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This upcoming season will be telling!


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The question: will we take the next step, plateau or take a step back this season?

Either we take it to the next level or we just may have to accept the possibility that our GM and coaching staff are good, perhaps very good, but not an elite group. Remember, both our GM and Head Coach are holding such heavy responsibilities for the first times in their careers, and our Defensive Coordinator (my greatest concern) does not have a very distinguished resume and was nothing short of awful at Georgia Southern when given the opportunity to be a head coach.

I’m not intentionally taking a shot at anyone…just pointing out the simple truth that we just don’t know yet that this GM and Coaching staff can make the necessary personnel and pre-game and in-game decisions to win it all. The utterly embarrassing and humiliating way that Green Bay treated our team (in our house in our biggest game in many years–if not ever) has left many of us with a lot of questions and reasonable doubt.

How we lost to Green Bay was very, very, disturbing, especially by a defense that gives up 31/36 passing, 366 yards, 48 points, no punts, and, most discouragingly, completely quit after the opening 3rd quarter drive by Green Bay…none of the other final four losing teams, despite being significantly behind in the 2nd half, quit like the Falcons. They continued to fight and all three had legitimate chances to win–except the team that quit mid way through the THIRD quarter! Certainly the players bear their fair share of the responsibility, but allowing a team of professionals essentially to give up like this is the poorest of defensive coaching and motivation!

Many argue that the current regime inherited a team with little talent. I disagree! The 2006 team was 7-9 and, as I recall, was a chip-shot field goal away in the last game against Tampa from being a respectable 8-8 and a few more games were lost that we shouldn't have--like Cleveland at home! The 2007 season was a shock year due to Vick's sentencing, Joey Harrington at QB, and a lifeless robot, Petrino, as the Head Coach. Certainly the coaching staff deserves some credit for the turnaround the very next season, but they also inherited some talent too to go 11-5.

Please, no "noddle arm" commenter's or other immature gibberish here. The question is will our TEAM (as it is currently configured with our GM, players and coaching staff) this season take the next step, plateau or get bypassed by other teams on the rise? Why or why not?

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I have a feeling we will go 8-8 or 7-9 next year. Defense was exposed and TB is definately getting better. And NO I am not a Bucs fan! Defense needs complete overhaul. This off season will tell us a lot about what kind of GM we really got. Any 13 year old off of the street could have picked Matt Ryan with the number 1 pick. It is the late round picks that defines a GM's talent and thus far we have bombed in the later draft rounds.

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I have a feeling we will go 8-8 or 7-9 next year. Defense was exposed and TB is definately getting better. And NO I am not a Bucs fan! Defense needs complete overhaul. This off season will tell us a lot about what kind of GM we really got. Any 13 year old off of the street could have picked Matt Ryan with the number 1 pick. It is the late round picks that defines a GM's talent and thus far we have bombed in the later draft rounds.

yea, you must be a yucs fan. if not, please by all means get off this board and join them. exit stage left...

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I have a feeling we will go 8-8 or 7-9 next year. Defense was exposed and TB is definately getting better. And NO I am not a Bucs fan! Defense needs complete overhaul. This off season will tell us a lot about what kind of GM we really got. Any 13 year old off of the street could have picked Matt Ryan with the number 1 pick. It is the late round picks that defines a GM's talent and thus far we have bombed in the later draft rounds.

With Harrington's abysmal performance in 2007 and Vick wearing stripes in Leavenworth prison, Matt Ryan (or Joe Flacco)--to me, anyway--was at the time the most obvious 1st round choice for the Falcons since Steve Bartkowski. We just had to have a QB to have any hope for the near future!

Also true is how well a team selects in the later rounds is sound evidence of their talent judging skills versus picking the highly visible first rounder from a BCS school.

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The question: will we take the next step, plateau or take a step back this season?

