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The Falcons open the season by laying an egg - Mark Bradley


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They’d had an offseason to sign and draft better players; to evaluate and presumably correct their inability to score touchdowns; to rush the passer harder; to be better stem to stern. They thought they’d figured things out. Turns out they’d only figured out yet another way to lose to Tampa Bay.

The question to Dan Quinn, whose Falcons had just lost to a team coached by two men who were given the gate to make room for him here: Do you feel this team will be any better than last year’s?

“I certainly do, for a number of reasons,” he said. He targeted two – that this offense is “better equipped” to score inside the 20 and that his defense is much faster. But when toe met leather for real, these were the salient numbers: The Falcons scored one touchdown in four possessions that bled into the Red Zone, and they yielded 371 yards and 31 points to the Buccaneers.

Also this. Jameis Winston threw 33 passes. Four resulted in touchdowns, each more outrageous than the last. He was not sacked.

Second verse, same as the first.

Give Quinn credit: He may be the most cheerful man who has yet lived. “We’ve got lots of things to clean up before we leave for Oakland,” he fairly chirped, but here’s where even grimmer reality descends. The Falcons play four of their next five games on the road, and the home date brings Carolina here. They probably won’t be favored again before Oct. 23. That’s Game 7.

They were favored Sunday. They lost 31-24 after trailing 31-13. They were booed as they trotted off at halftime, the Bucs having scored 14 seconds before the break when Charles Sims III made more than half – this is not an exaggeration – of Quinn’s speedy defenders miss.

They’d also done their disappearing act inside the TB 20, salvaging a field goal after Matt Ryan was sacked on third-and-6 at the 12, abjectly settling for another when Quinn (as opposed to his offensive coordinator) ordered a draw on third-and-goal from the 17. “Coach’s decision,” Quinn averred. “We had the points.”

(Armchair Freud: Having seen Ryan err in the Red Zone so often last season, Quinn coached scared. He took three points. He lost by seven.)

About Kyle Shanahan: Some of his little tricks come up trumps – two of them yielded the Falcons’ first touchdown, which was gifted by an interception on Winston’s one bad throw of the day – but then he tries them again and guess what? The other team is ready!

And this can’t-score-touchdowns thing is no urban legend. It’s a fact. The Falcons managed 34 offensive touchdowns last season, which is essentially one per half. They had one in each half Sunday. Even in Week 1, they were in midseason form.

You knew that Mike Smith – once the best head coach the Falcons have had and now Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator – entered the Dome fearing the havoc Ryan and Julio Jones could wreak. He’d coached both. He’d nearly ridden the two to a Super Bowl. On Sunday, the Falcons handed Smith a deferred parting gift: Ryan didn’t throw the ball Julio’s way until 20 minutes had been played.

Know how it was thought that Shanahan ignored Roddy White last year? This saw and raised that. This was ignoring the NFL’s best goshdarn receiver. Tampa Bay is 3-0 against the Falcons since Shanahan got here. If were a mole planted by the Bucs to ensure they’d win a couple of games a year, would it look much different?

(Jones would finish with four catches for 66 yards and another pronounced limp. If you hold Julio to four catches, you’ll beat the Falcons every given Sunday.)

From 10-3 up, the Falcons were outscored 28-3. Dirk Koetter – the Falcons’ offensive coordinator from 2012 through 2014 and now the Bucs’ head coach – found the sort of rhythm in his play-calling that Shanahan never finds. Winston got hot. The Falcons went splat.

On the brink of embarrassment, they mustered 10 unhurried points – “We didn’t feel like we needed the no-huddle,” Quinn said – and took the ball at their 9 with 1:52 left seeking a touchdown to tie. How many times had Smitty seen Ryan – on this field, moving in the same direction – steal such a game? This last gasp generated one first down and then four incompletions, the last being a tipped pass that fluttered to the turf some 65 yards from the end zone. Not even close.

“We know we’re better than we displayed,” Trufant said, but how do they know? They’re 3-9 since the 5-0 start of last season. They lost Sunday doing the same stuff that undid them then. Until they show us differently, this is what they’ve become. They’ve become a bad team.

http://www.myajc.com/news/sports/football/the-falcons-open-the-season-by-laying-an-egg/nsWgd/

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So it was a problem we didn't throw to Julio enough? Maybe we were throwing to where the coverage dictated? Kind of like everyone, including myself, complained that we didn't do last year. I haven't rewatched but there was a reason they didn't target Julio much in that first half. Shanny feeds his #1 whenever he can unless he can exploit a mismatch. His entire history as a OC shows that.

