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 Post subject: Re: Moneyball Rules
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:18 pm 
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Week 10 Review vs Saints:

http://falcfans.com/moneyball-2012-week-10-review-6655

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 Post subject: Re: Moneyball Rules
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:15 am 
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Week 11 Review vs. Cards:

http://falcfans.com/moneyball-2012-week-11-review-6684

Week 12 Review vs. Bucs:

http://falcfans.com/moneyball-2012-week-12-review-6702

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 Post subject: Re: Moneyball Rules
PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2012 12:39 pm 
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Week 13 Review vs. Saints:

http://falcfans.com/moneyball-2012-week-13-review-6717

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 Post subject: Re: Moneyball Rules
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:12 pm 
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Week 14 Review vs. Panthers:

http://falcfans.com/moneyball-2012-week-14-review-6734

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 Post subject: Re: Moneyball Rules
PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:40 pm 
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Week 15 Review vs. Giants

http://falcfans.com/moneyball-2012-week-15-review-6760

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 Post subject: Re: Moneyball Rules
PostPosted: Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:14 pm 
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Week 16 Review vs. Lions:

http://falcfans.com/moneyball-2012-week-16-review-6781

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 Post subject: Re: Moneyball Rules
PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2013 1:57 pm 
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Week 17 Review vs. Bucs:

http://falcfans.com/moneyball-2012-week-17-review-6849

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 Post subject: Re: Moneyball Rules
PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:18 pm 
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Week 19 Review vs. Seahawks


http://falcfans.com/moneyball-2012-week-19-review-6936

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 Post subject: Re: Moneyball Rules
PostPosted: Fri Jan 25, 2013 12:21 am 
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Week 20 Review vs. 49ers:

http://falcfans.com/moneyball-2012-week-20-review-6988

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 Post subject: Re: Moneyball Rules
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:28 pm 
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http://falcfans.com/moneyball-2013-week-1-review-8973

Moneyball 2013 – Week 1 Review
September 11th, 2013Aaron FreemanLeave a commentGo to comments
This was your classic Falcons-Saints game where the Saints proved victorious. The Falcons had numerous opportunities to steal the win, but they didn’t take advantage of enough of them.

The Falcons couldn’t move the ball against the Saints as the game progressed mainly because of their woes in pass protection. From my count, the Falcons gave up pressures or hurries on 8 of their 12 third/fourth down attempts, which shows you why it is not surprising that they only converted 3 of them. Thus why most of their drives after the first quarter were stalled.

Lamar Holmes had a really bad game. And the only reason his earnings aren’t lower than they are, is because I don’t subtract points for pressures and hurries given up. I probably should, but I don’t because otherwise our offensive linemen would be in the negative almost every week. Cameron Jordan just worked over Holmes, as I counted 3 hurries and 2 pressures from Jordan alone when working against Holmes. The one time it wasn’t Jordan that beat Holmes on a pressure, it came off a stunt from Tyrunn Walker, where Holmes couldn’t get outside quick enough after releasing Jordan inside to Reynolds.

Sam Baker also had one of his weaker games. I did notice early in the game (maybe the second series?) Baker got his leg rolled up from behind and was slow to get up. Did the affect him the rest of the game? Perhaps, and it’s interesting that he sat out Wednesday’s practice with a knee ailment.


Maybe that is an excuse for his shoddy play. Twice Baker got beat when the Falcons were inside the 5-yard line. The first time came in the 1st quarter, when Galette beat him on 3rd down forcing Ryan to throw it away and the team to settle for a field goal instead of scoring a touchdown. The second time came when he gave up a hurry to Curtis Lofton at the end of the game on Ryan’s lob to Gonzalez. I only considered it a hurry rather than pressure because Ryan did seem to hold onto the ball a bit too long waiting for Gonzalez to get open.

