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Running To The Super Bowl: Stopping The Run Is Paramount


kennycaine
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You can dispute this fact but it won't go away: The top four running teams in the NFL are in the NFC playoffs and in order to get to the Super Bowl, in all likelihood the Falcons will have to play at least one of those teams and possibly two. Washington (1st 169.3 ypg.) Minnesota ( 2nd 161.6 ypg.) Seattle (3rd 161.2 ypg.) and San Francisco ( 4th 155.7 ypg) are all possible opponents and Seattle and San Francisco are probable. Even if the bye teams meet in the NFC title game it would pit the Falcons at 87.3 yards per game against San Francisco at nearly 156 yards per game. It doesn't help matters that the 49ers have the number 4 run defense and are #3 in total defense.

In a November topic I asked if anyone was worried about the team's inability to stop the run. The consensus was "ho-hum", "not at all", "we are fine" ect. I challenged that belief by saying that if and when the team lost that it would be because of the inablity to stop the run. In the three losses to the Saints, Panthers and Buccaneers the run defense gave up 148, 195 and 144 rushing yards respectively. The Falcon run defense is ranked 21st, giving up 127 yards per game. Even the AFC has the likes of New England averaging 136.5 yards, Houston 132.7 yards and Denver at 114.5.

Unless the run defense is solidified, at some point this could be a problem bordering on disasterous. You can disagree but again this problem exists and couple it with a pass rush generating little pressure and a running game which struggles to gain a yard in key situations and the problems magnify. Peria Jerry, He of 14 total tackles, is not the answer but what is? Whatever the answer it needs to be solved if winning a championship is a reality.

Edited by kennycaine
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Nope your wrong the offense putting up 30 a game would get us there plus

stopping the run well you don't have to do that if you get out front

I dont ever call anyone "wrong" because its an opinion but if you feel that not stopping teams from steamrolling you that you can still win well...thats your opinion

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We can beat anyone of those teams.

Sure we can but any one of those teams can beat us. You have to get out of the fan mode and look at what the problems could be. The teams that beat us primarily did it with a strong run game and whoever plays us will study the tapes and use the same run schemes I promise you. This two weeks has to be concentrated on getting gap control established and tackling or it could be another one and done.

Edited by kennycaine
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Wait a minute. The Falcons just finished a 13-3 season, NFC South Champs, HFA for the playoffs and we "have to get out of fan mode?"

No thanks. This seems like a sensible time to get in "fan mode."

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i think having william moore and dunta back in the line up will help, first time we we played the saints they set up th pass by running all over us. second time we played he saint willy mo was coming up and punishing the running back and as crazy as it sounds to force drew brees to pass we did just that and came away with 5 ints

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I dont ever call anyone "wrong" because its an opinion but if you feel that not stopping teams from steamrolling you that you can still win well...thats your opinion

Just having a little fun but as how far we go is mostly on the offense if we get out front its going to be hard for teams to commit to the run if there settling for fg's and we're getting td's that in my opinion is the way we get to the Superbowl

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Wait a minute. The Falcons just finished a 13-3 season, NFC South Champs, HFA for the playoffs and we "have to get out of fan mode?"

No thanks. This seems like a sensible time to get in "fan mode."

So many Atlanta fans just look for a reason to be scared. I have faith in this team like never before. If you ask me it's the other teams worrying about us in our house.

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Meh , the divisional round doesn't look scary to me. I think we handle the div round fairly easy at home.

This is the point: At some game in the road to the Super Bowl there will be a great running team. Lets take one: Seattle. they have a great young quarterback, a top 5 defense and a great running game. So a team which can run the ball AND stop the run doesnt bother you? It should concern anyone since that is the formula for winning that has stood for a 100 years.

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Best way to win is to score first, because if the opponent punts the next drive then they are in very big trouble if the falcons score a second time. Once the Falcons get a double digit advantage then that is where Nolan's defense is in total ball hawking mode and the game will get out of hand once that happens.

