Falcons Fall Apart Against Texans

Does This Team Deserve a Postseason?

Postseason Slipping Away? (AP)

Just a fair warning that if you think many of the posts are overly negative or you don’t believe the Falcons have serious issues, than you may want to skip over this one. It’s just this simple: the Falcons aren’t very good. Yes, they are 7-5 and still have a shot at making the postseason, but can you legitimately see this team doing anything if they do get there if they play the way they did today? They have proven they can only beat average and below average teams and now have a new notch in their column of losing to a 3rd string rookie quarterback who were mostly without one of their best offensive players (Andre Johnson) and arguably their best defensive player (Mario Williams). The Falcons played one of their absolute worst games of the year and was the exact opposite of last year’s 13-3 team: unfocused, penalties, drops, errant throws, turnovers, and the list goes on and on. A look at the awfulness in Houston…….

1) Just Not a Great Football Team

When you are still talking about needing to find an identity or putting together a complete game in your 12th game, that should be a warning that this may just may not be the year. Beyond the extreme inconsistency, the simple fact remains that this teams just isn’t that great. They can beat the weak teams and average teams, but they have only beat one opponent with a winning record (Lions) and lost to all good teams.

The combined record of teams they’ve beaten is 27-52 (34%) and teams they’ve lost to is 39-17 (70%). They may make the postseason, but do they really deserve to when they can’t beat any good teams? There’s certainly no shame in losing to an 8-3 team, but you can’t lose to all the good and great teams and expect anyone to take you serious. The Texans just beat us without Matt Schaub, Mario Williams, and Andre Johnson. Can you imagine us winning in a similar situation if we were without Matt Ryan, Roddy White, and John Abraham?

2) Matt Ryan Needs to Improve

Ryan's Bad Day (AP)

We can talk all day about receivers dropping the ball, the offensive line’s issues, and the weak play-calling, but Ryan needs to take the responsibility of improving his deep game. He has to get better throwing the ball deep. He overthrew both Roddy White and Julio Jones in the first series alone that would have probably scored a touchdown if he had hit them. He overthrew other receivers throughout the game as well. It is true that a new offensive coordinator and system could help him make the jump, but he has to do a better job himself of hitting receivers that are open and that has nothing to do with the play-calling.

3) Unfocused and Undisciplined

This Falcons team has been generally unfocused and undisciplined this year and that was never more evident than today in Houston. The Falcons lead the league in dropped passes and it was way too many to count today. Everyone got in on the action today. Roddy White and Julio Jones both had several dropped passes and even normally sure-handed Tony Gonzalez dropped one. They had not one but TWO defensive touchdowns called back due to penalties and had many other penalties at really terrible times.

Julio Jones had his worst game as a pro and even had a potential game-tying touchdown hit him in the hands. Falcons missed tackles all over the field and had several turnovers. Something just isn’t right with this team and it’s nowhere near the highly focused, disciplined team from last year.

4) Absolutely No More Excuses on Defense

Texans Didn't Even Need Johnson (AP)

Some may not agree with the following, but here goes. This defense is completely out of excuses. Coach Smith has said there is a process to the defense and it has taken time to get players in their positions, build depth, etc., but during the telecast the announcers pointed out that the Texans defense went from being one of the worst in the NFL to the absolute best, at least statistically, in the league in ONE SINGLE YEAR! They added a few pieces with rookies Brooks Reed and J.J. Watt and safety Daniel Manning, but those 3 aren’t the sole reason for the turnaround. Coaching matters. Gregg Williams in New Orleans, Dom Capers in Green Bay, and now Wade Phillips in Houston have proven that coaching makes an enormous difference and defenses can quickly be turned around and make great strides.

The process of 4 years has led to a defense that absolutely underachieves and that’s the cold, hard truth. They have been good against the run and that’s about it. They can’t pressure the quarterback. Their soft zone defense is sickening. They allow ANY quarterback to get into a rhythm including the great ones, former backups, rookies, and now 3rd string QBs. Who knows where to place the blame whether it be mainly on Coach Smith or in fact more on Van Gorder, but this defense just isn’t very good. Their secondary has been an issue since day one regardless of draft picks and free agents. Whether a change will be made or not who knows, but they just aren’t very good. Usually, they are fantastic against the run, but even that fell apart today.

