Falcons Beat Titans in Sloppy Win

Atlanta Improves to 6-1

Thanks to DF24!!!

Sorry for lack of posts. Will try to get some routines in near future. That said, WOULD LOVE SOME HELP in writing if any of you are up for it. They don’t have to be essays, but rather short posts that can be 500 words or less. Anyway………..

The Falcons improved to 6-1 in an ugly win that continued the Falcons “squeaking by” and looking less than stellar the last 3 games. A win’s a win’s a win and they are really hard to come by in the NFL, but most feel that when they run up against good teams, they’ll buckle.

What is Wrong with Matt Ryan?

He’s looked downright bad the last several games. Unsure of himself, forcing throws, and generally erratic the last 3 games. He’s throwing multiple picks and just is OFF.  He said there’s no injury to blame and since we’re a third through the season, can we keep blaming the new offensive scheme? Maybe it’s phase, maybe Shanahan needs to find a way for Ryan to get going, but bottom line is that he has to get better if the Falcons want to be legitimate contender.

Are Falcons Simply a Product of Easy Schedule?

I’d have to say maybe a little, but fans only need to zoom back a year ago when the Falcons were finding ways to LOSE these type of games. They have benefited from an easy schedule, but credit Dan Quinn and his mentality of finishing and finding ways to win. The season is a marathon and the positive is that the Falcons are finding ways to win when playing bad. That only goes so far, though, as they have to start gaining some mojo here soon.

WR Corps: Strength to Weakness?

What has long been a core strength of the Atlanta Falcons appears on the verge of becoming a weakness. Julio Jones is banged up (and frankly will be the rest of the year based on his playing style), Roddy White is quickly declining, Leonard Hankerson has been racking up the drops after a fast start, Devin Hester is on short term IR, and Nick Williams has had a few drops himself. 4th round pick Justin Hardy hasn’t even dressed for a game yet. This was always going to be a rebuilding project at some point, but many are surprised how rapidly it’s declined.

Pass Rush / Defense Much Better?

Not much. But no one expected it to be light-switch quick. It’s a process and the Falcons have shown some promise, but they simply don’t have much of their needed arsenal in play to move towards dominant. Remember, even in Seattle, it took several years of great draft picks and good free agents to move to elite. Many players are on one years contracts (Schofield, Clayborn, etc), DQ is milking as much as he can from the leftovers (Biermann, Jackson), and the rookies are going to be rookies (Beasley, Jarrett). It will take time, but he’s definitely moving the needle forward.

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326 thoughts on “Falcons Beat Titans in Sloppy Win

  1. John Waynesworld

    We have become inconsistent and inconsistency loses games. Not to mention penalties, fumbles, QB and Center foibles….the same ugly movie.

    We have also given a rookie phenom QB in our own division the confidence to continue beating us for the next 2 decades. Great.

    We are who we hoped we weren’t but knew deep down we really were.

    Reply
  2. Flacon (F14)

    The better team won. And the winning team is not good. Our defense doesn’t have talents and do what they can do. Our offense is figured out by everybody and lost their mojo. MR2 can find the rhythm only in hurry. Redskin’s fans were probably right when predicted that Kyle would be exposed closer to the middle of the season. His offense seems to be poisoned by overthinking and a lack of confidence. Penalties and turnovers are not just coincident poor execution. We don’t belong in playoff but we are in the PROCESS. It would be great to know the direction because our team doesn’t respond well to DQ’s preaching.

    Reply
  3. JB Falcon

    Whoever volunteered to write the re-cap of this game has their hands full. We could make of list of 10 things the Falcons did or didn’t do and let everyone pick their opinion. Mine would probably be “all of the above.”

    Reply
  4. Grits Blitz

    It hurts, but it’s all part of the rebuilding process. (GM – have to agree. Facts are facts.)
    While crashing back to earth, it’s easier to accept now it’s really going to take more than one year while in a marathon and as (F14) said above, in “PROCESS”.
    Still have faith in D3’s coaching. With the players we now have, I have now accepted…we are who we are and appear to be…at this point in time with more bumps in the road to come until many of these players are cleared out or become 2nd stringers for depth.

    The 1st step now seems to be signing a real center. Man, week after bloody week! (Now that IS weak.)
    DQ – Flo has listed some possibilities. Make the deal!

    Reply
  5. Wabe

    Say what you want, this starts with coaching.

    You can blame execution if it happens once every so often. This is a month straight now that we’ve seen the same kind of ugly football with nothing being fixed.

