Jump to content

Lingering questions about the Packers game,


theProf
 Share

Recommended Posts

I was very upset after the Packer’s shellacking and decided to wait a couple of days to write anything about the game. I thought the extra time would give my emotions a chance to subside somewhat. Some lingering questions that I still have about the game as follows:

(1) Why was the middle of the field so open against our defense? Time after time Rodgers completed passes in the middle of the field even when Atlanta dropped 8 players back in coverage. How did the Packers receivers get so open in the middle of the field, and where were our LBs and Safeties?

(2) Why did Atlanta rush 3 and drop 8 in coverage on several critical third downs? This particular scheme just does not work for the Falcons. They have a hard enough time getting sufficient QB pressure with 4 pass rushers anyway. Therefore, it appears to me that they should always rush at least 4 and bring 5 or even 6 on many pass plays against the better QBs in the league, such as Rodgers. A telling stat from Pat Yasinskas:

“Rodgers faced four or fewer rushers on 62.5 percent of his dropbacks. In those situations, he completed 90.9 percent of his passes, averaged 12 yards per attempt, threw for two touchdowns and ran for another while compiling a 147.0 passer rating.”

(3) Is Chris Owens really the primary culprit as to why we lost? Smitty indicated in his Sunday presser that Atlanta completely lost its momentum due to the holding call against Owens, which nullified a sack and the third down stop, and then Owens’ subsequent pass interference call in the end zone. All these two plays did was to allow the Packers to tie the game at 14 all. If Atlanta really lost its mojo and could never get it back after this point in the game, then there is something else seriously wrong. From another article by Yasinskas:

“It first should be noted that the Falcons were playing without injured nickel back Brian Williams. But it also should be noted that playing without an injured nickel back shouldn’t be reason enough for a good team to lose.”

(4) Why couldn’t our players make any good plays during this game? I only counted two real good plays by Atlanta in the entire game: Turner’s TD run and Weem’s kick-off TD run. Other than that it was just an awful game by everyone. Atlanta’s defense could not stop the Packers the entire game, as they had 4 very long sustained TD drives. The Pack never had to punt as they accumulated over 440 yards of total offense. Atlanta’s offense was about as bad as the defense with 4 turnovers, 5 sacks allowed, and had less than 200 Yards of total offense.

(5) Why didn’t Ryan attempt more passes to Gonzo or Roddy, and instead made Jenkins his primary go-to receiver during the game? Jenkins can be somewhat effective as a secondary receiver, but not the go-to receiver. His slip in the end-zone that allowed the interception, and a couple of drops on third-down passes really hurt the Falcons.

(6) Why didn’t Atlanta allow Matt Bryant to attempt a 53 yard FG at the end of the first half? Atlanta had only 10 seconds remaining and no time outs. It was stated that Bryant was consistently kicking 55 yard field goals during pre-game. The only play that could be attempted in this situation is a short pass to the sideline, but everyone knew that. Thus, Williams easily jumped the out pass for a devastating interception and TD to close out the first half.

(7) Why did Atlanta pass on drafting Clay Matthews in 2009, and drafted Peria Jerry instead. Clay Matthews was the one player that I most wanted to see Atlanta get to improve its pass rush, but they selected Jerry instead. I know that one can’t cry over spilt milk. However, every time I see Clay Matthews play, I wind up beating my head against the wall and thinking about what could have been.

(8) Why did Atlanta sign Dunta Robinson to a $57 million contract? I’ve seen good CBs and bad CBs over the years, and I would rank Robinson as average at best. Yes he is an improvement over Chris Houston, but that’s about it. His play in the Packers game was just a continuation of what he did during the regular season as to missed tackles, bad angles, soft coverage, and virtually uncontested passed completed against him in man coverage. About the only thing he appears to play real well are screen passes to his side of the field.

