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What is the Atlanta Falcons Identity?


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It is something I have been thinking of for a while, and while watching First Take this morning they kinda touched on it and really got me thinking.  What is the identity of the Atlanta Falcons?  Specifically with Dan Quinn?  What is the one or two things we always know we can hang our hat on?  I ask my children, "What is your default setting?"  When you have the world crumbling around you, when things are going to crap, what is your default setting?  What will be there for you to lean on through the good times and bad?

New England - Doesn't make mistakes, will let you bury yourself.

KC - Prolific offense

Baltimore - Rushing offense and excellent defense

New Orleans - Consistently efficient and excellent offense

Dallas - Run game

Chicago - Defense

etc, etc

I know what Quinn preaches.  He preaches flying around, fast and physical!  But the product on the field doesn't always reflect that...at least not often enough to etch that in stone as our "identity".  It seems to me we do not know what our identity is from week to week.  It seems to me our default setting is inconsistency and unpreparedness.  Letting teams back into games that we are winning comfortably, playing down to our opponents we should beat handily, making poor decisions in critical moments seems to be our default setting.

Now, if you ask me, the Dan Quinn defense we were promised all along?  We were fed a line of ****.  The defense just isn't where it needs to be, and really for the entire tenure of Dan Quinn, hasn't been close to where it needs to be which leads me to the following article on what I think our identity should be, what our default setting should be.  A prolific passing offense that utilizes the pass to setup a run game.  Ryan, Julio, Ridley, Sanu, Hooper...in a pass happy league, we have a wealth of talent in the passing attack.  We should be a prolific passing offense, and yet we continue to kill ourselves with mistakes.  But could the 2nd half from Indy be a insight into things to come?  I am not 100% giving up on this defense, as I do think DQ knows his stuff, but after 5 years you gotta call a spade a spade imo.  The identity of this team, at least under Dan Quinn, will never be an excellent defensive and disciplined team.  History tells us otherwise.  What we do know is we have future Hall of Famers, in their prime, on offense.  It's their time, yet again, to lead this team.

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https://www.atlantafalcons.com/news/after-further-review-matt-ryan-gives-potent-offense-much-needed-jump-start

 

Atlanta’s numerous penalties and second slow start on the road have been the center of attention in the aftermath of the Falcons' 27-24 loss to the Colts, and rightfully so. But there’s something else from Sunday’s game that deserves some focus from the fan base – an offense that was as red-hot in the second half as an NFL offense can possibly be.

The Falcons had three possessions in the second half, each of which resulted in touchdowns. Each of those drives covered over 70 yards and spanned at least eight plays; the longest drive covered 78 yards and lasted 16 plays. The point is, the Falcons’ offense showed the ability to sustain drives and make plays in crucial moments.

After halftime, the Falcons were a perfect 8-of-8 on third down, despite facing an average distance of 5.9 yards such downs. As offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter later noted, that level of production is unsustainable, but it proved the Falcons could hit that gear when needed.

Quarterback Matt Ryan completed his first 18 passes of the second half and would have been a perfect 23-for-23 after halftime but for a pass that running back Devonta Freeman bobbled and dropped. Ryan shook off a forgettable first half and another ill-advised throw that resulted in his sixth interception of the season to look like the player who took home the NFL’s MVP award in 2016.

Jacoby Brissett, the Colts’ quarterback who was thrust into a starting role following Andrew Luck’s surprise retirement before the season, was also incredibly efficient and completed his first 16 passes of the game on Sunday. But, as the passing charts below indicate, Brissett completed just five passes that traveled at least 10 yards in the air. Ryan, on the other hand, doubled that number and completed 10 such passes.

 

Matt Ryan's pass chart, courtesy of NFL Next Gen Stats

 

Jacoby Brissett's pass chart, courtesy of NFL Next Gen Stats

 

So, while Brissett was also incredibly efficient during a long stretch of the game, his degree of difficulty was lower than Ryan’s. That’s not to take anything away from Brissett, who did a great job of taking what the Falcons’ defense gave him, but it’s rather to highlight just how impressive Ryan’s run was in the second half.