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Falcon fans deserve so much better than the 100% garbage we saw today. From not targeting Julio to insanely stupid penalties to incredibly bad coaching...it simply is disgusting fans have to put up with yet another year of this crap. The fan base has suffered enough after decades of this. So tired of seeing other franchises be successful year after year...decade after decade...while we have to painfully watch this level of bad football and bad coaching for the millionth time. Just so depressing and so tiresome.

Edited by diehardfalconsfan
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The Falcons need to hire an offensive HC for a change if things dont work out with Quinn. Been saying it. (And please do it Before Matt gets too old, or washed up)..Gase wouldve been perfect..Our best weapons are on offense. Tired of all these so called "defensive minds"(Mora, Smitty, and now Quinn). Just get a veteran DC in here to get the best he can out of the D..And fire TD for crying out loud..

Edited by zekeyboy1
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3 hours ago, WhenFalconsWin said:

The scary thing is we did this without turning the ball over...If that starts again with the play I saw today?  Whew, that could really be bad...just sayin'

Those 3 down penalties were just as bad as a turnover. We stopped them. Every time it happened, they score a RD. Alford got upset and called for a personal foul.  Clayborn offsides both lead to TDs. We need a little discipline. 

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Just now, Lord Sarcomere said:

Can't be losing divisional games at home like this. Quinn's divisional record is a MAJOR blemish on his resume. 

 

He is trending 3-9 overall and 1-6 in the division. Blank won't live long enough for Quinn to have 5 winning seasons much less 5 in a row.

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3 hours ago, Jpowers said:

So it was a problem we didn't throw to Julio enough? Maybe we were throwing to where the coverage dictated? 

As a Buc fan, I hope your thought process is mirrored by Kyle.  For the rest of the football world, if you want to get a ball to a receiver you can always run ISO routes.

-----------------

otherwise,

Your HC and OC are both forcing a scheme on their talent that the talent isn't best suited for.  It's a philosophy shared by both, but more obvious on offense, where you are much more talented, but that talent is being more obviously forced into the scheme rather than scheming around the talent.  On D you lack talent, and reach drafted on talent to fit the projected scheme rather than BPA (and yes, I know the Bucs have reached, one truth does not discredit another).  

You can build a scheme around talent, or you can bring talent in to fit a scheme.  You are choosing the latter.

This will not end well for you.

Edited by caradoc
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Just a couple of comments. I was at the game and saw this:

 

1. The crowd booed at halftime because we took a knee at our 25 with 14 seconds left instead of, I guess, heaving a Hail Mary. I think team made the correct call.

2. A couple of penalties really killed us and served as turnovers.

3. Winston looked really good.  He threw a couple of amazing TD passes with equally amazing catches. Most of the day he was checking down, but went deep enough to be effective. He did miss one wide open receiver early in the game that should have been a TD. All QBs make mistakes, not just ours.

4. Even with the loss, I thought the team looked much better overall than last year. No turnovers, no botched snaps, and (for the most part) good pressure on Winston (leading to check down throws).

5. Ryan statistically had a very good day, but threw behind his receivers frequently. I suspect he is a little afraid of throwing INTs. I predict he will loosen up and improve as the season progresses

Our record may not show it because of a tougher schedule, but we will be better this year than last.

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I knew the Falcons blew it waaaaaaay back when they let  Koetter walk. Honestly, i said that.  All i heard was " coaches bring in their own coordinator."  Well, Falcons management shouldve either gave Koetter the head coaching job or brought in a head coach who would've kept Koetter on board. There was NOTHING wrong with the offense that a better offensive line couln't have corrected. And, again, that line CAME TOGETHER late during that last year under Smith and Koetter.  

When the Falcons said Quinn was bringing Shanahan in, i knew they would be looking for a new head coach in 3 years...

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6 hours ago, caradoc said:

As a Buc fan, I hope your thought process is mirrored by Kyle.  For the rest of the football world, if you want to get a ball to a receiver you can always run ISO routes.

-----------------

otherwise,

Your HC and OC are both forcing a scheme on their talent that the talent isn't best suited for.  It's a philosophy shared by both, but more obvious on offense, where you are much more talented, but that talent is being more obviously forced into the scheme rather than scheming around the talent.  On D you lack talent, and reach drafted on talent to fit the projected scheme rather than BPA (and yes, I know the Bucs have reached, one truth does not discredit another).  

You can build a scheme around talent, or you can bring talent in to fit a scheme.  You are choosing the latter.

This will not end well for you.

A friggin Bucs fan has shed light on what the blind homers fail to acknowledge.

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