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Goober Pyle

MMQB: Falcons notes...

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https://www.si.com/nfl/2018/09/17/nfl-week-2-blake-bortles-patrick-mahomes-clay-matthews-penalty-matt-ryan-josh-gordon-missed-kicks?utm_campaign=themmqb&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social

FALCONS RALLYING AROUND SARK?

 

I’d heard enough questions about Matt Ryan’s arm strength in the Thursday night opener, from inside the league and out, to compel me to ask the question of the Falcons quarterback on the phone after Atlanta’s 31-24 win over Carolina on Sunday. Was something wrong in Philly?

“No, I was healthy,” Ryan responded. “I just didn’t play well enough, and sometimes that happens. There are nights where you just don’t play your best. And I felt like I played a lot better today.”

There’s no doubt about that. Ryan threw for 272 yards and two touchdowns on 23-of-28 passing as the Falcons bounced back from a bad opener in Philly, and maybe, just maybe, created some optimism for embattled offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian’s unit.

And the team could use it. The tough loss in the opener was followed by even tougher news that both middle linebacker Deion Jones and strong safety Keanu Neal were headed for injured reserve—delivering a pretty heavy blow to a talented young defense that seemed to be on the verge of turning the corner. That, of course, put the onus back on the offense to pick up the slack.

 

“You never want to see guys go down like that, especially leaders and such productive players for us,” Ryan said. “But I think one of the things that helps is Dan [Quinn] does such a great job of guys to come along, developing them. We spend a lot of time in the offseason with the young guys, getting them up to speed. I thought our guys that came in and replaced them today did a nice job.

“But offensively, our mindset was, Whatever we have to do to win, we just gotta do. We have to find a way to get it done.”

It’s not a totally unfamiliar spot for the group, either. Over Quinn’s first two years, Ryan, Julio Jones and company carried the Falcons through a rebuild on the other side of the ball. It worked, too, with Kyle Shanahan’s offense taking off in Year 2 and the driving the team all the way to the Super Bowl.

That offense set a high bar. But there’s at least hope—and it showed up late in this game—that Sarkisian will see a second-year leap like his predecessor did.

“I thought he did an excellent job on our last touchdown drive,” Ryan said of the 7-play, 75-yard possession. “He did a great job setting things up, calling things out of certain personnel groupings that we worked through the entire game. Knowing we’ve worked on those things when we get the looks, and just his timing on the calls on the last drive for the touchdown was great.

“He had guys open—we hit [tight end Austin] Hooper for a [30-yard] gain in 22 personnel, which was huge, hit a screen the next play for about 10—I just think his timing on things was really good today. And I think his comfort level certainly plays a part in that.”

It looked different, too, than it did 10 days earlier, which in this case was a good thing.

 

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My only issue with the offensive playcalling is when you're moving the ball and it's 3rd and 1, why not call a play to pick-up the first down and continue the drive? Take a deep shot earlier in the downs.  We need to be patient, keep moving the ball, and score.

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2 minutes ago, dmo_dlo said:

Ryan was great but there is definitely something wrong with Ryan's arm. Those deep throws are not what you see from an NFL QB. 

The first, I felt Julio kind of quit on it trying to buy a PI flag.  The second, Ryan was rushed and hit as he threw.  Neither of those is an arm issue though...

Absolute, HASHBROWN3, sdogg and 2 others like this

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15 minutes ago, dmo_dlo said:

Ryan was great but there is definitely something wrong with Ryan's arm. Those deep throws are not what you see from an NFL QB. 

He did just fine on the deep throws yesterday.

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7 minutes ago, Stray Dog THA GAWD said:

Haha, we'll see how long this lasts.  My prediction is Sark is back to being the goat by next Sunday night.

Probably. But you never know. Shanahan was the devil here after the 1st season and then when we got slapped by the Bucs in week 1 of 2016. We all know how that turned out. All we can do is hope Sark finally has figured it out.

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28 minutes ago, PriMeTiiMe said:

Probably. But you never know. Shanahan was the devil here after the 1st season and then when we got slapped by the Bucs in week 1 of 2016. We all know how that turned out. All we can do is hope Sark finally has figured it out.

True, but Sark has a bit less NFL experience than Shenanihan.  Time will tell, but yesterday looked promising.

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1 hour ago, Da_Truth said:

My only issue with the offensive playcalling is when you're moving the ball and it's 3rd and 1, why not call a play to pick-up the first down and continue the drive? Take a deep shot earlier in the downs.  We need to be patient, keep moving the ball, and score.

