After a poorly played game of football, I found myself consistently asking questions. The offensive line looks worse; the defense looks awful; the play-calling is questionable. The Falcons have to take a long, hard look at their team during this bye week. In addition, Injury Armageddon, as it's being called, has hit hard, and the FO/Coaching Staff need to find an answer beneath the rubble. With so many areas in need, where do they focus?
I wanted to spend some time first updating the statistics that I had previously posted in the last two fanposts. Later in the week, however, I will also dive a little deeper into the defensive performance this year, more heavily targeted on the LBs and secondary. I believe the defense need some major life support, even more than our offensive line or receiving corps.
Enough with the chat, I'll jump right in to the game-by-game performance of our Offensive Line:
While the PBE rating has been increasing, I think we can all agree that last night proved their performance isn't following suit. Matt Ryan and the play-calling have really bailed out the line. In reality, I think the pass blocking should be graded much worse, and many around the NFL argue that Atlanta has one of the worst offensive lines in the League. Regardless of how you look at it, Trueblood got destroyed last night on the pass rush. Our newly acquired RT has grown into his "turnstile" reputation by grading worse each week. Also, I stand by my original post that Holmes deserved a little more time at LT. He seemed like the best lineman of the night, whatever that means, and has delivered two weeks of average level play in pass protection. We also have noticed, for better or worse, that Holmes acknowledged his need to get in better shape. I think he's driven to perform better, and I'm interested to see where he ends up this year.
On to the oh-so-poor run blocking:
I don't really think this needs much explaining. Our offensive line posted its worst run-blocking grade so far this season. Although, the Jets do have a stout run defense, holding the Falcons to 64 rushing yards on 22 carries (New York's defense averages 76.2 per game on 3 per carry). A note here is that 27 of the yards came during MR2's no huddle offense on 2 running plays, one for 19 and one for 8.
Before this game, both Blalock and Reynolds played consistent football, recording some decent overall rankings among NFL guards. I don't know what happened, but the Jets' line got to Reynolds this game and consistently put him on the ground. One decent lineman out of five just won't cut it, though we can hope Lamar Holmes continues to show improvement and comfort on that left side.
|QB Pressured as % of Dropbacks|
Outside of week 1, before we knew how bad the line was going to be, the pressure percentage has been fairly stable. What does this mean? The offensive line has been bailed out. I think last night, as mentioned above, showed just how special Matt Ryan is. The line was horrible, yet the pressure stayed down. His quick release and comfort have really kept this team in games. Though we've lost 4, they have all been close because of this guy. Let's just hope he doesn't get killed before the season ends.
Time In Pocket
The proportion of passing plays out of Matt Ryan's hands in under 2.5 seconds is bouncing around, but remains pretty high. Much higher than last year's 53%:
|2.5 secs and Less|
I also want to add another stat here that I found pretty interesting:
|Time to Throw|
The week 1 to week 2 adjustment was pretty big after seeing the offensive line fail. This week against the just posted a similar drop in time, down 10% again. Just as a frame of reference, MR had 2.67 seconds on average last year. The football is getting out quickly on a higher majority of plays. On top of that, the Falcons had a great red-zone performance last night (except the poor play call on 4th down at the end of the 2nd Quarter...).
Third Down Conversions
Here's an update to our third-down conversions by category:
|Distance (in yards)|
|0 - 3||4 - 7||8+|
And here's the same information for just the game against the Jets:
|Distance (in yards)|
|0 - 3||4 - 7||8+|
And that says it all. Too many third down conversions allowed, ESPECIALLY third and long. I'm still shocked about that middle grounded being a strength of the defense...
|Pressure as % of Dropbacks Generated by|
The story of our inconsistent pass rush continues. We see flashes out of our front line, but last night's 50% didn't really feel like it was enough. Geno Smith certainly did not seem that pressured.
This is merely an update to information previously posted, as I want to provide trends in performance. Please look for my next post (probably tomorrow or Thursday) that will take an in-depth, data-driven look at our LBs and DBs. I to have more interesting stuff to share! Hopefully, I'm creating enough interest to continue providing some alternative views of our team's performance.
Share your thoughts!