5) Dimitroff Doesn’t Escape Blame

Granted, Thomas Dimitroff has done a pretty awesome job of reshaping this roster in a very short time, but he doesn’t escape blame either. Most likely, the idea to trade up for Julio Jones will eventually pay off, but it sure looked pretty bad today. Rookies who may have been on the radar for the Falcons such as Brooks Reed and J.J. Watt playing well for the Houston Texans on the other side and the player we gave away four draft picks for was busy dropping balls, not turning around for a pass that caused an interception, and even dropped a potential game-tying touchdown as regulation expired.

Jones likely will probably go on to have a great pro career, but when you see the Falcons could have played it safer and still got a dynamic receiver like Torrey Smith and not given up any draft picks, that’s really tough to swallow. He obviously hit on Matt Ryan and seems to have on Sean Weatherspoon, but drafting both Peria Jerry and Sam Baker with known injury issues lies solely at his feet and that is coming back hard to bite this team now. He’s missed on almost every cornerback he’s drafted where they have either under-produced or can’t get on the field. He’s brought in several free agents that also haven’t lived up to their billing such as Dunta Robinson and Ray Edwards. Robinson, in particular, has moments of looking downright awful. It can’t be said enough that perhaps the poor play of the players is the coaching or system, but Dimitroff has to accept some blame.

If nothing else, there appears to be a disconnect between Dimitroff’s vision of the team and Coach Smith’s. When there’s not full agreement on the vision or direction of the team from top to bottom, you don’t go and trade away your draft for a seeming “missing piece.” If he believes that coaching is what’s holding this team back, such as the coordinators, than he can’t be afraid to pull the trigger and force a change because this is not an elite team and frankly nowhere even close.

6) Most Drops in the NFL

One of Only Pressures of the Game (AP)

Hard to imagine how a team goes from never making mistakes one year to making so many the very next year. The Falcons rarely ever dropped passes last year and now they can’t seem to hold onto the ball. Matt Ryan needs to improve his throwing, but many of the balls were just simply dropped. Roddy White and Julio Jones had to have at least 3 drops a piece if not more. This goes back to there seemingly being something not right with this team. They are an exact opposite of the well-disciplined team that got the NFC’s #1 seed last year with drops being at the top of the list.

7) Playoffs?

A game like today leaves many thinking about the famous Jim Mora Sr. post-game rant about playoffs.  Some will say that the critique is too hard or that the Falcons will be just fine, but going all the way back to preseason, this team just seemed to have something wrong with it. The Falcons are still very much in the playoff hunt, but its more of a product of other teams losing as opposed to the Falcons being a driving force.

This is the same team that has struggled beating such lowly teams as the Vikings and Seahawks and surely have lost to all the great teams including the Packers, Saints, and now the Texans. They have played good quarters and halves, but still haven’t come close to putting together a full game. Can we really expect this team to magically turn it on in the final 4 games or go on the road and beat a good playoff team? Sure, it can happen, but the first 12 games suggest that it won’t.

8.) Smith’s Comments Don’t Help

That Flea-Flicker was Dreadful (AP)

AJC’s Jeff Schultz just wrote an excellent article about the Falcons carnage in Houston in which he called it an implosion. He also points out how Coach Smith was trying to minimize or rationalize the loss away saying how he was proud of the way the team fought back and referenced the Texans as a measuring stick in December. Standardized comments aside, this part of a larger issue and it makes sense when you consider everything the Falcons do, which is highly conservative. It would have been nice to hear the exact opposite, that this loss was unacceptable. Smith is a stand-up guy and always takes responsibility, but trying to minimize this loss doesn’t help.

He has done a magnificent job of making the Falcons a yearly threat to be a contender, but the mindset of being overly conservative and passive just doesn’t seem to be translating into the Falcons being a legit Super Bowl contender. Can Smith move from being a stabilizing force into a head coach that gets his team to believing they are destined for postseason glory? The Falcons should have won this game and comments like this don’t help instill deep confidence.

Your Turn

-Take a spin at analyzing the awfulness that was the Falcons –Texans nightmare

973 comments Add your comment

uga_b

December 4th, 2011
8:29 pm

First!

