Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Clabo’

Moneyball 2012 – Week 4 Review

October 2nd, 2012 Comments off

This was a pretty ugly win. There were a few instances of outstanding execution on the part of the Falcons, particularly in the final minute. But for the most part the Falcons had a pretty mediocre game, largely because of some mental errors, poor execution, etc. Thankfully for the Falcons, Carolina really lost this game at the end with some really poor execution and bad coaching decision. It’s not the first time the Falcons have benefited from a bad decision from an opposing coach. The Bears gave of ’08, and two games against the Bucs where Raheem Morris made a bad decision at the end resulted in Falcon wins. This is just another notch in the Falcons belt. Mike Smith may not be the world’s greatest game manager, but it does make you appreciate that he certainly is on the upper end of that scale.

Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, and Roddy White really stood out in this game. Really the only issues you have with Ryan is that two of the sacks he had I attributed directly to him holding onto the ball too long. He was a little inaccurate on a couple of throws (particularly the deep ball out of bounds to Jones on the penultimate drive), but other than that he was playing at a very high level. Those are really nitpicks on a handful of plays. And with that lone exception, it’s really good to see Ryan being able to hit on these deep balls. You look at the five deep passes he had in this game, where he completed three of them. The one noted previously to Jones was only off by a few feet, and would have been a touchdown otherwise. And he also missed a near touchdown to Roddy on a back-shoulder throw that Roddy didn’t get his head around quick enough to adjust to. A year ago, very few of his deep passes were catchable. Up until this week, you didn’t really see the Falcons trying to hit on the deep balls very often. But one hopes that after this game, it’s something that is newly acquired in the Falcons repertoire.

I have to take my hat off to Turner in this game as well. He looked like the young Turner due to the fact that he was running hard, breaking tackles, and getting yards after contact. I think my favorite run by Turner in this game was on their second offensive series near the goalline. It was just a simple little 6-yard run, but on it Turner made a nice jump cut to the outside, and pick up another 5 yards to get the ball down to the 4-yard line. I can probably count on one hand how many times over the past few years where I’ve seen Turner make a jump cut like that. The question going forward is going to be whether this is Turner getting some of that old magic back, or whether he was just able to prey upon one of the league’s weakest run defenses.

Roddy once again showed in this game why he is one of the best receivers in the game with this game. On the other side of the field Julio Jones was the polar opposite and largely a non-factor. Part of that was due to pressure. And part of that was because he wasn’t getting open. Several incompletions to Jones were because defenders broke up passes. Which is hard to blame on Jones, but they were situations where he could have done a better job attacking the ball. Gonzo had another solid game.

Up front, the Falcons really struggled to protect Ryan. The crosshairs firmly fall on Clabo for he really struggled in this game against Charles Johnson. But he wasn’t alone. Not strong performances for Todd McClure and Sam Baker as well. Blalock and Reynolds definitely did their jobs. The positive thing for Clabo is that he made up for some of his problems in pass protection by having a fairly solid game run blocking. It was interesting to see the Falcons mix in Mike Johnson and Joe Hawley to help out in pass protection and the ground game. They didn’t fare well in pass protection, but they made some solid contributions in the ground game at times. It’s certainly something that I think the Falcons should continue to do situationally going forward.

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLOCK
SPEC
PEN
TOTALS
Michael Turner$0$14$3$0$0$0$17.00
Matt Ryan$14$0$0$0$0$0$14.00
Roddy White$0$0$12$1$0$0$13.00
Jacquizz Rodgers$0$1$4$0$0$0$5.00
Tony Gonzalez$0$1$3$0$0$0$4.00
Justin Blalock$0$0$0$3$0$0$3.00
Julio Jones$0$0$2$0$0$0$2.00
Garrett Reynolds$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Sam Baker$0$0$0$0.5$0$0$0.50
Tyson Clabo$0$0$0$0.5$0$0$0.50
Tommy Gallarda$0$0$0$1$0-$1$0.00
Harry Douglas$0$0$0$0$0$0$0.00
Todd McClure$0$0$0$0$0$0$0.00
Kevin Cone$0$0$0$0$0-$1-$1.00
Mike Johnson$0$0$0-$1$0$0-$1.00

Read more…

Owens and Smith to miss Charger game

September 22nd, 2012 Comments off

Yesterday, the Falcons released their injury report for this weekend’s road game against the San Diego Chargers. Cornerback Chris Owens and running back Antone Smith were declared out for the game. Both players were injured during last Monday’s win against the Denver Broncos, Owens suffering a concussion and Smith injuring his hamstring. Neither player participated in this week’s three days of practice.