Speaking of Ryan, I thought he had a good game. But at the very end on the last two plays where first Steven Jackson and then Gonzalez couldn’t reel in the game-winning touchdown, he seemed to lock on both guys early on. Jackson definitely should have caught his pass. Gonzalez should have too, given that he is the G.O.A.T., but at least in his case he has the excuse that Kenny Vaccaro tipped it just before it hit his hands. Given that Ryan was running for his life most of the game, he probably deserves MVP honors for the game.

The running game was mostly non-effective. Not due to Jackson, who on several plays made something out of nothing. But the Falcons couldn’t consistently create push and open holes. They might want to mix in some more stretch plays, as it seemed that early on some of their early success occurred when guys were blocking on the move.

Roddy White clearly was not fully healthy and was a decoy for most of the game. Harry Douglas stepped up and filled in ably. Jones played well, the only negative being that fumble he had which was one of several plays that really turned the Falcons’ fortunes. The holding call on Baker that negated a 3rd down conversion to Douglas at midfield was another killer.

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLK
ST
PEN
TOTALS
Matt Ryan $15 $2 $0 $0 $0 -$1 $16.00
Steven Jackson $0 $7 $3 $0 $0 $0 $10.00
Harry Douglas $0 $0 $6 $0 $0 $0 $6.00
Tony Gonzalez $0 $0 $5 $0 $0 $0 $5.00
Julio Jones $0 $0 $5 $0 $0 -$2 $3.00
Bradie Ewing $0 $0 $2 $1 $0 $0 $3.00
Garrett Reynolds $0 $0 $0 $2 $0 $0 $2.00
Antone Smith $0 $0 $0 $0 $2 $0 $2.00
Justin Blalock $0 $0 $0 $1 $0 $0 $1.00
Levine Toilolo $0 $0 $0 $1 $0 $0 $1.00
Roddy White $0 $0 $1 $0 $0 $0 $1.00
Peter Konz $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0.00
Lamar Holmes $0 $0 $0 -$1 $0 $0 -$1.00
Sam Baker $0 $0 $0 -$1 $0 -$1 -$2.00
Defensively, despite giving up a ton of yardage, I thought the defense played well. They were stout in the redzone and bottled up the Saints’ rushing attack for the most part. Corey Peters was outstanding in that capacity with a team-leading 3 stops, and Jonathan Babineaux was also a major contributor there. Babineaux’s earning doesn’t properly indicate his level of play, as there were several plays where he knifed into the backfield, disrupting several plays that other players eventually took credit for making the actual tackle/stop. The pair of them would probably be my Co-MVPs for the defense this week. Akeem Dent was much improved against the run, as you could see him reacting rather than thinking. He did a good job and reminded me a lot of Curtis Lofton on his better days in that capacity.

The pass rush was a little lackluster, certainly more than it seemed live. The Falcons only pressured/hit/sacked Brees on 3 of his 37 dropbacks, as Babs’ pressure came on the Peters sack, and one of Osi’s hits was on Jerry’s sack. My general rule of thumb is that an average pass rush should be able to pressure/hit/sack the QB on one in seven dropbacks (roughly 15%). So in essence on Sunday, the Falcons were only half as effective as an average pass rush should be. That needs to pick up in the coming weeks.

Dent got beat a couple of times in coverage, but I don’t really fault him on blown coverages given up to Darren Sproles (who also beat Moore twice and Spoon once for much bigger plays) and Marques Colston on the touchdown. Dent was actually in pretty good position, but Brees threw a pass that only Colston could catch (remember he did have to lay out for it). But it does appear that he has definitely made strides since last year, where he was consistently in my doghouse.

I thought the rookie corners played well above expectations. Alford had a pair of nice breakups, including an interception. Although both plays as well as McClain’s breakup came on underthrown/inaccurate throws from Brees. Brees definitely looked a bit off considering his normal standard for pinpoint accuracy. There were a lot more poor throws on his part in this game than what you normally come to expect, especially at home. I’ve heard some discussion about whether Brees is losing it, and initially I was very dismissive of that. But if you just watch his last two performances against the Falcons, you could argue that he isn’t quite the same. Although to be fair, that’s only two games, and a “down” Brees is still better than at least 25 of the starters elsewhere in the NFL. Trufant was solid although nothing special. His play sort of embodied the bend but don’t break style of the overall defense.

