Atlanta Falcons 5-0!!!!

What Team is This?

Alford Huge Play!

Just a quick hit to get up a new post. After blowing out the Texans at home, the Falcons had a really ugly game from start to finish and still found a way to win. Our Atlanta Falcons are 5-0 and the schedule is setting up very nicely. They found a way to win when Matt Ryan and Julio Jones were hobbled and / or ineffective. Some quick questions for you all as we roll towards a matchup with the hated Saints………..

What are you most pleased with so far from this Falcons team?

Is this too good to be true? Are we setting up for a letdown?

What’s your biggest concern moving forward? 

Is this pass rush any better than year’s past?

Do the Falcons have enough WR depth to sustain not having Julio for any stretch of time?

 

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769 thoughts on “Atlanta Falcons 5-0!!!!

  1. SG

    Lions fired offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and offensive line coaches Jeremiah Washburn and Terry Heffernan.
    Caldwell won’t be around to see the dawn of a new season either.

    Reply
  2. Grits Blitz

    Obvious, Continuing Needs Per Titan Game Apparently Not Going to Get Attention This Year:
    1. More blitzing by…somebody. (Our present front 4 can not seem to get it done – game after game.)
    2. Acquire stud trenchmen. (See reason #1 and add O linemen, stir in talent and nastiness, mix until frothing at the mouth, unleash, and serve on opposing teams beginning 2016.

    3. Without taking care of #2, game over – to or in playoffs. Period. No more delusion, weak schedule notwithstanding.

    Reply
  3. PoolerSpirit

    Flo-ri-Duh: “Jalen Collins was a “reach” in the 2nd round since he was not game ready. If they can keep him off the weed and focused on football he should eventually be a starter.”

    FYI… He started the game yesterday.

    Reply
          1. Wings

            From the article, we at least know evaluations and changes are being made. In last regime, we were in the dark!!!

            The coaches re-evaluated the secondary after the 31-21 loss to the Saints. “We wanted to go back and look at some things, and we thought that would be one avenue to go about to try and just find the little ways to affect the team better,” Quinn said. “We moved Robert inside and Jalen outside. We’ll continue to work that and also worked Robenson Therezie some in our nickel safety package. Those are some of the things, in specific, that we worked on.”

  4. SG

    I know I’ve been a basher after yesterday’s performance, but it goes without saying big congrats are in order for MR2 on hitting that 30,000 yard mark. And only 4 hit it faster than him: Dan Marino, Kurt Warner, Peyton Manning & Aaron Rodgers. That’s some damn good company.

    Reply
  5. Mike-N-Charlotte

    PS- He did get beat on one route, but the QB didn’t see the receiver open. Overall I think he played pretty well. Collins was rated by most as a 1st round talent, but dropped due to character issues. His scouting report also stated that he was raw and would need developed. With his size and speed combination, it does not surprise me that Falcons took him as early as they did. I think he fits what DQ likes to do, and Alford I believe is more suited as a nickel corner. So far looking back at the draft class I feel the spot we really missed was taking Hardy in round 4 instead of Shaq Mason at OG/OC. And round 7 with L Collins still available. Would have been nice to have Mason at C, Collins RG, Levitre and Matthews (although had we gone with Collins and Mason the Levitre trade probably would not have happened).

    Overall when I look at where this team is I believe we are not as good as our record reflects, but better than we have played over the past 3 weeks. The biggest concern is MR2 and his struggles. I am not sure if it stems from lack of practice time with receivers due to injuries, if the timing of the receivers routes are hindered by injuries, if Ryan is struggling with the new offense, or if there are issues with Ryan whether it be physical or mental. He has had some bad games over the years, as every QB has. I do not think I ever remember a three game stretch that he has struggled as much as he has lately. I also am puzzled by the zeroing in on Julio. I am not sure if that is by design, or if MR2 is grown so comfortable with Julio that he e is zeroing in on him. Also concerning is the pass blocking of the right side of our offensive line. I keep hoping that they will get better, but don’t seem to be. I also have to question KS play calling. I like the fact that he is not predictable as we have experienced in the past. However I think that there are times that KS gets a little to cute. With the success the Falcons have had recently in the running game, why are so many passes dialed up in 3rd or 4th and shorts. On the defensive side of the ball, there is no doubt we have seen an improvement over last year. I would like to see a little more to keep offenses off balance or guessing. I would like to see a slight increase in our blitzes….and I am ready to see Beasley get home with a sack. I see he gets off the ball quick, has decent moves to the QB…yet somehow he is not finishing. I must say him being a rookie, his football instincts really impressed me on one play where he looked to have a free run on the QB, but he read the RB sliding out into a route and picked him up…killing the screen that the Titans had set-up. After seeing Morgan yesterday, I really wish Falcons had closed that deal during the offseason. Also Falcons must clean up their play. Turn overs and penalties are making games much closer than they should be. There were several nice runs by Freeman that were negated by penalties, and starting out so far behind the sticks makes the team one dimensional. To go along with these issues, it seems Spec Teams needs some attention. Bryant has uncharacteristically missed some FG’s of late, and Falcons came very close to having another punt blocked yesterday. Finally, we would all agree how you finish matters more than how you start. That being said how you start does matter. For the exception of two games Falcons have started very sluggish and flat. Maybe we can bring Smitty back to coach the first half and give DQ the reigns at half time. Few teams out there have a 1-2 punch like Devonta and Julio. I believe we need to get our supporting cast more involved in the offense, and create a little more pressure on the QB on the defensive side. Falcons at their best can compete with anyone, however over the last three weeks they have not been very competitive against teams I perceive as being inferior.

