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First Thing I Haven't Liked This Year By The Falcons


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I've re-watched the Panthers game about four times now, and after hearing some comments from the players and coaches there are a couple of things I think we should be concerned with from the last game.

I am a huge fan of our coaching staff and front office, but I think we were not prepared for last weeks game and a large chunk of the responsibility falls on the coaching staff, mainly coach Smith.

Defensively, in my opinion, there were two main issues. The first was our scheme. We should have played a lot more 4 - 3 base and stayed out of the nickel most of the time. There were too many times we had 5 DB's in the game and let Carolina's O-line get to the second level. I think we could have run some heavier sets now and then, maybe a 3 - 4 and really have slowed the run game down, while still keeping good pass coverage. Not saying we have the personnel to run a 3 - 4 more than a couple of times a game, but having a third large D-lineman in there would have really screwed with their blocking system.

Also, our DE's were not playing the triple option properly. Against, the triple option the DE has to hit the QB, not crash down to hit the fullback or first option, or maintain contain. They have to hit the QB and force a pitch as quickly as possible to the tailback, which turns the option basically into a tailback sweep. This is how it is done in College and because pros are so much quicker taking the QB out fast really beats the option every time. Our DE's were either going after the fullback (half-back or first option), or trying to extend the play out towards the sideline, which is great for a sweep, but not an option.

I bring this up because RGIII runs the option a lot better than Cam and in my opinion is a much bigger threat. I think if we adjust we could do a pretty decent job of shutting him down.

Offensively, I think several people have brought it up on other threads. We should have run the ball about 5 - 10 more times. There were some possibilities for huge gains. Carolina was all in trying to stop our passing game. The coaches should have adjusted mid second period. They did not.

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I will say this: if a qb is rushing the ball please for gods sake smack the sh!t out of him, force him to pitch it and light his a$$ up. I would take a 20 yard gain all day if it means we laid a solid hit on the qb.

We popped Newton a couple times in the game, dude is just built like a brick house

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I will say this: if a qb is rushing the ball please for gods sake smack the sh!t out of him, force him to pitch it and light his a$$ up. I would take a 20 yard gain all day if it means we laid a solid hit on the qb.

Yeah, that is another thing that's important and a reason why options are not run in the pro's. You have a right to hit the QB when he is running the option. If Abe or Kroy or any of our DE's would have just laid into Cam even after the pitch it would have been legal and put some hesitation into him trying to run the ball so much.

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It was a wierd game for the defense, and there were a couple of things it left me wondering.

1. How can a team playing nickel for an entire game against a QB that has been making a lot of mistakes finish a game with zero passes defended?

But the other question is the big one I have -

2. If a team is truly committed to trying to shove the ball down Atlanta's throat, will the Falcons be able to stop them?

I think we might get our answer to that second question on Sunday.

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Defensively, in my opinion, there were two main issues. The first was our scheme. We should have played a lot more 4 - 3 base and stayed out of the nickel most of the time. There were too many times we had 5 DB's in the game and let Carolina's O-line get to the second level. I think we could have run some heavier sets now and then, maybe a 3 - 4 and really have slowed the run game down, while still keeping good pass coverage. Not saying we have the personnel to run a 3 - 4 more than a couple of times a game, but having a third large D-lineman in there would have really screwed with their blocking system.

I think this is just a numbers game. We're in the nickel because they line up in a 3 WR set. If we kept coming out with 3 LBs and they had 3 WRs it's only a matter of time before they start throwing the ball and isolating the LB/WR matchup.

This is probably the main reason that the Panthers used that formation. They wanted to dictate personnel match-ups. This is a reason why the spread option is so popular in college.

The Skins offense is going to be a problem because they run the same zone-blocking run game we had with Vick when we lead the league in rushing every year but their passing game is much much more effective. If we focus too much on RG3 the RB is going to gash us.... and then you have to consider the problems the pistol and tripple option give you.

Hopefully having to play Newton first will have helped us to prepare for the Skins offense but the Skins offense presents a different set of problems than the Panthers offense.

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1. How can a team playing nickel for an entire game against a QB that has been making a lot of mistakes finish a game with zero passes defended?

Nobody got their hands on the ball. If I remember correctly it was mainly Panthers dropping the ball or Newton missing the WR.

Our guys were in position but I don't recall seeing any of them getting a hand on a pass.

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It was a wierd game for the defense, and there were a couple of things it left me wondering.

1. How can a team playing nickel for an entire game against a QB that has been making a lot of mistakes finish a game with zero passes defended?

NO pass rush outside of Abe...I thought the secondary played well overall(S. Smith 3-52)

But the other question is the big one I have -

2. If a team is truly committed to trying to shove the ball down Atlanta's throat, will the Falcons be able to stop them?

I think we might get our answer to that second question on Sunday.

Alfred Morris and RGIII are going to be a Truth Table to the Falcon "D" this Sun. for sure.

