Formula Runs Out Against the Bucs

by Anthony Cooper

The Football gods are not to be trifled with. The Falcons have been living on borrowed time all season. Squeaking out come-from-behind and narrow victories in 5 of their 6 wins. They showed in New Orleans that they can be beaten if they don’t put it all together. Today, in their own house, they tried to go back to the formula that won them 4 of their six wins… sloppy ball early, only to come back for the win. But the gods are not loyal to the Football unrighteous. They were out of magic or patience for our birds.


FalcBucs_1I think it is safe to say that the best 4 players on the team are Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, and Desomnd Trufant. In the first half, they ALL stunk. Matt and Devonta couldn’t hold on to the ball at the snap or handoff. Matt threw the WORST pick I have ever seen him toss (triple coverage to a TE!!!!), and Julio got stripped during YAC. When have you ever dreamed the beast himself would have the ball ripped from his arms? The entire half was one disappointing drive after another. All 20 of the Bucs points came off our turnovers.

As for Trufant… wow… just wow. He had back-to-back pass interference calls for big gains and was actually getting picked on quite a bit until he left with injury. Perhaps someone got complacent since he hadn’t been tested.

The Game in a Nutshell:

FalcBucs_2The birds had little trouble moving the ball, they just simply couldn’t hold on to it. The D did fairly well, but given several short fields and no momentum, they could only do so much. I did notice two neutral zone infractions. I scream for that every week and never hear it called. Of course it is called on us twice in one game. Once to keep a drive alive…

I also noticed toward the end of the game we had all kinds of trouble getting the right personnel on the field. I don’t know how we didn’t get a too many men on the field penalty. Following Beasley’s bonehead play last week, you would think we would have solved this simple task. Frankly, this is one area that worried me more than anything. We are a young and building team, but it is week 8 for cryin’ out loud.

Playing With Fire:

FalcBucs_3As for the Football gods, I thought they were going to favor us after Lovie Smith went for it on 4th down in his own territory. Don’t anger the gods! We drove straight down and tied the game. As we scored, I screamed “GO FOR 2”! I just had a bad feeling. We have putzed around with the ball all day and didn’t deserve to win. The gods were angry with Lovie. I bet we would have made the 2 points. Anyway, after time to calm down, the gods remembered how much we “hated hanging onto the ball” and Tampa got the win.


FalcBucs_4All in all, a right pathetic performance. You could take solace in the fight during the comeback… but then you’d probably say Mark Richt shouldn’t be fired. Look, there’s no nice way to put it… this was the team I wrote about at the beginning of the season. At the end of the day, they just lose. They don’t have the heart, the will, or the talent to win close games. And make no mistake… this was against a BAD Tampa Bay team we should have beaten 35-0. Don’t lie to yourself. Don’t be a UGA apologist or wallow in some Smitty lovefest. The only reason we aren’t 8-0 is because of us.

Dan Quinn deserves high praise. But today’s loss was inexcusable. Like Smitty, we are starting to see the same errors over and over. It would seem the OC/QB snap exchange is a pretty important part of the play. We need to get it fixed. The team has talent. They have the ability. Where has the will and belief gone?

Sins of the GM:

FalcBucs_5Finally… at the end of the day… in a close game during OT… the Football gods exacted their fee for our sins. In the end, our DL couldn’t stop the Bucs or get to Winston… and our OL failed Matt on 4th and the game. Thomas Dimitroff… the devil has come calling for your soul.

Your Thoughts:

FalcBucs_61. Is Dan Quinn a one-trick pony who ran out of gas in 7 games?

2. Why do the Falcons keep losing to rookie QBs? Seriously!?!? Like 15 years now!

3. What happened to Trufant today?

4. How about Hardy’s first catch?

5. Why don’t we rush more than 4? Does Quinn owe Smitty money?

6. Who is worse? Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, or Drew Brees? Who do you hate most?

7. What is your revised final record prediction now?

337 thoughts on “Formula Runs Out Against the Bucs

  1. Flo-Ri-Duh

    JB – Shouldn’t they be blocking for him? When you don’t block you get fewer holding penalties. That’s the plan this week.