Either we take it to the next level or we just may have to accept the possibility that our GM and coaching staff are good, perhaps very good, but not an elite group. Remember, both our GM and Head Coach are holding such heavy responsibilities for the first times in their careers, and our Defensive Coordinator (my greatest concern) does not have a very distinguished resume and was nothing short of awful at Georgia Southern when given the opportunity to be a head coach.

I'm not intentionally taking a shot at anyone…just pointing out the simple truth that we just don't know yet that this GM and Coaching staff can make the necessary personnel and pre-game and in-game decisions to win it all. The utterly embarrassing and humiliating way that Green Bay treated our team (in our house in our biggest game in many years–if not ever) has left many of us with a lot of questions and reasonable doubt.

How we lost to Green Bay was very, very, disturbing, especially by a defense that gives up 31/36 passing, 366 yards, 48 points, no punts, and, most discouragingly, completely quit after the opening 3rd quarter drive by Green Bay…none of the other final four losing teams, despite being significantly behind in the 2nd half, quit like the Falcons. They continued to fight and all three had legitimate chances to win–except the team that quit mid way through the THIRD quarter! Certainly the players bear their fair share of the responsibility, but allowing a team of professionals essentially to give up like this is the poorest of defensive coaching and motivation!

Many argue that the current regime inherited a team with little talent. I disagree! The 2006 team was 7-9 and, as I recall, was a chip-shot field goal away in the last game against Tampa from being a respectable 8-8 and a few more games were lost that we shouldn't have--like Cleveland at home! The 2007 season was a shock year due to Vick's sentencing, Joey Harrington at QB, and a lifeless robot, Petrino, as the Head Coach. Certainly the coaching staff deserves some credit for the turnaround the very next season, but they also inherited some talent too to go 11-5.

Please, no "noddle arm" commenter's or other immature gibberish here. The question is will our TEAM (as it is currently configured with our GM, players and coaching staff) this season take the next step, plateau or get bypassed by other teams on the rise? Why or why not?

Was just thinking of starting the same topic. I'm thinking the Falcons win 10-12 games next year and win at least one playoff game.

Last 3 quarters of the playoff game, GB had the ball for 32 minutes, Atl 13- D didn't quit, they were just gassed. The other teams you mentioned coming back were better, deeper teams. Pack was the perfect team to take advantage of Atlanta's weaknesses.

There's a reason Atlanta played the style they did during the regular season. It was the only way they could win. The offense had to protect the defense by keeping the ball.

Falcons maxed out their talent, scheme and luck to get to 13 wins. They met up with a better team in the playoffs- look at the starting line-ups vs GB, compare D to D and O to O, tell me which players are better. Pack had a better D, better QB and better receiving corp.

So, the question becomes, will the falcons take that next step? I think they will. In the last 3 years, this organization has completely changed this team, it's building a solid core that will compete for years.

Last 3 years on D, counting position changes, there have been 4 new starters in 08, 5 in 09, 5 in 10, the core of the D is young- Lofton, DeCoud, Moore, Jerry, Peters, Owens, Nicholas, Spoon, Biermann, Sidbury, Franks, Grimes. That's a lot of changes. They should be better next year simply from playing together another year and the maturation of the younger players. Jerry is the real wild card here, if he becomes the player they thought he was when they drafted him, this whole D gets much better.

On O, TD has been building towards losing FA on the Oline- if Reynolds, Valdez, Johnson and Hawley step in and the line is better, TD has done his job. Ryan has helped cover up OLine deficiencies by his play.

You keep reciting Rogers stats and saying the D needs work, which it does, but Ryan's stat line shows there's work to do on the other side of the ball as well.

Falcons couldn't stretch the field on O and couldn't generate a pass rush from the Dline. GB made them pay for that. Falcons need a couple of more playmakers on both sides of the ball.

I think the first round pick and big FA pick up should be a LDE that can get double digit sacks and a fast AND quick wide receiver.

I think what's going to happen this coming year is that:

TD will get those playmakers, maybe even easing up on the "falcon filter" since a culture has been put in place that could keep a player in line.