Also on the report were tackle Tyson Clabo (hip) and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (thigh), both declared as questionable. Defensive end John Abraham (knee), wide receiver Julio Jones (thigh), linebacker Stephen Nicholas (thigh), and wide receiver Roddy White (knee) were all listed as probable. All six players were limited in their participation of Wednesday and Thursday’s practice. All those listed as probable fully participated in Friday’s practice however.

With Owens out of the game, Dominique Franks is expected to fill in at nickel cornerback. Franks was inserted into the Broncos game after Owens left early.

Turner Could be X-Factor vs. Broncos

September 12th, 2012 Comments off

Josh D. Weiss-US PRESSWIRE

Michael Turner

Part of my preliminary scouting report against the Broncos suggests that the Broncos pass rush is going to be a formidable matchup for the Falcons. Von Miller and Elvis Dumervil are the exact type of defensive ends that typically have given Sam Baker and Tyson Clabo fits in the past.

And because of this strength of the Bronco defense, it has the potential to cancel out the greatest strength of the Falcons offense: their passing attack. While Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Tony Gonzalez certainly have the capacity to do to the Broncos secondary what they did to the Chiefs this past Sunday, they will not be able to if Ryan is lying on his back. And if the Broncos are able to get pressure with just four guys (and how can they not when Von Miller is one of the four?), it means more guys can drop into coverage to deal with the Falcons’ potent weapons.

Similar to the playoff game against the Giants, the biggest obstacle offensively for Atlanta is going to be slowing down the Broncos pass rush. And how the Falcons plan on handling this as well as their execution of it, will be a very good litmus test in determining just how much further this team has come since last year’s playoff loss.

My best guess for how the Falcons will try to handle the Broncos front is three-fold:

1) Establishing the Run
2) Screens
3) No-Huddle

Establishing the run was the Falcons primary solution to the Giants pass rush, but in that game it failed because of the offensive line’s inability to open holes. It’s not the exact same starting five since Will Svitek and Joe Hawley started against the Giants. But remember that last year Svitek and Hawley outperformed Sam Baker and Garrett Reynolds, respectively. So if they couldn’t get the job done, then why should we expect Baker and Reynolds to?

The Falcons didn’t need Turner or the ground game to be effective against Kansas City. Without Brandon Flowers and little pass rush sans Tamba Hali, Matt Ryan and the Falcons passing attack had no obstacles to moving the ball at will against the Chiefs.

But that will not be the case this week, and the Falcons will need Turner and the offensive line to come up big.

The Broncos run defense was a question mark going into the season, but they passed their first test against the Steelers, bottling up starter Isaac Redman (11 carries, 20 yards) and that ground attack to 75 yards total for the game. Rookie Derek Wolfe made some nice plays in that opener, and how the Falcons handle him could be a deciding factor in the game.

The Falcons won’t need Turner to have a 150-yard game for him to accomplish the goal of establishing the run. But the Falcons need to be effective with their runs early in the game, showing that they can put themselves into 3rd & manageable situations to make it easier on the passing attack to execute. The more 3rd & shorts the Falcons can muster, the easier it should be on the line because Ryan will be able to get rid of the ball quicker to move the chains. It’s more about being able to 4 and 5 yard gains every time Turner touches the ball. One positive for Turner is that the Broncos don’t have great linebackers, who had some issues with missed tackles against the bigger, bruising Steeler tailbacks. If the line can open the holes for Turner, then he has the capacity to do some things on the second level that can turn those 4 and 5 yard gains into 15 and 20 yard gains.

Will Turner and the line be better prepared to answer the challenge this week that they could not answer a season ago? Who knows, but it certainly will make this Monday Night contest that much more exciting to watch for Falcon fans.

Categories: Features Tags: , , , ,

5 Keys if the Falcons Want to Improve in 2012

September 7th, 2012 Comments off
Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Matt Ryan

Often when people look to see if a team has improved, they will measure it with wins and losses. And while that is not a bad way to do so, it is not a true measure of a team’s ability. Because you’re not playing the same schedule year to year, and even the teams that you do play annually aren’t always the same quality as they were in previous years. Every NFL season brings a new and different set of challenges, and to simply measure them by how many games you’ve won or lost doesn’t accurately gauge whether you rose to meet those challenges.

