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Ergo Proxy

Archer’s Take on TB game

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https://www.atlantafalcons.com/news/archer-s-take-julio-jones-benefitting-from-emerging-targets

Archer’s Take: Julio Jones benefitting from emerging targets

Dave Archer

FALCONS ANALYST

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Matt Ryan, quarterback and scholar

Matt Ryan has an elite ability to do a complex math problem in his head on the fly. To know before Julio makes the break that he is going to come out at a certain angle, and that I’ve got to put enough touch on the ball to give him the opportunity to find the ball once he turns his head around, and to be able to factor into the equation how much air needs to be put under the ball to keep it out of harm’s way for a defender to go get it, yet give Jones the opportunity to go catch it. If you can boil the intricacies of that down for just one throw, which he did a number of times, there’s just not many guys that can do that. And he can.

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With the game on the line, and missing two targets, Matt Ryan delivered

The beauty of Matt Ryan as a teammate is that he trusts everybody around him. That showed on the Falcons final two drives when Matt Ryan went eight-for-nine passing without Mohamed Sanu or Calvin Ridley in the game. If I step into the huddle as a receiver, and I’m not Julio Jones, or Sanu or Ridley, I still know that Number Two believes in what I can do. Matt Ryan exudes that, he gives you that feeling. That’s leadership. And he gives guys opportunities, he doesn’t shy away from them. Justin Hardy hasn’t been in the game much? He still gets the ball to Justin Hardy. Marvin Hall is coming into the game? He gets the ball to Marvin Hall. His ability to believe in guys and give them an opportunity speaks volumes.

When you go eight-for-nine passing and you don’t have Sanu or Ridley on the field, then you need other guys to step up. How about Russell Gage coming in out of nowhere? The guy runs down on punts. He comes in, he knows where to line up, he motions across like he’s supposed to, and he’s the featured guy on a play because they’re going to run a pick play and get him the ball in the flat with Justin Hardy making the key block, and Gage steps through for the first down. That’s incredible and it really speaks to those guys as well.

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Austin Hooper is emerging right on schedule

I think Austin Hooper’s work in the offseason, and taking some of the criticism to heart and asking ‘how can I be better?’ is paying dividends for the Falcons. So has the time that he’s spent with Matt Ryan over the last two seasons. This is a guy that was basically sitting on Matt’s front steps when he would come out to get his morning paper and asking ‘can we go throw the ball?’. He went wherever Matt was this offseason and worked with him and you can see it paying off this season. Today he made contested catches with guys draped all over him, and catches in the open field and then made something happen with the ball in his hands. He’s now got 17 catches in the past two games. He’s becoming the guy the Falcons hoped he would, and frankly it’s happening right on time. It’s his third year, this is when it’s supposed to blossom for him, and it is.

Matt trusts him to make key catches, and there were a number of plays in this game that were designed to get Hooper isolated. That’s Tony Gonzalez-type stuff. They’ll put three receivers to the field, and line Hooper up with a nasty split three yards from the tackle. The Falcons were isolating him and trying to create something for him. So now, if I’m Steve Sarkisian and I’ve got Julio, Sanu, Ridley and now a tight end that I like to get into one-on-one matchups. Sarkisian did that a number of times today, and Austin Hooper answered the call every time.

Sanu, Ridley, Hooper now forcing defenses to open opportunities for Julio Jones

They tried everything to cover Julio today. They tried to cover him in man, they tried to cover him with a safety over the top, they tried to bracket him from the inside with a defender waiting on him when he came across the field. It’s just his greatness. He’s a great player, and they didn’t have any answers.

But you would always talk about the presence of Jones on the field creating opportunities for other players. Well, this year you’ve got Sanu playing at a high level, and the emergence of Ridley and Hooper. Now, as a defense, what are you going to do? Can you continue to roll your coverage to Jones and dedicate three players to him? You’re going to get killed if you do that. You’ve got to take your chances to stop the other guys, and when you take your chances, Julio is going to get you for 10 catches and 145 yards.

This year, the threat of other Falcons targets are creating opportunities for Julio Jones.

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Effort level is creating just enough opportunities on defense to win

Number one, they’re playing hard. You’ve got a lot of guys that aren’t the typical starters. But the guys that are playing are playing as hard as they can. They’ll continue to work on getting lined up correctly on a consistent basis, but because they’re playing hard they are creating opportunities. So now, Jameis Winston doesn’t have his receiver down in the red zone wide open because Duke Riley is playing hard. So now Winston has to try to fit the ball into a tight window because Riley’s effort has him in the face of Chris Godwin. Winston forces the ball in there, hits Riley in the back of the helmet and here come two other guys that are playing hard, Damontae Kazee and Brian Poole. You end up with a takeaway in the end zone largely due to the effort level.

