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Rise Up...or Get Gone! Scouting the Opponent: The Indianapolis Colts

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11 minutes ago, FentayeJones said:

 

If they don't have anything else going they certainly have an offensive line that I think even Jerry Jones would envy. Their solid at all 5 spots.

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Weekly, this is the best thread on the internet for Falcons game-week info. I actually print it out, as well as distribute it to other fans on Friday.

Very well researched, insightful, and well written. Keep up the great work!

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2 hours ago, Vandy said:

Colts will try and do what Vikings did, which is run the ball behind their excellent OL. RB Mack is one of NFL’s best kept secrets when healthy. 

Hines can also be dangerous catching swing passes out of backfield. 

On the other side, if Leonard is out that will be huge. We’ve got to take advantage of that by running the ball ourselves. If we continue like we have in games 1 and 2 passing 2/3 of every down, their two excellent edge pass rushers Autry and Houston will eat our two OT’s lunch. 

Every game is gonna be a grind, especially on the road...key to this game to me is running the ball effectively as well as stopping the run. 

Also, I just realized this is their home opener. This is going to be a tough one no doubt. They aren't going to like finally playing at home and getting beat. They'll definitely be leaning on that OL. We gotta run the ball this game. Grind the clock and put the ball in Brissett's hands. They didn't do that with Cousins and got burned for it. The Packers put that game in Cousins hands and you saw the result. 

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36 minutes ago, US-41 Falcon said:

Weekly, this is the best thread on the internet for Falcons game-week info. I actually print it out, as well as distribute it to other fans on Friday.

Very well researched, insightful, and well written. Keep up the great work!

Man I appreciate that. I try to keep it concise and as un-biased as I can. Obviously, it's a Falcons fans perspective, but through two weeks, it's been pretty good. 

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The Colts SBNation site had a pretty good breakdown on the Colts three TD drives this past Sunday vs TEN. The conclusion is what I felt was the most relatable part of the article for this game:

Quote

It’s clear that Brissett is, for now, a game manager. Reich can tell the media that the playbook is hasn’t been shrunk from Luck to Brissett and that he trusts his QB. However, these aren’t mutually exclusive. By Reich’s own words, Brissett is a top 20 QB in the league (Luck was arguably top 5), so clearly the approach he and his staff take leading up to the game is different with #7 instead of #12 under center, no matter if they say otherwise.

Don’t believe me? Let me show you a quick NextGen Stats chart that reveals some of Brissett’s limiting capabilities.

Screen_Shot_2019_09_17_at_11.45.33_PM.pn

17/28 of Brissett’s passes were between 0 to 5 yards from the LOS. Not exactly a sign of extreme confidence by the Head Coach.

Second, Brissett only had 5 passes for over 10 yards. 2 completions (1 TD), 2 incompletions and a INT where I’m pretty sure he burnt a hole through Hilton’s jersey with his eyes.

Finally, you can clearly see how the short passes are impacting the run game. When we tested the ball deep and made the secondary respect us, Mack and Co. were able to rip off good runs. Meanwhile, when we play it safe and go for 3-5 yard passes, the run is constantly stuffed.

https://www.stampedeblue.com/2019/9/18/20871692/a-look-at-the-colts-3-touchdown-drives-in-tennessee

23 of 28 passes were ten yards and in. Think about that. He's not throwing deep. They'll test it Sunday to try and open it up and make the Falcons defense respect it, but when, through two games and 16 games in 2017, they haven't shown a willingness to let him go deep and Brissett hasn't even shown a desire to do it himself, they need not play deep. It's a numbers game. 82% of his passes were short of the sticks. Play that and bet on the 18% not beating you. 

He threw 12 passes at or behind the LOS. This is not an attacking pass game. 

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13 hours ago, Vandy said:

Yeah, I understood that about the article, but you have a nice writing style. 

Vel's Scouting The Next Opponent articles have instantly become the best read on the board each week. I find myself looking to see if he's posted it yet before even checking my email every morning.