Here are five areas that I think the Falcons need to improve in if they want to be able to say they have improved as a team from 2011 and previous years. These are five areas that you could set apart as mini-goals for this team. And if they were to accomplish all five by the end of the year, I believe this will result in more regular season wins for the Falcons as well as a greater chance of winning in the postseason. And not just winning one game in January, but potentially many multiple so that they could possibly be winning come February.

1. Matt Ryan Needs to Take the Next Step as a Passer

Read more…

Camp Battles 2012: Offensive Line

July 16th, 2012 Comments off
Fernando Medina-US PRESSWIRE

Sam Baker

The offensive line is likely to be the most contested offensive position group in camp. Unlike the other offensive positions, the Falcons aren’t currently set on their starting lineup. The brunt of the competition will come at the two weakest spots from a year ago: left tackle and right guard. Sam Baker is the incumbent at left tackle, although he remains a question mark because he was effectively benched last year after a very poor start to the season. Will Svitek replaced him and proved to be an upgrade. But the team remains optimistic about Baker’s abilities, excusing much of his struggles due to injuries. The team drafted rookie Lamar Holmes as well in the third round, and he’ll push for time as well. But by missing rookie mini-camps with a foot injury likely will have Holmes climbing an uphill battle in camp to gain the starting spot. More than likely the spot will come down to Baker or Svitek, with Baker having the advantage going into camp because he worked the majority of first team snaps in the off-season.

At right guard, the team could have a new face as two of their off-season additions will be competing there. Free agent pickup Vince Manuwai and top pick Peter Konz will be pushing for playing time behind Garrett Reynolds, who is considered the incumbent. Reynolds got the majority of first team snaps during OTAs, a small surprise given that Reynolds, like Baker, lost his job in 2011. He was replaced after a sluggish start by Joe Hawley, who was an improvement but only slightly over the second half of the season. Reynolds has struggled with extensive reps at the guard position largely due to his height, which is disadvantageous inside at guard. Manuwai worked mostly with the second unit during minicamps, and is the strongest candidate among the two to push for time. Konz played exclusively as a center during his days at Wisconsin, and split time between both spots this off-season. He still has a small learning curve at guard, and while he will be given a legitimate opportunity to win the starting spot, he’ll likely be on the outside looking in.

The other three roster spots are pretty much locked up as the team brought back center Todd McClure along with left guard Justin Blalock and right tackle Tyson Clabo. Blalock and Clabo won’t face any competition for their jobs, while McClure will be pushed by Hawley. McClure has never lost his starting spot in his 13-year career, so it doesn’t seem likely that he will do so this summer. But the Falcons will give Hawley a chance to emerge as the team wants to get more physical up front. Hawley was miscast as a guard last year, but his skillset is much more suited to playing the pivot where he is fiesty and physical. That sort of mentality will be welcomed at the center position. But he’s not nearly as polished as McClure and certainly lacks McClure’s extensive experience and knowledge calling out blocking assignments.

But even if players like Hawley, Konz, and Holmes don’t win starting positions, they are virtual locks to be among the final nine or ten blockers that could make the 53-man roster. Between Manuwai and Reynolds as well as Baker and Svitek, it doesn’t seem like a sure bet that all will make the roster if they don’t win the starting spot. Svitek is probably the most valuable as a reserve given his versatility to serve as swing tackle and potential blocking tight end.

Also vying for positions include former draftees Andrew Jackson and Mike Johnson. Johnson was a third round pick, but injuries have limited his development over the past two summers. He had the potential to win the starting gig from Reynolds last summer, but an untimely concussion forced him out of the lineup, allowing Reynolds the time to solidify the spot. Jackson will likely get a boost because the Falcons new position coach is his former head coach Pat Hill from Fresno State. The team has been working to cross-train both players for multiple positions to give them some potential added value. Both players have gotten reps at tackle this off-season. But both are fighting an uphill battle to make the roster certainly due to the more experienced players ahead of them. It is noteworthy that both players still remain eligible for the team’s practice squad, although it doesn’t seem likely at this point that either would clear waivers if released by the team.

Also competing in camp are undrafted rookies Bryce Harris, Tyler Horn, and Phillip Manley. All three are longshots to make the roster, but can certainly impress enough to make bids for the practice squad. Harris also followed Hill from Fresno State, but is facing long odds given the added depth at the tackle position. A bit undersized, Harris is an ideal candidate to be placed on the practice squad for a year or two to add some bulk. Horn is stuck behind a relatively deep center group in Atlanta, as he is fourth on the depth chart. And the fact that Hawley and Konz add the versatility of also playing guard, it will make it that much harder for Horn to stand out. Manley offers good size for a guard, but he too is stuck behind a bunch of bodies.

