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Atlanta's Offense Is Ready to Rock, But Will the Defense Be Able To Do Its Part?


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Andy Benoit
Jul 31, 2019, 12:03 PM
 
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Atlanta's Offense Is Ready to Rock, But Will the Defense Be Able To Do Its Part?

The 2019 NFL season is just a few weeks away, so Andy Benoit makes a few predictions for each NFL team. Today he examines the Atlanta Falcons, who finished 7–9 and tied for second in the NFC South last year.

 

Matt Ryan’s arm strength becomes a storyline. The decline began to show last season, as several of Ryan’s downfield passes lost zip toward the end. This doesn’t mean the 34-year-old can’t still excel. Ryan is a master executor who fully understands a play design’s intent and nuances.

 

Calvin Ridley tops 1,000 yards. Atlanta’s 2018 first-round pick benefits from playing opposite Julio Jones, the game’s best all-around wideout, but Ridley is a top-shelf weapon himself. He has great vertical speed and deft quickness, and he is sharp at throttling down, a trait shared by elite separators such as Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr. and Brandin Cooks

 

Rookie linemen boost the ground game. To rectify their offense’s greatest weakness, the Falcons spent their two first round picks this spring on Boston College guard Chris Lindstrom and Washington tackle Kaleb McGary (who will miss the early parts of the season after undergoing a heart procedure early in training camp). Add these rookies to a line which includes athletic left tackle Jake Matthews and center Alex Mack, who may be declining but is still quick and savvy, and Atlanta has the personnel to run its foundational outside-zone ground game. That approach suits a quick, decisive runner such as Devonta Freeman.

 

Takk McKinley becomes the defense’s most important player. Last year injuries to linebacker Deion Jones (foot) and safeties Keanu Neal (knee) and Ricardo Allen (Achilles) ravaged the middle of this D and exposed the Falcons’ long-inconsistent four-man rush. That rush remains critical this year given the many questions facing the secondary: How effective will the starting safeties be coming off their injuries? Can 2018 second-rounder Isaiah Oliver hold up at No. 2 corner? Who handles the all-important slot duties—converted up-and-down safety Damontae Kazee or speedy fourth-round rookie Kendall Sheffield? The Falcons really need the pass rush to deliver, and while they have explosive DT Grady Jarrett and speedy fifth-year end Vic Beasley, McKinley, with his combination of speed and power, must be the headliner.

 

The defensive scheme keeps expanding. After incorporating more man coverage into his Seahawks-style Cover 3 zone the past few years, Dan Quinn adds more blitzes from both man and zone looks. This provides a fifth rusher while creating matchup coverage scenarios downfield, and it is an effective counter to the Cover-3-beating play designs in which offenses are growing proficient. 

 

BOTTOM LINE: Atlanta could have a top-five offense—and might need one to compensate for their shortcomings and D.

 

 

https://sports.yahoo.com/atlantas-offense-ready-rock-defense-160329895.html

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I read this:

Matt Ryan’s arm strength becomes a storyline. The decline began to show last season, as several of Ryan’s downfield passes lost zip toward the end. This doesn’t mean the 34-year-old can’t still excel. Ryan is a master executor who fully understands a play design’s intent and nuances.

Then thought to myself..."who tf wrote this article?"  Scrolled up, saw Andy Benoit and rolled my eyes.

Matt's only underthrowing Julio for whatever reason.  This is not a storyline.

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7 minutes ago, athell said:

I read this:

Matt Ryan’s arm strength becomes a storyline. The decline began to show last season, as several of Ryan’s downfield passes lost zip toward the end. This doesn’t mean the 34-year-old can’t still excel. Ryan is a master executor who fully understands a play design’s intent and nuances.

Then thought to myself..."who tf wrote this article?"  Scrolled up, saw Andy Benoit and rolled my eyes.

Matt's only underthrowing Julio for whatever reason.  This is not a storyline.

On top of the fact that Matt was getting his brain out and had very little pocket to work with last year

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24 minutes ago, athell said:

I read this:

Matt Ryan’s arm strength becomes a storyline. The decline began to show last season, as several of Ryan’s downfield passes lost zip toward the end. This doesn’t mean the 34-year-old can’t still excel. Ryan is a master executor who fully understands a play design’s intent and nuances.

