Moneyball 2012 – Week 1 Review

I would have posted this yesterday, but I wanted to take a look at the All-22 film to see if it would modify my scoring. And it did to a slight degree, as I should have because I was able to get a better look at the line play and secondary play. So I had to reassign a missed block here, a blown coverage there, that you just don’t get a clear picture of when it comes from the normal television broadcast viewpoint. The Coaches Film on NFL Game Rewind is supposed to be up by Wednesday at noon at the latest, but it went up Tuesday evening. So more than likely, going forward these reviews will come only after I’ve seen that All-22. So you’ll probably have to wait until late Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon from this point on.

But anyway, onward to the game. It was a very good showing by the Falcons offense. They were aided heavily by the fact that the Chiefs had no discernible pass rush, as well as Jacques Reeves covering Roddy White for much of hte game. Matt Ryan had an excellent game, with his passing earnings matching his season high from a year ago (vs. Carolina in Week 14).

The ground game had little impact, partially because the line didn’t do a great job opening holes up front. But other than that small complaint, the line had a solid game holding the Chiefs inept pass rush at bay. Ryan was only pressured or sacked on 2 of his 32 dropbacks, which is a very good mark.

In the air, Julio Jones was dynamic showcasing his abilities after the catch, as he was able to get 10 or more yards after the catch on half of his six receptions. He eclipsed his season high from a year ago as a receiver. White was excellent at moving the chains, collecting five first downs. Gonzalez and Douglas also contributed as well with solid days.

Matt Ryan$17$5$0$0$0-$1$21.00
Julio Jones$0$0$10$0$0$0$10.00
Tony Gonzalez$0$0$6$0$0$0$6.00
Roddy White$0$0$5$0$0$0$5.00
Jacquizz Rodgers$0$3$1$0$1$0$5.00
Justin Blalock$0$0$0$3$0$0$3.00
Michael Turner$0$3$0$0$0$0$3.00
Harry Douglas$0$0$2$1$0-$1$2.00
Todd McClure$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Garrett Reynolds$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Sam Baker$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Tyson Clabo$0$0$0$0$0$0$0.00
Peter Konz$0$0$0$0$0$0$0.00
Kevin Cone$0$0$0-$1$0$0-$1.00
Lousaka Polite$0$0-$1-$1$0$0-$2.00

Defensively, the Falcons struggled in the first half getting stops. With exception for the big 46-yard gain by Jamaal Charles, they held the Chiefs ground game in check. Hillis could not wreak havoc and they did a good job rallying to the ball to gang tackle him. The pass rush was non-existent in the first half, and picked up a bit in the second half, so overall I would say it was an OK day for the Falcons pass rush. But overall, I would say each individual lineman had a solid performance. Even the much-maligned Peria Jerry had a nice outing, particularly late in the game where he was able to get a bit more pressure once Babineaux was taken off the field. John Abraham’s sack-strip was a huge momentum swing, a highlights a very productive second half for Abraham. Stephen Nicholas had a strong performance, putting together a career performance. His performance was the type of game that I expected Curtis Lofton to have on a fairly consistent basis, yet he rarely ever did. Losing Grimes was a huge blow to this defense going forward. Robinson struggled in the slot when working against Dexter McCluster, to the point that the team started shading their coverages in the second half to help him out a bit more. That’s going to be an area of concern going forward. The team could trust Grimes and Samuel to work on an island in coverage, yet it did not show that same level of trust for Robinson. Now with losing Grimes, makes you wonder how this will effect the team’s ability to play nickel and cover the rest of the year. Akeem Dent only got limited reps as the Falcons operated out of the nickel most of the game. Dent was in position to make a couple of plays, yet he was not. If the Falcons have to play less nickel going forward, he’s going to need to have to start making those plays and stops.

On special teams, Robert James and Kroy Biermann made some nice stops in coverage. I attributed a holding penalty on the lone punt return to Thomas DeCoud, which the official gamebook never disclosed who it was. Because I could not get a great look on either the broadcast/All-22 viewpoints, I’m only 90% sure it was DeCoud. And while the official gamebook attributed Chris Hope with the off-setting personal fouls earlier in the game, I’m assuming that the refs meant to call it on Chris Owens given Hope was acting more as a peacemaker and Owens was throwing punches. Owens seemed to be overly animated throughout this game and was in the middle of a couple of the extracurriculars that broke out during this game. I don’t know what was up with that.

John Abraham$6$0$0$6.00
Matt Bosher$0$4$0$4.00
Matt Bryant$0$4$0$4.00
Ray Edwards$3.5$0$0$3.50
Stephen Nicholas$3$0$0$3.00
Sean Weatherspoon$3$0$0$3.00
Kroy Biermann$0.5$1.5$0$2.00
William Moore$1.5$0$0$1.50
Robert James$0$1.5$0$1.50
Asante Samuel$1$0$0$1.00
Jonathan Babineaux$0.5$0$0$0.50
Vance Walker$0.5$0$0$0.50
Akeem Dent$0$0$0$0.00
Thomas DeCoud$0$0-$1-$1.00
Peria Jerry-$1$0$0-$1.00
Chris Owens-$1$1-$2-$2.00
Brent Grimes-$2$0$0-$2.00
Dunta Robinson-$3.5$0$0-$3.50

Advanced Stats from Week 1:

Poor Throws (3): Ryan
Drops (3): Jones, Polite, White
Key Blocks (5): Blalock (2), Clabo (1), Douglas (1), Polite (1)
Sacks Allowed (1): Clabo
Missed Blocks (4): Polite (2), Blalock (1), Cone (1)
Pressures Allowed (1): Clabo

Tackles for Loss (6): Abraham (2), Edwards (1.5), Moore (1), Weatherspoon (1), Babineaux (0.5)
QB Sacks (2): Abraham, Weatherspoon
QB Pressures (4): Abraham (1), Edwards (1), Moore (1), Biermann (0.5), Walker (0.5)
QB Hits (3): Edwards, Moore, Weatherspoon
Passes Defended (7): Nicholas (2), Samuel (2), Abraham (1), Babineaux (1), Weatherspoon (1)
Blown Coverages (10): Robinson (3.5), Grimes (2), Moore (1.5), Nicholas (1), Samuel (1), Weatherspoon (1)
Missed Tackles (2): DeCoud, Moore
Key Blocked (5): Babineaux (1), Jerry (1), Nicholas (1), Owens (1), Weatherspoon (1)

About the Author

Aaron Freeman
Founder of

1 Comment on "Moneyball 2012 – Week 1 Review"

  1. Nicholas recovered a fumble, intercepted a pass and tipped the ball that Moore intercepted. He also had a bunch of tackles including several solo tackles right at the point of attack. Grading him below Edwards for that game suggests to me a serious problem with your methodology.

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