Mike Smith has stressed trying to bolster competition in camp, and very few positions embody that mentality than the offensive line. Its struggles a year ago precipitate that renewed focus on getting the best players on the field. And while the majority of the team’s starting positions are likely settled, there will be a maelstrom brewing as players compete for second unit spots and their football-playing lives. Predicting who the final nine or ten will be on the roster is the most tenuous of any position group. Three of the starters (Blalock, Clabo, and McClure) and three reserves (Hawley, Holmes, and Konz) are fairly safe bets. But beyond that, the last handful of spots will be completely up for grabs.

2015 Falcons: Offensive Line

June 17th, 2012 Comments off
US PRESSWIRE

Peter Konz

The Falcons offensive line come 2015 is considered one of the strengths of the team, given the teams new-found emphasis on the position that begins in 2012.

The Falcons 2015 line consists of the same unit that it started beginning in 2013, which features left tackle Lamar Holmes, left guard Justin Blalock, center Joe Hawley, right guard Peter Konz, and right tackle Tyson Clabo. What begin as a bit of a shaky unit has now blossomed into a strong group up front now that they’ve built some continuity with each other. Also in the mix is a Pat Hill favorite in guard Andrew Jackson, who hopes that now in his fifth season in the league can crack a permanent place in the starting lineup at guard.

The anchor of the unit is Konz, who thanks to Hawley’s solid play in his first season as a full-time starter in 2013 hasn’t been asked to kick inside to center yet. Hawley was good enough that the team opted to re-sign him following the 2013 season with a modest three-year deal and hasn’t regretted the decision as he has developed into a solid starting center thanks to his toughness and aggressiveness. At the other guard spot is the old veteran Justin Blalock, whose Falcon career is beginning to wind down. While Blalock has yet to earn a trip to the Pro Bowl in his career, he’s considered to be a solid guard. But the team is looking for Jackson to potentially push him for the starting spot. They are also hopeful that even if he doesn’t beat out Blalock, that Jackson has improved enough that he could be plugged in at right guard, which will allow Konz to play his more natural center position. Jackson has managed to fill in at various times over the past three seasons when others have been out with injuries. He has been cross-trained to play all three interior positions, although Konz remains the primary backup at center. But the team feels its interior of the line is the strength of the unit.

Outside, Lamar Holmes and Tyson Clabo form the bookends. By 2015, Clabo appears to be on his last legs. He’s entering the contract year of his deal that he signed in 2011, and most expect him to hang it up after the year is done. But he wants to give it one more go with this team to try and push them over the top. The team has already drafted his heir apparent and potential replacement in the rookie out of Iowa, Brandon Scherff. On the opposite side, Holmes has grown into a solid player. While he’s not considered to be one of the top left tackles in the league, he is considered capable of getting the job done of protecting Matt Ryan’s blindside. Holmes had a shaky start in his first year as a starter in 2013, but in the subsequent years has shown improvement each season so that now in 2015, he is considered a solid asset for the unit. His career arc mirrors that of previous left tackles such as Donald Penn, Duane Brown, and Jermon Bushrod, of guys that got off to questionable starts, but showed steady improvement each year. He is in line for a big extension after 2015 if he can show continued growth.

Due to their renewed focus on maintaining a strong front, the Falcons have used a multitude of their late round picks over the past few drafts to build depth.

2012 Key Players: Offensive Line

May 29th, 2012 Comments off
US PRESSWIRE

The Falcons Front Line

I’ve already discussed how Michael Turner’s play this year will be a key to success for the Falcons in 2012. Tied to that is the play of the offensive line. It’s clear that the Falcons are a team that pride themselves on being an effective to good running team. And that notion isn’t likely to change under new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter. The Jaguars under Jack Del Rio styled themselves in a similar manner, being a team that could run the ball well and play good defense, i.e. often the core elements of what is called being “physical.” That’s the exact sort of mentality and identity that Mike Smith has tried to instill here in Atlanta over the past four seasons. And it’s probably one of the main reasons why Smith was attracted to Koetter to take over for Mike Mularkey.

But joining Koetter on his quest to reinvigorate the Falcons offense on the ground will be new offensive line coach Pat Hill. Hill comes to the Falcons after years as the head coach at Fresno State. The Falcons hope Hill’s brand of high energy and toughness will also prove a boost up front.

