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Game #13 AT New Orleans Saints Game Review

December 27th, 2008 Comments off

This was a game that could have been won but the defense wilted at the wrong time, the run defense wasn’t there all day and big plays were allowed late in the game. The result was a 29-25 loss that drops the Falcons to 8-5 and dimmed the hopes of a division title.

Here’s what I saw:

Offense:

Running game: Turner (18/161, 1 TD), Norwood (5/18), Mughelli (1/2), Snelling (2/5) and Ryan (4/13, 1 TD) . Effective Runs (4 yards or more or scores TD)-Turner,7 ; Norwood, 1 and Ryan, 1.

Breakdown of passes:

Ryan: 24/33, 315 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT. Breakdown of incompletions: 4 Bad passes, 3 Drops , 1 pass defended and 1 thrown away. The interception happened on the first drive in scoring range.

Drops (3): White, 1 ; Turner, 1 and Snelling, 1.

YTD Drops (34):

White – 15
Douglas – 3
Jenkins – 5
Finneran – 4
Turner – 2
Peele – 2
Norwood – 1
Jennings – 1
Snelling – 1

Receiving: White had the big day with 10 catches and 164 yards and Finneran had a TD catch.

Run blocking: Was okay but not as good as usual.

Pass blocking: 3 hurries and no sacks, another good performance.

Sack responsibility (0): None.

YTD Sacks (12):

Justin Blalock – 2.0
Todd Weiner – 1.5
Tyson Clabo – 1.0
Busted Play – 1.0
Matt Ryan – 4.0
Wayne Gandy – 1.0
Quinn Ojinnaka – 1.0
Jerious Norwood – 1.0
Jason Snelling – 0.5

Note: QB responsible sacks are those that he has at least 3 seconds and either chose to try to scramble or stayed in the pocket when the better decision would be to throw it away. Also includes those rushing attempts that go for 0 or negative yardage that for some reason are counted as a sack.

Defense:

Run defense: Allowed 184 yards with an average of 6.1 yards per carry. Also, could not stop Thomas on last drive of the game.

Pass Defense: 230 yards allowed, which is good, but there were a couple of big plays at crucial times that hurt. RB’s being uncovered continues to be a problem. Also, no pressure was on Brees as there were no hurries.

Sacks (0): None.

Special Teams:

Norwood had 6 kickoff returns:1-from the 2, 20 yards. 2-from the -2, 28 yards. 3-from the 3, 20 yards. 4-from the 10, 20 yards. 5-from the -4, 31 yards. 6-from the -3, 23 yards. Norwood still looks a bit slowed (maybe injured?)

Douglas had 3 punt return opportunities: 1. from the 20, 2 yard return 2. punted out of bounds at the 2. 3. from the 26, no gain. Pakulak did a very good job of limiting Douglas’ running room with great hang time and angling.

Koenen had 4 punts: 1-39 yards to the 33, return nullified by holding penalty. 2-51 yards to the 29, no return. 3-48 yards to the 23, return nullified by holding penalty. 4-52 yards to the 13, no return. 3 out of 4 kicks were fantastic.

Koenen had 6 kickoffs: 1-to the 7, 20 yard return. 2-to the goal line, 23 yard return. 3-to the 3, 20 yard return. 4-to the end zone, touchback. 5-to the -3, 16 yard return. 6-to the -4, 88 yard return. Koenen did his part kicking deep.

Field Goals: 1/1 Good from 23.

Special Teams coverage: Allowed the big return to Thomas at the worst time in the 4th quarter that led to the game-winning TD.

Things that really need improvement:

1. Cover the middle of the field better in pass coverage (especially Tight Ends and Running Backs). Maybe move Brooking to SLB and Boley to WLB as well as nickel LB?
2. Eliminate 3rd and long conversions by opposition.
3. Defensive consistency in the second half.

Offensive MVP: Roddy White (10 catches, 164 yards)

Defensive MVP: Chris Houston (6 tackles, 3 passes defended-very aggressive)

Special Teams MVP: Michael Koenen (very good punting day and deep kickoffs)

Goat of the Week: Run defense.

Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:

Next up: VS Tampa Bay Buccaneers, December 14th!

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Game #12 AT San Diego Chargers Game Review

December 24th, 2008 Comments off

While it’s good to get a road win and move to 8-4, this game was very frustrating in that the score was a lot closer than it ever should have been. Some of that was the Falcons doing and there were a couple of very questionable calls resulting in turnovers that didn’t help matters. Fortunately, the team overcame all that and pulled this one out but missing a wide open Jenkins, White dropping an easy TD pass and the 4th and 1 at the end of the 1st half that wasn’t converted, that’s just far too many points to leave on the field.

Here’s what I saw:

Offense:

Running game: Turner (31/120), Norwood (4/18), Mughelli (3/5), Snelling (1/1) and Ryan (4/-3) . Effective Runs (4 yards or more or scores TD)-Turner,12 and Norwood, 2.

Breakdown of passes:

Ryan: 17/23, 207 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT. Breakdown of incompletions: 2 Bad passes, 2 Drops and 2 thrown away. Only real mistake was missing a wide open Jenkins on the first drive.

