FALCONS FALTER DESPITE SHOWING IMPROVEMENT

By John Waynesworld

quinnninng

We are who we thought we were!

(Now we have to figure out if that’s a good thing)

Coming back from our west coast trip the team had some real confidence (even in a loss), only to wet the bed against a bipolar Chargers team. Still, our home loss following a successful road trip was widely and mysteriously excused by pundits as a fluke.

falconzzz

The Falcons did bounce back against an undermanned Green Bay squad and the happiness continued the following week when our guys wiped the field with Tampa Bay Bucs’ jerseys. We were dining with the heavy weights of the NFL rankings, being compared to the greatest show on turf…..whoa Nelly!

julio-too-big-30

Although our team has been acting like a gold plated yo-yo, things are still looking optimistic and as fans we have already thought about the possibility of making the playoffs. The problem is we are confronted by the blinding light of a reality…that without a consistent defense this team will be fortunate to make the playoffs.

julio-drops

The Eagles loss left a not-so-mysterious clue for other teams to follow, of how to beat the supposed best offense in the NFL. It’s pretty straight forward actually, just try to keep Ryan & company on the bench by slow-bleeding our defense. All that takes is to have a DECENT offensive line and a QB who can connect with RBs and receivers in the short passing game…our nagging, never-ending, victory-killing Achilles heel.

falcons-22

Hopefully our D can gel in a hurry and take a winning streak into the playoffs but this defensive roster still lacks a few pieces on every level. Perhaps in the next Draft, the ironic Tom Dimitroff can take credit when Quinn conjures up some more demons for our defense, something he should have been doing for the past several years. They will have to strike gold again in next year’s Draft, as 6 of our 10 LBs will be Free Agents in 2017, not to mention the DL.

In the meantime, our guys get a rest for a while, while watching other teams wear themselves out. Hopefully when the Cardinals show up in 2 weeks they will still be tuckered out from their previous game played at the Vikings. We can hope, right?

What do YOU think?

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717 thoughts on “FALCONS FALTER DESPITE SHOWING IMPROVEMENT

    1. Mike-N-Charlotte

      11-5 would mean they both finish 5-1 in the division, then would go to common games in which the Bucs would be 9-5 in and Atlanta 10-4. Atlanta is still in the drivers seat for the division..

      Reply
      1. Mr B

        The first tie breaker after had to head is division records, we both have one loss, then it is common opponents, so we still control our destiny, but ever so slightly.

        Reply
  1. Wings

    Mark Bradley:

    — it would be hard to pin Sunday’s 29-28 loss on the defense. The Chiefs’ offense last scored with 7:05 remaining in the second quarter, at which point the game was tied at 13. Here were K.C.’s possessions thereafter: Punt, touchdown off fake punt, punt, punt, end of game. The Chiefs had 17 first downs; the Falcons had 32.

    Reply
    1. Grits Blitz

      Good points, Wings!
      My only question…should the final score have been as close as it was or did the Falcons let another team off the hook…again?
      Until this team lives up to its potential with a degree of consistency and mental toughness (to put opponents away), it appears immaturity per coaching decisions/chemistry/ team culture will continue to plague this club. Some may call it “growing pains”; some may call it not “getting over the hump”, not “turning the corner”, or not very bright.
      With the Bucs on a winning streak, they clearly have ALL the momentum now so it appears DQ will have to run the table to even have a chance to win the division. (Bucs should in no way beat the Cowboys. However, if the Boys choose to coast with backups by that game to heal players and ensure playoff-readiness, its a different matter.)

      Reply
      1. Paddy O

        I see it as more growing pains for a semi rookie HC. Once Mathews, Sanu and JJ went out, we should have adjusted our attitude – Quinn and KS failed to do so. Quinn got out coached on that fake punt TD – we were even coming off a time out WE called.