The coaches on both sides will be more aggressive because they'll have the talent to do so.

That Ryan and the D will get better simply through maturing and another year of experience.

That translates to 10-12 wins, a playoff berth and enough talent to make some noise when they get there.

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Was just thinking of starting the same topic. I'm thinking the Falcons win 10-12 games next year and win at least one playoff game.

Last 3 quarters of the playoff game, GB had the ball for 32 minutes, Atl 13- D didn't quit, they were just gassed. The other teams you mentioned coming back were better, deeper teams. Pack was the perfect team to take advantage of Atlanta's weaknesses.

There's a reason Atlanta played the style they did during the regular season. It was the only way they could win. The offense had to protect the defense by keeping the ball.

Falcons maxed out their talent, scheme and luck to get to 13 wins. They met up with a better team in the playoffs- look at the starting line-ups vs GB, compare D to D and O to O, tell me which players are better. Pack had a better D, better QB and better receiving corp.

So, the question becomes, will the falcons take that next step? I think they will. In the last 3 years, this organization has completely changed this team, it's building a solid core that will compete for years.

Last 3 years on D, counting position changes, there have been 4 new starters in 08, 5 in 09, 5 in 10, the core of the D is young- Lofton, DeCoud, Moore, Jerry, Peters, Owens, Nicholas, Spoon, Biermann, Sidbury, Franks, Grimes. That's a lot of changes. They should be better next year simply from playing together another year and the maturation of the younger players. Jerry is the real wild card here, if he becomes the player they thought he was when they drafted him, this whole D gets much better.

On O, TD has been building towards losing FA on the Oline- if Reynolds, Valdez, Johnson and Hawley step in and the line is better, TD has done his job. Ryan has helped cover up OLine deficiencies by his play.

You keep reciting Rogers stats and saying the D needs work, which it does, but Ryan's stat line shows there's work to do on the other side of the ball as well.

Falcons couldn't stretch the field on O and couldn't generate a pass rush from the Dline. GB made them pay for that. Falcons need a couple of more playmakers on both sides of the ball.

I think the first round pick and big FA pick up should be a LDE that can get double digit sacks and a fast AND quick wide receiver.

I think what's going to happen this coming year is that:

TD will get those playmakers, maybe even easing up on the "falcon filter" since a culture has been put in place that could keep a player in line.

The coaches on both sides will be more aggressive because they'll have the talent to do so.

That Ryan and the D will get better simply through maturing and another year of experience.

That translates to 10-12 wins, a playoff berth and enough talent to make some noise when they get there.

Agreed.

You know, something that's troubling me....

In the first GB game:

Passing

Matt Ryan, 24/28 197yds 1 TD

Aaron Rodgers, 26/35 344yds 1 TD

Rushing

Michael Turner, 23 carries 110yds 1 TD

Aaron Rodgers, 12 carries 51yds 1 TD

B. Jackson, 10 carries 26yds

J. Snelling, 4 carries 7yds

Recieving

REC YDS AVG TD LG TGTS

G. Jennings 5 119 23.8 0 35 8

J. Nelson 5 61 12.2 1 28 5

J. Jones 5 44 8.8 0 18 8

T. Gonzalez 6 51 8.5 1 21 6

R. White 5 49 9.8 0 14 7

J. Snelling 4 32 8.0 0 12 4

The stats are so similar (TOP, penalties, 3d and 4th down conversions, etc)... 1 turnover made the difference. Rodgers put up a billion yards in the air, but we stopped them when it mattered. Bend don't break. (see: effective pass rush, we only had 1 sack but based on Rodger's rushing stats - we were getting after him and covering the wideouts pretty good)

Now on to the nightmare...

