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:
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.
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.
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!