Atlanta Falcons: Rookies making their case

Despite the final score, the Atlanta Falcons (3-10) had a better game against the Green Bay Packers (6-6-1).

Photo credit: Atlanta Falcons (www.atlantafalcons.com)

Photo credit: Atlanta Falcons (www.atlantafalcons.com)

The Falcons started off by grounding and pounding the ball and Matt Ryan throwing short passes to veterans WR Roddy White and TE Tony Gonzalez to keep the ball moving down field to get touchdowns. The offense was very balanced and sound the first half. The offensive line didn’t allow Matt Ryan to get sacked the first half and protected him well in the pocket. And the rookies played their parts offensively too: WR Darius Johnson caught a pass for a 38-yard touchdown.

The defense was the real shocker. It wasn’t truly evident if the defensive line was just that good or if the Packers offense was just that bad. The defensive line rushed and put pressure on QB Matt Flynn and sacked him five times throughout the duration of the game. One big sack ended in a sack and fumble caused by S William Moore. Another turnover that truly stood out was the interception by LB Sean Weatherspoon. Flynn threw an incomplete pass and rookie LB Paul Worrilow made sure to keep the play alive by tipping the ball in the air. Weatherspoon was right there to catch it and he ran for a 71-yard touchdown. That should be the Falcons play of the year.

Another thing to notice is that the Falcons still have CB Asante Samuel benched (replaced by CB Robert Alford) and DeCoud might not play for the rest of the year. DeCoud was replaced by rookie Zeke Motta, who played a little better than DeCoud did considering he hasn’t played as much as DeCoud and certainly gets to the ball quicker and tackles better. The rookies have plenty to prove these few games are doing a great job of showing why they deserve a spot on the team next year and maybe even a starting position.

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The reason the Falcons still lost is because of the same ole same ole: not being able to score in the 3rd quarter. This is something the Falcons have to work on in the offseason because this has been going on for years in the Mike Smith era. Also the call to go for the fourth and five instead of the field goal was questionable. Matt Bryant had missed a field goal, but he’s still more consistent and they should’ve gave him a chance.

Next week against the Falcons have to do two things they did today. Get pressure on the quarterback and create turnovers. They didn’t win the turnover ratio because of mistakes by Ryan that were in critical moments and too late in the game, but there’s time for improvement. Either way, the Falcons continue to be in a win-win situation somehow because if they win that’s great, if not they get a better draft pick because the Houston Texans and Washington Redskins somehow manage to be worse than this years Falcons.

P.S….Where’s Antone Smith?

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