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10/17/12

Undefeated Atlanta Falcons striving to be special not just good

 

Cheer up Coach Smith! Within a few weeks you will be the winningest coach in Atlanta Falcons history.

My darling Atlanta Falcons went into their bye week feeling good but not as good as they did 2 or 3 games ago. I think it’s clear that despite the 6-0 record there is room for improvement and it’s great to see the Falcons talking about getting better. They’ve won a few contests that probably shouldn’t have been close toward the end. They’ve also shown that, while there’s probably no danger in them ending another game having not scored at all like they did last season, they are still prone to the kind of offensive lulls that can really bury a team.

RB Michael Turner said something to the Atlanta Journal Constitution that stuck out to me

“Yeah, a win is a win…but we’re looking at something beyond just winning right now. We’re trying to be special and special teams don’t play like that.”

[To finish this post click Read More]

The “that” he was referring to is the stuffed run game and the suddenly INT-prone Matt Ryan and all the other little breakdowns the Falcons have suffered against teams that simply are not good. Sure, bad teams can have great performances and compete and even win against good teams…in fact, some bad teams have put together some surprising stuff this season already. But the Falcons’ mediocre opponents haven’t been in those games cause they played well…the Falcons just haven’t been steady.

I guess the biggest surprise for me as been the woefully inconsistent offensive line. They have put together mostly solid pass protection but when that protection fails it fails really big. Run blocking hasn’t been great and I foresee some more frustrated weeks ahead for Michael and the entire team until that changes.  

Although Matt has been a great QB already this year and appears headed into the elite ranks and the offensive weapons look sharp and ready, the run game shouldn’t become less important. The Falcons neglected Turner in many games last year and looked determined not to repeat that mistake. But thus far they have been largely unsuccessful. In part, due to playing behind in addition to a struggling line. 

I just returned from a vacation that was a little over a week long so I’m behind on some things…but once I get settled I’ll take a look at some film and stats and see what else I can parse out. For now, you can head over to Bloggin Dirty and see what they wrote in their “audit” of the Falcons OL.  

Lastly, if you didn’t hear, Mike Smith has tied Dan Reeves record for most wins by a head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. He has done, in 4 seasons, what it took Reeves 7 seasons to do.  I noted that a lot of folks were surprised that two very modern coaches hold the Falcons records but that’s what happens when you can’t keep a coach longer than John Mayer can keep his pants on. 

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