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Falcons still not tackling their primary issues in loss to Buccaneers


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Falcons still not tackling their primary issues in loss to Buccaneers

Vaughn McClure

ATLANTA -- In one corner of the Atlanta Falcons' locker room, star receiver Julio Jones tried to explain why an offense intent on improving red-zone efficiency ended up 1 of 4 during Sunday's 31-24 season-opening loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"We just have to play better ball," Jones said. "We got down there and a couple penalties hurt us. It got us out of position to run certain things we run in the red zone. ... We shot ourselves in the foot. That's it."

On the other side of the locker room, free safety Ricardo Allen tried to comprehend how the defense allowed Buccaneers running back Charles Sims to shake free from at least six defenders on a critical, 23-yard catch-and-run touchdown right before halftime.

"We beat ourselves," Allen said. "If we were going to win that game, we had to do what we did best. And we didn't do that. We weren't us. We didn't play to our standard."

Critics would say the Falcons played exactly the same way folks have grown accustomed to seeing them play over the past few years. The same old problems arose in the loss, most noticeably the red-zone woes, the poor tackling, and the lack of pressure -- with no sacks from a defensive line that now includes seven-time Pro Bowler Dwight Freeney.

Throw in some untimely penalties -- most notably an unnecessary roughness penalty that appeared to be on cornerback Robert Alford on the third down immediately before Bucs receiver Mike Evans beat Alford and Robenson Therezie for a 45-yard touchdown -- and you had the recipe for another Falcons disaster.

Not to mention it's an 0-1 start in the NFC South for a team that enters the season with hopes of competing with Carolina for the division crown.

"There's lot of things for us to clean up and tighten up before we get on the plane and head to Oakland," Falcons coach Dan Quinn said about preparing for Week 2.

The tackling would be a nice start. All the talk about the rugby tackling style and getting guys to the ground went for naught on that momentum-changing Sims play.

"That's using proper technique and proper leverage, so when we didn't do that," Quinn said. "That showed up and that stung us for sure."

Had the Falcons scored two touchdowns in the red zone in the first half rather than settling for a pair of 34-yard field goals by Matt Bryant, they would have held a halftime lead rather than having to play from behind, trailing by as much as 31-13 midway through the third quarter.

Had the Falcons scored a touchdown with just under five minutes left in regulation rather than settling for Bryant's 29-yard field goal, they could have had the opportunity to win the game with a touchdown rather than only being able to tie it.

In the end, it didn't matter, as the Falcons failed to score in the final two minutes. Ryan saw passes dropped by Jones and Mohamed Sanu, who got his ankle stuck, and Ryan's final desperation attempt on fourth down in the final minute was tipped by Gerald McCoy and fell incomplete.

If the Falcons continue to fail to generate pressure and miss tackles, the offense truly will have to carry the team the rest of the season. And the offense won't be able to hold up its end without scoring touchdowns in the red zone or generating more than 52 rushing yards -- their rushing total from Sunday.

"We got ourselves off schedule a little bit," said Ryan, who finished 27 of 39 for 334 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. "We had some penalties down there which, we control those. When you have procedural penalties, those are things that we have to eliminate. That's something that we control and something that we can do better.

"Third downs and red zone, we've got to be good there offensively. We weren't good there today."

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6 hours ago, Sobeit said:

Seems to me that most of the problems they listed here could be tied to poor coaching and preparation.

I think we were definetely out- coached yesterday. Tampa is a better team than many of the board 'experts' here thought, but we still should not have lost to them at home. 

Edited by Vandy
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I expected problems on defense with all these youngsters playing but that was tough to watch. The Bucs scored 14 points on drives the Falcons defense gave them 1st downs from penalties on that otherwise would have forced punts. We also missed a bunch of tackles.

This crap better get fixed and fast on defense or we are going to get too far behind to have a shot. That perfectly thrown deep ball that was dropped by Julio........you didn't see the Bucs receivers dropping those balls, they were catching everything and anything.