Ryan also spread the ball around and utilized the entirety of the Falcons’ weapons with eight different players catching passes in the second half. Atlanta also didn’t have to rely entirely on throwing the ball against the Colts.

Devonta Freeman turned in his best performance of the season, carrying the ball 16 times for 88 yards and showcasing the burst and cutting ability that make him a dangerous runner.“I thought that when we ran the ball, we ran it really well,” Ryan said. “I thought our offensive line did a good job. Again, when you fall behind you’re going to have to throw it some more to get back into the game. But when we did run the football, we ran it very efficiently.”

Offensively, the Falcons showcased a mixture of explosion and sustainability in the second half. That Sunday’s game felt like it would come down to whichever team had the ball last is a testament to just how well Atlanta’s offensive played after falling into a 20-3 hole leading into halftime, and it sure didn’t feel like the Falcons would be stopped if they got the ball back a fourth time.

And this is where it comes back around to penalties.

The Falcons’ defensive penalties helped sustain the Colts’ lone scoring drive of the second half, and their offensive penalties chipped away at precious time on the clock, leaving them with no opportunity to get the ball back at the end of the game.

Yet, the Falcons’ offense succeeded in spite of those penalties. In previous games such penalties would have stalled the types of long scoring drives Atlanta put together against the Colts. That wasn’t the case on Sunday, and it’s a reason for optimism with 13 games left to play.

The Falcons may be 1-2 after three games but all is hardly lost. Far from it. Of the 12 teams to reach the playoffs in 2018, six of them had the same record through three games that the Falcons do right now, including the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

How these early games unfold is important. It’s not as important as a win or a loss, but with such a small sample size it provides some context for how things may play out moving forward. Given how Atlanta’s offense kicked into gear on Sunday, this thing might be just getting started.

 

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28-3

@kiwifalcon Is this the perfect gif to describe the Dan Quinn Atlanta Falcons era?  I think so lol  

Honestly, I've thought about this all weekend.  I think the Falcons embody the culture of Atlanta very well. It's a show off city. If you think back to when they finally started getting some noto

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Just now, octoslash said:

28-3

Sadly...I agree...

"It seems to me our default setting is inconsistency and unpreparedness.  Letting teams back into games that we are winning comfortably, playing down to our opponents we should beat handily, making poor decisions in critical moments seems to be our default setting"

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Not to be so trite about your question, but a team's identity is only as valid as the world outside sees it, and until (and then only maybe)  the Birds win the Super Bowl, they will forever be the 28-3 team.

Even if some other team comes along and blows a 35-3, we'll still have written the Bible on how to reach into a barrel full of p**sy and pull out a big a**hole.  

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1 minute ago, octoslash said:

Not to be so trite about your question, but a team's identity is only as valid as the world outside sees it, and until (and then only maybe)  the Birds win the Super Bowl, they will forever be the 28-3 team.

Even if some other team comes along and blows a 35-3, we'll still have written the Bible on how to reach into a barrel full of p**sy and pull out a big a**hole.  

See, I disagree.  The teams I listed?  That locker room knows what their identity is.  They practice what they preach.  They walk the walk and not just talk the talk.  I legit am questioning if our own guys know what the identity of this team is.  The results on the field lend themselves to the fact that they may not know.

I don't even care what the outside world sees, because until our own guys buy into and settle into their identities and roles, the narrative will never change and will only change once they figure it out.  These guys have the power to influence the outside world, and time and time again people tune in and go "welp, same old Falcons".

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I been asking the same thing for a little while now and my whole off season mantra is these coaches better be able to pull this all together.

Right now we are a very talented team with coaches who don’t seem to be able to use and get alll this talent pulling in the same direction.To me call it what you will but this issue starts at the HC and works it’s way down.

I saw something similar with TD 3-4 seasons ago but he was able to adjust his skill set work with different people adjust to the structural changes and role and continue to succeed.DQ I just don’t know the mentioned and the owner have given him the keys to the Ferrari and this guy can’t get the thing humming in top gear.