Teams with less talent and more inconsistency across the lines play games like this. One reason it is almost amazing we have won 7 games. You can’t run block for you not-shifty-at-all RB or pass protect your QB, it is tough sledding. When the receivers don’t catch, it becomes almost impossible. On D, if you can’t get to the QB and can’t cover in the secondary, it is impressive to be ranked where we are.

A lot of this season has been smoke and mirrors, but every con man eventually has an off day.

Today was that day.

D3

December 4th, 2011
8:31 pm

A lot of this season has been smoke and mirrors, but every con man eventually has an off day.

Best quote I’ve seen in awhile………..uga_b and I couldn’t agree more

Screen Pass

December 4th, 2011
8:39 pm

“Does This Team Deserve a Postseason?” – D3

No. It will only be an embarrassment if other teams lose to let us “back in” to a PO spot. Let an organization that wants to win and willing to try have the shot.
I watched some of the High School Playoff games this weekend. It was odd…not just one but both teams somehow managed to use a screen play. I find it “puzzling” that most high school OC’s can run a screen pass but MM cannot figure it out. This one indictment alone is enough to expose the stench pile of manure that is Mularkey. The fact that screen passes are only one of several key components in even the least sophisticated offenses that Mularkey can neither design nor implement is just plain damned frightening. The Falcons brass has some decisions to make that should have been made already. I will save gutting Smitty and “Pornstachio” for another day.

Arno

December 4th, 2011
8:41 pm

All week the Texans were saying how comfortable and confident they were with Yates coming in. Thanks to the Falcons, he now has the glow of achievement. What an opportunity for the Falcons to take down a first place team, to give their fan base a signature effort, to give themselves confidence that they can take down the first place Saints. How do the Falcons express their consistency by always doing less with more? This is the wierdest game I have seen since Smith arrived. Not exaggerating.

uga_b

December 4th, 2011
8:42 pm

D3, I saw a team go into the offseason still needing a DE from last year, help at DT, CB, and S. Ray Edwards is a nice rotational player. My fear that Abe would finally hit the wall has happened. Peters is the bright spot but it is not the same impact as adding a healthy Jerry was supposed to have been. We still need help at CB and Sanders isn’t a permanent answer at S. TD not addressing any of this pissed me off then and now seems to be coming home to roost.

Turner was no longer the Burner and hit the age 29. Still can’t catch. Roddy’s inconsistent catching only went away for a year so was not a trend. Rookie WR at the other spot. TG has played better than I thought possible. But we still had an over the hill C and a rookie interior lineman plus our issues at LT. Clabo has taken a huge step back.

I can’t say this personnel really excites me and the coaching staff seems to be even more unable to deal with it. Why I celebrated all those not-so-exciting wins because I really don’t see this as a stacked team, which is where I have differed from most of you all year.

honest_abe

December 4th, 2011
8:44 pm

both of you hit on it. but lack of talent on both lines is the biggest difference between this team being a contender and a pretender.

uga_b

December 4th, 2011
8:49 pm

H_A, you can’t point to one player on either lines that you would consider above avg. Maybe Babs. That’s not a great formula.

honest_abe

December 4th, 2011
8:49 pm

it’s where you and i have agreed uga_b.

having said that. this team is still in the wild card hunt. and let’s not forget gb was just as inconsistent before getting on a role as the playoffs started. this team isn’t as bad as some would like to think. it’s not nearly as good as some think. but, it’s somewhere right in the middle. as the playoffs approach health will play a major factor in determining this year’s super bowl champion. if this passing game can start to click (i realize that’s a major if) i don’t see a single team that the falcons can’t beat in the nfc. just some food for thought.

