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One Possible Reason for Falcons Offensive Struggles


lostnmexico
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According to PFF, the Falcons have faced the third (Chicago), fourth (Buffalo), fifth (Miami) and tenth (Detroit) best defenses in the NFL.

Could it be that the guys we were playing were just that good while we may not be ready to face that as a Young team? I don't completely buy that as our offense has the talent to handle whoever but one possibl explanation is that in addition to Sark adjusting to game flow, I think the bigger issue is adjusting to the size and speed of NFL Defenses.  Here is the article off falcaholic:

The Atlanta Falcons haven’t been as good offensively as any of us have hoped, and a lot of that falls on Steve Sarkisian’s play calling and the team’s execution. In the interest of adding as much context as possible to the first seven weeks of the season, though, we should note that they’ve always played four of the top-ranked defenses in the NFL.

Against those defenses, the Falcons put up 23 (Bears), 30 (Lions), and 17 points (Bills and Dolphins), with the two stinkers coming in the last two games they’ve played. The Falcons have repeatedly and annoyingly cost themselves points during their 3-2 start, but at least they haven’t been struggling mightily against bad defenses.

The good news is that things get a little easier going forward. The Patriots are ranked 17th by Pro Football Focus, the Jets are 32nd (!!), the Panthers are 16th, and the Cowboys are 25th. I’d argue that ranking is extremely kind to the Patriots, who have largely struggled to contain the kind of big plays the Falcons are at least capable of all year. If the offense is going to get back on track, chances are it’ll be playing a defense a lot closer in form to the Packers, a team the Falcons beat up on.

The bad news is that the Falcons still have two top ten defenses to contend with the rest of the way, with the Minnesota Vikings (#1) and the Seattle Seahawks (#7) still on the docket. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, though.

And the Falcons’ defense? It’s ranked 13th overall thus far, which seems pretty fair but comes with the caveat that they haven’t faced a lot of quality offenses.

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26 minutes ago, Peyton said:

The Falcons offense isn't young.

No but it has been injured and adjusting to a new play caller, all while playing against quality defenses. 

Hopefully we can get some momentum rolling this week.

Edited by abstract
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And, of course, in looking at the rankings of those defenses, to be fair, one must take into account the rankings of the other offenses those defenses have played. 

In other words, those rankings mean something, but not much.  It's the NFL.  It's a brand new league every week.  Except in Cleveland.  The Mistake By The Lake will always suck donkeys.

 

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Here's the funny thing....the Falcons offense isn't really struggling in any traditional sense of the word. 

We're 5th in expected points added despite playing one less game than 3/4 teams ahead of us. 
We're 2nd in yards per play. 
We're 5th in NY/A.
We're 3rd in YPC.
We're 6th in scoring %
We're 1st in plays per drive
We're 1st in yards per drive
We're 7th in points per drive
WE're 3rd in TOP per drive
We're 4th in offensive DVOA (12th in passing DVOA, 1st in rushing)

A small handful of sloppy or unfortunate plays is really the difference here. 4 tipped INTs and non-fumble fumble TD will do that to ya. 

 

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Nonsense. The Falcons racked up points against decent defenses last year with pretty much the same offense. Heck the Falcons are 5th in offensive yards despite playing those teams. The issue is turnovers and not scoring in the redzone. The same issues that plagued the team in 2015. Last season looks more like an outlier than any kind of signal of future success.

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3 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

Here's the funny thing....the Falcons offense isn't really struggling in any traditional sense of the word. 

We're 5th in expected points added despite playing one less game than 3/4 teams ahead of us. 
We're 2nd in yards per play. 
We're 5th in NY/A.
We're 3rd in YPC.
We're 6th in scoring %
We're 1st in plays per drive
We're 1st in yards per drive
We're 7th in points per drive
WE're 3rd in TOP per drive
We're 4th in offensive DVOA (12th in passing DVOA, 1st in rushing)

A small handful of sloppy or unfortunate plays is really the difference here. 4 tipped INTs and non-fumble fumble TD will do that to ya. 

 

Agreed that the defense is a bigger concern.  The offense is wilting when it matters though unfortunately.

