In last week’s review, Kroy Biermann was highlighted negatively. I guess Kroy didn’t like that review so he proved me wrong and played really well against the New York Giants. Not only was he consistently in the right places but made one of the key plays of the game in strip-sacking Eli Manning. Also, I thought the Falcons would win more handedly than they did. I didn’t expect the Giants defense to play as well as they did. I also didn’t expect the rushing attack to be as strong as it was. Fortunately for the Falcons, the Giants made a few plays less and those plays turned out to be the deciding factor in the game.
Here are the personnel grouping numbers for this game:
11 personnel: 37 (29 passes, 8 runs)
12 personnel: 14 (9 passes, 5 runs)
21 personnel: 17 (11 passes, 6 runs)
23 personnel: 3 (3 runs)
5 punts, 1 field goal, 1 “victory” formation
49 passes, 22 runs. A lot of short screens which subbed for run plays.
On defense, a lot of nickel formation was used as evidenced by Phillip Adams 48 defensive snaps. With Malliciah Goodman out hurt, the Falcons used a 3-4 personnel package with Biermann and Nate Stupar as the outside linebackers (although Kroy often acted as a fifth lineman).
The Falcons once again used play action often and it worked a vast majority of the time. The short pass/screen game also worked nicely. Essentially anything in Julio Jones’ direction worked. Pass protection was solid considering the number of blitzes the Giants used. There were 2 sacks and pressures but Matt Ryan handled the pressure well.
The run game, while not gaining more yardage than Week 1, seemed improved by Devonta Freeman being more patient and waiting for holes to open. That said, the run game must get more consistent. Several times, Andy Levitre was driven back as was Ryan Schraeder. Jacob Tamme continues to be a liability as a blocker. I could easily see Jake Long being used as a blocking tight end when he is on the active game day roster.
On defense, Robert Alford was not nearly as bad as many people perceived. What was disturbing was the missed tackles, missed run fits and also coverage on Shane Vereen. There were entirely too many big run plays of over 5 yards.
All that stated, the Falcons offense stepped up in the second half as did the defense to pull out the 24-20 victory.
For this week’s game at Dallas: While I do expect Dallas to be somewhat of a challenge, the only way this game is less than a 10-point win is if the Cowboys’ run game is able to crack the defense as the Giants were able to. Without Dez Bryant, I’m of the opinion that this will be incredibly hard for them to do. Add in Jeremy Mincey not playing on defense and the Cowboys are found to be just too short-handed to win this one in my opinion.
27-10 Falcons on the road.