I think that’s what they’re going to have be for a while as a defense. They may not shut anyone out, and it may be a struggle to keep teams in that 20-point range, but they’re going to create plays because they play hard as a group. And they’ve got some guys, including Kazee, that have good ball skills.

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Dan Quinn’s trust in Matt Bryant led him to roll the dice

On the Falcons final drive, I think there is a chance the Falcons would have gone for it if it was fourth and one. I think Dan Quinn might have tried to go for it to win if they could have cut the distance on the third down play. But when the third down run went nowhere, making it fourth and two, that helped make the decision for coach Quinn not to go for it.

I’ll admit, I was surprised to see them bring in Matt Bryant for the 57-yard attempt. But that’s one of the things you’ve got to know about Dan Quinn. He trusts his guys to go out and make the play, and Matt Bryant is one of those guys. He sent the guy out to kick a 57-yard field goal, and if he misses Tampa would get the ball at the 47-yard line, essentially one completion away from being in field goal range to win the game. But he trusts that guy to go do that. It’s just a belief in Matt Bryant. And how good is Matt Bryant? It doesn’t get any better than that.

Falcons learned from last week’s pass protection issues, made fixes this week

The pass blocking was much better this week. I thought there was a sense of urgency by the guys up front, and it helped. We talked last week about the problems the Steelers caused with the slot blitz, and that this is copycat league. And it came this week. But the Falcons knew it was coming and had an answer for it.

Positive momentum was needed, and Falcons got it

They needed to find some way to turn things around from a momentum standpoint. Momentum is real, and you feel it. When you come to practice after you’ve lost a few, that begins to add up. As much as you try to stay resilient and just focus on the week ahead, you can feel it. This win pushes that feeling out. All of a sudden you’re 2-1 in the division, you’ve found a way to climb back in, and you’re in a conference where most of the teams are .500 or less.

This was a big win to turn the momentum. You’ve got some young players that are playing for the first time in a big role, and they hadn’t had success yet. Now they get a win, and that feels a lot different. I don’t care what the score is, that feels different.

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i don't know that the pass protection issue is fixed.  The Bucs DL is surely not comparable to the Steelers.  Keep getting the ball out of Matt's hands quickly and we should be fine.  

Pacific_Falcon likes this

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My biggest question for all the gurus is how do we get our screen game working? We had a couple instances where we had a massive numbers advantage but our lineman had no chance to block the incoming linebacker. With teams continuing to blitz, we have to find ways to make them pay.

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Makes you wonder if the complexities between Matt and Julio makes it harder to connect. Ryan is almost near perfect throwing to Ridley on deep ball and pretty good to Sanu.

Good to see Duke Riley getting credit on the interception by Brian Poole in the red zone.

Julio getting more opurtunities because of defenses rolling over extra coverage to Sanu and Ridley is great. Julio may have another 1600-1800 yard season. 

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12 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

Still very concerning that Falcons have no consistency in running game and incapable of converting even the shortest of 3rd downs on the ground.

Yes! which is actually incredible that Ryan has been putting up the numbers he has with absolutely no help from the running game to keep defense in check. They need to do something about it and try to improve in this area, we are averaging about 85 YPG which is atrocious. At least avg. 95 to 100 or so. 

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Just now, falcon22 said:

Yes! which is actually incredible that Ryan has been putting up the numbers he has with absolutely no help from the running game to keep defense in check. They need to do something about it and try to improve in this area, we are averaging about 85 YPG which is atrocious. At least avg. 95 to 100 or so. 

I think it is a scheme and undersized Offensive Line thing - very hard to change w/o changing personnel and system.   Even when Falcons were running it well back in SB year, we struggled w/ converting third and shorts.

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Just now, g-dawg said:

I think it is a scheme and undersized Offensive Line thing - very hard to change w/o changing personnel and system.   Even when Falcons were running it well back in SB year, we struggled w/ converting third and shorts.

No doubt the issue is how light we are to gain a yard is a struggle, but I am conceding that aspect in exchange for having more success running within the ZBS but even in that we are struggling big time. I am not asking to lead the league in rushing but some semblence of a decent enough running game will make the passing game even more dangerous. 

 

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16 minutes ago, g-dawg said:

Still very concerning that Falcons have no consistency in running game and incapable of converting even the shortest of 3rd downs on the ground.

no one could get a rythym , we took one out before the other could do anything its really annoying

Butudontseeme™ likes this

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7 minutes ago, falcon22 said:

Yes! which is actually incredible that Ryan has been putting up the numbers he has with absolutely no help from the running game to keep defense in check. They need to do something about it and try to improve in this area, we are averaging about 85 YPG which is atrocious. At least avg. 95 to 100 or so. 

He's doing his 2016 season again without the great Shanahan and without solid OL/RB support. He isn't being carried by anyone anymore than any other QB. Ryan is becoming exactly what I expected he could be... Elite. Efficient, prolific, and not error prone. In fact the last three seasons he's been about as safe with the ball as Aaron Rodgers. Almost all of his INTs last season were off of weird drops.