Ok I know that one game does not truly reflect a team. A team is never as good as they appear in a dominating Win, nor as bad as they appear in a lopsided Loss. However, the last game is the one that most stands out in everyone’s mind. Atlanta is a good team, but they certainly have weaknesses that need to be addressed.

On Defense, Atlanta needs to find a real good pass rush specialist, either at DE or LB or a super strong DT who can collapse the pocket. The secondary could be improved with a good CB/NB. I think another OLB who can do it all: rush the passer, stuff the run, and play good in coverage, would also improve the defense.

On Offense, the OL needs to be improved, especially at LT and RG. Atlanta needs to improve its receivers, either at the #2 WR and/or a productive slot receiver and/or a pass–catching TE to complement and eventually replace Gonzo. We all know that Atlanta needs a change-of-pace speed RB, if Norwood’s not the answer.

On Special Teams, I think Atlanta needs a better punter. Koenen’s leg does not appear to be as strong as it once was. I now see other teams’ punters booming it 50 to 60 yards and really altering field position. Koenen can hardly get off even a 45 yard punt any longer. Also, he is currently shanking more of his punts than in the past.

Coaches: I like Smitty, but I don't really like the offensive and defensive coordinators. I would much prefer Ryan calling his own plays rather than Mularkey. Mularkey's play-calling is just too predictable and unimaginative for my tastes. I think Van Gorder is in over his head as a pro defensive coordinator. He is much better suited for the college ranks in my opinion. I know that continuity of the coaching staff is important. However, changes in both offensive and defensive coordinators might really improve the Falcons going forward.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WIth this being the last game we play this season, it will give our front office a lot to consider when thinking about the draft and FA. It sucks that we got exposed like we did, but he11 at least we know right now where we stand as far as talent and coaching is concerned.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was very upset after the Packer’s shellacking and decided to wait a couple of days to write anything about the game. I thought the extra time would give my emotions a chance to subside somewhat. Some lingering questions that I still have about the game as follows:

(1) Why was the middle of the field so open against our defense? Time after time Rodgers completed passes in the middle of the field even when Atlanta dropped 8 players back in coverage. How did the Packers receivers get so open in the middle of the field, and where were our LBs and Safeties?

(2) Why did Atlanta rush 3 and drop 8 in coverage on several critical third downs? This particular scheme just does not work for the Falcons. They have a hard enough time getting sufficient QB pressure with 4 pass rushers anyway. Therefore, it appears to me that they should always rush at least 4 and bring 5 or even 6 on many pass plays against the better QBs in the league, such as Rodgers. A telling stat from Pat Yasinskas:

“Rodgers faced four or fewer rushers on 62.5 percent of his dropbacks. In those situations, he completed 90.9 percent of his passes, averaged 12 yards per attempt, threw for two touchdowns and ran for another while compiling a 147.0 passer rating.”

(3) Is Chris Owens really the primary culprit as to why we lost? Smitty indicated in his Sunday presser that Atlanta completely lost its momentum due to the holding call against Owens, which nullified a sack and the third down stop, and then Owens’ subsequent pass interference call in the end zone. All these two plays did was to allow the Packers to tie the game at 14 all. If Atlanta really lost its mojo and could never get it back after this point in the game, then there is something else seriously wrong. From another article by Yasinskas:

“It first should be noted that the Falcons were playing without injured nickel back Brian Williams. But it also should be noted that playing without an injured nickel back shouldn’t be reason enough for a good team to lose.”

(4) Why couldn’t our players make any good plays during this game? I only counted two real good plays by Atlanta in the entire game: Turner’s TD run and Weem’s kick-off TD run. Other than that it was just an awful game by everyone. Atlanta’s defense could not stop the Packers the entire game, as they had 4 very long sustained TD drives. The Pack never had to punt as they accumulated over 440 yards of total offense. Atlanta’s offense was about as bad as the defense with 4 turnovers, 5 sacks allowed, and had less than 200 Yards of total offense.

