FanPost

Digging Deeper into the Box Score: Week 8

Falcons-Saints on Monday Night Football, need I say more?




Offense

Michael Turner was great. Matt Ryan had troubles – we know that.  Let’s talk about their First Down performance, as comparison.  We’ve been slightly critical of the play-calling here (first down, Turner up the middle; second down, Turner up the middle; third down, pass).  Turner certainly did his part when he got the ball of First Downs.  He had 13 carries for 74 yards (a 5.7 yard average), including a 13 yard TD run.  First down should be one of the easiest times to pass the ball (easier than 3rd and Long, at least), but Ryan struggled here, just like he did in other down & distance situations.  Excluding two 4th Quarter spikes to stop the clock, and one scramble for 3 yards, Ryan had six first down completions for 73 yards.  Sounds good, right?  Well, you also have to take into account his seven incompletions.  But wait, it gets worse: all three of the Saints’ sacks were on first down plays.  6-13 for 73 yards with 3 sacks is not going to get it done.  Presented another way, his Net Yards per Attempt (NY/A – Pass Yards minus Sack yards divided by Pass Attempts plus Sacks) was 4.1 on First Downs.  League Average is 6.1 NY/A (on all downs).  Still, if not for the Tracy Porter interception in the Red Zone, after a tipped ball by Jonathan Vilma, they may have been able to win this one.  I still say that was the biggest play of the game – down 24-28, about to score after the Pierre Thomas fumble.  Instead, the Saints get the ball back with 8:30 left in the game, then go down and score to push the lead to 11.

Defense

Name

Plays

Stop Rate

Defeats

Curtis Lofton

13

38%

0

Erik Coleman

8

38%

1

Brent Grimes

8

25%

1

Stephen Nicholas

8

44%

0

Mike Peterson

5.5

18%

0

Chris Houston

5

20%

0

Thomas DeCoud

4

38%

1

Tye Hill

4

38%

0

Jamaal Anderson

3

67%

1

Kroy Biermann

2.5

80%

1

Vance Walker

2.5

100%

0

Jonathan Babineaux

2

100%

1

Chevis Jackson

2

50%

0

Coy Wire

2

100%

1

 

There are a lot of names on that list; do you see who’s missing?  John Abraham had no sacks, and no tackles – he is credited in the box score with one QB Hit.  I gave credit for two “Plays” for Coy Wire on what was really just one play – the one with less than 2 minutes left in the 4th Quarter where he had a Forced Fumble on Mike Bell (for a Stop/Defeat), and then came out of the pile with the Fumble Recovery himself (for a separate Stop).  Looks like a pretty nice showing from Vance Walker.  Considering how explosive the Saints Offense is, giving up 28 points (taking away the pick-6) is a pretty decent day.

The biggest problem here wasn’t just the big plays given up (there were six plays of 20+ yards allowed), but the consistency that New Orleans showed in getting the medium-to-long gains.  Colston, for example, totally killed us: 10 yards on 3rd & 10; 18 yards for a TD; 15 yards on 1st & 10; 6 yards on 2nd & 10; 29 yards on 2nd & 8; and 7 yards on 2nd & 6 to set up a First & Goal.  He caught all six passes headed his way, and all but one went for a First Down or TD.

Special Teams Tackles: One each for Mike Schneck, Brent Grimes, Michael Koenen, Jamaal Fudge; plus there was Coy Wire’s recovery of the Onsides Kick.

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>

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