Its getting painful to watch this lack of consistency.

Hang your hat on the only thing I can see right now isn’t fast and physical it’s inconsistency.

I mean let’s face it even the Eagles game which we deserved to win the Falcons made hard work of a game really they should have put away to me this is inconsistency I speak of.

Minnesota rah rah high expectations coming out lay and egg.

Indy slow start offensively 3 points at the half with all our talent embarrassing the defense can’t stop anything it just echoes thee above.

DQs last 2 years have just smelt of inconsistency he hasn’t been able to put a team on the field that can execute on all 3 phases on a consistent basis.That to me is on him as the HC being able to mould the team and get it rowing in the same direction.

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2 minutes ago, kiwifalcon said:

Its getting painful to watch this lack of consistency.

Hang your hat on the only thing I can see right now isn’t fast and physical it’s inconsistency.

Agreed.  Doubly vomit inducing when they come out in "BDMTHFCKR" tshirts before Indy and proceed to get run over.  Like, I can appreciate the attempts to get these guys fired up but t-shirts and cheesy slogans may not be the best way to achieve that ijs

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13 minutes ago, octoslash said:

Not to be so trite about your question, but a team's identity is only as valid as the world outside sees it, and until (and then only maybe)  the Birds win the Super Bowl, they will forever be the 28-3 team.

Even if some other team comes along and blows a 35-3, we'll still have written the Bible on how to reach into a barrel full of p**sy and pull out a big a**hole.  

I don't agree with this at all. The outside world is completely bias. The outside world views the Patriots as a bunch of cheaters. Do they think of themselves like that? No way. 

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2 minutes ago, athell said:

The outside world also thinks "Playoff Matt Ryan" is still a thing...

I feel like fans of the actual team know what the identity is. Outside fans just spew hatred. The Saints are bounty cheaters. The Patriots are cheaters. Ryan is a choker. Eli Manning is clutch. Blah blah blah

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Just now, JD dirtybird21 said:

I meant to say "football fan thing" and I just rushed the post. Missed the word "fan."

ahhh, ok.  Yeah the windowlickers still pull that one out like it is some kind of burn in the year 2019.

You know what really sucks about that SB, outside of the obvious?  The people here who clamor for positive media attention and accolades from outside entities?  Outside of Pats and Saints fans, the world was pulling for this team to win it.  It would have propped this franchise up several rungs in the public eye.  Further proof we can't have nice things lol

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2 minutes ago, athell said:

ahhh, ok.  Yeah the windowlickers still pull that one out like it is some kind of burn in the year 2019.

You know what really sucks about that SB, outside of the obvious?  The people here who clamor for positive media attention and accolades from outside entities?  Outside of Pats and Saints fans, the world was pulling for this team to win it.  It would have propped this franchise up several rungs in the public eye.  Further proof we can't have nice things lol

So true

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10 minutes ago, KRUNKuno said:

Offensive Threat

We have to bank on our offense making 0 mistakes and scoring on every possession.

I do there gonna have to they’ve invested so much draft fa and extension capital on that side of the ball why wouldn’t you.These coaches on that side of the ball have to pull this together.There the key not the defense.The offense is and has to be the tone setter on this team the defense has to come in and finish the job not the other way round.

I just don’t get the feeling at all the other side of the ball is going to win us games.

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27 minutes ago, athell said:

It is something I have been thinking of for a while, and while watching First Take this morning they kinda touched on it and really got me thinking.  What is the identity of the Atlanta Falcons?  Specifically with Dan Quinn?  What is the one or two things we always know we can hang our hat on?  I ask my children, "What is your default setting?"  When you have the world crumbling around you, when things are going to crap, what is your default setting?  What will be there for you to lean on through the good times and bad?

New England - Doesn't make mistakes, will let you bury yourself.