Superb writing, totally dead on with what's happening with the Falcons and then a thorough breakdown of what to expect from the other team ~ explained so the average-to-dumb fan like me can understand it. The people who own this place should pay him for it. Probably starting to generate traffic to the site.

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55 minutes ago, PokerSteve said:

Vel's Scouting The Next Opponent articles have instantly become the best read on the board each week. I find myself looking to see if he's posted it yet before even checking my email every morning.

Superb writing, totally dead on with what's happening with the Falcons and then a thorough breakdown of what to expect from the other team ~ explained so the average-to-dumb fan like me can understand it. The people who own this place should pay him for it. Probably starting to generate traffic to the site.

Exactly right Stevie.

kind of what I was suggesting to @vel. I have doubts if one can make a good living doing this, but that’s not an absolute as it’s something he’s obviously talented at..... how fun would it be to share that gift with the world in a more meaningful way part time? 

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22 minutes ago, Vandy said:

Exactly right Stevie.

kind of what I was suggesting to @vel. I have doubts if one can make a good living doing this, but that’s not an absolute as it’s something he’s obviously talented at..... how fun would it be to share that gift with the world in a more meaningful way part time? 

Man don't try and convince me Vandy! Lol

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2 minutes ago, vel said:

Man don't try and convince me Vandy! Lol

LOL bro, I’m gonna put even more full-court pressure on you. You know this one, but still good to hear.....

Chase you gift, you’ll find a way to make a living doing it. Master it, and you’ll make a fortune. 

:ninja:

Selah.

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1 minute ago, Vandy said:

LOL bro, I’m gonna put even more full-court pressure on you. You know this one, but still good to hear.....

Chase you gift, you’ll find a way to make a living doing it. Master it, and you’ll make a fortune. 

:ninja:

Selah.

Honestly, I do very well work wise. This is more an outlet and I've tried to monetize it a couple of times and find I don't like the grind of monetizing my writing. Maybe I'll try again because I'm hard headed, but for now it's just a fun way to talk about my Falcons. 

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1 minute ago, vel said:

Honestly, I do very well work wise. This is more an outlet and I've tried to monetize it a couple of times and find I don't like the grind of monetizing my writing. Maybe I'll try again because I'm hard headed, but for now it's just a fun way to talk about my Falcons. 

I figured as much. 

I’m a big believer doing what you love. So for right now, doing this works. I get it. 

For right now......:ninja:

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On 9/18/2019 at 9:52 AM, PokerSteve said:

Vel's Scouting The Next Opponent articles have instantly become the best read on the board each week. I find myself looking to see if he's posted it yet before even checking my email every morning.

Superb writing, totally dead on with what's happening with the Falcons and then a thorough breakdown of what to expect from the other team ~ explained so the average-to-dumb fan like me can understand it. The people who own this place should pay him for it. Probably starting to generate traffic to the site.

I wholeheartedly agree. I think if vel, gazoo, peytonmanningforehead, and tdwii ever get into writing articles, they can easily make money. I know I will certainly buy. 

Edited by ShadyRef
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I know I will be afraid if Quinn doesn't allow trufant to follow Hilton where ever he lines up. I am scared of Hilton vs Oliver matchup. 

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On 9/18/2019 at 10:52 AM, PokerSteve said:

Vel's Scouting The Next Opponent articles have instantly become the best read on the board each week. I find myself looking to see if he's posted it yet before even checking my email every morning.

Superb writing, totally dead on with what's happening with the Falcons and then a thorough breakdown of what to expect from the other team ~ explained so the average-to-dumb fan like me can understand it. The people who own this place should pay him for it. Probably starting to generate traffic to the site.

I showed my wife this thread and she literally said the same thing you said before even seeing your post lol. She doesn't know football that well, but after reading that post, she felt she could understand and anticipate what I'm seeing on Sundays now. I definitely try to keep it simple and conversational but still in depth enough so thanks for that validation. 

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5 minutes ago, vel said:

I showed my wife this thread and she literally said the same thing you said before even seeing your post lol. She doesn't know football that well, but after reading that post, she felt she could understand and anticipate what I'm seeing on Sundays now. I definitely try to keep it simple and conversational but still in depth enough so thanks for that validation. 