Drops (2): White, 1 and Jenkins, 1.

YTD Drops (31):

White – 14
Douglas – 3
Jenkins – 5
Finneran – 4
Turner – 1
Peele – 2
Norwood – 1
Jennings – 1

Receiving: White had the big day with 6 catches and 112 yards while Peelle and Douglas had TD catches.

Run blocking: Was fine except in short yardage/goal line situations

Pass blocking: Only two hurries and no sacks. The line continues to do it’s job and Ryan is getting rid of the ball quickly.

Sack responsibility (0): None.

YTD Sacks (12):

Justin Blalock – 2.0
Todd Weiner – 1.5
Tyson Clabo – 1.0
Busted Play – 1.0
Matt Ryan – 4.0
Wayne Gandy – 1.0
Quinn Ojinnaka – 1.0
Jerious Norwood – 1.0
Jason Snelling – 0.5

Note: QB responsible sacks are those that he has at least 3 seconds and either chose to try to scramble or stayed in the pocket when the better decision would be to throw it away. Also includes those rushing attempts that go for 0 or negative yardage that for some reason are counted as a sack.

Defense:

Run defense: Only allowed 42 (the other 28 was on a fake punt) rushing yards. Great job.

Pass Defense: Very good day only allowing 149 yards. Only criticism would be that the RB and TE was often uncovered but that’s pretty standard for the Falcons.

Sacks (3): Biermann got his first sack (congrats!) and Babineaux got the second as well as splitting the third with Abraham.

Special Teams:

Norwood had 3 kickoff returns:1-from the 5, 16 yards. 2-from the 6, 23 yards. 3-from the 4, 15 yards. Norwood didn’t seem to have his burst on returns today.

Weems had 1 return for 19 yards on a short kickoff.

Douglas had 3 punt return opportunities: 1. from the 18, muffed and recovered by SD 2. from the 22, 32 yards. 3. from the 28, fair catch. The muffed punt really hurt as it led to a TD and helped make the game closer than it should have ever been.

Koenen had 2 punts: 1-51 yards to the 11, no return. 2-55 yards to the 17, 12 yard return nullified by illegal block penalty. Outstanding punts.

Koenen had 5 kickoffs: 1-to the 1, 21 yard return. 2-to the endzone, touchback. 3-to the goal line, 21 yard return. 4-to the 1, net 7 yard return. 5-to the -8, 26 yard return. Excellent kicks.

Field Goals: 2/2 Good from 35 and 40.

Special Teams coverage: Fantastic job limiting Sproles to very little return yardage.

Things that really need improvement (no change):

1. Cover the middle of the field better in pass coverage (especially Tight Ends). Maybe move Brooking to SLB and Boley to WLB as well as nickel LB?
2. Eliminate 3rd and long conversions by opposition.
3. Defensive consistency in the second half.

Offensive MVP: Matt Ryan (207 yards, 2 TDs)

Defensive MVP: Jonathan Babineaux (2 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 QB hurries and 1 pass defended)

Special Teams MVP: Jamaal Anderson (blocked field goal)

Goat of the Week: Offense for missing scoring opportunities.

Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:

Next up: AT New Orleans Saints, December 7th!

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Game #11 VS Carolina Panthers Game Review

December 20th, 2008 Comments off

This one ran the gambit of football emotions. I have to equate it to a classic heavyweight title fight where one fighter gets off to a fast start only to get answered back with it turning into a slugfest in the middle of the ring until one of the fighters finally lands the blow that puts his opponent on the canvas for good. The Falcons got off to a very fast start but Carolina owned the third quarter to pull within 4. When Harry Douglas ripped off a 57 yard punt return, the game was officially iced with the Falcons moving to 7-4 and right in the thick of the playoff hunt with the 45-28 win.

Here’s what I saw:

Offense:

Running game: Turner (24/117, 4 TD), Norwood (4/11), Ryan (3/2) and Douglas (2/3, 1 TD). Effective Runs (4 yards or more or scores TD)-Turner,11 ; Norwood, 2 and Douglas, 1. A very methodical but consistent and effective rushing attack against a very accomplished defense.

Breakdown of passes:

Ryan: 17/27, 259 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT. Breakdown of incompletions: 3 Bad passes, 4 Drops, 1 Pass Defended and 2 thrown away. Ryan played very well.

Drops (4): White, 2, Jenkins, 1 and finneran, 1.

YTD Drops (29):

White – 13
Douglas – 3
Jenkins – 4
Finneran – 4
Turner – 1
Peele – 2
Norwood – 1
Jennings – 1

Receiving: Douglas, White and Jenkins all had 4 catches with Douglas leading the way with 92 yards. Ryan did an excellent job of spreading the ball around finding 7 different receivers.

Run blocking: Really performed well against Carolina’s defense.

Pass blocking: Quite a bit of pressure but only 1 sack.

Sack responsibility (1): Basically a coverage sack which would go on Ryan for not getting rid of the ball.

