Kevin Liles-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire
If Michael Turner can score on a 60-yard pass play, I'm on board with the screen game.
Some analysts/critics made sure to point out that the Falcons shouldn't become obsessed with the screen game this season. After running 14 screen passes for 145 yards and three touchdowns, I'd say they've figured out exactly how and when to call these plays.
Matt Ryan has completed all 14 screen passes through one quarter of 2012. We saw Julio take one of them into the end zone in the season opener, and this past weekend we witnessed unprecedented greatness from Michael Turner, as he took a short toss from Ryan 60 yards to the house. The 60-yarder marked the longest reception of his career, nearly doubling his previous high of 32. It was also his FIRST EVER receiving score.
When we see some of these screens materialize, every player plays a vital role. On Turner's touchdown, Snelling pulls one defender away from the play running a short out route, Justin Blalock pancakes his man and Tony G blocks Captain Munnerlyn nearly 15 yards downfield. Roddy eventually tracks down the trailing Munnerlyn to chip him just a bit, and Turner puts six points on the board.
Fourteen screens in four games in nowhere near going overboard with the play-calling. Dirk Koetter is doing a good job of calling them up at the right time, and the offense doesn't have any issue picking up each assignment. As Pat Yasinskas notes, Atlanta leads the league in screen touchdowns. I don't think they'll have any problem continuing this trend with the way it's going now.