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7 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

Here's the funny thing....the Falcons offense isn't really struggling in any traditional sense of the word. 

We're 5th in expected points added despite playing one less game than 3/4 teams ahead of us. 
We're 2nd in yards per play. 
We're 5th in NY/A.
We're 3rd in YPC.
We're 6th in scoring %
We're 1st in plays per drive
We're 1st in yards per drive
We're 7th in points per drive
WE're 3rd in TOP per drive
We're 4th in offensive DVOA (12th in passing DVOA, 1st in rushing)

A small handful of sloppy or unfortunate plays is really the difference here. 4 tipped INTs and non-fumble fumble TD will do that to ya. 

 

Good stuff there. Information like this puts this season (up to this point) in a better perspective for me. 

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15 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

Here's the funny thing....the Falcons offense isn't really struggling in any traditional sense of the word. 

We're 5th in expected points added despite playing one less game than 3/4 teams ahead of us. 
We're 2nd in yards per play. 
We're 5th in NY/A.
We're 3rd in YPC.
We're 6th in scoring %
We're 1st in plays per drive
We're 1st in yards per drive
We're 7th in points per drive
WE're 3rd in TOP per drive
We're 4th in offensive DVOA (12th in passing DVOA, 1st in rushing)

A small handful of sloppy or unfortunate plays is really the difference here. 4 tipped INTs and non-fumble fumble TD will do that to ya. 

 

I get it.  Everybody has a bad game and Miami was that game.

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6 minutes ago, lostnmexico said:

I get it.  Everybody has a bad game and Miami was that game.

But that was after we thought Buffalo was "that game".  And that was after we watched the offense go INT, Punt, Punt in the last three possessions of the Lions game.

The defense could help out by getting the other team off the field faster in the second half but this offense is playing scared late in games.

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29 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

Here's the funny thing....the Falcons offense isn't really struggling in any traditional sense of the word. 

We're 5th in expected points added despite playing one less game than 3/4 teams ahead of us. 
We're 2nd in yards per play. 
We're 5th in NY/A.
We're 3rd in YPC.
We're 6th in scoring %
We're 1st in plays per drive
We're 1st in yards per drive
We're 7th in points per drive
WE're 3rd in TOP per drive
We're 4th in offensive DVOA (12th in passing DVOA, 1st in rushing)

A small handful of sloppy or unfortunate plays is really the difference here. 4 tipped INTs and non-fumble fumble TD will do that to ya. 

 

That's what gets me. People say "We should be 1-4" but we could just as easily be 5-0. The pendulum swings both ways here.

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21 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

Here's the funny thing....the Falcons offense isn't really struggling in any traditional sense of the word. 

We're 5th in expected points added despite playing one less game than 3/4 teams ahead of us. 
We're 2nd in yards per play. 
We're 5th in NY/A.
We're 3rd in YPC.
We're 6th in scoring %
We're 1st in plays per drive
We're 1st in yards per drive
We're 7th in points per drive
WE're 3rd in TOP per drive
We're 4th in offensive DVOA (12th in passing DVOA, 1st in rushing)

A small handful of sloppy or unfortunate plays is really the difference here. 4 tipped INTs and non-fumble fumble TD will do that to ya. 

 

Agreed - the offense isn't having issues moving the ball.

Part of the problem is offensive opportunities. The defense (run defense in particular) cant get off the field in third quarters. The Bills and Dolphins offense had the ball for almost the entire third quarter.

The other issue limiting offensive opportunities is we have seven giveaways and only three takeaways. The defense have to get more turnovers and get the ball back to the offense.

 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Peyton said:

But that was after we thought Buffalo was "that game".  And that was after we watched the offense go INT, Punt, Punt in the last three possessions of the Lions game.

The defense could help out by getting the other team off the field faster in the second half but this offense is playing scared late in games.

Scared and rushed. Matt seems to want to get rid of the ball too quickly.

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4 minutes ago, Peyton said:

But that was after we thought Buffalo was "that game".  And that was after we watched the offense go INT, Punt, Punt in the last three possessions of the Lions game.

The defense could help out by getting the other team off the field faster in the second half but this offense is playing scared late in games.