YTD Sacks (12):

Justin Blalock – 2.0
Todd Weiner – 1.5
Tyson Clabo – 1.0
Busted Play – 1.0
Matt Ryan – 4.0
Wayne Gandy – 1.0
Quinn Ojinnaka – 1.0
Jerious Norwood – 1.0
Jason Snelling – 0.5

Note: QB responsible sacks are those that he has at least 3 seconds and either chose to try to scramble or stayed in the pocket when the better decision would be to throw it away. Also includes those rushing attempts that go for 0 or negative yardage that for some reason are counted as a sack.

Defense:

Run defense: Allowed over 130 yards. Very inconsistent at best.

Pass Defense: Very solid until the second half. (Hate it when I don’t have to change it from previous week)

Sacks (3): Chauncey Davis picked up 2 and Abraham got the other.

Special Teams:

Norwood had 3 kickoff returns (and 2 touchbacks):1-from the 7, 18 yards. 2-from the 4, 4 yards. (One of the stranger kicks I’ve seen too) 3-from the 1, 25 yards. Really only 1 good return.

Douglas had 4 punt return opportunities: 1. from the 25, downed 2. from the 36, 27 yards. 3. from the 25, 5 yards. 4. from the 39, 61 yards for a touchdown. Excellent return day for Douglas.

Finneran had a 2 yard punt return.

Koenen had 3 punts: 1-48 yards to the 42, no return. 2-43 yards to the 32, no return. 3-38 yards to the 42, no return.

Koenen had 8 kickoffs: 1-to the 0, 16 yard return. 2-to the endzone, touchback. 3-to the 8, 13 yard return. 4-to the 6, 14 yard return. 5-to the -2, 19 yard return. 6-to the endzone, touchback. 7-to the 9, 24 yard return. 8-to the endzone, touchback. Excellent kicks.

Field Goals: 1/1 Good from 23.

Special Teams coverage: Fantastic job

Things that really need improvement (no change):

1. Cover the middle of the field better in pass coverage (especially Tight Ends). Maybe move Brooking to SLB and Boley to WLB as well as nickel LB?
2. Eliminate 3rd and long conversions by opposition.
3. Defensive consistency in the second half.

Offensive MVP: Michael Turner (117 yards, 4 TDs)

Defensive MVP: Chauncey Davis (4 tackles, 2 sacks)

Special Teams MVP: Harry Douglas (93 return yards and a TD and also would get overall MVP as well)

Goat of the Week: Pass defense in the third quarter.

Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:

Next up: AT San Diego Chargers, November 30th!

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Game #10 VS Denver Broncos Game Review

December 19th, 2008 Comments off

This one was painful to watch live and even more painful to watch a second time. This was a game that was not only very winnable but given the injuries to the Broncos, should have been a win. I can’t help but wonder if we were caught napping a bit. Unfortunately, this one ended up as a 24-20 loss and dropped the team to 6-4.

Here’s what I saw:

Offense:

Running game: Turner (25/81, 2 TD), Norwood (4/18), Ryan (5/18) and Snelling (1/-3). Effective Runs (4 yards or more or scores TD)-Turner, 7 ; Norwood, 1 and Ryan, 2. Outside of a few select runs, the Broncos really bottled up the running game. With Denver being in the bottom 5 or 6 of rushing defenses, this shouldn’t have happened.

Breakdown of passes:

Ryan: 20/33, 250 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT. Breakdown of incompletions: 5 Bad passes, 5 Drops, 1 Pass Defended, 1 bad route and 1 thrown away. Outside of the INT, stat line would have been much better had Roddy had a better receiving game.

Drops (5): White, 4 and Peelle, 1.

YTD Drops (25):

White – 11
Douglas – 3
Jenkins – 3
Finneran – 3
Turner – 1
Peele – 2
Norwood – 1
Jennings – 1

Receiving: White (5/102) led the team in yards and catches. Jenkins also had 5 catches. Unfortunately, Roddy dropped almost as many as he caught.

Run blocking: Had trouble opening up holes for the most part against a banged up Denver defense.

Pass blocking: No sacks and not a ton of pressure on Ryan.

Sack responsibility (0): None

YTD Sacks (12):

Justin Blalock – 2.0
Todd Weiner – 1.5
Tyson Clabo – 1.0
Busted Play – 1.0
Matt Ryan – 3.0
Wayne Gandy – 1.0
Quinn Ojinnaka – 1.0
Jerious Norwood – 1.0
Jason Snelling – 0.5

Note: QB responsible sacks are those that he has at least 3 seconds and either chose to try to scramble or stayed in the pocket when the better decision would be to throw it away. Also includes those rushing attempts that go for 0 or negative yardage that for some reason are counted as a sack.

Defense:

Run defense: Allowed well over 100 yards to a bunch of backups.

Pass Defense: Very solid until the second half.

Sacks (1): The lone sack is credited to Jonathan Babineaux.

Special Teams:

Norwood had 4 kickoff returns:1-from the 0, 20 yards. 2-from the 5, 26 yards. 3-from the endzone, 17 yards. 4-from the 7, 17 yards.

Douglas had 1 kickoff return: 1. from the 1, 22 yards.

Mediocre kickoff return day.

