Atlanta Falcons: Birds Beat Broncos on Big Stage

Falcons Notch Big Win on Monday Night Football

Atlanta Falcons safety William Moore intercepts a Peyton Manning pass intended for tight end Jacob Tamme on Denver's opening drive during first quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Monday, Sept. 17, 2012.

Moore = Beast! (AJC)

The Atlanta Falcons finally won on the biggest of stages after falling flat the last few times, and every time in the Mike Smith Era. The Birds welcomed one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time full of hype after beating the vaunted Pittsburgh Steelers. It was an entertaining and very long game that was filled with plenty of turnovers (for the Broncos) and a bunch of stoppage times from the replacement refs. We can talk all day long about how the Falcons almost let a big slip away, but the fact remains that they didn’t. In fact, this was a big win for no other reason than help the Falcons themselves, the organization, and their fans psyche in believing they can win the big ones. A look at the huge win……….

William Moore’s Breakout

091712 ATLANTA: Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan celebrates a 27-21 victory over the Denver Broncos as running back Michael Turner picked up a first down in the final minutes to preserve the victory during second half action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Monday, Sept. 17, 2012.  CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

No Caption Needed (AJC)

There were plenty of great performances to go around, but it one player had to be chosen it was safety William Moore. The former Missouri product has become a quick fan favorite for his hard-hitting and many have been waiting for his breakout season. If last is any indication, we might be seeing it in 2012. Moore started the Manning pick party by making a great play on the ball, bobbling it, intercepting, and taking it all the way to the one yard line. Moore had his hands on several more and was all over the place, making huge hits, batting balls, and making key stops.

With Falcon fans shaking in their boots seeing Manning start to heat up, Moore made one of the biggest plays of the game by sacking Manning on 3rd and 6 in Falcons territory. He blitzed off the edge and dropped Manning like a cold stone. Some though guys like Kroy Biermann, Lawrence Sidbury, or Sean Weatherspoon would benefit the most from Mike Nolan’s aggressive defense, but Moore might be the guy after all.

This was a Big Win

Some of the NFL Media elite have tried to downplay the significance of the win after the fact, saying it was more Manning making mistakes than it was the Falcons getting the huge win. Wrong. Matt Ryan and Mike Smith had never won on Monday Night Football and everyone loves to talk about the times the Falcons have come up short. In fact, someone should create a Mike Smith-Matt Ryan-playoffs-0 and 3 drinking game with the sheer redundancy all media parrot the tired description. Peyton Manning was back. He beat the Pittsburgh Steelers and couldn’t be stopped in the talking heads beliefs. More than anything, the Falcons proved they could win a tough, tight, and big game against a very good defense and an elite quarterback.

The Falcons Defense FORCED Those Picks

September 17, 2012 - Atlanta, Ga.,: Atlanta Falcons linebacker Stephen Nicholas (54) gets by the block by Denver Broncos tight end Jacob Tamme, left, for the tackle of Denver Broncos running back Willis McGahee, right, in the first half of their game against the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome Monday night in Atlanta, Ga., September 17, 2012. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

Nick Had a Huge Game (AJC)

The headlines were quite succinct after the Falcons big win: “Manning throws 3 picks,”Manning can’t overcome turnovers,” and “Manning fails in late comeback.” Was there another team playing? One reason many Falcons fans have tuned out and turned off the “NFL Media Elite” is because of this very reason. All we heard in the post-game was how Manning made the mistakes and that’s why they lost. Dead wrong. Mike Nolan and the Falcons defense played lights out and FORCED those interceptions from one of the greatest to play the game. Nolan had a fantastic scheme, coached his players up, and they executed to perfection. The vaunted Steelers defense didn’t force an interception. The Falcons forced three in the first quarter. I’m sure they were all luck, right? To be fair, there were a few pundits who gave Mike Nolan and the Falcons defense due credit, but not many. The Falcons played hard, tough, and aggressive and deserve every bit of that victory.

Best Defense in a Long Time

It’s only the second game of a long season and this isn’t meant to denigrate past defenses, but the defense against the Broncos facing one of the best QB’s of all time was one of the best in a long, long time. They were aggressive, tough, hit hard, and opportunistic in their defensive effort. They had picked off Peyton Manning 3 times in the first quarter and didn’t relent until they finally started getting a little tired after the offense had 3 weak series in a row. The Falcons have now forced 7 turnovers in the first two games. The blitz schemes and disguises were superb and confused one of the best of all-time. As mentioned earlier, there’s still a long way to go, but the sky’s the limit for a defense long looking for someone to help them turn the proverbial corner.