I didnt think we had a bad game against Buffalo, at all. We played a good defense and got hosed on a call that was essentially indefensible. Add in the fact that we were without WR1+2 and the Buffalo game makes complete sense. Thats bad luck, not bad play. 

General sloppiness is holding this team back more than playing scared or anything like that. Stop with the bad penalties. Stop snapping the ball poorly. Stop tipping balls into the air. 

Clean it up and we'll be fine. Keep being sloppy and we're headed for .500.

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5 minutes ago, FentayeJones said:

Agreed - the offense isn't having issues moving the ball.

Part of the problem is offensive opportunities. The defense (run defense in particular) cant get off the field in third quarters. The Bills and Dolphins offense had the ball for almost the entire third quarter.

The other issue limiting offensive opportunities is we have seven giveaways and only three takeaways. The defense have to get more turnovers and get the ball back to the offense.

 

Completely agree about possessions. Our games have felt very short in real time. Likely a combo from our ability to string long drives together and our difficulty in preventing long drives. Though our 3rd down defense is better than people think, there have been a few too many drives where we just arent getting off the field. 

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5 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

Completely agree about possessions. Our games have felt very short in real time. Likely a combo from our ability to string long drives together and our difficulty in preventing long drives. Though our 3rd down defense is better than people think, there have been a few too many drives where we just arent getting off the field. 

The maddening thing about the 3rd down defense is not so much that they can't get stops, it's that they can't make them hold up.

If we don't give up the 3rd down the clean way, we get a flag.  So yeah, it seems like we never get off the field, but a lot of that is because we get stops negated by penalties.

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7 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

Completely agree about possessions. Our games have felt very short in real time. Likely a combo from our ability to string long drives together and our difficulty in preventing long drives. Though our 3rd down defense is better than people think, there have been a few too many drives where we just arent getting off the field. 

As you pointed out the Falcons are 1st in plays per offensive drive with 6.36.

But the Falcons are 32nd in plays per defensive drive, giving up 6.7.

Also the Falcons are 32nd in average starting position because the defense isn't turning the other team over and lets them drive to at least midfield every drive.

So that is how you end up with a short game, and mistakes get accentuated.

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2 minutes ago, JDaveG said:

The maddening thing about the 3rd down defense is not so much that they can't get stops, it's that they can't make them hold up.

If we don't give up the 3rd down the clean way, we get a flag.  So yeah, it seems like we never get off the field, but a lot of that is because we get stops negated by penalties.

What's crazy is in the Dolphins game the defense got three third down stops only for them to go for it on fourth down and convert.

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11 minutes ago, DoYouSeeWhatHappensLarry said:

I didnt think we had a bad game against Buffalo, at all. We played a good defense and got hosed on a call that was essentially indefensible. Add in the fact that we were without WR1+2 and the Buffalo game makes complete sense. Thats bad luck, not bad play. 

General sloppiness is holding this team back more than playing scared or anything like that. Stop with the bad penalties. Stop snapping the ball poorly. Stop tipping balls into the air. 

We've seen these excuses before and didn't see the clean up in 2015 or 2014. 

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10 minutes ago, Peyton said:

As you pointed out the Falcons are 1st in plays per offensive drive with 6.36.

But the Falcons are 32nd in plays per defensive drive, giving up 6.7.

Also the Falcons are 32nd in average starting position because the defense isn't turning the other team over and lets them drive to at least midfield every drive.

So that is how you end up with a short game, and mistakes get accentuated.

Honestly, I put a lot of this on Andre Roberts. The turnover thing matters (and the penalties that have taken turnovers off the board are part of the general sloppiness) but Roberts has been pretty freaking awful in both judgment and performance, IMO. 

Frankly, DQ and Keith Armstrong need to sit with him and get him right. Because the "I'm gonna run this one out to the 18" stuff is getting old and its hurting the team. 

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9 minutes ago, Jesus said:

We've seen these excuses before and didn't see the clean up in 2015 or 2014. 

"excuses" isnt a word I use. 

If you mean we've previously played sloppy football, okay. And? We played sloppy football at times last year too. But everyone seems to forget that because we rattled off four wins to close the season. 

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