Douglas had 2 punt return opportunities: 1. from the 20, 9 yards; 2. from the 40, fair catch. One fair catch by Finneran.

Koenen had 2 punts: 1-34 yards to the 40, no return. 2-28 yards to the 15, no return.

Koenen had 5 kickoffs: 1-to the -1, 20 yard return. 2-to the 4, 58 yard return. 3-to the 1, 40 yard return. 4-to the 2, 21 yard return. 5-to the -3, 20 yard return.

Field Goals: 2/2 Good from 46 and 36.

Special Teams coverage: Outside of 2 kickoff returns it was very good.

Things that really need improvement (no change):

1. Cover the middle of the field better in pass coverage (especially Tight Ends). Maybe move Brooking to SLB and Boley to WLB as well as nickel LB?
2. Eliminate 3rd and long conversions by opposition.
3. Defensive consistency in the second half.

Offensive MVP: Matt Ryan (250 yards)

Defensive MVP: Lawyer Milloy (8 tackles)

Special Teams MVP: Curtis Lofton (2 tackles)

Goat of the Week: Roddy White (dropped 4 passes including the game winner)

Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:

Next up: VS. Carolina Panthers, November 23rd!

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Game #9 VS New Orleans Saints Game Review

November 29th, 2008 Comments off

This was an impressive win over a long-time division rival that was great to watch. The offense executed very well and the defense performed very well for the most part, especially in pass coverage. The game was not as close as the 34-20 final score would seem to indicate.

Here’s what I saw:

Offense:

Running game: Turner (27/96, 1 TD), Norwood (6/17), Ryan (2/-2) and White (1/2). Effective Runs (4 yards or more or scores TD)-Turner, 12 and Norwood, 3. New Orleans keyed on the run and still the ground game was effective.

Breakdown of passes:

Ryan: 16/23, 248 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT. Breakdown of incompletions: 4 Bad passes, 2 Passes Defended and 1 Drop. Virtually the same performance from last week. Great to see the consistency and development.

Drops (1): White.

YTD Drops (20):

White – 7
Douglas – 3
Jenkins – 3
Finneran – 3
Turner – 1
Peele – 1
Norwood – 1
Jennings – 1

Receiving: Norwood (2/88, 1 TD) led the team in yards. Jenkins had the most catches (6/72) and White turned in his normal solid day (5/68, 1 TD).

Run blocking: Very solid as is the norm.

Pass blocking: No sacks and moving Gandy, Clabo and Weiner around at the tackle spots seemed to help.

Sack responsibility (0): None

YTD Sacks (12):

Justin Blalock – 2.0
Todd Weiner – 1.5
Tyson Clabo – 1.0
Busted Play – 1.0
Matt Ryan – 3.0
Wayne Gandy – 1.0
Quinn Ojinnaka – 1.0
Jerious Norwood – 1.0
Jason Snelling – 0.5

Note: QB responsible sacks are those that he has at least 3 seconds and either chose to try to scramble or stayed in the pocket when the better decision would be to throw it away. Also includes those rushing attempts that go for 0 or negative yardage that for some reason are counted as a sack.

Defense:

Run defense: Really wasn’t all that good, fortunately Brees threw it 58 times.

Pass Defense: Despite giving up 422 yards, the defense came away with 3 INT’s (Jackson, Houston and Coleman) and 1 of the 2 TD’s was a jump ball garbage time TD at the end of the game.

Sacks (1): The lone sack is credited to John Abraham (what else is new!)

Special Teams:

Norwood had 2 kickoff returns (there was also 1 touchback and 1 onside kick gone horribly wrong out of bounds):1-from the 3, 18 yards. 2-from the 1, 55 yards. 1 solid return and 1 great return.

Douglas had 2 punt return opportunities (1 punt went out of bounds): 1. from the 25, 25 yards; 2. from the 12, 8 yards. You know, a 25 yard return and 2 consecutive weeks of no muffed punts just sounds excellent to me.

Koenen had 4 punts: 1-31 yards to the 10, downed. 2-33 yards to the 9, no return. 3-33 yards to the 10, no return. 4-44 yards to the 24, no return. 3 inside the 10 and no return yards. Excellent day.

Koenen had 7 kickoffs: 1-to the -2, 26 yard return. 2-to the 3, 20 yard return. 3-to the 3, 20 yard return. 4-to the endzone, touchback. 5-to the -4, 41 yard return. 6-to the endzone, touchback. 7-to the 11, 20 yard return. Kicks seem to be deeper now.

Field Goals: 2/2 Good from 22 and 27.

Special Teams coverage: Outside of 2 kickoff returns it was very good.

Things that really need improvement:

1. Cover the middle of the field better in pass coverage (especially Tight Ends). Maybe move Brooking to SLB and Boley to WLB as well as nickel LB?
2. Eliminate 3rd and long conversions by opposition.
3. Defensive consistency in the second half.

Offensive MVP: Matt Ryan (248 yards, 2 TDs)

Defensive MVP: Domonique Foxworth (5 tackles, 3 passes defended and just seemed to be all over the place)

Special Teams MVP: Kroy Biermann (3 tackles)

Goat of the Week: None, for consecutive weeks.

Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:

Next up: VS. Denver Broncos, November 16th!

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Game #8 AT Oakland Raiders Game Review

November 29th, 2008 Comments off

Great to see the team rebound from the heartbreaker in Philly. Quite simply, this performance was nothing short of dominating. From first downs (ATL 30 to OAK 3), Total net yards (ATL 453 to OAK 77) to the 24-0 on the scoreboard, it was clear that the Falcons were in complete control from the very beginning.

Here’s what I saw:

Offense:

Running game: Turner (30/139), Norwood (14/63, 1 TD), Snelling (8/47), Ryan (4/1) and Douglas (1/2). Effective Runs (4 yards or more or scores TD)-Turner, 19; Norwood, 7 and Snelling, 6. Dominating rushing performance outside of a few short yardage opportunities missed due to the line not getting a good push up front.

Breakdown of passes:

Ryan: 17/22, 220 yards, 2 TD, 0 INT. Breakdown of incompletions: 2 Bad passes, 2 Thrown away and 1 Busted play. Very efficient play and really showing his development.

Drops (0): None

YTD Drops (19):

White – 6
Douglas – 3
Jenkins – 3
Finneran – 3
Turner – 1
Peele – 1
Norwood – 1
Jennings – 1

Run blocking: Very dominating except for several short yardage situations where they failed to get a push up front as mentioned above.

Pass blocking: No sacks until the 4th quarter. Not as good as it has been but with Baker out, that was expected.

Sack responsibility (3): First sack was on Norwood for missing a block. The second sack was on Ryan as he was untouched stepping up in the pocket and stripped by Warren. Final sack was on Gandy.

YTD Sacks (12):

Justin Blalock – 2.0
Todd Weiner – 1.5
Tyson Clabo – 1.0
Busted Play – 1.0
Matt Ryan – 3.0
Wayne Gandy – 1.0
Quinn Ojinnaka – 1.0
Jerious Norwood – 1.0
Jason Snelling – 0.5

Note: QB responsible sacks are those that he has at least 3 seconds and either chose to try to scramble or stayed in the pocket when the better decision would be to throw it away. Also includes those rushing attempts that go for 0 or negative yardage that for some reason are counted as a sack.

Defense:

Run defense: Outside of 2 QB runs, the Raiders got next to nothing on the ground.

Pass Defense: Allowed only 31 yards passing. It doesn’t get better than that.

Sacks (4): First 3 sacks go to Abraham and the final one was a “team” sack as Russell simply fumbled untouched.

Special Teams:
Norwood had 1 kickoff return: from the endzone, 47 yards nullified by holding penalty on Wire.

Harry Douglas is our new punt returner and he had 2 opportunities with 4 others either being downed or out of bounds: 1. from the 24, 6 yards; 2. from the 21, 7 yards.

Koenen had 2 punts: 1-33 yards to the 19, no return. 2-Blocked.

Koenen had 5 kickoffs: 1-to the 5, 16 yard return. 2-to the 2, 21 yard return. 3-to the -4, 24 yard return. 4-to the -2, 23 yard return. 5-to the 3, 39 yard return (unnecessary roughness on Biermann tacked on 15). Good to see 2 of the kicks in the end zone.

Field Goals: 1/2 Good from 48 and missed from 51.

Special Teams coverage: Outside of the last kick return and the blocked punt, very solid.

Things that really need improvement:

1. Cover the middle of the field better in pass coverage (especially Tight Ends).
2. Eliminate 3rd and long conversions by opposition.
3. Defensive consistency in the second half.

Offensive MVP: Matt Ryan (220 yards, 2 TDs)

Defensive MVP: John Abraham (5 tackles, 3 sacks, 2 tackle for loss, 3 hurries, 1 fumble forced)

Special Teams MVP: Ovie Mughelli, 2 tackles.

Goat of the Week: None, which might be a first.

Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:

Next up: VS. New Orleans Saints, November 9th!

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Game #7 AT Philadelphia Eagles Game Review

November 11th, 2008 Comments off

This was a very painful loss for the fans and the team as well. From what some would say is a bad call inside the 2 or simply a bad pass inside the 2, a phantom muffed punt call from the officials or just too little too late. Very tough ending to rewatch but it’s done and I’m certain the team will grow and learn from it.

Here’s what I saw:

Offense:

Running game: Turner (17/58), Norwood (4/5), Ryan (1/4), Douglas (2/10). Effective Runs (4 yards or more or scores TD)-Turner, 4; Norwood, 1; Ryan, 1 and Douglas, 1. For the second week in a row, the running game just wasn’t much of a factor. The upside is that Norwood had 5 catches for 55 yards to increase the production from the backfield.

Breakdown of passes:

Ryan: 23/44, 277 yards, 2 TD, 2 INT. Breakdown of incompletions: 11 Bad passes, 4 Dropped passes, 3 Thrown away and 3 Defended passes. Best outing of the year by far.

Drops (4): White, 1; Douglas, 1; Finneran, 1 and Jennings, 1.

