suspect Tony G draws up his own plays. I await the firing of Mike Malarkey. HC MS can say “in the past NO moved the ball against us” but the past also says that when the box is stacked, Michael Turner (remember the 2nd NO games last year at the goal line? Turner fumbled, blew the game) WILL NOT GET ANY YARDS BETWEEN THE TACKLES. And, in this game, except while in worthless zone coverage (why have your CB hand off a WR to DeCoud? Have you NOT seen him get burned enough to know he IS NOT A GOOD SINGLE COVERAGE SAFETY?), our D kicked the crap out of the Saints. this loss is on HC MS & the referring.

Coop

November 14th, 2011
9:21 am

Studying the standings today… 10 wins might not be enough. I’m not sold on Dallas winning 5 of their last 7, so we could pass them, but I can see BOTH DET and CHI going 4-3. We win the tiebreaker with DET, but that’s hoping they lose 3 more games. If they get to 11, we’re screwed. They do have GB twice and NO, but their last game is against GB who could be resting and DET could be fighting for playoff spot.

Other than one more with GB, I could see CHI going on a huge run. We probably can’t catch them. So keep an eye on the scoreboard and watch Dallas and Detroit. We have to at least match DET in wins and be one better than DAL. Otherwise, we’re sitting home.

darrell starks

November 14th, 2011
9:25 am

D3 I agree with call, if he make the first down everybody would be screaming a genius so now he fail it’s bloody murder, look sometime being agressive is the best thing for a team just that one call make your a champion and build the chemistry from now until end of the season, how many time in sports where there was one play that change the hole season of a team and that go on a winning streak and become champions, so thats was a call from the heart of a coach who made a decision but fail, so i can’t disagree with a call against a team like the saints who has top 3 QB IN NFL.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

November 14th, 2011
9:34 am

The Falcon must stop putting the running back set up as a WR, he become useless and no threat at all, running back should always be in the backfield giving you more option on the field he could pass block or catch the ball out of the backfield, it’s make no sense at all to line him up as a WR, thats like streetball with no direction.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!

Wabe

November 14th, 2011
9:53 am

Coop, you’re dead on. IMO, it’ll come down to a for a wildcard spot with the Birds and Cowboys, that is unless the Giants go on a skid. The Giants do have a tough stretch of games here, so they could potentially fall back and let the Cowboys take over 1st in the NFC East.

Regardless, I think the Bears have a stranglehold on one wildcard spot. The other spot will come down to a fight between the NFC East and South. The Birds vs Giants/Cowboys.

At this point though, forget who all the other teams are playing. I’m looking at the Falcons schedule, and we can only afford to drop a game or two. We better rock both the Titans and Vikings. From there, we’re @ Carolina and Houston. Both are tough games. We play a pretty good Jags defense on Thursday night. And then we have to finish up against the NFC South. I know it’s a lot to ask for, but I wanna see them reel off 4-5 straight here. If this is a playoff team, they should win games vs the Titans, Vikings, @ Carolina, and Jacksonville. If you can’t win those games, don’t even mention a word about playoffs.

That leaves me to my final point regarding the schedule. We’ve yet to beat anybody worth the name. @ Houston, tough game, go get a W. Seriously, I don’t wanna keep beating up on these mediocre teams. They need to notch wins against playoff teams. The Texans will be this teams next real ‘put up or shut up’ game. We’ve lost every one of these we’ve had this season. If you can get that one @ Houston and beat the bum teams that you should beat, that’ll make that MNF game in New Orleans a huge game with the South on the line.

You took yourselves out of the drivers seat. You had a chance, you failed. To correct this, you go set yourself up to make up for this loss. You make sure that your game vs New Orleans down the road will be as big as this one was.

Arno

November 14th, 2011
9:58 am

What is wrong with Roddy White’s mindset? After the TB loss, I thought surely he would reload. Frustrating. On the 4th down play, Turner had been successful on the left side all day. That’s probably what the Saints discussed during their timeout.

