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Posts Tagged ‘Bosher’

Moneyball 2011 – Week 13 Review

December 6th, 2011 Comments off

This was potentially one of the most frustrating watches of the year. It was not that shocking to me that the Falcons lost this game. A great deal of people got caught up in the notion that T.J. Yates was the Texans starting quarterback, which was the same mistake that they made when Dennis Dixon was the starting quarterback of the Steelers last season. But in both cases, those people forgot to realize that the strength of both of those teams rested on thei rushing attack and their defense. The Texans defense is not as good as the Steelers defense from a year ago, but still more than good enough to slow the Falcons offense. And slow it, they did.

Matt Ryan got off to a very rocky start. His inability to throw the deep ball effectively has inhibited the Falcons offense all year long, and it was no more apparent than the opening series of this game, where two poor throws to an open White and Jones really did change the face of this game. If the Falcons hit one of those, it’s extremely likely they are touchdowns. And instead of the Falcons being down 10 points midway through the second quarter, they would be up 7 points a minute into the game. Then Ryan’s two interceptions on the ensuing drives kill their momentum, although granted neither of those throws were completely his fault as Turner threw off his timing on the flea-flicker and Jones zigged when he should have zagged on the second one.

But truthfully, besides those initial series, the rest of the game Ryan played fairly well. The Falcons had a ridiculous amount of drops in this game (8). Three consecutive ones occur on the final series of the first half which killed any chance that the Falcons move down the field and at least get three points. Really the only other mistakes Ryan makes are on the pair of delay of game penalties. The second of which was a critical mistake because it comes on a 4th & 1 with 2:35 left in the game that the Falcons actually convert and would have put them in prime scoring position to tie the game. But of course the penalty nullifies the play.

He also saw quite a bit of pressure, as the Texans pass rush was basically able to pin their ears back in the second half, particularly in the fourth quarter and the Falcons blockers did not do a great job holding up. Svitek struggled in this game, as did pretty much all of the other blockers in this game. He gave up 2.5 pressures, but had another and a sack-strip negated by defensive penalties. It’s become apparent to me that while Svitek is better than Sam Baker is today, he’s not better than Baker was a year ago, which was considerably less than where Baker was in 2009. It’s fascinating to look at the Falcons left tackle position has gotten considerably worse since 2008. Svitek has done his best to maintain the status quo from a year ago. And it makes you start to realize that since the decline of Bob Whitfield, the Falcons have been fairly middling at that position. But that’s probably a topic worth broaching in the off-season. Joe Hawley also did not have a great game, and it’s clear that if the Falcons actually want to get some serious production from the right guard position they should move on in another direction. Presumably, they are playing Hawley there to get him reps for his eventual move to center. I think Hawley still has a future as the starting center, but the Falcons need to give Kirk Chambers a try at some point. Either as a replacement for Svitek at left tackle or as a right guard. Otherwise, Chambers presence on the roster is a complete and under waste.

The Falcons ground attack was pretty useless. Turner had basically two nice runs, and 9 wasted runs. And one wonders that against the fast Texans defense, that giving Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers more reps would have been smart.

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLOCK
SPEC
PEN
TOTALS
Matt Ryan$7$1$0$0$0-$2$6.00
Tony Gonzalez$0$0$4$0$0$0$4.00
Jason Snelling$0$4$0$0$0$0$4.00
Michael Turner$0$4$0$0$0$0$4.00
Harry Douglas$0$0$2$0$0$0$2.00
Roddy White$0$0$2$0$0$0$2.00
Antone Smith$0$0$0$0$2$2.00
Tyson Clabo$0$0$2$0$0-$1$1.00
Julio Jones$0$0$2$0$0-$1$1.00
Joe Hawley$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Eric Weems$0$0$0$0$0.5$0$0.50
Will Svitek$0$0$0$1$0-$1$0.00
Justin Blalock$0$0$0$0$0$0$0.00
Mike Cox$0$0$0-$1$0$0-$1.00
Todd McClure$0$0$0-$1$0$0-$1.00

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Moneyball 2011 – Week 9 Review

November 8th, 2011 Comments off

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.

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLOCK
SPEC
PEN
TOTALS
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

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Moneyball 2011 – Week 7 Review

October 25th, 2011 1 comment

The Falcons were effective with their ball control attack in this game. The secret to their success was mainly their defense, but more on that later. It was a good day and a good win, and we might look back at it later this season and might say this one salvaged our 2011 season. That is of course, if the Falcons can build off this win after the bye and have some momentum going into the second half of the season.

Michael Turner had a solid day rushing, and Jacquizz Rodgers had a nice run to finish the game. I know I sound like a broken record, but I still wonder why the Falcons don’t use him more. Every time he touches the ball, good things seem to happen.