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This is the point: At some game in the road to the Super Bowl there will be a great running team. Lets take one: Seattle. they have a great young quarterback, a top 5 defense and a great running game. So a team which can run the ball AND stop the run doesnt bother you? It should concern anyone since that is the formula for winning that has stood for a 100 years.

Who to say we don't shut down whom ever we play. there's 2 sides to every coin. These same concerns were raised about the 2006 colts. Their defense ended up getting the job done on the way to a Lombardi. Same rules apply to our situation. Anything can happen, just how it works.

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Wait a minute. The Falcons just finished a 13-3 season, NFC South Champs, HFA for the playoffs and we "have to get out of fan mode?"

No thanks. This seems like a sensible time to get in "fan mode."

You took that statement out of context. I am not saying not to be excited and a fan I said to step away from it like someone objectively analyzing a situation without emotion and see what the issue may be. Its like not seeing the flaws in your wife but being able to see the flaws in another man's girl. The point being that its difficult to see the flaws because you are subjective. These facts and observations are as objective as possible being a Fan and just looking at what needs to be addressed. I would hope that no one thinks that not ever stopping a team runnning the ball down your throat and possessing the clock while keeping your offense on the sidelines is a recipe for winning. It is for the team running for sure.

Edited by kennycaine
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Who to say we don't shut down whom ever we play. there's 2 sides to every coin. These same concerns were raised about the 2006 colts. Their defense ended up getting the job done on the way to a Lombardi. Same rules apply to our situation. Anything can happen, just how it works.

Point taken but there are always exceptions to every rule. That team also had Bob Sanders who took over that game defensively at safety. Lets not forget that the Colts had someone named Peyton Manning. Now if Matt shows up like Peyton then I'm all in but in order to get there, there is a murderers row of great defense/great running teams. It would be foolish to dismiss a team like San Francsisco even if you feel that we will win. I still feel that they need to place a greater emphasis on making teams one-dimensional by stopping the run.

Edited by kennycaine
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It concerns me, but is fairly low on the list of concerns.

First would be concern over interior pressure, 2nd would be concern over a lack of run game enabling teams to overcommit to overpowering the line, especially interior line, 3rd would be lack of interior pass rush on D, and then 4th would be stopping the run game.

If the OL can hold ok, the offense should put up 30, and run teams can't typically keep up. I'm only really concerned when teams get interior pressure, holding our O to 20. Then the lack of run stopping is an issue.

Is it something I'd like to be better? Sure, definitely. But I think it's low on the list of things that can derail the team. I think if the Falcs lose, it will likely be to someone who gains a lot of yards on the ground...but think it will be more because they held the Falcons to 300 yards offense and therefore could just keep staying with their ground game. It is a weird year to have a decent pass defense, though...a lot more Raven/Steeler type teams this year instead of Patriot/Indy type teams.

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I think we are better at stopping the run than are rush defense indicates. We have given up a lot of big runs that has inflated the numbers, but we have done a good job at containing most backs most of the time AND we do well at stopping the run when we have to.

Overall, its not as bad as people think.

The Redskins and the Seahawks (9ers with Kaepernick?) are benefiting from the read option play we have seen so much this year. Its tough to stop, but go back and look at how many mobile QBs we have faced this season. I think we have enough experience with mobile QBs and the read option play to keep it from raping us like most teams. Still, those teams do have good Rbs as well, but dont have great QBs...with the exception of RG3, they can all be had.

I want to also point out that Wilson and Kap benefit from a good Rb, a good o line, and a good defense. These QBs are not as good as the media will have you think. They have it as easy as a QB can in the NFL.. for the most part.

Just my opinions on it all.. but hey, i would love to see our run defense stiffen up in the post season regardless. I just dont think its as big of an issue as some may believe. Still, it definitely may pose a problem for us.. thats for sure. I hope we show up to play and have a good game plan in place for whichever teams we face.

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