Twelve miscellaneous observations from Falcons vs. Ravens

- Robert McClain had a game he'd rather forget, including two big penalties on one drive. The officials would probably also rather forget this game after several baffling calls, non-calls, and lack of explanations on unusual calls. One of those oddities worked in McClain's favor. He got flagged for a personal foul on a play that was initially ruled a fumble but then changed to an incomplete pass. In addition to the turnover, the zebras also wiped out the flag.

- Ryan Schraeder's first false start penalty was bogus. The defender DID cross over the ball into the neutral zone. But Schraeder also got away with going too far downfield on the flanker screen from Renfree to Darius Johnson, going more than three yards downfield (you're only allowed one yard) before catching himself and coming back. The refs missed that one, but I'm guessing the Falcons coaches didn't miss it when they reviewed the film. Still, Schraeder had an outstanding game as a blocker. At this point, he's looking like the guy who will take Mike Johnson's roster spot.

- The punt team needs work. It wasn't just the second return TD allowed in two weeks. They also had two punts nearly blocked, and one more where Bosher was rushed into making a less than stellar kick.

- Peria Jerry's fumble recovery might have been the best effort we've seen from him in his entire Falcons career. Unfortunately, it was also his only noteworthy play. Zero tackles, zero assists. The big question... when the coaching staff evaluates this one, will he be graded favorably for that one play, or will he get slammed for wasting space the rest of the game?

- Worrilow's sack was against the first unit Ravens line. He led the team in tackles for the second straight game, though it should also be noted that he and Joplo Bartu had far more snaps than the other prospects. Brian Banks and Nick Clancy only saw the field for the final three-and-out, and Pat Schiller also had just a handful of snaps throughout the game. The coaching staff is clearly taking the most serious look at Bartu and Worrilow.

- Antone Smith showed he can finally catch a swing pass, taking two of them for nice gains. He also had two good plays on special teams. But he was ineffective as a runner while Josh Vaughan, Ronnie Wingo and Donald Russell were all impressive pounding the ball inside.

- Kevin Cone had a very nice catch from Matt Ryan. He also brought in an impressive ball from Dominique Davis last week, but was forced out by the defender and wasn't credited with a catch. It's only two plays in two games, but it's still a big improvement from last year's "hands of stone". Drew Davis has probably locked up the #4 WR spot, and it appears to be between Cone and Darius Johnson for the #5 spot. Cone is faster, is an outstanding blocker, and is a solid special teams contributor. Johnson is a far more polished receiver and has great hands. We finished the season with six WRs last year. Maybe we'll keep them both.

- Peyton Thompson had no deep help on the long TD pass to Mellette. The safeties on that play were Charles Mitchell and Kemal Ishmael. Mitchell was up closer to the line, with Ishmael apparently acting as the lone deep safety. If so, it's the second game in a row where Ishmael failed to arrive in time to help out on a long TD pass.

- Dominique Davis had Martel Moore coming back to him on a rollout that was similar to the play where he threw the interception last week. This week, he kept the ball himself and ran for the first down.

- Smitty and Matt Ryan both praised Lamar Holmes for his fine effort in that game. I guess I wasn't watching the same game. I saw him miss more blocks this week than last week. On the second offensive series, Elvis Dumervil beat him outside on the 3rd and 8 play. Ryan had to throw the ball away, killing the drive, and also took a hit. He got beaten inside on the pass play to Steven Jackson on the next drive. Fortunately, Garrett Reynolds picked up the man and gave Ryan time to get the ball away. Holmes also got beaten inside on a 2nd and 4 running play after Davis came in at quarterback. That play resulted in a one yard loss.

- After those two bad drops, whatever slim chance Colin Cloherty had of making the roster is probably gone. But as bad as his game was, he doesn't get the worst grade among the offensive backups. That badge of dishonor goes to tackle prospect Alec Savoie. The big man from McNeese State took over for Holmes during the third quarter. He and Cloherty then combined to sabotage every offensive series for the rest of the game. On his first series, he got torched outside, forcing Davis to scramble out of the pocket. On the play where Renfree got sacked, he was the one who got beaten, turning himself around and looking clueless on the play. On the drive following Baltimore's touchdown punt return, he released the inside rusher (???) to switch to the outside man, who was already being blocked by Ronnie Wingo. On the play following Wingo's first down run, he left both outside rushers to the two RBs, instead shifting over to block empty space. And following Alford's punt return, he got bull rushed into Renfree.

- Smitty opted to punt the ball on fourth and two at Baltimore's 37.5 yard line. The significance? If the Falcons had scored even a field goal on that drive, there would have been no need to go for the first down on Cloherty's second drop. A field goal from that spot would have been inside 40 yards (the ball was at Baltimore's 21 yard line). But being down by four points, Atlanta had to have a touchdown rather than a field goal.

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>

Log In Sign Up

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.




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.