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mqg96 posted a topic in Talk About the FalconsThis is going to be a very detailed post by me. I fan-posted this on the Falcoholic as well and I would like to share this with everyone on the Falcons boards. These are officially my thoughts on the Falcons 2018 season so far. That top 10 in scoring D we had last year was Dontari Poe, Adrian Clayborn, Keanu Neal, Deion Jones, and Ricardo Allen coming together and leading the other guys on defense. Robert Alford, Desmond Trufant, Brian Poole, and other guys were probably better and up'd their game because of the leadership of Rico and Debo on the field. Jarrett and Takk definitely helped too of course. Our defense came TOGETHER as a collective group with all of those guys from the 2017 unit. When we got rid of Poe and Clayborn this off season, our D-line took an immediate step back and we saw that throughout the preseason. Once Debo, Neal and Rico went down, we were minus 5 major guys from last season's defense. Add the fact that Takk is banged up and even Grady too. You can't overcome that much and expect to be any better than last year, but when your defense is historically bad just because of 3 guys being out, even if they were major pro bowlers, our defense was already thin with lack of depth. I understand those 3 injuries aren't just any injuries, it's 3 injuries to your MOST IMPORTANT and GAME CHANGING GUYS on defense. With that being said, we still have way too much talent on both sides of the ball to be a 1-4 team the first 5 weeks of the season, our worst start since 2013. Look at other teams around the league who have better depth than us and better coaching than us, there are no excuses for them. People keep saying it's all about the 3 major injuries defensively, but the Falcons have A LOT more problems than this. 1. Offensive play calling not clutch enough. Our coaching is very poor in CLUTCH moments when it matters most. Our offense may have fixed its red zone issues from last season, but the few times our thin defense gives our offense a chance, we can't do anything. For an example, against the Saints we get the ball back up 14-13 before the half and we could have gotten 3 points and led 17-13, but instead we have an immediate 3 & out deep in our own territory and the Saints immediately drive down the field and take a 16-14 halftime lead, and that was a SIX point difference swing right there that came back to hunt us. We were tied at 37 against the Saints before OT and the Falcons still had a chance to get in field goal range and win, and we did NOT get it done when we knew our defense wasn't stopping the Saints. Against the Bengals we had a few opportunities offensively and we didn't get it done. Against the Steelers when it was 13-10 for AWHILE, our defense gave us opportunities throughout the 2nd & 3rd quarters but our offense couldn't do anything before the blowout began. We wait until it's too late or when we're trailing by a deficit to finally do something offensively and I get tired of this. 2. Blowing late leads continue to be a problem Our defense keeps blowing leads in the 4th quarter and this goes back to 2016 of course. I don't understand what it is with our coaching staff not having a sense of urgency late in games. Even in our only win against the Panthers, we were up 31-17 late in the game and we give them a quick TD, and then we had to stop them in the red zone to survive 31-24 and could have easily blown that one. We were up 12-10 on the Eagles and lost 18-12. We were up 37-30 on the Saints and lost. We were up 36-31 on the Bengals and lost it. This pattern didn't start this year, it's been an ongoing problem with Dan Quinn and even the whole Matt Ryan era when Mike Smith was our head coach. 3. Special Teams Our special teams have been bad, specifically our kick coverage and punting. We haven't had a good returner since Devin Hester for that little time. However, it seems like the few times we get a good return, it's always illegal block in the back for us. What's up with Matt Bosher's blocked punts 2 out of the last 3 games which were highly costly? It came back to hunt us against the Saints. It started the Steelers blowout on us late in the 3rd quarter. Keith Armstrong has to get it together or I don't know if he should still be our special teams coordinator. 