A Necessary Improvement: The Short Yardage Situation

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - JANUARY 08: Michael Turner #33 of the Atlanta Falcons runs the ball in the first quarter against the New York Giants during their NFC Wild Card Playoff game at MetLife Stadium on January 8, 2012 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

If there's one situation in which the Falcons critically and repeatedly failed a season ago, it was the short yardage situation.

Consider, if you will, the New York Giants game. The Falcons were twice stopped on a fourth-and-short, and once on an important third-and-inches. I'm not saying the Falcons would have won the game had they converted on those opportunities—getting to fourth and inches didn't happen by accident—but it's at least within the realm of possibility. A line with no push, a poorly-called play and arguably the wrong personnel to execute led to one hell of a bummer.

Fast forward to 2012, and you can see the Falcons are determined to prevent history from repeating itself. They drafted power along the offensive line, picked up a new fullback, changed the coaching staff and hopefully burned the "Michael Turner takes the ball three yards behind the line of scrimmage and then runs" play into ashes.

All of this is good, and I hope it's enough. The Falcons simply cannot afford to be that poor in short yardage any longer. With a power back like Turner available and a (hopefully) bigger offensive line, the team must convert those situations. As it did with the Giants, it could mean the difference between staying in the game with a shot to win it and embarrassing yourselves on national television. As we all know far too well, that's quite a difference.

Hopefully, the Falcons won't find themselves in that situation this often, but I'm at least a little more confident they'll actually manage to convert a few. What say you?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join The Falcoholic

You must be a member of The Falcoholic to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Falcoholic. You should read them.

Join The Falcoholic

You must be a member of The Falcoholic to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at The Falcoholic. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker