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 Post subject: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:27 pm 
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I was contemplating this the other night. Before today's game, I would have probably put the Falcons 3rd or 4th on the list of best teams in the league with SF, HOU, and NE being the only ones better. But after today's performance, does this drop the team further? Can CHI and BAL also throw their names into the hat?

Is this just 1 game and no big deal in people's eyes, or does the fact that the last 3 games the Falcons have been underwhelming mean something more?

Are whatever issues that plague this team likely to get fixed in the bye week? Or are we what we are?

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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:45 pm 
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We are... 6-0. I realize that there are issues, and it is likely that we will have additional problems in the future. Today, the offense disappeared. Matt Ryan started the day off badly. However, I believe that the disappearance of our offense is tied directly to poor offensive line play. I don't know what we can do about the OL. Having JJ and Roddy out there means little if the OL can't give Ryan long enough to get them the ball. As such, giving up most of our past two drafts to get JJ looks worse and worse when I see our OL look as bad as they did today.

It was also amazing to me that the defense got torn apart by the Raiders in the 4th quarter.


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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:17 pm 
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Teams that scare me the most are the Giants,49ers and Bears.Since our off line struggled vs the Raiders and some other weak opponents no way we move the ball on the 3 listed defenses. Unless some of our young players can improve quickly and start before the playoffs I doubt the Falcon's could beat any of the 3 listed teams. I hope I'm wrong but the off line has been this way for years and while we need def upgrades I'd sure like to see some hogs up front who can open holes and pass protect.

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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 9:24 pm 
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Pudge wrote:
I was contemplating this the other night. Before today's game, I would have probably put the Falcons 3rd or 4th on the list of best teams in the league with SF, HOU, and NE being the only ones better. But after today's performance, does this drop the team further? Can CHI and BAL also throw their names into the hat?

Is this just 1 game and no big deal in people's eyes, or does the fact that the last 3 games the Falcons have been underwhelming mean something more?

Are whatever issues that plague this team likely to get fixed in the bye week? Or are we what we are?



Pudge, you start off putting us behind 2 teams that lost toda, if anything we passed San Fran and New England easily... San Fran is really inconsistent, If anything I don't see an argument for us not to be in the top 2. I will put Houston ahead of us, then Atlanta, then the Giants, then the Bears. FYI, Baltimore lost two starters on Defense today, including Ray Lewis. They are in trouble......

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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:55 pm 
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San Fran and NE may have lost today. But I believe if they played the Falcons, they would beat us.

We don't match up well with either of them. The fact that we cannot exploit our greatest thing (our passing attack) against some of the weakest secondaries in the league 3 weeks in a row makes me wonder how good this team is, record be damned.

That's the problem, is that people pay way too much attention to a team's record as opposed to how they actually play. Just because the Falcons may sport the best record in the league after tonight, doesn't make them the best team in the league after tonight.

The Falcons were 13-3 in 2010, and most fans got lulled into believing that because the Falcons won so many games, that they were truly one of the elite teams in the league (I believe then it was tied with NE for best record in the league). But that team was actually really closer to a 9-7 team that had pulled a 3 or 4 wins out of their butt.

We've won 6 games, but been evenly matched in 4 of them. So it begs the question is this team really as good as their record says they are, or are they closer to what some of those 4-2 and 3-3 teams are just with a better record?

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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:00 am 
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I agree that we may not be as good as our record says...but although after the break we play 4 teams to tell us where we are...and we could/should win 3-4 of them.

Phi (3-3) - is an average team with dynamics. They cant put a complete game togther and I think we can really confuse Vick into making some turnovers.

Dal (2-3) - even more average than Phi. They have a hard time doing anything really well, although they will fight to keep a game close.

NO (1-4) - the scariest of the next 4...they have an offense that can score on anyone (and we are definately anyone)...but they cant stop anyone (but neither could OAK).

ARI (4-2) - starting to show there true colors...may be 4-5 when we face them...have no OL and we match up really well.

I agree that NYG, SF, GB, and CHI all scare me, but I will ride the wave and hope we can touch up our sores while we keep winning. Really we only have 3 glaring sores (OL, run O, run D).


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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:40 am 
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The irony of these posts is that we gloss over the other teams blatant weaknesses. New England can't cover anyone, we would chew them up. San Fran doesn't show up to play every week, Green Bay and Baltimore are destroyed by injuries and so on. Too much hype buying on the fact we lost our last 3 playoff games. Those were past seasons which have nothing to do with now. The only thing that matters now is that we are undefeated and no one else is. :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:25 am 
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DaveWaz wrote:
The irony of these posts is that we gloss over the other teams blatant weaknesses. New England can't cover anyone, we would chew them up.

Well, Oakland can't cover, yet our passing game didn't exactly chew them up. I know we threw for 350 vs. Washington, but that was a byproduct of dropping back 53 times in that game more so than because we were chewing them up.

And I guess I'm wondering is this team really a class above some of these other teams like the Giants, Bears Ravens, Patriots, etc.?

The way this season appears to be shaping up, is that it may truly be anybody's race come January, and the team that is playing the best football will be the one that emerges from the pack.

Can the Falcons be that team? Absolutely. But I think it's going to take a lot better football than we've seen so far this year.

I don't have a problem with winning ugly, but only when it comes against relatively good teams like say Dallas, Cincinnati, Seattle, etc. But when you get outplayed for 3 quarters by Oakland, I don't think that bodes too well for you down the road.

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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:27 am 
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I'll be honest, I haven't been very happy with the team for the past 3 weeks. We have not been playing good football. That said, we have continued to win. I hope, sincerely, that this team doesn't get into the mindset that it's ok to not play their best, and expect to win. They need to elevate their game.


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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:39 am 
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I agree with you two that we've looked eh at best the past two weeks. I'll disagree with you Pudge that while I'd prefer we win clean against teams like this, we did still win.

I'll also agree that like every year, it's who gets into the dance and is playing their best football. IF we've managed to get our worst football out of system and are playing at a higher level in playoff time, I've a good feeling. If we're seeing what we going to do week end and week out, then no we can't hang with the Chi's, NY, or SF's of our conference.

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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 3:21 am 
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Falcons played like a 13-3 team the first 3 weeks and have played like a 10-6 team the last few weeks.

The OL is really botching the program (which was my, and I'm sure many other's concern.) Still wishing we'd dropped Turner in exchange for getting a brute FA OG.

The OL has to get better or Julio has to be a guy you can just "throw it up to." He hasn't shown much of that this year. If he can be that guy, that will help a lot when the OL collapses...a 6'4 dude to throw it up to can make the difference.

I think this is a top top offense if it had a good OL, but without it, I don't know.

On D, it's still a mystery. The DL gets manhandled more than they should for being the same DL of the last few years.


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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 4:27 am 
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Crap the defense Sucks......This defense will have a hard time beating anyone.

It sure can't tackle anyone and only ABE can get to the Qb.... Babs is playing ok,

When a worst team in the league has over 500 yards against you;
theirs not much to be said but we won!!

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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:41 am 
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Cyril wrote:
Crap the defense Sucks......This defense will have a hard time beating anyone.

It sure can't tackle anyone and only ABE can get to the Qb.... Babs is playing ok,

When a worst team in the league has over 500 yards against you;
theirs not much to be said but we won!!


I think we missed Lofton yesterday :oops:

I guess the thought here was see if Dent could make that 'next step', and that doesn't appear to be the case. I do think ( and this is all subjective,) that Nicholas is a better option, and that you cant expect Peterson to be taking 50 snaps and play at a level that even the 'worst' of the league cant exploit..

Hopefully Corey Peters return and helps add some beef to the DL. I noticed the rookie Trav Rob make a couple decent stops yesterday! But your right, McFadden looked like a men among boys yesterday. The thing about Nolan is he HAS made adjustments, both in game and off the field. I have some faith that some of these issues that plagued our D will be addressed...

Pudge called it in the preseason when he said he wouldn't be surprised if we went 6-0 due to our schedule. I was thinking 4-2 or 3-3. :oops:

As for the OL, what can you do? I guess if I had to, I would either slide Hawley to RT, or Mike Johnson. Clabo is a liability. He needs to be sat, or used ina a rotation..He cant put together a full game, and is going to get Ryan killed. Lets see if Koetter will do the things that needs to be done. Otherwise plenty more then me are going to be saying Image

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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:59 am 
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How good are the Falcons? They can be as good as they want to be or as average as they want to be. I'm having a hard time telling if we are playing down to our opponents or are they playing up for us? Probably a combo of both. That being said, are we 16-0 or 15-1 good? No. But are we one of the more sound teams in the league capable of winning it all? Yes.

Gotta remember, all teams have highs and lows during the season. They key is to be peaking at the right time.....January. If we are throwing up stinkers now and still winning....I'm okay with it. I just hope we are firing on all cylinders come playoff time.


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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 11:19 am 
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AngryJohnny51 wrote:
How good are the Falcons? They can be as good as they want to be or as average as they want to be. I'm having a hard time telling if we are playing down to our opponents or are they playing up for us? Probably a combo of both. That being said, are we 16-0 or 15-1 good? No. But are we one of the more sound teams in the league capable of winning it all? Yes.

Gotta remember, all teams have highs and lows during the season. They key is to be peaking at the right time.....January. If we are throwing up stinkers now and still winning....I'm okay with it. I just hope we are firing on all cylinders come playoff time.

All good points AJ51.

I just wonder why should we expect this team to start peaking later in the year? Are we going to get better in the trenches? Maybe on the d-line, if Peters proves to be a shot in the arm. But will he? How many times do guys come off PUP or whatever and make a difference? And how often are those guys already considered elite players? Is Peters that sort of player? People probably know that after Lofton, I believed that Peters was probably the most overrated player on this roster/defense. And at least Lofton played well throughout 2011, while Peters had a good September and then basically disappeared for the final 8 or 9 games. Will the real Corey Peters stand up?

And then with Oakland, a team that got little to no pressure before playing us, and had corners that shouldn't be able to hang with our receivers, yet they did both things.

I'm not trying to write off this team by any means. But you talk about peaking at the right time, and there's part of me that believes maybe we've already peaked. There isn't a great history over the years of teams that start fast and finish strong. Usually those that start fast fizzle.

I feel like I'm watching a good team when I watch the Falcons play, but far from a great team. But I do like the fact that they are throwing to win, which means we'll be better prepared come January to do that if necessary (and it will be necessary). But part of it is that I believe their ability to contend this year is tied directly to their ability to throw the football and score a lot of points. And the fact that they couldn't do it against Oakland scares the bejesus out of me.

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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:47 pm 
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I think the Falcons are 6-0 because of great coaching. The staff has found a way to get the most out of their players, but schemes and adjustments can only get you so far if you dont have the talent. The Falcons weaknesses on the both sides of the line will be there downfall, and I think they will be overcome by better teams like the Giants, 49ers, and Buccaneers.


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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 1:13 pm 
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Off topic... Was, "kissing Suzy Kolber," really in the news feed:
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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 6:00 pm 
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El gato wrote:
and I think they will be overcome by better teams like the Giants, 49ers, and Buccaneers.

:lol:

Look I predicted the Falcons to lose to the Bucs this year, but to call them a "better" team is taking it too far. :liar:

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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 16, 2012 9:58 am 
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Mark Bradley The Falcons are 6-0, but certain other numbers don’t add up
2:32 pm October 15, 2012, by Mark Bradley


Mike Smith and Falcons VP of communications Reggie Roberts exit to check the stats. (AP photo)
There’s only one unbeaten NFL team, and it’s based in Flowery Branch. And we know, courtesy of Bill Parcells, that in the NFL you’re as good as your record says you are, which would suggest that the Falcons are flat-out great. But here’s where we run the numbers, and numbers, as we also know, can be pesky things.

The biggest number, duh, is 6-0. The Falcons have never been undefeated this deep into a season in their previous 46 years of doing business. But here’s another number: 11-21. That’s the combined record of the six teams the Falcons have beaten. Of those six, only San Diego is above .500. (And the 3-2 Chargers play Denver on Monday night.) This wasn’t entirely unexpected. The Falcons’ schedule always seemed tougher on the far side of the bye week. To look again, however, is to wonder.

