This was a very good rebound performance after the loss to Tampa. There was a moment in the third quarter when Jennings muffed the punt that you got that queasy feeling in the pit of your stomach of “here we go again, the Falcons finding a way to blow a lead” but they recovered nicely and put it away.
Here’s what I saw:
Running game: Turner (23/104, 3 TD), Norwood (11/75), Douglas (1/-8) and Ryan (1/15). Effective Runs (4 yards or more or scores TD)-Turner, 12; Norwood, 6 and Ryan, 1. Slow-starting but once it got going, it didn’t stop. Half of Norwood’s effective runs came on the last drive effectively killing clock.
Breakdown of passes:
Ryan: 12/18, 192 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT. Breakdown of incompletions: 3 Bad passes, 1 Dropped passes, 1 Throw away and 1 Defended pass.
Drops (1): Jenkins, 1. Looked like he just misjudged his jump and missed the ball completely.
YTD Drops (4):
Peele – 1
White – 1
Jenkins – 2
Run blocking: Not sure if the running game was due to superior blocking as it was Turner making people miss and running them over but nothing less than a solid effort for sure.
Pass blocking: Probably one of the better performances from the o-line that I’ve seen in a while. The lone negative that stood out was a false start penalty on Blalock.
Sack responsibility (0): None. Very little pressure at that and none that were overly notable.
YTD Sacks (5):
Blalock – 2
Clabo – 1
Busted Play – 1.0
Jason Snelling – 0.5
Todd Weiner – 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: Was stout in the first half but wilted some in the second half, especially the 3rd quarter.
Pass Defense: Houston had Bowe on lockdown. So much so that Bowe switched sides of the field to get 3 of his 4 catches. The lone catch on Houston went for 6 yards. Grimes was decent but did get burned several times.
Sacks: There were two and both were Abraham’s including one in the second half causing a fumble.
Norwood had 2 kickoff returns: 1. from the 14, 8 yards; 2. from the 4, 36 yards. 1 very good, 1 not so good.
Douglas handled the 1 squib kick just before half with no return.
Jennings had 6 punt return opportunities: 1. from the 10, 18 yards; 2. from the 19, no gain; 3. from the 15, 16 yards (illegal block on Grimes); 4. from the 21, 10 yards; 5. from the 29, 9 yards; 6. from the 43, muffed and recovered by KC. Was having a very solid day until the botched return happened.
Koenen had 6 punts: 1-51 yards to the K 26, 10 yard return. 2-44 yards to the K 22, -1 yard return. 3-47 yards to the K 28, 5 yard return. 4-44 yards to the K 13, fair catch. 5-37 yards to the K 7, fair catch. 6-36 yards to the K 7, fair catch. 2 punts inside the 10 and 1 very long one. Very solid day for Koenen.
Koenen had 7 kickoffs: 1-to the 8, 16 yard return. 2-to the 10, 12 yard return. 3-to the 5, 17 yard return. 4-to the 5, 21 yard return. 5- to the 2, 16 yard return. 6-to the 6, 36 yard return. 7. to the 2, 12 yard return. I’m not sure that Koenen is supposed to go for touchbacks. It seems that the kickoff unit is coached to pin them inside the 20 based on how the ball is kicked and pursued. Only 1 returned beyond the 30 and 2 pinned inside the 20. Very good day kicking.
Field Goals: Elam was 1/1 from 27.
Special Teams coverage: Outside of the Grimes penalty and the 1 long kickoff return, it was very solid.
Things that really need improvement:
1. Cover the Tight End.
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: Michael Turner (104 yards, 3 TDs).
Defensive MVP: Chris Houston (1 tackle, 1 INT for TD, 4 passes defended)
Special Teams MVP: Michael Koenen based on field position
Goat of the Week: Brent Grimes based on special teams penalty and getting beat several times.
Let me know your thoughts and questions otherwise:
Next up: AT Carolina September 28th!