Moneyball – Week 5 Review

The Falcons got off to a slow start offensively, and the defense had a solid performance, although they did get quite a bit of help from mental mistakes by the Browns. There were three 3rd down opportunities where penalties backed up the Browns offense. Also a botched handoff to Hillis probably prevented the Browns from scoring on a 3rd & Goal at the Falcons 2-yard line. That could have made it 14-6 Cleveland, and potentially made it a much different game. Instead, they had to settle for a field goal, and the Falcons came back (likely energized) and score on the subsequent drive to take the lead 13-10.

Matt Ryan got off to a slow start, although a lot of credit has to go to the Browns defense. I credited them with at least five passes defended, many of which came on the first few series. Coverage was tight, especially in the redzone as Ryan had three throwaways on in those situations, two of which came on third downs to force a field goal. Ryan was much better in the second half and completely all of his final 8 attempts. He earned $6 of his $8 total on those 8 attempts.

This game really was the Michael Turner and Roddy White show. Turner had a solid day on the ground, although most of his 140 rushing yards came on two plays of 55 and 22 yards. Besides those two plays he averaged a respectable 3.7 yards per carry, which isn’t great but definitely contributed to wearing down the Browns defense. Roddy had a very good game, making an excellent catch on the 45-yard score that was slightly underthrown by Ryan. Snelling didn’t do much this game, probably due to Turner’s strong performance. The rest of the receivers didn’t do much, although it is interesting that both backup tight ends earned more than Tony Gonzalez. Gonzalez did have a nice third down conversion, but that was negated by an early dropped pass.

Up front, those guys had a nice day although Sam Baker continued to struggle. He didn’t have a bad game, despite giving up a sack and a pressure, but it certainly wasn’t a good performance to get him out of the doghouse of Falcon fans at large. Blalock made some nice blocks in the ground game, but also missed two blocks as well. It’s too often becoming a trend that he is missing blocks every game. Both guys on the left side need to step their games up. The rest of the line played well, and McClure should get credit since Shaun Rogers was virtually a non-factor in this game. Rogers is a big, physical interior player that usually gives McClure fits.

Michael Turner$0$14$0$0$0$0$14.00
Roddy White$0$0$9$0$0$0$9.00
Matt Ryan$8$2$0$0$0-$2$8.00
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$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Justin Peelle$0$0$1$1$0$0$2.00
Jason Snelling$0$1$0$0$0.5$0$1.50
Harry Douglas$0$0$1$0$0$0$1.00
Michael Palmer$0$0$1$0$0$0$1.00
Antone Smith$0$0$0$0$0.5$0$0.50
Tony Gonzalez$0$0$0$0$0$0$0.00
Will Svitek$0$0$0$0$0-$1-$1.00
Sam Baker$0$0$0-$1$0$0-$1.00

Abraham had a monster game. He made Joe Thomas, arguably the best left tackle in the NFL, look like an amateur in this game. It was these types of performances that were sorely lacking last season from Abe, and caused many Falcon fans to think he was done as an impact defender. Babs earned some money, but relative to him, it was a pretty quiet game. He forced the fumble early, and then did a nice job getting upfield on a play late that resulted in a 1-yard loss for Hillis. He played mostly on the left side today, and I’m wondering if the tinkering the Falcons did last week vs. San Fran is now going to be a permanent position change. Corey Peters didn’t earn any money, but had a nice solid game. Biermann made the signature play of the game with his INT. Davis and Anderson continue to also make plays from the defensive end spot. The defensive backs and linebackers didn’t really have to do a whole lot because of the solid play of the line up front. Both safeties missed interception opportunities. Robinson didn’t have a great game, getting beat deep by Massaquoi for what could have been a touchdown if the Browns had challenged it. It didn’t matter too much since Hillis beat Biermann two plays later for the score. But Robinson also got beat deep by Cribbs, and that could have been six if Delhomme didn’t slightly overthrow it. Chris Owens struggled against Chansi Stuckey in the slot throughout the day.

John Abraham$8$0$0$8.00
Kroy Biermann$3$0$0$3.00
Chauncey Davis$2$0$0$2.00
Stephen Nicholas$2$0$0$2.00
Jonathan Babineaux$1.5$0$0$1.50
Thomas DeCoud$1.5$0$0$1.50
Brent Grimes$0.5$1$0$1.50
Jamaal Anderson$1$0$0$1.00
Vance Walker$1$0$0$1.00
Matt Bryant$0$0$0$0.00
Michael Koenen$0$0$0$0.00
William Moore$0$0$0$0.00
Sean Weatherspoon$0.5$0-$1-$0.50
Brian Williams$1$0-$2-$1.00
Mike Peterson-$1$0$0-$1.00
Curtis Lofton-$1$0$0-$1.00
Chris Owens-$2$1$0-$1.00
Dunta Robinson-$1$0-$1-$2.00

Advanced Stats from Week 5:

Poor Throws (3): Ryan
Drops (1): Gonzalez
Key Blocks (6): Blalock (2), Mughelli (2), Dahl (1), Peelle (1)
Sacks Allowed (2): Baker, Ryan
Missed Blocks (3): Blalock (2), Dahl (1)
QB Pressures Allowed (1): Baker

Tackles for Loss (4): Davis (1), Abraham (0.5), Babineaux (0.5), DeCoud (0.5), Grimes (0.5), Walker (0.5)
QB Sacks (3): Abraham (2), Anderson (1)
QB Pressures (4): Abraham, Biermann, Davis, Williams
Passes Defended (3): Abraham, DeCoud, Weatherspoon
Blown Coverages (6): Owens (2), Lofton (1), Moore (1), Weatherspoon (1), Robinson (1)
Missed Tackles (1): Grimes
Key Blocked (1): Peterson

About the Author

Aaron Freeman
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