stendek

December 4th, 2011
8:50 pm

Thanks for new sounding post Dawson. Still nauseated over another wasted opportunity in a season of wasted opportunities. Seen this since 1966. So very sick of it. Cannot add much to previous post. So…I had had my fill Dawson. Will continue to monitor Falcons since I have since 1966 but now want Saints in. Always proud to see a team leave everything on field. Falcons do not! I have watched the Falcons faithfully since 1966. During that time I have never seen a Falcon offense as heartless as this one. Every offensive player except Tony Gonzalez. Matt Ryan is a waste. He had two decent passes (to teammates) with Julio Jones catching one at the Texan 4 to set up TD then dropping the other in the end zone on the final play. Yes, I did say drop. Sort of in the vein of Roddy White the master dropsman. Michal Turner has become a bad joke. A slow one at that. As many passes as MR threw into the arms of Texans one would think he is five feet tall. Inexcusable. The defense scored twice with both TDs being wiped out. Guess they knew the offense was absent without leave. One erased when idiot Falcons came onto field. Other one personally taken off board by Donothing Robinson. Only defensive player who does not give a rat’s backside about winning. Rest of defenders played their hearts out. This loss CANNOT be laid on their shoulders. Long drive by first year Texan QB unfortunate but what did offense do in support? Not a blasted thing. Falcons lack heart for playoffs. No sense of urgency. No clue. No hope. May having winning record but MR will continue to regress. Terribly. Still think Brett Favre should be brought in. At least he can get the ball to wide open receivers. Something MR has never been able to do. Go Saints! I love a team that tries hard every time out. LSU-Bama. Bama wins it all. Sorry Tigers. :)

honest_abe

December 4th, 2011
8:51 pm

above avg. abe (not so much this year but he still draws all the attention), babs and blalock. that’s it. pretty pathetic.

uga_b

December 4th, 2011
8:56 pm

I think of Blalock in more that 10-15 range. Abe has played well at times but he doesn’t play as many snaps as most DEs. He too would be in about that 10-15 range. Slightly above average. However, I fully concede with better overall line play, he would be up around his normal output.

uga_b

December 4th, 2011
8:57 pm

And most people had us losing this game before the Schaub injury. It is a tough place to play and just another of the many hard lessons this team seems so intent on learning.

uga_b

December 4th, 2011
8:59 pm

To be fair, most teams that have as many miscues as the Falcons today, don’t almost tie the game on the last play. That was where our usual Houdini act failed today.

Great Falconi

December 4th, 2011
9:03 pm

If we miss the playoffs, Mike Smith has to go.

Now, I’m fairly conservative about calling for a coach’s head, but the smart football that got us home-field advantage last season has been replaced by the dumb football that has us fighting tooth and nail for a wild-card spot. Our guys didn’t make big plays, either. We’re spending a ton of cash on both sides of the ball to win a Super Bowl. That ain’t happening.

The thing that bugs me the most about this game is the echoing of Smitty’s constant profession about what “our identity” is. In his world, we are a physical football team that runs the ball well and controls the clock. We don’t turn the ball over. We don’t make mistakes. In the real world, we are a finesse team that settles for field goals, makes critical mistakes, and turns the ball over too much. Mike Smith’s ideals are noble, but we do not reflect those ideals. Maybe we need someone else to come in here, unleash the offense, and inject some life into these guys?

D3

December 4th, 2011
9:03 pm

All Good Points Gents — What a crappy weekend for football, ya’ll.

Screen — Did you see how well that screen pass worked for Yates on 3rd and 12 or whatever? They played us like a fiddle on that one, which ended up leading to a touchdown if I remember correctly. Also like how we rarely saw the spread or 3 WR set and HD and Quizz were nowhere to be found. I also know you enjoyed the seeing Snelling do really well on his 2 carries only not be seen again. I know you really liked the first series where we throw deep on 1st down and follow it up with a BS Turner run for no gain up the middle = 3rd and Long right out of the gate.

Arno — Less with More. That should be the theme for the 2011 Atlanta Falcons.

uga — Great point. For the first time, I am definitely questioning the Julio trade for exactly the reasons you just mentioned and throw in the fact that Torrey Smith (along with several other lower drafted WR’s) is doing just as good as Julio. We’re really at weird spot with this team. We have several core guys who only have a few years left (Turner, Gonzo, Roddy, Abraham), so kind of 1st window as I like to call it and we have limited time. I know some hate it when I say this, but I truly believe it is a failure of coaching on both sides of the ball, but I think that TD believed we really were only one “missing piece” away and that argument almost always is a bad one at its origin. Most recent Super Bowl champs weren’t one piece away. Hearing how the Texans went from one of the worst to one of the best in ONE YEAR with pretty much the same personnel really pissed me off because we’ve been waiting on our d@mn defense to “click” for 4 GD years.

