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Some Root Cause Analysis On Why The Falcons Are 2-6


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There are glaring issues all over, but this simple stat sticks out

Matt Ryan Era Before This Year: 26-13 in game decided by 7 points or less, 1 possession games

This season: 1-4 in same type of games

This team has been great at winning close games. If we had won just 2 of those other games we've lost we're looking at 4-4, and that friends is how thin the margin in the NFL is on a week to week, year to year basis. Even with all of our problems we have had our chances to put ourselves in position to stay in the playoff hunt and we haven't done it. Some could say its just the law of averages catching up to us because that's a very solid record in one possession games but it's a combination of a lot of things. Simply put it's just going to be one of those years, but if you go back and objectively look at our season thus far we have had multiple shots to win a ton of close football games. Whether needing a TD or a stop we haven't risen to the occasion this year, injuries aside.

Edited by JBourneMurkedU
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The defense is awful because our pass rush is tepid, the tackling is tentative and the soft zone defense just invites getting gashed. We have Osi and at least a couple of promising DE's, but we need a stud DT and at least one more high-motor, impact DE. That would allow Biermann to be more of a LB than DE, where his flexibility will be a big plus. DeCouldn't needs to be moved off the roster. He sucks in coverage, he sucks at trying to come up and help on the run, he takes bad angles, whiffs on tackles. Too many weaknesses to fade just because the guy will occasionally get an interception.

To replace DeCoud, TD needs to find a Safety that is not just a complement to Moore, but someone equally talented and equally aggressive. We have the makings of a pro-bowl level LB corps with Spoon, The Warlock and Bartu. We have to dump Nicholas and bring in just one more stud on LB to solidify what could well become one of the top five LB corps in the league in a few years. I'm not mentioning Dent, but many here think he's a viable piece on this defense so I'll say keep him for now.

The last piece of the puzzle at that point is for Nolan to install his patented style of defense: one that is hard to read, hard to fool, hard to run on, hard to pass on, hard to protect your QB from, hard to escape from and hard to keep from taking the ball away. When you get all that working, the Falcons will be able to get off the field on third and 19 instead of coughing up first down yardage.

Edited by PokerSteve
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Some very good analysis on this thread. It boils down to two things. And really its all back on lack of talented, coshed up depth. We have drafted for one style of team, but don't have the depth to compensate for injuries. And the coaches have not been able to adjust.

Matt Ryan is over compensating due to a lack of confidence in his line and skill players. Our defense is built to bend, not break. Problem with that is we are counting on inexperience to step in and thrive. Its too many curve balls for this team to adjust to. But ultimately I think we will be a better team for it. We are finally playing kids. We are finally rotating people. Its not working now, but it will make us a better team in the years to come. They are capable of fixing the problems.

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Take it further to the root cause Banker. Why are the Falcons getting yards but not points? We are getting decent passing yards but no running yards. Why does that affect points? Because we can pass in the open, but fail in the tighter red zone. Why? Because we cannot run well due to poor blocking and teams know to play to stop our passes in the tighter redzone. Problem: Lack of balance due to ineffective run game. Ineffective run game due to poor line run blocking. Cause: bad players, bad blocking assignments and schemes or both?

On defense we have poor to streaky LB, CB and safety play coupled with average at best D line and pressure. We don't trust D to blitz effectively and still give up 3rd down from poor zone play and blown assignments.

Excellent post. However, I believe the biggest and deepest problem on defense is our DL.

The problems can be addressed with relative ease this off season. Here is a suggested course of action:

Free agency: Go after J Byrd (probably the best free safety in the NFL). I admit that this is a long shot, but what the ****.

Sign a DT with NT abilities. We need to find an anchor in the middle to free up our LB's.


1st The best defender on the board. That might be Anthony Barr.

2nd The best interior OL. That might be LSU's Collins

This scenario is realistic, and it gives our team exactly what it needs.....a defensive play maker and a stalwart run blocker to get us the short yardage we need to score from the red zone.

The rest of the draft should go to BPA. Our injuries have shown that we lack depth at many different positions. Once we cover our greatest needs, TD needs to start filling our roster with quality depth at any position.

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Posted · Hidden by BankerBird™, November 9, 2013 - No reason given
Hidden by BankerBird™, November 9, 2013 - No reason given

Just thought I'd post some quantifiable data as a rationale for the season thus far, as opposed to people hauling off and screaming "Fire _____________!!!" The time to fire anyone is IF we still suck if/when the O-line gets fixed and we have everyone healthy. All these head-hunters around here are premature in their calls for heads to roll.

Thanks for that nickel's worth of expensive Lean Six Black Belt training input. My response to this is thanks and:

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Just thought I'd post some quantifiable data as a rationale for the season thus far, as opposed to people hauling off and screaming "Fire _____________!!!" The time to fire anyone is IF we still suck if/when the O-line gets fixed and we have everyone healthy. All these head-hunters around here are premature in their calls for heads to roll.

And if we finish 8-8 next year, we just stay the course? How bout 7-9? Everybody stays? If this team isn't in the play-offs next year and kicking some serious first-round behind, then these folks really got to go. The whole shootin' match. Clean house. Everybody. No survivors. Even with one extra year, I'm afraid it will push the team's return to real competitiveness two or three years further down the road. If TD's draft picks really suck, maybe four or five years.

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Absolutely premature, BB.

We just don't have a very good team on the field this year, for a plethora of reasons. It may well be the most disappointing season ever when you consider the expectations going in, but it happens. Remember the '99 Birds? Just one injury (Jamal Anderson) in the 2nd game spun that team in a 180 and we went, what, 5-11 in '99 after a SB appearance in '98. Reeves was fired and we were then blessed with Mora and then Petrino. Wow. Things can go from bad to worse and when it rains, it pours.

We really lost 2 key pieces on offense in 1999. That was also the year we decided to let Tony Martin go because he had some legal troubles. Without either Jamal to pound the rock OR Martin to stretch the field, the offense was much easier to defend.

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