4. Penalties and O-line The boneheaded penalties at the worst possible times in the world drive me insane, in fact, we are the most penalized team in the league I believe. That falls on the entire coaching staff. Last but not least, our O-line pass blocking and pass protection have completely crashed, and it showed against a Steelers defense that had been struggling. I understand the season ending injury to Andy Levitre and that's very unfortunate, but once again we have A LOT more problems than just major injuries at multiple positions. Which I will continue on here. 5. Problems against the AFC Dan Quinn's failures against AFC opponents are clear as day and night. I understand NFC games are more important in terms of playoff seeding and tiebreakers, but AFC games still count for your overall record. We have now lost 8 out of our last 9 AFC games going back to the Chargers in 2016. After the Bengals loss we are now 1-6 at home vs. AFC opponents under Dan Quinn as the head coach, 1-10 overall since 2013 though. The Falcons also has a 6 game losing streak to AFC North teams since 2014 even though we only play the division once every 4 years. AFC North teams are outdoor teams built with big physical guys up front and they grind you out, similar to how the Eagles are built who have always been a bad match up for the Falcons. If you CAN'T beat an AFC opponent, then you don't deserve to go to the Super Bowl anyway. 6. Has our defense ever been elite in the Dan Quinn era? Back to my point about the Falcons struggles against opponents with big grinding teams up front. Dan Quinn's philosophy has always been speed & quickness over big guys and strength right? This is Dan Quinn's 4th year now, and after 4 years despite the injuries on defense for this year's team, our defense is still mediocre at best and you should have better depth across the roster built up in 4 seasons. You are a defensive minded coach. Take out 2017 when we were top 10 in scoring D, and then look at our poor defensive numbers in 2015, 2016, and 2018. The 2015 Falcons had an easy schedule and let backup QB's beat them, and they were last in the league in sacks. The 2016 Falcons defense improved in the pass rush and takeaways, but the secondary was still weak and our defense struggled most of the season against above average offenses, and we know our high powered offense carried that team. Don't fool yourselves. We've never had an elite defense in the Dan Quinn era like we thought we would have by now. Yes, we've had talented players making plays, but we've always had the bend don't break style. Maybe it's the scheme, IDK. Someone help me out on this. Even the 2017 defense wasn't elite because we couldn't force turnovers and despite being top 10 in scoring D, we still struggled in yards per play apparently. The 2018 Falcons defense is HISTORICALLY BAD despite 3 major injuries to pro bowl players. Like I said before, our defense this year is last year minus Poe, Clayborn, Neal, Debo, Rico, and Takk & Grady being banged up. 7. Is it time to hold Dan Quinn accountable? You are what your record says it is. Good teams find ways to win close games and eventually have a blowout win down the road. Bad teams find ways to lose close games and eventually have a blowout loss down the road, which is who we are right now. Dan Quinn has to realize this, but he believes that "we're find with what we have" or "we're better than what our record says" when we are clearly NOT. Elite head coaches would say "we are NOT a good team right now!" or say "we are NOT there yet!" and gets their team motivated. Watch Penn State head coach Jame Franklin's postgame speech after their loss to Ohio State in college football. That's a great example of an elite head coach and a motivator. Quinn also has said week after week "our issues are fixable and we will fix them", and it hasn't been fixed. We keep having missed tackles and poor technique week after week. We continue to have an excessive amount of penalties, and so forth. Anyone recall the 2010 Packers who had 18 players on IR and they didn't use any of that as an excuse. None of the "woe it's me" attitude. They must have had better coaching. Anyways, I'll leave the rest for y'all to analysis this. What do you believe is the problem with this year's Falcons so far?
mqg96 posted a topic in Talk About the Falconshttps://imgur.com/a/zW8sILJ Click on the link up here and tell me what you think? I used the NFL Playoff Predictor on https://playoffpredictors.com I have the Falcons starting 2-3 and winning 10 straight to get to 12 wins, just like in 2002 and 2010 when we also had a long winning streak during the season playing the AFC North with the same home and away schedule as this upcoming season. As I've brought up before, our AFC North schedule matches 2010 and our NFC East schedule matches 2012. We also play the Eagles in Philly and the Cardinals at home again just like 2010, 2012, and 2016 when we won the division. I have the Saints starting 3-0 and losing 9 of their last 13 games to finish 7-9 again, because no NFC South team has ever repeated the division as champs with back to back winning records. I have the Panthers finishing 8-8 because they haven't had back to back winning seasons yet. The Buccaneers are in trouble without Jameis Winston the first 3 games. The NFC South will NOT put 3 teams in the playoffs again, it'll only be whoever wins the division again like most seasons. I have the Falcons losing in Philly