These are my opinions so i dont want anyone flaming me because they disagree or something lol….
Â anyways considering the overall, poor performance, i will break this down into the three main units of the falcons; offense(including rushing and passing), defense, and special teams.
Wow where do i start. OK rushing it is. taking a simple look at the first two games of this season tells us that the falcons have all the ability in the world to have the premier rushing offense in the entire NFL….having some consistency is another question….!!!!
im not sure what is up with the coaches and play designs, but we do NOT take advantage of our strengths when running the ball…well atleast we dont do this enough. last week against tampa bay we did a much better job than usual in this area by sticking with what was working(which seemed to be reads and misdirections) and losing what was giving us trouble and little yardage. this week at new orleans was just plain dumb. obviously the saints had practiced against the so-called “read option” plays that we used so effectively agains the bucs yet we called various versions of the play over and over again with little to no success.Â we also failed to run the ball consistently in the first half before the score obviously started to shift the play calling towards pass-heavy. what made this that much worse, was the fact that our receivers(even good ole Alge) were DROPPING passes that were more than catchable; yet we continued to try to pass when we were not too far behind with plenty of time left in the game. WHY? why on earth would we stubbornly keep passing the rock when we ran SO well the last two weeks and were catching SO poorly? this is a question that i feel, *MUST* be addressed as well as answered!!!! to stick with this theme of poor decision making, i also question why we did not try to run between the tackles more when we did attempt to pound it….?? obviously the defensive ends and safetys were doing their jobs in holding the flats and edges to stop the bootlegs and outside runs yet when we ran the ball it was almost always to the outsides with little misdirection or anything to help slow the defense down a step or two.
Â it seems like the coaches and receivers are to blame for the problems with the offense today against the saints(who btw, did suprise me…they have proven to me that they are indeed a threat in the NFC south)…NOT vick or our offensive line. im not saying that vick and the offensive line were perfect but i think with the right play calling and some confidence in our passing game, they would have been very solid.
ok enough with this its giving me a headache….
I think anyone with any amount of football experience or knowledge could see what we need to work on in this department….WE PLAY TOO DAMN SOFT!
i dont know how many times i saw reggie bush or deuce run three or four yards past the LOS before our linebackers met them! and it was not that they were blasting through gaping holes and/or stuff like that, but the fact that our linebackers seem to set up too far back from the line in run situations and then to make matters worse, are slow to read and react to the play. this problem with “playing soft defense” as i call it, extended to the secondary as well. i noticed this in BOTH the previous games as well, but i was not sure if it was the play calling due to the leads we had in those games…well this horrible game against the saints reassured my fears. in both runnin and passing situations(worse in passing situations like long third down attempts), i noticed that we tended to play back against the pass, seemingly allowing anything and everything to be completed underneath. this is a huge problem because it then opens up opposing offenses to pass in almost all situations which has the effect of then allowing the run to be even more effective because we are having to safe guard against it at all times not just third and long or second and twenty…..!!!!!
we most certainly have ALL the pieces of the puzzle when it comes to forming a great ultra-fast defensive unit, but once again we fall short because of the poor decision making on both the coaches and players in this aspect. now lets move on to our *wonderful* special team unit(sarcasm lol)!!
Where do i start.
hmm, ill begin with something positive….our kick and punt coverage. probally one of the best in the NFL from what ive seen…we seem to always have a great head hunter on kick offs who nails the receiving player inside the 25 nearly everytime. same with punts for the most part but we could work on pinning those great punts from koenen a little better! there have been several opportunities for the falcons special teams guys to tag a koenen punt inside the 15, 10 or even 5 yard line. now to bad part; actually KICKING the ball.
my god we are horrible at blocking for our kickers….it seemed to beÂ a problem limited to long range FGs last week against the bucs, but once again the falcons didnt hesitate to suprise us and show that they lack the blocking needed for a decent punt and even short range chip shot FGs as well!! last week against tampa, TWO of koenens missed FGs were BLOCKED!! instead of addressing that issue, we went and got another FG kicker(morten anderson, which i think is a good ideaÂ if we fix theÂ problem first) but it wont matter who is kicking if they are consistently blocking them. then to my amazement, this problem extended into our punting game when the saints easily blocked a punt and ran it back for that first touchdown!
no matter what happens with our offense and defense, if we cannot effectively and consistently kick FGs and/or punt the ball when NEEDED, we will not be a playoff team. if we do make it to the playoffs with this huge problem still hanging around, we wont make it past the first tough game where 3 point field goals are vital to the outcome of the game.