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Falcons were almost 50-50 in 4-3 and in Nickel against Panthers. That is the most so far this season, but Panthers also had 3 WR in more than half the snaps. If there are 3 WR you can't have a LB covering the slot receiver. It was a personnel mismatch which Carolina exploited. The best way probably to defend Redskins is to play Zone Defense. The defense will probably react to offense and have soft zones but it can help stop the rushing QB.

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Anybody that thinks the Panthers dominated the Falcons didn't watch tape/stats.

They gave us their best game and the Falcons got the ball last...it was a good football game end of story.

No letdown, the Panthers exposed what they could...they had 10 days prep and familiarity.

The story should be why Rivera(Car. HC), took 2 timeouts into halftime...then chastised his team in a press conference.

Hope Smitty never does that.

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They did come out in a 3WR set a lot, but we could have pushed a safety over to cover the slot WR some of the time. I know it's a numbers game and against 3WR sets the counter is to run a nickel, but Nolan is an attacking DC and throws some weird things out there to confuse offenses. Most of those 3WR sets were to spread our defense out and take a LB out of the picture and that is exactly what we did. I believe I read one state that said we pressured Newton on 10 pass plays (the most this season) and he was something like 1 - 10 on those pressures.

I just would have like to see us mix it up a little more. It seems we went back to playing a reactionary type of defense. Carolina was determined to run the ball to set up the pass. It just seems like we could have taken a little more risk by running a 4 - 3 with a single deep safety against their 3WR set some of the time.

Scheme's are one thing, but it still doesn't answer why our DE's were not instructed to hit the QB on every option play. On the triple option the DE is never blocked. We could have lit Cam up several times with really hard and legal hits.

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We need a pass rush asap. I'm sick of watching opposing QBs get 6 seconds in the pocket while Matt only has three before he gets sacked. Our secondary has been doing amazing considering how long they have to cover the opposing teams weapons.

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It was a wierd game for the defense, and there were a couple of things it left me wondering.

1. How can a team playing nickel for an entire game against a QB that has been making a lot of mistakes finish a game with zero passes defended?

But the other question is the big one I have -

2. If a team is truly committed to trying to shove the ball down Atlanta's throat, will the Falcons be able to stop them?

I think we might get our answer to that second question on Sunday.

Cam was not good throwing the ball. He had some decent numbers, but the majority came from break downs on the defensive side. I just don't think we were ready to play Sunday and it showed. He did enough to move the chains when they needed it through the air and did capitalize on a couple of our mistakes. I guess that contradicts what I said about him not being good throwing. Let's put it this way. If we had stopped the run, the panters passing attack would have failed hard.

This Sunday will be interesting. We have got to have better gap presences then we have had all four games this year. I think we are a much better run defense team than our stats show, but we are going to have to revert back to our base defense or we will get run over. Nolan is going to have to get creative in other ways then with 5 DB's and the amoeba defense. This is a great opportunity to see his hybrid 3 - 4 in my opinion. Put three big tackles in the game at the same time with four LB's and send pressure from everywhere (not at once).

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Cam was not good throwing the ball. He had some decent numbers, but the majority came from break downs on the defensive side. I just don't think we were ready to play Sunday and it showed. He did enough to move the chains when they needed it through the air and did capitalize on a couple of our mistakes. I guess that contradicts what I said about him not being good throwing. Let's put it this way. If we had stopped the run, the panters passing attack would have failed hard.

This Sunday will be interesting. We have got to have better gap presences then we have had all four games this year. I think we are a much better run defense team than our stats show, but we are going to have to revert back to our base defense or we will get run over. Nolan is going to have to get creative in other ways then with 5 DB's and the amoeba defense. This is a great opportunity to see his hybrid 3 - 4 in my opinion. Put three big tackles in the game at the same time with four LB's and send pressure from everywhere (not at once).

If we had stopped the run, the panters passing attack would have failed hard.

We haven't stopped the run all year. Cam had a good game until the fumble and they schemed well to shut down JJ.

Thank Gawd for MT/MR/RW/TG/Abe play...the pillars showed up.

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Didn't Cam pitch on the option more often than not? Could have sworn that was the case. Also the Redskins option is a little different from the Panthers, but we also have film on it now and what guys made what mistakes defending it so those can be addressed during the week hopefully. Thinking about it this Carolina game was a nice game to probably have before this Redskins game, it showed us some our weaknesses we need to work on while also preparing us for a similar type of QB and approach.

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Guest Negatorris

It was a wierd game for the defense, and there were a couple of things it left me wondering.

1. How can a team playing nickel for an entire game against a QB that has been making a lot of mistakes finish a game with zero passes defended?

But the other question is the big one I have -

2. If a team is truly committed to trying to shove the ball down Atlanta's throat, will the Falcons be able to stop them?

I think we might get our answer to that second question on Sunday.

I kept expecting an interception.