and Pittsburgh again just like we did in 2010, but the Falcons still finish with a better record than both teams with the Eagles and Steelers winning their divisions at 11-5. With the Eagles winning the division again, I have all the other NFC East teams missing the playoffs again. The Giants will improve, but they won't be good enough. The Redskins are who they are, even with Alex Smith at QB I don't believe in them right now. I have the NFC West being the toughest and most exciting division in football this year with 3 teams making the playoffs. I believe the Seahawks prove doubters wrong and sneak in with Russell Wilson leading the offense with historical numbers, but they'll be a wildcard team though along with the Rams, and the 49ers are my dark horse NFC surprise of this season. Jimmy G made the 49ers legit late last season and he didn't lose a game backing up Tom Brady in 2016 either. I have the Packers starting 5-0 and missing the playoffs at 10-6 making Mike McCarthy fired from Green Bay, and the Vikings finish 10-6 too but win the head to head. The Raiders will be the surprise team of the AFC West with Jon Gruden as head coach again. The Chiefs still sneak in but have too many question marks with a young QB. The Chargers will still be the Chargers, and the Broncos despite having an upgrade at QB, won't be good enough to make the playoffs again. The AFC East still belongs to the Patriots, but their Super Bowl hangover will show when Deshaun Watson and the Texans go into New England and shock the world come playoff time. The Jaguars and Titans will get a hangover from last season, the Colts will improve with Andrew Luck healthy all year, but a fully healthy Texans team with Deshaun Watson starting will be too much for everyone in the AFC South to overcome. The Steelers are still the class of the AFC North as usual.
The Buccaneers and the Eagles are the only teams who have been to the Super Bowl when the AFC North was on their schedule. No team out of the NFC playing the AFC North on their schedule has been back to the Super Bowl ever since. The Panthers and the Seahawks are the only teams who have been to the Super Bowl when the AFC South was on their schedule and each of them did it twice. The 2003 Panthers, 2005 Seahawks, 2013 Seahawks, and 2015 Panthers. From 2006-2012 (7 seasons in a row), every team out of the NFC who played in the Super Bowl played the AFC East on their schedule. That streak ended in 2013 when the Seahawks went to the Super Bowl with the AFC South on their schedule. Since the 2014 Seahawks, 3 out of the last 4 teams in the Super Bowl out of the NFC played the AFC West, including our Falcons in 2016. Since 2002, most teams out of the NFC who represented the Super Bowl played an AFC division and a NFC division going in the same direction except for the 2005 Seahawks, 2006 Bears, and 2012 49ers. What do I mean by this? Well, the 2002 Buccaneers played the AFC North and the NFC North. The 2003 Panthers played the AFC South and their own NFC South. The 2004 Eagles played the AFC North and the NFC North. The 2005 Seahawks played the AFC South and NFC East. The 2006 Bears played the AFC East and the NFC West. The 2007 Giants played the AFC East and their own NFC East. The 2008 Cardinals played the AFC East and the NFC East. The 2009 Saints played the AFC East and the NFC East. The 2010 Packers played the AFC East and the NFC East. The 2011 Giants played the AFC East and their own NFC East. The 2012 49ers played the AFC East and the NFC North. The 2013 Seahawks played the AFC South and the NFC South. The 2014 Seahawks played the AFC West and their own NFC West. The 2015 Panthers played the AFC South and their own NFC South. The 2016 Falcons played the AFC West and the NFC West. The 2017 Eagles played the AFC West and the NFC West. So coming into 2018, we know that every team out of the NFC who has represented the Super Bowl since the 2015 Panthers had a losing record the year before. It looks like the 49ers have a great chance of making it to the Super Bowl in year 2 with Shanahan and Jimmy G being the starter. The NFC West plays the AFC West this year. The 49ers also have an NFC North schedule that matches 2012, the last time they were in the Super Bowl as well. Now for NFC South stats and trends referring to the AFC divisions we've played. The Buccaneers best season came when playing the AFC North. The Saints best season came when playing the AFC East and they finally won the division for the first time in 6 years playing the AFC East last season as well. The Panthers best seasons have come when playing the AFC South (twice). The Falcons best seasons have come when playing the AFC West with 3 NFC Championship appearances, 1 Super Bowl appearance, three 11-5 records, and one 13-3 record. The Saints have never made the playoffs playing the AFC West. The Panthers usually play bad during AFC West seasons as well, except