Has Anyone Really Been Far Even as Decided to Use Even Go Want to do Look More Like?
That question make any sense to anyone? Good, because that's about how much sense the game made on Thursday. The Falcons lacked everything that had made this season so good, including discipline, play calling, and even a semblance of a pass rush. However, we must not forget that this team is still in the infancy of the Dan Quinn regime and we still have all the pieces in place to make a playoff run. Will that run be successful? Who knows, but let's not set this ship on fire before it gets to port. Did that make sense? No? Well, whatever. 5-1.
This team needs to be more disciplined.
Look, mistakes are an unavoidable (and sometimes hilarious) part of life in the NFL. For the Falcons, though, they're proving to be a major problem, one that doomed them against the Saints and nearly cost them in four of their other five games. There's too many missed tackles, too many dumb penalties, and too many giveaways for these Falcons to consistently beat quality teams. They're good enough to go very far this year, so a lot hinges on their ability to clean up their largely unforced errors.
Mike Person is pivotal to the Falcons' offensive line.
When Person signed a 3 year, 3.5 million dollar contract back in March, no one could confidently say that he would be critical to the success of the Falcons offense, but that's the case as of right now. The Falcons have greatly missed Mike the past 2 games, where James Stone has found trouble snapping the ball, and especially so when facing the Saints last Thursday night. Mike Person, we miss you. The team misses you. Hurry back.
The Falcons loss highlights roster problems that will limit the team.
The New Orleans Saints feasted on Atlanta's weakest positions and biggest problems. Ball security has been a problem, but the Falcons looked like the worst in the league. The loss helped determine that Atlanta has weak spots, and will need to make adjustments to fix these issues. Leonard Hankerson may have the worst hands in the entire league. Paul Worrilow looks like the slowest linebacker in the NFL. Robenson Therezie is not currently earning his playing time. Vic Beasley has been invisible for weeks. The Falcons are a good team, but a great team will beat us because these players are not making a positive impact.
The offense is at its best when it is balanced.
It's no coincidence that the two best offensive games for the Falcons featured a nearly 1:1 run/pass ratio. Against Washington, this team started the game pass heavy and struggled. Against the Saints, once they started focusing solely on the pass, the offense began to struggle again. Even down by two scores against Dallas, the run game was never abandoned and it helped fuel the offensive success. In the first half against the Saints, our offense moved the ball well. We were only stopped by our own mistakes. Shanahan and company need to get back to the basics and truly make the running game an ongoing and integral part of this offense again.
Run the damn ball, Shanahan.
Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman combined to average 8.2 yards per carry. Eight. Point. Two. The Falcons finished with 17 carries (excluding Matt Ryan's rushes) and 44 pass attempts. I understand they were trailing from the start, but it was still only a two-score game halfway through the third quarter. Matt Ryan does not look like himself right now. I don't know what the issue is with the passing game (Hankerson dropping the ball doesn't help). I do know, though, Freeman is on fire right now, and Coleman looked great when he held onto the ball. The Falcons need to stop beating themselves.
The Falcons need to clean up the turnover issues.
Six turnovers in two games? If the Falcons had played a better team than the Saints, the score would've been much worse than 31-21. Same applies for the game against the Redskins the week before: there's no doubt they lose if Washington had a better quarterback. If Atlanta is serious about putting together a good season — and they certainly can with the schedule they have — then the silly turnovers have to stop.
Just when you thought wide receiver was the strongest position on the team.
After signing Leonard Hankerson and drafting Justin Hardy, many people started to believe that Atlanta had excellent depth at wide receiver. Those additions made me a firm believer that Matt Ryan will finally have wide receiver depth at his disposal. Now, it was unexpected to see Devin Hester injured until December and Roddy White rapidly declining. It's still a major disappointment to see White virtually a non-factor and Hankerson still being plagued by drops. After the buzz from training camp about Hankerson catching everything, that success hasn't translated onto the field. Based on the last two games, Devonta Freeman and Jacob Tamme seem to be Ryan's second and third options. That isn't a good sign for a position that was supposed to cause defenses' nightmares.