(5) Why didn’t Ryan attempt more passes to Gonzo or Roddy, and instead made Jenkins his primary go-to receiver during the game? Jenkins can be somewhat effective as a secondary receiver, but not the go-to receiver. His slip in the end-zone that allowed the interception, and a couple of drops on third-down passes really hurt the Falcons.

They were doubling Roddy and Gonzo could not get open so he had to look somewhere else and we did not find ways to get him the ball.

(6) Why didn’t Atlanta allow Matt Bryant to attempt a 53 yard FG at the end of the first half? Atlanta had only 10 seconds remaining and no time outs. It was stated that Bryant was consistently kicking 55 yard field goals during pre-game. The only play that could be attempted in this situation is a short pass to the sideline, but everyone knew that. Thus, Williams easily jumped the out pass for a devastating interception and TD to close out the first half.

(7) Why did Atlanta pass on drafting Clay Matthews in 2009, and drafted Peria Jerry instead. Clay Matthews was the one player that I most wanted to see Atlanta get to improve its pass rush, but they selected Jerry instead. I know that one can’t cry over spilt milk. However, every time I see Clay Matthews play, I wind up beating my head against the wall and thinking about what could have been.

He is a not a 4-3 OLB. He built for the 3-4. Who's to say that he wouldn't have been a bust playing for us when he had to cover RB and slot guys.

(8) Why did Atlanta sign Dunta Robinson to a $57 million contract? I’ve seen good CBs and bad CBs over the years, and I would rank Robinson as average at best. Yes he is an improvement over Chris Houston, but that’s about it. His play in the Packers game was just a continuation of what he did during the regular season as to missed tackles, bad angles, soft coverage, and virtually uncontested passed completed against him in man coverage. About the only thing he appears to play real well are screen passes to his side of the field.

Its because of the scheme we play. We play 10 yards off and give up the underneath stuff. Thats a schematics issue.

Ok I know that one game does not truly reflect a team. A team is never as good as they appear in a dominating Win, nor as bad as they appear in a lopsided Loss. However, the last game is the one that most stands out in everyone’s mind. Atlanta is a good team, but they certainly have weaknesses that need to be addressed.

On Defense, Atlanta needs to find a real good pass rush specialist, either at DE or LB or a super strong DT who can collapse the pocket. The secondary could be improved with a good CB/NB. I think another OLB who can do it all: rush the passer, stuff the run, and play good in coverage, would also improve the defense.

On Offense, the OL needs to be improved, especially at LT and RG. Atlanta needs to improve its receivers, either at the #2 WR and/or a productive slot receiver and/or a pass–catching TE to complement and eventually replace Gonzo. We all know that Atlanta needs a change-of-pace speed RB, if Norwood’s not the answer.

On Special Teams, I think Atlanta needs a better punter. Koenen’s leg does not appear to be as strong as it once was. I now see other teams’ punters booming it 50 to 60 yards and really altering field position. Koenen can hardly get off even a 45 yard punt any longer. Also, he is currently shanking more of his punts than in the past.

Coaches: I like Smitty, but I don't really like the offensive and defensive coordinators. I would much prefer Ryan calling his own plays rather than Mularkey. Mularkey's play-calling is just too predictable and unimaginative for my tastes. I think Van Gorder is in over his head as a pro defensive coordinator. He is much better suited for the college ranks in my opinion. I know that continuity of the coaching staff is important. However, changes in both offensive and defensive coordinators might really improve the Falcons going forward.

Edited by supremedarius
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Prof. Thought about a lot of those questions too. I think I have a few answers.

1. The middle of the field was open because we gave Rodgers too much time and we really need better cover corners. We were in zone most of the night and because of a lack of a good pass rush our safeties were pushed way deep and there was a huge hole between the MLB and the safeties. When we went to man it was just embarrasing. D-Rob was terrible this game. I mean terrible. Owens wasnt much better and Grimes got abused but played hard.