It was clear last year that the biggest weakness on the offense was the offensive line. They struggled to create holes for Turner to run through, and struggled protecting Matt Ryan when they faced quality pass rushes. While the team may be very vocal about not regretting the decision to trade for Julio Jones, they certainly should be regretful over how they took the offensive line for granted last off-season.

Too often the line got manhandled in 2011 and it often occurred in instances where they could not establish the run early in games. If they got behind the offense would become one-dimensional and lose its balance. And several opposing teams were able to take advantage by pinning their ears back and be effective at getting to Matt Ryan.

Ryan is not a quarterback that likes to get hit. That isn’t questioning his toughness, but there is plenty of evidence over the past four years that if teams can get to him early and often, it can affect his play the rest of the game. That could also describe Tom Brady rather easily. So it’s prohibitive of Ryan becoming a top quarterback, it’s just an obstacle to overcome. You can live with a subpar O-line in Pittsburgh with Ben Roethlisberger behind center because he seems to thrive at times with pressure in his face. But that won’t be the case here in Atlanta, and thus emphasizing better play up front will remain important as long as Ryan is the starter.

Thus the Falcons off-season decisions to bolster the competition up front were good moves. The team needed to improve their blocking, and they did so by adding veteran guard Vince Manuwai and drafting rookies Peter Konz and Lamar Holmes in the draft.

Read more…

Falcons-Giants Preview

January 6th, 2012 Comments off
Getty Images from Yahoo! Sports

Giants Top WR Victor Cruz

There are a few questions that the Falcons must be able to answer on Sunday if they want to win their first playoff game under Mike Smith and beat the New York Giants.

1. Can the Falcons stop Victor Cruz?

The biggest potential mismatch for the Falcons in their secondary is their nickel corner on Victor Cruz. Cruz is the Giants top receiver, leading the team in catches (82), yards (1536), and touchdowns (9). The Falcons will be putting Dominique Franks in the nickel. Franks has had his moments in recent weeks, but has also had his issues working at the nickel. A notable issue was last week against the Bucs, where Franks was beat by Preston Parker for a 48-yard completion while working out of the slot. Plays like that cannot happen this week. The Falcons don’t need Franks to shut down Cruz, but just contain him similar to the Redskins did in Week 15 where he only caught 5 passes for 44 yards, which was one of the weaker performances of Cruz all year long.

2. Can the Falcons slow the Giants pass rush?

The other matchup that could cause potential problems for the Falcons is trying to slow down the Giants pass rushers: Justin Tuck, Jason Pierre-Paul, and Osi Umenyiora. Tuck hasn’t had quite the season he is used to having with 5 sacks, but he’s still a tough matchup for any right tackle, and Tyson Clabo will have his hands full. Last time the Falcons played the Giants, Clabo gave up two pressures to Tuck. But the biggest question probably comes from the Falcons left tackle Will Svitek and whether he can face Jason Pierre-Paul and Osi Umenyiora. Pierre-Paul led the Gaints with 16.5. Umenyiora managed 9 sacks in 9 games, and came back in Week 17 after missing several games with an ankle injury to get a pair of sacks in a key game against the Cowboys. Svitek started strong when he first subbed in for Sam Baker at midseason, but down the stretch his play tailed off.

The Falcons are probably going to have give each of these guys a bit more help, by playing a few more times in max protection, where tight ends and backs stay in to chip and help slow those guys. Which will put more emphasis on the Falcons receivers to separate and get open.

3. Can the Falcons pound Michael Turner?

One the ways the Falcons can help slow down the Giants pass rush will be if they can effectively run the ball. Turner had a strong performance against the Bucs in Week 17, but the Bucs were one of the league’s worst run defenses. The Giants are better, but not exactly a strong in run defense. So the potential is there for the Falcons to be able to control the clock and tempo with a running game. The issue the Falcons face is that prior to the Bucs game, Turner had five pretty mundane performances, including two road games against Houston and New Orleans, where he was virtually a non-factor. That cannot be the case against the Giants, where the Falcons are going to need Turner to have success early, and be able to carry that through the rest of the game.
Read more…

Moneyball 2011 – Week 17 Review

January 3rd, 2012 Comments off

A dominant performance from the Falcons, reminiscent of the Jaguars game two weeks ago. But one wonders after the Saints game, whether this is because the Falcons are really that good or whether the Jaguars and Bucs are really that bad. And personally, I think it might be more of the latter.