In terms of missed opportunities, William Moore’s dropped interception was another killer. He would have picked that off and given the Falcons the ball near midfield. Instead the Saints continued to drive and retook the lead midway through the third quarter. After that point, the Falcons’ pass protection woes really kicked in. Had they gotten that pick and at least gotten 3 points on a short field, it would have made the ending of the game drastically different.

Antone Smith was outstanding on special teams working as a gunner on punt coverage, with two solid stops on Sproles as well as downing a Bosher punt inside the five. Drew Davis also did a solid job at the other gunner position.

And I have to give it up to Peria Jerry. I thought he got to a very slow start, particularly against the run in this game. But as the game wore on, he started to flash a bit more as a pass rusher. And he nearly blocked a field goal.

PLAYER
DEF
ST
PEN
TOTALS
Robert Alford $4 $0 $0 $4.00
Corey Peters $4 $0 $0 $4.00
Matt Bosher $0 $4 $0 $4.00
Osi Umenyiora $3 $0 $0 $3.00
Sean Weatherspoon $2.5 $0 $0 $2.50
Jonathan Babineaux $2 $0 $0 $2.00
Robert McClain $2 $0 $0 $2.00
Kroy Biermann $1 $0 $0 $1.00
Peria Jerry $1 $0 $0 $1.00
Matt Bryant $0 $1 $0 $1.00
Malliciah Goodman $0.5 $0 $0 $0.50
William Moore $0.5 $0 $0 $0.50
Desmond Trufant $0 $0 $0 $0.00
Akeem Dent -$1.5 $0 $0 -$1.50
Thomas DeCoud -$2 $0 $0 -$2.00
Advanced Stats from Week 1:

Poor Throws (2): Ryan
Drops (2): Jackson, Jones
Key Blocks (4): Ewing, Gonzalez, Holmes, Toilolo
Missed Blocks (2): Holmes, Konz
Sacks Allowed (3): Baker, Gonzalez, Holmes
Pressures Allowed (7): Holmes (3), Baker (2), Blalock (1), Konz (1)
Hurries Allowed (4): Holmes (3), Baker (1)

Tackles for Loss (5): Weatherspoon (1.5), Biermann (1), Dent (1), DeCoud (0.5), Goodman (0.5), Moore (0.5)
QB Sacks (2): Jerry, Peters
QB Pressures (1): Babineaux
QB Hits (2): Umenyiora
QB Hurries (3): Umenyiora (2), Babineaux (1)
Passes Defended (3): Alford, McClain, Trufant
Blown Coverages (7): Moore (2), DeCoud (1.5), Dent (1.5), McClain (1), Weatherspoon (1)
Missed Tackles (1): DeCoud
Key Blocked (1): Trufant
Stops (12): Peters (3), McClain (2), Moore (2), Weatherspoon (2), Babineaux (1), DeCoud (1), Umenyiora (1)

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 Post subject: Re: Moneyball Rules
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:40 pm 
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http://falcfans.com/moneyball-2013-week-2-review-9027

Moneyball 2013 – Week 2 Review
September 17th, 2013Aaron FreemanLeave a commentGo to comments
This was one of the more one-dimensional offensive efforts I can recall seeing from the Falcons. There have been plenty of times the past few years where the Falcons running game was virtually non-existent, but it never seemed this bad. One measly yard in the first half? And as I mentioned yesterday, when the Falcons (and frankly most NFL teams) are this bad at running the ball, they find it hard to win.

Yet the Falcons did, and that was mainly due to the performances of Matt Ryan and Julio Jones, who were outstanding in this game. The Falcons made ample use of Jones’ ability on screens, as I counted five screens to him in this game. In truth, only two of them were effective (tallying 38 combined yards), but they contributed to scoring drives. And of course, Jones’ 81-yard catch was also pivotal in this game. As it truly was the Falcons’ lone big play of the game, as they had to rely on a lot of short and intermediate throws due to the lack of the running game and poor pass protection.

On the subject of pass protection, once again another poor performance for tackles Sam Baker and Lamar Holmes. Baker really struggled in the first quarter vs. Robert Quinn, giving up three of his hurries, one of his pressures, and his only missed block in that quarter. Relatively, he played better the rest of the game giving up only a sack, pressure, and hurry over the final three quarters. Holmes’ struggles came in the second quarter, giving up three of his four hurries to Chris Long in that quarter.

It was no surprise that either struggled, since Quinn and Long are arguably one of the two or three best pairs of pass-rushing ends in the league. I’ll give Baker a bit of a pass because he was dealing with a knee injury and he seemed to adjust somewhat to Quinn’s speed after the first series. I will be a little harder on Holmes because many of his struggles came on instances where his technique was poor. Too often it was if he didn’t understand that you are allowed to punch and use your hands. Holmes also got away with a false start on the opening series that was instead called against Chris Long for an offsides. Without that missed call from the refs, the Falcons likely would have begun the game with a three-and-out rather than eventually scoring a touchdown, and it might have been a drastically different game.

As for the rest of the line, they were relatively solid. Blalock had the best game. He missed a block on the first play of the game, but after that he did a pretty good job despite giving up a sack to Eugene Sims. Reynolds gives a bit too much ground than I would like in pass protection. Ryan’s quick trigger has not made that an issue yet, but there may be a game down the road against a good defensive tackle where that will become a problem. But Reynolds is doing good things as a run blocker. Konz has not been having the sort of performances that I was expecting after a strong preseason. He had his hands full with Michael Brockers throughout the game. He hasn’t been playing poorly by any means, but he is far from dominant, which he seemed to flash during the summer.

The line gave up pressure on five of the 13 third down attempts, which is an improvement from last week. So that’s a positive I guess since they basically cut last week’s number in half.

The running game was limited mainly due to blocking, but there were a few carries by Jacquizz Rodgers where he did not hit the hole hard. In the future, the Falcons may try to avoid running him up the middle. He just was a bit too tentative, and if the team wants him to be an effective runner, they should stick to the counters and stretches that were more effective last year. But more of his runs were stopped because of poor blocking than his own poor running.

PLAYER PASS RUSH REC BLK ST PEN TOTALS
Matt Ryan $21 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $21.00
Julio Jones $0 $0 $11 $0 $0 $0 $11.00
Jason Snelling $0 $5 $4 $0 $0 $0 $9.00
Harry Douglas $0 $0 $5 $0 $0 $0 $5.00
Jacquizz Rodgers $0 $2 $3 $0 $0 $0 $5.00
Steven Jackson $0 $0 $3 $0 $0 $0 $3.00
Garrett Reynolds $0 $0 $0 $3 $0 -$1 $2.00
Bradie Ewing $0 $0 $2 $0 $0 $0 $2.00
Antone Smith $0 $0 $0 $0 $2 $0 $2.00
Peter Konz $0 $0 $0 $1 $0 $0 $1.00
Roddy White $0 $0 $1 $0 $0 $0 $1.00
Drew Davis $0 $0 $0 $0 $1 $0 $1.00
Kevin Cone $0 $0 $0 $0 $1 $0 $1.00
Tony Gonzalez $0 $0 $3 -$2 $0 -$1 $0.00
Justin Blalock $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0.00
Sam Baker $0 $0 $0 -$1 $0 $0 -$1.00
Levine Toilolo $0 $0 $0 -$1 $0 $0 -$1.00
Lamar Holmes $0 $0 $0 -$1 $0 -$1 -$2.00
The defense played well, bottling up the Rams’ rushing attack for the most part.

The only concern is the pass rush. They pressured/hit Bradford on 7 of his 55 drop backs, which is slightly underwhelming. They hurried him on 4 others, so Bradford did feel some heat. Comparing them to the Rams’ pass rush, they only pressured Bradford on three of their 17 third downs, roughly half of the Rams’ effectiveness. But what might be concerning is that Biermann got two of those pressures, and the third came when Akeem Dent was unblocked on a blitz. Biermann is now done for the year, and I’m looking at Osi and Babs to step up. Osi had that pick six, which earned him $4 of his $5, and was pretty quiet the rest of the game. Babs also had one of his quietest games, although there were large chunks of the game where he was out of the lineup and he’s also nursing an injury. Thankfully players like Massaquoi and Jerry stepped up and filled some of their void. It’ll be interesting to see if Jerry keeps contributing. He got off to a good start in 2011, but then disappeared after the first month of the season. His run defense is still mediocre, but his pass rushing has been fairly good.

McClain struggled quite a bit in this game, as I gave him credit for giving up all three of the Rams’ touchdowns. His earnings were better than that should indicate because he had a pair of stops against the run. I think getting Asante back should help things out, which should lighten his workload.

Bartu had a nice debut on defense, making several plays against the run. He got beat a couple of times by the Rams’ tight ends, but I do think his upside in coverage is higher than Dent’s because he has better hips and speed. The Falcons did utilize both Bartu and Spoon in nickel in the second half, and I think that may become a regular thing moving forward. Editor’s Note: While writing this review, news broke that Weatherspoon would be placed on injured reserve (designated to return). So that won’t be a regular thing moving forward, although it may become an option over the final month of the season when Spoon is eligible to return.

Antone Smith had a good game on special teams, as he was able to consistently beat the Rams’ attempts to double-team him. The play where he got blocked into the returner was an excellent example. Brandon McGee did a good job knocking Smith out of bounds initially, but then Smith didn’t give up and sprinted past him and Stedman Bailey (who ultimately had to resort to blocking him in the back). I don’t know if Smith will get the recognition, but if we’re basing things purely off merit, then he has gotten to a great start to earn a Pro Bowl bid this year.

I also noticed that Dent was working on punt coverage throughout this game instead of Bartu, so I guess that’s good since Dent was great in 2011 in that role. I also noticed that the Falcons seemed to expect the Rams to go for a fake punt in the third quarter because they left many of the defensive starters in the game. Worrilow got flagged for a hold, although I think he was held by Will Witherspoon rather than the other way around.

PLAYER DEF ST PEN TOTALS
Osi Umenyiora $5 $0 $0 $5.00
Matt Bosher $0 $6 -$1 $5.00
Jonathan Massaquoi $3 $0 $0 $3.00
Peria Jerry $2.5 $0 $0 $2.50
Joplo Bartu $2 $0 $0 $2.00
Sean Weatherspoon $2 $0 $0 $2.00
Corey Peters $1.5 $0 $0 $1.50
William Moore $1 $0 $0 $1.00
Asante Samuel $1 $0 $0 $1.00
Matt Bryant $0 $1 $0 $1.00
Akeem Dent $1 $0 -$1 $0.00
Jonathan Babineaux $0 $0 $0 $0.00
Kroy Biermann $0 $0 $0 $0.00
Josh Harris $0 -$1 $0 -$1.00
Desmond Trufant $0 $0 -$1 -$1.00
Paul Worrilow $0 $0 -$1 -$1.00
Thomas DeCoud -$1 $0 $0 -$1.00
Robert Alford -$2 $0 $0 -$2.00
Robert McClain -$4 $0 $0 -$4.00


Advanced Stats from Week 2:

Poor Throws (2): Ryan
Missed Holes (1): Rodgers
Drops (0)
Key Blocks (4): Reynolds (2), Baker (1), Blalock (1)
Missed Blocks (8): Gonzalez (2), Holmes (2), Baker (1), Blalock (1), Konz (1), Toilolo (1)
Sacks Allowed (2): Baker, Blalock
Pressures Allowed (5): Baker (2.5), Holmes (2), Reynolds (0.5)
Hurries Allowed (10): Baker (4), Holmes (4), Konz (1), Reynolds (1)