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It was a wierd game for the defense, and there were a couple of things it left me wondering.

1. How can a team playing nickel for an entire game against a QB that has been making a lot of mistakes finish a game with zero passes defended?

But the other question is the big one I have -

2. If a team is truly committed to trying to shove the ball down Atlanta's throat, will the Falcons be able to stop them?

I think we might get our answer to that second question on Sunday.

It was a wierd game for the defense, and there were a couple of things it left me wondering.

1. How can a team playing nickel for an entire game against a QB that has been making a lot of mistakes finish a game with zero passes defended?

But the other question is the big one I have -

2. If a team is truly committed to trying to shove the ball down Atlanta's throat, will the Falcons be able to stop them?

I think we might get our answer to that second question on Sunday.

Agreed. Morris is playing ridiculous right now. If we play the same D we played against Carolina he will have 120 ys rushing no problem. We are going to have to run alot more base D this week. Everyone knows Shanahan is one of the best game planners in the biz. He knows we have struggled in the run D and he has a back who can make us pay. Our tackling better be on point because he is breaking tackles at will this season. Definitely a scary scary dude.

Best way to handle that is to score early and try to get a TO or 2 and CAPITALIZE on those turnovers. We can't do what we did against Denver.

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Against CAR was the first time we missed Lofton. Dent has potential but he's a far cry from the veteran run stopper we let walk. It was the right decision, but it did hurt our run defense.

I agree that we should be playing some zone against RG3. When everyone turns to run with their guy in man coverage it gives the qb a great shot to take off with it. And young qbs make mistakes vs zone coverage. The best thing we can do for our defense is score enough points to get WAS off their running game. Our defense is built to defend the pass, not the run.

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I've re-watched the Panthers game about four times now, and after hearing some comments from the players and coaches there are a couple of things I think we should be concerned with from the last game.

I am a huge fan of our coaching staff and front office, but I think we were not prepared for last weeks game and a large chunk of the responsibility falls on the coaching staff, mainly coach Smith.

Defensively, in my opinion, there were two main issues. The first was our scheme. We should have played a lot more 4 - 3 base and stayed out of the nickel most of the time. There were too many times we had 5 DB's in the game and let Carolina's O-line get to the second level. I think we could have run some heavier sets now and then, maybe a 3 - 4 and really have slowed the run game down, while still keeping good pass coverage. Not saying we have the personnel to run a 3 - 4 more than a couple of times a game, but having a third large D-lineman in there would have really screwed with their blocking system.

Also, our DE's were not playing the triple option properly. Against, the triple option the DE has to hit the QB, not crash down to hit the fullback or first option, or maintain contain. They have to hit the QB and force a pitch as quickly as possible to the tailback, which turns the option basically into a tailback sweep. This is how it is done in College and because pros are so much quicker taking the QB out fast really beats the option every time. Our DE's were either going after the fullback (half-back or first option), or trying to extend the play out towards the sideline, which is great for a sweep, but not an option.

I bring this up because RGIII runs the option a lot better than Cam and in my opinion is a much bigger threat. I think if we adjust we could do a pretty decent job of shutting him down.

Offensively, I think several people have brought it up on other threads. We should have run the ball about 5 - 10 more times. There were some possibilities for huge gains. Carolina was all in trying to stop our passing game. The coaches should have adjusted mid second period. They did not.

Was Abe's play a product of a bad scheme or poor discipline? I posted about that earlier in the week and was ridiculed.

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Was Abe's play a product of a bad scheme or poor discipline? I posted about that earlier in the week and was ridiculed.

I think a little of both. Abe came down hard on the dive back (first option) at least three or four times. He did assist on one stop that only picked up a yard or two, but there were a couple of runs Newton had that picked up good yards because with Abe crashing down and the OT on the OLB there was a hole for the QB to run. On one play Abe tried to force Newton to pitch to the tail back (3rd option) and Newton turned up field for a big gain and Abe couldn't make the play. It wasn't just Abe, it was all the DE's with the exception of Edwards who played the option pretty well (I know, I know).

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I think a little of both. Abe came down hard on the dive back (first option) at least three or four times. He did assist on one stop that only picked up a yard or two, but there were a couple of runs Newton had that picked up good yards because with Abe crashing down and the OT on the OLB there was a hole for the QB to run. On one play Abe tried to force Newton to pitch to the tail back (3rd option) and Newton turned up field for a big gain and Abe couldn't make the play. It wasn't just Abe, it was all the DE's with the exception of Edwards who played the option pretty well (I know, I know).

Do you know the rule on the zone read options? In college, they start running the option and everyone running the fake is fair game to T off on. I never understood why folks don't BLAST Vick when he does that back side roll out fake after a hand off? And I don't understand why the Falcons did not knock the snot out of Newton every time they ran the zone read option (whether Newton kept or not.) What's the story?

If you have a chance to take a free shot at an NFL QB . . . why not take it?

Edited by holymoses
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