    Reply
  6. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Pooler Spirit (10/26 @ 6:01 pm) – Thanks. Didn’t realize he started or played that many plays. That’s good news – so far. Not sure Mettenbubba and the Titans cast of WR’s is that great – seeing progress. If DQ drafted him #2 I’ve got confidence he has the talent to succeed. Now if Hardy can just do the same this will be a VERY successful draft. As for Beasley, hasn’t shown a lot yet – almost all pass rushers go through a rookie learning curve. To soon to tell on him. Jarrett & Coleman are winners.

    Reply
  7. Dewey

    Who’s ready for some math???….

    Matt Ryan has thrown 267 passes through 7 games.
    Julio Jones has been the target of 89 of those passes.
    Exactly 1/3(33.3%) of MR’s passes have gone towards Julio.

    Matt Ryan has completed 172 of his 267 passes, or 64.4%.
    58 of 89 passes thrown toward Julio have been completed, or 65.1%.
    114 of 178 passes thrown to all others have been complete, or 64%.

    So regardless who Ryan is throwing to, more than 1/3 of his passes fall incomplete.

    If your a defense facing Matt Ryan and the Falcons, you go in knowing 1/3 of his passes will be incomplete.
    You also know 1/3 of his passes will go toward Julio.
    So why wouldn’t you double/triple team Julio?

    The Dallas game was the first game where the opposition really started aggressively covering Julio. Triple teams, bracketing, etc.
    From the Dallas game on, Ryan has thrown 187 passes, completing 119, or 63.6%.
    Julio has been targeted 63 times (33.7%), completing 36, or 57%.
    All others have caught 83 of 124 passes (67%).

    With teams covering Julio better, Ryan has continued to throw to him just as much, but with declining results.

    If Matt Ryan doesn’t start distributing the ball better, you can continue to see our offense sputter.

    Maybe this is why teams with superstar WR’s have a harder time achieving ultimate success.

    Reply
    1. SG

      I like it, “Dewey’s Math Made Easy”. Perhaps Arno can drum up a logo for that 😉

      Great compilation and I agree w/ your summation that,
      “If Matt Ryan doesn’t start distributing the ball better, you can continue to see our offense sputter.”

      Reply
    2. Paddy O

      JJ should make other WR better – or, easier to connect with. I’m blaming MR2 for this – and it would be nice if somebody asked him about it – I’ve seen him throw into JJ with 3 guys around him – MR2 has been luck to avoid additional interceptions. He needs to pump fake to JJ, and toss to another wide out.

      Reply
    3. Arno

      Dewey–

      Only one QB we’ve played has distributed the ball better than Ryan. And that was in our very first game– Bradford. In every game after that, Matt has met or exceeded oppositions’ distribution to receivers for an average of one extra receiver per game. He’s also shown an ability to vary his secondary targets: White, Hankerson, Freeman, Tamme, Julio, and now Williams is coming on strong.

      The percentages of receptions you quote are not qualified by the number of dropped passes, and the Falcons have the second most dropped passes in the NFL.

      I respect Matt for taking the blame for poor decisions in turnovers. I’m not ready to think he’s locking on to Julio, beyond the fact he’s one of the best NFL receivers, and that he’s demonstrated the best YAC even when other receivers appear more open.

      Quinn insisted that the drop in O production has been a team issue– first and twenties, turnovers in the red zone. Can Matt get better? I think we’ll see improvement in Matt as the whole O gets it together.

      Reply
    1. Dewey

      Who is this idiot??!!! Collins played in Alford’s spot while Alford covered the slot. Quinn said so himself in his interview yesterday. Also, any corner back who ISN’T worried about getting beat deep on the last drive of the game, won’t be playing long. Don’t know if I’ve ever read anything by Hubbard before, but it doesn’t really sound like he knows what he’s talking about.