Great Pass Blocking, Weak Run Blocking

The long beleaguered Falcons offensive line have done an excellent job protecting Matt Ryan through two games in the season. Sam Baker was singled out several times by Jon Gruden for his excellence in stopping one of the best pass rushers in Elvis Dumervil. Garrett Reynolds has done well working at right guard, as have Justin Blalock and Todd McClure. Tyson Clabo has struggled a bit this year, giving up the only two sacks, but there’s no reason to think he can’t turn it around. Major congrats on a job well done so far this season protecting Matt Ryan and giving him time to run this new aerial offense.

September 17, 2012 - Atlanta, Ga.,: Atlanta Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud (28) is pushed out of bounds by Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker after DeCoud intercepted a pass by quarterback Peyton Manning in the first half of their game against the Atlanta Falcons in the Georgia Dome Monday night in Atlanta, Ga., September 17, 2012. The Falcons defense intercepted Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning three times in the first quarter. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

DeCoud in Manning's Pick Parade (AJC)

For as good as their pass blocking has been, their run blocking has been anemic. Matt Ryan was the leading rusher at one point in both the games against Kansas City and Denver. It’s surely not all the offensive lines fault (Michael Turner we’re looking at you), but they haven’t opened up hardly any holes for any of the running backs. It’s true that maybe Jacquizz Rodgers or Jason Snelling could squeeze out a few more yards than Turner, but not much. Something has to get fixed in the run game and the offensive line shares the blame.

Please stay tuned, plenty more to come very soon………..

721 comments Add your comment

D3

September 18th, 2012
7:30 pm

Like I posted on previous blog, this is only about half, but I wanted to go ahead and get this post up and let you guys start on a new thread.

Be back in a little bit…….

snacktastic

September 18th, 2012
7:41 pm

Good points as always, D3.

Offense carried the team in KC, and defense carried the team against Denver on Monday Night Football. We have one excellent performance per side on which to build, and I think the Falcons will break out on both sides against the Chargers next week.

That said, I’ll skip discussion of the running game and Smitty Ball (which other Cagers will most certainly tackle in depth) and focus on another thing that still worries me: killer instinct. I don’t think we got into the red zone very often, but there were a few 4th-and-short situations where I think we should have gone for it. It would have been a good chance to not only put more points on the board and stave off the Broncos, but also to get Julio back in the game earlier, as he seemed to disappear after one or two uncharacteristic drops. Really, all of the drops in that game were uncharacteristic, as Ryan didn’t put up many deep passes and the throws were mostly catchable.

Bottom line: HUGE win on a national stage, 2-0 and leading the division, but still plenty to improve upon. Next week we debunk the myth of Philip Rivers being an elite quarterback and continue our rampage through the NFC West. The Falcons haven’t even hit their peak yet, but we’re about to see it happen very soon.

snacktastic

September 18th, 2012
7:43 pm

Wait…AFC West. That’s what I meant. We’ll beat the NFC West too if we have to, though.

JB FALCON

September 18th, 2012
7:46 pm

D3, of the few positives I’ve seen from the elite heads, I noticed that we are rated as the #3 team in the league. They can talk down, or not at all, about the Falcons but our stats don’t lie. So far it appears that we are a team to be reckoned with this year.

Rick

September 18th, 2012
7:47 pm

Good comments and I agree with you 100 percent…..I think the line is part of the running attack…and turner needs a blocking back to clear the way for him….Snelling seemed to move the ball better or at least he attacked the line. We need to find an answer soon as one demensional teams won’t sustain over time

I thank turner for coming to Atlanta at a time when the team was in disarray and he could have chosen other options, but I think his age and his heart has limited his abilities….as Smitty would say…next man up

JB FALCON

September 18th, 2012
7:54 pm

Snack, I too noticed what you call lack of a killer instinct but I don’t think it was the players’ as much as it was the plays that were called. MS went into the “save the game” mode way too soon. If we had stayed on the gas the score could have been 35-10 or something in that area. We have capable players but MS needs to have more faith in them and let them loose. I do hope, as D# said, that both sides break out next week.