2. We rushed three and dropped eight for that extra man in pass coverage and because people think you cannot pressure Rodgers with a blitz. I think that is dumb. It showed me we do not have as good of a secondary as we think. We got killed on every pass route. We were not bumping at the line, we could not cover the skinny post or crossing routes. We got burned on everything becasue Rodgers had all freaking day with a three man rush.

3. I think D-Rob was as bad as Owens. Maybe worse.

4. I really think we didn't come to play. The entire team looked off. Bad prep by the coaching? Bad execution? I don't know. I'm a huge hockey fan too. IF this happened in the NHL to any team there would be three or four guys released just to make a point to the team that you are replacable. I think we really need to do this. Every position under-performed. Except maybe Weems, and maybe Turner (if it were close I think he would have had a monster game, maybe).

5. Roddy didn't look like he was running half the time. I don't know if it was his knee or if he had checked out. He was one of the worse players on the O. Gonzo is old and slow. I love the guy, class act, huge bonus in the locker room, gives 100% everyplay, just love him. Time to move on, he cannot make plays anymore.

6. The coaches out thought themselves and I think they realized by that point we were not going to stop Green Bay and needed every point. Stupid call, stupid throw.

7. Don't know. I don't think Matthews was rated as high, but I don't follow college FB very closely.

8. I was a D-Rob fan for most of the year. I blamed the scheme on him not being a big time player for us. After Saturday night I've changed my tune. I don't like him as a number one CB. Maybe a number two. Not a superstar.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hindsight is 20/20. It was ONE GAME. Yes, it was a HUGE game, but come on!

I would almost always agree with this statement, but not after Saturdays game. That was one of the worse performances I have ever seen at any level. Rodgers was good and so was Green Bays defense, but there should have not been that much separation between our teams. There is a major issue somewhere with our team. I don't know where, but it's there. It has to be found and cut out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would almost always agree with this statement, but not after Saturdays game. That was one of the worse performances I have ever seen at any level. Rodgers was good and so was Green Bays defense, but there should have not been that much separation between our teams. There is a major issue somewhere with our team. I don't know where, but it's there. It has to be found and cut out.

They basically exposed things that have been brewing all season for us on offense and defense. We are not talented really on O. We are a top heavy team and I would say, honestly, its Roddy and Ryan and the rest of the players are average. People need to stop looking in the past about Gonzo and realize he is just an average player now. Jenkins can only run one route because of his long stride and his non-ability to make sharp cuts. Do we run various routes on O. Its like we run nothing but outs, curls and come back routes. We barely use the route tree.

On defense, we have a budding star in Moore and a old star in Abraham but nothing else and the scheme is also a problem. You allow the WR to get on top of you and it is difficult to play them and the fact that Rodgers had all day to throw, you cant ask the CBs to cover for more then 3 seconds max..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hindsight is 20/20. It was ONE GAME. Yes, it was a HUGE game, but come on!

Questioning certain decisions and plays after the fact is universal in sports. It happens after every game by the TV commentators, sports writers, sports analysts, etc, so why not by the fans also? Also I didn't dwell on this one game in my post, but continued by saying:

"A team is never as good as they appear in a dominating Win, nor as bad as they appear in a lopsided Loss. However, the last game is the one that most stands out in everyone’s mind. Atlanta is a good team, but they certainly have weaknesses that need to be addressed."

Then I gave specific areas on offense, defense, special teams, and coaches that I thought could be improved upon in the future. Therefore, my post was not just about this one past game, but looked forward to the future also.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Put any other team in place of us on Saturday night and Green Bay still would have beat them by AT LEAST double digits. They were virtually unstoppable. That performance by Aaron Rodgers and their O-Line was unbelievable.