    The undisciplined nature of this football team is on Quinn. They’re blaming Rex Ryan for Buffalo’s stupidity and undisciplined penalty problem. The same goes here for Quinn. You can’t have pass rushers line up in the neutral zone twice in one game and give up first downs in both instances and not look at Quinn. There was a reason Mike Smith’s teams were the least penalized in his early days in Atlanta. It’s because he focused on it. We keep waiting for the Falcons to clean this stuff up, but it hasn’t happened yet. So I’m starting to question whether Quinn is even capable of cleaning this up. Until he does, it’s blind optimism. Because as a new coach, he still hasn’t proven he can.

    Offensively, it starts with Shanahan. He hasn’t found a way to keep Ryan confident in the pocket. He hasn’t found a compliment to Julio Jones. He hasn’t found a way to integrate the receivers we do have to play more of a role in this offense. And more than anything, this offense has looked beyond pedestrian for the past month.

    The turnovers clearly did us in. But this isn’t a one time thing. This is four straight weeks of playing inferior competition and playing down to their level.

    Reply
  6. Chop Buster

    Well what can I say that most of you haven’t? Basically the same lackluster players with new coaches. Non-tackling, no pass rush, no OL pass protection, secondary still suspect, LB, safeties, yada, yada, yada! It will take another two to three years to get this team revamped to really compete.

    Reply
  7. JB Falcon

    Are the wheels beginning to fall off of our new toy? DQ & Co need to get the tool box out and start re-tooling and do some fine tuning. I sometimes think we are never going to see a Lombardi in the city of Atlanta, at least not in my lifetime.
    Maybe the long starved fans are just dreaming and hoping that a new coach could come in and change history in one season when the fact is:
    ” The longest tenured head coach on his current team is Bill Belichick, who has been with the New England Patriots since the 2000 NFL season. Belichick also has the most wins among active coaches, as well as most Super Bowl appearances (6) and Super Bowl wins (4) as head coach.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_current_National_Football_League_head_coaches
    Just thinking out load here. I believe in Quinn’s attitude and coaching philosophies but attitude has to meet reality at some point. These last four games would not be so hard to accept if we had not started off revealing our true capabilities. Is this team no longer capable? Did we forget how to play? Have other teams seen through out game plan? Are we really as bad as we’ve been playing? Is that the ugly truth?
    So many questions and so few answers.
    Sort of off subject but how many championships would Jeff Gordon have won driving a Rambler?

    Reply
    1. SG

      “How many championships would Jeff Gordon have won driving a Rambler?” LMAO.

      Yeh, we looked a tad like a Rambler today didn’t we?

      Reply
  8. SG

    Ok, even for a team in a transitional period, this one was truly BARBARIC.

    My takes – not in any specific order:
    1) For never playing Center before, Person has been fair. But it’s time to move on. As I noted earlier today, Alex Mack is being shopped by the Browns. I realize we’re rebuilding, so I’m not expecting a Lombardi this year but what a great upgrade he would be as we groom a longer term successor.

    2) I said earlier today that I loved our D. I was not being sarcastic. No, the truth is I love this D. They’ve won some games and have proved themselves stout and aggressive as a group against the run, but I also see them slowing maturing – albeit slowly – against the passing game.
    I’ll agree some of the D play calling leaves me bewildered, but for now, during this transitional period, there appears to be a system in place that this coaching staff will look more competent with once there are a few more key pieces in place.

    3) The RW84 issue continues to stick in my craw. While I was able to watch a good portion of the first half, I only saw the last half of Q4 and the OT.
    During much of that time, I wasn’t watching MR2 as the play developed , I watched Roddy. He remains frequently open. Wide frickin’ open. No excuse when the game’s on the line or when we’re behind – you go to your proven frickin’ play-makers even if they were proven under someone else’s frickin’ regime. Again, I’m not buying he’s got nothing in the tank.

    4) Ricardo Allen and Grady Jarrett are nice gems in the rough. Clayborn, IMO, needs to be utilized far more. Was hoping Vic would have an impact day today. Still waiting.

    5) Looking forward to seeing much more of Coleman and Hardy as this show gets itself together.

    As Grits said earlier, “Still have faith in D3’s coaching. With the players we now have, I have now accepted…we are who we are and appear to be…at this point in time with more bumps in the road to come until many of these players are cleared out or become 2nd stringers for depth.”