Vicki Brown

September 18th, 2012
8:25 pm

Amen, D3! Preach it! The Broncos lost all on their own. I don’t think so, but we Falcon fans don’t mind our team being under the radar. We don’t mind being underestimated. That will just make it sweeter when we SURPRISE everyone. Go Falcons@

Joseph

September 18th, 2012
8:39 pm

I agree about the talking heads. I tried listening to NFL on sat radio today, but had to change channel as I got tired of waiting for any compliment on the Falcon’s play and win. Check out next week and you will hear all you want about the winning team’s great display. Most of the talk was either how Peyton was off or the poor job by the refs. BTW, most of the criticism toward the refs centered on how they let us get away with grabbing receivers. That makes me sick. I can’t even count how many times Gonzalez, White, Jones and Douglas were grabbed both last night and last season, but no calls made. I say the refs are doing ok. At least from the standpoint of letting them play. Overall, what a quality win. Let’s keep it going. Hey, someone get MT a DD!

To Real

September 18th, 2012
8:57 pm

Even after a great performance from our def there is a lack of respect sum ppl just dont think we have wat its take to get to dat next level this is tha best team dat we have had in tha matt ryan mike smith era good job by our whole coaching staff great game plan forget tha lack of respect by tha media and who eva else one game @ a time we wilp earn it

To Real

September 18th, 2012
9:00 pm

D3 hit it right on tha head and our def played lights out keep up dat good work baby mike nolan is tha best thang dat could of happen to dis def

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired

September 18th, 2012
9:02 pm

D3 – GREAT ARTICLE!!!! THE DOME WAS ROCKING!!!!

It’s tough that the media continues to downplay the success of the Falcons, but as some have already stated, maybe it is a good thing to continue to fly under the radar.

The media (especially ESPN) had planned on this being Manning’s big return to the national MNF stage and the Falcons destroyed their plans. OH WELL!!!……..

Screen Pass

September 18th, 2012
9:13 pm

“That said, I’ll skip discussion of the running game and Smitty Ball (which other Cagers will most certainly tackle in depth) and focus on another thing that still worries me: killer instinct.” – snacktastic

Oddly enough, that missing “kller instinct” is the proverbial “in depth” of most peoples concern with Smittyball. The Turner homers and some of the more sensitive types think the Smittyball references are purely about running Turner, and make no mistake forcing Turner when it isn’t working is a large part of it, when the real issue is the whole going passive “turtleup” lack of killer instinct displayed by Smitty. There is nothing wrong with going to the “4 min offense” with a big lead and 4 min left…the problem is going into that passive mode with 14 min left in THE THIRD QUARTER. This extends to the punt returners behind told to not field punts and a host of other little details that many prolly don’t see or equate. I am actually enjoying the win today since Smitty’s cowardice and stupidity ruined the mood for me last night so I will leave it at that for now.

JB FALCON

September 18th, 2012
9:18 pm

SP, Exactly!

Matty Bicep

September 18th, 2012
9:32 pm

Say what you want about Smitty ball, but in 4 seasons his teams have never let up a lead of over over 6pts and lost the game in the 4th quarter. That speaks for itself, it might look ugly, but it is effective.

And we will never get national respect until we make a playoff run, fair or not, that is reality, so there is not reason getting torqued up about it, for there is nothing the Falcons, you or I an do about it. We just have to get to the playoffs.

JJ

September 18th, 2012
9:34 pm

Tres bien SP, ecstatic about win but still PO’d with smittyball almost losing the game. Thought that bs was behind us but no. 2 passes in the 4th qt, we should have lost (if not for Nolan) and WILL lose in the playoffs with that ubber conservative CRAP!!!

Fired-up Falcon Fan in a Fall Football Frenzy (F6)

September 18th, 2012
9:42 pm

Just checked the comp before bed and another long day at work, and just couldn’t stop reading the new post.

Before I would try to give opinions, but this time, the only complaint is–it was so well written, and covered my thoughts so well, that all I am left to comment is-

Damn good post, ditto to what D3 said.

falcon21

September 18th, 2012
9:50 pm

Get a lead and run the ball. Ask Leeman Bennett how that turned out. The best team in Falcons history with a great chance to win a Super Bowl lost to the Cowboys in a playoff game because of his conservatism. Many of us did see that game and would hate to lose a big game like that again because of a coach being overly conservative.

