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Cowboys vs. Falcons: When Stats Lie


FalconMama
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I've only watched a complete Atlanta Falcons game once this year, which was last week against the Chicago Bears. Watching that game, I came to some conclusions about the team from the Dirty South, but I wanted to get a fuller picture of them. So I started diving into their year-to-date stats and found this team an interesting study.

I think of the Falcons as a team that can score, and they can. They average just about the same amount of points per game as Dallas does, a little over 24 points a game. So I thought they would be one of the top offenses statistically in the league. Not the case. They are 18th in yards per game, 15th in passing, and 24th in rushing. With numbers like that, you would think they would struggle to score. The key - when these guys get into the redzone they convert. Plain and simple.

They have twice the number of ‘3 and out' drives as the Cowboys do on the year, so they aren't a team that is just moving the ball up and down the field on people. They will give you an opportunity to take control of the game, but their defense has held (more on them below), and then Atlanta will get a drive or two going, and they'll put seven on the board. Michael Turner's stats are way down this year (3.5 YPC); the Falcons are struggling to run the ball. But Turner has six TDs because when they get to the redzone they convert. Suddenly, they can run the ball. Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White are their main weapons in the passing game, and they utilize Gonzalez well in the redzone.

Here's a few more things the Falcons have going for them on offense. Matt Ryan has been sacked twice this year. Yeah, you read that right, twice. They do an excellent job in pass protection, and Ryan is very good about getting to his reads and getting the ball out of there. The Cowboys will have a real challenge in creating pressure on Ryan. Also, Atlanta is +5 in turnovers, so even though they have turned it over some, their defense is making up for it.

Speaking of their defense, it's very similar stats-wise to their offense. They're #24 overall in yards against per game. #21 in passing and #23 against the rush. You look at that and you'd think their defense stinks. But they don't, because they are #4 in points against. Look at that jump from the yardage stats to the scoring stats. They are making teams kick FGs or they are getting turnovers in the redzone. The game against the Bears was probably instructive, as Cutler slung it to the Falcons a couple of times. You can move the ball on this defense, but you better take advantage of the opportunities given, or else they'll make you pay in the end.

For a 4-1 record, the Falcons statistically look shaky. Or, another way of looking at it - they come through when it counts. They don't make mistakes at the important times in a football game. They sound like the opposite of us. We can move the ball up and down the field all day, but when it comes to scoring, well, we've spent the past few weeks documenting those woes. Penalties, dropped passes, questionable play-calling, if you can think of it and it's bad - we've probably done it. On defense, the Cowboys can play well for 55 minutes, then fall apart at the end. Just when they're needed most, they have played their worst. (In truth, our defense is also a better scoring defense than yards allowed defense, we have done well for the most part in defending the endzone.)

The Cowboys need to take a lesson from the Falcons, they're a team that closes the deal when they get opportunities.

They don't shoot themselves in the foot. We like to take a 12-guage shotgun to ours.

http://www.bloggingtheboys.com/2009/10/22/1096530/cowboys-vs-falcons-when-stats-lie

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For an opposing teams view that was a well thought out and good write up. They actually spent the time to gather real knowledge about our team.

I cannot agree with this more. I had to remind myself that this was coming from a Cowboys perspective. Anyway, if the Falcons can ever get their offense rolling on a consistent basis, this team will be very hard to beat. I dont see us moving a whole lot defensively because we are mastering the bend-but-for-the-love-of-God-don't-break defense. Teams will continue to pass on us (although we are stopping the run a heck of a lot better past couple games), so our biggest improvement will probably be run defense now that we are down another starting CB.

Bottom line: If the defense continues to stop the run, and we ever play up to our offensive potential, this team will be scary good..and no stats will be able to suggest otherwise.

Edited by I Am The Truth
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For an opposing teams view that was a well thought out and good write up. They actually spent the time to gather real knowledge about our team.

He's does it weekly for every opponent they face. I like to read his stuff regardless of what team they're facing. So you know I was extra excited to read it this week.

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Now there goes an astute football fan! Intelligent analysis and wishful thinking. Give me the link to this post. We need to reply to him in the following manner:

Yes. You are correct sir. We learned our lessons with Wade Phillips years ago.

Empty stats don't count in REAL football games.

Great read thanks.