    Reply
  9. waynester

    I’ve finally calmed down enough to log on but this one really hurts. Losing to “crab legs” sucks as bad as yesterday’s debacle in the “swamp”.
    Every team in our division is IMPROVING week-to-week, especially the Saints, while we’re regressing.
    Every QB in our division–even the rookie–is getting his act together while Matt is falling apart before our very eyes.
    Our O-line isn’t gelling–they’re MELTING!
    These penalties and turnovers are increasing with each game.
    Even the team’s bright spot could only manage 60 yards today.
    We can’t seem to get it up for a divisional opponent while even last year’s atrocious squad held their own within the NFCS.
    I am SOOOO glad I didn’t pay good money to see this turd-of-a-game in person as I’d probably have leapt from the upper deck in frustration….
    Where’s the silver lining in this fart-cloud of a game?????HELLLLP!!!!!

    Reply
  10. waynester

    OK
    I apologise for exaggerating.
    Matt had a decent game. I’m just sick of being beaten by our divisional rivals….

    Reply
  11. Arno

    D3 gave me the green light to make some updates to the Cage Blog. Look at the top of the page and you’ll find a few things to check out:

    There’s a sign up sheet for all you guest post writers. Link on “POST WRITERS” and pick your date. I’ll put your name there in indelible pixels.

    I’ve started a list of helpful links. Feel free to suggest your own in the comments, and I’ll add them to the list. Hit “LINKS.”

    There’s a new Cage logo that’s COPYRIGHT FREE. Available on T-shirts if you want one. Link on “MERCH.”

    Our mock competion needs work, and your suggestions are welcome.

    Reply
    1. JB Falcon

      Arno, thanks for all the work you put into the cage. I’ll miss the old cage logo but’s probably time for it to go. It’s sad but I’m guessing there were maybe 20% of the listed members still around. I figure we’ll carry on as long as the Falcons stay in Atlanta.

      Reply
      1. Arno

        Yeah, I was sad to let it go, too– but you’re right– most of those folks have moved on. The new logo attempts to honor Sarah B, D3, and 2009, when he got this fine thing going at the ajc ya later.

        Reply
    2. Coop

      Thanks Arno. Great stuff. I sent Dawson a writeup last night. Should I send that to you to post? I don’t have that access.

      Reply
      1. Arno

        I can format and load your post. I’ll ask Dawson about it. If he doesn’t have the time to do it, he can forward your post to me.

        Reply
  12. Dewey

    Before the season started, given a rookie HC and the talent level of the players, I would have accepted an 8-8 season as long as effort and improvement were being made on a weekly basis. Effort has been there, improvements have not (though some individuals have shown progression). Problem is, 8-8 would mean almost a total collapse in the 2nd half.

    Reply
  13. Mike-N-Charlotte

    Much of what I saw today was beyond frustrating. Late in the game Falcons put the game in the hands of the officials in which I felt there were some questionable calls and/or no calls. I will say I did see one thing that was encouraging. I have seen the posts here that suggested J Collins was a reach, and has been called a bust… Well the 4th down play by TB that gave the ball back to Atl with a chance to tie does not happen without s great read by Collins. The play was designed to boot leg and dump off to the TE for a first down. Collins saw the TE coming across uncovered and dropped into the passing lane. I thought that was a tremendous heads up play by a rookie. Great Footbsll instincts. Let’s keep it going m.

    Reply
  14. Flo-Ri-Duh

    DQ’s fault? Everything is DQ’s fault? Are you blind, deaf and dumb? So JJ letting the guy take the ball away from him is DQ’s fault? Matt Ryan throwing an interception is DQ’s fault? #44 lining up off-sides, giving the Bucs a 1st down, is DQ’s fault? 15 million holding penalties is DQ’s fault? It’s not like these guys haven’t been playing since they were probably 12 yrs old and don’t know the rules. It’s the friggin’ players fault. Isn’t it just like this “politically correct” USA to blame it on everyone but the one who is at fault? DQ can take the mule to the trough but he can’t make the dumb arse drink. Some of these guys need to go but that will have to wait til next year. DQ has to work with what he has. I will say one thing, DQ has these guys playing hard for him and they didn’t quit.

    The Falcons are better right now than every team they played. They should have won every single game – except for: #1 careless turnovers # 2 careless penalties. I saw a silver lining in a grey cloud in the second half. They cut way down on the stupid mistakes and Matt Ryan played lights out. Jalen Collins (CB) & Hardy (WR) are showing promise. That’s a good thing.