Screen Pass

September 18th, 2012
9:54 pm

“Tres bien SP, ecstatic about win but still PO’d with smittyball almost losing the game. Thought that bs was behind us but no. 2 passes in the 4th qt, we should have lost (if not for Nolan) and WILL lose in the playoffs with that ubber conservative CRAP!!!” – SP

The last times I was that extastic but then ended up pissed about barely wins was the 2010 season. I and others caught alot of flak for pointing out obvious flaws when we were winning so much…we all know how that ended. I don’t want to be right again, I would like to celebrate some post season wins for a change and if that means kicking Smitty off the bus then so be it. I have defended and made enough excuses for Smitty being new to HC but that ish is done with. This year has too much potential to be thrown away by cowardly leadership.

JB FALCON

September 18th, 2012
9:57 pm

This blog is bringing out the exact same thing that has been bugging us since MS got here. We have a Porsche and a coach who can drive a stick shift.

JB FALCON

September 18th, 2012
10:00 pm

Arno

September 18th, 2012
10:00 pm

It was the bad field position in the 4th that made the Falcons look like the old conservative team. Not fielding those two punts that wound up on the six or so, is really my only complaint in an otherwise great team effort. Who would have thought Grimes, Owens, and Samuels out (for a while) would still get us a W against Peyton? Loved the way White and Douglas picked up the slack for Julio.

JSS

September 18th, 2012
10:07 pm

Had some REAL BBQ at the bowling alley. My cousin showed up. We discussed the officiating situation. She had one of those little twirly toys. It was fun. You guys want to hear more about me and my life?

JSS

September 18th, 2012
10:09 pm

Oh, Ledbetter showed up. He’s a real good bowler. I told him the Falcons weren’t for real.

Mike

September 18th, 2012
10:18 pm

One thing I am curious about, how big is the loss of Weems looking to Falcon fans now. Weems was a tough punt returner, I am not sure if you can put any value on what Weems did as a returner, but I do believe at least one of the two punts pinning us inside the 5 should have been fielded to preserve some field position. Also if I xan knock our D for anything early on in the season it is giving up big plays in the running game, however I will take that over where we have had issues.

waynester

September 18th, 2012
10:19 pm

D3
Thanks for pointing out the obvious—those turnovers didn’t happen in a vacuum–our “D” MADE it happen via aggression. I hope to see us earn the “swagger” that many in the Cage have been looking for. ESPN has us #3 but they also have us listed among the “overrated” teams around the league. Short turnaround for a Left coast trip against another 2-0 team–hopefully, fatigue and airline dehydration won’t hurt us too badly….

y2m

September 18th, 2012
10:29 pm

I don’t care if they play terrible as long as they get a W. Every NFL team has flaws. The game plan against KC was aggressive. The game plan against Denver was to play Smittyball (Roddy & Tony G. heavily involved-> short & intermediate routes). I love the fact they won and ruined the national debut of ESPN’s poster-child. I am disappointed about the drops (especially Julio’s in the endzone), but overall a great victory. I think we’ll see more screens and vertical throws vs. San Diego. The season has gotten off to an excellent start!

Surg the Urge

September 18th, 2012
10:32 pm

There is a article on ESPN(insider) saying the Falcons are overrated…I’m not a insider so I can’t read it. It’s only 3 games into the season, no one is really hyping us up because of that, but we’re overrated even though NE is still a top 5 team after losing to Arizona at home, not to mention that analyst still had us rated below the Saints even without their head coach and a suspect D at the beginning of the season, AND wanted to crown the Ravens after the Cincy game…

tyler

September 18th, 2012
10:35 pm

Great game from the Falcons. Just feel the need to comment on the “Smitty Ball”. I guess we can define it as any time the Falcons run a pass play Koetter is calling the plays and anytime the Falcons run the ball Mike Smith takes over the offensive coordinator duties. Ofcourse Smith can take over at any time or on any drive because any time the Falcons run the ball he obviously is calling the plays.

Now, on defense, anytime the Falcons stop someone on third down or cause a turnover Nolan is calling the plays. But anytime the Falcons give up a long drive or third down conversion, Mike Smith has arbitrarily once again taken over the defensive play calling, similar to when he arbitrarily takes over the offensive play calling. Hence the term “Smitty Ball”.