We all thought Philadelphia and Dallas and New Orleans — the Falcons’ next three opponents — would be stout. The Eagles are 3-3, the Cowboys 2-3, the Saints 1-4. Check now and you’ll see that the Falcons are scheduled to play only two more games against teams that currently hold a winning record, and both of those games (against the Cardinals and the Giants) will be played here.

Yes, this is all subject to sudden change. Nobody expects the Saints to finish 4-12, and nobody expects Philly and Dallas and Detroit to sputter forever. But the 6-0 Falcons could stand a test, and it might be a while before another arrives.

Why does a 6-0 team require testing? Because, if you check the stats, the Falcons don’t look 6-0 good. They look, on paper if not on the field, not quite as imposing the 10-6 Falcons of last season.

The 2012 Falcons rank 15th in total offense, down from 10th in 2011. This team is 21st in total defense, down from 12th last season. A year ago they were eighth in passing, 17th in rushing; this year they’re 10th and 25th. Last season they were 20th in passing defense, sixth in rushing defense; these Birds are 11th and 27th. For those keeping score, the 2012 Falcons have improved over 2011 in exactly one of those six major categories.

Figure Filberts insist the most important football stat is Yards Per Pass Attempt. The Falcons have improved from 7.3 YPA to 7.4 on offense, while opponents’ YPA has risen from 7.2 to 7.6. (The offensive number ranks 15th in the league, the defensive one 21st.) On the bright side, the Falcons have improved their third-down conversion percentage all the way around: The defense ranks 21st this year, up from 28th in 2011; the offense ranks fifth, up from sixth.

If you’re looking for numbers to support 6-0, start here: The Falcons are tied with New England for the NFL lead in turnover margin, and they’ve been called for the fewest penalties of any team. (They were fifth and 10th last season.) New coordinators Dirk Koetter and Mike Nolan haven’t had a transforming effect on the yardage-based stats, but the impression — and it’s borne out by these key indices — is of a better-coached team. More concrete indicators: The Falcons are scoring 3.4 more points and yielding 3.1 fewer points than they did under 2011 management.

Here we pause for an emphatic disclaimer, offered by Richard Seymour, the Oakland defensive tackle who was once a New England Patriot (and before that a Georgia Bulldog). After the Raiders outgained the Falcons 474 yards to 286 but lost 23-20, Seymour told reporters: “I’ve done a lot of different things in my career in wins where statistically it all doesn’t line up. But stats are for losers. If you want to pay attention to statistics, go ahead. The only stat that matters is wins and losses.”

That’s true. Also true is this: The 11-5 Falcons of 2008 were beaten in the playoffs by the 9-7 Cardinals; the 13-3 Falcons of 2010 were upset in the playoffs by the 10-6 Packers, and the 10-6 Falcons of 2011 were undone by the 9-7 Giants. So sometimes you aren’t quite what your record says you are.

And what does this team’s architect say? This was general manager Thomas Dimitroff, speaking Monday morning: “We’re an evolving team that is 6-0. We’re a team that has shown a lot of resilience, and that’s an indication that we’ve matured.”

It is. The nice thing about winning all the time is that it becomes second nature. At winning, these Falcons are batting 1.000.

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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 4:00 pm 
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While I think every good team is due for a game like that, I still am worried about us. Not on offense, they're pretty stiff on that side of the ball, even though that was the weakest point in the game. It's the run defense I'm worried about. I mean, what happens in a low-scoring game like the one on Sunday when we need the ball back but can't get it because the other team is controlling the clock?

While I'm happy that we have somewhat of a pass rush now, as well as good secondary play, I know how important it is to stop the run.

This offense, minus the run game, which I think will get better, is the real deal. But I still don't think this team can hang with an all-around good team like the Bears or the 9ers.

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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 5:19 pm 
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If the playoffs started tomorrow, ATL and CHI would get the byes, and the 1st round matchups would feature MIN @ NYG, and SEA @ ARI. Now I think most people expect MIN and ARI to probably be supplanted by GB and SF by year's end. If that is the case, then those are the 5 teams that present the toughest matchups for the Falcons in the NFC (Philly is the 6th outlier).

And none of those matchups I think really skew favorably towards the Falcons. It's just one of those things where it'll likely come down to who's playing well at the time, who's healthiest, and who has home field.