    In 2015 there were so many weaknesses on this team that it looked like an impossible task to fix. Now at least the weaknesses are obvious and far fewer. Offense needs a Center, a right Guard and deep threat opposite JJ. Defense needs a OLB, ILB and a pass rushing DE that can play three downs. If they get these six guys and some depth they will be a playoff team. Six guys away from a good team. I’m concerned right now about Trufant. Hopefully he will be OK.

    The Bucs were 4th in the league in yards allowed coming in: less than 400 yds a game. Pretty sure Falcons got 500+ yards on them despite the turnovers & penalties. Falcons had almost 200yds more yards offense than Bucs. 9 more minutes in time of possession. 7 more 1st downs. FOUR MORE TURNOVERS. BUCS GOT 5 1ST DOWNS ON PENALTIES. 124 YARDS IN PENALTIES> Cut out the turnovers and dumb penalties and the “O” will move the ball. The Bucs offense was 12th in the league on yards gained and points scored. Their offense is above average. Falcons “D” played well considering how many turnovers the offense committed. This team will get better. (www.espn.go.com)

    Reply
    1. Chop Buster

      Flo I know what you’re saying. These players have got to stop playing stupid football. Once again they beat themselves.

      Reply
    2. Wings

      Flo, I tend to agree with you. DQ has given the power to the players to play but the players have not realized it, yet.

      Reply
    3. Wabe

      You come on a little strong there, huh? Blind, deaf, and dumb?

      Dude, you’re entitled to your opinions as is everybody else.

      Yes, I put it first and foremost on DQ. When the same habits are reoccurring for a month straight and are not getting fixed, I don’t see why blaming the leader of the football team is as outrageous as you make it out to be. As I pointed out, yes, two instances of players lining up offsides in the same game and both of them resulting in first downs is on DQ. Why? Well, if it happens once, I would expect it to get addressed. The entire premise of what I am saying is that the things we’re seeing is not a one time thing. We’ve been seeing them repeatedly, for a month straight, and they aren’t being addressed and fixed.

      The penalties totally comes back to the head coach. If Mike Smith was getting praised for having the least penalized teams in the league, then why is it out of bounds to shovel blame to DQ and coaches for the amount of penalties this team is racking up? Are they not coaching technique? Did they not get after the players through the practice week after all of the penalties in the Titans game that resulted in big chunk gains getting called back?

      Are they not preaching ball security? Is this not a point of emphasis? This is the same thing that happened to this team in NOLA vs. another division opponent. Two weeks later, it happens again and coaches are completely absolved of blame?

      Bottom line is this, you can think what you want. I am rooting for Quinn and this staff and this team. But, for a month now, this team has looked unprepared at times, undisciplined at others, and down right sloppy. How is that not on the coach when it is consistently happening from week to week and not getting fixed? If it happens every so often, then yeah, I can see it being an execution problem and would give Quinn a pass. The reason why it starts with Quinn is the same things are happening for FOUR WEEKS STRAIGHT < < <

      So it's up to just the players to fix it? Coaches don't have anything to do with playing clean football?

      Reply
      1. JB Falcon

        Wabe, I like your answer. In my world a not so good race car driver always blames it on the car when he loses.

        Reply
  15. Mike-N-Charlotte

    So watching Sun Night FB halftime show and Rodney Harrison is saying ignore Ryan’s big #’s… He is actually getting worse. Do they watch these games before making ignorant comments like that? Other than the one terrible decision by Ryan late in the 1st half, how did he look worse today? Today was frustrating to me because Ryan looked better… But they still couldn’t eliminate the stupid mistakes. Ryan looked terrible last week and against Washington. He had bad moments in the 1st three games. Most of New Orleans he wasn’t bad, but like today was victimized by mistakes of others. I am curious how is this loss the fault of the QB? Is there no accountability of the other 21 players on the field or the “cute” play calls?

    Reply
    1. SG

      Just another ex-jock trying to make a name for himself by standing out from all the other ex-jocks in broadcasting. I agree Mike, Ryan had a very strong game overall.

      Reply
  16. Greg Mendel

    After a few hours of thinking about the game (and many other unrelated things), a lot of things went right — play-calling, scheme, etc. — but the mistakes negated them, and the mistakes were made at the most inopportune times. We can go through the team, player by player, and critique, but we have decent players all round. It’s the mistakes.