Edited by likeriver

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6 minutes ago, caponine said:

no one could get a rythym , we took one out before the other could do anything its really annoying

Neither was doing anything, but spinning their wheels with no traction. 

Ergo Proxy and rounz like this

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1 minute ago, Flying Falcon said:

Neither was doing anything, but spinning their wheels with no traction. 

start ito then 

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G Dawg I think a bigger 3rd or 4th back could help the 3rd and 2's and I know 261 pounds FB Fowler could help the run game and OL, I would call him back for another look. But TD won't do it nobody is good enough. This Is TD's weakness. N. E. adds Josh Gordon,  also Reid, Mitchell, last year it was Ajayi late, I'm not with giving away high draft picks but we can make a run at the SB and maybe give away 6th or  7th why not try? I believe we can do it IF we add a few pieces but the FO will just play It out.

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David Archer used to be a decent (barely) backup QB for the Falcons in his playing days, but his analysis and reporting skills are Elite. Just an Incredible Article. Insightful, well-written, and Thorough (Hello DLed take some notes!)

Ergo Proxy likes this

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1 hour ago, Jpg428gggg said:

My biggest question for all the gurus is how do we get our screen game working? We had a couple instances where we had a massive numbers advantage but our lineman had no chance to block the incoming linebacker. With teams continuing to blitz, we have to find ways to make them pay.

weak side screens would slow down that stuff

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1 minute ago, falcon22 said:

Mike Smith is a great guy, and having been Fired from many jobs in my life I hate to see a good man lose his job. But im sure he will find work somewhere

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5 minutes ago, The Falcon Jedi Knight said:

Mike Smith is a great guy, and having been Fired from many jobs in my life I hate to see a good man lose his job. But im sure he will find work somewhere

I wonder if there is an iconic Koetter lurking behind Smith photo, like then one of Blank....

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8 minutes ago, The Falcon Jedi Knight said:

David Archer used to be a decent (barely) backup QB for the Falcons in his playing days, but his analysis and reporting skills are Elite. Just an Incredible Article. Insightful, well-written, and Thorough (Hello DLed take some notes!)

Love Arch, but I'm gonna have to throw the flag on that one. 

Quote

To know before Julio makes the break that he is going to come out at a certain angle, and that I’ve got to put enough touch on the ball to give him the opportunity to find the ball once he turns his head around, and to be able to factor into the equation how much air needs to be put under the ball to keep it out of harm’s way for a defender to go get it, yet give Jones the opportunity to go catch it. 

That's an atrocious sentence. I'd lose clients for that kind of stuff. Sure, he's better than D-Led, but that's not high-quality writing. I say this every week, but I just wish the team would have him sit down with an actual writer to distill his thoughts. 

Again -- no hate for Arch. My issue is that the publisher isn't making the best use of his resources. 

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1 minute ago, Falcon Ben said:

Love Arch, but I'm gonna have to throw the flag on that one. 

That's an atrocious sentence. I'd lose clients for that kind of stuff. Sure, he's better than D-Led, but that's not high-quality writing. I say this every week, but I just wish the team would have him sit down with an actual writer to distill his thoughts. 

Again -- no hate for Arch. My issue is that the publisher isn't making the best use of his resources. 

I just appreciate Archer's lengthy depth-ful articels. He knows football. He was our former QB, so he is a little biased toward the Falcons which is good. But he tells things like it is.

lostnmexico and Falcon Ben like this

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1 hour ago, Da_Truth said:

i don't know that the pass protection issue is fixed.  The Bucs DL is surely not comparable to the Steelers.  Keep getting the ball out of Matt's hands quickly and we should be fine.  

Their d-like is actually pretty talented. JPP, Vea, and McCoy are no joke. Aside from a few plays and penalties, the o-line gave Matt a lot of time. A big difference is the fact that the RBs did a better job picking up the extra man. 

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1 hour ago, g-dawg said:

I think it is a scheme and undersized Offensive Line thing - very hard to change w/o changing personnel and system.   Even when Falcons were running it well back in SB year, we struggled w/ converting third and shorts.

To me, that was the appeal of Isaiah Wynn. I thought he could do well in both systems and help transition to more of a hybrid power type line.

g-dawg likes this

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26 minutes ago, The Falcon Jedi Knight said:

I just appreciate Archer's lengthy depth-ful articels. He knows football. He was our former QB, so he is a little biased toward the Falcons which is good. But he tells things like it is.

I totally agree with this. I love Arch's stuff, I just wish they'd get better value from it. 

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8 minutes ago, Falcon Ben said:

I totally agree with this. I love Arch's stuff, I just wish they'd get better value from it. 

They need an Editor, like every publication needs

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