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  1. It is something I have been thinking of for a while, and while watching First Take this morning they kinda touched on it and really got me thinking. What is the identity of the Atlanta Falcons? Specifically with Dan Quinn? What is the one or two things we always know we can hang our hat on? I ask my children, "What is your default setting?" When you have the world crumbling around you, when things are going to crap, what is your default setting? What will be there for you to lean on through the good times and bad? New England - Doesn't make mistakes, will let you bury yourself. KC - Prolific offense Baltimore - Rushing offense and excellent defense New Orleans - Consistently efficient and excellent offense Dallas - Run game Chicago - Defense etc, etc I know what Quinn preaches. He preaches flying around, fast and physical! But the product on the field doesn't always reflect that...at least not often enough to etch that in stone as our "identity". It seems to me we do not know what our identity is from week to week. It seems to me our default setting is inconsistency and unpreparedness. Letting teams back into games that we are winning comfortably, playing down to our opponents we should beat handily, making poor decisions in critical moments seems to be our default setting. Now, if you ask me, the Dan Quinn defense we were promised all along? We were fed a line of ****. The defense just isn't where it needs to be, and really for the entire tenure of Dan Quinn, hasn't been close to where it needs to be which leads me to the following article on what I think our identity should be, what our default setting should be. A prolific passing offense that utilizes the pass to setup a run game. Ryan, Julio, Ridley, Sanu, Hooper...in a pass happy league, we have a wealth of talent in the passing attack. We should be a prolific passing offense, and yet we continue to kill ourselves with mistakes. But could the 2nd half from Indy be a insight into things to come? I am not 100% giving up on this defense, as I do think DQ knows his stuff, but after 5 years you gotta call a spade a spade imo. The identity of this team, at least under Dan Quinn, will never be an excellent defensive and disciplined team. History tells us otherwise. What we do know is we have future Hall of Famers, in their prime, on offense. It's their time, yet again, to lead this team. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- https://www.atlantafalcons.com/news/after-further-review-matt-ryan-gives-potent-offense-much-needed-jump-start Atlanta’s numerous penalties and second slow start on the road have been the center of attention in the aftermath of the Falcons' 27-24 loss to the Colts, and rightfully so. But there’s something else from Sunday’s game that deserves some focus from the fan base – an offense that was as red-hot in the second half as an NFL offense can possibly be. The Falcons had three possessions in the second half, each of which resulted in touchdowns. Each of those drives covered over 70 yards and spanned at least eight plays; the longest drive covered 78 yards and lasted 16 plays. The point is, the Falcons’ offense showed the ability to sustain drives and make plays in crucial moments. After halftime, the Falcons were a perfect 8-of-8 on third down, despite facing an average distance of 5.9 yards such downs. As offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter later noted, that level of production is unsustainable, but it proved the Falcons could hit that gear when needed. Quarterback Matt Ryan completed his first 18 passes of the second half and would have been a perfect 23-for-23 after halftime but for a pass that running back Devonta Freeman bobbled and dropped. Ryan shook off a forgettable first half and another ill-advised throw that resulted in his sixth interception of the season to look like the player who took home the NFL’s MVP award in 2016. Jacoby Brissett, the Colts’ quarterback who was thrust into a starting role following Andrew Luck’s surprise retirement before the season, was also incredibly efficient and completed his first 16 passes of the game on Sunday. But, as the passing charts below indicate, Brissett completed just five passes that traveled at least 10 yards in the air. Ryan, on the other hand, doubled that number and completed 10 such passes. So, while Brissett was also incredibly efficient during a long stretch of the game, his degree of difficulty was lower than Ryan’s. That’s not to take anything away from Brissett, who did a great job of taking what the Falcons’ defense gave him, but it’s rather to highlight just how impressive Ryan’s run was in the second half. Ryan also spread the ball around and utilized the entirety of the Falcons’ weapons with eight different players catching passes in the second half. Atlanta also didn’t have to rely entirely on throwing the ball against the Colts. Devonta Freeman turned in his best performance of the season, carrying the ball 16 times for 88 yards and showcasing the burst and cutting ability that make him a dangerous runner.“I thought that when we ran the ball, we ran it really well,” Ryan said. “I thought our offensive line did a good job. Again, when you fall behind you’re going to have to throw it some more to get back into the game. But when we did run the football, we ran it very efficiently.” Offensively, the Falcons showcased a mixture of explosion and sustainability in the second half. That Sunday’s game felt like it would come down to whichever team had the ball last is a testament to just how well Atlanta’s offensive played after falling into a 20-3 hole leading into halftime, and it sure didn’t feel like the Falcons would be stopped if they got the ball back a fourth time. And this is where it comes back around to penalties. The Falcons’ defensive penalties helped sustain the Colts’ lone scoring drive of the second half, and their offensive penalties chipped away at precious time on the clock, leaving them with no opportunity to get the ball back at the end of the game. Yet, the Falcons’ offense succeeded in spite of those penalties. In previous games such penalties would have stalled the types of long scoring drives Atlanta put together against the Colts. That wasn’t the case on Sunday, and it’s a reason for optimism with 13 games left to play. The Falcons may be 1-2 after three games but all is hardly lost. Far from it. Of the 12 teams to reach the playoffs in 2018, six of them had the same record through three games that the Falcons do right now, including the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. How these early games unfold is important. It’s not as important as a win or a loss, but with such a small sample size it provides some context for how things may play out moving forward. Given how Atlanta’s offense kicked into gear on Sunday, this thing might be just getting started.
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