Matt Ryan did not have a great game. He did well early on third downs, but in the second half his accuracy, touch, and timing started to deteriorate, which is why he had the high number of poor throws (10). It’s been a while since Ryan had that many off throws in a game. He had some nice throws and plays (notably his TD pass to White), but overall it was a very hot and cold, inconsistent performance. I’m sure the ankle injury didn’t really help matters in the second half.

And the Falcons did a fairly good job handling the Lions pass rush. Their problem was the amount of missed blocks in the ground game. Garrett Reynolds really struggled in this game with a bunch of missed blocks and his penalties. Part of it was blocking Suh, part of it was his bum ankle, but most of it was just him not being that good. Outside the play where he stepped on Ryan’s ankle, Svitek had a solid game filling in for Sam Baker.

Congratulations are due to Tony Gonzalez for his his accomplishment as the game’s second leading all-time receiver. He had a solid game. Both White and Douglas also had solid games as well.

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLOCK
SPEC
PEN
TOTALS
Michael Turner$0$10-$1$0$0$0$9.00
Jason Snelling$0$1$2$1$1$0$5.00
Roddy White$0$0$5-$1$0$0$4.00
Harry Douglas$0$0$4$0$0-$1$3.00
Tony Gonzalez$0$0$4-$1$0$0$3.00
Jacquizz Rodgers$0$2$1$0$0$0$3.00
Matt Ryan$1$2$0$0$0-$1$2.00
Justin Blalock$0$0$0$2$0-$1$1.00
Todd McClure$0$0$0$1
$0$0$1.00
Will Svitek$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Eric Weems$0$0$0$1$1-$1$1.00
Mike Johnson$0$0$0$0$0-$1-$1.00
Ovie Mughelli$0$0$0-$1$0$0-$1.00
Chris Redman-$1$0$0$0$0$0-$1.00
Tyson Clabo$0$0$0-$1$0-$1-$2.00
Garrett Reynolds$0$0$0-$3$0-$3-$6.00

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Moneyball 2011 – Week 6 Review

October 18th, 2011 Comments off

Michael Turner had a solid game, and looked like the old Michael Turner throughout this game, breaking tackles and getting yards after contact. Ovie Mughelli looked back to be in his old form. Granted, it did come against a horrible Panthers run defense, but it’s still somewhat promising for the rest of the year. The Falcons dominated a run defense that they should have dominated. Despite this however, I think the Falcons still need to get Jacquizz Rodgers more involved on offense.

Matt Ryan had a nice solid game managing the game, although he continues to struggle throwing the ball down the field with 3 of his 4 poor throws being deep passes.

Tyson Clabo’s negative score is the result mainly of Charles Johnson getting the better of him in the second half several times. It was nice to see Harry Douglas have a solid game catching the ball and even contributing as a blocker. If Ryan had hit him with two of those deep passes, we might be saying Who?-lio today (yes, I know a very bad pun).

Mularkey’s play-calling on 1st down needs some tweaks. Throughout the second and third quarters the Falcons force fed Turner the rock on first downs, and it netted almost no positive results. He needs to do a better job keeping this team on schedule on first down and needs to do a better job mixing up his play-calling then. Maybe if he’s that intent on running the ball on first down, that would be an excellent time to switch things up by feeding Rodgers instead? But other than that, the Falcons did an excellent job executing the rest of his game plan and he did make a couple of very good play calls (34-yard catch & run to Douglas on 3rd & 12 was one of them) today, so he deserves some credit. And Mughelli and Michael Palmer also made some plays in the passing game, so they were more involved this week than past games.

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLOCK
SPEC
PEN
TOTALS
Michael Turner$0$22-$1$0$0$0$21.00
Ovie Mughelli$0$1$3$5$0$0$9.00
Matt Ryan$6$3$0$0$0$0$9.00
Harry Douglas$0$0$4$1$0$0$5.00
Justin Blalock$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Todd McClure$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Tony Gonzalez$0$0$2$0$0$0$2.00
Michael Palmer$0$0$1$1$0$0$2.00
Jacquizz Rodgers$0$2$0$0$0$0$2.00
Garrett Reynolds$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Jason Snelling$0$1$0$0$0$0$1.00
Roddy White$0$0$2$0$0-$2$0.00
Sam Baker$0$0$0$1$0-$1$0.00
Eric Weems$0$0$0$1$0-$1$0.00
Tyson Clabo$0$0$0-$2$0$0-$2.00

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Moneyball 2011 – Week 5 Review

October 11th, 2011 Comments off

My vitriol for the play-calling on both sides of the ball in this game has subsided somewhat after reviewing the game. But I’m going to use this entry for Moneyball to vent a little about what I think are some of the problems that have plagued the Falcons this year, which are reasons why I think they have yet to reach their full potential on either side of the ball.