The problem I see with the Falcons is that teams that can control the line of scrimmage, we are really going to struggle against. That was the case vs. Carolina & Oakland, and those are the 2 games we were closest to losing but won thanks in large part to Cam Newton fumbling and Palmer's pick six. Without those plays, IMO it's doubtful we win either game. So in my eyes, our wins in those games is just as much if not more that they lost as we won.

So I see several things need to improve for the Falcons to improve their chances of winning in January (in no particular order):

1) They need to be able to run the ball more effectively. I don't see that really happening given that several of our linemen are playing the best football of their careers (Baker & Reynolds). Maybe if we can get Blalock & Clabo back to their A-level performances that could change, but it's not like they've been bad run blocking this year. And Father Time is undefeated, so I don't expect dramatic improvement from Turner the rest of the way. It'll probably go the way it has, once every 3 or so games he'll play well.

2) The DL play must improve and do a better job both rushing the QB and stopping the run This is much more possible given Corey Peters is coming back. But at the same time, I don't have high hopes for this because Peters is coming off a major injury. And for significant improvement in both of these areas to the point where the Falcons would go from below average (where they are now) to above average (where they want to be), it would require Peters to play his best football. Coming off a 4-month long injury/rehab from a foot doesn't bode well for that happening to Peters since both things require explosiveness and injuries to the feet don't often leave one feeling more explosive than before.

3) The passing game has to carry this team. This to me is what is the best possible candidate for improvement. Given our QB, and his weapons, this is our best weapon. But the problem of course is that later this year and in January, we're going to be facing good secondaries. Ones significantly better than those of Washington and Oakland, yet these were two defenses that we did not take advantage of. So for the rest of the season, IMO the most important thing to watch is whether this team can dominate weak secondaries as well as play well against good secondaries.

Philly & Arizona have good pass defenses, while Dallas is average, and NO is one of the weakest in the league. So hopefully we'll see good or strong showings from the passing game in at least 3 of the next 4 games.

If that doesn't happen, then my concern is start going to veer towards worrying.

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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:46 am 
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Pudge Wrote "
Quote:
Is this just 1 game and no big deal in people's eyes, or does the fact that the last 3 games the Falcons have been underwhelming mean something more?


Most everyone has weakness but we have it all over the board.

Look; for the fans and the franchise this means a lot; but for those counting the season only if we win a playoff game, the last three games means a lot.

Matt has thrown not just some bad interceptions but some gosh awful ones. Theirs not going to be a running game against good teams. Our line is trying to pass block and they have no clue how to run block.

But we miss Lofton more than any other player. Lets make sure before we throw out a good run stopper like we did Lofton; lets make sure we have a replacement.

We've played some easy teams and a .500
Washington team I thought was our best win.

A great example is Coach Smith. I think he gets his teams to play to close to 90% most of the time. This is great till the playoffs when teams have coasted some and played at about 75% potential, then we don't have much room to get better; and others have about 25%.

We need to play at 90% or we'll never get to the playoffs. Now I'm not really saying we're playing at a 90% level, but I am saying is what your seeing is about what you'll get in the playoffs and its just not good enough.

We've come a long way when everyone looks worse than us;
but we really just need better players.

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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 12:30 pm 
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Considering the Falcons have been generally dreadful against the Iggles over the past decade we should get a good idea of where this team is on Sunday...

Atlanta Vs. Philly since 2000 2-8 and many of those losses have been Philly beating the Falcons around like a play toy.

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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 1:34 pm 
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Can't forget how Kevin Kolb shredded us :cry: And nobody since :cry:

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 Post subject: Re: How good are the Falcons?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:58 pm 
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Purveyor of Truth & Justice
Purveyor of Truth & Justice
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Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 3:03 pm
Posts: 25773
Location: North Carolina
Part of the reason why the Eagles have been so effective against us is because of our poor nickel defense. That Kolb game, the middle of our defense was wide open. Curtis Lofton was atrocious in coverage in that game, and Kolb had hours to sit back and throw and find open receivers over the middle of the field. With Nolan calling the shots, our nickel defense is actually the strength of our defense, which should give us better odds of beating the Eagles this time. We'll see if that happens...

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