As fans, it's tough for us to say whether or not it was a good playcall.  If we saw something in our review of their defensive tendencies that indicated they sell out backend coverage on 3rd and short, it could've been a well-timed risk/reward play to exploit them.  It also keeps defenses honest in future 3rd and short situations.  If you don't make defenses pay for stacking the box, they'll continue stacking the box.

I'm not totally against taking well-timed risk/reward shots downfield.  If you're going to take them, it makes sense in obvious run situations.  Every defense knows the offense wants to take a shot when it's 2nd and 1, you're more likely to get a better look in 3rd and 1.  The only thing I don't like is when we force an issue.  Last week, I felt like we were forcing it to Julio.  This week we spread it around a lot.  I would much rather us spread the ball around to 8 different receivers like we did yesterday.  If our backup TE, FB, or depth players drop the ball, I can live with that because it still puts it on tape that we are using them and hopefully keeping future defenses from piling on the rest of our star players.  I prefer Julio and Coleman taking 15 less hits per game by spreading the ball to 6 other guys that are not their caliber.

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I thought Ryan's arm was fine yesterday. I thought it looked pretty sketchy against Philly but also thought it looked like that two years ago in the opener against the Bucs. Maybe there is just something about week 1 rust with him. 

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“No, I was healthy,” Ryan responded. “I just didn’t play well enough, and sometimes that happens. There are nights where you just don’t play your best. And I felt like I played a lot better today.”

Love Matt owning up and this should put to bed the week 1 blame game finger pointing on Sark.

Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for this offense, we are gonna need to score points in bunches with the Saints coming to town.

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40 minutes ago, pzummo said:

As fans, it's tough for us to say whether or not it was a good playcall.  If we saw something in our review of their defensive tendencies that indicated they sell out backend coverage on 3rd and short, it could've been a well-timed risk/reward play to exploit them.  It also keeps defenses honest in future 3rd and short situations.  If you don't make defenses pay for stacking the box, they'll continue stacking the box.

I'm not totally against taking well-timed risk/reward shots downfield.  If you're going to take them, it makes sense in obvious run situations.  Every defense knows the offense wants to take a shot when it's 2nd and 1, you're more likely to get a better look in 3rd and 1.  The only thing I don't like is when we force an issue.  Last week, I felt like we were forcing it to Julio.  This week we spread it around a lot.  I would much rather us spread the ball around to 8 different receivers like we did yesterday.  If our backup TE, FB, or depth players drop the ball, I can live with that because it still puts it on tape that we are using them and hopefully keeping future defenses from piling on the rest of our star players.  I prefer Julio and Coleman taking 15 less hits per game by spreading the ball to 6 other guys that are not their caliber.

It's about keeping drives going in my mind.  Take your time, walk them down the field and get points.  If Matt had been on throwing the deep balls then I'm for the deep shots.  But like I said, Matt isn't on this year throwing the ball deep.  Until Matt can show he has his timing and deep throws down then I'm just not going as deep with the throws.  A mid-range crossing route might have been better.

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7 minutes ago, osiruz said:

Dude was still throwing punts in this game, need to work on his technique.

Which passes specifically?     There are only 3 incomplete passes you can be speaking of.  Which of thsoe 3 are you talking about?

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We usually don't speak about Marquand... so it means that he must be doing an excellent job and he mostly does.

This said, the last play of the game, when one of the D tried to catch the ball instead of batting it, it's either horrendous coaching or the defender has the IQ of an oyster...

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1 minute ago, Vogelgryff said:

We usually don't speak about Marquand... so it means that he must be doing an excellent job and he mostly does.

This said, the last play of the game, when one of the D tried to catch the ball instead of batting it, it's either horrendous coaching or the defender has the IQ of an oyster...

Was a scary moment for sure.

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15 minutes ago, thesouphead said:

Which passes specifically?     There are only 3 incomplete passes you can be speaking of.  Which of thsoe 3 are you talking about?

I agree with the person you quoted on this. All 3 of his deep shots to Julio seemed to have way too much air under them. It was so bad on those first two that I told a friend of mine that if Ryan kept that up, he was just begging to be picked off. Then sure enough on that 3rd deep shot...

He's getting the ball down the field, but he's floating them so much that the D has time to react & try to get under it to either break up the pass or intercept it. There is no velocity on those throws & that is an issue IMO.

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21 minutes ago, thesouphead said:

Which passes specifically?     There are only 3 incomplete passes you can be speaking of.  Which of thsoe 3 are you talking about?

I think it was a first half  throw to Sanu and Julio that were most alarming, looked like punts.

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