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Posts Tagged ‘Robinson’

Moneyball 2012 – Week 5 Review

October 10th, 2012 Comments off

This was not Ryan’s best game at least in terms of how he started, as he had 5 poor throws on the first two series. I think the slick conditions could be a culprit, but I noticed the majority of those missed throws were downfield ones. The deep ball to Jones on the first series was almost counted as a drop, but it wasn’t clear that Jones would have come down in bounds, so ultimately it was chalked up by another poor throw by Ryan. But after the pick-six, Ryan seemed to settle in and play at his usually high level this week.

Tony Gonzalez had an excellent game, winding up with 7 of the Falcons 19 passing first downs in this game, which doesn’t include his touchdown. Jones had a nice bounce-back game, although part of it seemed to be that there was a concerted effort by Ryan and Koetter to get him the ball in the first half. 11 of his first 15 targets came before halftime. Roddy White didn’t get a ton of work, but he made the most of his opportunities.

Turner had a nice game on the ground despite a limited workload. The blocking up front was solid given how many times the Falcons dropped back to throw, and there were holes created on the ground. It’s extremely rare in games where Sam Baker stands out as a run blocker, but he did a good job in this game with a pair of key blocks (including a good one on Turner’s TD run). McClure had his trademark struggles in pass protection vs. the 3-4 nose tackle, but he did a fairly solid job run blocking at times. There were really no bad performances by the Falcons blockers up front despite only modest earnings by all except Baker. Giving up only 4 pressures/sacks in 53 dropbacks is rock-solid. There were a couple of times where they gave up some pressure, but Ryan was able to move around the pocket and still find an open receiver. Baker and McClure were usually the culprits on those plays. But for the most part they gave Ryan ample time to find open receivers, and I did notice Ryan took more shots than normal downfield, which is also a testament to added time in the pocket.

The Joe Hawley Experiment at fullback/tight end did not really work out in the passing game. But their jumbo package with Hawley and Johnson on the field did seem to be quasi-effective in opening run lanes. I’m sure most people groaned when Hawley dropped those two passes, although I found them humorously inept. Against a better opponent in a tighter game, it might have been more irksome, but for now I can shrug it off as a one-game outlier.

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLOCK
SPEC
PEN
TOTALS
Matt Ryan$14$1$0$0$0-$2$13.00
Tony Gonzalez$0$1$11$0$0-$1$11.00
Michael Turner$0$9-$1$0$0$0$8.00
Julio Jones$0$0$7$0$0$0$7.00
Roddy White$0$0$5-$1$0$0$4.00
Sam Baker$0$0$0$3$0$0$3.00
Harry Douglas$0$1$2-$1$0$0$2.00
Garrett Reynolds$0$0$0$2$0-$1$1.00
Tyson Clabo$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Jacquizz Rodgers$0$1$0$0$0$0$1.00
Jason Snelling$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Justin Blalock$0$0$0$0$0$0$0.00
Todd McClure$0$0$0$0$0$0$0.00
Joe Hawley$0$0-$2$0$0$0-$2.00

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Week 4 Preview: How the Panthers Could Beat the Falcons

September 27th, 2012 Comments off

First off, let me say that I do not believe the Falcons will lose to the Panthers. I’ll get into some of those reasons later, but I think our offense will just be too much for their defense. Carolina’s secondary is weak, a glaring weakness on their entire team. If anything surpasses it, that would be their run defense. It was atrocious last year, and this year it has graduated to horrible.

Now granted the Falcons run defense hasn’t been that much better this year, but at least the Falcons’ excuse is that they’ve played a ton of nickel, which has led to some cracks being exploited.

The Falcons shouldn’t have any issues moving the ball against the Panthers defense and ultimately scoring a lot of points. Frankly, if the Falcons cannot put up at least 27 or 28 points in this game, it will be very disappointing.

But after watching this Falcon team over the first three weeks, and see them slap around a number of teams, a target is forming on their backs. They will be a team to beat, and everybody is gunning for No. 1. So you will start to see teams implement strategies and rules to beat the Falcons. I think these strategies will fall under two main blueprints:

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Categories: Features Tags: , , ,

Falcons smash Chargers

September 23rd, 2012 Comments off

Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

Weatherspoon and Moore tackle Mathews

The Falcons pushed their record to 3-0 by taking down the undefeated San Diego Chargers with a 27-3 victory on the road. The Falcons got off to a strong start and never looked back, as the Chargers were scoreless through the first half of the game.

Matt Ryan had another strong performance, completing 30 of 40 passes for 275 yards, 3 touchdowns, and an interception. On the ground, Michael Turner bounced back from a slow start this season by leading the team with 80 yards on 14 carries with a touchdown. Jacquizz Rodgers also added 10 rushes for 32 yards. In the air, Tony Gonzalez led receivers with 9 grabs for 91 yards and a touchdown. Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Rodgers each had 5 catches for 67, 55, and 35 yards respectively. Jones and Rodgers both caught Ryan’s other two touchdown passes. Matt Bryant did not attempt a field goal on the day. Matt Bosher punted 5 times for an average of 44.6 yards, with 2 placed inside the 20-yard line. Dominique Franks returned a pair of punts for an average of 17 yards. The Falcons offense had little issue moving the ball against the Chargers. They dominated time of possession, holding onto the ball for over 36 minutes compared to the Chargers’ 24. In the first half, the Falcons held the ball for over twice as long as the Chargers with nearly 20.5 minutes of possession. The offense finished 8 of 13 on third down conversions and put up 384 total yards.

Defensively, the Falcons were too much for the Chargers offense. The Chargers struggled to convert third downs, particularly in the first half where they were 0 for 3. They wound up finishing the game 5 of 11 on their third down conversion attempts. They were limited to 280 total yards and had four turnovers. Dunta Robinson led defenders with 7 tackles. John Abraham (2 tackles, 1 sack); Thomas DeCoud (3 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery);Dominique Franks (3 tackles); William Moore (5 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery); Stephen Nicholas (6 tackles); Asante Samuel (6 tackles); Vance Walker (4 tackles); and Sean Weatherspoon (5 tackles, 1 forced fumble) all had noteworthy performances.

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Moneyball 2012 – Week 2 Review

September 19th, 2012 Comments off

This game was won in the first quarter by the Falcons with their ability to generate 4 turnovers, and score 13 points off those turnovers. Because otherwise, the offense was fairly mediocre for the Falcons on most of the night. The offense did generate 14 points of their own volition, but other than those two drives, they really looked lackluster.

First off the Broncos defense should get a ton of credit for that. They are a tough unit and kept their team in the game despite those numerous turnovers early in the game that got them behind. Von Miller is a beast and he showed it several times throughout this game. They had Reynolds help Clabo a ton in this game to keep Miller in check. Any time Gonzalez was put on an island against him as a run blocker, Miller made him look fairly foolish.

The offensive line did a fairly good job against the formidable Broncos pass rush. Miller and Dumervil were held in check. They were able at times to get pressure on Ryan, but it wasn’t an amount that swung the game in the Broncos’ favor. The Falcons gave up 8 pressures, with 3 of them coming from backs and receivers. The run blocking was non-existent and the Falcons ground attack was paltry at best. The Falcons had 15 first down runs in the game, and were successful on only 1 of them, which happened to be the 14th one on the final drive of the game. The Falcons averaged 1.6 yards per carry on first down. That’s the polar opposite of what I was talking about last week about how the running game could be an X-Factor. That’s a success rate of 7% on first down. A poor success rate would be 25%, so 7% is downright pathetic.

Most of the blame for that poor ground attack has to put on the line. But Turner missed holes and did not run with great burst or explosion. Quizz did little with his limited opportunities, but the Falcons have to start giving him and Snelling more opportunities, because Turner is not getting the job done. And in light of his off-field issues, this week against San Diego will be a perfect opportunity to shift towards an offense spear-headed by Quizz/Snelling. I also can’t help but think some of it is missing Ovie Mughelli. Not that Lousaka Polite has played poorly, but he’s an average fullback.

