Moneyball 2011 – Week 9 Review

This was a solid execution of the Falcons signature game plan. They wanted to run the ball well, and they did. They minimized penalties and mental mistakes, with Svitek’s holding call being the lone play that stood out in the negative. Big earnings for Turner, Rodgers, and even Snelling and Jones got into the act. The offensive line graded out its best this week collectively mainly because of their ability to beat the Colts in the trenches.

But this game was really a tale of the potential of the Falcons two rookies in Jacquizz Rodgers and Julio Jones. Rodgers had a solid game and the Falcons need to get him more touches on offense. Most of his touches in this game came in garbage time and they need to find more ways to get him the ball earlier in the games. Good things just tend to happen when he touches the ball.

But of course the star of this game was Julio Jones who made a lot of great things happen despite only a handful of touches in this game. His two big plays in the passing game and his two rushing attempts were big plays for this team.

Matt Ryan was up and down in this game. He looked particularly bad at the end of the first half with three poor passes on the final series. Most of his earnings ($8) came off the two big plays by Jones, and most would agree that Jones did the brunt of the work there. But he had some nice throws in the second half of the game, but overall it was a nondescript performance for him despite the high earnings. Which is probably similar to what you could describe Ryan’s overall season as.

Up front, Svitek was the highest earner mainly because I don’t subtract for pressures given up. Considering he was facing Dwight Freeney, some of his struggles were expected as Freeney’s spin move killed him a couple of times. Overall, the best game goes to Justin Blalock. Blalock’s two missed blocks came on the Falcons final two offensive series when the game was pretty much over and they were trying to run out the clock. Hawley was serviceable at right guard, but from this performance it should not be seen as a permanent option.

Mike Cox had a nice debut as a Falcon. He missed a couple of blocks, but he also a couple of impressive blocks early on. Snelling even contributed once on a Rodgers as a lead blocker. Going forward, until Cox works out some of the kinks, the Falcons should probably platoon the pair of them in Ovie’s vacant spot.

Julio Jones$0$4$8$1$0$0$13.00
Matt Ryan$11$1$0$0$0$0$12.00
Michael Turner$0$11$1$0$0$0$12.00
Jacquizz Rodgers$0$8$1$0$0$0$9.00
Jason Snelling$0$4$0$1$0$0$5.00
Roddy White$0$0$4$0$0$0$4.00
Will Svitek$0$0$0$4$0-$1$3.00
Tony Gonzalez$0$0$3$0$0$0$3.00
Justin Blalock$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Eric Weems$0$0$0$0$1.5$0$1.50
Tyson Clabo$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Todd McClure$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Mike Cox$0$0$0$0.5$0$0$0.50
Joe Hawley$0$0$0-$0.5$0$0-$0.50

Another strong performance from the defense. The defensive line had a good day, with all four defensive ends each getting at least a half pressure. Jonathan Babineaux had a resurgent game with solid performance and now is starting to look like his old self. Sean Weatherspoon also had a strong game. Kelvin Hayden had a good game. Despite blowing two coverages, he made plays vs. the run and of course had that interception. There is still a lot of season left to be played, but it is an interesting notion that perhaps Hayden could be an option to make a permanent to free safety down the road. Grimes had a nice day in the secondary, and while Robinson didn’t make any plays, he didn’t give up any either.

Special teams was particularly strong, although part of that might be because the Colts special teams are particularly weak. Bosher probably had his best game, mainly because his leg strength finally decided to show up. He nailed 3 touchbacks on kickoffs and two 50+ yard punts. He showed some touch, putting two punts inside the 5-yard line as well. Hopefully it simply wasn’t the conditions of Lucas Oil Stadium that brought out this ability, and hopefully this is the type of play the Falcons can expect from him every week regardless of venue.

Kudos go to Weems, Nicholas, and Dent for their coverage ability, showing up multiple times there. Also props to Shann Schillinger, who has stood out in coverage the past few games.

Matt Bosher$0$6$0$6.00
Jonathan Babineaux$3$0$0$3.00
Sean Weatherspoon$2.5$0$0$2.50
Kelvin Hayden$2$0.5$0$2.50
Stephen Nicholas$1$1.5$0$2.50
Ray Edwards$2$0$0$2.00
John Abraham$1.5$0$0$1.50
Lawrence Sidbury$1.5$0$0$1.50
Kroy Biermann$1$0$0$1.00
Corey Peters$1$0$0$1.00
James Sanders$1$0$0$1.00
Brent Grimes$0.5$0.5$0$1.00
Matt Bryant$0$1$0$1.00
Akeem Dent$0$1$0$1.00
Shann Schillinger$0$1$0$1.00
William Moore$0$0$0$0.00
Dunta Robinson$0$0$0$0.00
Curtis Lofton-$0.5$0$0-$0.50
Vance Walker-$1$0$0-$1.00
Thomas DeCoud-$1.5$0$0-$1.50

Advanced Stats from Week 9:

Poor Throws (5): Ryan
Drops (2): Gonzalez, Jones
Key Blocks (11): Cox (3), Svitek (3), Blalock (2), Hawley (1), Jones (1), Snelling (1)
Sacks Allowed (1): Hawley
Missed Blocks (6): Cox (2.5), Blalock (2), McClure (1), Hawley (0.5)
QB Pressures Allowed (4): Svitek (2.5), Clabo (1), Hawley (0.5)

Tackles For Loss (4): Babineaux, Hayden, Lofton, Weatherspoon
QB Sacks (2): Babineaux, Peters
QB Pressures (5): Abraham (1.5), Biermann (1), Edwards (1), Hayden (1), Sidbury (0.5)
QB Hits (2): Babineaux, Nicholas
Passes Defended (5): Weatherspoon (2), Grimes (1), Sanders (1), Sidbury (1)
Blown Coverages (3): Hayden (2), DeCoud (0.5), Lofton (0.5)
Missed Tackles (3): Weatherspoon (1.5), DeCoud (1), Grimes (0.5)
Key Blocked (4): Lofton (2), Walker (1), Weatherspoon (1)

About the Author

Aaron Freeman
Founder of