Michael

September 18th, 2012
10:44 pm

Regarding the Defense:
Great post Dawson. The Defense played very well and I hope Moore’s game was not an isolated event, but a sign of things to come. Most of what I heard from the media was positive all night. So I was very encouraged in how they properly credited Nolan’s game plan (which I suspect will be copied now everytime Peyton takes the field) rather than Manning not being up to snuff. In fact, the only people I heard making excuses for Manning were commentators who were former NFL QB’s (mainly Hasselback and Young). So enough said there.

Regarding the Offensive Line:
The Offensive Line did open a few holes but Turner was too slow getting to the hole. Perhaps the OL coach and the OC need to study the 80’s Redskins counter gap scheme and see if its adaptable for the team. Someone here posted suggesting using a blocking back but I don’t think that’s the answer as the offense clearly works better in a 3 receiver, 1 TE set. I would love to see Antone Smith (who is super fast) or Snelling (who runs hard with or without blocking) or preferably Rodgers (who has both speed and power) get the lion’s share of carries.

Regarding the Coaching/Play calling:
My only concern with the game was in the offensive play calling. It seems (and I do hope I am very wrong) that Smith is still intent on being a conservative run first oriented team. I mean, it was as if he was doing all he could to make it a close game. If it was Koetter who was responsible, I hope he changes that philosophy. The NFC is going to be the best conference in football over the next 7 to 10 years and competition is only going to get more difficult. If the coaches don’t have a “kill” instinct, in the end we are still going to lose. Had this been a game against the Pats or Cowboys or Packers, we would have needed the biggest lead we could muster. I mean we had 4 turnovers in the first quarter and only got 13 points??? It wasn’t until the 2nd and 3rd quarters that Ryan was turned loose. Scary that with all the talent we have on offense at the skill position, we are still practicing insanity doing the same old thing expecting a different result.

waynester

September 18th, 2012
10:49 pm

urge
that’s the piece I referenced earlier. Their reasoning seems to be our O-line’s run blocking and Turner’s 3yd average/carry. While I agree that those are areas of concern–they can also be overcome.
y2m
I heard that JJ had an injury issue with one of his hands–whether that’s accurate is open for debate but if true, it would explain his difficulties Mon nite….

Surg the Urge

September 18th, 2012
11:11 pm

Smitty Ball did allow the Denver to ALMOST get back into the game…Im not mad at him running the ball, I’m pissed at who he is trying to run the ball with. We are not a good running team, so why run the ball with someone who makes the run blocking look worse than what it already is? Why in the hell do we have 2 other rbs for?

Big Lou

September 18th, 2012
11:12 pm

Urge

Unfortunately, the media will not give the Falcons respect until they win a playoff game. They gave a ton of it when they won the division before the Green Bay playoff game. I do not always agree with them, but I do agree with this. Falcons are a great regular season team, but they need to win in the playoffs to be considered anything.

Great article, D3.

Big Ray

September 18th, 2012
11:13 pm

Smittyball…IF you even understand the concept..is not what wins playoff games.

The Falcons know how to get to the postseason. Been there three out of four years under Smitty. Winning a game in the postseason…hell….just COMPETING in the postseason is another story.

Here’s the deal – how you play against the WINNING teams in the regular season sets the stage for your performance in the postseason.

Take a close look at how the Falcons did last season. How many playoff-bound teams did they beat? Detroit was the only one. The Eagles game can be considered a legit win because they are always a threat…but then again….they never made the playoffs. Tennessee? That one’s borderline. Look at the losses and you see why some folks are worried about “Smittyball.”

Getting to the postseason and competing successfully comes from being competitive against the playoff bound teams during the regular season. If you can’t do well in that area, you won’t do well in the postseason, in all likelihood.

Big Lou

September 18th, 2012
11:14 pm

Hopefully Turner ‘the drunker’ Turner gets sat out for a game for conduct, so we can see more Snelling and Rodgers.

Big Ray

September 18th, 2012
11:17 pm

Having said that….

Our run blocking is a major issue. We can’t seem to move the ball well on the ground, and though it most certainly IS blocking, it’s also the traits of our runners.