Passing

Matt Ryan, 20/29 186yds 1 TD 2 INT

Aaron Rodgers, 31/36 366yds 3 TD

Rushing

Michael Turner, 10 carries 39yds 1 TD

Aaron Rodgers, 2 carries 13yds 1 TD

J. Starks, 25 carries 66yds

J. Snelling, 1 carries 1yds

Recieving

REC YDS AVG TD LG TGTS

G. Jennings 8 101 12.6 0 30 10

J. Nelson 8 79 9.9 1 14 8

D. Driver 6 76 12.7 0 24 6

J. Jones 4 75 18.8 1 34 4

J. Kuhn 2 14 7.0 1 7 2

M. Jenkins 6 67 11.2 0 22 8

R. White 6 57 9.5 1 12 10

B. Finneran 4 47 11.8 0 19 6

T. Gonzalez 1 7 7.0 0 7 1

J. Snelling 2 6 3.0 0 4 2

They sacked us FIVE times, we sacked them twice. TOP had a huge disparity, 38:19 - 21:41. We also had SEVEN penalties... and were horrible on 3rd down (3/10)

I think the takeaway here is......... the Packers did the same thing against us the first time we played. We didn't return the favor. =/

Ok sorry, beating a dead horse. I just thought the stats were interesting.

(Edit: in the editor, the stats are easier to read.... wth)

Edited by RoamingFalcon
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I think we'll backslide a little,but not much.Mainly because we'll probably let some decent FA's walk in order to get some young guys on the field and see what they can do.We played as well as we could,which wasn't good enough.A mild shakeup is in order to get to the next level.Standing pat won't get us over the hump.

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"The offense had to protect the defense by keeping the ball."

Good points all! I thought your quote above concisely explains a lot of my concerns. Like Green Bay, Pittsburgh, New York, and Chicago did, our defense has to compliment our offense, not depend upon it for protection.

Like the great New England Patriots this season in the playoffs, every team's offense is capable of an off day. That's when your defense has to step up like Green Bay's did on their offense's "off day" against Chicago when their DT had to score a TD to get only 21 points.

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Agreed.

You know, something that's troubling me....

In the first GB game:

Passing

Matt Ryan, 24/28 197yds 1 TD

Aaron Rodgers, 26/35 344yds 1 TD

Rushing

Michael Turner, 23 carries 110yds 1 TD

Aaron Rodgers, 12 carries 51yds 1 TD

B. Jackson, 10 carries 26yds

J. Snelling, 4 carries 7yds

Recieving

REC YDS AVG TD LG TGTS

G. Jennings 5 119 23.8 0 35 8

J. Nelson 5 61 12.2 1 28 5

J. Jones 5 44 8.8 0 18 8

T. Gonzalez 6 51 8.5 1 21 6

R. White 5 49 9.8 0 14 7

J. Snelling 4 32 8.0 0 12 4

The stats are so similar (TOP, penalties, 3d and 4th down conversions, etc)... 1 turnover made the difference. Rodgers put up a billion yards in the air, but we stopped them when it mattered. Bend don't break. (see: effective pass rush, we only had 1 sack but based on Rodger's rushing stats - we were getting after him and covering the wideouts pretty good)

Now on to the nightmare...

Passing

Matt Ryan, 20/29 186yds 1 TD 2 INT

Aaron Rodgers, 31/36 366yds 3 TD

Rushing

Michael Turner, 10 carries 39yds 1 TD

Aaron Rodgers, 2 carries 13yds 1 TD

J. Starks, 25 carries 66yds

J. Snelling, 1 carries 1yds

Recieving

REC YDS AVG TD LG TGTS

G. Jennings 8 101 12.6 0 30 10

J. Nelson 8 79 9.9 1 14 8

D. Driver 6 76 12.7 0 24 6

J. Jones 4 75 18.8 1 34 4

J. Kuhn 2 14 7.0 1 7 2

M. Jenkins 6 67 11.2 0 22 8

R. White 6 57 9.5 1 12 10

B. Finneran 4 47 11.8 0 19 6

T. Gonzalez 1 7 7.0 0 7 1

J. Snelling 2 6 3.0 0 4 2

They sacked us FIVE times, we sacked them twice. TOP had a huge disparity, 38:19 - 21:41. We also had SEVEN penalties... and were horrible on 3rd down (3/10)

I think the takeaway here is......... the Packers did the same thing against us the first time we played. We didn't return the favor. =/

Ok sorry, beating a dead horse. I just thought the stats were interesting.