YTD Drops (19):

White – 6
Douglas – 3
Jenkins – 3
Finneran – 3
Turner – 1
Peele – 1
Norwood – 1
Jennings – 1

Run blocking: Struggled with the Eagles defense and failed to open holes.

Pass blocking: No sacks until the 4th quarter. Not as good as it has been but with Baker out, that was expected.

Sack responsibility (2): First sack was on Ryan for not audiblizing out of the play. The blocking scheme called left Gocong completely unaccounted for. The second sack was on Ojinnaka on the left side.

YTD Sacks (9):

Justin Blalock – 2.0
Todd Weiner – 1.5
Tyson Clabo – 1.0
Busted Play – 1.0
Matt Ryan – 2.0
Quinn Ojinnaka – 1.0
Jason Snelling – 0.5

Note: QB responsible sacks are those that he has at least 3 seconds and either chose to try to scramble or stayed in the pocket when the better decision would be to throw it away. Also includes those rushing attempts that go for 0 or negative yardage that for some reason are counted as a sack.

Defense:

Run defense: Poor day vs. the run. Giving up 6 yards per carry is horrid.

Pass Defense: Was pretty decent. Gave up far too much to backs and tight ends which accounted for half of the Eagles passing yards.

Defense was visibly different without Jamaal Anderson on the field.

Sacks: First sack went to Jamaal Anderson and the second came from Curtis Lofton on the blitz (congrats on first sack!)

Special Teams:
Norwood had 4 kickoff returns: 1. from the 1, 21 yards; 2. from the 15,14 yards; 3. from the 5, 13 yards; 4. from the 11, 20 yards. Very substandard day.

Mughelli returned a short kick for 17 yards..

Jennings had 5 punt return opportunities: 1. from the 25, 16 yards; 2. from the 14, 4 yards; 3. from the 32, 2 yards; 4. from the 17, fair catch; 5. from the 40, muffed (or at least that’s what was called) and recovered by Philly. There were also two punts downed by the Eagles. While the call was horrible, Jennings should have been able to easily catch the punt or get far away from it. We desparately need a new punt returner.

Koenen had 7 punts: 1-29 yards to the 15, no return. 2-25 yards to the 16, no return. 3-41 yards to the 14, 5 yard return. 4-53 yards to the 40, no return. 5-34 yards to the 12, no return. 6-34 yards to the 14, -12 yard return. 7-48 yards to the 43, 2 yard return. Jackson was non-factor in the return game and Koenen pinned them inside the 20 5 times.

Koenen had 3 kickoffs: 1-to the 7, 17 yard return. 2-to the 17, 14 yard return. 3-to the 1, 16 yard return. Would still prefer touchbacks but the third kickoff was great.

Field Goals: None.

Special Teams coverage: Very good coverage.

Things that really need improvement:

1. Cover the middle of the field better in pass coverage (especially Tight Ends).
2. Eliminate 3rd and long conversions by opposition.
3. Defensive consistency in the second half.

Offensive MVP: Roddy White (8 catches, 113 yards, 2 TD’s)

Defensive MVP: Jamaal Anderson (2 tackles, 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 1 hurry) Main reason is how noticeably different the defense was without him.

Special Teams MVP: Michael Koenen.

Goat of the Week: Adam Jennings and the ref making the phantom muffed punt call.

Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:

Next up: AT Oakland Raiders November 2nd!

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Game #6 VS Chicago Bears Game Review

November 2nd, 2008 Comments off

Not many games can live up to the excitement that this one delivered. The defense really held up well except for 2 drives. Fortunately, the offense did just enough to make up for it.

Here’s what I saw:

Offense:

Running game: Turner (25/54), Norwood (3/31), Ryan (1/1), Douglas (1/-11). Effective Runs (4 yards or more or scores TD)-Turner, 4; Norwood, 3. The Bears really did a good job of bottling up Turner. With Norwood’s success, it’s hard not to wonder why he didn’t get more carries but there were only 8 real drives so opportunities were limited to start with.

Breakdown of passes:

Ryan: 22/30, 301 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT. Breakdown of incompletions: 2 Bad passes, 2 Dropped passes, 2 Thrown away and 2 Defended passes. Best outing of the year by far.

Drops (2): Jenkins, 1 and Finneran, 1.

YTD Drops (15):

White – 5
Douglas – 2
Jenkins – 3
Finneran – 2
Turner – 1
Peele – 1
Norwood – 1

Run blocking: With Turner getting shut down, the line didn’t adjust to what the Bears were bringing on defense

Pass blocking: Outstanding job keeping Ryan off the ground. Superb effort.

Sack responsibility (0): None

YTD Sacks (7):

Justin Blalock – 2.0
Todd Weiner – 1.5
Tyson Clabo – 1.0
Busted Play – 1.0
Matt Ryan – 1.0
Jason Snelling – 0.5

Note: QB responsible sacks are those that he has at least 3 seconds and either chose to try to scramble or stayed in the pocket when the better decision would be to throw it away. Also includes those rushing attempts that go for 0 or negative yardage that for some reason are counted as a sack.