        Reply
    2. Paddy O

      We should have NEVER lost that game – Quinn needs to be a little more judicious on his decision – and, we really need BETTER play design for 4th down and 2 pt play – when you lose your LT and best WR, you may not want to take the risks you originally anticipated taking. This loss is 100% on DQ.

      Reply
      1. Grits Blitz

        Paddy O – You are absolutely right but many are prone to just promoting excuses.
        DQ received the customary pass LAST year for a new HC. This is his team now – all his and willingly shared in lockstep with TD.
        Seeing what I’m seeing (i.e. “it is what it is”) as the game unfolds each week on the MO. RR leads me to conclude there is accountability that can not be escaped – good or bad – and beginning with the HC, primarily, and trickling down from there.
        The next 4 teams played should be “victims” – all sliced, diced, and buried deep. However, would I be surprised if this Jekyll & Hyde team allows these (4) cupcakes ahead to make a real game of it? I would not…not this year.

        Reply
        1. Paddy O

          Falcon teams under Smitty appeared to play to their opposition. This year, the offense is pretty good, and the D is improving. We can’t sacrifice easy points anticipating how the rest of the game will unfold. HC decisions transferred 5 points AWAY from Falcons, and gave away 2 to the Chiefs. BAD game management by the coaching staff. I also do NOT like running Gabriel on deep passing routes – he is not big enough to handle double teams, especially with an all pro S. He should have been used as a feint/distraction. KS just is not that smart.

          Reply
        2. Paddy O

          I am now not very supportive of going for 2 points. EVen if you make it, you only gain a single point. And, the opportunity for a gigantic error which costs you 1 point and gives your opposition 2 points is now very evident.

          Reply
  2. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Despite the loss we have to realize that the Chiefs are one of the best teams in the NFL with one of the best defenses. The Falcons made more mistakes (turnovers) and that was the difference in the game. Eric Berry is a great player and he made plays.

    The schedule ahead is favorable to the Falcons and I don’t see a team they are playing that is better than them. The Bucs have a more difficult road to go – especially with the Cowboys on the road.

    Reply
  3. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Good day for the USA / Humperdink Sunday got sacked 5 times / completed 1 pass for +5 yards in three plus quarters / took a knee in the 4th quarter when he got benched / lost the game
    * Humperdink will be a Free Agent in 2017 – who wants to touch that?

    Reply
  4. Mike-N-Charlotte

    So after throwing a tantrum yesterday that would give any two year old a run for his money…I was able to sit and digest what I witnessed as I watched the Bucs tie us for the division lead.

    For the second week in a row Atlanta’s defense came out sluggish…getting gashed for chunks of yards at a time. However once again they seemed to tighten up. On offense early in the first half we witnessed two drives deep into Chiefs territory. As we have seen very often this year they have either a negative play on first or second down that puts them in a third and long. Two very good drives resulted in FG’s. Late in the first half with the game tied Ryan throws the pick six. I know he will take some heat for that, but when seeing again I came to the conclusion that was great film study by Eric Berry. He read Gabriel’s route and jumped it. I was happy to see Falcons stay aggressive after and not take a knee to run out the half.

    As frustrating as the first half was the second half was more so. Early in the 3rd quarter Falcons call a time out and allow the Chiefs to design a fake punt that caught everybody sleeping. Falcons responded by once again driving deep into KC territory, but this time instead of coming up with 3 they came up with 0. They then went for two after a touchdown in the fourth quarter, which I thought was premature at the time (then I was assuming the Chiefs could go down and kick a FG…So I would preferred to be down by four at that point of the game). By not making it that set Atlanta up where it made sense to go for two, and we all know the result of that. At that point I am hoping the defense can get the ball back, but unfortunately with only one timeout left…all KC needed was a first down to put the game away.

