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Falcons And The Road Ahead


vel
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Great win tonight! As an immediate reaction, to me it looks like the Falcons are starting to put it together. The passing attack was beyond awful and I think Koetter abandoned the run, but we finally know how to run the ball, the committee approach is working and our defense played LIGHTS OUT for 60 minutes (almost literally). I mean the defense was on the field for 33:44 or 74 plays. That is a lot of playing and they never wilted or complained. This was a flat out TEAM win tonight. That's the difference between us and a lot of teams in the hunt. There is no one way we win anymore. The last time the defense played like this against Brees, the offense couldn't win it. This time, they did just enough and the D kept attacking. 5 INTs and 0 TDs for Brees is unheard of, especially in the same game. And we did it with our best two corners down. That's the amazing part.

Say what you want about Dunta and his contract, but it's obvious he was in the wrong scheme. He is showing why we brought him here. He was essentially shut down again tonight. McClain keeps showing that he isn't just a flash in the pan but a legit player in this league and on this team. And everybody's punching bag Chris Owens stepped up with some big plays. Those two PDs were textbook. Again, this is our 3rd and 4th corner stepping up in a big game and not being phased by the moment. I don't think I have to bring up DeCoud and Moore. I think they just like it when the cameras and bright lights are on. Moore played the game of his career in my opinion. Even when the Saints got big plays, he was there to make sure they were limited. DeCoud kept the top on the defense and even baited Brees into a pick. Together, what they did won't show up in the box score: only 2 plays beyond 25 yards. When's the last time you watched us play the Saints and not remember a very big play against a confused DeCoud or lost Robinson? The DLine was very active early on, moving Brees off the spot and causing him to be uncomfortable and throw those picks.

Another thing: We may have given up 101 yards on the ground, but our run defense is coming back to life. Thomas was the leading rusher and his longest carry was 13 yards. They are setting the edge more consistently, the LBs aren't overpursuing and they are wrapping up. There weren't many terrible missed/broken tackles this game. It was a great thing to see. Even the ones we normally missed, I still held my breath, only for us to make the play. Great job defense!

For the offense, our OLine picks for us to either run block or pass block it seems lol. But seriously, time for McClure to go. Couldn't handle much of anything if they came dead at him. Luckily we have a tough SOB for a QB. That Weak I Off Tackle that they kept running will probably be the staple running play for the playoffs. It was gashing the Saints and you couldn't do anything about it because it was designed beautifully. Bring the safety down on that side and you have Julio 1v1 over top. Keep him up and it's 6-10 yards a pop. Koetter went away from it, but it's not the last time we see it. Got a little cute with the tosses, but overall, Koetter had a good night. Pretty balanced night, but still abandoned the run too early. Not enough hard play actions off of it but you can see Koetter is a guy who let's the stew cook on the stove instead of just throwing it in the microwave. He's setting things up. Same with Nolan. Matt had a tough outing and his WRs outside of Tony looked totally disinterested until about halfway through the 3rd quarter. Easily their worst game as a passing offense without turnovers. Good thing they have 10 days to reflect.

But it is definitely looking like the engine is cranking up in my opinion. The running game is showing flashes, the defense is turning back up with Spoon back and the team is getting healthy. We won without Asante tonight and now he gets almost two weeks before he has to go again. Even then, we can beat Carolina without him. Besides the terrible passing game, a rarity, this team is getting close to finally clicking. The only problem is only having a month to get it to start clicking. Other than that, RISE UP!! OOOOOooooooOOOOOOOOOOO RISE UP!

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Man I love Dunta. I knew he was great but knew that zone scheme was a killer

I agree but I didn't think he would look this good once getting settled in Nolan's scheme. He has more swagger than he did in Houston. He truly believes he can't be beat and it's feeding throughout the defense. They shut down Manning and Brees. They don't take the field worried about getting torched like they did with BVG anymore.
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i hope we do SOMETHING as far as our Oline goes. i know switching out players isnt really an option at this point but there has to be something done.

Our OLine is good enough to win the Super Bowl in my opinion. The Giants, Packers and Steelers OLines weren't that great. That's 75% of the last 4 SB teams. Pats only ones with a good OLine made look bad by a better Giants DLine.
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Agree 100%.

Obviously, our offense was very bad this game, but I like the fact that we have been able to run block a lot better in the last two games, and it seems like we are starting to get the run going. That is a good sign heading into the last couple of games and the playoffs, as it might be a sign that we are starting to pull it all together.

Enough cant be said about the defense. Those guys, and Nolan, deserve so much credit! And I love the fact that players we all were sceptical about last year, like Dunta and Owens, are beasting in Nolans scheme.. Incredible how much a good gamplan, a better scheme and some more confidence can do.. This performance by the defense, and the gameplan by Nolan, really makes me feel a lot more comfortable about playoff games. It seems that we won't have the same vanilla gameplan every week, and now we have the ballz to try some different things defensively - something you have to dare to do at one point or another, if you want some success in the postseason.

While watching the game, I was actually a little mad at Konz, as he didn't seem all that ready.. But then I realized that McClure was as bad, if not even worse.. Konz is going to get better, but McClure won't, and I really think an upgrade on the interior line will be a priority in the offseason.. Our passing game was killed by pressure up the middle (as well as by bad play by Ryan and the recievers), and we simply cannot afford to let our passing game get blown up on the first couple of pass plays.. Had we protected Ryan a little better early on, I think we would have had a little more luck converting some of those 3rd downs, and that would get Ryan and the recievers in a rhythm, which again would have helped converting 3rd downs.. If we don't get in that rhythm, we are going to have some problems.. We have to get better on the interior OL.

The biggest thing is, like Vel said, that we don't win a certain way anymore.. There isn't a single factor teams can try to take away and leave us vulnerable anymore, as this team is prepared and confident on every snap, in every phase of the game.. I really like that, and if we start putting it all together, which will hopefully happen in january and beyond, we're in a great position to win some playoffgames. Hopefully, during these last couple of regular season games, we'll make it a priority to put it all together and play well across the board,

I'm really looking forward to the giants game, so we can get at good feeling where this team stands as a playoff contender. Last nights game against the Aints were a playoff like game, and a game we had to win to really feel confident about our abilities as a playoff team - the giants will be the next playoff-like test, and it will be very exciting to see how we handle that game, considering we were blown out last time we met them. If we can put up a solid game against them and pull out the win, we'll have a lot of things going for us confidence-wise. I'd really like to see a complete game versus the giants.

This was a fantastic team win, and I'm going to enjoy it for a very long time.. Not only did we finally beat the Aints again, but we did it with a great defensive gameplan, and not many teams can brag about shutting down Brees like that. And the fact that we stopped his record streak was just a cherry on top! I'm not going to be too concerned about the offense, as the running game has been better in recent weeks, and I think that is a sign that we're close to putting it all together. I believe we will find a way to play a complete game over this next month, and take that with us into the playoffs.

GO FALCONS!!!

Edited by niels petersen
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