(Not sure what this whole "The Jump" is about but "whatever")
Just got through rewatching the Falcons Steelers game finally (due to going to work almost everyday since last Friday). And although most of us are over what happened...for the rest of you guys, let me mention this.
Even more so I wasn't too disspointed with the OVERALL performance of the Falcons.
Facing a stern, traditional respected defense on the Road as the Steelers, you should understand why we had a 9-9 game going to overtime.
You can refer again to this post I made about 5 months ago http://www.thefalcoholic.com/2010/4/21/1435164/big-ben-suspended-for-our-game
Outside of that, understand that we didn't just lose to a third string QB. Many hidden gems including QB come from the reserves of a team. Kurt Warner, Jake Delhomme (before he started throwing INTs), Aaron Rodgers, Mike Vick, Matt Schaub, Phillip Rivers, to an exent Joe Flacco, Ryan Grant, Miles Austin, etc. Guys that rise up from the background because of an injury or suspension or ineffective play to the guy(s) infront of him. It's just a matter of the when the Steelers may make him the permanent starter, or holding him for ransom for a very interested team in a season or two.
Because of the 08 Ravens Road game, I can see Dennis Dixon as a guy who can make plays, and that's what he can do. Even if he isn't accurate, he's good enough to make plays when needed. But still we held him to 9 regulation points after all that.
Now you are mad not because of the Defense (however late that was somewhat of an issue that led to a field goal). It's our offense that you don't like. And Malarkey's head for hanging.
Well Geez, after watching that game, what else could Matt Ryan do?
The run game was stuffed for all our RB. I'm surprised we even got nearly 40 yards rushing. Although Douglas and Weems had about two catches each and looked promising, they apparently were limited and developing options at best. Tony Gonzalez seemed covered all game and couldn't seem to get open enough. No Michael Jenkins and his replacement was a no show for some reason (so he wasn't ineffective due to injury). Roddy White and Matt Ryan was our offense. Under pressure all day and the game in his hands, White was about the only option he had to get open, and a major reason we had 9 points at all.
Maybe White was Ryan's hot route, because I never seen Roddy White get open enough so many times before (it was a career day) Maybe that's a new wrinkle in the offense. Imagine how much better we could be once Douglas and Weems develop in the offense, and Jenkins comes back, we find some rhythm and maybe A Smith can make some plays against a not as stout defense. And that's just the beginning.
Ryan under pressure got rid of the ball and only had one pick all game. Against that defense that's pretty amazing. Now I won't disagree with you guys about him having happy feet and sometimes not setting his feet to make a more accurate throw. Remember Ryan comes from Boston College with a bad Oline and limited talent, so that's probably what he's used to. Ryan managed the game with the no huddle with limited Talent, and not much of a running game and protection. On the Road where he doesn't win much, he didn't do too bad.
"Turner's slow Turner's slow, he isn't running with passion, he's lost confidence."
I think you guys are looking at it the wrong way. Whether or not he's slow doesn't make a RB effective in my eyes. It's being able to get yards when you can, however you can. Was Norwood and Snelling any better? In my eyes...no. And it's not discredit to them. It's the Steeler Defense and the Falcons offensive line ineffectiveness.
People talk about how we should use Norwood like the Saints Reggie Bush...and although I don't disagree and would like to see Norwood used effectively, remember how they said Reggie needs to run through the Tackles, isn't that great of a Running Back...yada yada. It's because it's not Reggie Bush's Style. Just like Turner running like Norwood, Bush, or CJ2000. I mean aren't there times when those fast speedy RB get stuffed at the line? We have so much expectations for Turner, the moment he has one bad game, we are off his bandwagon and criticize his efforts. Again, 2008 has spoiled us. (that year has spoiled me too for other non-football related reasons). Turner's style isn't quite to blow by people. He's a patient runner, looking for holes to run through, following his blockers, and power through them, break tackles and fight for the last few yards. Norwood and Smith aren't like that. Snelling is a little bit like that, but I need to see more from him.
What I saw from Turner is his game. He tried running through the middle, he tried cutting to the outside some times, and even tried catching some passes, but the Steeler Defense put them in 3 and long situations. There was a lot of pentration before Turner got to where he needed to get to, even with the linemen pulling to the other side.
The one knock about Turner is I do think he may not look down the field early enough, and might miss a hole opening after the play starts as he's focused on the original design of the play. Norwood moreso makes this exception, and again Reggie Bush was accused of always trying to bounce it to the outside and then getting stuffed, something some us wanted Turner to do. But the Steelers line is too fast for that mess.
Atlanta Falcons, not rising up? Actually that's far from the truth. We are again looking at it wrong. I think it means we are standing up more to the challenge. In the commercial it says, If/When we fall down we Rise Up. We fell down and now we have to rise up again and await our next challenge. We are still rising, and more time during the season to shine.
The problem I saw with the Falcons was although we played well, we had lapses at the worse possible times. On defense early in the final quarter, gave up too many big plays. Ryan was baited in throwing his ONLY pick at the wrong time, as for some strange reason the Steelers let White be the only guy to get so many catches for so many yards (unSteeler-like....or was it?) Maybe that's what they wanted Ryan to do so late in the game he would stare down his only reliable option. And in overtime made four bad plays almost consecutively. Ovie Mughelli hold that set us in bad field position. Sam Baker's hold when we got the first down. Koenen's bad punt to give the Steelers good field position, and our classic way of losing close games biting hard (Steeler non calls on hold or not) and giving up a big running play. Had anyone of those plays didn't happen, we might had had a chance to win and probably would have.
I still think we did the right thing about not going for a score with 39 secs at our own 30 after a Polamulu pick. It's the second half when it's more. In the first half for 22 seconds there are different dynamics at work. I'm actually amazed they got the field so fast in the first half in that time. That usually doesn't happen.
Guys, I'm not your father, nor should I tell you how to root and criticize our team with our emotions. But in this case, lay off Ryan and Turner. Taper our expectation of them. They aren't superheroes, they are humans. The commentator (who usually know more about the fundamentals of football more that we ever may on average still praised Matt Ryan, and rightfully so. He could have done worse.