      Reply
  8. SG

    ATL’s ranking in
    Pts / Game: 4th Pts Allowed: 13th Yds/Game: 5th Yds. Allowed: 13th

    TB’s ranking in
    Pts / Game: 13th Pts Allowed: 32nd Yds/Game: 13th Yds. Allowed: 6th

    Reply
    1. Paddy O

      the yds/game – us ranking 15 is good progress. We frequently rank well on pts surrendered per game, for whatever reason. Our run D has been good to very good. Key problem is LB crossing pattern/screen pass coverage – and I don’t think we can fix that this year.

      Reply
  9. Flo-Ri-Duh

    What’s relevant – is JJ open when thrown too? He’s 1st in the progression. If he’s open Ryan is supposed to throw to him. The problem is that he’s been covered and Ryan still throws to him. Next question – if JJ’s covered and MR still throws to him was someone else open that MR missed? That is what some on here believe. What I’ve seen often is that MR has a rush in his face and has to react sooner than he has time to go through the progressions – thus it goes to JJ. Falcons OL is currently ranked 4th best in the run game (4.4 yds per carry) but 20th against the pass. Their LOT (Matthews) is ranked #8 among LOT’s. Their ROT (Schraeder) is ranked #19 among ROT’s. Falcons are tied for 1st for most run plays in the NFL (160). Falcons (believe it or not) are rated 7th (over all) for offensive efficiency. They are ranked 13th passing and 2nd rushing efficiency. http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/teamoff

    * The Falcons don’t have the level of talent at WR & TE they had back when Tony Gonzales was around (obvious). Their OL is #20 against the pass rush. As expected, MR’s efficiency level is down. Rebuild the center & ROG position [I’m not talking about getting Pro Bowl players here but above average] and get at least one decent target other than JJ that is a deep threat if you want to solve this problem. That’s 3 starters and is doable in 2016.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    OL contracts:
    *Jon Asamoah (G), age 27 – signed through 2018 – on IR – cap hit $5.8 mill/dead money hit $3.9 mill in 2016 – possible trade here?
    *Chris Chester (G), age 32 – contract exp 2016 – $2.8 mill contract – likely won’t be re-signed
    *Lamar Holmes (OT), age 26, – contract exp 2016 – $658,000 contract – doubt they would they dare re-sign him?
    Gino Gradkowski (C/G), age 26 – contract exp 2016 – $626,000 contract – can he play guard – if not – gone 2016
    *Jake Long (OT), age 30- contract exp 2016 – $1.56 mill contract – barring a miracle physical recovery he’s gone
    Ryan Schraeder (OT), age 27-contract exp 2016 – $1.48 mill contract per yr- RFA (restricted free agent in 2016) – this is the big unknown
    Bryce Harris (OT), age 26-contract exp 2016 – $700,000
    *James Stone (C), age 23, – contract exp 2017 – $511,000 contract in 2016- dead money will be $7,000 – could be traded?
    Michael Person (C), age 27 – contract exp 2018- $1.1 mill contract per yr – $333,000 dead money 2016
    Andy Levitre (G), age 29- contract exp 2019- $7.8 mill per yr
    Jake Matthews (OT), age 23- contract exp 2018- $4.1 mill per
    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
    2016 OL : 11 Man Roster
    Jake Matthews (OT)
    Ryan Schraeder (OT) re-signed 4yrs [Falcons match Aint’s RFA tender offer of $2.3 mill per yr for 4 yrs]
    Jack Conklin (OT) * 2nd Rd pick 2016 draft,Michigan State, 6’6″ 325 lb
    Adam Bisnowaty (OT) *7th Rd pick, Pittsburgh, 6’6″ 305 lb (projected 4th Rd before injury riddled senior season but no surgeries)
    Jake Long (OT) – re-signed 1 yr contract – no gtd money [$1.57 mill]
    Andy Levitre (G)
    Kelechi Osemele (G) – *vet FA signing (Ravens UFA) [$3 mill per yr – 4 yrs]
    Greg Pyke (G) *5th Rd pick,UGA, 6’5″ 315 lb [obtained from Asamoah trade]
    Graham Glascow (G)*7th Rd pick, Michigan, 6’6″ 315 lb, [obtained from James Stone trade]
    Nick Martin (C)*4th Rd pick, Notre Dame, 6’5″ 295 lb, 6’5″ 295 lb, [brother of Zach Martin]
    Michael Person (C)
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
    JB Falcon – My 2017 Projections Coming Soon!
    2016 : Original Prediction 9-7
    2016: Revised Prediction 10-5

    Reply
    1. Paddy O

      I’ve seen RW84 open, when Matt opted to throw it to JJ – with 3 guys in close proximity. Not sure why – also, one of Ryans weakest part of his game is not using pump fakes and look offs. But, we are still 6-1.

