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.
I 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:
The 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:
As 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.
All 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:
Finally… 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.
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?