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  1. Greetings all. I hope this day finds everyone in good spirits and good health. I've been meaning to do another one of these for a while, but I've been swamped and to be totally honest, this team has bored me to death this season. Now it hasn't been the losing so much or the inconsistency -- I expected that. Rather, this team on both sides of the ball schematically has been as plain as a stripper without makeup. Ya'll know what I'm talking about, right? She was the baddest thing you'd ever seen in that dark club, then you get her home and the next morning you see her without that wig and lord have mercy... 🤭 I think I've said to much... at any rate, uh, yeah Falcons. One of the things that has gotten on my nerves watching us offensively is the utter lack of imagination. Now I'm not looking for Tchaikovsky levels of genius from Arthur Smith. But give me some competence, some Supko. Let me know that we know what we're doing. That we can make adjustments. As you know, for the past few weeks teams have thrown man coverage at us because they know we don't have the horses to beat it, and I've been taken aback at our inability to throw a little more variety at them. But Sunday, I saw a little something. I want to take a look a three plays. Shoutout to @NWFALCON . Play 1: First quarter. First drive. We got 3rd and 9. AS calls up a Gun Bunch which I've been screaming for. The back is set to the open side. Now this doesn't unfold exactly pretty. Jacksonsville in 2 Man Under -- one of the more popular calls in the league -- that's two safety's each playing deep half, everyone else playing man underneath. Also known as Cover-5 in some circles because you are essentially covering the 5 eligible receivers. The routes are as follows. To the open side -- bottom of the screen, Sharpe will run the drag, the back will run the Texas route, also known as a HB choice in some schemes. To the bunch, Pitts will run a sort of Bang-8 (the route that got Michael Irvin to the HOF). Oz, I honestly can't tell what he was running because he couldn't get off the jam, lol, so I didn't bother, but I imagine he was set on some kind of hook, and then we've got Hardy to the flat. Personally, I'm not in love with this design on 3rd and long because only one route is really attacking the 1st down, but whatever. The reads on this look like Matt went from Pitts, to Oz, to Hardy. At that snap, you see a mess. Pitts beats his man inside, but the look isn't exactly clean. Matt goes to #2, Oz looks like he's blocking for a running play, poor guy. But good fortune finds us. This is what happens when you play press man against bunch formations. There are different way to defend this from man, but that's another thread, but the Jags did it all wrong. You can see #5 gets lost in traffic and Hardy has all kinds of room to work. And Hardy just makes a play.
  2. Well done videos breaking by down the zone read and play action over the past two years. opinion: Ryan will thrive in this system. (Or new QB 🤪) We will also need a really good RB too. will be interesting to see who the new OC will be. The Titans o line is tough we will need excellent OG/C play in this scheme. TEs will need to block and catch. Hurst will thrive. take it all in pals. Thoughts?
  3. I see a lot of posters still saying our offense has been an issue this season, or that Koetter/Ryan has struggled, and sure, if you look at the raw numbers like total ypg and total points scored one could conclude we have been either average or above average (7th in ypg and 16 in ppg). However if we look deeper into the numbers and use some stats that account for the lack of possessions that the Falcons have had thanks to their historically bad defensive performance so far, where we rank dead last in franchise history in points allowed and third-worst in Defensive SRS according to PFF, then we start seeing that our offense has been on the whole very effective. Currently Falcons rank 4th in the league in yards per drive, 7th in points per drive, 7th in time of possession per drive, and most impressive of all we rank 2nd in drive success rate (DSR). What DSR measures are the percentage of sets of downs that either end in a first down or a TD. This stat indicates the effectiveness with which a team is able to move the sticks, and is explained by our very high 3rd down cvr% (48% ranking 7th) and our equally good Red Zone TD% (65% which ranks 6th) Also of note is that we're currently ranked 29th in average starting field position, which in my estimation can help to explain how our points per drive lag behind our DSR this year. Overall, especially considering the almost complete lack of running game, this is a job well done so far by Koetter and Ryan. Obviously the big blemish here is our high turnover rate which is inflated considerably thanks to the first two games of the season where we had a whopping 6 turnovers. After that flukey start Falcons have actually done a superb job of not turning the ball over with just three in their last four games, which is a TO rate of .75per game that would rank in the top five in the NFL. Conversely, our defense has not caused a single turnover