      Reply
    2. PoolerSpirit

      Flo… word on the street is the Falcons are going to play sixteen this year… 10-6, or 11-5?

      I’m hoping JB’s closest on projecting this year’s wins… 18-1….

      Reply
  10. Flo-Ri-Duh

    SG (10/27 @ 8:56 am) – Only way to get better is to play but I imagine they were considering the opponent when they inserted Collins into the lineup. Mettenbubba and those Titan WR’s don’t scare anyone.

    good link but I’ve got a complaint. Next time don’t send me a link with a picture of Hillary in it. Gag a maggot!

    Reply
    1. stevegorges

      Don’t know how Hilary showed up to you on that link. No one else seemed to get that. Are you sure you’re not on her email list?

      Reply
  11. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Arno (10/27 @ 10:38 am) – Doesn’t take a Sherlock Holmes to realize Falcons (even JJ) have dropped a lot of passes. Agree with you on MR… he’s distributing it as well as i can be done with the present cast. Lot’s of mistakes some MR’s fault – some not. It’s a group effort. Turnovers, penalties, dropped passes, poor pass blocking, errant passes – all have contributed to the regression of the offense. Plus, again, I reiterate that the Titans have the #1 ranked pass defense in the league. Another complaint on here is that the Falcons didn’t run enough last week. How much you run is dictated by what the defense gives you. This offense is a work in progress – lots of new pieces… a new OC, new OL new WR’s & TE’s, new offensive system. Fact is the talent is missing for MR to perform at his past level. The OL is 20th rated in pass protection.

    Reply
  12. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Don’t be surprised if Justin Hardy (WR) shows up on the field soon. Dan Quinn and Matt Ryan think Hardy will make an impact before long. Hankerson’s history of injuries is showing up again and he didn’t play at all against Titans. Hankerson’s injuries are a major reason his production has dropped off and he’s had several drops. (yardbarker.com)

    Reply
  13. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Falcons Mock Draft 2016: Emphasis on OL
    #1 DeForest Buckner (DE), Oregon, 6’7″ 290 lb [4.80 40 big man can rush the QB and stop the run]
    #2 Jack Conklin (OT), Michigan State, 6’6″ 325 lb. [protects the #1rated QB’s backside but is even better as a ROT]
    #3 Kentrell Brothers (ILB), Missouri, 6’1″ 235 lb [tackling machine:excellent cover / run-stopper/4.66 40, three down player]
    #4 Nick Martin (C), Notre Dame, 6’5″ 295 lb [brother of Zach Martin- All Pro]
    #5 Greg Pyke (G), UGA, 6’5″ 315 lb [pick acquired from Asamoah trade]
    #6 Traded
    #7 Graham Glascow (G),Michigan, 6’6″ 315 lb [acquired from James Stone trade]
    #7 Adam Bisnowaty (OT), Pittsburgh, 6’6″ 305 lb [rated 4th Rd quality before injuries but no major surgeries to date]

    Reply
  14. Greg Mendel

    Given the fact that Matt Ryan sees the play with eight defensive linemen in his face, not on TV…

    …and Julio Jones is both very good and very tall…

    …maybe that’s why Matt often throws to Jones before he’s dismembered.

    Reply
    1. JB Falcon

      GM – Ergo, OL sucks. Right? And then, there may be a little too much confidence in what the team is capable of. Like trying to cook a tender roast by turning the heat up too high? (I’m not a good cook but I know you are) It’s going to take time built on mistakes so we might as well call plays that we are capable of and call the dream plays when the team matures. Just guessing.

      Reply
      1. Greg Mendel

        As I’ve said before, opponents watch film. They look for weaknesses and exploit them. Everybody does that, and at this point in the season it’s a battle to anticipate and adjust. I wasn’t happy with last Sunday’s game, but the sky isn’t falling. Quinn and Shanahan will adjust this Sunday — and every game day after that. We’re 6-1 no matter what. Most fans wouldn’t have predicted that in August.

        Reply
        1. falcon21

          Greg, Matt has had his brains beat out for 3+ years now but still hangs in the pocket until the last second and tries to make a play. Remember the play Sunday when Matt had a D-lineman hanging on to his leg and still completed the pass? He brought this team back for 4 wins in the first 5 games when being behind in the fourth quarter this season, many on here forget that. The OL is not very good in pass protection but pretty good at run blocking to this point. They should get better, I hope.

          Reply
  15. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Good news is that the fumbles & penalties can be corrected… as for the pressure on MR – they’re doing the best they can with what they have. The left side of the OL is good. Didn’t see the holding they flagged Lavitre with as they never did a replay on it that I saw. Would help MR if the center could at least snap the ball accurately. Definitely need an upgrade at center in 2016.

    Reply

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