I saw Quizz struggle with obvious runs as much as Turner did. But one thought – what happens if you give a quicker RB the ball a few more times? Might he make something happen? At least he has the chance!

My point is, if the blocking isn’t getting any better, then you have to change your strategy. Start giving the ball more to a guy who can get to the edges quicker, or who may have a shot at making somebody miss. Clearly running people over isn’t working.

Big Ray

September 18th, 2012
11:21 pm

Big Lou ,

Those of us with common sense have to allow for the fact that we may not like what we see if other RBs get the ball more (and Turner sits due to his conduct). The possibility is there.

I still think we will see plenty of shoddy run blocking. The difference is that a quicker RB with better pass catching skills may give us another dimension and open things up for the run game more.

But if we run the same exact plays, it may just expose the blocking. The only way it doesn’t is if a different RB produces better results through their own skill set.

Big Ray

September 18th, 2012
11:28 pm

http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/8394571/nfl-power-rankings-audit-underrated-buffalo-bills-overrated-atlanta-falcons

ESPN is a pile of no-account haters.

What’s unfortunate is that they are right about the running game, and also right about why it is suffering.

Time to change tactics…

But it can’t be done at the expense of Matt Ryan’s protection.

Still…you get the feeling that ESPN put the Falcons that high in the power rankings FOR THE EXPRESS PURPOSE of tearing them down in that article.

What a bunch of losers.

Ken Strickland

September 18th, 2012
11:42 pm

The Falcons DEF, using Nolans aggressive and confusing approach, confused an elite OL and QB. Imagine what they’ll do against a less than elite OL and/or QB. We have at least 4 starting OLinemen(Baker, Blalock, Reynolds, Clabo) that are known for being better run blockers than pass blockers. However, they’ve so far shown themselves to be far better pass blockers than run blockers, go figure.

Under Mularkey we were a run 1st and often one dimensional OFF, and so far we’ve been a pass 1st and often one dimensional OFF under Koetter. The difference is in the approach, scheme, play selection, and execution. I noticed that we seldom utilized our RBs, especially as receivers. However, when the secondary can’t contain our WRs, save the RBs for the next gm.

Our OL did such a good job of protecting MRyan, Koetter didn’t have to resort to using any screen passes to slow the pass rush. What’s been most impressive about our OLs pass blocking is how well they’ve consistently picked up blitzes. A big SHOUTOUT to OL coach Hill for doing an excellent job of preparing our OLinemen. He’s proven to be an upgrade over PBoudreaux after just 2gms.

Ken Strickland

September 18th, 2012
11:52 pm

CAGERS-This is going to be a very interesting and revealing upcoming week, with the DUI arrest of RB MTurner. Will Smitty stick with OLD SCHOOL tradition and continue to start him, or will he use the incident as an excuse to finally replace him with JRogers. Wouldn’t it be something to see JRogers replace Turner and we end up having a breakout gm rushing the ball?

Big Lou

September 19th, 2012
12:07 am

Big Ray

I agree, but it would allow us to determine, as you said, if the blocking is the real issue or MT. Snelling had one run last night and got 5 yards, I think…

Hamad Meander

September 19th, 2012
12:22 am

I loved this game. The defense was aggressive, innovative, and effective. The offense got the job done. At the end of the season, this will be looked back on as a HUGE win. There is still work to be done, but maybe Tuesday morning on I-85 solved that. I would like to see MTurner out of this offense and see how Snelling and Rodgers can be unleashed.

DHunt

September 19th, 2012
1:02 am

Got to agree with tyler on the Smittyball issue. I get that the head coach has the ability to set the tone for the team. But I think it has become pretty obvious that responsibility for Falcons failure in the past primarily rest on the offensive and defensive coordinators schemes and personnel usage. There is no head coach in the league (except maybe Belichek) that exercises absolute control over everything that happens on offense and defense all week long and during the game. It may not even be possible and it surely wouldn’t be a good idea. I’ve watched Smitty on the sidelines and he doesn’t look like he’s deciding who goes into the game on a play by play basis. If he isn’t controlling that, how can he be controlling what plays are being run? He has made public statements that he doesn’t control offensive or defensive play calling on game day. And it really doesn’t make much sense to say the man has enough smarts to win at a 66% clip, but yet is dumb enough to consistently put his team in positions that are likely to lose games. It doesn’t make much sense to say MR2 has the mind of Manning, and seems to have freedom to change play calls at will to take advantage of what he sees on the field, but every run call is attributed to Smitty.