during that same time frame, with the only takeaway coming in Houston on a muffed punt. No team in the NFL has less defensive takeaways than the Falcons who are tied with Dolphins and Jags for least in the NFL this year Interestingly, if we go back to 2018 we actually see a very similar picture, where we ranked 4th in the league in YPD, 6th in PPD, and 6th in DSR. 10th in Red zone TD% and 4th in 3rdD%. Needless to say, the offense has not been a problem for the Falcons during the last two seasons. This post is long enough that I don't want to dissect the defensive stats so far this year, but trust me, if you look deeper into them it's incredible how abysmal we have been on that side of the ball, in absolutely every single facet. It is no exaggeration to say we are one of the worst defenses not just of this year but of any year, ever. EDIT: Here are the links :https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/drivestatsoff/2019 https://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/drivestatsoff/2018 https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/red-zone-scoring-pct https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/third-down-conversion-pct
  4. Greetings all. It's been too long my friends. I was meaning to do one of these last week, but after the opening weekend dumpster fire, I couldn't bring myself to look at that game against the Vikings again without feeling to need to vomit. Mercifully, this week was different. Don't you just love a victory Monday? You don't feel like kicking the dog, annoying kids seem cute, food taste better. Life is just a little better coming off a W. With all that out the way, I wasn't in love with everything I saw last night from Dirk and offense, and I'm still angling to try to see what we hang our hat on on that side of the ball. No worries though -- it's just week 2 and we opened up against two teams that are built to give us problems no matter how together we are, so I have confidence that the offensive cohesion will come (fingers crossed). But I did see some interesting wrinkles last night and I thought they were worth discussing. RPO - or Run Pass Option where a run play is called in the huddle and the quarterback has a built in pass play to get to based on the read of a key defender. You remember a couple years ago when the Eagles tore through the playoffs and the RPO was all the rage and some around here got to asking why we didn't run them? Well we did... and we do. We've always run RPO's going back to the days of Mularkey. We just ran them from under center and they often looked like quick slants. There's one wrinkle that separates these from play-action passes, which commentators often confuse them for. The run and pass are completely independent of one another. On a play action pass, the offensive line, even though they are firing out to show run, are still blocking for pass. In and RPO, they are strictly run blocking. They have no idea if the QB is picking it up and throwing or handing off. They are just doing their job. Even the running back doesn't know if it's run or pass. The pass option is strictly between the QB and the receiver. Everyone else is executing a run play. PLAY #1 - from the opening drive. We are in a a strong-I formation. STRONG denoting that the fullback in the "I" is set to the the tight end side instead of a dotted "I" directly behind the QB, for anyone who is wondering. Julio is in a reduced, or "Nasty" split in West Coast Offensive lingo. Now there are all sorts of cool strategic reasons you put Julio in a nasty split that's worthy of it's own topic. We can get to that another time. Sanu is out wide at the top of the screen. The run call is an inside zone weak to the boundary, with Sanu running a smoke route to the back side of the play. The read Matt is making is the linebackers. This is where the QB earns his money, in the pre-snap reads. He sees them packed in and just creeping for an all out blitz. I can't see the coverage to see if it's a Cover-0, but it is not a favorable run look, even with the Wide-9 alignment the Eagles are in. Also, Matt sees the corner playing off, past the sticks, so it's an easy decision. If that guy was pressed, Matt doesn't throw it out there. Matt picks the ball up and gives it to Sanu right now... And Sanu is just out there being a football player on 2nd and 4. This is more of what I want to see. You don't have to be clever to get the most out of this offense. We don't have to try to drop bombs on people all game. Defense wants to blitz you and leave OUR WEAPONS one on one, let 'em. Get the ball out quick and we'll take our guys one-on-one every time.
  5. 2018 Pro Bowl wide receiver Julio Jones finished his season racking up 1,677 yards with 8 TDs after scoring all 8 in the last 9 weeks of the season. Rookie wide receiver Calvin Ridley finished his 2018 season with 821 yards and leading all rookie receivers with 10 TDs. Finishing 7th of all receiving TD leaders. Slot receiver Mohamed Sanu finished his season with 838 yards and 4 TDs. Do you believe under the coaching of Dirk Koetter the Falcons can have the best Trio of receivers in 2019? Check out my new highlight video and decide for yourself.