Wabe

November 14th, 2011
10:01 am

Another quick point…

Look around the NFL. Look at the teams that are making headway at the moment. Look at the teams sitting on top of both conferences. Lets look at the NFC…

Teams like the Packers, Saints, and even the Niners are all *dominant’ on one side of the ball or the other. By dominant, I mean they make it look easy. They’re some of the best units at doing what they do.The Packers and Saints are both dominant offenses. The Niners and even the Bears are dominant defenses. Week to week, they know what they’ll get from that side of the ball.

Now look at the Falcons. Which side of the ball are the Falcons dominant on?

The Falcons have all the peices to be a very balanced and well-rounded group. But, at some point, talent and peices has to translate onto the field. At this point, the Falcons have proven themselves to be nothing but paper champions. Yeah, on paper, they seem to have the talent to be a SB contender. But, when they play, it just doesn’t show. Pin it on whatever you wish. But truth is, time is ticking at this point. There are only so many more games. There’s something wrong if we’re still asking in Week 11, exactly what do we have with this team?

OC Dinosaur

November 14th, 2011
10:04 am

darrell starks,

Count me as agreeing with Mike Smith going for it on 4th down. I don’t agree with the play that was called. As I said in my previous post, Mike Smith should have remembered at least his decision in the Detroit game when he over ruled the OC and ran Michael Turner on 3rd and 1. Michael Turner gained ZERO. Then he should have remembered the NO game last year when Michael Turner ran the twice on the NO one yard line resulting in ZERO yards and a FUMBLE.

OUR COACHING STAFF NEVER SEEMS TO LEARN FROM NEGATIVE OR POSITIVE THINGS.

WR

November 14th, 2011
10:08 am

Morning cage, quick hit before the analysis later. Some have pointed to it not being a good call, others have heavily scrutinized “The Decision” but here’s my take. BAD PLAY CALL, if the Falcons get that 1st down we’re all screaming how great call, if the Falcons punt and the Saints march down the field to win we’d be screaming why didn’t we go for here. Just as many say you have to put trust in your D, when its inches to go, should you not have trust in your OL.

With inches to go Ryan should have taken the snap and fell forward, or worst case hand it to the full back who’s directly behind him. Too take the snap and hand if off 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage on an off-tackle play was flat out sickening. As far as I’m concerned going for it wasn’t the biggest issue, it was the idea of okaying the type of play the Falcons ran, and thats still on Smitty because I guarantee he had final say on such a pivotal play even if Murlarkey called it.

Paddy O

November 14th, 2011
10:14 am

WABE: I disagree on your post. We have one of the most tenacious defenses in the NFL. If we dropped zone completely, we’d probably be the best. At this point, we don’t have a good enough safety to play zone. Our offense should be high flying, but MM has to go, he is holding this team back with his arrogance. Why are we so friggin sloppy is what I want to know? Why so many bleeping penalties? A false start on Roddy? Somebody has got to sit him down and find out what is wrong with him. That said, Ryan has quite a few passes which were BEHIND his receivers. However, the TD to Tony G was perfectly threaded.

LRD

November 14th, 2011
10:17 am

Im angry, and let down that being said i liked goin for it. our O was moving the ball and all we needed was 6 inches. And plus it was a psych call… we make that 1st down and I truly believe we go on to win the game.
I am angry of the play call itself. Ryan should have sneaked it for the 6 inches
The other negative I have on the game.. NO pressure on Brees. none.

That being said, I think we played a good game. Our DB’s did well and one has to admit to themselves that our DBs did better than we thought that they would. Our LB’s did a wonderful job on Sproles, Graham and stopping the run when needed.
But where was our pass rush?

Harry Douglass had good game. But on that final drive before OT.. the first 2 passes there was no one on him. Then they shifted a LBr over to cover him. And then the “injury” by the saints ground the drive to a halt. But Ryan saw a weakness and exploited it.
And I think Ryan had a good game. One INT on a bumbled pass, and he almost literally threw away the game, but overall he managed the game well, he is getting less nervous of just winging it deep and I think we are improving
But even my wife was complaining about dropped passes.
And Snellings catch and TD run was awesome. Simply awesome
No Moral Victory, and this hurts in the division, but I go away from this game with some hope of the future.

