Why That Vaunted Falcons Passing Attack Hasn't Materialized

DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 23: Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons drops back to pass during the fourth quarter of the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on October 23, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. The Falcons defeated the Lions 23-16. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Coming into 2011 with Julio Jones on board, it was hard not to get a little carried away. You looked at Matt Ryan developing nicely coming off of his third season and adding Jones to Roddy White, Harry Douglas and Tony Gonzalez and thought the Falcons could become one of the league's premier passing offenses. Even those of us who didn't jump on board with this totally at least had it in the back of our minds, I'd wager.

It hasn't changed the need for the Falcons to transition to a more pass-friendly offense over the long haul, but that narrative has gone up in smoke. Matt Ryan is having his worst start to a season ever. Roddy White has been hurt and ineffective. Jones has missed significant time.The pass protection was brutal early on.

Add those disparate pieces together and it's not hard to figure out why the Falcons haven't gone airborne. This is a team with a stubbornly conservative offensive coordinator who airs it out only sporadically in the first place. Expecting the Falcons to morph into an airshow given that and the many, many others factors

The one other factor, of course, is that Michael Turner has once again stolen our hearts and run for 120 yards on them. A brutally effective Turner—he's having the best stretch I can remember since 2008—has revived the ground game and made the need for a potent aerial attack less urgent.

Of course, the Falcons didn't sink a ton of draft picks into getting Julio Jones for him to be the #2 option in a conservative passing game. At some point—whether it be a week, a month, or even a year—the Falcons are going to focus on taking to the wing, because they have the weapons to do so and Turner won't be around forever.

Do you think the passing game gets going against the Colts, or is it on hold for at least a few weeks?

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