  6. When reading the comments and the reaction of the fans, one couldn’t help seeing tthe shortsightedness of the fans. The Falcons had a pool of players to go after and this based on their research and resources. This process starts weeks before the draft starts—this is not like an overnight and on the go process. The fans are always dramatic and want the big names that get hyped up by the media and within NFL circles. Some of this hype is well-deserved based on the talent, but many times it is like steroids for hype and national attention. When you peel the process, the best teams go for pragmatic solutions. You invest in players that fit your style and believes. The Falcons KPI (Kep Performance Index/marketing world will know what I mean) or benchmarks are based on this: Character Athletism Data/Analytics Agility Smartness Expert Take-Scouting Coaches After using your benchmarks, you come up with a pool of players that fits those KPI’s or benchmarks. The Falcons selected those players based on data, analytics, and scouting take. This has nothing to do with TD making the decision over DQ or DQ taking the lead. The decisions are based on a cumulative basis. The Falcons knew that rhe OL was a major obstacle for the team. What is your biggest investment and your most important asset? It is Matt Ryan and protecting him was the main priority. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that if you protect Matty Ice, you will get an offense that is going to be deadly and scoring points. The Falcons running game was affected by the shortfalls within the OL trenches. Finally, I bet Arthur Blank advised TD and DQ to make the OL a priority based on his take. The Falcons decided that protecting Matt Ryan and the running game needed a major facelift. The Falcons added two smart big guys to help that cause. Strategically, this makes sense in the long run. If you have a great offense, you can win many games with an average defense. The Falcons don’t need to be a Top 10 defense to win the Super Bowl, but a Top 15 will suffice. The fans need to realize that the Falcons added two major pieces to the offense that will be cost-effective and with the option of a 5-year contract. Tom Brady always excelled because it was hard to get to him and he had a great pocket protection. Matt Ryan needs pocket protection to be a great QB. The Falcons don’t have that many holes and some of the fans exaggerate the situation. The Defense will improve dramatically with DQ on the helm. He is going to push players like VIC and Tak. We will add couple of more pieces to the defense via the draft to solidify the team. In summary, The Falcons got bigger and beefy in the trenches which is something we haven’t seen in a longtime. The OL should become one of the Falcons most improved unit and it will help the Offense to be a Top 5 offense with weapons like MR, Julio, Freeman, Sani, Hooper and Calvin. We need to believe in the process by logic and not emotions. The Falcons are primed to be one of the best team in the NFC next year and a team that is one of the most talented. Keep the faith and #RiseUp...
  7. https://youtu.be/NRJtM1nsokg Check out the highlights I created for a Julio's 6th Probowl season.
  8. After a difficult start in 2018, the Falcons Offense is trending to be the most efficient in it’s history. I really do thing this version is even more deadlier than the 2016 version. I really do think Matt Ryan is operating at the peak of his career- This Matt Ryan looks like a Professor or a General on the field commanding his troops with efficiency and potency. Matt Ryan has this deadly look on his eyes and looking like quiet assassin shredding the defenses. This verion has a mature Austin Hooper who is developing to be a very efficient weapon for Matt Ryan. Ito Smith looks like another great addition to the RB core and he is becoming a major force for the Falcons. Then, there is Calvin Ridley which really magnified this version by opening the field for Matty Ice- a much better of version of Turbo Taylor. Calvin will be a force to come in the years to come. Then, you have the old amigos of Julio Jones and Sanu-these two great receivers have professionalism and leadership for the offense. Sanu has been a great teammate defying some posters about dropping him. Sanu has swagger and toughness that you want from your receivers. Julio is the ultimate teammate who I love and respect- his cool and a great guy to be around. Tevin Coleman has speed and athleticism that adds a different dimension to the offense. Finally, you have Matty Ice and Sark- these two are gelling and you could see how they are on the same page. Actually, I think Sark is even a better version of Kyle because he seems more humble and practical. Matt Ryan is playing on another level. The 3rd down efficiecy and Red Zone efficiency are very important metrics- this shows the Falcons have the best chances of converting 3rd down than any other team and one of the Top 5 in Red Zone. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this number going into top 3 and PTs average rising between 30-33. In other words, a Top 3 Offense. Matt Ryan will have more 5000 yards and probably 40 touchdowns or so which be a career best. We haven’t seen the best of the offense which makes this team even more scarier- the OL is stablizing in blocking and run plays. One number that has a lot room to go higher is the running game. The Falcons running numbers could start averaging around 120-130 during the 2nd half of the season. The total offense could improve to #3 due to running game improvement. In Summary, this team is started to look Like the 2016 version, but even much better. This team seems more tougher and even more battle tested. The offense looks mesmerizing and a thing of beauty. Don’t fight the trends and facts. #FalconsRising
