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Biggest Problem To Be Fixed: The Offense And Defense Don't Compliment Each Other


Kaptain Krazy
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Being in attendance for the two playoff games, it suddenly hit me how the two main weaknesses exacerbate each other:

- the Offense is fast- starting and the passing game is excellent - including OL protection. But the inability to be able to run the ball consistently when the other team knows it's coming (e.g., when the Falcons have the lead and want to eat clock) means the Falcons can't change from the passing focus. It's easy for armchair QBs to rant about the need to "stay aggressive," but the fact is EVERY championship-quality football team needs to be able to run the ball in the second half when they have the lead. As the old adage states, three things can happen when you throw the ball, and two of them are bad (stopping the clock when you have the lead is especially bad).

- the Defense played above its fighting-weight this season, but the two playoff games exposed the dirty little secret about the Falcons D - good at stopping the run, horrible at stopping the pass. and the biggest weakness of the D (inability to get any pressure) is only magnified when the Offense is jumping out to leads. In both the SEA and SF games, once ATL got the lead and the opponent stop trying to 'establish the run', the D was cooked. Both opponents quickly realized they could just sit back and wait for receivers to get open. i was hoping Kaepernick wasn't as accurate as Wilson, but it honestly is hard to judge when a QB has 5-6 seconds and the TE is running free. When a D lacks any pass rush and there's not a LB on the roster athletic enough to stick with a TE, game over.

And so, the strengths of the Falcons Offense actually end up being worthless - can't hold the lead with a punishing 2nd half ground game (and thus your QB continues to have to throw the ball - twice as many passes as the opponent in the NFCCG even though ATL had the lead for all but the last 7 mins - which makes INTs more likely) and can't stop the other team from coming back because you can't get to their QB.

Losing Gonzo is going to be a big blow to the passing game, but Julio showed he's ready to dominate. The keys to the offseason are finding a RB and a pass rush. my concern is the latter will require more than one player. No reason to expect Abraham to be better next year than this, and he's already become a player who can only make plays some of the time. it may take 2 DEs to give this team what they need on D.

One last comment about Ryan. the two turnovers in the 3rd quarter hurt. The INT wasn't terrible, as Roddy fell down. But the fumble was inexcusable. Sloppy play (personal fouls?!) in the biggest game stinks. However, anyone who watched the AFCCG and saw how bad Brady looked should recognize the overall quality of Ryan's play. Ryan wasn't throwing wounded ducks into the dirt the way Brady was, and he's considered the greatest playoff QB of all time. 396 and 3 TDs should be enough to win. That doesn't mean it's all on the D, because the fact is the O is where the talent on this team is. But that part of the equation has to change, and soon. The way the Falcons are built right now, they'll never be able to win big games in comfortable fashion - the O creates a game tempo that is exactly what the D is least prepared to be successful in.

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Outside of RB, the Falcons need to focus on the trenches. To me it isn't an overhaul so much as it will be a tweak. Filling the TE position may result in revolutioning what we have seen at that position. Tony G is great but he never was Graham/Davis type of TE for us in that he couldn't catch it in stride and run. His routes tended to be drive, turn around and get down. Effective but...

I'm looking forward to the offseason and the start of next season. No reason to believe we can't be back in this position with different results.

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Being in attendance for the two playoff games, it suddenly hit me how the two main weaknesses exacerbate each other:

- the Offense is fast- starting and the passing game is excellent - including OL protection. But the inability to be able to run the ball consistently when the other team knows it's coming (e.g., when the Falcons have the lead and want to eat clock) means the Falcons can't change from the passing focus. It's easy for armchair QBs to rant about the need to "stay aggressive," but the fact is EVERY championship-quality football team needs to be able to run the ball in the second half when they have the lead. As the old adage states, three things can happen when you throw the ball, and two of them are bad (stopping the clock when you have the lead is especially bad).

- the Defense played above its fighting-weight this season, but the two playoff games exposed the dirty little secret about the Falcons D - good at stopping the run, horrible at stopping the pass. and the biggest weakness of the D (inability to get any pressure) is only magnified when the Offense is jumping out to leads. In both the SEA and SF games, once ATL got the lead and the opponent stop trying to 'establish the run', the D was cooked. Both opponents quickly realized they could just sit back and wait for receivers to get open. i was hoping Kaepernick wasn't as accurate as Wilson, but it honestly is hard to judge when a QB has 5-6 seconds and the TE is running free. When a D lacks any pass rush and there's not a LB on the roster athletic enough to stick with a TE, game over.

And so, the strengths of the Falcons Offense actually end up being worthless - can't hold the lead with a punishing 2nd half ground game (and thus your QB continues to have to throw the ball - twice as many passes as the opponent in the NFCCG even though ATL had the lead for all but the last 7 mins - which makes INTs more likely) and can't stop the other team from coming back because you can't get to their QB.

Losing Gonzo is going to be a big blow to the passing game, but Julio showed he's ready to dominate. The keys to the offseason are finding a RB and a pass rush. my concern is the latter will require more than one player. No reason to expect Abraham to be better next year than this, and he's already become a player who can only make plays some of the time. it may take 2 DEs to give this team what they need on D.

One last comment about Ryan. the two turnovers in the 3rd quarter hurt. The INT wasn't terrible, as Roddy fell down. But the fumble was inexcusable. Sloppy play (personal fouls?!) in the biggest game stinks. However, anyone who watched the AFCCG and saw how bad Brady looked should recognize the overall quality of Ryan's play. Ryan wasn't throwing wounded ducks into the dirt the way Brady was, and he's considered the greatest playoff QB of all time. 396 and 3 TDs should be enough to win. That doesn't mean it's all on the D, because the fact is the O is where the talent on this team is. But that part of the equation has to change, and soon. The way the Falcons are built right now, they'll never be able to win big games in comfortable fashion - the O creates a game tempo that is exactly what the D is least prepared to be successful in.

Well thought out post and I agree with what you said , however there are a lot more

holes to fill than you think. You are what you are, the tape shows our mo and opposing

coordinators are on to us, thats it in a nut shell. 500 yds of offense , a 17 pt lead coming

out for the 3rd qtr and Smitty is already in a panic and our D is gassed. OUR PLAN IS

TO SURVIVE and hope to make it to 00.00. As for the offense, pretty much 0 pts in 2

second halves. Game over. Trying to patch this bunch up a little or coach them up will

not cut it, we need some big changes I think.

The other thing that doesnt compliment each other is the fact that we have some elite

players and an average head coach that makes some gaffs. Smitty needs to look in the mirror as well.

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Why try and hold the lead and milk the clock when you know it is your weakness plus every other team knows we run Smitty ball when we get a lead which makes it worse.

Why not keep attacking

The Falcons didn't stop attacking yesterday. They kept throwing it - as i noted, the QB with the lead for most of the game threw it TWICE as much as the QB that was playing from behind. The problem with that approach is it opens the QB up to getting hit (Ryan did, and now has an injured left shoulder) and risks throwing INTs - which also happened. Sure, a RB can fumble, but it's less likely. And incomplete passes stop the clock, exactly what you don't want to happen when you're ahead. Until they can run it even when the other team expects it, the Falcons will be in the same boat - unable to hold a big lead without risking turnovers/sacks that give the opponent opportunities to get back in the game.

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I think you hit the nail on the head. It's was frustrating watching it unfold the past two weeks.

I really expect us to move more toward a 3-4 type defense next season, which means drafting a BIG nose tackle or 2.

I think we have most of the other pieces in place, I trust Nolan will give TD his wish list and expect him to TCB.

It should be very interesting......

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