KC - Prolific offense

Baltimore - Rushing offense and excellent defense

New Orleans - Consistently efficient and excellent offense

Dallas - Run game

Chicago - Defense

etc, etc

I know what Quinn preaches.  He preaches flying around, fast and physical!  But the product on the field doesn't always reflect that...at least not often enough to etch that in stone as our "identity".  It seems to me we do not know what our identity is from week to week.  It seems to me our default setting is inconsistency and unpreparedness.  Letting teams back into games that we are winning comfortably, playing down to our opponents we should beat handily, making poor decisions in critical moments seems to be our default setting.

Now, if you ask me, the Dan Quinn defense we were promised all along?  We were fed a line of ****.  The defense just isn't where it needs to be, and really for the entire tenure of Dan Quinn, hasn't been close to where it needs to be which leads me to the following article on what I think our identity should be, what our default setting should be.  A prolific passing offense that utilizes the pass to setup a run game.  Ryan, Julio, Ridley, Sanu, Hooper...in a pass happy league, we have a wealth of talent in the passing attack.  We should be a prolific passing offense, and yet we continue to kill ourselves with mistakes.  But could the 2nd half from Indy be a insight into things to come?  I am not 100% giving up on this defense, as I do think DQ knows his stuff, but after 5 years you gotta call a spade a spade imo.  The identity of this team, at least under Dan Quinn, will never be an excellent defensive and disciplined team.  History tells us otherwise.  What we do know is we have future Hall of Famers, in their prime, on offense.  It's their time, yet again, to lead this team.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

https://www.atlantafalcons.com/news/after-further-review-matt-ryan-gives-potent-offense-much-needed-jump-start

 

Atlanta’s numerous penalties and second slow start on the road have been the center of attention in the aftermath of the Falcons' 27-24 loss to the Colts, and rightfully so. But there’s something else from Sunday’s game that deserves some focus from the fan base – an offense that was as red-hot in the second half as an NFL offense can possibly be.

The Falcons had three possessions in the second half, each of which resulted in touchdowns. Each of those drives covered over 70 yards and spanned at least eight plays; the longest drive covered 78 yards and lasted 16 plays. The point is, the Falcons’ offense showed the ability to sustain drives and make plays in crucial moments.

After halftime, the Falcons were a perfect 8-of-8 on third down, despite facing an average distance of 5.9 yards such downs. As offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter later noted, that level of production is unsustainable, but it proved the Falcons could hit that gear when needed.

Quarterback Matt Ryan completed his first 18 passes of the second half and would have been a perfect 23-for-23 after halftime but for a pass that running back Devonta Freeman bobbled and dropped. Ryan shook off a forgettable first half and another ill-advised throw that resulted in his sixth interception of the season to look like the player who took home the NFL’s MVP award in 2016.

Jacoby Brissett, the Colts’ quarterback who was thrust into a starting role following Andrew Luck’s surprise retirement before the season, was also incredibly efficient and completed his first 16 passes of the game on Sunday. But, as the passing charts below indicate, Brissett completed just five passes that traveled at least 10 yards in the air. Ryan, on the other hand, doubled that number and completed 10 such passes.

 

Matt Ryan's pass chart, courtesy of NFL Next Gen Stats

 

Jacoby Brissett's pass chart, courtesy of NFL Next Gen Stats

 

So, while Brissett was also incredibly efficient during a long stretch of the game, his degree of difficulty was lower than Ryan’s. That’s not to take anything away from Brissett, who did a great job of taking what the Falcons’ defense gave him, but it’s rather to highlight just how impressive Ryan’s run was in the second half.

Ryan also spread the ball around and utilized the entirety of the Falcons’ weapons with eight different players catching passes in the second half. Atlanta also didn’t have to rely entirely on throwing the ball against the Colts.

Devonta Freeman turned in his best performance of the season, carrying the ball 16 times for 88 yards and showcasing the burst and cutting ability that make him a dangerous runner.“I thought that when we ran the ball, we ran it really well,” Ryan said. “I thought our offensive line did a good job. Again, when you fall behind you’re going to have to throw it some more to get back into the game. But when we did run the football, we ran it very efficiently.”