DJ Sniper

December 4th, 2011
9:05 pm

I’m still of the mindset that coaching is the main issue. As someone already said, I still can’t figure out why Mike Mularkey refuses to incorporate the screen pass into the gameplan. We have 2 good receiving backs in Jason Snelling and Quizz Rogers that are not being utilized properly. His play calling will forever be the downfall of this team. I’m really hoping that Jacksonville or some other team will hire him as their new HC so that we can get someone in here who can do something with this offense.

As for the defense, Brian Van Gorder is killing us with this soft zone coverage. When you play a rookie QB, you are supposed to make life as uncomfortable as humanly possible, but we don’t do that. Instead, we let QB’s sit in the pocket all damn day and make throws downfield. We have a great OLB in Sean Weatherspoon who can rush the passer, but we don’t dial up enough plays for him.

Last, there’s Mike Smith. I’m really hoping that, when this season is over, the front office has a sit down with him to let him know that you can NOT continue to coach as conservative as he does if he expects to win a SB.

falcon21

December 4th, 2011
9:06 pm

Game over, we lost. We can bitch and whine all we want but it is still a loss. On to the next game.

JB FALCON

December 4th, 2011
9:06 pm

D3, this has got to be one of your best post ever.
uga_b, no way you could have read the whole post in four minutes but you can remain first. Bradley would give you kudos.
As far as analyzing the game? I think D3 pretty well summed it up. We ain’t anywhere near what we thought we were and are just lucky to be where we are. I have been the eternal optimist all along but, even if we luck into the playoffs, I don’t see us beating GB, let alone some of the other winning teams. Something has gone terribly wrong. Maybe AB could buy a new CS. Is there a cap on that?
Did AB meet face to face with TD? Can AB say “punt!”

Wabe

December 4th, 2011
9:08 pm

The only thing Falcons fans really have to hang their hat on is hoping that this team can put it all together at the right time and get rollin’…

Nobody’s denying whether they have the talent to get where they want, it’s a matter of putting it together. It’s tough to sit here and say they will when they’ve consistently shown this season they can’t.

I still expect to get into the playoffs, and rather comfortably.

The Giants still got the Cowboys twice, the Redskins, and the Jets.
The Lions got the Vikings, Raiders, Chargers, and the Packers.
The Bears got the Broncos, the Seahawks, Packers, and Vikings.

I’m not saying we’re deserving, but I think we’ll get in and lock up the #5 seed. The question though really has been whether this team can get where we want them to be. And again, for that, it’s a matter of whether this team can get the passing game going consistently.

uga_b

December 4th, 2011
9:12 pm

D3, quite simple, the JJ trade announced to the world that the front office was mostly content with our projected starters. The asterix may have been at DE and Ray Edwards was the right move.

Some of us were worried about the backend and upfront pressure. It wasn’t really addressed and has killed us. I think most of us hoped we could make the OL work, which was a risky proposition.

The really frustrating thing is that when the OL put it together, we still didn’t see a better offense then next year. I personally can’t really knock the overall defensive play given what they have. Some of the calls still drive me bonkers but 17 points with 2 DTDs called off is not a bad performance. You have to expect some offense, right?

uga_b

December 4th, 2011
9:13 pm

JB, I copied my last post from the previous blog because I wanted to share it. It was right before D#’s heads-up post. :)

falconsam

December 4th, 2011
9:14 pm

Matt Ryan was wayyy better than we’re giving him credit for. He took a lot of big hits, but kept his team in it ’til the end. He was the only player on O playing inspired football. That final pass to Julio should’ve been caught… >:(

honest_abe

December 4th, 2011
9:24 pm

uga_b: exactly. we lucked into secondary help as well. who would’ve thought james sanders would get cut. hayden was a nice surprise as well. imagine where this defense would be w/out both of them.

i think the biggest flaw with the trade for julio was that this offensive system isn’t built to pass 100 times a game. matt ryan as evidenced today throws a crappy deep ball. so why or better yet how could the person assembling the team think that this team was merely one player away from winning the super bowl? a rookie wr being the sole difference in a team’s ability to win the super bowl. huh?

