Moneyball 2011 – Week 4 Review

This is a tale of two halves. In the first half the Falcons looked really sharp. Their running game was effective, they made some nice throws down field, and converted their third downs. In the second half, their running game evaporated and thus they had difficulty converting on third downs, and Ryan missed on a lot of his throws downfield.

The Falcons defense got soft, and their inability to get pressure with their front four throughout the game allowed Tarvaris Jackson to pick them apart. The Falcons could not move the ball on the ground against the 8-man fronts that the Seahawks were showing in the second half as well.

The Falcons that were playing in the first half looked an awful lot like the 13-3 team that was playing last year. But in the second half, they looked like the same old 1-2 Falcons that went into this game. Thankfully, their first half lead was big enough that they were able to hold off the Seahawks.

Ryan had a good first half, but he missed too many throws downfield in the second half. He overthrew receivers and just wasn’t that accurate with most of his throws as the game wore on. Turner had a good start, running harder than we’ve seen to date, but that diminished as the game wore on and the holes closed up. The Falcons just can’t seem to get the ground game going when they need to this year, and that has to change if this team wants to get back into the thick of the hunt for the division crown. Jacquizz Rodgers had some nice runs, and it might be time for the Falcons to give him a greater look. Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez had good games for the most part. But Roddy’s drops continue to be an issue, particularly when they have come late in games in critical situations.  The blocking was better, as Ryan had pretty good protection all game long as the Falcons only gave up one pressure. The run blocking was good in the first half, and Garrett Reynolds had his best game with 3 key blocks, two of which came on third down conversions by Turner. Although his false start late in the game was really bad. Nothing kills critical drives as much as stupid false starts and blocking penalties.

It was nice to see Ovie Mughelli finally show up, registering his first key block of the season. But he also missed another block and dropped a pass, so a less than stellar performance overall for him.

Matt Ryan$11$5$0$0$0$0$16.00
Michael Turner$0$15$1$0$0$0$16.00
Julio Jones$0$0$8$0$0$0$8.00
Jacquizz Rodgers$0$4$1$0$0$0$5.00
Tony Gonzalez$0$0$4$0$0$0$4.00
Roddy White$0$0$4-$1$0$0$3.00
Garrett Reynolds$0$0$0$4$0-$1$3.00
Tyson Clabo$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Sam Baker$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Justin Blalock$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Joe Hawley$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Eric Weems$0$0$0$0$1$0$1.00
Todd McClure$0$0$0$0$0$0$0.00
Michael Palmer$0$0$0$0$0$0$0.00
Ovie Mughelli$0$0-$1$0$0$0-$1.00
Reggie Kelly$0$0$0$0$0-$1-$1.00

As mentioned earlier, defensively the Falcons got soft in the second half. Their inability to get pressure on Jackson throughout this game was disturbing, considering how poor the Seahawks line has played to date. Also pretty surprising how little the Falcons blitzed in this game, and how much they preferred zone coverage. It made some sense in the regard that they wanted their defenders to be able to keep an eye on a mobile QB like Jackson, but it hardly seemed to work in this game as 5 out of the 8 blown coverages came in zone coverage. It’s just something that the Falcons never seem to be successful using, yet they still overly rely on it.

Individually, there are really no standout performances. Sean Weatherspoon and Curtis Lofton each had nice games. I’ve been critical of Corey Peters in the past, but he probably had the best game of any of the defensive linemen this week.

This team is playing with fire with it’s continued reliance on Matt Bosher. He had a few nice kicks in this one, but when the chips are down and the team needs him to make a good punt, he always comes up empty. Michael Koenen made his share of bad kicks and shanks, but overall he was overwhelmingly good in clutch kicking situations while Bosher has thus far been overwhelmingly bad. So far it has yet to cost the Falcons a game, but it’s teetering on that edge and it’s probably going to bite the team in the butt really soon.

Matt Bryant$0$4$0$4.00
Curtis Lofton$2$0$0$2.00
Matt Bosher$0$4-$2$2.00
Thomas DeCoud$0.5$1$0$1.50
Ray Edwards$1$0$0$1.00
Corey Peters$1$0$0$1.00
James Sanders$1$0$0$1.00
John Abraham$1$0-$1$0.00
Peria Jerry$0$0$0$0.00
Kroy Biermann-$1$0$0-$1.00
William Moore-$1$0$0-$1.00
Chris Owens-$1$0$0-$1.00
Mike Peterson-$1$0$0-$1.00
Kelvin Hayden-$1.5$0$0-$1.50
Sean Weatherspoon$0$0-$2-$2.00
Brent Grimes-$2$0-$1-$3.00
Dunta Robinson-$3$0$0-$3.00

Advanced Stats from Week 4:

Poor Throws (6): Ryan
Drops (4): White (3), Mughelli (1)
Key Blocks (8): Reynolds (3), Baker (1), Clabo (1), Hawley (1), Mughelli (1), Palmer (1)
Sacks Allowed (0)
Missed Blocks (7): Baker,Blalock, Clabo, Mughelli, Palmer, Reynolds, White
QB Pressures Allowed (1): Baker

Tackles for Loss (4): Edwards, Peters, Peterson, Weatherspoon
QB Sacks (0)
QB Pressures (5): Abraham, Adkins, Biermann, Jerry, Lofton
QB Hits (1): Peters
Passes Defended (4): Grimes, Peterson, Robinson, Sanders
Blown Coverages (8): Grimes (2), Robinson (2), Hayden (1.5), Owens (1), Peterson (1), DeCoud (0.5)
Missed Tackles (4): Biermann, Lofton, Peters, Robinson
Key Blocked (6): Biermann, DeCoud, Jerry, Moore, Peterson, Weatherspoon

About the Author

Aaron Freeman
Founder of