Ryan played well, making some very good throws in this game. Roddy White was excellent, and Tony Gonzalez played very well as well. Julio Jones was a non-entity and that is worrisome given that the whole point of trading for Jones was so that our No. 2 WR (formerly Michael Jenkins) would no longer be a non-entity in games.

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLK
SPEC
PEN
TOTALS
Matt Ryan$14$1$0$0$0$0$15.00
Roddy White$0$0$9$0$0$0$9.00
Michael Turner$0$5$0$0$0$0$5.00
Tony Gonzalez$0$0$6-$2$0$0$4.00
D.J. Davis$0$0$0$0$1.5$0$1.50
Harry Douglas$0$0$1$0$0$0$1.00
Todd McClure$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Lousaka Polite$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Kevin Cone$0$0$0$0$1$0$1.00
Justin Blalock$0$0$0$1$0-$1$0.00
Garrett Reynolds$0$0$0$1$0-$1$0.00
Sam Baker$0$0$0$0$0$0$0.00
Tyson Clabo$0$0$0$0$0$0$0.00
Julio Jones$0$0-$1$0$0$0-$1.00
Jacquizz Rodgers$0$0-$1$0$0$0-$1.00

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FalcFans Podcast – Ep. 21 “Enhanced Pregame”

September 15th, 2012 Comments off

Through the magic of the internet and the ability to splice the meat of three separate live podcasts together, Ryan and I preview and then recap our thoughts on the Falcons win over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 1. You’ll also hear my thoughts on what matchups to look out for in an extensive preview of the Falcons’ Week 2 contest against the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football. Other topics include the injury to Brent Grimes and its potential immediate and long-term ramifications on the Falcons season.

Ep. 21: Enhanced Pregame [Download]

Duration: 1 hour, 15 minutes

 

If you have any questions and comments, you can hit us up on Twitter, post in the forums in the podcast thread, or drop Ryan an e-mail at: ryan-valdez@live.com or myself at: pudge@falcfans.com. Don’t forget to drop by every week to hear our live broadcast at: ustream.tv/channel/falcfans-show

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. You can also subscribe directly to our feed at the following URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/falcfans/LXSt

Categories: Podcast Tags: , , , , ,

Moneyball 2012 – Week 1 Review

September 12th, 2012 1 comment

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.

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLOCK
SPEC
PEN
TOTALS
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

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FalcFans Podcast – Ep. 20 “2012 Preview”

September 5th, 2012 Comments off

Ryan and I discuss and preview the Falcons Week 1 matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs in this week’s episode. You’ll also hear our opinions on the Falcon’s additions to the practice squad, as well as whether an interview of Mike Nolan divulges some question marks within the Falcons front office. During our preview of the Chiefs game, you’ll hear our thoughts on how certain aspects of the Falcons offense and defense match up with the Chiefs. Later in the episode, we are joined by a FalcFans.com forum member in Allen Strk, who helps us reminisce on past Falcon players and games. You’ll also hear some thoughts on current Falcons, as well as predictions for the upcoming 2012 season including how good we think the Falcons will be and whether or not they are good enough to make the Super Bowl.

Ep. 20: 2012 Preview [Download]

Duration: 54 minutes

 

If you have any questions and comments, you can hit us up on Twitter, post in the forums in the podcast thread, or drop Ryan an e-mail at: ryan-valdez@live.com or myself at: pudge@falcfans.com. Don’t forget to drop by every week to hear our live broadcast at: ustream.tv/channel/falcfans-show

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. You can also subscribe directly to our feed at the following URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/falcfans/LXSt

FalcFans Podcast – Ep. 19 “Cuts and Around the League”