Offensively, the Falcons showcased a mixture of explosion and sustainability in the second half. That Sunday’s game felt like it would come down to whichever team had the ball last is a testament to just how well Atlanta’s offensive played after falling into a 20-3 hole leading into halftime, and it sure didn’t feel like the Falcons would be stopped if they got the ball back a fourth time.

And this is where it comes back around to penalties.

The Falcons’ defensive penalties helped sustain the Colts’ lone scoring drive of the second half, and their offensive penalties chipped away at precious time on the clock, leaving them with no opportunity to get the ball back at the end of the game.

Yet, the Falcons’ offense succeeded in spite of those penalties. In previous games such penalties would have stalled the types of long scoring drives Atlanta put together against the Colts. That wasn’t the case on Sunday, and it’s a reason for optimism with 13 games left to play.

The Falcons may be 1-2 after three games but all is hardly lost. Far from it. Of the 12 teams to reach the playoffs in 2018, six of them had the same record through three games that the Falcons do right now, including the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

How these early games unfold is important. It’s not as important as a win or a loss, but with such a small sample size it provides some context for how things may play out moving forward. Given how Atlanta’s offense kicked into gear on Sunday, this thing might be just getting started.

 

Yea Brissett  throws shorter and let's his play makers do the rest. May be one of the reasons  for lower int rate.

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8 minutes ago, athell said:

So what do you think our identity is?  Honestly?

To me, this is a team that is 100% driven from the offense. "Score points early and play with the lead." Get into shootouts or get into offensive rhythym that can't be stopped. That's our identity. Defense has fast players that play with the lead. This is why the achilles heal or the "kryptonite" of this team is teams like the Vikings, Cowboys, or Colts. Physical, bigger in the trenches, and they play keep away usually with a great running game and/or game manager at QB. They refuse to let our offense get into it's rhythm. 

In 2016, we caught fire in the playoffs. But, we had fortunate matchups. Green Bay's defense wasn't going to stop our offense AT. ALL. They had no chance. We got to play our game in that one. Same with the Seahawks. Nobody was going to stop us. 

The Patriots did EXACTLY what it took to beat us. They played keep away. They disrupted the momentum. They hogged the ball. Had we played Dallas, Minnesota, or Philly in the 2016 playoffs, they would have given us problems. We could still have beaten them. But it wouldn't have been blowouts. 

I don't believe the identity of this team has ever changed since 2012. The roster has just gotten better.

 

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Just now, Rpgczar7 said:

Falcons are a passing team. Ryan should do better at getting  his playmakers involved  earlier.  I think Ridley  should have had more targets  earlier  in the game.

I agree.  Falcons are a passing team and need to lean into that even more.  DK and Matt need to take it from an good to elite.

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Just now, JD dirtybird21 said:

To me, this is a team that is 100% driven from the offense. "Score points early and play with the lead." Get into shootouts or get into offensive rhythym that can't be stopped. That's our identity. Defense has fast players that play with the lead. This is why the achilles heal or the "kryptonite" of this team is teams like the Vikings, Cowboys, or Colts. Physical, bigger in the trenches, and they play keep away usually with a great running game and/or game manager at QB. They refuse to let our offense get into it's rhythm. 

In 2016, we caught fire in the playoffs. But, we had fortunate matchups. Green Bay's defense wasn't going to stop our offense AT. ALL. They had no chance. We got to play our game in that one. Same with the Seahawks. Nobody was going to stop us. 

The Patriots did EXACTLY what it took to beat us. They played keep away. They disrupted the momentum. They hogged the ball. Had we played Dallas, Minnesota, or Philly in the 2016 playoffs, they would have given us problems. We could still have beaten them. But it wouldn't have been blowouts. 

 

Excellent post, and the sole reason we lost the 2 games in the manner we did.  We got out slow, and made mistakes.  Matt and this passing offense needs to jump out quick and often and in our two losses they did the exact opposite.

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