The Atlanta Falcons lost, we all know that, I’m not going to dwell on the particulars until tomorrow morning’s recap. But I did want to call attention to what a frustrated Ricardo Allen said after the game, which I think helps to put this loss in its proper context.
Offensively, the Falcons were plagued by a mixture of questionable play calling and poor execution. Defensively, though, it appears they were undone almost entirely by execution. That’s according to my own reading of the game and, evidently, Ricardo Allen’s.
Raw and honest assessment of Falcons by @Ricardo37Allen— Zach Klein (@ZachKleinWSB) October 15, 2017
“Our coaches told us what plays the’d run in 2nd half.. they drew it up for us” pic.twitter.com/IHOWR33laW
This makes it sound like the coaching staff did an excellent job of anticipating what Miami’s entirely predictable offensive gameplan would be, and the players dropped the ball. That’s not typical—the defense has quietly been very good this year, with really just the exception of this game—but it is fairly evident. The Falcons were repeatedly penalized in the second half, extending drives and keeping Miami alive, and they were unable to bring down Jay Ajayi and put pressure on Jay Cutler. That allowed one of the league’s worst offenses to pull together enough drives to grab the win.
Allen was far from the biggest culprit here. He had a dropped pick, and got a weird phantom call lodged against him on a penalty that I think was supposed to go for Robert Alford, but a lot of the mistakes on this defense were occurring closer to the line of scrimmage.
How I get a PI and I was the middle field safety and I don't guard people— Ricardo Allen (@Ricardo37Allen) October 15, 2017
While I don’t think his comments suggest any particular locker room discord, it’s fairly obvious that all is not quite as it should be in Atlanta at the moment. Thankfully, a win next week takes a lot of that pressure and concern away, but it’s something to monitor as the team tries to find the right side of the win column in the weeks ahead, even so.