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16 minutes ago, Ezekiel 25:17 said:

OR... Did we get out GM'ed???? Which Includes the selection of Coaching staffs as well as player personal.

Just sayin'!

I'm Pretty positive the coach selection came mainly from the owner. And it was the right decision for where we were/are at the time. 

Edited by Vandy
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58 minutes ago, Vandy said:

I'm Pretty positive the coach selection came mainly from the owner. And it was the right decision for where we were/are at the time. 

Maybe. I to agree with the owner having a hand in the coaching decision and at the time when we made the coaching move we needed to make a GM move and then allow said GM to do his job without owner metaling!

Which includes making a coaching change, which I think at the time as well was needed instead of making him the sole scapegoat.

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3 hours ago, theProf said:

Critics would say the Falcons played exactly the same way folks have grown accustomed to seeing them play over the past few years. The same old problems arose in the loss, most noticeably the red-zone woes, the poor tackling, and the lack of pressure -- with no sacks from a defensive line that now includes seven-time Pro Bowler Dwight Freeney.

Throw in some untimely penalties --  -- and you had the recipe for another Falcons disaster.

 

That about sums up the loss, same ole carry-over problems from previous seasons that are still lingering.

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According to @PFF, the Falcons missed 12 tackles today.

 

Also from PFF:

"Top defensive grades:

DI Grady Jarrett, 80.1

ED Brooks Reed, 78.5

ED Adrian Clayborn, 78.1

LB Deion Jones, 76.9

S Kemal Ishmael, 76.1

Falcons’ linebackers exposed in coverage

Outside of MLB Deion Jones, the Falcons’ linebackers struggled in pass coverage; they were often out of position, allowing a combined 12-of-12 for 130 yards and three touchdowns. The rookie linebacker from LSU allowed a passer rating of 131.3, but limited his receivers to just 6 yards per catch. De’Vondre Campbell and Sean Weatherspoon both allowed a perfect passer rating when targeted, and an average of 13 and 16 yards per reception, respectively. Campbell missed two tackles, and Weatherspoon was beat by Austin Seferian-Jenkins for a touchdown.

Defensive tackle Grady Jarrett was a bright spot in the front-seven, as C Joe Hawley struggled to block the second-year pro, especially early in the game. Defensive end Adrian Clayborn showed well in run defense and pass-rushing, with two QB hits and two hurries, but his overall grade suffered from two penalties."

 

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4 hours ago, gazoo said:

I expected problems on defense with all these youngsters playing but that was tough to watch. The Bucs scored 14 points on drives the Falcons defense gave them 1st downs from penalties on that otherwise would have forced punts. We also missed a bunch of tackles.

This crap better get fixed and fast on defense or we are going to get too far behind to have a shot. That perfectly thrown deep ball that was dropped by Julio........you didn't see the Bucs receivers dropping those balls, they were catching everything and anything.

just relax gazoo, it's a long season and we're currently tied for second place! I started a thread about it last night but it's already a few pages back now because of so many whiny threads.......;)

 

but this post worries me somewhat, it has the tone of 'if this isn't fixed by mid season someone needs to get fired'

 

:ninja::ninja:

 

:lol:

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1 hour ago, theProf said:

That about sums up the loss, same ole carry-over problems from previous seasons that are still lingering.

At this point, I think it's fair to question Dan Quinn's skill as a head coach. He's supposed to be a defensive wizard yet we're going backward. With Mike Smith, I never worried about our team played disciplined football. He was fantastic at coaching players on how to avoid dumb penalties. Under Quinn, we seem confused and erratic way too often. And we simply cannot generate a pass rush to save our lives. The NFL isn't complex. You attack the QB, or you lose. We're not doing the former, which is why the latter happened yesterday.

 

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54 minutes ago, osiruz said:

Campbell was good in pass coverage, but his tackling is atrocious. I also think Ricardo Allen needs to be upgraded. He can't tackle and he's can't cover.