Defense:

Run defense: The trend continues, only 20 yards allowed in the first half but 56 allowed in the second half including a touchdown.

Pass Defense: Did it’s job except for two drives including the late touchdown drive.

Sacks: One sack and it goes to Jamaal Anderson, the first of his career. Congrats JA98!

Special Teams:
Norwood had 4 kickoff returns: 1. from the 2, 39 yards; 2. from the -3, 30 yards; 3. from the 0, 24 yards; 4. from the -2, 85 yards. Great day for Norwood.

Douglas returned the short kick for 10 yards to help set up the last second field goal attempt.

Jennings had 3 punt return opportunities: 1. from the 21, fair catch; 2. from the 19, fair catch and aided by a interference penalty; 3. from the 15, 6 yards. Another poor return day and at this point, not sure why he hasn’t been replaced.

Koenen had 2 punts: 1-37 yards, touchback. 2-45 yards to the 46, fair catch. No big returns by Hester means a great day.

Koenen had 6 kickoffs: 1-to the 21, 9 yard return. 2-to the 11, 25 yard return. 3-to the 10, 21 yard return. 4-to the 4, 19 yard return (nullified by holding penalty). 5-to the 4, 14 yard return. 6-from the 17, 33 yard return. Seems the strategy was to kick fairly short at the beginning, changed it and went back to it late. Not a proponent of kicking it short and the last kickoff showed why. Koenen did what was asked of him.

Field Goals: Elam was 5/6 from 29, 48, 32, 41 and 48. Lone miss was the 33 yarder that almost cost us the game.

Special Teams coverage: Very good on punts, not as good on kickoffs as it has been.

Things that really need improvement:

1. Cover the middle of the field better in pass coverage (especially Tight Ends).
2. Eliminate 3rd and long conversions by opposition.
3. Defensive consistency in the second half.

Offensive MVP: Matt Ryan (Couldn’t ask for much more)

Defensive MVP: Jamaal Anderson (4 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for losses, 1 hurry, 2 passes defended)

Special Teams MVP: Jason Elam (accounted for 16 of the 22 points).

Goat of the Week: I’d say the entire defense on the last touchdown drive but specifically Chris Houston for allowing the receiver to get behind him.

Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:

Next up: AT Philadelphia Eagles October 26th!

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Game #5 AT Green Bay Packers Game Review

October 12th, 2008 Comments off

The first half was about as good as anyone can play. The second half almost became a disaster. It seems that the defense had no answers over the middle in pass coverage. Grimes was targeted again and the run defense seemed to soften in the second half. Fortunately, Boley came up with a huge INT and Turner punched it in to give us much needed breathing room and a 27-24 win.

Here’s what I saw:

Offense:

Running game: Turner (26/121, 1 TD), Norwood (4/12), Ryan (4/16), Douglas (1/18), and Mughelli (1/9). Effective Runs (4 yards or more or scores TD)-Turner, 13; Norwood, 1; Douglas, 1; Mughelli, 1 and Ryan, 1. Turner was outstanding today.

Breakdown of passes:

Ryan: 16/26, 194 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT. Breakdown of incompletions: 2 Bad passes, 3 Dropped passes, 2 Thrown away, 1 Clock Play, 1 Mental Error (Jenkins) and 1 Defended pass. Other than the bad pass on the INT, a very good day for Ryan but that INT was definitely a game-changer.

Drops (3): Norwood, 1 and White, 2.

YTD Drops (13):

White – 5
Douglas – 2
Jenkins – 2
Finneran – 1
Turner – 1
Peele – 1
Norwood – 1

Run blocking: With half of Turner’s runs going for 4 yards or more or a score, no complaints at all.

Pass blocking: Outstanding job keeping Ryan off the ground. Superb effort.

Sack responsibility (0): None

YTD Sacks (7):

Justin Blalock – 2.0
Todd Weiner – 1.5
Tyson Clabo – 1.0
Busted Play – 1.0
Matt Ryan – 1.0
Jason Snelling – 0.5

Note: QB responsible sacks are those that he has at least 3 seconds and either chose to try to scramble or stayed in the pocket when the better decision would be to throw it away. Also includes those rushing attempts that go for 0 or negative yardage that for some reason are counted as a sack.

Defense:

Run defense: 40 yards allowed in the 1st half and then 64 yards in the 2nd half. Not sure why the run defense tends to soften in the 2nd half but this is the 3rd week in a row it’s happened.

Pass Defense: Green Bay picked the middle of the field all day and occasionally went to Grimes’ side. Noticeably, teams are going away from Houston.

Sacks: Two sacks on the day, Grady Jackson got the first and Abraham got the second. Abraham also caused an intentional grounding penalty on Rodgers. That should count as a sack in my opinion but officially just a “good job of pressure”.

Special Teams:
Norwood had 3 kickoff returns and 1 touchback: 1. from the 2, 17 yards; 2. from the -4, 14 yards; 3. from the -2, 54 yards. A bad day until that last return.

Coleman handled an onside kick by Crosby with no problems.

Jennings had 3 punt return opportunities: 1. from the 36, 3 yards; 2. from the 26, muffed and recovered at the 29; 3. fair catch at the 10. Can anyone say Brandon James in the 3rd round next year?