  2. Wabe

    Does anybody outside of Julio Jones have routes to run in this scheme?

    Seems like every play is Julio or check down.

  3. Wabe

    And if this team loses in back to back weeks to a rookie QB led TB and then a Blaine Gabbert led 49ers, what do you guys make of it?

    Quinn/Shanahan going to have some explaining to do.

  4. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Wheeler hit him high, not a direct head shot but high – a penalty every time. Good thing 49’ers can’t catch the ball – 5 drops for sure already. Keep Humperdink in the pocket.

  5. Flo-Ri-Duh

    What do i make of so many balls going to JJ – even when he’s triple covered? Simple – he’s about all they’ve got. No RW (not really), no T Gonzales (or anywhere near him), Hankerson is out injured, no Harry Douglas…. nothing.

  6. JB Falcon

    Don’t worry, we’re going to make a fourth quarter comeback like always. The question is, when are we going to start?

  7. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Silver lining – not much but special teams have been decent. Hh, I’m grasping for straws here – staying positive.

  8. Flo-Ri-Duh

    No way he got that 1st down…. good challenge but they’re playing on 49’ers field and the “color” commentator is definitely sucking up to the 49’ers. He’s made very call for the 49’ers and been wrong half the time. Can’t stand a suck up.

  9. gman

    How do we go from a 36 pts per game avg to 16 per game avg? Did everyone learn our scheme that quickly? What happened to all of the creative play calling?

  10. Flo-Ri-Duh

    gman – They learned to double team JJ every down and play 8 on the line to stop the run. MR needs another go to target that can get down field.

  11. Wabe

    You guys can blame Matt Ryan zeroing in on Julio Jones and assume he has no other options or that it’s on Ryan. Or, you can consider that this scheme doesn’t fit what he can do. Ryan is at his best when you spread the defense out and give him the freedom to pick the defense apart at the line. People can keep blaming Ryan zeroing in on Julio. But, I think there’s something more there in the design of the scheme. Ryan didn’t just become dumb and forget how to play football. It’s possible the design of the offense doesn’t seem to have too many options outside of Julio Jones and check downs.

    1. Paddy O

      the offense moves STILL when they are in the hurry up. Again – just like the last 2 idiot OC’s – why not do it from the start? Shanahan has the same problem his dad has – gigantic ego. I’d fire him right now. Our route trees are worthless.

  12. falcon21

    I disagree with this call, we can’t put pressure on a QB and need a quick stop. 2 or 3 yds. from taking the lead. I’m lost on this one!

    1. Paddy O

      you don’t need more than one; but, if you keep your downfield guy relegated to sub 20 yards, you’ve pretty much neutered him. Shan has been crap the last 4 weeks.

  13. Wabe

    Go ahead and blame the players.

    I’ll remain “deaf, dumb, and blind” and refuse to give these coaches a pass.

    Quinn/Shanahan are going to lose this team if this keeps up.

    1. Paddy O

      Quinn made serious error at the end of the game. Shanahan has the players – might be weak on the O line – stupid Toilolo had a face mask call. Shan just is not really good.

  14. Wabe

    Franchise QB regressing.
    Offense has plateaued.
    Shanahan system does not suit Ryan.
    You guys can keep giving them passes, but this team just lost back to back games.

    One to a rookie led TB team.

    And they just lost to Blaine Gabbert’s Niners with no RB’s, no TE’s, down their primary receiver. This Niners team was in turmoil.

    Dan Quinn gets no pass. Shanahan gets no pass. This team is trending down, not up, in Dan Quinn’s first season.

    1. JB Falcon

      Wabe, welcome to my team. So far, you, Wings, and myself are the only ones on the team but I’m sure others will follow. There is no other option. We know this team is better than what it has been playing and the idiots running it are coaching like they are playing Madden fantasy. If they would quit imposing and demanding that we play to their fantasy scheme we could get back to winning. The door is open and if anyone would like to dispute my reasoning, please, come in.

