Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Are the Falcons Done?

Well according to Michael Irvin, "The Falcons are done." As I sit here and reflect on Sunday's night game, I realize how frustrating being an Atlanta Falcons fan can be. It's like having a frustrating significant other,  wondering why some days he or she will have it all together, then all of a sudden they hit a complete 180. Where is the consistency? Going into this game I honestly did not think we would win due to how well the Packers have been playing and how well we aren't playing. No doubt the better team won this game, but that does not negate how the Falcons made it so easy in the second half.

I guess I'll start off by addressing the STRONG 14-0 start, eating over 20 minutes off the clock in the first half,  and our ability to sack Aaron Rodgers which we have not done since the loss to Chicago in Week 1. Our game plan of sticking to the running game, spreading the ball around works very well. Kudos for allowing the Packers to be held to three field goals for majority of the game.  But does all this matter if we can't follow this strategy for 60 minutes of football? Whose to blame? Mike Mularkey? Matt Ryan? Defense? Coach Smith? What is the problem?

FINISH THE GAME! Probably the biggest issue I have seen thus far this season. We have not played four quarters of football this entire season. Last time I checked, that is what being a football player is all about. We only scored on our first two drives in the game. It's like our offense disappeared in the second half. Since we aren't a deep threat type of team, which is essentially why we brought in rookie Julio Jones; defensive coordinators can find ways to stop Michael Turner early, thus we are forced to throw. We have to get more creative with our play calling. I love Matty Ice as a Falcon fan, but his arm is just not as strong and accurate enough for these 60-70 yard plays. With time I hope to see a growth in that area, he is still in his fourth season in the league. Therefore our offense has to get a little more creative with our play calling when the running game is being stopped. The strategy we had during the first half was great, keeping Rodgers off the field with long drives, but there has to be THAT and MORE for the second half. All the weapons we have on our offense, we are not explosive as we should be.

Again credit to the defense for forcing two turnovers this game, the occasional pass rush to sack Rodgers and holding the Packers too one of their lowest scoring game this season. However, where is the SECONDARY? That is our biggest issue of our defense thus far. The Secondary gives up too many big plays for like 50-60 yards. Whats good if you can tackle if you tackling the receiver 60 yards down the field. Grimes??? Mr. Pro-Bowler where are you? He didn't have a bad game. Had some good tackles, including the one that caused the fumble. Grant it, the starter William Moore was out, but Thomas DeCoud, Daunte Robinson, Cristopher Owens, none of these fine young gentlemen are the answer right now. 

Often times the special teams are over looked. I understand the new kickoff rule where the the ball is now on the 35 yard line instead of the 30, but Eric Weems needs to get some better field position. Everytime he touches the ball, all I see is that "fair catch signal." Thankfully the punter Matt Boshner is getting better and better each game, because that Eagles game, that 20 yard punt was unacceptable.

Leaving a season where we were 13-3, the top seed in the NFC to sitting 3rd place in the NFC South, its a hard pill to swallow. Everyone had high expectations for Atlanta. It is disappointing. I think everyone knows the issues of the Atlanta Falcons because the games are starting to get real redundant. In my opinion, this falls back on coaching. There needs to be another strategy to win games because the current game plan is not working.  No surprises: start off strong, fall apart 3rd quarter and a nail biting 4th quarter. I don't think my heart rate is cut out for this kind of football.

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