LRD

December 4th, 2011
9:25 pm

Do we deserve the play offs. Heck YA! Do we look bad today.. Heck Ya. But should the Lions, Giants, Dallas deserve that wild card more so than us?

I just cannot get over the dropped passes. Unreal.

Julio.. he is a rookie. He is going to have a game or 2 like today. And you have to chalk it up to learning experience… yes its painful, but remember Spoon last year before the injury? Moore? When we all questioned them.. and then when it clicked, man did it click. I expect the same for Julio ( and I am one that totally questioned the pick).

Carolina is riding high. Our Secondary is suspect. We NEED to get to Cam, unlike we did today.. and we have to pressure on every pass, which we did on some today.

As far as coaching. 1) Mularkey will be gone end of year. 2) Coaching is supposed to increase discipline which in turn should lead to cutting down on the stupid penalties.

And like Wabe mentioned earlier, I cannot believe I am rooting for the sAINTS tonight… ooooof

D3

December 4th, 2011
9:32 pm

JB — Thanks man. I knew this one would probably piss some people off, but it was very cathartic for me. I’m sick of dancing around the edges and “hoping” or “thinking” or “defending” that this team can click it on after they prove again and again that they can’t. Beating Detroit shouldn’t be your marquee win of the year and they are the ONLY TEAM WE’VE BEATEN WITH A WINNING RECORD.

Mularkey needs to go…….no exceptions. This offense is too GD talented to be this terrible. Matt Ryan has absolutely regressed. He looks like his 2nd year slump. Time is running out on many of these pieces with Gonzo, Roddy, and Turner. Can’t waste it on another year of Mularkey’s garbage. Norv Turner and Marty Morningwheg will probably be available, along with many more probably. Maybe Smitty can talk his brother-in-law Billick to going back in the booth. Anyone will be an improvement over MM. If it’s more Smitty’s fault, well, than Mularkey will have to just be collateral damage and Smitty won’t be able to have his hand in the cookie jar or his ass will be next.

I know many won’t agree with me on this one, but I think Van Gorder needs the boot as well. Tell me honestly, how is this d@mn defense any better than the one when they took over in 2008? We can argue until the cow comes home, but in general, there are some good pieces such as Babs, Peters, Moore, Grimes, Spoon, Lofton, and Nicholas. And to his credit, D-Rob was the best CB available on the free agent market at the time. Same argument as to Mularkey. Van Gorder has absolutely underachieved as well. Sure, we have our moments from time to time, but it’s maddening to watch the same ol’ sh!t that has been occurring since day one (no pressure on QB, no blitzing, never aggressive, pitiful secondary, allowing every QB to look good……now including 3rd string rookie QBs). I realize that this probably won’t happen because they won’t get rid of both coordinators, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen. I said in the off-season that we just need to get dominant and aggressive on at least one side of the ball and if our offense was that way, then our defense would be OK, but that’s not even close to being the case.

Before some of you go off on calling me crazy for wanting a Firing Frenzy, but really, how much have we progressed on offense and defense since 2008?

uga_b

December 4th, 2011
9:32 pm

h_a, Hayden and Sanders were the only things that made me okay with the offseason and I had many battles regarding that subject prior.

OC Dinosaur

December 4th, 2011
9:34 pm

DJ Sniper,
I think we have to see Mike Mularkey FIRED! The coaching staff and organization need a JOLT to wake people up. It needs to be crystal clear to the coaching staff that MM is not the right OC for this team. If he leaves by taking a new job maybe at Jacksonville, then no one has to admit or realize he is the not the right offensive coordinator, and another may be hired with similar traits.

Out of Left Field
HC Smith: Stop spending so much time on the process and emphasize playing football. In fact, just stop the process or how things should be done and work on the result or winning. Think of Lombardi’s statement “winning is everything”. He didn’t say the “process is everything”.