    As I’ve declared many times, I don’t know football, but I’ve gotten the impression over the past four games that we have a big “center” problem. If the ball isn’t hiked smoothly, I’m guessing that even milliseconds of adjustment is enough to throw things off (timing, disruption of concentration, etc.) I can’t blame this for everything, but I’m wondering if a continuing center/OB problem isn’t at the bottom of other problems. Wasn’t it three times Ryan had big ball-handling problems in the backfield?

    Reply
  17. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Arno – Like it! Good work. I’ll be coming at you with some mock draft rules down the road. Main thing is to avoid unexpected loop holes and confusion.

    As for the Falcons; I’m staying with my revised prediction for now : 11-5 and a possible wild card. All they got to do is whip Aint’s & Bucs next go around by avoiding turnovers and stupid penalties and split with the Panthers – then win 3 of 5 with outside teams left on their schedule. Eliminate the mistakes and it’s doable.

    Reply
    1. SG

      Before our Q4 rally, I actually thought to myself, “Well at least, I’m not a Lion’ fan”. Caldwell should never have been hired to begin with. And the less than admirable back story on Cooter’s personal escapades can make one wonder if there’s not some wizard in some control tower somewhere who pushes a self destruct button at various times of their seasons over the past 50 yrs or so.

      Reply
  18. Deplane

    I’m no longer expecting anything this season. Two terrible division losses, slop play, no discipline, same mistakes over and over again. Quinn has his work cut out to figure out how to “fix” the issues…which they are obviously not doing. I wonder if Matt likes this offense and if the old Shanahan QB rift is about to rear its ugly head. He just isn’t comfortable…and while drops and bad snaps are at the root of it, his slop play also has turned the ball over all by his lonesome. Preventable and at this stage in his career hard to accept. I’m not buying excuses. This potent offense cannot overcome stupid rookie mistakes. How many times have turned it over in the red zone? I’m afraid to look!

    These division games are huge and they look like the keystone cops out there.

    Reply
  19. Deplane

    Flo, 11-5 seems aggressive after watching this game. If their play continues like this no one will have to try and beat them…they’ll beat themselves.

    I’ll never stop rooting for them….but they are making it really hard on themselves with some of the silly play. Penalties and turnovers can kill a team faster than a lack of personnel IMHO.

    Reply
  20. Grits Blitz

    Based on what I’ve recently seen in the Saints and Bucs losses and the way we’ve played against the Redskins and Titans, I don’t see a single patsy anymore on the schedule. Maybe some more “trap” games, but no patsies. We’re just not good enough right now to overlook ANYONE.
    Still say 8-8 would be a good ride and am going to start right now to remember Cool Hand Luke’s advice and start “getting my mind right, boss”.
    (Yes, I realize it would mean a virtual total collapse in the 2nd 1/2 of the season. With what I saw yesterday, it may have already begun. However, it’s just year one – not panic-mode time – with REAL progress to follow in 2016 and we best have a really good team in place in 2017, or …)

    Speaking of “turnovers”, anybody want to speculate now how much of a turnover DQ will orchestrate by September of 2016 with our present roster?
    (My hopeful prediction will be The Turk will have many earned dents in his ax and the blade will be extremely dull by season’s kickoff, 2016.)

    Reply
    1. Greg Mendel

      Good perspective, Grits. I think we all began the season with anxiety. The early success was a surprise that led to premature, unrealistic optimism. I thought it would take three or four games for the team to gel. They gelled right away, but the gelatin inexplicably began to dissolve.

      I can’t explain it, and can’t propose a “fix,” but as you and others have suggested, I think the reality is that this team is still in a transition that is going to last longer than we first thought. There are lot of holes, but I do think Quinn has brought something fundamentally good and promising to build around. And I think the building and developing is going to be intense (and harsh to some players) at season’s end.

      The disappointment and frustration makes it hard to see, but I think there’s more strength on the team than is missing.

      Reply
      1. Grits Blitz

        GM – Nice “wordsmithing” placing in capsulation of the present State of the Franchise.
        Good things to come take time just like everything worthy takes real effort and not just hopes and fantasies.

        Reply
  21. Arno

    The seventeen point rally wasn’t enjoyable because of the unforced errors that got us there. Oddly, the Bucs played their best ball of the day in OT — methodical drive, pressuring Ryan — showing they were the team with the Finish.

    We lost the Finish, and along with penalties (c’mon Tru!) and turnovers, Quinn has a coaching challenge.

    Mistakes in the learning process are expected. These lack of focus mistakes on the other hand…

    Reply
  22. John Waynesworld

    Great job, Arno!