The post before yours just noted that Campbell gave up a perfect passer rating and 13 yards per reception in coverage. He was the lowest graded LB on PFF yesterday.

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From PFF:

"Conservative attack from Matt Ryan leads to average grade

Matt Ryan graded well in Sunday’s outing, as he never put the ball in harm’s way, but never really tested the defense, either. Of his 39 attempts, just three traveled more than 20 yards downfield, with just one such completion. Ryan struggled a bit under pressure, completing just 50 percent of his passes and taking three sacks. With a clean pocket, he completed 23-of-31 attempts for 294 yards and one touchdown. When it mattered most, however, Ryan wasn’t able to connect with his receivers, throwing slightly behind Julio Jones on a crossing route, with Mohamed Sanu stumbling out of his break on what would have been a converted third down on the penultimate drive.

Top offensive grades:

C Alex Mack, 80.0

QB Matt Ryan, 77.1

G Andy Levitre, 76.7

TE Jacob Tamme, 76.3

OT Ryan Schraeder, 74.8

Skill players unimpressive in season opener

This felt like a game where Julio Jones would shine, as he was facing Brent Grimes (an aging CB), Vernon Hargreaves (a rookie CB), and Alterraun Verner (a CB coming off a career-worst season). It never materialized, however, as the trio held the Falcons’ superstar in check for most of the game. Mohamed Sanu had a nice touchdown reception and a wide-open 59-yard catch, but also had two drops, something that plagued the WR in Cincinnati. HB Tevin Coleman shined receiving passes out of the backfield, but didn’t generate more than what was given to him by his blockers, as he forced just one missed tackle. HB Devonta Freeman was also shut down, forcing just one missed tackle; he didn’t receive much room to work with, however, as all but one of his yards came after contact."

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2 hours ago, theProf said:

From PFF:

"Conservative attack from Matt Ryan leads to average grade

Matt Ryan graded well in Sunday’s outing, as he never put the ball in harm’s way, but never really tested the defense, either. Of his 39 attempts, just three traveled more than 20 yards downfield, with just one such completion. Ryan struggled a bit under pressure, completing just 50 percent of his passes and taking three sacks. With a clean pocket, he completed 23-of-31 attempts for 294 yards and one touchdown. When it mattered most, however, Ryan wasn’t able to connect with his receivers, throwing slightly behind Julio Jones on a crossing route, with Mohamed Sanu stumbling out of his break on what would have been a converted third down on the penultimate drive.

Top offensive grades:

C Alex Mack, 80.0

QB Matt Ryan, 77.1

G Andy Levitre, 76.7

TE Jacob Tamme, 76.3

OT Ryan Schraeder, 74.8

Skill players unimpressive in season opener

This felt like a game where Julio Jones would shine, as he was facing Brent Grimes (an aging CB), Vernon Hargreaves (a rookie CB), and Alterraun Verner (a CB coming off a career-worst season). It never materialized, however, as the trio held the Falcons’ superstar in check for most of the game. Mohamed Sanu had a nice touchdown reception and a wide-open 59-yard catch, but also had two drops, something that plagued the WR in Cincinnati. HB Tevin Coleman shined receiving passes out of the backfield, but didn’t generate more than what was given to him by his blockers, as he forced just one missed tackle. HB Devonta Freeman was also shut down, forcing just one missed tackle; he didn’t receive much room to work with, however, as all but one of his yards came after contact."

I think they are being generous with some of those OL grades. We got whipped at line of scrimmage, which is why we couldn't run the ball. 

Edited by Vandy
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1 hour ago, Vandy said:

I think they are being generous with some of those OL grades. We got whipped at line of scrimmage, which is why we couldn't run the ball. 

Chester was the one getting beat by McCoy so badly. Matthews had a very bad day too. Schraeder looked bad on some plays, and looked pretty good on some plays. Mack and Levitre played reasonably well, and got decent grades by PFF.

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