August 29th, 2012 Comments off

Ryan and I are back to recap the preseason win over the Miami Dolphins, as well as talk about the cuts the Falcons made over the weekend to get down to the 75-man roster limit. We discuss how we think the final roster could shape up as well and preview a bit of what we expect to happen in Week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs. We get into discussions about a few Falcon players. Such as some of the young guys that appear to be stepping up including Lamar Holmes, Cliff Matthews, Micanor Regis, Akeem Dent, and the drama surrounding the backup QB position. Veteran players such as Corey Peters and Dunta Robinson are discussed also. We also discuss many topics around the league from Larry Fitzgerald’s praise of the Falcons offense, the Vontae Davis trade, and the Dolphins QB Controversy. We even get to have a lengthy discussion about Ryan’s favorite team the Dallas Cowboys, and how their current predicament with Dez Bryant relates to the Falcons. You’ll even hear our thoughts on the upcoming release of EA’s Madden NFL 13.

Ep. 19: Cuts and Around the League [Download]

Duration: 1 hour, 7 minutes

 

If you have any questions and comments, you can hit us up on Twitter, post in the forums in the podcast thread, or drop Ryan an e-mail at: ryan-valdez@live.com. Don’t forget to drop by every week to hear our live broadcast at: ustream.tv/channel/falcfans-show

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. You can also subscribe directly to our feed at the following URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/falcfans/LXSt

Scouting Report: Asante Samuel

August 27th, 2012 1 comment
Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Asante’s ‘G Stance’

Last week, I started things with scouting Sean Weatherspoon. Now it’s time to look at the Falcons only major pre-draft off-season addition still with the team: Asante Samuel, and what skills he brings to the table in 2012.

Pros: Samuel is an instinctual cover corner with good ball skills, awareness, and excellent anticipation. Does a good job challenging throws when he’s in position, and makes quarterbacks have to work to complete passes against him. Will jump slants and outs, able to make the big play. Does a solid job working in both man and zone coverage. Plays balanced and has good hips to match up man to man. He’s comfortable playing in space. Hard to beat deep due to his ability to play deep zones. Does a nice job covering crossing routes as well. Does his best work when he’s allowed to play off coverage, which allows him to keep things in front and read the quarterback.

Cons: Is lacking and lazy in run support. Is a poor tackler with bad technique, as he tends to duck his head and rarely wraps up. Relies too much on chopping legs of defender in open field, which is effective at times but very inconsistent. Doesn’t work to get off blocks, and tends to shy away from run support assignments, letting the other 10 guys on the field do most of the work. Too often gives up too much cushion when working in off coverage. Can be attacked on the deep posts for those reasons. Will get caught looking in the backfield at times, and give up the easy completion. Can get burned due to his gambling ways, biting on double moves. At times will leave his safety out to dry because he’ll bite on the underneath pattern and leave his safety on an island deep. Can be effective in press, but not good when asked to try and jam receivers at the line.

2012 Outlook: Samuel is a ball-hawk that has earned a strong reputation over the years for his ability to create turnovers and make the big play. While he’s not always the most disciplined corner, that reputation has allowed him to get away with things that lesser corners probably could not. This means he’s a “field-tilter” because opposing quarterbacks tend to shy away from him, and effectively takes his man out of the play, allowing his teammates to channel things to the opposite field. His struggles in run support are well-known and well-documented, but the Falcons are hoping that limiting his exposure there by playing him in the nickel will streamline his production.

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Camp Battles 2012: Secondary

July 19th, 2012 Comments off
Bob Donnan-US PRESSWIRE

Dunta Robinson

One of the most interesting battles that will come in training camp this summer will occur in the secondary, as the Falcons look to shuffle their depth at cornerback.

With the addition of Asante Samuel joining Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes, the Falcons are now three-deep at the cornerback position, and intend to take full advantage of that this season. The nickel package is expected to often be utilized as the Falcons base package with the intent of getting the best 11 defenders on the field at the same time.

But what needs to occur first in camp, is which of the three players will emerge as the two everydown players. Two of the players will play virtually every snap on defense, with the third nickel corner subbing in on passing situations. That third corner will play the majority of snaps on defense overall, but it won’t be every snap. Last year when Grimes was healthy, he and Robinson averaged about 63 snaps per game as starters, while the nickel corner was on the field (a combo of Kelvin Hayden, Dominique Franks, and Chris Owens) for about 36 snaps per game. The latter number is likely to increase, potentially to as high as 45-50 snaps per game.