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You are on crack. Here are the team defensive ratings:

1 New York Giants 6 19.8 119 320 257.7 4.8 15.5 21 71 30 7 10 70 33 284 25:42 13 6

2 Denver Broncos 6 11 66 358 262.5 4.4 15.7 21 78 27 3 7 43 29 283 29:12 14 6

3 Pittsburgh Steelers 6 18.7 112 343 275.2 4.8 17.3 33 79 42 3 4 75 32 269 26:27 10 4

4 Philadelphia Eagles 5 19.8 99 325 282.8 4.4 17.6 22 72 31 5 10 50 25 186 31:10 10 3

5 Washington Redskins 6 16 96 372 287.0 4.6 16.5 32 85 38 1 5 20 32 230 32:56 12 4

6 New England Patriots 6 15.2 91 339 293.3 5.2 17.3 26 68 38 2 6 33 42 340 25:48 16 8

7 Indianapolis Colts 5 14.2 71 335 295.6 4.4 18.4 36 79 46 4 7 57 27 213 31:23 7 4

8 Green Bay Packers 5 18.6 93 307 298.0 4.9 18.2 25 67 37 3 8 38 30 215 29:30 7 3

9 New Orleans Saints 5 18.6 93 309 301.2 4.9 16.2 18 66 27 6 8 75 39 372 26:09 4 4

10 Miami Dolphins 5 21.2 106 267 301.4 5.6 16.4 21 58 36 3 5 60 20 150 24:31 3 1

11 New York Jets 6 17.3 104 385 303.3 4.7 17.8 30 82 37 0 6 0 43 387 30:47 7 5

12 Carolina Panthers 5 25 125 292 306.0 5.2 18.2 24 58 41 3 5 60 33 256 31:19 11 4

13 Chicago Bears 5 19.8 99 322 306.2 4.8 18.6 29 72 40 2 4 50 29 263 29:55 7 3

14 Seattle Seahawks 6 18.2 109 360 319.7 5.3 16.3 29 81 36 2 4 50 45 396 31:35 11 5

15 San Francisco 49ers 5 19.6 98 333 322.6 4.8 18.4 31 78 40 1 5 20 45 342 30:28 9 3

16 Arizona Cardinals 5 18.4 92 310 324.8 5.2 16.6 20 69 29 3 7 43 31 259 28:31 10 4

17 Baltimore Ravens 6 21.7 130 358 332.7 5.6 18.0 26 75 35 4 6 67 35 241 30:42 8 2

18 Minnesota Vikings 6 20.2 121 374 341.8 5.5 18.8 25 74 34 5 8 62 41 384 28:31 14 6

19 Cincinnati Bengals 6 19.7 118 381 351.7 5.5 18.2 31 81 38 2 4 50 44 346 31:23 7 3

20 Houston Texans 6 22.8 137 360 351.8 5.9 17.7 29 76 38 4 6 67 43 329 28:37 12 8

21 Buffalo Bills 6 21.5 129 421 352.5 5.0 19.5 35 95 37 7 13 54 50 434 33:20 7 1

22 Dallas Cowboys 5 19.6 98 320 357.8 5.6 19.6 19 63 30 3 5 60 31 251 30:34 6 2

23 San Diego Chargers 5 27.2 136 324 358.2 5.5 22.2 33 65 51 3 3 100 27 218 32:46 8 3

24 Atlanta Falcons 5 15.4 77 330 359.2 5.4 20.4 32 71 45 5 8 62 29 229 30:58 10 7

25 Jacksonville Jaguars 6 24.5 147 380 360.8 5.7 20.3 32 75 43 4 7 57 28 265 29:58 10 5

26 Oakland Raiders 6 23.2 139 407 365.5 5.4 20.3 26 83 31 5 8 62 32 240 33:25 10 4

27 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6 28 168 370 370.2 6.0 20.3 33 76 43 3 4 75 33 337 31:04 6 3

28 Detroit Lions 6 31.3 188 358 370.8 6.2 20.5 25 64 39 3 4 75 43 401 30:10 13 4

29 Kansas City Chiefs 6 24 144 384 379.8 5.9 18.7 32 84 38 2 5 40 46 337 29:38 13 5

30 St. Louis Rams 6 28.2 169 396 384.5 5.8 22.8 39 79 49 1 2 50 26 203 32:54 7 3

31 Tennessee Titans 6 33 198 415 405.7 5.9 22.2 32 84 38 4 6 67 32 243 34:56 8 4

32 Cleveland Browns 6 24.7 148 421 407.3 5.8 22.3 33 86 38 5 8 62 39 323 33:38 9 8

Ban this guy for spouting nonsense!

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This is the second week in a row where I think an opposing fan's viewpoint is more favorable to us than a single AJC article I've read (not to mention certain threads here and there). :lol::lol:

Ain't it the truth.

Cowboys will be tough but the birds should have enough offense to win.