    A few things I took from this game is 1) KC came out and played like they needed this win…Atlanta not so much. 2) Concerns are raised now as far as how Atlanta will respond in close games in the post season (assuming they still make it). 3) Falcons are a team capable of beating anyone…unfortunately I think they may be capable of losing to anyone as well. 4) Andy Reid has a horse show shoved up his A$$. 5) I will say KS for the most part has done a good job of play calling and play design this year…But can’t help but wonder with Gabriel putting the things on film that he has…why not run some action plays off of that (much like Saints used to do with Sproles)? 6) and finally…I can not believe that I will be pulling for the Saints this coming weekend.

    Reply
    1. Paddy O

      I would not run Gabe on crossing patterns, at least deeper ones, except as a deception – he lacks the height and stature to fight for the ball. We played better than KC. It appears our offense makes opposing D’s nervous.

      Reply
    2. Paddy O

      Quinn’s full game philosophy worries me. He knew he had burned 2 timeouts already. Once KC got the ball back, with the lead, it was pretty easy to burn off the remaining time. We also knew we were missing JJ, Sanu and Mathews on that last 2 point try – so, why try it shorthanded?

      Reply
      1. Flo-Ri-Duh

        As I said before, the Falcons shouldn’t have gone for two points in the 3rd – odds of making it slim and to early to give away a point. IF they had made the proper decision they would have been up by 3 with a 1 point kick after the final TD and they wouldn’t have gone for the ill fated 2 point fiasco. That said, going for two in the 4th quarter was not a wrong decision since they needed 3 points to assure a field goal wouldn’t beat them. What was wrong was MR throwing in to double coverage when the guy wasn’t open. He was under duress and should have just thrown the ball out of the end zone or in to the ground.

        Reply
        1. Paddy O

          Especially since we had decided a run was out of the question. The key tactical error to me was NOT taking the easy FG when we went for it on 4th down in the first half.

          Reply
  5. Paddy O

    Wow – this loss was 100% on the HC. He left 5 points on the field with bad tactical decisions. Why go for it on 4th down when IN field goal range? Then add in 2 points loss going for 2, plus the 2 points we coughed up TO KC, and there is the loss.

    This is another game we should NOT have lost. Over all, both sides played well.

    That fake on the punt was pretty embarrassing, considering we were coming out of a time out. Andy Reid owns us.

    The KC defense appears to be a serious cheap shot unit – they were chronically grabbing guys facemasks, and no calls.

    VERY bad officiating game.

    Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      I thought he should have gone ffor the field goal also but everyone wants DQ to stay aggressive and if he had made the field goal and still lost the game you would be saying he was to passive – right? Bottom line is the offense did not execute properly on several occassions. DQ called an agressive game plan but they did not properly execute it on the field.

      Reply
    2. Gman

      OK I’m going to choose to look thru rose colored glasses. Very disappointed that we lost, especially how we lost. That was a game we definitely should have won. Overall I thought we played well but obviously a handful of mistakes lost it for us.

      Now for the roses. These guys are SUPER fun to watch, we are in EVERY game including with the good teams. Instead of being mediocre, as we were last year, losing bad to good teams and being in the game with bad teams, we’re actually a good team this year. And MANY of our starters are first and second year players. We are AGGRESSIVE like I haven’t seen before and I LOVE that! We aren’t waiting for the game to come to us as we did in the Smitty area, we are going after it. And as long as our coaches expect our players to be that aggressive, then their play calling has to be the same. I love the calls on 4th down. We didn’t execute them as well as we should have but BRING IT ON! We aren’t scared of anyone. And we are fun to watch. What more can we ask for. We have made HUGE improvements over last year and I expect with the new team comradeie (sp) we now have, next year will be even better.

      Remember it took Carrol 3 years and we are on the cusp.

      Now having said that, if we lose more than 1 of the last 4, I may have to eat these words. Until then FREAKIN RISE UP!

      Reply
      1. Paddy O

        we are competitive. But it is not just bad breaks, it decisions with bad outcomes. If that continues, then you start to question the HC’s judgment.