Robinson and Grimes are the incumbents, and as such got most of the first team reps during the off-season. That means that Samuel will be coming off the bench as the nickel corner. If that remains the case into the season, then in those nickel situations Samuel will play on the outside across from Grimes with Robinson moving inside to the slot corner spot. This is arguably the best usage of the three players since among the three Samuel is the weakest in run support and thus limiting his first and second down reps could streamline his usage. But at the same time, Samuel is also the best playmaker of the group, and thus it would make sense to maximize that ability by putting him on the field as much as possible. Robinson on the other hand is the least likely to make plays in coverage, and while his strength has historically been run support, that was an area where he struggled throughout the 2011 season. He’ll need to show the coaching staff this summer that 2011 was an aberration, and his former toughness against the run has returned.

Franks, Owens, and Darrin Walls will be competing for the opportunity to be the first player off the bench in the event of an injury. Franks is the most likely of the group to win the job. He had his share of moments last year as an injury replacement for Grimes down the stretch. While Franks is not well-suited to playing in the slot, he does have a solid skillset that can make him a potentially effective starter on the outside. And given the looming contract issues that both Robinson and Grimes face in the future, the team may want to groom Franks as a potential replacement come 2013.

The addition of Samuel to the roster means that the Falcons could be parting ways with either Owens or Walls. Walls shined last summer but in the face of minimal competition due to the fact that he was competing with other undrafted free agents. He won’t have such a luxury this year, as he’ll likely be going directly up against Owens for the fifth and likely final cornerback slot. Owens has struggled throughout the years when lined up in the slot, but when he’s been an outside corner as a rookie and late last year, he has been a solid reserve. That experience and versatility coupled with Owens being one of the team’s better producers on special teams should give him an edge to win the job. But it’s no slam dunk. Owens is entering the final year of his contract, and while Walls is probably never going to be a better player than Owens in the long run, the fact that Walls is two years younger and cheaper could give him a slight edge in the competition. The key for Walls is showing that he can also be a very good special teams player. The positive for Walls is that he remains eligible for the practice squad, so it’s possible they could keep both.

There will be added competition at cornerback this summer. The team picked up Robert McClain in the off-season as well as adding undrafted free agents Marty Markett and Peyton Thompson. McClain was a solid special teams player as a rookie in 2010 with the Panthers. And Markett is a track guy from South Carolina that could potentially be an excellent gunner. Thompson has solid cover skills and the sort of toughness that could also make him a capable special teams player. Because of their potential to impact on special teams, all three players have a legit chance of making the roster.

At safety, the starters are settled with Thomas DeCoud at free safety and William Moore at strong safety. The team made a good decision to upgrade their depth by signing veteran Chris Hope. Hope will be the primary backup at strong safety, but he also posseses the experience to fit nicely as the team’s top backup at free safety as well. All three players have firm holds on their roster spots.

The key competition at safety will come for who wins the fourth safety spot. Shann Schillinger will compete with rookie draft pick Charles Mitchell, along with undrafted rookies Chad Faulcon and former practice squad player Suaesi Tuimaunei. Schillinger is one of the team’s top special teams players, which gives him an edge in the competition. But the team likes Mitchell and his skillset should also translate well to producing on special teams. Mitchell is not a great cover guy, but is an ace run defender despite being undersized. Schillinger has not shown a lot on defense the past two summers but he’s a free safety while Mitchell is a pure strong safety. And since Hope is primarily a strong safety, that also gives Schillinger the potential nod. The Falcons may opt to keep five safeties particularly if Schillinger manages to win the job, but Mitchell may also be destined for the practice squad at least early in the year. As for Faulcon and Tuimaunei, they are likely competing for practice squad spots, but will be hard-pressed to do so especially if the Falcons manage to keep five safeties. Their best chances will be impacting on special teams.