Paddy O

November 14th, 2011
10:18 am

WR – We do NOT control the line of scrimmage, our guys are just not that big & strong. Most of our running success is off tackle – and where I’d bet that Turner has gotten 70% of his yardage. Look at the 2nd NO game – as shown by OC – we suck on O line push, and shoud NOT run up the middle unless we catch them pass blocking. Our D was strong all day. Spoon has elevated the entire team, plus the play of Hayden & Sanders has been good. Also, why was Dunta called for illegal contact? The WR ran INTO HIM. HE has the right the property just as much as the WR – that would be 3 calls FOR THE SAINTS. I am telling you, this ref crew was PAID OFF.

Ken Strickland

November 14th, 2011
10:18 am

HC MSmith still doesn’t have a clue. He’s being noble by taking blame for the decision to go for it on 4th and inches. But what he fails to realize is his decision to go for it isn’t the issue at all. I don’t think there are many Falcon fans who are against his decision to go for it.

What pisses us off more than anything, and what he should be apologizing for, is the absolute stupidity and predictability of the play that led to the failed attempt. MTurner up the middle and to the left with a straight handoff doesn’t fool anyone. We were successful with it once on a big 3rd down situation, but the Saints DEF was definitely prepared for what they knew was likely coming.

Like someone said on the earlier blog, Smitty and Co do a good job of pregame preparation. However, once the whistle blows, they seem to be totally lost when opposing coaches make changes and adjustments that forces them to have to deviate from their pregame script. This is why we are so vulnerable to 2nd half comebacks, and play so poorly in the 3rd quarter.

It’s a doggone shame that our best OFF weapon is the NO HUDDLE OFF WITH MRYAN CALLING THE PLAYS, and MSmith just outright refuses to use it more than sparingly. He usually calls for it when his back is against the wall due to poor play calling by either he and/or OC Mularkey. Smitty and Co are just not equipped to take this young, talented team to the next level.

With the way this team has played, and the way our coaching staff has responded, I’m not convinced they can even maintain a winning attitude and climate anymore. The way this team has, and continues to underperform, if Smitty and Co are retained, we might have a difficult time this off season sign and resigning FAs.

Hamad Meander

November 14th, 2011
10:19 am

I don’t have a problem going for it on 4th and inches to keep the ball out of Brees’ hands. However, I feel that our offensive line isn’t capable of lining up and being dominant on that type of play. Stretching the defense out and running Quizz on the outside or a quick hitch to Gonzo would have made more sense to me. Put me down as a “go for it” vote, but the play call and execution were both flawed.

Roddy White should forfeit his game check for yesterday, There isn’t one guy on the team that contributed more to the loss than White. Ugly game for him. One of the worst I’ve seen him play/

Paddy O

November 14th, 2011
10:20 am

Can anybody explain WHY that play by Cox was reviewed?

Paddy O

November 14th, 2011
10:23 am

Don’t know what is up with Roddy, but he has played crappy all year – I suspect he feels he is being taken for granted. The play call on the 4th down was the dumbest thing Smith did – especially when you look at our history of running Turner up the middle against this team. If we faked a hand off to Turner & pitched it too Rodgers, we might just win that game. We left 11 points on the field in the first half. We lost this game all game long.

abc

November 14th, 2011
10:27 am

Wrong call. Our defense was doing a good job, while the O-line was barely able to keep Ryan from getting sacked.

WR

November 14th, 2011
10:31 am

I said this before the game, even in a loss I wanted to see the Falcons continue to show improvement. Overall mission accomplished even if it sounds crazy to many. The redzone O was bad, the D had mental lapses and the continual bone head penalties are getting out of hand. But what we knew coming into the game:

Matt Ryan has been extremely off, yesterday he was off too but he finally started to show some signs of getting it together. The D had preformed well against lesser teams coming into the game, against a high powered Saints offense, outside of not making proper adjustments for Colston constantly catching the ball in practically the same middle spot of the field, a few key mental errors like leaving Graham completely alone on the first TD and a perfect pass to Meachem for another TD this D is showing itself a lot better.