    After watching yesterday’s debacle I have brought my lofty expectations back to earth. I see an 8-8 or maybe a 9-7 finish with no sniff of the playoffs. The way we are struggling through games against the most pitiful of opponents, down the road as soon as we encounter a decent team we will be dismantled. As for the rest of the season we will lose more than we win and all the losses will be directly attributed to our non-existent pass rush.

    Not underachieving, not struggling…non-existent.

    Reply
  23. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Game Recap: EVEN PATRIOTS COULDN’T OVERCOME THIS
    #1 FOUR TURNOVERS – Falcons // ZERO TURNOVERS – Bucs
    #2 ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY FOUR YARDS IN PENALTIES – GIVING BUCS FIVE 1ST DOWNS

    * STATS Are For Losers:
    * Two Hundred Plus More Yards Possession Time Than Bucs
    * Nine Minutes More Possession Time than Bucs
    * Seven More 1st Downs Despite Giving Bucs Five 1st Downs On Penalties In The Red Zone
    – Observation: Falcons Are A Disaster In The Red Zone – Turnovers – Penalties

    Arno – Seen it time after time. When a team gets way behind early and has to put so much effort into coming back they often give out of gas at the end. That’s what happened in overtime.

    Reply
  24. SG

    Next up, the 49ers:
    Offense: 32nd in Points, 32nd in Total Yards, 31st in Passing Yards, 18th in Rushing. Kap’s been sacked 28 times.
    Defense: 23rd in Points Allowed, 28th in Total Yards allowed, 27th in Passing Yards Allowed, 24th in Rushing Allowed. Recorded 14 sacks, 7INTs

    Reply
  25. The Time is NOW

    Thank you, Arno. Well done!

    Unacceptable. We deserved to lose this game, even though it looked like we had more talent to work with. I am still in no mood to even attempt to look for a silver lining…

    Reply
    1. Grits Blitz

      Ah, the good old days when filling stations had plenty of free IWW – information (& maps), “wind”/air, and water – to offer motorists!
      This bus could use more wind at its rear and more than hot air in that tire! Good one, Arno, and very timely!

      Reply
    1. SG

      I’d seen the video where he was given the game ball but didn’t know the back story. I couldn’t figure out why he was so emotional. Thanks for share.

      Reply
    2. Dewey

      I heard the announcers mention this during the game, only once, and it was almost as an afterthought. I never like it when TV harps on a the misfortunes of others, especially when they go overboard, but I would have thought him playing 2 days after losing his younger brother would have merited some type of attention. Maybe Alexander and/or the Bucs requested that FOX not make a big deal about it. If that’s the case, then I applaud FOX for doing the right thing.

      Reply
  26. Dewey

    Not picking on MR, just an observation.

    Ryan seems to be at his worst when he has time to think, which is weird being that he’s such a cerebral QB. We’ve all witnessed how well he does in hurry up and late 4th quarter drives. Think of all the 2nd half collapses when we tried to slow the pace of the game, eat up some clock. Yes, some of it was “Smittyball”, but how many times did drives stall because we couldn’t complete a 3rd down pass?

    This is not an indictment of Ryan, rather a poke at the coaching staff for not recognizing it. Say what you want about Smitty and Koetter and even Mularkey before, but they ran a lot of hurry up in 1st halves of games and had us in position to win at halftime. Their biggest problem was not keeping the throttle opened in the 2nd halves of games. Slow things down, too much time to let the brain get in the way.

    The fumbled exchange between Ryan and Freeman yesterday was a read option, let Freeman take it or pull it out and throw it. Too much time, too much thinking for Ryan. He tried to pull the ball out too late resulting in the fumble.

    Further proof, our last 3 possessions of the game (not counting OT), Ryan’s stats for each drive…..
    8-8, 5 different receivers, Julio targeted just once, TD
    8-9, 5 different receivers, Julio targeted just once, FG
    4-5, 3 different receivers, Julio targeted twice, TD

    Ryan completed passes to 10 different receivers during the game. He completed passes to 8 different receivers on these 3 drives alone, including 3 (Ward, DiMarco, Weems), where it was their only reception and targets of the day.

    Could we keep up this momentum the entire game? I believe we could, because it’s not like we’re trying to run Chip Kelly’s offense. These drives took 5:50, 7:11 and 1:35(short field, only covered 40 yards and only had 2 minutes to get it done).