Tackles for Loss (3): Bartu (2), Massaquoi (1)
QB Sacks (0)
QB Pressures (5): Biermann (2), Dent (1), Jerry (1), Massaquoi (1)
QB Hits (2): Jerry, Massaquoi
QB Hurries (4): Umenyiora (2), Massaquoi (1), Peters (1)
Passes Defended (5): DeCoud, Dent, McClain, Trufant, Umenyiora
Blown Coverages (10): McClain (5), Alford (2), Biermann (1), Dent (1), Trufant (1)
Missed Tackles (4): DeCoud (2), Alford (1), Dent (1)
Key Blocked (1): Biermann
Stops (8): McClain (3), Weatherspoon (2), Peters (1.5), Dent (1), Jerry (0.5)

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 Post subject: Re: Moneyball Rules
PostPosted: Tue Sep 24, 2013 6:44 pm 
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Moneyball 2013 – Week 3 Review
September 24th, 2013
Aaron Freeman

It was another game where the Falcons took their foot off the pedal in the second half because they did not execute.

And particularly in the second half, that lack of execution lies in the hands of Matt Ryan. Ryan played well for the most part, but he missed some reads and throws on critical downs late in the game. On the second series of the third quarter with the Falcons trying to drive to take a two-score lead on 3rd-and-13, Ryan threw too low to White. That was the play that was ruled a catch, but later overturned on the replay. He made the right call to throw low so that he wouldn’t get Roddy crushed by Reshad Jones, but it was just a bit too low for Roddy to make the catch. It got credited with a drop by White because he should have caught it, but maybe if it was a foot higher, it would have been an easier catch and potential conversion.

Then on the next series following the William Moore interception, Ryan made the wrong read by throwing to Harry Douglas over the top when he should have gone to Gonzalez over the middle on the slant. It was just an easier read and throw.

At the start of the fourth quarter with the Falcons in the red zone, pressure from Dion Jordan (against Lamar Holmes) rushed a 1st down throw that Ryan threw out of the back of the endzone. On the next down, Ryan went for Douglas in the end zone on a fake screen to Julio Jones. Brent Grimes cheated up initially on the screen, and I think Ryan thought he could sneak one over him for a touchdown. But Grimes quickly recovered and Ryan threw an uncatchable pass on the wheel route to Douglas. Meanwhile, Jones was open in the flat for what could have been at least a 5-yard gain if Ryan had thrown it initially, and if Jones had broken a tackle or two (certainly plausible) it’s a first down if not touchdown. Then on the very next play, Ryan doesn’t pull the trigger on the slant to Jones. I think he was a bit worried about Grimes breaking it up (although on tape, it is clear that Grimes wouldn’t have gotten there in time), and with a little bit of heat up the middle, Ryan instead rolls out of the pocket and nobody is able to get open in the endzone. So the Falcons have to settle for three.

On the next series in the red zone on 3rd-and-4, the Falcons are attempting a throwback pass to Tony Gonzalez. Gonzalez is supposed to chip a blitzing Phillip Wheeler and then drag across the middle. Jimmy Wilson comes free on a corner blitz from the slot. Gonzo was open, but with Wheeler and Wilson in his face, Ryan pumps rather than throws. He spins out of the sack, but then is forced to throw it away before Dannell Ellerbe gets the sack on the delayed rush.

Those latter two instances are plays that were there, but Ryan didn’t pull the trigger. I think one of the criticisms of Ryan, and I personally feel a major reason why he’ll never be a truly elite quarterback in the class of passers like Drew Brees and Tom Brady is because of that inability/unwillingness to pull the trigger on those tighter-window throws. And I think those last two third down plays are just more examples of that. In those situations, the Falcons are in the red zone, and I understand not wanting to make a throw that winds up costing the team points. You don’t want a pick in those situations, where you get zero. At least if you throw it away and live to play another down, you can get three points out of it. So it’s hard to be too upset over it because it’s a smart play on one hand, but sometimes you wish for a little bit more bravado when it comes to Ryan in those situations. That’s just the sort of give and take that we’ll always have to live with Matt Ryan for the next five to seven years. And that deficiency is what makes him maybe the sixth best quarterback in the league as opposed to the third best quarterback in the league. And at the end of the day with all things considered, it feels like you’re nitpicking.

