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What we learned in 2019


RichardCNile
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I have a friend who's an Eagles fan and he has a whole series of stories he tells titled "The other time I didn't get laid."  His stories are hilariously funny because in each story he seems to have found a new way to screw up a sure thing. As Falcon's fans, we are used to disappointment and I feel like maybe I relate to his stories a little too much... at least from a sports fan perspective.    

It was such a bizarre season to see our Falcon's play pretty well in several games and so horrible in many other games.  Normally I look back at a season and you can identify a few key things.  HBO does this weekly with their show "turning point."  What was our turning point this season? I'm not talking about what turned us toward a 6-2 finish, what I want to know is what was the turning point that turned us toward a 1-7 start?  Tell me what you think it was that turned us toward a 1-7 first half of the season.  

I'll start with:

  1. TD cannot build an o-line.  
  2. MR2 always struggles in the first year with a new OC.
  3. DK may not be the solution, but because of number 2 above, it will be hard to change.  
  4. Falcon's still cannot line up and pound the rock.  (see item 1 above)
  5. Falcon's cannot show up week in and week out for 4 qtrs of football.  This pre-dates MR2, DQ & TD.  In fact the last time I saw this happen on a Falcons' team was when Dan Reeves took us to 14-2 and we made it to the SB... But that game was again kinda like my friend's stories titled "The other time I didn't get laid."  

Happy New Year Falcon Fans

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Point #4 maybe valid but this may not point entirely on the O-line or RB.

This can be the scheme, the play call of the RB in the situation.

If a defense strength is two cinder blocks in the middle, that's not where you should run.

When the Falcons go to the edges they seem to have more success.

Final point, this team is built to pass. The Carpenter/Brown experiment was a failure so it was back to square one.

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Just now, Smiler11 said:

I wasn't talking about the Giants nor was I talking about the Falcons overall win/loss record in preseason, but carry on.

You were beating the dead horse false narrative about the import of preseason.  I can't wait until they go down to 2 preseason games here shortly and this is no longer a thing.

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Personally, my feeling is that Dan Quinn bought into the narrative that he was the best at building, directing, managing, and being the end all as a defensive guru! So, feeling the greatness of the accolades that the media bestowed upon him, took that belief and epically crashed and burned. While doing his thing as a defensive guru, allowed the team to trash the whole season in the first 8 games...

After the crash and burn, he said to himself OMG, gotta find me a Escape Goat (Lol), and fired himself as the “also ran” defensive guru, thus saving himself for one more, one more. 

Dan did it all by himself. 

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My thoughts...

1) I remember sometime over the off-season when 2019 prognostication was in full swing, DeVondre Campbell tweeted something to the effect of ‘I guess people forgot that we’re pretty good when we’re healthy’.  Looking back, there may have been ‘the bands back together’ vibe that affected focus and preparation.  Both from a seasonal and week-to-week perspective.

2) All 3 coordinators being replaced...that’s a pretty significant management changeover.  It’s one thing to do it as a start-up/everything is new arrangement (i.e; GB in 2019, CHI in 2018).   But as a resulting move from the same HC (who also assumed DC responsibilities)...it may have been too much.

3) We may hate to admit it, but our defense doesn’t really get after the QB that well or force TO’s.  In 2017-2018, the Falcons forced 35 TO’s...that’s generally what the league leader does in one season.  Quite frankly there isn’t really one thing the Falcons defense can hang their hat on.  

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1 hour ago, athell said:

Right?  It sure catapulted the 4-0, top scoring team in preseason New York Giants into regular season success!

Don't think it's ever about how many preseason games you win, it's how prepared you are to start the regular season when it's over and we haven't been ready.

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Just now, PokerSteve said:

Don't think it's ever about how many preseason games you win, it's how prepared you are to start the regular season when it's over and we haven't been ready.

Not saying it's about wins and losses (even though several people are VERY concerned about wins and losses), but...ya know, I don't really want to rehash the whole preseason thing so I'll just leave it be.  My feelings on the subject are known, no use re-digging them up.

One thing is for sure, this team needs to do much better at getting out of the gates.  The first half of the season we were behind way way way too much going into half.

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1 minute ago, athell said:

Not saying it's about wins and losses (even though several people are VERY concerned about wins and losses), but...ya know, I don't really want to rehash the whole preseason thing so I'll just leave it be.  My feelings on the subject are known, no use re-digging them up.

One thing is for sure, this team needs to do much better at getting out of the gates.  The first half of the season we were behind way way way too much going into half.

Yep, whatever the source of the early-season constipation, they gotta get to the root of that **** and resolve it.

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1 hour ago, athell said:

You were beating the dead horse false narrative about the import of preseason.  I can't wait until they go down to 2 preseason games here shortly and this is no longer a thing.

Now you're just putting words in my mouth. DQ has already come out and said he's looking at changing his preseason plans, including the possibility of joint practices.

 

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My opinion is that the culture surrounding a team, in any sport, has as much to do with success and failure as does any coaching, player talent, and front office decisions.

To me, there seems to be a culture draped over this team (beginning with the 2016 super bowl run), and it is this:

Everyone from the owner on down seems to think they're a lot more qualified than they really are. 

We keep hearing about all this 'talent' we have, and all this 'experience' on staff, but the only barometer for a football team is the record, and face it...this is a .500 team and has been for years.  Ever since SB LI.  The record since that awful night is 25-25, including playoffs.  I'm no mathematician but I know the definition of .500 is...AVERAGE.  And next season we're rolling with the same group we just saw put up an excruciatingly confusing and disgusting 7-9.   

If anyone could tell me why I should expect anything better than another near-.500 in 2020, I would love to hear it.  After 47 years my fandom is weakening.  

 

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4 hours ago, RichardCNile said:

Falcon's cannot show up week in and week out for 4 qtrs of football.

This is it, right here! All the things you named are true and relevant, but this is the key factor.

And under Quinn, they also cannot stay consistent for 16 games.

Edited by DriveHomeSafelyAtlantaWins
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Before the BYE, a very weak offensive line unit allowed Ryan to be under siege and could not open a can of beans for a running game.  Offense averaged 20 points a game to our defense allowing 31 points a game. Not something anyone wants to see considering a tough opening schedule playing five teams that are in this year's playoffs as well as a Super Bowl team from last season. 

As well as there was a huge transformation on defense during the BYE, a lot of people fail to see that the offense actually improved to scoring 27 points/game as we saw the offensive line actually start playing better, although a long way from what we'd like to eventually see. Those defensive adjustments cut 11 points/game on average so you can say a turnaround of an average of 17 points per game in our favor overall. 

What will we see in 2020?  I see no reason to think that the offense cannot start out putting 24-28 points/game on the scoreboard but I don't expect our defense can come out allowing less than around the same amount at first as we know we're going to see a lot of changes potentially made on the DL again and it usually takes a few games for that to gel. Of course a lot depends on the early half of our schedule so we must do everything we can to get the offense in total sync before the season starts and make sure ALL starters get plenty of reps in preseason.  Offense really needs to put up 30 points/game while we incorporate new/different players onto our defense, which will likely be another early season liability.

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4 hours ago, athell said:

Right?  It sure catapulted the 4-0, top scoring team in preseason New York Giants into regular season success!

Yeah the Ravens had a horrible season too. What's yer point  <_< since I am feeling real snarky after this piss poor season and the actions of our elite coaching staff.

Edited by Realsurfin
Cause our coaches suck so bad.
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