No problem. Thanks for the incredible articles. Looking forward to next week's.  :slick:

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2019 Opponent Scouting Report: Falcons Defense, Grady Jarrett is a Superstar

Overview

On September 22, 2019 the Atlanta Falcons will travel to Indianapolis to take on our Colts. In this week three match-up I sought to understand our opponent and get a better idea of how they may attack our Colts.

The last time these two teams met in November of 2015, our Colts came out on top 24 to 21. Since 1966 these two teams have met 16 times and if you thought the Colts record against the Titans is impressive, well, it doesn’t hold a candle to the 14-2 all time record our Colts hold over these Falcons. Unfortunately for us those 16 games don’t mean much when it comes to this Sunday’s game. Hopefully the boys in blue can add to their illustrious record.

Let’s figure out what we can expect in Week three.

Defense

Surprise, surprise it’s the 4-3 under single high safety, Seahawks-esque defense, once again. I’ve written essentially the same thing about this style of defense here, here, here, here, here, hereand here. So if you want to know the basics of this style of defense, click any of those links. Everything I’m about to show you is based off of the same ideas that created that system, just more current for these Falcons. After watching the tape, the coverages used are still mostly cover three or man coverage with a single high safety, so if you want a refresh of this information too, again click one of those links, any of them.

To look at a few of the differences between their “base” defense and the defense they run basicallyall the time, comes down to the number of defensive backs on the field. Shocking, I know. I’m not breaking any news, nickle and dime defenses make sense in 2019 more often than not and the Falcons realize this. This is the Falcons new “base” set:

Screenshot_2019_09_17_at_11.54.34_PM.png

Granted they do adjust their gap alignment, this is the look we can probably expect to see most of the time this Sunday. The majority of the time the EDGE defenders don’t have a hand in the dirt, not that it really matters, their job doesn’t really change either way. Now some people are going to look at this picture and they’re going to believe they’ve figured out why the Vikings were able to run all over the Falcons in week one, clearly it’s the massive gaps they’re just freely giving up before the snap, right?

Wrong.

The Vikings absolutely destroyed the Falcons on the ground but they did so because they ran the ball outside and had several long runs as a result. The Eagles on the other hand tried time after time to run the ball inside and found limited success doing so. Here’s just one example, if you want to see pre-snap, look up:

Screenshot_2019_09_17_at_11.55.56_PM.png

At the snap the tight end comes across the formation to try to make contact with the backside defensive end who went unblocked by design. This is a split zone run. The Falcons defenders get their eyes in the backfield and fight for position.

Screenshot_2019_09_17_at_11.56.31_PM.png

Please remember, still photos don’t always provide the most accurate perspective. For instance, this photo makes it seem as if the running back has a hole open right in front of him. He doesn’t. Linebacker Deion Jones #45 is coming from left to right and that running back can’t teleport so as Jones continues his momentum to the right, there really isn’t a hole.

Screenshot_2019_09_17_at_11.57.31_PM.png

This photo shows that the back realizes there’s no hole there as he reads his blocks and tries to make a decision.

Screenshot_2019_09_17_at_11.58.26_PM.png

The back sees a crease open up and goes towards it.

Screenshot_2019_09_17_at_11.58.52_PM.png

The bad news for the Eagles is that the Falcons defensive line and linebackers see the back declare and begin to get off their blocks to prepare to make a stop.

Screenshot_2019_09_17_at_11.59.23_PM.png

By my count that’s four defenders who were able to get off of their blocks and in position to make a stop. Game over.

The Falcons use a lot of two-gapping schemes like the one above and their defensive line is, generally, good at it. The fact that each of these men can play two gaps on every play at a high level, means that those wide splits don’t mean much. If this team were worse at this, the Eagles wouldn’t have rushed 21 times for 49 yards.

But what about the Vikings!?

The Vikings did a good job of getting wide and breaking contain around the outside. They couldn’t really move the ball on the ground between the tackles. There’s a very good reason for that and he wears number 97.