I totally disagree with this statement. Rodgers is good and the Green Bay coaching staff is very good, but they exposed every weakness that we had. We played soft on the corners and they hit slants, we move up on the corners and they hit the seams. We droped into our dime package (3 - 5 - 3) and they hit us crossing the field right behind the LB's. We did stop the run, but they didnt have to run. The protection on Rodgers was good, we never got pressure up the middle on him so he could step up and see the field all day long. Our outside pressue was too aggressive and he just ran around like a school kid. The LB's were out of postion, bla, bla, bla... And that is just the defense.

I think we had a systematic breakdown of the entire defense. From coaching to execution. We have all year been a reactionary defense and understandably so. The 4 - 3 is more of a reaction defense as opposing to a 3 - 4 which attacks more, but it still begs the question as to why we don't adjust to the team we are playing. Teams are going to do what works, yes we might adjust and get burned, but I was sitting in the stands watching the GB WR's run around like it was afterschool recess and screaming for our CB's to play bump and cover. Rodgers just kept hitting the same slant routes over and over and when we did finally play up a few yards, our safeties dropped from about 15 yards deep to around 20 - 25 and Rodgers just adjusted and started hitting the seam and crossing routes. Jam the dam* WR at the line and dare the freaking offense to go deep. Our safeties get paid too and by jamming you throw off the routes and eat about a second of time for the WR to get moving vertically.

Where was pressure up the middle. Joey Harrington could have had a good day with as much visibility as Rodgers had. He could see the whole field and never had anyone pressuring him up the middle. We have got to sent at least one guy up the middle now and then, or run a freaking stunt to get into his head that he won't be able to step up every play. What really boiled me over was on one play in the third we lined Abraham up over center in a two point stance. REally, our best edge rusher over center with a three man rush!!!! Why??? I almost never question calls with a professional coach but that was the stupidist thing I have ever seen called in a pro-game.

It wasnt just the coaching and planning. For goodness sakes our players were on their heels the entire game. Where was Lofton or Peterson or Abe chewing someones head off. If Ray Lewis was on our team their would have been a massacre on our sidelines. No one stepped up and tried to light a fire under anyone's butt.

Green Bay is a very good team, but there are about 8 or 9 other NFC teams that could have played a lot better than we did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Questioning certain decisions and plays after the fact is universal in sports. It happens after every game by the TV commentators, sports writers, sports analysts, etc, so why not by the fans also? Also I didn't dwell on this one game in my post, but continued by saying:

"A team is never as good as they appear in a dominating Win, nor as bad as they appear in a lopsided Loss. However, the last game is the one that most stands out in everyone’s mind. Atlanta is a good team, but they certainly have weaknesses that need to be addressed."

Then I gave specific areas on offense, defense, special teams, and coaches that I thought could be improved upon in the future. Therefore, my post was not just about this one past game, but looked forward to the future also.

Can you give me contact information (MSN or AIM MESSENGER) so we can further discuss what needs to be changed. You seem like the only sensible person, well there are a few others but....OH well, let me know

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was very upset after the Packer’s shellacking and decided to wait a couple of days to write anything about the game. I thought the extra time would give my emotions a chance to subside somewhat. Some lingering questions that I still have about the game as follows:

(1) Why was the middle of the field so open against our defense? Time after time Rodgers completed passes in the middle of the field even when Atlanta dropped 8 players back in coverage. How did the Packers receivers get so open in the middle of the field, and where were our LBs and Safeties?

Rodgers just did a great job extending plays and moving the safeties and linebackers. If you give any solid QB maybe 3-4 seconds and when you dont make them feel uncomfortable theyll eat it up and considering the middle of the field. Its also where they were trying to take advantage of Atlanta's horrid corners. Dunta is fast but he has no instincts. Grimes is so over rated by Atlanta fans. Hes to short and will be out worked every game by any receiver with some size (James Jones/Jordy Nelson). Obviously Owens is just flat out bad.