(Edit: in the editor, the stats are easier to read.... wth)

This was troubling too for me. We basically had the identical game plan against Green Bay in the playoff game as the first. This is where our coaching need to mature and "anticipate" better in the future. The first game plan AND the 2nd game plan against New Orleans were different and effective. Even though we lost to New Orleans the 2nd game we played well enough and certainly creative enough (especially on defense) to win that game. I can accept this loss with pride!

The way we surprised the great defense of Baltimore by passing when we shouldn't and running when least expected--both coupled with lots of no huddle--was effective. Our coaching staff did a poor job of being creative on offense against Green Bay to sustain drives and TOP and not anticipating that Rodgers was going to wear our defense down otherwise.

As for this season, I think our only hope to improve on this past season is to pour every penny into our defense. We need a PROVEN DE from somewhere and we could use another proven CB too. If we stand pat (draft and hope) I see at best a plateau and at worse some regression.

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They cannot afford to take a step back. They need to make the playoffs to keep building momentum for the franchise. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the franchises like the Pats and Steelers and a 1 being like the Browns. The Falcons are sitting at about a 7 in my opinion. They need to continue to make the playoffs, and get over the hump and win 1 or 2 games in the playoffs.

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This was troubling too for me. We basically had the identical game plan against Green Bay in the playoff game as the first. This is where our coaching need to mature and "anticipate" better in the future. The first game plan AND the 2nd game plan against New Orleans were different and effective. Even though we lost to New Orleans the 2nd game we played well enough and certainly creative enough (especially on defense) to win that game. I can accept this loss with pride!

The way we surprised the great defense of Baltimore by passing when we shouldn't and running when least expected--both coupled with lots of no huddle--was effective. Our coaching staff did a poor job of being creative on offense against Green Bay to sustain drives and TOP and not anticipating that Rodgers was going to wear our defense down otherwise.

As for this season, I think our only hope to improve on this past season is to pour every penny into our defense. We need a PROVEN DE from somewhere and we could use another proven CB too. If we stand pat (draft and hope) I see at best a plateau and at worse some regression.

yea, rush 3 drop 8 ......... :wacko:

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This was troubling too for me. We basically had the identical game plan against Green Bay in the playoff game as the first. This is where our coaching need to mature and "anticipate" better in the future. The first game plan AND the 2nd game plan against New Orleans were different and effective. Even though we lost to New Orleans the 2nd game we played well enough and certainly creative enough (especially on defense) to win that game. I can accept this loss with pride!

The way we surprised the great defense of Baltimore by passing when we shouldn't and running when least expected--both coupled with lots of no huddle--was effective. Our coaching staff did a poor job of being creative on offense against Green Bay to sustain drives and TOP and not anticipating that Rodgers was going to wear our defense down otherwise.

As for this season, I think our only hope to improve on this past season is to pour every penny into our defense. We need a PROVEN DE from somewhere and we could use another proven CB too. If we stand pat (draft and hope) I see at best a plateau and at worse some regression.

What is it about 20/29 for 186 yards with 1 TD and 2 INTs and a pick 6 that's so impressive we can ignore that side of the ball?

I recall both sides of the ball getting shellacked in that game.

Add a pass rusher on D and and a breakaway threat on O and this team looks much better.

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What is it about 20/29 for 186 yards with 1 TD and 2 INTs and a pick 6 that's so impressive we can ignore that side of the ball?

I recall both sides of the ball getting shellacked in that game.

Add a pass rusher on D and and a breakaway threat on O and this team looks much better.

I agree completely, and I say we get the PR in FA, and draft the home run hitter with our # 1 ..........