After studying this defense I can safely say Grady Jarrett is a legitimate superstar defensive tackle. He’s a dominating force inside and I’m really not exaggerating when I say this; he’s almost the entire reason the Falcons beat the Eagles. Jarrett embarrassed Eagles left guard, Isaac Seumalo all day long. It was as thorough a beating as I’ve seen but it doesn’t show that way in the box score. I assure you, it could almost be considered assault, the only way Seumalo is getting out of film study of this game is if he decides to press charges, if I were him I would strongly consider it.

Just watch the left guard:

Jarrett is like anti-Quenton Nelson. He’s big, strong, quick, and downright disrespectful. I wish he played for the Colts.

Final Thoughts:

Outside of Grady Jarrett I’m not sure Frank Reich is going to lose much sleep worrying about Falcons defenders to plan around. Deion Jones and Desmond Trufant are both nice players but their impact doesn’t hold a candle to what someone like Jarrett is capable of if the Colts don’t have a solid executable plan.

I’m not sure the 2019 Indianapolis Colts are capable of winning a shoot-out style game. I’m not sure they’re even capable of participating in a shoot-out. I do think this will be a good opportunity for the Colts offense to look better than they’ve looked all year, on the other hand, this Falcons defense isn’t bad. This game will be tough to predict.

I didn't post the whole article, since it's pretty lengthy, but I did want to show how other teams very our defense, particularly Grady. The man is a monster on the inside and I don't think fans realize just how good he is. A lot of the article kept referencing the Vikings game, which is why I didn't bother posting it because that game is an anomaly. It wasn't a talent issue, but a player execution issue. I don't think we see that happening again this season. At least not week three. 

And as for the Final Thoughts... That's cute. Thinking Debo isn't worth losing sleep over is trivial. Especially if Mack can't go. He can wreck a game all on his own. Ask the Saints. 

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Here's a breakdown on the Colts passing attack, supporting why I am not concerned about the threat of Brissett and what I wrote in the OP:

Quote

PASS TOTALS

2019_wk_2_Pass_Stats_Offense.png

Jacoby Brissett did not have a good game. I know a lot of people point to 3 passing TDs and a 95 passer rating as “proof” that he had a good outing, but it is just untrue. A QB’s job is to advance the ball down the field and Brissett did not do that. Of the 3 TD drives, 2 of them were primarily due to large gains that weren’t QB skill (46 yd PI, 55 yd run).

After week 1, I was afraid that his inability to get passing first downs and avoid sacks might come back to bite him and this week it did as demonstrated by his 26th ranked 1st% and 30th ranked NY/A with sacks and turnovers prematurely ending drives. This caused his per play efficiency (EPA/db ) to plummet, ranking 28th worst of any QB this week. That is a stark contrast to last week's 11th place
 
Last week he got rid of the ball quickly ranking 3rd of all QBs in Time to Throw. This week he ranked 29th, holding on to the ball too long and inviting the pressure that some are giving him credit for escaping. His passing depth shortened to a 5.0 aDOT, which was the 30th shortest for the week. A short depth is fine as long as it is accounted for with a high completion rate, but that didn’t happen. Brissett’s 60% completion rate was far below the expected 67% for that average distance. Bottom line: he was indecisive, rushed and inaccurate.
 
These are all very similar to the numbers that he put up in 2017 and they simply aren’t good enough if he is going to be “the guy”. On the brighter side, he did throw 3 TDs against a very good defense and that is far from unimportant. Additionally, his percent of successful dropbacks (wPSR) ranked much higher at 13th, which suggests that a good amount of the overall ugliness is coming from just a few outlier plays (sacks and turnovers). If he can eliminate those errors, then he can elevate his play but in my opinion, his ceiling looks to just be about "average".

Brissett is not a good QB and if pressured, can be downright terrible. The Falcons should be played intimidated of the deep ball to any degree. Yes, can it happen? Of course. But the odds are very low, especially if Brissett starts taking some hits. He wants to throw the ball short and quick. Encourage him to do that and wrap up. An encouraging stat going into this game? 

The Falcons are tackling very well. This will need to continue this week. 

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