(2) Why did Atlanta rush 3 and drop 8 in coverage on several critical third downs? This particular scheme just does not work for the Falcons. They have a hard enough time getting sufficient QB pressure with 4 pass rushers anyway. Therefore, it appears to me that they should always rush at least 4 and bring 5 or even 6 on many pass plays against the better QBs in the league, such as Rodgers. A telling stat from Pat Yasinskas:

“Rodgers faced four or fewer rushers on 62.5 percent of his dropbacks. In those situations, he completed 90.9 percent of his passes, averaged 12 yards per attempt, threw for two touchdowns and ran for another while compiling a 147.0 passer rating.”

The Falcons sent some blitzs early and got hit with big plays. The Jennings catch and fumble was against a blitz and Rodgers just hit the hot read. He only missed 5 passes all night so if he completed 91% against a non rush that came 63% he missed 2 against the non rush and 3 against the rush. Keep in mind that once a receiver fell and once a receiver dropped a pass.

(3) Is Chris Owens really the primary culprit as to why we lost? Smitty indicated in his Sunday presser that Atlanta completely lost its momentum due to the holding call against Owens, which nullified a sack and the third down stop, and then Owens’ subsequent pass interference call in the end zone. All these two plays did was to allow the Packers to tie the game at 14 all. If Atlanta really lost its mojo and could never get it back after this point in the game, then there is something else seriously wrong. From another article by Yasinskas:

“It first should be noted that the Falcons were playing without injured nickel back Brian Williams. But it also should be noted that playing without an injured nickel back shouldn’t be reason enough for a good team to lose.”

The Packers attacked Owens. That had to be the gameplan. He was the most targeted defender in the passing game throughout the game. But when you have a weakness you have to find ways to help it and the Falcons attempted it but then that left Grimes and Dunta on an island and they just failed.

(4) Why couldn’t our players make any good plays during this game? I only counted two real good plays by Atlanta in the entire game: Turner’s TD run and Weem’s kick-off TD run. Other than that it was just an awful game by everyone. Atlanta’s defense could not stop the Packers the entire game, as they had 4 very long sustained TD drives. The Pack never had to punt as they accumulated over 440 yards of total offense. Atlanta’s offense was about as bad as the defense with 4 turnovers, 5 sacks allowed, and had less than 200 Yards of total offense.

The main reason is the way the Falcons play. They arent a big play offense. They run the ball, play action pass, and spread the field and do short passes. If you can get up 2 scores on the Falcons you have eliminated their run and play action passing. Then Matt Ryan has to take the offense on his soldiers and he simply doesnt have the talent or supporting cast around him. The Falcons has chained him to managing games and he doesnt have the experience to bring his team back at this point in his career.

(5) Why didn’t Ryan attempt more passes to Gonzo or Roddy, and instead made Jenkins his primary go-to receiver during the game? Jenkins can be somewhat effective as a secondary receiver, but not the go-to receiver. His slip in the end-zone that allowed the interception, and a couple of drops on third-down passes really hurt the Falcons.

Its easy to say "Get the ball to our best receivers." Its what the Packers were doing to stop both. Once the Packers were up two scores they let the running backs go wide open and they doubled both White and Gonzo. They let Jenkins go in single coverage and if the Falcons dumped the ball so be it.

(6) Why didn’t Atlanta allow Matt Bryant to attempt a 53 yard FG at the end of the first half? Atlanta had only 10 seconds remaining and no time outs. It was stated that Bryant was consistently kicking 55 yard field goals during pre-game. The only play that could be attempted in this situation is a short pass to the sideline, but everyone knew that. Thus, Williams easily jumped the out pass for a devastating interception and TD to close out the first half.

They got greedy. Instead of taking the chance with the long field goal they wanted to move the ball up a little. The only problem was they ran the same play in the teams first go around. It was just a quick out route and apparently the Packers watched the film and the Falcons forgot they could. Tramon Williams jumped it and ran it for a TD.

(7) Why did Atlanta pass on drafting Clay Matthews in 2009, and drafted Peria Jerry instead. Clay Matthews was the one player that I most wanted to see Atlanta get to improve its pass rush, but they selected Jerry instead. I know that one can’t cry over spilt milk. However, every time I see Clay Matthews play, I wind up beating my head against the wall and thinking about what could have been.