Then thought to myself..."who tf wrote this article?"  Scrolled up, saw Andy Benoit and rolled my eyes.

Matt's only underthrowing Julio for whatever reason.  This is not a storyline.

Matt threw a 60 yard dime to Marvin Hall versus the Giants. 

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2 minutes ago, The Great American said:

I really don't see the Falcons D in the Top 10 much less the Top 5.  I do think they will be improved.  

They have to by default lol

Getting the boys back will make a HUGE impact but yeah I am with you...I am not going to fall for a top x defense promise until I see it on the field.  Quinn has yet to deliver.

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1 minute ago, Alomar said:

IIRC, 2017 our D was top 10, was it not? End of 2016, from the time DQ took over the D, were we not top 10? IJS

They were 8.  tbh I'd take the 2016 post bye week defense over the 2017 defense entirely which I feel was a lot of smoke and mirrors but to your point, yes they were top 10 in points allowed in 2017.

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20 minutes ago, The Great American said:

I really don't see the Falcons D in the Top 10 much less the Top 5.  I do think they will be improved.  

 

16 minutes ago, athell said:

They have to by default lol

Getting the boys back will make a HUGE impact but yeah I am with you...I am not going to fall for a top x defense promise until I see it on the field.  Quinn has yet to deliver.

Top 18 is what I want. That's realistic and would be a noticeable improvement. Rams and Pats were #19 and #21, respectively, in yards allowed. Rams were #20 in points allowed. Pats were #7, but get help playing NYJ, MIA, and BUF. At the end of the day, I don't need #1. Be sufficient and complementary. Saints were #14 in points allowed. Chiefs were #24 (2 points less than Atlanta). I think they have enough to do that much. 

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Just now, vel said:

 

Top 18 is what I want. That's realistic and would be a noticeable improvement. Rams and Pats were #19 and #21, respectively, in yards allowed. Rams were #20 in points allowed. Pats were #7, but get help playing NYJ, MIA, and BUF. At the end of the day, I don't need #1. Be sufficient and complementary. Saints were #14 in points allowed. Chiefs were #24 (2 points less than Atlanta). I think they have enough to do that much. 

I just reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally want a dominant defense man.  I know it's not required but I really super duper just want a **** outta here defense that gives oc's nightmares.

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2 minutes ago, athell said:

I just reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally want a dominant defense man.  I know it's not required but I really super duper just want a **** outta here defense that gives oc's nightmares.

Agree. I'd like to see a Falcon offense averaging 35/game with a Falcon D that's giving up an average of 7 p/gm or less.

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2 minutes ago, athell said:

I just reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally want a dominant defense man.  I know it's not required but I really super duper just want a **** outta here defense that gives oc's nightmares.

The way the current NFL is set up, I think only teams with rookie contracts will have dominant defenses. Talent costs too much. The top six defenses in points allowed last year: 

CHI, BAL, TEN, HOU, JAX, DAL. 

All rookie QBs or cheap (Bortles). Once you pay a QB, you're relying on a ton of rookies or cheap labor on defense like we have been. Many teams as a result struggle to field dominant defenses. You see the teams with paid QBs are more in that teens range. Star defenders (Donald, Mack) are getting QB money now. 

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Quote

 

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Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons: 50.8%

Thanks to the accuracy of their MVP-winning quarterback, the Atlanta Falcons’ pass catchers combined to produce 238 yards after the catch on their deep looks, which ranked fourth among receiving units. Ryan put the ball exactly where it needed to be on 50.8% of his attempts last year, which tied for second among quarterbacks.

 

 

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what...lol..... literally the only person Matt miss deep passes to is Julio.....lol.... i dont get it but its true.... But EVERYBODY else he is on point.

 

I dont see the declining arm strength this dude is talking about

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1 minute ago, FalconsIn2020 said:

The average NFL rank for every Super Bowl winner is:

Offense: 11th

Defense: 11th

I think we finish 11th or better in both and win it all in Miami

I’m not ready to say we’ll have a top 11 defense but honestly we could. There’s a lot of question marks CB pass rush and K Neal and Rico recovery. But we should be much improved regardless.

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