  9. Okay, been meaning to get this one for a while. About a month or so ago after our first game I made a thread pointing out how Matt missed a couple of gimmies that could have changed the outcome by not going through his pre-snap reads and I think what I was saying might have went over a few folks' head. Well as I suspected, he quickly got the problem ironed out and has been playing light's out the past few games. And when I say "lights out", I mean he's putting up another MVP caliber season that I fear is going to waste. But that's neither here nor there today. I wanna talk about the good. PRE-SNAP READ (PSR): first off, what is a pre-snap read? Glad you asked. It's exactly what it sounds like. The QB steps to the line and he's going to get a read on the defense before the ball is snapped. He's looking for every little clue that's going to if not completely give away the exact coverage, narrow it down to one or two possibilities. Now every QB, every system has its own "ritual" if you will, but generall speaking QB breaks the huddle, ideally with around 16-15 seconds on the playclock. He's wants to get everyone lined up so he can take his time looking over the defensive alignment. He's looking at the safeties. This is a big one because corners can lie, linebackers can lie but safeties will tell you the truth. Their alignment will usually give away the coverage. Are there two high safeties, or one high? Two high, it's cover-2, man under, or quarters. One high, it's cover-1, or cover-3. Are there two high safeties but they are both sitting really shallow, like under 10 yards? That's an oh **** moment. That's cover-0. You know the defense is bringing the house and the ball's gotta come out quick. What's the depth of the safeties and width? If there are two safeties sitting at around 10-12 yards and they are split kind of wide of the hash, then that's some sort of Cover-2. Are there two safeties sitting a little more shallow, say around 10 yards and they're tucked in a little tighter than normal, sort of hovering over the #2 receiver, that's quarters. Then you move to your corners. Are they pressed or playing off? Are they looking at the QB or the receiver -- that's a big clue man or zone. If they're looking at the QB almost 100% zone. Is one pressed and the other playing off? That's a clue that you're gonna get some sort of split field coverage like Cover-6. If you are in a 3 receiver set what's the slot corner doing? Is he directly over the slot receiver or is he cheating over close to the LOS? If he is and the safety to that side is sitting shallow and playing closer to the LOS than normal, that's a slot corner blitz. What's the linebacker's doing? Are they aligned over their normal gaps or are they maybe stepped over kind of funny? That could tip a blitz, etc. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Every single snap of the game the QB is taking seconds right before the snap to gather as much information as possible. And that information is going to tell him where his first look is on the play. Every play has a progression, 1 to 2, to 3. But who the first look is on the play is determined by the PSR. That's the point I think a few people were missing on the thread I'm referring to. Now I want to first take a look at what it looks like when it's done wrong. This play right here the Eagles are in Cover-0. No doubt about it, the alignment of the safeties gives it away. Instead of taking Sanu right there in the slot who was uncovered, Matt forces the ball to Julio on a 7 route. Wrong read. This is the stuff that keeps points off the board and gets you beat. The PSR should have taken him to Sanu as the first look. Now here's what it looks like when it's done right. I'm gonna throw up a couple of plays... not all in order but (I think) but bear with me. Play #1 - 1st quarter, we're looking at 2nd and 4. You can't see it from the tv copy but it looks like the Bucs were in 3-Cloud (could have also been Cover-6) with a safety over the top to help the underneath corner on Julio to the top of the screen. Good anticipation on this call because we aren't even gonna keep Julio on that side and make it easy for the D. Julio motions across the formation, turning it from a trips look to a trey y-flex. As you can see, the corner does not follow Julio, confirming that this is zone. And here's our new formation. Now what have we learned that we can add to our PSR info? Corner stayed to the top of the screen and didn't follow Julio so we know it's zone. Julio is uncovered in that #3 position and the safety to his side of the formation is still sitting at 12 plus yards so a pressure is unlikely. So we've narrowed the defense down to a zone, most likely a split field coverage based off the corner and safety. Matt pretty much knows right now what side of the field he's going to read first. Quick look at the routes we got Julio running sticks, Sanu clearing out the underneath stuff on a vertical, Ridley a speed out. To the top of the screen Hooper running a hook, Coleman leaking out to the flat. And here we go. Safetys bail and the flat defender follows Coleman, which makes it look to me like the may have checked the coverage to Mable, but whatever the case that's curl/flat concept to that side of the field. Bucs have no chance. As soon as the flat defender follows Coleman the ball comes out right now to Hooper. Hooper didn't quite get deep enough so it's 3rd and 1, but you can see the principles at work. 2nd and 4 just gone get the easy throw. Pass rush has no chance. Matt stays clean.