It is a common fault when processes are used to improve a “business (football team)” that the focus becomes the process instead of the desired result. Every thing about this team appears to be similar to a scientific experiment where a set of steps are performed to reach the final outcome. The important thing in an experiment is adherence to the steps in doing the experiment. If you don’t perform the steps exactly then the outcome is flawed. The two long plays today at the beginning of the game seemed contrived to me. It was like a practice execution not a real time performance. The players weren’t in rhythm and didn’t naturally flow as I saw how the offense of the Texans operated.

JB FALCON

December 4th, 2011
9:34 pm

h_a, you have probably hit the nail on the head. We played way over our head last year and to think JJ, a rookie, would put us over the top was a really stupid idea. I think AB got really excited to get TD because he was with the Patriots. Why wasn’t he the GM? Arthur has got to go back and do some more homework and get someone in here that has an idea of how to run a winning football team.
Look at the Texans and th 49’s last year and look at them this year. We’ve bit into this “process” for FOUR years and it ain’t workin’ worth a tinker’s damn.

uga_b

December 4th, 2011
9:38 pm

D3, the only reason I give BVG more of a pass is based on how many pieces we ask him to incorporate this year. And we have done well against the run, but who in the secondary do you trust against the pass? I come up with Grimes; that is it.

DJ Sniper

December 4th, 2011
9:40 pm

D3, there are plenty of people who agree with you about BVG. His defensive approach has no aggression to it at all. We have the players who can create havoc all over the field, but they aren’t being put into a position to succeed.

JJ

December 4th, 2011
9:41 pm

Uncle Bob, ready to dance my friend? -FFL-

LRD

December 4th, 2011
9:41 pm

D3, see your points. but I would think we would take a step back keeping head coach but removing both coordinators. I would imagine one would be kept ( BVG) and firing Mularkey would then put more fire under BVG to either cut bait or fish.
And I believe we need to FIRE the coordinator. Not “let them go” because they are taking a new job, but fire them. The appearance of a firing would then put a bit of fear into everyone on the staff, and a sign then to the players themselves, that changes will happen.

uga_b

December 4th, 2011
9:42 pm

Even last year, both units were number 5, but the Offense had 5 (6 Weems) probowlers versus one on D, Grimes. I know a lot of people blame BVG for how they use the corners, but I hear them talk about how they would like to use them. Not sure the trust is there. Did much better with proven commodities like B. Williams and Hayden. Maybe that is related to letting Emmit Thomas go.

D3

December 4th, 2011
9:43 pm

honest abe — While I won’t go as far as you on thinking TD is the main problem, I will absolutely concede that he deserves some blame. I love Julio, but my initial gut reaction when that happened in the draft was immense shock. I thought Torrey Smith would have been a good pick, but that being said, he wouldn’t doing squat in MM’s sorry @ss system. I do absolutely now agree that the belief of being “only one player away” was a failed theory from construction. Hard to believe he thought we were one player away after the “Debacle in the Dome.” JJ will have a good career, but today really hit home on the impact of that trade.

I’ve said this before and really believe that the “Debacle in the Dome” was a foundation shaker. That doesn’t mean we can’t get it back, but it started with that loss to the Saints in the Dome after xmas hurt our psyche as well.

We have a good team. Is that where our expectations are now? Mine weren’t.

DJ Sniper

December 4th, 2011
9:45 pm

And here’s something else that pisses me off: John Fox, who is known as a very conservative coach, realized that his traditional offensive approach wasn’t working with Tim Tebow at QB, so he tweaked his offense to maximize his talents. Why can’t our coaching staff do the same?

honest_abe

December 4th, 2011
9:45 pm

jb: for some reason i believe that mr. blank was the main reason the falcons traded up for jj. it’s a great pr move for the fans but it didn’t seem to align with what TD and smitty were trying to build. process… they’ve been preaching it for the first 3 years and then they make a move in which they trade away all those picks for a 1st round wr? i’m not buying it.

OC Dinosaur

December 4th, 2011
9:49 pm

Looking at the Saints-Lions game at 24-7, we will be back in the wild card spot in about two hours.