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What's the use of having "explosive" players if you don't call "explosive" plays...? It's sickening to watch teams come out of "no where" and do much better in the playoffs than we do. -_-

Personally, I would like to see us out of the gun and no huddle more ..maybe if we get another big time wideout, Mularkey would be willing to spread the field more ..... :unsure:

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Personally, I would like to see us out of the gun and no huddle more ..maybe if we get another big time wideout, Mularkey would be willing to spread the field more ..... :unsure:

I doubt it...he could've sat MJ12 down at any part of the season, especially since he missed a significant amount of time. MM isn't playing him like a " #2 WR "

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A post from FFS1970 12/11/2010

"Since Smitty and TD arrived in 2008, the Falcons are tied with the Aints for the best record in the NFC. Those two and PIT are tied for third best in the NFL as of 12/9/10.

There are scenarios where we could end up with the best three year record in the NFL. There are also some that could drop us to the 10th spot. We will likely finish best in the NFC and top three in the NFL. I'll post the final rankings in January.

Folks that includes the 9-7 season last year, which was marred by injuries, missed kicks, dropped balls and a brutal schedule. This regime's arrow is pointing up."

BEST RECORDS FROM 2008-2010 (through 12/9/2010)

IND 33-12 (.733)

NE 31-13 (.705)

ATL 30-14 (.682)

PIT 30-14 (.682)

NO 30-14 (.682)

PHI 28-15-1 (.636)

BAL 28-16 (.636)

NYG 28-16 (.636)

NYJ 27-17 (.614)

MIN 27-17 (.614)

----------

I agree! One poorly timed bad loss does not negate what this staff and team has been able to accomplish since the nightmare that was 2007.

I didn't update the records post Dec 9th beacuase I'm at work and don't have the time to adjust it for all the teams mentioned. Couldn't find FFS70's updated post as well. I'm sure we fell a few notches overall. If someone else cares to do so by all means be my guest.

If anything, the info still provides a good dose of perspective about our team and where our arrow is pointing. UP.

We will add some explosiveness this off season (barring the CBA negotiations of course) through FA and the draft. Our D will continue to mature, improve and gain quality depth. I see another 10+ win season with lessons learned from the playoffs and a deeper playoff run.

Edited by Goal Line D
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What is it about 20/29 for 186 yards with 1 TD and 2 INTs and a pick 6 that's so impressive we can ignore that side of the ball?

I recall both sides of the ball getting shellacked in that game.

Add a pass rusher on D and and a breakaway threat on O and this team looks much better.

I don't think anyone--I'm certainly not, anyway--is defending Ryan's poor play this game. Still when your team generated 21 points you should at least be competitive in the 4th quarter...we weren't!

Again, the best example I can give is Green Bay vs. Chicago where Rodgers had pedestrian numbers (17/30, 236 yards, 2 Interceptions, yet pulled out a 21-14 victory due in large part because of a DT generating a TD on an interception.

The primary difference between Ryan's bad playoff game and Rodger's bad playoff game--the outcome, based on their respective defensive performance.

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I have a feeling we will go 8-8 or 7-9 next year. Defense was exposed and TB is definately getting better. And NO I am not a Bucs fan! Defense needs complete overhaul. This off season will tell us a lot about what kind of GM we really got. Any 13 year old off of the street could have picked Matt Ryan with the number 1 pick. It is the late round picks that defines a GM's talent and thus far we have bombed in the later draft rounds.

Yea...no we will not be either of those records

We may lack impact players on both sides of the ball but we are so well coached that we will still somehow end up 10-6. With that said this is THE year where we will see if this team is legit.

It's show time TD!!!

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Here you go:

BEST RECORDS FROM 2008-2010

IND 36-12 (.750)

NE 35-13 (.729)

ATL 33-15 (.688)

PIT 33-15 (.688)

BAL 32-16 (.667)

NO 32-16 (.667)

PHI 30-17-1 (.625)

SD 30-18 (.625)

NYG 30-18 (.625)

NYJ 29-19 (.604)

We finished with the best record in the NFC and third best record in the NFL over the last three years. So the arrow is still pointing up.

