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Game Recap: ATL at PITT

Still without a touchdown.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Still without a touchdown. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
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It was gut check time and unfortunately, our Birds' stomachs were a little shaky. There were many mistakes, missed opportunities, and bad decisions. I'll run them down once I get the (short) list of good things I saw today.

The Good

  • Nice to see Weems and HD get some play time.
  • Mike Peterson with the INT!
  • Kroy Biermann with a key sack late in the game.
  • Our whole defense. Dang, fellas came to play. Shame that...

The Bad

  • Our offense didn't. From this point forward, you might want to look away.
  • The missed field goal was a killer, as it could have won the game for us.
  • Turner looked slow and, at least on two occasions, brought himself down to the ground. This wasn't preseason and the Steeler line had obviously schemed hard against the run. Turner just did not look fast off the ball at all.
  • Where was the run and pass blocking we're used to? Sam Baker is going to be getting a lot butt-chewings when the team gets back to Flowery Branch.
  • There were at least two occasions that going for it on fourth down would have been a good idea. Example: the Falcons were on the 10, fourth and two. I would have gone for it, maybe a screen or shuffle pass, something to draw off that blitz.
  • Another weird coaching decision: we force the three and out, get the ball back with 44 seconds, and then decide to sit on the ball and force overtime? I'm sorry, but at the end of the second quarter, we used 22 seconds to get into range and then make a field goal. Coach Smith was gunshy and it cost us.
  • While his numbers weren't bad, Ryan's interception was very untimely.
  • Seriously, Sam Baker needs to be replaced. Dead, dead serious.

The Ugly

  • If you tell me to not blame the officials, you're dead to me. All game long, they gave terrible spots for both teams and made some horrible non-calls, including the three holding penalties that occurred on Mendenhall's OT winning run. We had been shutting him down hard all game and suddenly he breaks one? Not a coincidence. Both Kroy and Abe were being very obviously held. Look back at the replay.

And now, a word from yours truly.

There are fifteen games left in the season. One bad game does not a season ruin. The team will learn from this. Adjustments will be made. Games will be won.