I have to say that I didn't get to watch as much of this game as I wanted to because unfortunately other matters were consuming the majority of my attention, but I do have to say from what I saw, I wasn't overly impressed with the Falcons performance. But when am I ever?
I've always given Knapp the benefit of the doubt, but the draw call on that two-point conversion had to be a bonehead move. In goalline situations, I've been a firm believer in the success of the West Coast offense, as guys like Bill Walsh and Mike Shanahan have made careers for their tight ends by getting them the ball in these situations. A simple play-action fake/QB rollout and hit the TE (Dwight Clark or SHannon Sharpe most often) in the back of the endzone seriously works at least 80% of the time I've seen it performed. I was saying to myself that this team should have tried to get Blakely the ball in that situation. Instead, we give it to Warrick Dunn, a move reminiscen tof the goalline debacle of 2002 when Dunn was given 3 chances to score and couldn't. Dunn is not a goalline/short-yardage back, and anytime he receives the ball, the chances of success are very small.
I think from what little I saw of him, I was a bit more impressed with Schaub's poise. His accuracy was not great at all times, but he looked like he could become a solid QB in this league. And I still maintain this. Within 3-4 more years, I believe Schaub may be getting a chance to start elsewhere in the league. I know similar things were said about DJ in his early days in Atlanta, but considering Schaub was a consensus Top 5 QB in this past year's draft, and DJ barely ranked in the Top 10 by most analysts I think show a larger degree of talent.
I don't like the idea of ending the regular season with 2 straight losses, but I guess we'll remember to put an asterisk by these two since we didn't really put our best units out there.
I don't think these final 4-6 weeks really did wonders in improving my outlook for the playoffs either. I know little more than a month ago we were all looking for more offensive consistency down the stretch, I don't think we saw it. Despite scoring 69 combined points vs. Oakland & Carolina, I'm not thinking our offense is that great going into the post-season. Has there been improvement? Yes, but I don't think enough has been shown to the point that we could call our offense consistent. IMO, it's still inconsistent.
But let's hope the do or die atmosphere of the playoffs will change that. I suspect we'll be seeing the Seahawks again, and this time we'll get to show them what we are really made of.
"Vincere scis, Hannibal, victoria uti nescis" -- Maharbal, 216 B.C.E.