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And here is scoring defense:

1 Denver Broncos 6 11 66 66 11.0 2 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 6 8 0 0

2 Indianapolis Colts 5 14.2 71 71 14.2 4 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 10 0 0

3 Atlanta Falcons 5 15.4 77 77 15.4 3 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 7 0 0

4 New England Patriots 6 15.2 91 91 15.2 1 7 0 0 1 1 0 0 10 7 0 0

5 Arizona Cardinals 5 18.4 92 92 18.4 2 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 5 0 0

6 Green Bay Packers 5 18.6 93 93 18.6 2 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 4 2 0

6 New Orleans Saints 5 18.6 93 93 18.6 4 5 0 0 0 1 0 0 10 7 1 0

8 Washington Redskins 6 16 96 96 16.0 2 5 0 0 0 1 0 0 6 12 2 1

9 Dallas Cowboys 5 19.6 98 98 19.6 2 8 0 0 1 0 0 0 11 7 0 0

9 San Francisco 49ers 5 19.6 98 98 19.6 4 6 0 1 0 0 0 0 11 7 0 0

11 Chicago Bears 5 19.8 99 99 19.8 5 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 10 7 0 1

11 Philadelphia Eagles 5 19.8 99 99 19.8 3 8 0 0 1 0 0 0 12 5 0 0

13 New York Jets 6 17.3 104 104 17.3 4 4 0 0 1 2 0 0 11 9 0 0

14 Miami Dolphins 5 21.2 106 106 21.2 4 6 0 0 1 0 0 0 10 10 0 0

15 Seattle Seahawks 6 18.2 109 109 18.2 5 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 8 0 1

16 Pittsburgh Steelers 6 18.7 112 112 18.7 1 9 0 1 2 1 0 0 11 5 0 1

17 Cincinnati Bengals 6 19.7 118 118 19.7 3 9 0 0 2 0 0 0 13 7 0 0

18 New York Giants 6 19.8 119 119 19.8 8 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 14 3 0 0

19 Minnesota Vikings 6 20.2 121 121 20.2 2 9 1 0 0 1 1 0 13 8 0 0

20 Carolina Panthers 5 25 125 125 25.0 5 6 1 1 2 1 0 0 15 4 0 1

21 Buffalo Bills 6 21.5 129 129 21.5 8 6 0 0 1 0 0 0 12 9 0 0

22 Baltimore Ravens 6 21.7 130 130 21.7 3 9 0 0 0 0 0 1 13 13 0 0

23 San Diego Chargers 5 27.2 136 136 27.2 6 8 1 1 0 0 0 0 16 8 0 0

24 Houston Texans 6 22.8 137 137 22.8 10 6 0 0 1 0 0 0 17 6 0 0

25 Oakland Raiders 6 23.2 139 139 23.2 7 6 0 1 0 0 0 0 14 13 1 0

26 Kansas City Chiefs 6 24 144 144 24.0 6 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 15 11 0 0

27 Jacksonville Jaguars 6 24.5 147 147 24.5 3 12 0 0 1 1 1 0 16 7 0 1

28 Cleveland Browns 6 24.7 148 148 24.7 9 7 0 0 0 1 0 0 16 10 0 0

29 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6 28 168 168 28.0 6 13 0 0 1 0 0 0 19 9 1 0

30 St. Louis Rams 6 28.2 169 169 28.2 9 8 0 0 1 3 0 0 19 8 0 0

31 Detroit Lions 6 31.3 188 188 31.3 5 17 0 1 0 0 0 0 23 9 0 0

32 Tennessee Titans 6 33 198 198 33.0 5 19 0 0 0 0 0 0 24 10 0 0

Hall of Fame

Record & Fact Book

Rule Book

papashango: You are an uninformed novice and I hereby challenge your football knowledge! None of those teams are in the top 11 in yardage against nor scoring defense. What the helle are you smoking?

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Those are terrible teams but those aren't terrible defenses. All those teams rank in the top 11 in defense.

What ranking metrics are leading you to this assertion?

Link please.

Consider opponent points per game. Carolina ranks 27th (25 ppg), Kansas City 24th (24 ppg), and Tampa Bay 29th (28 ppg). opponent points per game

Next consider opponent yards per game. Carolina ranks a respectable 11th (306 ypg). Alas, the Chiefs rank 27th (370.2 ypg), and the Bucs rank 29th (379.8 ypg). opponent yards per game

And in case you take issue with a non-official site, same stat at NFL.com

The actual cited stats would seem to suggest your rebuttal is just plain wrong.

Edited by falcoatlantae
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I think his salary is irrelevant. It's his production that matters. We paid Michael Vick twice what Jamaal is earning to make license plates!

Get over JA98. Let the man play. His salary is a question for the offseason,not now when he just may be getting some confidence behind him!

Let me go on record. I support this team and as long as we are playing at a high level, I don't like throwing stones!

Our defense got handed it's as in a few games this year. Points and yards.

Now even Busterson is a beast all of a sudden.

Our defense is a beast after playing two average offenses. What will they do against DAL and NO. I'm jus askin.

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