Koenen had 3 punts: 1-29 yards to the 12, fair catch. 2-43 yards to the 2, downed. 3-53 yards to the 1, downed. Excellent day punting.

Koenen had 6 kickoffs: 1-to the 2, 19 yard return. 2-to the 5, 21 yard return. 3-to the 5, 45 yard return. 4-to the 17, 9 yard return (nullified by holding penalty). 5-Touchback. Fairly deep on all but I’d still prefer more touchbacks.

Field Goals: Elam was 2/2 from 41 and 42.

Special Teams coverage: Very good on punts, not as good on kickoffs as it has been.

Things that really need improvement:

1. Cover the middle of the field better in pass coverage (especially Tight Ends).
2. Eliminate 3rd and long conversions by opposition.
3. Grimes looks more like a nickel back at times and the league may be catching on.

Offensive MVP: Roddy White 8 catches, 132 yards, 1 TD

Defensive MVP: John Abraham (6 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for losses, 3 hurries)

Special Teams MVP: Michael Koenen for all 3 punts inside the 20 and 2 inside the 2.

Goat of the Week: Pass coverage in the middle of the field.

Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:

Next up: VS Chicago Bears October 12th!

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Game #4 AT Carolina Panthers Game Review

October 5th, 2008 Comments off

Second consecutive disappointing road performance. As much as Carolina abused Brent Grimes, we really shot ourselves in the foot. The game could have gone entirely different with a few things here or there but that wasn’t the case unfortunately.

Here’s what I saw:

Offense:

Running game: Turner (18/56), Norwood (3/51), and Ryan (2/11). Effective Runs (4 yards or more or scores TD)-Turner, 6; Norwood, 3 and Ryan, 1. We didn’t get Turner going early and didn’t use Norwood near enough as he was much more effective.

Breakdown of passes:

Ryan: 21/41, 158 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT. Breakdown of incompletions: 8 Bad passes, 6 Dropped passes, 1 Busted Play and 5 Defended passes. Ryan got very little help from his receivers today. A couple of the drops were tough but should have been made and would have extended two drives for certain.

Drops (6): Finneran, 1; Douglas, 2; Turner, 1; White, 2.

YTD Drops (10):

White – 3
Douglas – 2
Jenkins – 2
Finneran – 1
Turner – 1
Peele – 1

Run blocking: Carolina consistently stopped Turner but did have trouble with Norwood. The no-huddle seemed to be effective but standard formations were not.

Pass blocking: The middle of the line held up well but Weiner and Clabo gave up far too many pressures.

Sack responsibility (2): The first was on Ryan for holding on to it too long and missing Norwood wide open in the flat. The second was on Weiner being beaten by Peppers.

YTD Sacks (7):

Justin Blalock – 2.0
Todd Weiner – 1.5
Tyson Clabo – 1.0
Busted Play – 1.0
Matt Ryan – 1.0
Jason Snelling – 0.5

Note: QB responsible sacks are those that he has at least 3 seconds and either chose to try to scramble or stayed in the pocket when the better decision would be to throw it away. Also includes those rushing attempts that go for 0 or negative yardage that for some reason are counted as a sack.

Defense:

Run defense: For the second consecutive week, the run defense was great in the first half and seemed to give up ground in the second half.

Pass Defense: Grimes was abused all day long. While he did come back in the third quarter with a few good plays, they worked him again afterwards.

Sacks: None. There was very little pressure.

Special Teams:
Norwood had 2 kickoff returns and 3 touchbacks: 1. from the 0, 17 yards; 2. from the 3, 20 yards. Subpar return day and an excellent job on the part of Rhys Lloyd for the Panthers.

Jennings had 2 punt return opportunities (1 punt downed and 2 touchbacks): 1. from the 23, 9 yards; 2. from the 19, 16 yards. 1 average and 1 good return.

Koenen had 6 punts: 1-46 yards to the end zone, touchback (could have been downed). 2-60 yards to the end zone, touchback. 3-53 yards to the C 20, 5 yard return. 4-29 yards to the C 14, fair catch. 5-32 yards to the C 44, downed. 6-34 yards to the C 20, 19 yard return nullified by holding penalty. First 4 punts were very good, the last 2 were not so good.

Koenen had 4 kickoffs: 1-to the 4, 18 yard return. 2-to the goal line, 23 yard return. 3-to the end zone, touchback. 4-to the goal line, 21 yard return. Very long kicks.

Field Goals: Elam was 3/3 from 33, 44 and 44.

Special Teams coverage: Very good outside of Jennings not downing the first punt.

Things that really need improvement:

1. Figure out a way to run on the road.
2. Eliminate 3rd and long conversions by opposition.
3. Grimes looks more like a nickel back at times and the league may be catching on.

Offensive MVP: Roddy White 7 catches, 90 yards.

Defensive MVP: Curtis Lofton (8 tackles)

Special Teams MVP: Jason Elam (accounted for all points scored)

Goat of the Week: Brent Grimes

Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:

Next up: AT Green Bay October 5th!

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