The Texans and NO at their home are the toughest games remaining on the schdule of six games, and the Falcons stand at 4 losses. When the team reviews tapes of this game they can truly say they beat themselves more then the Saints. Even in wins and close losses to the Saints in previous years, it hasn’t been this clear that the Falcons are now better then the Saints.

I’ll leave with this, I know the Falcons aren’t the Packers, so comparing what the Packers did last year to this year Falcons might be a bit much for some. But consider this, the Falcons have been in a funk since the beginning of the season, many thought the 3 game winning streak ended the funk, but those 3 games only sustained them through the funk. Outside of the 1st game the Falcons have had a chance in every game this season while actually stinking. As I said before the Saints game, I believe that game would be the game to get the Falcons going win or lose, even without Julio for most of the game the Saints couldn’t really contain the Falcons, the Falcons contained themselves, I believe this is going to be the turning on switch light for the Falcons, the same type game GB faced last year in a loss to the hated Bears, tune in, we’ll see.

WR

November 14th, 2011
10:35 am

Paddy O, I agree the OL may not be the strongest, but the Falcons needed inches and the worst of OLs can get them on a QB sneak. Also agree on Roddy, he’s just extremely undisciplined and is starting to hurt the team more then he’s helping. I mean last year he did some similar antics but at least made up for it by making some big plays, this year it seems he’s back to the Roddy of the he who should not be named days.

OC Dinosaur

November 14th, 2011
10:38 am

Paddy O you raised some good questions. There are so many questions that beg for an answer and don’t seem to be even recognized by the coaching staff.

Some of mine are: Why didn’t we score early? Why didn’t we run some of those late game over the middle passing plays early in the game? Were we too concerned with ball control and taking time off the clock than scoring a touchdown? I believe we lost the game when the first long drive ended in a field goal. What happened at the end of the first half? Who called that running play at 23 seconds with no time outs – it was a bigger coaching failure than going for it at the end of the game. Jason Snelling had the most inspired offensive play of the year and we don’t see him a single other time. What’s with this tendency to banish players on offense from time-to-time? Why can’t we run a screen pass? Why did we throw those long passes in the overtime period when we have hardly thrown them at all this year?

There is something really wrong with this team and I think it starts with the overall philosophy of the coaching staff and the over use of Michael Turner. The offense is playing much worse than the defense. There is no reason this group of offensive players should fail at scoring.

Why do we CONTINUE to run Michael Turner on first down with his poor run production: 25 yards on 11 carries with runs of 4, 4, 1, 0, 1, 2, 2, 6, 1, 2, 2. I think Michael Turner is a CRUTCH for the Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator. This team will never excel as long as Michael Turner is the focus. We have reached the plateau of this team; actually it was reached last year.

WR

November 14th, 2011
10:45 am

Just a thought for those blaming the lack of strength alone the OL, The Falcons could have split three WRs outside, split the TE outside and moved the RB to the slot that would have left four defensive lineman and an LB (the safety would have had to be deep because of the alignment) against 5 offensive linemen, if the Falcons couldn’t get a few inches on a sneak with 5 blocking 4 then the whole line should be replaced.

Hamad Meander

November 14th, 2011
10:51 am

WR- my point exactly – the set on the 4th down play brought ALL of the defense into the box and made it basically 11 guys vs. 6. Not a winning ratio. Spread them out and then sneak for the 6 inches we needed.

I still agree with going for the first down, but the play call was horrible. We beat the Saints yesterday, but they won the scoring stat.

WR

November 14th, 2011
10:52 am

Its the caveman type football mentality that continues to haunt the Falcons. Meaning, rarely are teams lining up in an obvious run formation in a short yardage situation and continue to run. That has nothing to do with the talent of the OL, its just not a good play if you do it 95% of the time. The game is now a game of mismatches, and critical thinking, and thats just an aspect missing from the Falcons. With the Falcons its what you see is what your going to get, when nowadays if teams see it they usually can stop it.