        Reply
  6. Mr B

    We were out coached, it is that simple. The Pick 6, and the fake put were just flat out good film study. I believe they went for it on 4th down because they were influenced by KC’s fake punt. I have to say I supported them going for it, but I was also 4 Miller Lites in, and sitting on my couch….. We were out-prepared, out-strategized, and out-coached on the field.

    We can’t pin in it on the Defense, but I got the feeling if they needed to score, they would have.

    Adding to the humiliation, they dropped a sure TD pass (was that Collins 10 yards behind?), and dropped a Red Zone interception. The fact is, it is December, and we have not learned a GD thing. And Oh yea, I see Joe Flacco lighting it up, so it must really be December. It is time to break out the bags?

    Reply
    1. Paddy O

      I really want Campbell to be the middle line backer, if I understand LB responsibilities – Campbell is excellent stuffing the run, not very good (slow) in pass coverage. I’d really like to see Ishmael as our 3rd LB.

      Reply
      1. Mr B

        The MO when we drafted him was that is he is not intuitive and a little raw, but I saw him flashing around yesterday. Maybe a switch between him and Jones is in the cards, a 220 MLB is certainly not ideal. I thought Ishael looked good when he played, but I suspect that would give us the smallest LB core in the NFL, which would rear it ugly head as the worst possible time, I am pretty sure.

        Reply
        1. Paddy O

          which necessitates us having at least 2 big butt DT’s. Or, very quick and hard hitting S’s. Neal again whiffed big time on a key tackle. He plays hot and cold.

          Reply
      2. Flo-Ri-Duh

        Campbell was drafted for his coverage skills – still learning. He made a couple of really nice coverages and missed on others. Kelce (TE) is an All-Pro level tight end. Ideal would be to move Campbell to Sam LB, Deion Jones to Will and draft an ILB.

        Reply
        1. Paddy O

          no way with the girth that Campbell has that he can generate the speed and instant quickness needed to cover RB’s. He might do OK on lumbering TE’s. The missed pass in the 2nd half with the wide open WR -was not Campbell chasing him too? Do you consider Campbell fast/quick? Deon appears to be.

          Reply
          1. medallion

            I am in a strange position of agreeing some, disagreeing some, having random thoughts, and more.
            Maybe that’s not strange for me – o.k. – not at all strange.
            Campbell might or might not work out as a LB because there are things he doesn’t seem to yet process quickly, but he’s just a 4th round pick in his first year and playing a lot more snaps than many (perhaps most) 4th round picks.
            In theory, however, he has the height, weight, agility, and speed to cover premier TEs in man coverage if man coverage is called for the defense. Covering premier TEs seems like another key piece for a championship defense – whether Campbell can do that down the road remains to be seen.
            Covering a speedy, shifty RB isn’t, IMO, quite the same as covering a TE – most of the time anyway – because most of the time any such RB starts in the backfield and, as a result, the RB will take longer to end up in any pass pattern (taking time) and that time will, in turn, mean there should be more defensive players involved in defending all such speedy, shifty RBs.
            There seem to be very few LBs that can individually cover one-on-one speedy, shifty RBs. It seems mostly a team approach for dealing with those speedy, shifty RBs.

          2. Paddy O

            my question: Who do you consider quicker? My choice is Deon, and however the D is schemed, Deon needs to pursue RB’s, Campbell TE’s.

  7. Hamad Meander

    Matt Ryan is Eric Berry’s bitch. That’s the only intelligent thing I have to say after losing the game in such an unimaginable way. I hope this doesn’t hurt us as bad as it should. Again, our offense FAILED ( one pick 6, one pick 2) when our defense stepped up and held the opponent to 13 legitimate points. I think it hurts worse getting beat by former Georgia State and Tennessee players.

    Reply
    1. Mr B

      Even though he is a VOL, he is a hometown kid who anyone who read the HS section of the AJC watched grow up. He overcame adversity that goes beyond anything you will face on the FB field, and carried himself well, he was obviously raised right. I have a hard time working up any hate for the guy, I tip my hat in admiration. If we don’t completely dismantle the niners next week…..