Why would they take him? He was a 3-4 linebacker. Jerry was supposed to be a great player. Matthews doesnt have the skills set to be a 4-3 linebacker.

(8) Why did Atlanta sign Dunta Robinson to a $57 million contract? I’ve seen good CBs and bad CBs over the years, and I would rank Robinson as average at best. Yes he is an improvement over Chris Houston, but that’s about it. His play in the Packers game was just a continuation of what he did during the regular season as to missed tackles, bad angles, soft coverage, and virtually uncontested passed completed against him in man coverage. About the only thing he appears to play real well are screen passes to his side of the field.

They needed help at corner. He was probably the best available and as free agency goes you have to overpay to play. It really comes down to poor scouting and drafting though. At some point you have to pick up some corners early in the draft and develop them. The Falcons didnt do that.

Ok I know that one game does not truly reflect a team. A team is never as good as they appear in a dominating Win, nor as bad as they appear in a lopsided Loss. However, the last game is the one that most stands out in everyone’s mind. Atlanta is a good team, but they certainly have weaknesses that need to be addressed.

No this game really reflected the Falcons season. No pass rush, no pass defense, and over rated Matt Ryan, and no explosive receivers.

On Defense, Atlanta needs to find a real good pass rush specialist, either at DE or LB or a super strong DT who can collapse the pocket. The secondary could be improved with a good CB/NB. I think another OLB who can do it all: rush the passer, stuff the run, and play good in coverage, would also improve the defense.

So you want an OLB who can do it all at the 27th pick. Im sure if a stud like that exists he'll be gone top 10. The problem with drafting a DT is that the Falcons have already wrapped up so many selection in that position. They do need to replace Bierman. The Falcons are going to face a ton of problems in maybe two years or so. Gonzo is old, Abe is old, and Turner is about to hit that age. It doesnt help Atlanta is running him into the ground. They also have two lineman headed to free agency and most likely will only be able to keep one.

On Offense, the OL needs to be improved, especially at LT and RG. Atlanta needs to improve its receivers, either at the #2 WR and/or a productive slot receiver and/or a pass–catching TE to complement and eventually replace Gonzo. We all know that Atlanta needs a change-of-pace speed RB, if Norwood’s not the answer.

On Special Teams, I think Atlanta needs a better punter. Koenen’s leg does not appear to be as strong as it once was. I now see other teams’ punters booming it 50 to 60 yards and really altering field position. Koenen can hardly get off even a 45 yard punt any longer. Also, he is currently shanking more of his punts than in the past.

Coaches: I like Smitty, but I don't really like the offensive and defensive coordinators. I would much prefer Ryan calling his own plays rather than Mularkey. Mularkey's play-calling is just too predictable and unimaginative for my tastes. I think Van Gorder is in over his head as a pro defensive coordinator. He is much better suited for the college ranks in my opinion. I know that continuity of the coaching staff is important. However, changes in both offensive and defensive coordinators might really improve the Falcons going forward.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I totally disagree with this statement. Rodgers is good and the Green Bay coaching staff is very good, but they exposed every weakness that we had. We played soft on the corners and they hit slants, we move up on the corners and they hit the seams. We droped into our dime package (3 - 5 - 3) and they hit us crossing the field right behind the LB's. We did stop the run, but they didnt have to run. The protection on Rodgers was good, we never got pressure up the middle on him so he could step up and see the field all day long. Our outside pressue was too aggressive and he just ran around like a school kid. The LB's were out of postion, bla, bla, bla... And that is just the defense.