for 2008 when they were 12-4 taking the place of our 11-5 Falcons. Just like in 2013 when another 12-4 Panthers team took place of the 11-5 Saints during an AFC East season. and speaking of this, the Falcons have always played poorly during AFC East seasons, we've only made the playoffs once which was in 2017 as a wildcard and we were still 3rd in the NFC South. The AFC South seasons have usually gone to the Panthers, but the Saints had a solid year in 2011 while the Bucs last playoff trip happened in 2007. The Falcons usually play poorly during AFC South seasons too, in fact, we are the only team in the NFC South who's never won the division playing the AFC South, but we did make the playoffs in 2011 as a wildcard but it was just like 2017 when we played the AFC East. Our AFC North seasons have been randomly good or bad. We only won the division once which was in 2010 which is good. We were a wildcard in 2002. In each of those seasons we were on the road against the Steelers and Browns but at home against the Ravens and Bengals. We missed the playoffs in 2006 and 2014, which are our worst even seasons since playing in the NFC South. We were on the road against the Bengals and the Ravens but at home against the Browns and Steelers. Now check this out. In a pattern of the NFC South playing the AFC North, the Bucs won the division in 2002, the Saints won the division in 2006, the Falcons won the division in 2010, and the Panthers won the division in 2014 with a losing record. The Panthers have never had a winning record playing the AFC North actually. Finally, NFC South stats and trends referring to the NFC divisions we've played. Now this is most interesting part IMO. We've played the NFC East every 3 years since 2003. The Falcons have only made the playoffs ONCE playing the NFC East which was in 2012, but the good news is that we swept them in 2012 and 2015. Since 2003, whenever the NFC South has played the NFC East, we've always made it to at least the conference championship game. The 2003 Panthers made it to the Super Bowl. The 2006 Saints made it to the NFC Championship. The 2009 Saints (*cough* *cough*). The 2012 Falcons made it to the NFC Championship. The 2015 Panthers made it to the Super Bowl. What does this tell you? A good chance a team out of the NFC South will be back in the NFC Championship this year let alone the Super Bowl in Atlanta. The Falcons have NEVER won the division playing the NFC North, but we've made the playoffs playing the NFC North several times such as 2002, 2008, 2011, and 2017. 3 out of 4 times the Falcons won the division, we played the NFC West, something about the Falcons playing the West huh? However, it's been a pattern. 2004, 2010, and 2016, but not 2007 and 2013. Regardless of how 2018 goes for the Falcons, we will lose a lot of talented players to the free agency because of salary cap after this season. I believe the Falcons window will be 2018, 2019, and 2020. If we don't get it done after the 2020 season then I believe it's over for Matt Ryan. This upcoming 2018 the Super Bowl is in Atlanta come February 2019, but the biggest obstacle for us is knowing a team has never been to the Super Bowl in their home stadium. 2019 is an odd numbered year, an AFC South year, however, can the Falcons finally break that curse? In 2019 it'll be the first time since 2013 no team out of the NFC will be playing the AFC West and the NFC West at the same time. The NFC East plays the AFC East, but there will be no Giants/Patriots match up because Eli is getting old and so is Brady too. The run of NFC teams representing the Super Bowl with the AFC East on their schedule ended after 2012. Drew Brees will be 40 by this season. Thomas Davis and Julius Peppers will be retired. So I look at 2019 for the NFC South, and we play the AFC South (and the NFC West too), and the Falcons could have an extreme veteran shutdown defense along with a veteran offense. Matt Ryan will no longer be at the highest salary of QB's by then so that'll help his chances out by then. Pete Carroll won the Super Bowl playing the AFC South and the NFC South but lost it playing the AFC West and his own NFC West. Dan Quinn lost the Super Bowl playing the AFC West and the NFC West, but could Dan Quinn and the Falcons get in done in 2019 playing the AFC South and our own NFC South division? Year 5 for Dan Quinn could be a better version of year 5 for Mike Smith? Rings a bell? The first great odd numbered season in the history of our Falcons legit happens to be the year we win the Super Bowl in our white jerseys!? If the odd numbered season curse continues with the 2019 Falcons, then we still have a chance in 2020, because the Falcons are always the class of the NFC South when playing the AFC West right? 25 years from the 1995 Braves and 4 years from the 2016 Falcons. I'll take it! But we better get it done in one of these next 3 years, that's all I gotta say.