OC Dinosaur

November 14th, 2011
11:03 am

I want to be perfectly clear about my opinion regarding two basic two things holding this team back.

First Offensive Coordinator Mike Mularkey with his play-calling, arrogance, and offensive philosophy needs to be fired. We have too many players with skills that are not being used on offense.

Second, Michael Turner has been and will continue to be a CRUTCH for Mike Mularkey and HC Mike Smith. The offense is structured and focused too much around one player and ball carrier. Other capable and faster running backs never get a chance to play. When Michael Turner is on the field, there is a certain offensive negativity telegraphed to our opponents especially the better teams. This year needs to be Michael Turner’s last year as an Atlanta Falcon. The sooner the better.

Wabe

November 14th, 2011
11:07 am

Paddy O,

We can agree to disagree on the defense. No way I view this defense as a unit that’s one of the best at what they do. They’re growing and getting better, but far from tenacious. We’ve beaten up a rookie QB, a one-dimensional Lion’s offense that’s proven to be flawed over the past couple of weeks, and then a Curtis Painter led Colts team. We slowed down the likes of Rodgers and Brees, kudos. But, we’ve also given up 300+ yards to the likes of Tavaris Jackson.

Truth is, I view both sides of the ball as being decent, but you can’t go into any game and really lean on either side of the ball. We have games where the offense just plays flat and the defense keeps us in it, and then we have games where the offense plays well and the defense breaks. I do agree that with some shift in philosophy, they have the talent/potential to be a great defense. But, at the moment, I don’t view them as one of the league’s top defenses, and I don’t think Smitty does either. If he felt this was a dominant defense, he would have had no problem punting that football back to Brees.

Again, the defense had played pretty well in the game yesterday. I don’t wanna discredit them for their performance. But, if the game’s on the line, and this defense absolutely needs to make a stop, I’m nervous.

Bottom line, I supported Smitty’s decision to go for it on 4th and inches yesterday because I was fearful that if we punted that ball back, there was a good chance we wouldn’t see the rock again. I’m positive I’m not alone on this. Sure, the Falcon’s have shown improvement on the defensive side of the ball. But again, they’re still a ways away from becoming a consistently great defense.

JB FALCON

November 14th, 2011
11:21 am

Saints’ DE Will Smith,when discussing the 4th down call.

“But not on the 30. In overtime. I mean, if they don’t get it, it’s game over. If it was at the 50, we imagine they would’ve gone for it. But at the 30? No.”

I’m not against going for it but am dead set against the play that was called.

LRD

November 14th, 2011
11:26 am

So, is The Decision going to make us a hungrier, angrier, more focused team?
or is The Decision going to make us wanna be’s?
That is the question for me..and only way to answer that question is to crush TN/Nashville/Titans/Houston/Oilers on Sunday.

waynester

November 14th, 2011
11:37 am

I’ve posted this just jokingly in the past but I wonder if we could hire a “Gameday Consultant” to help manage the team on gameday, since I’m afraid it’s a growing weakness under HC MS. He always has us prepared during the week but often lets things get away from him in a more unpredictable situation, trying to ad-lib during the rapidly changing game environment. We’re not privy to the locker room at halftime, so it’s hard to judge, BUT obviously, something is amiss there, as well. We come out like zombies to start the 3rd Quarter in virtually every game and it’s costing us ballgames. Perhaps a “gameday consultant” such as I’ve described could give us the spark MS seems unable to provoke….

Wabe

November 14th, 2011
11:39 am

Exactly the questions you wanna see answered LRD.

You have to take your lumps if you wanna become the team you want. As much as it stings, this is a character-building moment. I want to see them take every bit of this bitterness and turn it into a beatdown next week. If this is something that could propel us to get more focused, to play more consistently, and to reel off 4-5 games in a row…

We could be laughing at the end of the season saying this was a turning point in the season. Turned a negative into a huge positive. Really sucks to talk about it from that perspective right now. We all wanted the win. But who knows? Could be a blessing in disguise for this football team. There are a bunch of guys that need to look at themselves in the mirror after this loss. Both players and coaches. I could truly see this as a critical learning moment for this team, at least I hope it turns out to be that way.