They certainly have exceeded my expectations. I predicted 8 wins in 2008, 9 in 2009 and 11 in 2010.

The problem has been in the playoffs where our defense gave up 78 points in two playoff games.

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Here you go:

BEST RECORDS FROM 2008-2010

IND 36-12 (.750)

NE 35-13 (.729)

ATL 33-15 (.688)

PIT 33-15 (.688)

BAL 32-16 (.667)

NO 32-16 (.667)

PHI 30-17-1 (.625)

NYG 30-18 (.625)

NYJ 29-19 (.604)

MIN 28-20 (.583)

We finished with the best record in the NFC and third best record in the NFL over the last three years. So the arrow is still pointing up.

They certainly have exceeded my expectations. I predicted 8 wins in 2008, 9 in 2009 and 11 in 2010.

The problem has been in the playoffs where our defense gave up 78 points in two playoff games.

Thanks!

Yes the D has got to get it together when the lights are shining their brightest.

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Here you go:

BEST RECORDS FROM 2008-2010

IND 36-12 (.750)

NE 35-13 (.729)

ATL 33-15 (.688)

PIT 33-15 (.688)

BAL 32-16 (.667)

NO 32-16 (.667)

PHI 30-17-1 (.625)

SD 30-18 (.625)

NYG 30-18 (.625)

NYJ 29-19 (.604)

We finished with the best record in the NFC and third best record in the NFL over the last three years. So the arrow is still pointing up.

They certainly have exceeded my expectations. I predicted 8 wins in 2008, 9 in 2009 and 11 in 2010.

The problem has been in the playoffs where our defense gave up 78 points in two playoff games.

Very good, as long as we don't turn into another Bobby Cox story by losing the last playoff game in 15 of his 16 opportunities. At the end of the day, I hope for the decisions and changes that lead to a Super Bowl Championship and not just qualifying for the opportunity.

This is why I believe while we have what's left in Tony Gonzalez and John Abraham, and while Roddy is still in his prime, we'd better make the right decisions this off-season on the 2-3 key players that can take us across the finish line!

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I'm pretty confident going forward. Sure, there was some decent talent on the team when Dimitroff and Smith got here but a good deal of it didn't fit the system, especially on defense, or only started showing flashes the year before or the year they got here (eg. Roddy). The defense had to go through a massive overhaul to fit Smith's scheme and is filled with young and inexperienced players and despite that they still gave up less than 300 points, which was the first time a Falcons defense did that since 1998. It is just a good LDE away from being where it needs to be.

The offense is what needs an injection of talent now. The O-line is filled with mediocre players. Blalock is average, Dahl is declining, McClure is old, Baker is a bit of a disappointment, Clabo is better suited at guard even if he went to the Pro Bowl as a RT. White is Ryan's only consistent target since Gonzalez has a growing habit of dropping passes and Jenkins disappears for long periods of times despite not getting much attention from defenses. Turner is asked to carry way too much of the load and is completely worn out by the playoffs. Etc.

I know the defense did badly against the Packers but the offense did much worse. 200 yards is a pitiful performance and their inability to stay on the field (coupled with Weems returning a kickoff for a TD right after a long Packers drive) completely wore out the defense. The offense needs better talent in the O-line, to give Ryan another target which will help out White, and a change of pace back that doesn't get injured every other game for Turner.

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Very good, as long as we don't turn into another Bobby Cox story by losing the last playoff game in 15 of his 16 opportunities. At the end of the day, I hope for the decisions and changes that lead to a Super Bowl Championship and not just qualifying for the opportunity.

This is why I believe while we have what's left in Tony Gonzalez and John Abraham, and while Roddy is still in his prime, we'd better make the right decisions this off-season on the 2-3 key players that can take us across the finish line!

Dude the bolded is what will piss me off the most so I don't want to even think about it.

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