    And if fatigue does become a problem, it’s not like you can’t slow it down for 1 series then crank it back up on the next.

    Our defense is far from dominating, but they are good enough to win us some ball games.

    Want to fix the offense, crank it up! Don’t give Matty Ice time to think. Sometimes you can be your own worst enemy.

    Reply
    1. SG

      Solid analysis Dewey. Appreciate the breakdown on the last 3 possessions. My question would be, was Shanny calling all / most of those plays? While I don’t miss Smitty or Welcome Back, I do miss the occasional hurry up. Definitely agree w/ you on the D.

      Reply
  27. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Dewey – In the past, believe it or not, Falcons were accused of scoring to fast thus leaving their “D” on the field to long and wearing them down – resulting in 4th quarter collapses by the defense. Odd reasoning but Smitty / OC caught heat over it in the news media.

    Reply
    1. Dewey

      Their problem wasn’t wearing out our defense, it was pulling in the reigns on our offense. We’d all seen it. We’ve all complained about it. It’s important to finish strong, but it’s also not a bad idea to start strong.

      Reply
  28. Dewey

    Arno,

    Like the new layout. Gonna take some getting used to.
    I had an idea about the mock draft….
    Instead of submitting all 7 rounds at once, why not have just the rounds that are going to be picked the next day?
    For example, 1st round is the 1st night, anyone who wants to, submits their selection for round#1 only before a pre-determined time. The 2nd night is rounds 2&3. Anyone who wants can submit their picks for those rounds by a certain time. Finally, same thing for rounds 4-7. It’s damnnear impossible to predict these things anyway, once trades start happening or the 1st “reach” happens, all common sense gets thrown out the window.

    Just a thought.

    Reply
    1. Arno

      Interesting idea. Could you copy and paste your comment over on the Mock Draft page? That way I can keep track of the suggestions. Thanx.

      Reply
  29. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Deplane – Eliminating at least half the turnovers / penalties is what I think is going to happen soon. That means going from 3 turnovers a game to 1 and from 100 yds a game in penalties to under 50. If they do this they will reach my expectations (11-5) – barring major injuries.

    Current Record: 6-2
    ***************************************
    Predicting Remaining Schedule:
    at 49’ers – “W”
    Bye
    Colts – “W”
    Vikings – “L”
    at Bucs – “W”
    at Panthers – “L”
    at Jaguars – “L”
    Panthers – “W”
    Aint’s – “W”
    *****************************************
    Wild Card? Maybe!

    Reply
    1. Deplane

      Flo… I’m hoping to see the penalties cleaned up. If they can get back to executing the plays without the keystone cop plays there is no doubt they have a chance as potent as the weapons are. Execution has been their problem for many reasons…a combination of errors not just one player. It can be fixed.

      Reply
  30. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Dewey – That would make the mock draft contest a bit easier to predict if that’s what you are after. I’ll have to study the possible consequences before giving my yeah/nay – but it’s an interesting option. There are a few things that were confusing in last years rules that need clarifying. One thing was predicting the correct position in the correct round got points – even if you predict the wrong player. Problem is that many guys play more than one position in college. We definitely can’t get points for predicting what position a guy will play in the NFL since we can’t read the coach’s mind and the guy hasn’t played yet. Long time before the draft. Begins April 28th & ends April 30th of 2016. They should have moved it up to the end of May. Six months til the draft! I think the winner of the Mock Draft should get a T-Shirt or something and maybe a write-up in the AJC. Does D3 have any pull there? The Cage was D3’s idea and the AJC did him wrong in my opinion.

    Reply
  31. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Members of The Cage should all take part in the Mock Draft Contest – none of us are real experts and winning this thing is hit or miss. Like with the lottery, anyone can get lucky. It doesn’t cost anything so you have nothing to lose and it can be fun. I think the most picks ever gotten right on here is two in the proper round? It’s a guessing game – especially past the 1st round. My feeling right now is Quinn’s focusing on improving the pass rush with this draft. That could all change after the free agent vets are signed. My targets for now are #1 Three down DE #2 ILB/OLB #3 OL #4 WR/TE. In the Mock Draft contest you can’t draft who YOU want but must draft who DQ wants.