As for the rest of the offense, it was nice to see the running game get back on track. There was spacing up front, with several of the Falcons key blocks coming on the second level. Justin Blalock did a nice job pulling and had one of the more impactful run blocking performances I can recall seeing. Jeremy Trueblood wasn’t great in terms of his run blocking, but did a fairly solid job in pass protection with no real issues there. In the second quarter, on a screen pass to Douglas (his only catch of the game) the Falcons ran in the red zone, if Trueblood had hit his assignment down the field, it would have probably been a touchdown. Instead the Falcons were stopped at the 2-yard line and ultimately settled for a field goal after Jason Snelling was bottled up on the next play. That was their multiple first red zone failures. Holmes did a solid job run blocking at left tackle as well. Holmes needs to continue to get better in pass protection, although I guess he was improved at left tackle since he really can’t get much worse. He still continues to struggle with his punch, as he was struggling both with speed and bull rush from Olivier Vernon and Dion Jordan. Holmes is still very much a work in progress, but he’s making small strides.

Jacquizz Rodgers and Snelling looked excellent on the ground. Rodgers really enhanced the blocking up front with several instances where he was able to avoid a missed block in the backfield and turn a few yards lost into a few yards gained. Snelling did a good job as a pass catcher, although he did give up a pressure on a blitz where he blew his assignment.

The Falcons need to get Gonzalez more involved in the passing game, with only a single target after the first series. As I noted before there were instances where they either tried or missed opportunities to throw to him. But he was able to beat a couple of double teams on the opening series and I noticed a couple of other plays later where they were still doubling or bracketing him, so that somewhat explains his lack of production. But against New England, Dirk Koetter and Ryan need to make a more concerted effort to get him involved.

PLAYER PASS RUSH REC BLK ST PEN TOTALS
Jacquizz Rodgers $0 $13 $0 $1 $0 $0 $14.00
Matt Ryan $13 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $13.00
Jason Snelling $0 $6 $6 $0 $0 $0 $12.00
Julio Jones $0 $1 $9 $0 $0 $0 $10.00
Justin Blalock $0 $0 $0 $3.5 $0 $0 $3.50
Tony Gonzalez $0 $0 $3 $1 $0 -$1 $3.00
Garrett Reynolds $0 $0 $0 $3 $0 $0 $3.00
Roddy White $0 $0 $0 $2 $0 $0 $2.00
Levine Toilolo $0 $0 $2 -$1 $0 $0 $1.00
Jeremy Trueblood $0 $0 $0 $2 $0 -$1 $1.00
Patrick DiMarco $0 $0 $0 $2 $0 -$1 $1.00
Joe Hawley $0 $0 $0 $0.5 $0 $0 $0.50
Peter Konz $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0.00
Lamar Holmes $0 $0 $0 $1 $0 -$1 $0.00
Josh Vaughan $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 -$1 -$1.00
Harry Douglas $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 -$2 -$2.00
The pass rush stepped up in the sense that they were able to sack Ryan Tannehill five times. Osi’s sack was the only time they pressured him in the first half. Then most of their other pressures came on blitzes. Osi got his second sack at the start of the second half (it was counted as a QB Hit and FF), and then Jonathan Massaquoi got another hit on the next series. After that, their next four pressures (three sacks, one pressure) came on blitzes from Robert McClain, Akeem Dent, Joplo Bartu, and Paul Worrilow. Worrilow’s pressure came on the Moore interception, helping prevent Tannehill from stepping into his throw and it sailing on him. I would normally complain about the front four’s inability to get pressure resorting to the increase in blitzes, but beggars can’t be choosers. So I’ll take what I can get. It’s becoming more apparent that the Falcons pass rush will continue to be erratic and underwhelming.