  10. I don’t know about you guys, but today we shredded a very decent Panthers Defense and we looked like the 2016 Falcons on Offense. The Offense moved with many players involved just like the Shanny schemes. This could be the game that propels the Falcons to get back in the saddle. If we see consistency, then we will remember this game when the Falcons got back in the rythem. I love the idea of Coleman and Ito had a great complimentary game in the running game. Wes and Mathiews opened the lanes for the running game. #Redemption in the making for Falcons Offense. Matty Ice was fuming and playing like a MVP.
  11. The offense was disappointing this year, as it was in Shanahan's first year as OC. Because of the improvements that occurred in 2016 I think they give Sark another year, hoping they get a similar result. The question is, do you expect to see a marketable improvement over what we saw on offense this year? My opinion is that we severely underachieved on offense all year. Far too many weapons to be bogged down as much as they were. No matter who calls the plays, I think there will be an improvement just because it's unlikely to get those results from this group two years straight. I also think playing a third place schedule will help as well. Most of the turnover in the playoffs occurs from teams underachieving and then taking advantage of an easy schedule. I suspect the same will happen for Atlanta. What do you think? Do we keep Sark? Do we bring someone else in? Do we get better either way?
  12. I know he Vikings defense is suppsed to be stout but 9 and Matt wasn' even pressured too much all day. There were so many dropped balls and missed opportunities. Where the **** was the offense?
  13. Saw this on twitter from Scott Kacsmar. Falcons points per drive 2016: 3.03 Falcons points per drive 2017: 2.88 For reference, 2.88 points per drive would have been good for 1st overall last year by a wide margin. New Orleans was 2nd last year with 2.65. Points per drive stats from: http://www.footballoutsiders.com/stats/drivestatsoff2016 I was just as bummed out as most people that we didn't get to put up 30+ like we know we can, but really the low output was just as much about getting dragged in to a slow paced game on a ****** field. We only ran 55 offensive plays (3 and outs don't help but still). So all in all, no reason to panic. Our offence is still as efficient as ever, even when it doesn't look great. Here's to hoping we get back to our high flying ways next week when we're back at home!
  14. Pick one for each category, if u want someone else listed or a name changed just say so #RiseUp
  15. GREG A. BEDARD SI.com To explain how center Alex Mack has become a crucial figure in the juggernaut that is the 2016 Falcons’ offense, you have to start with something surprising—something that isn’t exactly typical among the league’s top offensive line iceboxes. You have to start with ... running. In 2009, after Cleveland had made Mack the 21st pick in the NFL draft, out of Cal, teammate Joe Thomas was perplexed by Mack’s behavior during one of the team's first off-season practices. Mack’s arrival had coincided with the hiring of coach Eric Mangini, who, like his mentor, the Patriots’ Bill Belichick, made players run laps if they made simple mistakes—jumping offside, for example, or, in Mack’s case, executing a poor snap. Usually, a player would run approximately 400 yards at an even trot—especially if the offender was a bulky lineman. “Not Alex,” says Thomas. “The way he ran laps, it was like he was Michael Johnson in the Olympic final. He had to be running, like, 50-second 400s—and he ran a lot of them because he had a lot of bad snaps and a lot of offside penalties as a rookie. But he would get going, and he would only miss one play, which was just amazing. The way he’d run, with his arms flailing, his head back, bouncing side to side—it was really a sight to behold. Alex does not have very good running technique, but he definitely runs really hard.” Mack certainly made an impression on Thomas. “I used to laugh to myself, thinking, Who is this goofball? Just take your time,” Thomas says. “But he was determined to get that lap over with as quickly as he could. He didn’t want to miss any more time learning the position. He’s such a master of his craft.” Seven years later, at 30, the NFL’s Running Man hasn’t slowed down. Mack (who opted out of his Browns contract last March) was one of Atlanta coach Dan Quinn’s top targets in