The run game has been falling off for the past two years. In large part because teams decided to make us beat them in the air. This week it seemed that Denver decided to take away the run and Julio, and make us beat them with the other weapons, which we did quite handily. Denver has a decent defense as well, so maybe it wasn’t reasonable to think we could run up 40 points every week. When you’re pinned deep, you do tend to play it a bit more conservative, and that is playing the percentages, showing some faith in the other two phases of the team that you can flip field position and get stops.

I picked the Charger game to be a loss, primarily because I thought we would be coming off a much bigger high after a real thrashing of the Broncos. Because it was a much tighter game, I think the Falcons will not have such a letdown. In fact, I think the defense will be energized, and the offense will be more focused because of the mistakes and miscues that occurred on Monday night. So I am hereby changing my prediction. Until the Falcons lose, I’m picking them to win every game. And if they lose, I’ll pick them to win the game after that. My middle name is Homer, by the way.

tyler

September 19th, 2012
2:05 am

DHunt, thanks for a little support. I, in turn, agree with your assesment of the San Diego game. I think, given more time with the Koetter offense, the arrow on Matt Ryan is straight up. I’m a novice, but by watching a couple plays back with this awesome invention of rewind on my 55″ TV(Big Shoutout to the 21st Century), on the last couple drives Ryan had open receivers he just was’nt familiar enough with the offense to find them.

The defense is so much fun to watch. I’ve been waiting 20 years for a defense that is this active, transitional, smart, and exciting. I thought Spoon’s comment that he still was’nt sure how much freedom he is allowed in this defense to make plays tells us that the best is yet to come. One negative is Beirman seems to be given a lot of freedon but the dude still has not made a play. Not one sack. But, we now see why Nolan had no problem letting Lofton go, he was salivating over the athleticism and play making ability of Spoon and Nicholaus.

P. Jerry has been awesome, and we still have the possibilty of C. Peters return. Sidbury did get into the gaqm on Monday, but he did’nt make a play. But what can we say about V. Walker? Dudes been off the hook, as well as Babs.

But we are just kidding ourselves if we don’t recognize W. Moore, like D3 said, the Missouri Hammer is making his precsense felt. I also along with the Falcons I’m sure like the low profile by the media. Our top of the line players are payed well by Blank, and know when they continue to play wel ltheir contract will reflect their play on the field.

On that point, M. Turner, your a moron if in fact you were inebriated and driving 30 mph over the speed limit. I am old enough to count the deaths of people I known personally from DUI on two hands. Dude, arent you like 29 or 30? And you cant get it together? Even though you have made more money than 99% of the American population ever will.

romej20

September 19th, 2012
2:34 am

Enter your comments here

romej20

September 19th, 2012
2:50 am

Matt Ryan has executed almost to perfection. Check out Total QBR at ESPN which grades QBs more individually as far as how much he contributed ,smart plays how many of his plays was above avg and playing in the clutch will add to better QBR. Matt Ryan has 94 and 100 is perfect. The closest QB is RG3 with 83. Aaron Rogers and Drew Brees have mid 40 ratings. Ryan looks comfortable. He hit everybody in the hands. He has our best rushing stats. Matt Ryan knows the offense. may have been a reason we couldn’t but Marty doesn’t enter a game where he is not fully prepared.

[...] to Original Content From Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog): read more Related Articles Share About Author [...]

Ken

September 19th, 2012
6:04 am

Falcons will get the running game going!! Time to RISE UP!!!

Falcons Chic

September 19th, 2012
6:12 am

D3 rides again. And so did the Falcons. We cannot let up. It would be so easy to slide and whine about a short week and west coast flight. We won, but the Peytons also lost this game. We will have to win against the Chargers.

Ken Strickland

September 19th, 2012
7:00 am

TYLER-I believe it was DT JBabineaux that said he was excited about Nolan’s scheme, which will finally allow DLinemen to get after people. CB ASamuel has never been known for his ability or willingness to provide run support, but after the hits he leveled in Sunday’s gm, that’s all changed under Nolan.

SG

September 19th, 2012
7:07 am

Ken Strickland: I’m w/ you on Rogers, more so Antone Smith.