Worrilow got reps at the end of the game in the nickel alongside Bartu. It will be interesting to see if that will be a regular development going forward. Bartu struggled a bit in coverage, getting beat a few times. Namely that big pass to Charles Clay at the end that put the Dolphins in prime scoring position. He is still without a doubt the team’s best coverage linebacker with Sean Weatherspoon out of the lineup, but I fear that tight ends are going to continue to give the Falcons problems this season.

The Falcons run defense looked good, albeit there were too many missed tackles in the secondary. Not a good game for Thomas DeCoud with few missed tackles, blowing a pair of fourth quarter coverages, and having a penalty on special teams. Robert McClain also missed some stops as well, and he continues to be a bit too erratic in coverage. Robert Alford did not do great in his limited work as a replacement for an injured McClain. So I’m not exactly confident that he will hold his own if he has to get extended opportunities going forward, but we shall see. Asante Samuel had a nice comeback performance and Moore also played well. Peria Jerry continues to play well, stepping up as Jonathan Babineaux has not been bad, but not been usual good self either. Jerry has not been great, but thus far has adequately replaced Vance Walker as a contributor in the rotation. Thus far this year, Jerry has been Atlanta’s most consistent interior pass rusher. They will need more contributions from Babs and Peters in that realm if their pass rush issues are expected to improve.

DEFENSE DEF ST PEN TOTALS
Osi Umenyiora $5 $0 $0 $5.00
Peria Jerry $4 $0 $0 $4.00
William Moore $4 $0 $0 $4.00
Matt Bosher $0 $4 $0 $4.00
Akeem Dent $2 $0 $0 $2.00
Corey Peters $2 $0 $0 $2.00
Asante Samuel $2 $0 $0 $2.00
Matt Bryant $0 $2 $0 $2.00
Joplo Bartu $1.5 $0 $0 $1.50
Jonathan Massaquoi $1 $0 $0 $1.00
Paul Worrilow $1 $0 $0 $1.00
Malliciah Goodman $0.5 $0 $0 $0.50
Desmond Trufant $0 $0 $0 $0.00
Josh Harris $0 $0 -$1 -$1.00
Robert Alford -$1 $0 $0 -$1.00
Jonathan Babineaux -$1 $0 $0 -$1.00
Robert McClain -$2 $0 $0 -$2.00
Stephen Nicholas -$2 $0 $0 -$2.00
Thomas DeCoud -$4 $0 -$1 -$5.00
Advanced Stats from Week 3:

Poor Throws (4): Ryan
Drops (2): Douglas, White
Key Blocks (11): Blalock (2.5), DiMarco (2), White (2), Gonzalez (1), Holmes (1), Reynolds (1), Rodgers (1), Hawley (0.5)
Missed Blocks (5): Konz (2), Blalock (1), Holmes (1), Toilolo (1)
Sacks Allowed (0)
Pressures Allowed (3): Holmes, Snelling, Toilolo
Hurries Allowed (4): Holmes (2), Blalock (1), Konz (1)

Tackles for Loss (0)
QB Sacks (4): Dent (1.5), McClain (1), Umenyiora (1), Bartu (0.5)
QB Pressures (1): Worrilow
QB Hits (3): Jerry, Massaquoi, Umenyiora
QB Hurries (1): Babineaux (0.5), Massaquoi (0.5)
Passes Defended (4): Bartu, Moore, Samuel, Trufant
Blown Coverages (8): DeCoud (2), McClain (2), Alford (1), Bartu (1), Nicholas (1), Trufant (1)
Missed Tackles (4): McClain (2), Babineaux (1), DeCoud (1)
Key Blocked (1): Dent
Stops (11): Peters (2), Dent (1.5), Babineaux (1), Bartu (1), Jerry (1), McClain (1), Moore (1), Samuel (1), Umenyiora (1), Goodman (0.5)

_________________
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.


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