But a solid game on the ground. Matt Ryan really did not have to do a lot in this game. His receivers made plays when he threw it and he just had to hand the ball off largely for 2 quarters before he made way for Redman. Turner had an outstanding game, as the Bucs defenders in their back seven seemed to have no interest in trying to tackle him. The offensive line gets a lot of credit in this game for some good blocking. Clabo, and McClure probably had the standout performances, with a solid outing from Blalock and Hawley as well. Snelling and Cox also made some nice blocks, as well as Roddy getting two key blocks downfield. Reggie Kelly decided to show up for the first time this year, with 3 key blocks.

Jones had a very good game showing his big play potential for another week. Despite two drops, Roddy had a strong game.

Quizz and Snelling also had good games, although Quizz’s fumble at the goalline was a blemish. But considering how good he and others were the rest of the game, it’s not that huge a deal.

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLOCK
SPEC
PEN
TOTALS
Michael Turner$0$18$0$0$0$0$18.00
Julio Jones$0$2$7$0$0$0$9.00
Matt Ryan$8$0$0$0$0$0$8.00
Jason Snelling$0$6$0$2$0$0$8.00
Roddy White$0$0$3$2$0$0$5.00
Jacquizz Rodgers$0$6$0$0$0-$2$4.00
Justin Blalock$0$0$0$3$0$0$3.00
Todd McClure$0$0$0$3$0$0$3.00
Tyson Clabo$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Joe Hawley$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Reggie Kelly$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Mike Cox$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Tony Gonzalez$0$0$1$0$0$0$1.00
Chris Redman$1$0$0$0$0$0$1.00
Will Svitek$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Eric Weems$0$0$1$0$0$0$1.00
Antone Smith$0$0$0$0$1$0$1.00
Sam Baker$0$0$0-$1$0$0-$1.00

Read more…

Moneyball 2011 – Week 16 Review

December 28th, 2011 Comments off

I needed an extra day to process and get over this loss. Personally, I was very disappointed with how poorly the Falcons played in this game. But as usual with these reviews, upon re-watching the game, I’m not as upset.

Matt Ryan played very well in this game. The problem the Falcons had in this game offensively was that they had some critical mistakes, particularly penalties and pressure killing a couple of their drives. If there is any complaint I have about Ryan’s performance is that in the third quarter when the Falcons were down 18, I think Ryan started to play a bit too conservatively. Perhaps it was the pressure that was causing him to get rid of the ball a bit too quickly, but he seemed a bit too willing to check the ball down. And then the intentional grounding later that drive in the redzone, forced the team to settle for a field goal. But other than that series, he had one of his better performances.

The running game was a non-factor in this game, and part of that seemed to be by design. It looked like the Falcons entered this game with the intention of throwing the ball, and it was effective for the most part in terms of moving the ball. But drives stalled mainly because of penalties. Rodgers holding penalty was a killer in the second quarter, and the Falcons punting on that drive was probably the major momentum shift.

The Falcons had opportunities to get it back in the third quarter, but again penalties on Svitek and Clabo, as well as pressure given up by Clabo killed subsequent drives. I think Mularkey’s game plan was a pretty good one. Only two complaints were his play calls on 3rd & 1 in the 2nd quarter and 4th & 1 in the 4th, where the Falcons tried a pair of rollouts.

The blocking was not poor, as the Falcons only gave up 3 pressures on 52 dropbacks. But those pressures came at inopportune times. But overall, this was just your typical Falcons-Saints game. The Falcons managed to shoot themselves in the foot a few too many times, and the Saints were able to fully take advantage of those situations. And when the Saints made mistakes, the Falcons were unable to take advantage.

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLOCK
SPEC
PEN
TOTALS
Matt Ryan$16$1$0$0$0-$1$16.00
Michael Turner$0$4$3$1$0$0$8.00
Julio Jones$0$0$8$0$0-$2$6.00
Roddy White$0$0$7$0$0-$1$6.00
MIchael Palmer$0$0$3$0$0$0$3.00
Chris Redman$3$0$0$0$0$0$3.00
Justin Blalock$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Tony Gonzalez$0$0$2$0$0$0$2.00
Joe Hawley$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Eric Weems$0$0$2$0$0$0$2.00
Todd McClure$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Will Svitek$0$0$0$1$0-$1$0.00
Jason Snelling$0$0$0$0$0$0$0.00
Tyson Clabo$0$0$0$1$0-$2-$1.00
Jacquizz Rodgers$0-$1$1$0$0-$1-$1.00

Read more…