      Reply
      1. Hamad Meander

        I respect Eric Berry as a person. I hate what he did to us on Sunday. Single-handedly beat our $73,270,317.00 offense.

        Reply
  8. John Waynesworld

    I am not so “big picture” forgiving. That game left a stain on me – another one of many – living in this sports purgatory.

    Grades…
    Ryan = F for his WTF moments
    Quinn = F for looking like a fool
    Our DC who said Kelce needs their full attention = F
    Kick Off Return Defense = F
    And, because our D still sucks and we have to wait another 2 years for Quinn’s new draft picks to develop…Dimitroff = F-

    Reply
  9. Coop

    I agree that the D played well. In the second half. But did anyone ever fell like we would shut them out the second half? I support the 2 point conversion attempts and the 4th and 1 call. None of them worked. But I always felt as though we needed to keep scoring. On the last TD. Kicking would have done nothing. With 4:38 to go, is anyone confident we could have kept them out of FG range? Maybe so, but I wasn’t. Especially with it being 4 down territory from then on. No, you have to try to make it a 3 point game and hold them to 3 for OT.

    Not taking the 3 on 4th and 1 turned out to be bad. Going for the 1st 2 point looks bad now. but I support those calls. We didn’t execute. No doubt. The fake punt was just unreal. Bad luck? Poor coaching? I don’t know. But I agree that it probably forced Quinn to continue being aggressive. In the end, they went for it on 4th and got it. They went for a fake punt and got it. We didn’t get our gambles. I won’t hang my head. The bounces didn’t go our way.

    As for officiating. Terrible. At least 3 facemasks. And Freeman clearly held or interfered with on the 4th and 1.

    Reply
    1. Mr B

      IDK man, I admire your pragmatism and restraint. We are now the first team in NFL history to lose a game on a go ahead TD. We are etched in NFL history, that reply will be run for eternity. It was destiny….Sure, take the 3, we probably miss, kick the extra point, probably gets blocked and returned, it just is….I just feel its all pointless.

      Reply
    2. Paddy O

      the 2 pointers are OK – but the play call on the 4th down attempt was lousy – those are really the 3 points that killed us.. At that time, we had 3 straight poor throws to RB’s. Hardy would be preferred. WE are again failing to stretch the field by running JJ and Gabriel deep. KS theme seems to be “only 1 guy can catch today”.

      Reply
  10. Arno

    Third and short in the red zone and we pass. Always. Getting way too predictable. After such a stupid loss, that is the one main gripe that lingers in my mind.

    Reply
  11. waynesworldreview

    I view this as a TOTAL TEAM loss.
    Coaching QB Offense Defense Special Teams Waterboy Medical staff—-EVERYBODY had a hand in losing this one!
    Yet another game that we should have won handily but blew….
    The injuries are catching up to us after an amazingly healthy season and we’re obviously unprepared to cope. The “next man up” ain’t ready for prime-time. Now we have to win out just to take the division (not that we shouldn’t win out anyway) now it’s do or die when we should be right up there with Dallas KC OAK and NE in a comfortable enough position that we could rest some guys that need to get healthy for a playoff run.
    Everybody (including us fans) need to take a long hard look in the mirror and tell that guy to get his mind right and man the !@#$ UP!!!!

    Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      YEP – Bucs will probably be playing a Cowboy’s team substituting liberally to heal up and rest up their starters as theywill have their division locked up by the time they face the Bucs.

      Reply
      1. Mike-N-Charlotte

        We need the Giants to beat the Cowboys this weekend….or Seattle win vs. Green Bay so Cowboys will need one more win to wrap up home field. I hope that the Tampa Dallas game does mean something to Dallas.