  15. gman

    Wabe – I’m going to have to agree HOWEVER the defense is playing well enough to win. The offense absolutely sucks.

    1. falcon21

      What defense are you watching? Is that 44 running 10 yards past QB or the others that are stuck at the line of scrimmage watching the RB or QB run by them?

      1. gman

        I didn’t say they were playing great I said they are playing well enough to win. They’re not giving up a crap load of points but the offense CAN’T Score.

        1. Paddy O

          I agree. and, we still have QB pressure. Somebody needs to come up with some stunts. But, NONE of our LB’s are even remotely fast.

  16. Mike In Minnesota

    Sounds like we had pretty good field position all day thanks to special teams ( Weems )…defense kept the 49er’s below 20 points ( from a QB that hadn’t played in 2 years )…Our offense scored one touchdown…and most 1st down plays were catches for 1 yard and no YAC or running plays that leave us 2nd and long and then 3rd and long…Too bad Quinn couldn’t trust Shanahan to come up with a play that would score…Cannot believe they kicked the field goal…cannot believe Gabbert rushed for more yards than Freeman !!!

  17. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Silver lining? We’ll get a higher draft choice now. Silver lining? They made their field goals. Silver lining? No turnovers. Silver lining? Cut the penalties in half? Dark lining? Do I have all day to answer that one?… Bottom line: Talent Challenged at Pass Rusher leads to a deficient pass defense. Talent challenged at Pass Receiver leads to a deficient pass offense…. especially when the OL pass blocking on the right side is inconsistent (being kind here). Do I like this scheme? Answer me this- what scheme works with one threat at WR/TE 10 yds past the line of scrimmage, two decent OL and three below average?

  18. Greg Mendel

    The result was exactly what I expected. SF watched the film and shut down Freeman. No running game and no pass rush = defeat.

  19. Chop Buster

    Lower your expectations. This team is mostly the same Smitty and Dimwitty players. Coaching is becoming very questionable.

  20. SG

    Sorry, not buying any silver lining BS – today or tomorrow.
    Never expected a Lombardi this year but should’ve been a win by a properly prepped team.

  21. Flo-Ri-Duh

    From 5-0 to 6-3…. close wins/close losses…. means Falcons are (overall) average among the teams they have played so far. Bye week with so many injuries is more than needed.
    Remaining Schedule:
    Colts [home]
    Vikings [home]
    Bucs [road]
    Panthers [road]
    Jaguars [road]
    Panthers [home]
    Aint’s [home]

    Two awful offenses. Falcons won second half 3-0. I would have gone for it on 4th down also but run game was non existent today – so what would you call knowing JJ will be double teamed? Move Tevin Coleman (RB) in at RB, move Devante Freeman out at WR on the right side. Two WR’s on the left side. I’m rolling MR out with a run pass option to his right. Send Toyboy over there on fade route in end zone let him jump for it if open…. if not, MR has the option to run or drop it off to Freeman.

  22. Wabe

    Again, nobody’s arguing the Falcons need more talent. Nobody was expecting a Lombardi this year. But let’s put this thing into perspective. Nobody can argue the talent argument right now. We just suffered two pitiful and bad losses in back to back weeks. We lost to a rookie QB led Bucs team at home last week, and we followed that bad performance up with a terrible inexcusable loss to a Blaine Gabbert led 49ers team.

    Talent argument does not work here. There are no silver linings. This team is not just losing because we don’t rush the passer well. This coaching staff has had 6 weeks to identify the problems that are resulting in the lackluster play since the Washington game, and they’ve yet to identify and address it. You would’ve thought after a bad loss in NOLA with 10 days of time until the Titans game that they could’ve gotten it addressed. But what have we seen. We’ve seen 3 more weeks of piss poor football with 2 bad losses in a row.

    The inability of the coaching staff to get this figured out swiftly and corrected is a major cause for concern and a legitimate reason to question their abilities.


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