    Reply
    1. Dewey

      Actually, it’s more fun to draft who YOU want. You won’t win the contest, but it gives you something to b!tch about. For instance….
      In 2014, my first 2 picks were Kahlil Mack, OLB, Buffalo and Jeremiah Attachou, OLB, Georgia Tech. Both are turning into solid players (full disclosure, Mack was gone before we picked, but we could have gotten Attachou).
      2015, my first 2 picks were Bud DuPree, DE, Kentucky and Hau’oli Kikaha, OLB, Washington (full disclosure, we could have had both, each of whom already have 4 sacks this season, total of 8 between them, or as many as our entire team). But we did get Beasley, who can race out of your tv’s picture frame faster than any player I’ve ever seen.

      This allows me to scream, “See!!!! If they’d listened to me we’d have a good pass rush by now!!!!”-b!tching. Fun!

      Reply
  32. SG

    Dewey: Just following up on your 11:06 Post today: You may be interested in DQ’s presser. When asked today about MR2’s Q4 level of focus and execution, the hurry up, etc., DQ acknowledged his enhanced performance but steered away, albeit slightly, from utilizing the hurry up more.

    Reply
    1. Dewey

      Heard that. And to clarify just a bit, I’m not talking about them running the 2 minute for the entire game, but run a lot of no huddle. Get up to the line, get your signals from the sideline, call the play and get going. Heard Quinn allude to that, would be nice if the tried it, especially against a team in such disarray as San Fran.

      Reply
  33. Hamad Meander

    Not able (for time) to read all of the responses from the Tampa Bay game, but I will make this observation – the defense played about as well as we can expect. They held Tampa Bay to 290 yards total, 117 rushing. They were put on the field with not a lot to defend a few times. Our offense was prolific, gaining just under 500 yards. Where is the difference in this game? TURNOVERS. WIth Matt Ryan completing 82% of his passes and another solid running day, there isn’t any reason other than turnovers why we lost this game. TURNOVERS. I’ll say it one more time. No I won’t. You get the message.

    Seems like since the New Orleans game, turnovers have been a real bad problem. You would think with the mini-bye, we would have cleaned things up. Geez, let’s at least get the snap correct. Shame we didn’t still have Hawley.

    Reply
    1. falcon21

      Hamad, our D did have 5 penalties on 3rd down stops that gave Tampa another 4 downs each time. That didn’t help either. It was a team effort in this loss!

      Reply
  34. Dewey

    Broncos get Vernon Davis from Niners.

    “In return for Davis and a 2016 seventh-round pick, the 49ers will get the Broncos’ sixth-round pick in 2016 and 2017, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.”

    We couldn’t have put together something like this???!!!!!
    Dimwitt must go.

    Reply
    1. JB Falcon

      Aren’t we already short two picks for 2016? A lot of posts say we need a center and I ask “Why didn’t we keep Hawley?”

      Reply
    2. Grits Blitz

      Dewey – Are you kidding? And leave Arthur without a huggy bear jto cozy with in that cold sky box? Don’t you know winter’s coming? Part with T.D.?
      (He’s like the son w/o a GM brain A.B. never had!)

      Reply
    1. JB Falcon

      So now, here’s where we end up when we log in. So, go back and change the link you posted for Coops piece and change it to go to one titled OOOPS! We’ll figure out where we were.

      Reply
      1. Arno

        Bummer. I’ll have to rebuild Coop’s post. Should be up shortly. Big apology to all– all comments on Coop’s post are lost. I’d like to blame WordPress for a bug, but it was probably my error– though I have no idea how it happened. You just can’t get good help these days……………………… 😦

        Reply
  35. medallion

    Random Beasley thoughts:
    (1) Just like the small LEO experiment didn’t work in Seattle, it doesn’t seem to be working with Beasley based on some empirical data: (A) snap counts [which also shows what the coaching staff thinks] and (B) insufficient number of sacks, etc for the role of designated pass rusher he primarily plays at this point.
    (2) On the other hand, lots of first year players struggle adapting to the NFL and maybe there is hope for our small LEO experiment.
    (3) On the third hand, if Beasley can learn to cover typical routes by RBs and TEs, then he could maybe do very well at some OLB position – whether SLB or WLB where he could also blitz when starting at a LB spot and move into a small LEO role on obvious passing downs.
    (4) That’s what Seattle did with Irvin who was moved to SLB. Based on current roster (including contracts and injury histories) and Beasley appearing much better rushing from his right to left, my guess is he moves to WLB next year and into small LEO role on obvious passing downs.

    Reply
    1. Grits Blitz

      medallion – Your #3 sums it up for me. Facts and film never lie. (Innovation and willingness to do what works is most appealing to me.)

      Reply

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