The Falcons now stand at 9-2 atop of the NFC as we take on the Buccaneers on the road, so we bring you officially our 6th post in our Best Case/Worst Case evaluation of this week’s matchup. Show us some love and rec both of our posts.
This is the 2nd part of Turner_The_Burner's post Best Case Scenario vs. Buccaneers. See it hereFlipping it to the Bucs
As it has been said here I’m going to play the devils advocate here and speak about where the Bucs can hurt us bad. We now have our 3rd consecutive winning season, the first time in Falcons history, but why stop there? The Bucs are a young team who find ways to win. So the worst case scenario for the Falcons is – Mike Williams runs rampant, Blount tests our front 7 and Ryan rates lowly.
Mike Williams’s runs rampant: Last time we played, Mike Williams hurt us on some big gains. But it hasn’t just been him, throughout the year we have given up many big plays through the air, either to Lance Moore or to Jordan Shipley or others. The point is that although our secondary is improving, we are still allowing too many big plays.
In our last game we gave up a 54 yard TD against Williams, to go along with a few other big plays to their other WR. These plays skewed the stats a lot as if we take away the largest play by both Mike Williams and Micheal Spurlock, Freemans yards drop from 189 to 88. That is over half of his total yardage in 2 plays, we take that away and Mike Williams has 3 catches for 31 yards, and Micheal Spurlock has 1 catch for 3 yards. In my mind that is great defence, sure it’s against a very young receiving core, but I say holding a team under 100 yards passing is great, regardless of the team. Now all we have to do is stop those big plays.
Blount tests our front 7: LeGarrette Blount is a developing player, yet a good player who has the ability to win games for the Bucs. Ever since week 7 when he became a serious part of their offense he has been a major factor. When he runs for less than 70 yards they lose, when he runs for more they win.
Last time up, Blount rushed for his lowest total while have 10+ carries. He was 13 attempts for 46 yards, an average of 3.5 yards per carry. That is very good for the Falcons defence as we were able to stop him in most situations. Throughout the year our front 7 have been solid against the run only allowing 2 big runs, from memory. Had the 2nd of those 2 not been against the Cardinals it may have caused us a win, and if Blount provides a large run (as he did in Tampa's game against the Cardinals) we may be in a poor position.
Ryan rates lowly: By this I mean his Passer Rating is low. Now Matt Ryan has been superb this year accumulating 6 of 11 games with a rating of 100+. And every time this happens we win. I am unsure exactly how it is determined but I do know the 4 main things are: completion percentage, average per pass, touchdowns and interceptions.
Ryan has been on a tear in the last few game and has been deadly accurate to avoid throwing interceptions; may I take this time to say Ryan’s 24 of 28 was one of the greatest performances for accuracy sake that I have ever seen, what he didn’t complete was either thrown away or the receivers fault it seemed. Since the bye week Ryan hasn’t thrown an INT albeit some close calls, the Bucs game springs to mind, but regardless he hasn’t thrown picks. This has led him to having a 3 game streak of 100+ rating games. He has been throwing TD’s since week 2 like clockwork and has been keeping an average of over 60% easily. But against the Bucs, straight out of the bye week, Ryan had a good but a bit of a slow game. I am going to believe this is due to Roddy White being slightly removed from play with White being the 2nd option to Tony Gonzalez. The point to be made is that if Ryan plays well we will win, I know it sounds basic and stupid but it’s the truth. The 3 games that Ryan had a rating of under 80.0 was our 2 losses and the 49ers game where, has Nate Clements not been a fool, we probably should have lost too.
That is all for the analysis for this week. Winning seasons are fun, but so is being the NFC champions, correct me if you don’t think that is our next reasonable goal. So finally good luck to the Falcons and I hope they get a comfortable win to keep on their winning ways.