What disappoints me the most is that the Falcons did an excellent job with misdirection plays on their first two series, but pretty much stopped doing that as the game wore on and went back to a more traditional gameplan of just trying to “out-execute” the Packers defense, and it did not work. Ryan missed on a couple of throws, and the offensive line essentially could not handle that gameplan. Tyson Clabo had two drive-killing penalties on 3rd downs, Roddy White had another, Harry Douglas had a catch overturned.

Mularkey did a better job using guys like Douglas, Weems, and White to manufacture yards and stay on schedule in early downs, replacing rushing yards. The Falcons need to continue to do this. While Turner and the ground attack was effective early in the game, in the second half it stopped because just like the Seahawks, the Packers began to stack the box and the Falcons offensive line was unable to get enough push to spring a slow back like Turner. But Mularkey needs to do more of this with screens and quick throws to receivers in the flat. Doing this 2 or 3 times a game is not going to be enough given the Falcons blocking issues.

The offensive line had a nice game, giving Ryan much more time than he’s seen most of this year, but when push came to shove there were too many instances where Ryan was pressured which led to incompletions. Sam Baker’s missed block on Desmond Bishop on 1st down in the fourth quarter was the lone sack the team allowed. But it put the Falcons in a 2nd & 21, and Ryan got too greedy on the next play trying to get it all back and his throw to Gonzo was a few inches overthrown and led to the interception that pretty much ended the game.

I don’t even know why guys like Michael Palmer and Reggie Kelly are on the team. They have contributed next to nothing to this offense. The Falcons just need to go out and sign someone like Alge Crumpler, Ben Patrick, Chris Baker to try and add something to this offense as a second tight end.

The Falcons need to get Jacquizz Rodgers more involved. His quickness can potentially be an asset because he might be able to squeeze through those smaller creases that the offensive line can create that Turner cannot.

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLOCK
SPEC
PEN
TOTALS
Michael Turner$0$10$0$0$0$0$10.00
Matt Ryan$6$0$0$0$0$0$6.00
Tony Gonzalez$0$0$4$0$0$0$4.00
Justin Blalock$0$0$0$3$0$0$3.00
Jason Snelling$0$0$3$0$0$0$3.00
Julius Jones$0$2$1$0$0-$1$2.00
Roddy White$0$0$3$0$0-$1$2.00
Garrett Reynolds$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Tyson Clabo$0$0$0$3$0-$2$1.00
Jacquizz Rodgers$0$2$0$0$0-$1$1.00
Harry Douglas$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Joe Hawley$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Sam Baker$0$0$0-$1$0$0-$1.00
Reggie Kelly$0$0$0-$1$0$0-$1.00

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Moneyball 2011 – Week 4 Review

October 4th, 2011 Comments off

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.

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLOCK
SPEC
PEN
TOTALS
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

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FalcFans Podcast – Ep. 7 “F***aneers”

September 23rd, 2011 Comments off

Ryan and I get together to recap the Falcons magnificent triumph over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 2, as well as talk about their upcoming matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. We get into some discussion over Matt Bosher’s kicking, joy over the injury the Falcons defense inflicted upon Michael Vick, and our usual Peria Jerry discussion. As we preview the Bucs game, Ryan shows little concern over our NFC South rival, while I worry about the Falcons suffering from a post-Eagles game hangover. But we both feel that this could be a breakout game for both Julio Jones and Jacquizz Rodgers. We also debate whether the Falcons should be more aggressive on defense and whether their historically sluggish starts on the road are a thing of the past. We get into some fan questions which include discussion on just how high a ceiling Matt Ryan has and whether or not the no huddle offense is the key to unlocking his potential. And finally we end the podcast with discussing how to properly pregame for the pregame.

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Moneyball 2011 – Week 2 Review

September 20th, 2011 Comments off

The Falcons did not have their most stellar performance against the Eagles, but they made plays at critical points in the game to pull out the victory.

Offensively, Matt Ryan did not really get going until the fourth quarter, where he earned $7 of his $9.50 passing the ball. Michael Turner had a good start with $7 in the first half, but went quiet until his big runs late in the game. Tony Gonzalez was money in this game with his two touchdown grabs and ability to move the chains. Roddy White and Julio Jones were fairly quiet for most of the game, although they had some key catches at certain points in the game. But at least from the Eagles perspective, they should feel happy about their two highly paid corners containing both White and Jones pretty much the entire night.

