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Playoff Woe, Tempered Criticism & A Question


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Well that was a bit of a gutting performance... When Julio scored a TD I thought "this is on!" and I kept hope up until Julio fumbled - his earlier TD something of a distant memory...

One thing that I read a lot is about the Falcons lack of success in the playoffs, and how a) the Falcons can't be taken seriously until they win a post-season game and b ) Matt Ryan can't be considered more than a decent QB until he accomplishes the same.

This is the wrong argument, and even though I have seen a few people make the correct point, too many opinions are illogical - the point is that the Falcons aren't good enough against the good teams. If the Falcons regularly beat the likes of the Saints, Steelers, Patriots and Packers and THEN lost to similar calibre teams in the post-season, THEN it is a "playoff" issue, but not until that happens.

And for the last three seasons, here are the stats:

Record against teams with winning seasons: 1-5 (2009), 5-3 (2010), 2-4* (2011). Overall: 8-12*.

Just to put it in perspective, overall record against 8-8 or worse teams: 23-4.

* If Titans lose their last game this will be 1-5 and 7-13.

So please please please can all those who argue about "Falcons and Ryan can't win in the post season" please make their argument a more logical one? Thanks in advance.

As for why is this case, I'd like to hear what people think, but one thing that really hit me today was the Saints ability (and hunger) all over the field to step up when it mattered. Ok, we know Brees is superb, but on most snaps, particularly on third downs, the O-Line protected him for AGES. And when we had a pressure situation on offense, the Saints defense seemed so aggressive in everything they did.

I thought Matt Ryan actually played quite well, it might sound crazy but I'd say as well as Brees tonight given the tools at his disposal. O-Line, officials and penalties worked against him but he still pulled out a lot of good plays. People who criticise Ryan for not being good against the good teams should watch this game and realise that there is a h*ll of a lot more to it, and if we didn't have Ryan we probably wouldn't even be close to MAKING the post-season!

The inability of the Falcons lines (offence and defence), secondary, running backs etc to match other playoff calibre teams is clear - but is that the fault of the play callers, the individual players, or a general lack of depth on the roster?

Overall I'm still happy that we've made the playoffs again, but feeling more than a little deflated that we're probably going to have to go to New Orleans again!

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Couldn't agree more about the big teams/playoff argument, so annoying when people say that!

Figured the stats would be a bit like that, but thanks for giving us the specifics.

I think it's a mix of those things - our offensive and defensive lines aren't good enough.

One thing I was wondering... surely playing zone defense gives the offense an opportunity to exploit match up differences? E.g. Jimmy Graham and Brent Grimes - by playing zone, NO can choose that match up, whereas if we played Man coverage, the defense decides the match ups... right?

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I think I know what you're getting at with the depth on the roster too - the Saints seem to be able to pull out out kinds of different plays with different personnel.

It's possible that this is due to lack of depth, particularly on defense, but on offense surely it has more to do with the OC. How often did we see Douglas last night? Not to mention the absence of Weems (and Meier? Is he still injured?)

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I'm not a big fan of firing coaches, as I think stability is key to breeding success. But I'm coming round to the idea that the co-ordinators should go. I've always thought, even when Turner is producing, that Snelling should get more plays, for unpredictability and also fatigue purposes, and Douglas has shown flashes and has been underused.

However I think the case for BVG going is the stronger of the two. The third and long failure, Chris Houston turning into a top DB, Robinson's lacklustre performances, a lack of production of Edwards and others on the defensive line who are capable of better, and a general lack of hunger/aggression on defensive plays suggests to me that BVG isn't doing the right things.

Furthermore, it seems that a defense can undergo a complete overhaul in a short space of time and become effective with the right coaching staff. Look at the Broncos, and more particularly, the Texans with Wade Phillips - haven't they gone from the worst to the best defence in 1 year?!

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