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Moneyball – Week 10 Review

This was a very good performance from the Falcons across the board. They controlled most of this game in all three phases. Offensively they were strong. Defensively they were good. Special teams stepped up and made some plays (and even better prevented them), and the interesting thing was how disciplined the Falcons were all night. Their first penalty didn’t come until 57 minutes into the game. And despite a late rally by the Ravens, this is probably the most complete game we’ve seen from the Falcons all year long. And because it came against the Ravens, a team many experts think is the best team in football, it might be the most impressive win under Mike Smith’s entire tenure.

A very strong performance from Matt Ryan. He showed a lot of savvy, great accuracy and decision making throughout the game. He had a few plays that were qualified as poor throws because of my very liberal definition, but they were really miscommunications between him and in the receiver, and he also had five passes dropped, including the first three from Roddy White all year. White had a strong game, getting away with a bit of a push off on the game-winning touchdown, but I’m not complaining. I’ll call it a “veteran move.” The running game was hardly a factor, although part of that was the play-calling as the Falcons pretty much knew that they would struggle to move the ball on the ground, and put the game in Ryan’s hands. Which definitely proved to be the right call. Terrell Suggs gave both our tackles some trouble throughout the game. Todd McClure did an admirable job taking on Haloti Ngata in the middle. I wouldn’t say he did well against Ngata, but given that McClure historically struggles against players like him and he didn’t have a huge game, then it grades out as admirable. If McClure chooses to retire after this season, then his season thus far has been one of his best in Falcon memory, and he’ll choose to go out on top.

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLOCK
SPEC
PEN
TOTAL
Matt Ryan$15$1$0$0$0$0$16.00
Roddy White$0$0$9-$1$0$0$8.00
Jason Snelling$0$3$4$0$0$0#7.00
Michael Jenkins$0$0$4$0$0$0$4.00
Brian Finneran$0$0$2$0$0$0$2.00
Justin Blalock$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Todd McClure$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Harvey Dahl$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Tyson Clabo$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Ovie Mughelli$0$2$0-$1$0$0$1.00
Tony Gonzalez$0$0$1$0$0$0$1.00
Michael Turner$0$1$0$0$0$0$1.00
Harry Douglas$0$0$1$0$0$0$1.00
Gartrell Johnson$0$0$0$0$1$0$1.00
Sam Baker$0$0$0$0$0$0$0.00
Eric Weems$0$0$0$0$1-$1$0.00

Defensively, the Falcons were able to get some pressure on Flacco through most of the first three quarters. That was probably the main bright point. Abraham and Babineaux both had strong games. There were two times where Babineaux could have registered another tackle for loss because he hit a runner in the backfield, who managed to slip his grasp. Biermann, Anderson, and Davis all contributed as role players. If only they could similar contributions from their young defensive tackles. Coverage wasn’t great. The Ravens picked on Grimes. Despite having a low moneyball total, he was in position on almost every completion, just couldn’t prevent the majority of him. So while on paper his -$6.5 total is almost as bad as Owens -$7.5 total in Week 7, the eyeball test indicates it was a much stronger performance. But this is two weeks in a row, where Grimes has given up at least 4 blown coverages, as teams are finding ways to pick on him in the redzone and on third downs. Hopefully this is a two-week aberration and not the beginning of a trend. Stephen Nicholas continued his shoddy play, and if the Falcons can get Sean Weatherspoon back next week it will be greatly appreciated by the defense as a hole. Lofton had a good game vs. the run but continues to be exposed in coverage, particularly his mediocre awareness when in zone.  The run defense got pushed around a lot by the Ravens front, but because of them playing from behind for 58 minutes, it wasn’t a pivotal factor in the outcome. So the Falcons in large part thanks to the offense and pass rush got away with probably having one of their worst outings as far as the run defense goes.

Michael Koenen had a good game punting, and had an excellent 53-yard punt negated by a Weems penalty. It came on the drive that ultimately proved to be the go-ahead score for the Ravens, and without that penalty the drive would have started at the Ravens 11 instead of their 28. Although one can’t blame Weems totally since Koenen after all followed up the negated 53-yard boomer with a 35-yarder of epic mediocrity. But Weems made up for a bit with his stellar stop on the kickoff on the Ravens final drive. Weems also seems unable to catch a break as a return man, having a 33-yard kickoff return. He’s had two returns of 34 yards in recent weeks, and as you should be aware, one only earns Moneyball points if you get a kickoff return of 35 or more yards.

PLAYER
DEF
SPEC
PEN
TOTAL
John Abraham$4.5$0$0$4.50
Michael Koenen$0$4$0$4.00
Matt Bryant$0$3$0$3.00
Jonathan Babineaux$2$0$0$2.00
Chauncey Davis$1.5$0$0$1.50
Kroy Biermann$1$0$0$1.00
Coy Wire$1$0$0$1.00
Brian Finneran$1$0$0$1.00
William Moore$0$0$0$0.00
Mike Peterson$0$0$0$0.00
Dunta Robinson$0$0$0$0.00
Stephen Nicholas$0$0$0$0.00
Vance Walker-$0.5$0$0-$0.50
Thomas DeCoud-$0.5$0$0-$0.50
Jamaal Anderson-$1$0$0-$1.00
Brian Williams-$1.5$0$0-$1.50
Curtis Lofton-$2$0$0-$2.00
Corey Peters-$2$0$0-$2.00
Peria Jerry-$2$0$0-$2.00
Brent Grimes-$5.5$0-$1-$6.50

Advanced Stats from Week 10:

Poor Throws (7): Ryan
Drops (5): White (3), Gonzalez (1), Douglas (1)
Key Blocks (2): Baker, Clabo
Sacks Allowed (3): Baker, Clabo, Ryan
Missed Blocks (2): Mughelli, White
QB Pressures Allowed (2): Baker, Clabo

Tackles for Loss (4): Davis (1.5), Abraham (1), Babineaux (0.5), Lofton (0.5), Walker (0.5)
QB Sacks (2): Abraham
QB Pressures (4): Abraham (1.5), Babineaux (1.5), Anderson (1)
Passes Defended (2): Abraham, Nicholas
Blown Coverages (8): Grimes (4.5), Jerry (1), Lofton (1), DeCoud (0.5), Peters (0.5), Williams (0.5)
Missed Tackles (3): Grimes, Williams, Nicholas
Key Blocked (10): Anderson (2), Abraham (1), Babineaux (1), Lofton (1), Jerry (1), Nicholas (1), Peters (1), Walker (1), Davis (1)

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Author: Aaron Freeman

Aaron is the founder of FalcFans.com.

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