Up front, the blocking was hit and miss just like last week. Sam Baker really struggled going against Trent Cole, which was the same issue he had a year ago. Reynolds gave up an early sack but had a fairly solid game the rest of the way. Clabo also struggled on the outside getting beat by Jason Babin several times. Blalock was the best up front, and Hawley had his really good moments as well as his share of mental errors and mistakes. If and when McClure returns, the Falcons can iron out many of the inconsistencies.

The Falcons inability to move the ball on the ground in the third quarter was a big reason why the Eagles were able to get back into the game and take a 10-point lead then.

Ryan saw a lot of pressure throughout the game from the edges, but some of it was on him getting happy feet in the pocket after he took a couple of early hits.

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLK
SPEC
PEN
TOTALS
Michael Turner$0$9$2$0$0$0$11.00
Tony Gonzalez$0$0$9$1.5$0$0$10.50
Matt Ryan$9.5$1$0$0$0-$1$9.50
Jacquizz Rodgers$0$3$0$0$0$0$3.00
Roddy White$0$0$3$0$0$0$3.00
Ovie Mughelli$0$0$2$0$0$0$2.00
Justin Blalock$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Harry Douglas$0$0$1$0$0$0$1.00
Julio Jones$0$0$1$0$0$0$1.00
Garrett Reynolds$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Eric Weems$0$0$0$0$1$0$1.00
Reggie Kelly$0$0$0-$1$0$0-$1.00
Michael Palmer$0$0$0-$1$0$0-$1.00
Tyson Clabo$0$0$0-$1.5$0$0-$1.50
Joe Hawley$0$0$0$0$0-$2-$2.00
Sam Baker$0$0$0$2.5$0$0-$2.50

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FalcFans Podcast – Ep. 6 “Christmas for the Bears”

September 14th, 2011 Comments off

Ryan and I share our thoughts on the Falcons disappoint loss to the Chicago Bears in Week 1. Which includes how we grade out the offensive line and Joe Hawley and Garrett Reynold’s first starts. We also discuss the loss of Jonathan Babineaux and which players step up to fill that void, including the possibility of whether that is Carlton Powell, Ryan’s new favorite player. We also break down our thoughts on how to beat the Eagles in Week 2. Coaching changes, Thomas DeCoud, Matt Bosher, and Kroy Biermann are also topics of discussion.

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Matchup Breakdowns: Week 1

September 7th, 2011 Comments off

I’ll try to post a handful of matchups that favor the Falcons as well as their opponents for each game they play this year. The Falcons open the season against the Chicago Bears, a team that has a similar style and mentality as they do, which is to run the football and play good defense. While the Falcons want to be a more explosive team, they still aren’t likely to veer to far from that sort of identity.

Despite having eccentric Mike Martz as their offensive coordinator, the Bears in the latter half of the season began to play to their strengths, which is one of the reasons why they won their division and finished as the NFC’s second seed behind the Falcons. That strength is their defense, and offensively they decided to be more conservative and not put the turnover-prone Cutler in situations where he had to bear the load.

Icon SMI

Abe poised for a huge game vs. Bears

The Falcons will want to get into a position where the Bears will be forced to throw the ball frequently, that way the Falcons defense can potentially create turnovers by preying on the Bears inexperienced offensive line and Cutler’s propensity to make mistakes.

Defensively, the Bears biggest weakness is their secondary, and if this game becomes an aerial battle, the matchups favor the Falcons.

Matchups I Like

 

Falcons pass rush vs. Bears O-line

As I wrote in August, I think the Falcons pass rushers should be licking their chops to face this Chicago Bears front. While the Bears did show some improvement over the course of the preseason as their new unit tried to gel together, it’s probably not enough where this matchup tilts anywhere close to the Bears favor. John Abraham will be facing J’Marcus Webb, a player that he should give major fits due to his ability to go right past him with speed or through him with power. On the opposite side is Ray Edwards, and he’ll face rookie Gabe Carimi. Edwards should have some veteran savvy to throw his way, being able to use his speed to get around the edge as well. Throw in Kroy Biermann getting some looks as well on either side of the line and you have a lot of heat coming off the corner for the Falcons all day to get pressure on Jay Cutler.

And a player that should not be forgotten in this matchup is Jonathan Babineaux. At left defensive tackle, he’ll be matched up against new right guard Lance Louis, who struggled in a handful of starts last year. Back in 2009, Babineaux routinely dominated replacement level guards, and if he intends to get back to that sort of level this year, then doing the same against Louis can be a very good tone setter for this season.

The average NFL offensive line gives up slightly more than 2 sacks per game. It should not be surprising if the Falcons are able to double or even triple the average production against the Bears defensive line.
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