the off-season. The three-time Pro Bowler arrived last summer at training camp in Flowery Branch, Ga., with its brutal blend of heat, humidity and unrelenting sun, and kept his foot on the gas. “He had a number of screen plays in practice, rep after rep, and he’s hauling *** about 45 yards down the field trying to get a block in front of [running back Devonta] Freeman,” says Quinn. “Little interactions like that reaffirmed what he’s about as a competitor. You could feel his strain and effort.” “Offensive linemen just don’t do that,” says right tackle Ryan Schraeder. “And when he does that every play? It makes me feel like I have to do that every play. Before I know it, I’m running downfield, trying to pick guys off. Stuff like that rubs off.” “Our receivers see that, our running backs see it, I see it,” says quarterback Matt Ryan, a nine-year veteran. “The more guys you have doing that, the better off you’re going to be.” It’s not just his hustle that is rubbing off on his teammates. Left tackle Jake Matthews is the son of Hall of Fame guard Bruce Matthews and the nephew of retired linebacker Clay Matthews Jr., so not much surprises the third-year pro. But observing Mack in his first positional meeting with the Falcons caused Matthews to alter what even he expected of himself. “You think: He’s an older guy, probably gets it all, has all the answers,” says Matthews. “But it wasn’t that way. He was firing questions nonstop. And I think it’s influencing the line a lot. He wants to pinpoint every little thing that can possibly happen and make sure we’re prepared for it. That’s been really refreshing and has helped a lot of the linemen grow and think about things in a different way. I’m trying to follow his lead because I want to get where he is.” Mack got where he is a long time ago—he has been an excellent player for years. Before the 2014 season Cleveland placed the transition tag on him, allowing the market to determine his compensation. The Jaguars offered him a five-year, $42 million contract, and the Browns exercised their right and matched the offer. Through the first five games of 2014, with Mack in the middle and a trio of no-name running backs behind him, Cleveland averaged 26.8 points and 146.4 rushing yards per game. But in the second quarter of a 31–10 dismantling of the rival Steelers in Week 6, Mack fractured his left fibula and was lost for the rest of the season, breaking a streak of 5,279 straight snaps. The Browns averaged 15.0 points and 90.5 rushing yards per game the rest of the way. “That shows his value right there,” says Thomas. “Losing him really hurt.” Coming back from injury and with his offensive coordinator in Cleveland, Kyle Shanahan, now relocated to Atlanta, Mack had a 2015 season that was good for most centers but not for him. In 2016 he's healthy and playing for Shanahan again. ProFootballFocus.com rates him as the No. 3 center this season. Shanahan employs a run-based scheme similar to what his father, Mike, ran in Denver and Washington. The inside- and outside-zone running system is demanding for a center. On an inside-zone run, Mack and a guard will usually double-team a defensive tackle and then scoot quickly to block a linebacker. Late in the first quarter of a 48–33 victory over the Panthers, Mack blasted standout defensive tackle Star Lotulelei with his right shoulder, directing him into the block of right guard Chris Chester. Mack then kept moving to hit All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly. Mack squared up Kuechly and turned to the right to form a wall that Freeman could run behind. Kuechly, the best middle linebacker in the game, was rendered helpless for one of the few times in his career, as Freeman scored from 13 yards out. The key block in Shanahan’s outside-zone runs is the reach block. When the move is not well executed, the result is often a tackle for a loss. There’s nothing misleading about the terminology: The block calls for the center to reach a player beyond arm’s length and control him, either by running him to the sideline or turning him back toward the play. Centers are usually at a size, strength and speed disadvantage against defensive tackles. It’s like a brown bear trying to take down a larger grizzly, and the brown bear has to snap a football first. With 4:52 left in the second quarter in the Falcons’ 23–16 road upset of the defending champion Broncos, Mack had nosetackle Sylvester Williams off his left shoulder in the A gap between him and