Falcons, Mike Smith and winning big in NFL.

The loss to New Orleans has raised lot of questions on ability of Falcons to put the games away and win big. The Falcons would need to improve across the board from play calling, execution and limiting mistakes to be a play off contender this year. However, the biggest knock on Mike Smith and the team has been inability to close out games with big leads and winning big. Is this a Falcons problem or is it harder in the NFL to win big and maintain big leads?

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Falcons Offensive Line, a work in progress.

The Falcons and Saints games have always been close, hard-fought and often decided in the last drive of the game. In such close games, handful of plays can be the difference between a winning and losing team. There is plenty of blame to go around on missed opportunities; Falcons Offensive Line made a very good imitation of Swiss cheese, Steven Jackson dropped a probable game winning TD pass, William Moore dropped a pick on a Saints TD drive, Sam Baker killed a drive after big third down conversion by Harry Douglas and the Matt Ryan sack towards end of first half cost Falcons a likely field goal.

The Falcons despite the struggles had a good chance to win the game. However, the bigger concern from the game was Offensive Line. Ryan was hit a total of 8 times including the sacks and was pressured on 13 other drop backs. The 21 pass pressure or hits account for 50% of the drop backs by Ryan, which is probably one of the worst performances by the Offensive line after 2008.  The Saints were able to generate pressure with 3,4 and 5 man rush. Lets jump into the post for breakdown of some of the hits, sacks and pressure. Continue reading

Atlanta Falcons 53 man roster after the final cuts.

QB(2): Matt Ryan and Dom Davis

RB(6): Steven Jackson, Jacquizz Rodgers, Jason Snelling, Antonne Smith,Brady Ewing and Josh Vaughan

WR(5): Roddy White, Julio Jones, Harry Douglas, Drew Davis  and Kevin Cone

OG/C (5): Peter Konz, Garret Reynolds, Justin Blalock, Joe Hawley  and Harland Gunn

OT(4): Sam Baker, Lamar Holmes, Ryan Schraeder and Terren Jones.

TE(3): Tony Gonzalez, Chase Coffman and Levine Toilolo

DE (5): Osi Umenyiora, Kroy Biermann, Jonathan Massaquio, Malachi Goodman, Stansley Maponga

DT(5): Jonatha Babineaux, Corey Peters, Peria Jerry, Cliff Mathews and Travain Robertson.

LB ( 5): Sean Weatherspoon, Steven Nicholas, Akeem Dent, Joplo Bartu and Paul Worrilow

Safeties (5): William Moore, Thomas DeCoud, Shann Schillinger, Zeke Motta and Kemal Ishmael

CB (5): Asante Samuel, Desmond Trufant, Robert McClain, Robert Alford and Dominique Franks

Kicker (1): Matt Bryant

Long Snapper (1): Josh Harris

Kickoff/Punter (1): Matt Bosher

 

The Atlanta Falcons 53 man roster prediction

QB(2): Matt Ryan and Dom Davis

RB(6): Steven Jackson, Jacquizz Rodgers, Jason Snelling, Antonne Smith,Brady Ewing and Josh Vaughan

WR(5): Roddy White, Julio Jones, Harry Douglas, Drew Davis  and Kevin Cone

OG/C (5): Peter Konz, Garret Reynolds, Justin Blalock, Joe Hawley  and Harland Gunn

OT(4): Sam Baker, Lamar Holmes, Ryan Schraeder and Phillip Keith Manley (or a vet signing).

TE(3): Tony Gonzalez, Chase Coffman and Levine Toilolo

DE (5): Osi Umenyiora, Kroy Biermann, Jonathan Massaquio, Malachi Goodman, Stansley Maponga Continue reading

Tale of theTape: Falcons OL and the Sacks

The Falcons Offensive line gave up four sacks in first half and another one in the only drive of first team in third quarter. Matt Ryan took a good beating, with the Offensive line showing up with more holes than Swiss cheese. Lets jump in to the breakdown of each sack to diagnose, what went wrong on these plays.

First Quarter (9:51), 3rd and 3 from TEN 9:

This play forced Falcons to kick a FG, instead of extending the drive and scoring a TD.

First Sack of the game on 3rd and 3.

  • Tennessee rushed six on this play, five rushers on CB Blitz right after the snap and the other rusher on a delayed LB blitz.
  • Jaqcquizz Rodgers never picked the CB who blitzed from the left.
  • Matt Ryan and Konz have the responsibility to identify the rushers and adjust the protection accordingly. Todd McClure used to make lot of these pass protection calls at the line. Konz and Ryan would need to communicate better to adjust the protections before the snap.
  • Titans did a good job of bringing in the pressure off the edges, more so on the right side of the OL. Lamar Holmes needs to do a better job, as Ryan was forced to step up in the pocket with edge collapsing.
  • In addition to pressure off the edge, Ryan was under pressure from the blitzing CB. Blalock barely picked up the CB, but did manage to push him out to not give up a sack.
  • Konz couldn’t stay on the feet and hold on to the defender, right at the time Ryan took off. With no place to go Ryan had to run in to the DT Klug and LB Fokou.

The blocking on the right side and missed blitz pick up forced Ryan to step up in the pocket and run right in to the DT and LB. Continue reading