I was looking at the scoring performances on the sides of the ball trying to figure out what the heck happend and if the defense or offense is really to blame for the second half failure.
Offense 1st Half: 31.75 PPG
Defense 1st Half: 17.87 PPG
I would also note that in games that Ed Hartwell played (through the NE game) Atlanta gave up 17.6 PPG so Ed through the first half didn't seem to have a major impact to the bottom line.
Offense 2nd Half: 20.37 PPG
Defense 2nd Half: 24.75 PPG
Talk about a switch! However the offense had the greatest fall in points production a whopping 11.38 PPG versus the defense extra 6.88 PPG allowed. Another interesting thing to observe is Warrick Dunn's first and second half.
Warrick Dunn 1st Half: 102.5 YPG
Warrick Dunn 2nd Half: 73.3 YPG
That is a MASSIVE drop in production between two halves. I wonder if Dunn or the offensive line or both where losing steam by the second half? Not only that Dunn had four games over 100 yards rushing verses just one in the second half (Dunn came no where near 100 yards rushing beside the lone second half 100 yard game).
Then look at Vick's production... His passing yardage increases as the second half wears on. It could be the result of playing behind so much in the second half but look at this comparison (the same could be said for Dunn's sharp production drop).
Michael Vick 1st Half: 135 YPG
Michael Vick 2nd Half: 182 YPG
That is a huge shift from running to passing as the season wore on. Clearly something broke down during the course of the season. I wonder if conditioning is becoming an issue in the later stages of the season. This is a high octane offense and defense that requires a lot of shuffling during the course of the season. Perhaps it is taking it's toll.
Side note: Finneran & Crumpler are by far still Vick's favorite targets. Finneran was the top receiver in 5 games and Crumpler 7 times. Jenkins & R. White managed that spot only two times each.
check to see if this coincides with the infamous Vick interview where he states that he virtually was going to stop running so much and stay in the pocket more to silence his critics, then as he threw for 300+ yards in the next loss whined "see? I can do it, so don't ask me that no more." To me, that is where the season ended for the falcs, when Vick started to put so much emphasis in what was written about him in the papers and what the idiots on espn were saying. Here's my message to MV,"LOOK AT KORDELL STEWART! SAME HYPE COMING OUT OF COLLEGE AND HIS FIRST COUPLE OF YEARS. LEARN!"