D3

December 4th, 2011
9:53 pm

LRD — Agreed. I don’t think it will happen and its almost a lock that MM will be gone. Based purely on performance, I don’t think BVG should be kept. We see them play a good game and we all think “have they turned the corner” or “are they turning the corner” and that’s a big fat NO!!!! The thing that bothers me the most is the gaping secondary and the ridiculous BS of letting any QB get good and comfortable and look like a Hall of Famer. No excuse for getting beat by a 3rd string, rookie QB who was drafted in the 5th round and were without Andre Johnson for most of the game. Sick of this defense when we clearly have skill, at least at some positions.

D3

December 4th, 2011
9:58 pm

And I’m just going to go ahead and say it………we’re not close to being on the Saints level. We’re just not. It sucks to say it out loud, but look at them now…..they’re beating the Lions to a pulp right out of the gates. They beat the Texans at full force and they’ve beaten us like a drum recently. We won one game last year that we really should have lost. I’m not being overly negative, just calling it like I see it. They are aggressive, they put teams away, and they not believe they can win, but that they will win.

uga_b

December 4th, 2011
9:58 pm

Yates went 12-25 for 188 and 1 TD. Barely a Tebow performance. The Defense at least showed up

LRD

December 4th, 2011
10:00 pm

UgaB and Tebow now has the Broncos to 7-5… Cats and dogs sleeping together….

D3: Watching the sAINTS right now, and there is no way our D can hang with them… but it is a rivalry game, so you never know.. AND that is the problem. WE never know which Falcon team is going to show up.

We have more personalities than Sybil.

uga_b

December 4th, 2011
10:01 pm

Saints and Packers are probably the two best/most playoff ready teams in the country.

JB FALCON

December 4th, 2011
10:01 pm

h_a, it is what it is. There’s just too many rookies we could have had who are making a difference now and JJ probobly/might in the future but I have to think of the other players we could have had to go along with our regular pick. We needed more than one player and this season is proving it.

uga_b

December 4th, 2011
10:02 pm

LRD, I know but Tebow has his best passing day today. He has been a whipping boy and outperformed Yates. Both did what they needed to for a win. No hate.

honest_abe

December 4th, 2011
10:05 pm

d3: i don’t want to blame it all on td. but he deserves a major piece of the blame. he drafted ryan which means he read the scouting report. i’ve even read the scouting report. it says ryan throws a very inaccurate long ball. it says he’s tough and a winner but his arm strength is mediocre. so why in the world do you go get a guy that has 4.3 speed and expect the offense to all of sudden go boom? you can see ryan is much more comfortable throwing shorter passes. it would’ve wiser to get another slot receiver. imo.

LRD

December 4th, 2011
10:06 pm

Uga.. I will admit, I could care less about him in college, but like the fact he has taken all the crap, let it roll off of him, and has gotten his team to believe they can win. Truly a leader.. and something one has to admire. Kid can win.

honest_abe

December 4th, 2011
10:06 pm

jb: on that point you and i are in complete agreement.

Screen Pass

December 4th, 2011
10:16 pm

“I know you really liked the first series where we throw deep on 1st down and follow it up with a BS Turner run for no gain up the middle = 3rd and Long right out of the gate.” – D3

You know me all too well :) . I have seen a blogger’s avatar on another forum that shows four Techmo Bowl plays from the selection screen (Halfback dive left and right plus two passing plays where all the routes are outs, curls, and comebacks) with the caption “Mularkey’s Playbook”. It is hillarious, I must give that guy props. I could make a joke about Mularkey’s playbook having less pages than a matchbook, but this guy hit the nail on the head in spades. I know that MM will be gone, the front office has not re-upped his contract and he he prolly wouldn’t accept it anyways. MM will be offered HC jobs and his lack of interest in winning this year shows that he is waiting on the gravy train. I feel sorry for whoever ends up with this guy, after the 1st year honeymoon anyway lol.

honest_abe

December 4th, 2011
10:18 pm

if you don’t remember on that first play. roddy white was wide open! matt ryan overthrew him by 5 yards. that’s hardly MM’s fault.

falcon 1

December 4th, 2011
10:20 pm

These guys deserve nothing !!! 4 years of Mike Smith excuses is enough. Remember, Smith was, as
Arthur Blank and all others claimed, a great defensive coach from the Jags.What a F###ing joke.
This defense is now the laughing stock to all who can stand watching these bums. Thanks a lot Smith. Get the heck outta here!!!!