nativefalcon Posted September 28, 2009 Share Posted September 28, 2009 Patriots’ approach surprised Falcons’ defenseBy By Tim Casey Mass. — The Falcons spent dozens of hours preparing for Tom Brady, watching film and analyzing the quarterback’s tendencies. In the Patriots’ first two games, they had thrown on 70 percent of their offensive plays.The Falcons’ defensive linemen were determined to pressure Brady on Sunday afternoon, make him rush his throws and not feel comfortable in the pocket. Instead, too often, Brady had plenty of time to find open receivers.For the second consecutive game, the Falcons’ front four didn’t record a sack. The Patriots emphasized rushing more than usual, gaining 168 yards on 39 carries, led by 12-year veteran Fred Taylor’s 105 yards. Entering Sunday, the team had only 43 rushes for 156 yards, which ranked 26th in the NFL.In particular, several Atlanta players said New England’s reliance on a play-action passing attack surprised them. Because the Falcons had to respect the Patriots’ running game, they couldn’t rush Brady as aggressively as they’d like.“They kind of did a little mind games on us. That’s all it was,” defensive end John Abraham said. “They did a good job. I’ve got to credit them with how they played. We watched a lot of tape, and they didn’t do as much play action before.”One year after setting a franchise record and personal best 16.5 sacks, Abraham had two sacks in the season-opening 19-7 victory over the Miami Dolphins. But the Patriots’ offensive line did a nice job containing the 6-foot-4, 263-pound Abraham and the rest of the Falcons’ line.Making matters even more difficult, the Falcons played without rookie defensive tackle Peria Jerry, a first-round selection. Jerry had a season-ending knee injury in last Sunday’s victory over the Carolina Panthers. Thomas Johnson, who was out of the NFL the past two seasons, replaced Jerry.“We’ve got to pass rush better,” Johnson said. “They kept a lot of guys in to protect [brady] as well. They executed their game plan. I expected them to keep more guys in. We just didn’t get it done today.”With a bye next week, the Falcons said they will re-examine how they defend against the pass. Abraham was adamant that unless the Falcons apply more pressure, it could be a recurring problem.“We’ve got to put it on us, the D-line, because we’ve got to get off our blocks and pressure [brady],” Abraham said. “A couple times I got pressure on him, and he threw the ball kind of errant. But then, a lot of times, we didn’t get to him, and he was completing to receivers that were open.“I mean, you give a guy 4-5 seconds in the pocket, he’s got a lot of time. Three seconds is the most you can give you somebody. We gave him a lot more time than that.” http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-falcons/patriots-approach-surprised-falcons-148364.html Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.