        Reply
        1. Grits Blitz

          M-N-C … Your point is well noted and help would always be welcomed, but there is a problem now that should’ve never been part of the equation.
          Atlanta needs to start taking care of its own business and focus on cleaning up its own act (if they can). Any other delays or stumbling
          and bumbling now and its …. wait until next year…again.

          Reply
  12. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Jake Matthews (OT) – sprained knee
    Mohamed Sanu (WR) – groin injury
    * I’ve been more concerned about injuries coming out of the Chiefs game than a loss and the injuries are piling up. The remaining schedule should be managable but our talent level has fallen off due to injuries.

    Reply
  13. Greg Mendel

    I’ve read the comments, and I’m still trying to figure out how our defense is so good and our offense so bad. If my math is correct (which is certainly possible), opponents have scored 334 points against us. Our offense has scored 720 points against them. That’s for the season so far, and a big differential. Our offense has scored 30+ points per game, most games, and when it did, we won. In other words — in my uninformed opinion — the more points the offense scores, the better our defense is.

    The last game, against KC, can be sliced and diced, but it doesn’t reflect the WHOLE season to date. Did anybody else see our defense stop Ware? No. Because our defense couldn’t stop Ware. Did anybody see their mediocre QB miss pass after pass? No. Because he completed pass after pass — because we have NO pass rush.

    All I can figure is that our defense will improve when our offense scores 50+ points per game.

    Reply
  14. JB Falcon

    Does anyone remember a game last year, I think, when a player make a very long run toward our goal line and again, I think, it was Roddy White who started a 70 yard chase, from the opposite side of the field, to run him down and save a score?
    Anyway, I’m curious as to why the Falcons just stood around when KC was racing 99 yards for the winning 2 pts. Maybe that fire is what’s missing this year?

    Reply
  15. Mike-N-Charlotte

    Looking at the current playoff picture remaining games-
    Atl- SF, @Car, NO- at worse should be 2-1 in this stretch. 3-0 would be ideal; would love to go into the playoffs w/ a winning streak.
    TB- @ Dall, @ NO, Car- NY Giants did Atl a favor by beating Dallas. Dallas still has not secured the division, so TB is now a must win. I look for Elliot to have a big night next Sunday. As Carolina found out last year, beating a team 2 out of 3 weeks is not easy. I look for New Orleans to rebound vs. Tampa.

    Outside the division-
    Detroit currently #2 seed. This will not likely hold up. Detroit finishes with games on the road vs. NY and Dallas, then finish at home vs. Green Bay.
    Seattle #3 seed. Seattle should win out. They have two games at home vs. LA Rams and Arizona, then their lone road game vs. San Fran.
    NY Giants- Giants should definitely secure a wild card birth now. Their remaining schedule is not easy. They are at home vs. Detroit, then on the road vs. Philly and Wash. I look for them to win at least 1 of their remaining match-ups.

    Outside looking in-
    Wash- Wash is at home vs Carolina, road vs. Chicago, and home vs. NY Giants. They should win 2 out of their last 3.
    Minn- The 2016 version of Atlanta’s 2015 season. Games left vs. Indy, @GB, and vs Chicago. I see Minn losing @ GB, but winning their two home games.
    GB-@Chi, Minn, @ Detroit. Much like I felt in 2010, this is not a team I want to see in the playoffs. Rodgers is on fire right now. I fully expect GB to win the next two. Hopefully they will slip up vs. Detroit.

    Prediction- Dallas locks up #1 seed with wins vs. Tampa and Detroit…before dropping a meaningless last game to Philly.
    Seattle wins out to get #2 seed.
    Atlanta wins 2 out of last 3 and locks up #3 seed
    Green Bay wins last 3 games to secure division and #4 seed
    NY Giants go 2-1 over last 3 games and finish #5 seed go to Green Bay.
    Wash wins last 3 and goes to Atlanta

    Detroit loses last 3 games, Tampa 2 out of last 3 and Minnesota loses 1 to all finish 9-7.

    Reply

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