LRD

November 14th, 2011
11:44 am

Wabe: exactly, and all in all we are a young team, and this very well could be a defining moment for us.SW may say it is part of the process, and it is…we have had the winning seasons, back to back, play off berths etc and so forth, but now the team has to look on this loss, and have this drive them forward…. but on a negative side, we all thought the GB debacle of yesteryear would propel us too…

Waynester, how about we have a Roddy handler to make him keep his head in the game instead? If I was an opposing CB, you know its only a matter of time before Roddy blows up… leading to either a 15 yd penalty or dropped passes.

OC Dinosaur

November 14th, 2011
11:48 am

waynester
I think your idea is a good one. There seems to be so many things that HC Smith is not aware. They need somebody to point out some things. Would they listen?

Paddy O

November 14th, 2011
11:50 am

We’ve been in the game against 2 undeniably elite teams – GB & NO. We should have beat Tampa. Chicago is a whole lot better than I gave them credit. For whatever reason, our team – including offense, defence, special teams & coaching staff, can NOT play a whole game. The zone coverage screws us against teams with a good QB. The special teams, at least the kick return team, was awful. The offense choked in the first half – two red zone kick left 6 points on the field, and then Bryant misses a pretty easy kick – except that a Saint came flying off the end – and they did that again later on. Our coaching staff has serious philosophy flaws. We CAN NOT integrate all of our players consistently throughout the game. Quizz & Snelling both played well. HD did fantastic once JJ went out. JJ’s hamstring problems are starting to worry me. Why no Meier in the slot when JJ went down? Weems did a nice job as a slot guy, but I would think NO knew he was just a distraction. Our offense is less than one-dimensional – almost HALF dimensional – it appears that our designed plays are half baked. Our time management sucks. Our playcalling as the half/game wind downs is very lethargic. Honestly, how have we replaced Brian Fineran? He would be utilized for key 3rd down conversions & TD’s at the back of the endzone – no one is now doing those things. We thought Meier would be the guy, but he is just wallowing on the bench. Our coaching staff is guilty of poor game planning, and exceptionally poor utilization of the available talent. Either Smith or Mularkey have an unnatural attachment to Turner – I think he is fine on runs off of tackle. As somebody else said – we have 8 guys in the box, the opposition has 10 – most likely their heavy package with almost all being line men = what are the odds we are going to succeed? OC has adequately shown how frequently we fail. Smith does NOT learn from failure – that is a big management flaw.

Eric C.

November 14th, 2011
11:54 am

I’ve read many great points so far…just a few to expound on,

- The deep ball to Douglas down the middle in OT…have watched many replays of it and there is no doubt it was underthrown…just a little more on it and we’re celebrating a W. Ryan looked really smooth with the delivery, but am wondering what the thoughts are on his arm strength on that play?

- As for the onside kick, tough call…if the Falcons had 3 TOs, you defiintely kick deep, but with one TO…could see going either way when you are facing one of the top offenses in the league.

- Wow, White was so close to making that catch in the end zone at the end of regulation. Greer was all over him, but shouldn’t the money guy make that catch anyway? For consolation, Harper should have intercepted the previous pass…so tit for tat I suppose.

- Like many, I applaud the decision on 4th down in OT, but scratch my head on the play call. Regardless, it is great to see Mike Smith taking some chances!

- Just looking at the positives, you have to be encouraged by the way the Falcons fought back…but the Falcons left a lot on the field early in the game.

- As for the remaining schedule…this next game will be tough after a draining OT loss. The Titans are not pushovers so hope the team is able to regroup quickly. I’m having a hard time seeing the Falcons beat the Texans…that will most assuredly be a loss, but the game in NO will be crucial…that is the make or break game for a playoff spot with a loss leaving the Falcons at 10-6 at best. The Falcons have no business losing to MN, TB, Car, or JAX.