I think we had a systematic breakdown of the entire defense. From coaching to execution. We have all year been a reactionary defense and understandably so. The 4 - 3 is more of a reaction defense as opposing to a 3 - 4 which attacks more, but it still begs the question as to why we don't adjust to the team we are playing. Teams are going to do what works, yes we might adjust and get burned, but I was sitting in the stands watching the GB WR's run around like it was afterschool recess and screaming for our CB's to play bump and cover. Rodgers just kept hitting the same slant routes over and over and when we did finally play up a few yards, our safeties dropped from about 15 yards deep to around 20 - 25 and Rodgers just adjusted and started hitting the seam and crossing routes. Jam the dam* WR at the line and dare the freaking offense to go deep. Our safeties get paid too and by jamming you throw off the routes and eat about a second of time for the WR to get moving vertically.

Where was pressure up the middle. Joey Harrington could have had a good day with as much visibility as Rodgers had. He could see the whole field and never had anyone pressuring him up the middle. We have got to sent at least one guy up the middle now and then, or run a freaking stunt to get into his head that he won't be able to step up every play. What really boiled me over was on one play in the third we lined Abraham up over center in a two point stance. REally, our best edge rusher over center with a three man rush!!!! Why??? I almost never question calls with a professional coach but that was the stupidist thing I have ever seen called in a pro-game.

It wasnt just the coaching and planning. For goodness sakes our players were on their heels the entire game. Where was Lofton or Peterson or Abe chewing someones head off. If Ray Lewis was on our team their would have been a massacre on our sidelines. No one stepped up and tried to light a fire under anyone's butt.

Green Bay is a very good team, but there are about 8 or 9 other NFC teams that could have played a lot better than we did.

Schwarzenegger excellent response. Thanks for all of your insightful input and thoughts provided in this topic thread.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

WIth this being the last game we play this season, it will give our front office a lot to consider when thinking about the draft and FA. It sucks that we got exposed like we did, but he11 at least we know right now where we stand as far as talent and coaching is concerned.

Good point. When Atlanta lost the playoff game with Arizona, they knew that the main culprit was lack of speed and urgency on defense mainly due to so many aging vets. I don't know what the main culprit is this year, but at least the coaching staff and administration now have more time to figure it out, and then act accordingly in the off season to get the problem(s) solved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

They basically exposed things that have been brewing all season for us on offense and defense. We are not talented really on O. We are a top heavy team and I would say, honestly, its Roddy and Ryan and the rest of the players are average. People need to stop looking in the past about Gonzo and realize he is just an average player now. Jenkins can only run one route because of his long stride and his non-ability to make sharp cuts. Do we run various routes on O. Its like we run nothing but outs, curls and come back routes. We barely use the route tree.

On defense, we have a budding star in Moore and a old star in Abraham but nothing else and the scheme is also a problem. You allow the WR to get on top of you and it is difficult to play them and the fact that Rodgers had all day to throw, you cant ask the CBs to cover for more then 3 seconds max..

Thanks for your thoughts and input. On offense, I would have to add Ovie and Turner as definitely above "average", and on defense, I would add Babs and Lofton to your short list.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 things stood out during week 12 and playoff game against the packers.

1.) mccarthy played rodgers in spread offense against our defense. in fact we saw 5 wide more than the combined week 1 thru week 12. the packers saw that we are thin and young in the secondary, and they match up well (they cant match up any other way because of a useless ground game). they played this blue print both times. the run game kept us honest in over pursuing the middle of the field - hence the delayed hand off up the middle to starks. it worked enough so our LB played gap conscious so we wouldnt be gashed on the ground game.

2.) here is the other problem - rodgers has a very quick release, which 2 folds the playbook. on offense they game planned against the blitz. when we stacked the line to blitz rodgers, he took a 1 step drop and threw for a short 5 yard gain. he also realized that our defense was over pursuing in alot of the plays (translation = we were nervous) imo, the packers defense fed off this and played much better.

how do we improve?

grab a vet CB like bailey to play NB

we need a complete DE that can play against the run and pass. we dont need a premier pash rusher, we need a dominant DE that demands attention.

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.

Guest
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.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...