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For the Love of GOD, Can we PLEASE take Alford (and probably Neal) OFF of the Kick Off Team!?!?


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(Post SuperBowl edit:  Please read 2/9/17 update 15 or so replies down)

There's no problem with his kick coverage.  He's actually outstanding.  The problem is that we score so much, we are wearing the poor guy out and it hinders his pass coverage late in games!

I am NOT kidding about this: 

I'm sure I wasn't the only one asking "WTF!?!?" after the Seahawks torched the Falcons deep on the first play after we went up 36-13. 

After re-watching the play, and the rest of the game from DVR, I think I understand.  

I was at the game, and it was pretty remarkable how Alford caught Devin Hester from behind on that Kick Off return.  Dude was FLYING. 

The problem is, that was the SIXTH time Alford had covered a kick off.  Plus the 45 or so plays on defense up to that point.  And Kick off coverage is really HARD when there are actual returns.  You have to sprint 50 plus yards down the field in your lane, fight off blocks, then sprint back to to the ball carrier and make a hit.  Hester had been making things pretty rough for the Kick Off Team all day.

I just put a stopwatch on the long return and it was a full 16 second long play of max sprinting.  The incredible thing is that the following snap occurred only 30 seconds from the end of the play. 

So Alford was playing man coverage with a single safety deep, (which strikes me as strange given the circumstances.)  it's late in the game.  Alford's covered seven kick offs, tons of pass plays (because the Seahawks were behind the entire 2nd half) and he's had 30 seconds to recover from a 15 second totally anaerobic effort.  No wonder he got flagged for holding and still got beat.  He couldn't move his feet!

This is a problem that can be solved:

1) Get Alford off the Kick off team,

2) Make SURE Bosher kicks it through the end zone,

3) Call time out if there is going to be a quick snap after a long return, or


BTW, Neal is also on the Kick Off Team (He was also close to Hester, but on the Touchdown Pass he was playing tight coverage on the Tight End on the opposite side of the field so you can't blame him for the blown coverage.)  The Falcons have given up a lot of garbage time points this season.  Maybe it's because those guys are EXHAUSTED from covering so many kick offs . . . it happens when you average 38 points a game.  



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17 minutes ago, Power I said:

Sherman and Chancellor played ST for the Seahawks. This is playoff football. 

It's not a problem when your offense sucks!

Seriously, At the time of that touchdown, the Falcons had kicked off SEVEN times, the Seahawks only four.  Plus, we only returned one kick.  The others were touch backs.

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3 minutes ago, jdawg4876 said:

no excuse since the nfl moved the kickoff spot, an nfl Kicker should be able to punt it out the endzone 8 outta 10 times we didnt do it once

Three of the returns we tackled Hester short of the fifteen. I'm sure bosher is plenty capable of blasting it out of the endzone if he was told to

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8 hours ago, jdawg4876 said:

No it was not ps if you think bosher had a good game you are high

I guess I might be high. I think the one "bad punt" was an attempt to prevent Hester from getting a return. It actually worked as I recall. 

 I think Keith Armstrong had a horrible game.

 The circumstances of the illegal formation penalty were an abomination.   I put that completely on Armstrong. 

And the coach needs to know what his players are capable of.   If Avis her cant clear the end zone, they should squib or just accept that Hester is going to get his return opportunities. 


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9 hours ago, jdawg4876 said:

agreed with both, I blame bosher for not kicking it out the endzone he has been really suspect all yr, I miss that other punter we had for a game

Yeah, me too.  The guy that we signed for a week when Bosher was out was booming punts, and was not out kicking his coverage.  He also put every kickoff out the back of the endzone.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Post SuperBowl Mortem:

I'm sort of apoplectic about this.  @NYCFan posted SB snap counts yesterday in another thread (see below) . . . How does this happen?  It breaks my heart.  You have to give your guys a chance.  You have to adjust.  You can't just send them out to fail.

Holy crap.  I just looked at the Box Score (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/201702050atl.htm)

Here are the snaps for the Secondary:

Neal: 99 Defensive; 10 Special Team: 109 Total (gotta be an SB record or something)

Alford: 98 D; 10 ST, 108 T

Allen: 98, 5, 103

Collins: 95, 1, 96

Poole: 90, 7, 97


Jones: 99, 3, 102

Beasley: 71, 1, 72

Campbell: 60, 1, 61

NEP TOP: 40:31; ATL TOP: 23:27

NEP Total Yards: 546; ATL Total Yards 344

You know your team better than I do, so I'll just say that Quinn wasn't exaggerating when NFL Films caught him on the sideline saying the D

was "gassed" even before the Patriots tied the game.

I'm a hack fan and I recognized this as a problem three weeks ago.  Yet in the most critical game, our key linebacker, corner, and safety were on the field for 100 snaps.  Would taking them off special teams have made a difference?

Sure, you need proficiency on special teams, but the chances of success would have been infinitely better if we had given up a kick off return for a touchdown after our touchdown that put us up 28-3 instead of the 13 play touchdown drive that our already exhausted defense gave up.  And we never stopped them again.

We held the GOAT QB to 12 points through 70+ plays.  (The Saints led the NFL in plays per game with 69). 


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It probably wouldn't have made a difference but I stil can't get how you have an exhausted defense and you don't use your 3 TOs in OT since with a FG you have 11 minutes for your TD drive and there are no challenges. 

Every two snaps, TO. At least you give them (some) breath.

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