Jump to content

Falcons report: Inside slant


Recommended Posts

Falcons report: Inside slant

The Sports Xchange

Oct. 7, 2010

Inside slant · Strategy and personnel · Notes, quotes

The Falcons spent a great deal of training camp working on blocking against 3-4 defensive schemes.

In their fifth game of the season, they will play their fourth game against a 3-4 front.

While Michael Turner and Jason Snelling have combined to rush for 579 yards in four games, they have had mixed results against 3-4 teams.

The Falcons rushed for 221 yards against Arizona's 3-4 defense and 202 against New Orleans' 4-3. Last week, San Francisco's 3-4 held them to 98 yards on 29 carries. They also struggled in the opener against Pittsburgh's 3-4.

The Falcons average 144.8 yards rushing per game, which ranks fourth in the NFL.

"We've been able to run the ball effectively and throw the ball fairly effectively as well," quarterback Matt Ryan said. "I think it's great when you can do it."

The Browns' 3-4, which is run by defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, will present different issues.

"I think the front seven is the strength of their defense," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "It's a very experienced group."

The Browns like to stunt and blitz, which leaves their secondary vulnerable at times.

While the Browns held Cincinnati to 67 yards rushing last week, their defense has been vulnerable to the pass. Last week, Cincinnati's Terrell Owens had 222 yards receiving against them, and the week, before Baltimore's Anquan Boldin had 142 yards and three touchdowns.

"The key to a good offense is being able to do whatever you need to do to win, whether if that's running the football or throwing the football," Ryan said. "We've done a pretty good job of that so far."

--Matt Ryan's numbers are a little off, but in the statistical category that matters most -- wins and losses -- he's 3-1.

The Falcons' third-year quarterback has completed 93 of 149 passes (62.4 percent) for 978 yards, six touchdowns and three interceptions. He has a passer rating of 86.5.

After the first four games last season, Ryan had completed 66.7 percent of his passes, thrown for seven touchdowns, two interceptions and had a passer rating or 102.9.

The Falcons rolled up over 400 yards of total offense in back-to-back wins over the Cardinals and Saints, followed by a 357-yard output against the 49ers last week.

Atlanta has averaged 378.3 yards of total offense this season and ranks sixth in the NFL in yards gained per game.

Ryan has pulled out the last two games with clutch drives.

Against the 49ers, after he threw an interception he got a second chance when Roddy White forced a fumble. He had 82 seconds left and had the ball on the Falcons' 7-yard line.

"We had that same opportunity right back and we felt if we could tighten some things up then we could do it again," Ryan said. "It's the mindset you have to have. It's special when all 11 guys have that."

Ryan wasn't having his best day, but after throwing two incompletions, he completed 6 of 7 passes to drive the Falcons into position for the game-winning kick.

He threw a laser to Roddy White to pick up 20 yards. He perfectly fit the ball between the cornerback and the safety, who had coverage over the top of White.

"I think the biggest thing was that we had gotten that coverage quite a few times throughout the day so we knew the kind of route that we wanted to have," Ryan said. "Roddy made a great play. It was an unbelievable catch.

"The ball had pace on it, it was high, and he went up and just made a play when we needed to. It was impressive and that is just the kind of thing that we have come to expect with Roddy."

The running game has been helpful but has struggled against some 3-4 teams. They'll face another 3-4 front in Cleveland.

"We just need to continue to watch the tape and improve where we need to," Ryan said. "It's too early to diagnose what we need to do better. It's kind of the trend in the NFL right now. For the most part I think we have done well against it."

Ryan plans to just keep doing what he can to help the Falcons continue winning.

"I think every team, every week, is dangerous. In this league there are so many good football players," Ryan said. "There are no weeks off and you have to prepare for everybody as hard as you possibly can week in and week out. We need to get back to work this week. We need to have a really good week at practice and get prepared to go on the road, and come back with a win."


13th regular-season meeting. Browns lead series, 10-2. The Browns have won the last two meetings, a 17-13 win in Atlanta in 2006 and a 24-16 victory in Cleveland, in their only meeting in Cleveland Browns Stadium. The Browns have won eight of the last nine meetings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, the last time we played the Browns we were just coming off a loss to the Lions, then we lost to the Browns, just after we came off wins against the Steelers and the Bengals.

the good news is now we have Ryan at QB, not YKW who didn't really feel like playing those games because he was so awesome in his own eyes and didn't really need to try that hard. I remember after he fumbled away the game in Cleveland and was sitting on the ground after getting hit he was only concerned about fixing his doo-rag while the play was still going on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, the last time we played the Browns we were just coming off a loss to the Lions, then we lost to the Browns, just after we came off wins against the Steelers and the Bengals.

I remember that all too well. We we're 5-2, and Vick had just had his best two consecutive passing games as a Falcon. Lots of power rankings had us #1, people were saying Vick had finally turned the corner, and we proceeded to lose 4 in a row, and 2-7 to finish. I'll never forget that loss to the Lions. I knew something bad was happening. There are too many of those heartbreaks for Falcons fans. Time to start building good memories!

Edited by blackredfellow
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...