left guard Andy Levitre. Freeman was to go in the B gap to the left of Levitre. So for the play to work, Mack had to push Williams past the B gap, or somehow get his helmet between Williams and the B gap, and control him long enough for Freeman to get by. And Mack had no idea where Williams intended to go. It’s all reaction, and executing counter moves with feet and hands in two seconds. Mack is one of the best reach blockers among centers, which is due to his wrestling background (at San Marcos High in Santa Barbara, Calif.), height (6' 4") and strong hands. “He has the size of a guard but the quickness of a center, and that’s pretty rare,” says Quinn. Mack stayed low to get under Williams’s pads and gain leverage. He was then able to move his feet between Williams and Freeman. Williams didn’t allow himself to get turned, but Mack was able to control Williams enough that Freeman ran for a nine-yard gain. Mack is stellar in pass protection too, and his experience allows him to recognize the schemes he sees and communicate them to his linemates. He’s had a calming effect on passing downs. Atlanta has gone from averaging 21.2 points per game in 2015 to 32.8 this season. Total yards have increased by 50.9 yards per game. The running game has gone from averaging 3.82 yards per attempt to 4.41, and yards per pass attempt has increased from 7.41 to 9.45, despite playing the second-toughest schedule (including back-to-back road games against stingy defenses in Denver and Seattle), according to FootballOutsiders.com. “It’s hard to quantify the impact of an offensive lineman,” says Quinn. “It’s been deeper than the numbers for us. It’s been the communication at the line, leading the front in the run game. It’s been allowing the protections from him and Matt to be totally on the same page. He has a real standard in how he likes to play and how he likes to prepare. Honestly, he’s been a really good addition for us.” Mack did not run away from Cleveland—even though the team was a combined 33–79 during his time with the Browns. “There was a sense of unfinished business,” says Mack. “I was drafted there, and I would have liked to have left the team better off than when I found it. I don’t regret any of my time there. I liked the coaches they brought in. Hue [Jackson] had a great attitude. It was more the fact that it was just another reset. It was frustrating to have another new coach, another new GM, and there was still the question of the quarterback. On the other hand, it was a great opportunity [in Atlanta]. Your career is only so long, and I was excited to get a fresh start.” Mack’s contract with the Browns included an option for him to void the final three years of the deal and become a free agent, if he were willing to give up the $8 million he was guaranteed in ’16. Once owner Jimmy Haslam hired former Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta (as chief strategy officer) and Sashi Brown (as executive vice president of football operations) in January, with their Moneyball approach, Mack’s departure seemed inevitable. “The new analytics people didn’t really value the center position very much,” says Thomas. “They much more strongly value the outside players. They feel like building a team from the outside in is how you do it. You value your tackles to some level, but they really value receivers and cornerbacks and DBs. For Alex, I’m guessing it was, I’m the best player in the NFL at my position. Somebody’s going to pay me to be the best player in the NFL at my position. Why would I stay in Cleveland for somebody who doesn’t want me that much, for a team that doesn’t seem to be making progress? I want to go somewhere that’s got a quarterback, a lot of pieces in place, and maybe I can be the final piece of that puzzle.” Atlanta did make Mack the highest paid player at his position in terms of guaranteed money ($28.5 million), giving him a five-year, $45 million deal on the first day of free agency. The Browns are rebuilding again, with a focus away from the ball, while the Falcons believe they have found the final piece of their puzzle. http://www.si.com/nfl/2016/11/08/alex-mack-atlanta-falcons-center
  16. I don't know if it was brought up but did anybody notice that we scored on every offensive possession last night? Tampa didn't force one punt last night. Wow!!
  17. The magic number seems to be 33. If we get there first, we win. If don't and the other team does, we lose. Would love to hear your thoughts on my theory.
