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A Key Factor In The Loss


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People can use blanket arguments but I'm not sure they are full proof. For example, the defence was poor on many occasions, but they come up with a few key stops, like they have done all year. Equally, Matt Ryan made a couple of mistakes, but the interception was a bit unlucky because Roddy slipped (probably incomplete rather than picked otherwise), and he had a **** of a first half.

One specific thing which I feel made the difference is that Gore (or James) consistently got decent yardage (e.g. 4 - 8 yards) on the first down. That totally opens up the playbook for the next two, and makes it difficult to cover Kaepernick, Gore, Davis and Crabtree effectively and consistently.

Yet too often the Falcons were stopped for no gain or for 1 - 2 yards. Suddenly the pressure is on Ryan to complete a pass, and the defence can focus on that. Maybe that's the play calling, the O-Line, the backs, I don't know, but it was key.

People have been critical of Nolan, and my observation is that he and Koetter seem very good at adjusting when things aren't going well in the first half. We've seen the Falcons stutter and then solidify and get their act together, going on to win. Yet, when we start off well, it's the other team who make adjustments, and once they've figured us out, we don't seem to be able to counter with anything else. We've seen it in the playoffs, but also on occasions in the regular season. It's hard to point to exactly why this happens, perhaps just a reflection of Mike Smith's mentality of playing not to lose (but then the INT against Seahawks was an example of an unnecessary gamble when a safe play would have been better...)

We came pretty close to a Super Bowl tonight, the entire organisation doesn't suck, which I why I prefer to focus on the details rather than simply blaming individuals/groups.

Still gutting though.

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It is crucial we draft a starting RB in April. Idk who that should be, but along with a pass rusher it should be priority #1. Imagine if we had Gore or Lynch on our team right now. We'd be putting up 40 every Sunday.

But again, you could ask whether that is solely down to the RB, or the O-Line (even though they have been excellent in pass protection of late), or playcalling. Plus, Gore and Lynch are special players, there aren't many like that floating around.

On a side note - during the Seahawks game I noticed that whenever you heard Matt Ryan call "Green!", it ended up as a running play. First snap of the entire game yesterday, he calls "Green!" and I say to myself "this is going to be a run then", and sure enough it was. I might be wrong on this, but if I'm right, surely that level of obviousness will be exploited by the other team?!

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