  18. I liked the last thread for G,B,U so figured I would make one for Week 2. The Good - The offense finally kicked it into gear. They marched the ball down field effortlessly, especially in the 2nd half with touchdown after touchdown. Matt Ryan looks like he is gaining more and more confidence in the offense and is starting to look comfortable again. It's also nice to see that we don't have to force feed Julio in order to win. Big time contributions from the tight ends this week, Tamme, Hooper even Toilolo had big time catches and Sanu stepped up late with Julio out. Also good, VERY good, pass pro! I was expecting Mack and Irvin to dine on Matt Ryan all day long, and that was far from the case. They were quiet, super quiet, and I absolutely loved it! GREAT job by the o-line yesterday. Also good, Devonta Freeman looked amazing yesterday. He seemed to be cracking off 6-8 yard runs every time he touched the ball. It's odd though that he was not targeted once in the passing game? Also, it seems RBBC is more true than "ride the hot hand" because while TeCo was also doing well, Freeman was the hot hand yesterday and it seemed he would get going and then we would see TeCo. The Bad - Ugh, 3rd down penalties. Stupid penalties. 12 men on the field. Pushing off on a pick that didn't need to happen. Defensive holding. They really need to clean up the flags. I couldn't wait to see Mike Smith go, but I must admit...I miss the days when we had a disciplined team. These flags are ridiculous. The Ugly - Where the heck is the pass rush?!?! It was completely non existent again yesterday, DQ and company need to figure out how to apply some pressure or this team will go nowhere. With the offense clicking, we need the defense to step up and we have a real shot at the division. Missed tackles. Looks like this team is back to the Falcons of old who cannot wrap up and bring down a runner. Although he hasn't played a regular season snap, it seems we really miss Neal. And I love Spoon, but he is not a starting OLB. We need Campbell back this week, he brings so much more to the table. All in all, a solid win, on the road, against an up and coming AFC contender. A lot of stuff to work on, but also a lot of stuff to build on. On to the Saints, RISE THE EFF UP!
  19. Offense: Brandon Wilds is gonna be our #3 RB if he continues playing this way Aldrick Robinson is going to make this team unless something awful happens Devin Fuller will probably be on the practice squad We all love Weems but our WR core seems strong... he may be on the bubble The Matt Ryan complaining is absurd, and both Schaub and Renfree looked like solid backups TeCo and Free are an amazing duo and Wilds as 3 could be incredible. Defense: De'Vondre Campbell & Deion Jones are the Alf and Truf of LBs... barring anything crazy they will be locking it down for years Akeem King and CJ Goodwin will likely make the roster Therezie didn't impress me Cory Johnson could be a sneaky DT to make the 53, at minimum will be PS McLennan was meh Nordly Capi looks good Beasley is gonna go OFF this year Spoon looks like Spoon again. He picked up an RB and powerbombed their *** for a loss ST: JD McKissic NEEDS to be our returner. I am more than OK with dropping Weems if he keeps it up. Bryant is our kicker this yr ______ MVPs: Robinson, Wilds, Campbell, Jones, McKissic Special Mention: SPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNNN!!!!
  20. http://atlantasportspage.org/asp/why-the-falcons-offense-will-improve-in-2016/
  21. Here's a little piece on 5 Training Camp & Start of Season Predictions for ours truly - comments or questions? Don't be afraid to spread this on social media for opinions. Mohamed Sanu liked one of my tweets about him last night too! Awesome team player!! http://lastwordonsports.com/2016/07/21/5-atlanta-falcons-training-camp-season-predictions/ Would've loved to get this pic in there, but copyright laws yadda yadda yadda...editors take over and do all that stuff. But this board is freedom land! So enjoy!
  22. I gotta say the Mack signing was a wonderful addition as we all know. With the 2016 Draft approaching soon, Who is in this draft to build our O'line even better? Your thought's would be much appreciated. I know everyone wants the defense stacked and rightly so, but maybe one more guy can take this oline and uplift it to a higher gear.
  23. Statement: I am a Falcons Fan The falcons got a win yesterday but let's be real about this team. We do NOT meet the current standard of elite teams or even good teams. We win our games against the worst division in football. If we make it to the playoff we will get embarrassed AGAIN! Standard on Offense: -Greenbay -New England -Broncos -Philadelphia( Foles) -Cowboys Standard on Defense -Cardinals -Detroit -Broncos -Buffalo(personnel) -New England -Kansas City -San Fran -Seattle The Falcons roster does not remotely resemble these teams. Congrats on a win yesterday but this team still needs an overhaul. We will win just enough games to put us out of reach of Gregory, Shane Ray, and Beasely. We will be forced to take a right tackle or RB in the first while this team is severely deficient on defense as well as injury prone. It is what it is and I tell it from my view point. I will have people disagree but anyone happy with a win against Carolina is falling for the false hope this team and ownership is trying to preach to the fans because they want butts in seats for that stadium in 2017.
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