Should we recalibrate our expectation for this Falcons season? Should we actually say (ok, whisper)… playoffs?
This 2015 Falcons team looks more clutch through 3 weeks than anything we’ve seen the last 7 years.
When Dan Quinn made those last second Labor Day Weekend moves to address the offensive line I really thought we’d be dead in the water. How were the Falcons gonna protect Matt Ryan let alone get a run game going with guys having a just a week to come to together?
They buckled a bit late in the 4th quarter against the Eagles, but the defense rose to the occasion and closed it out.
But fast forward to Week 3 in Dallas and this crew was blasting holes for Devonta Freeman en route to his 141 yard 3 touchdown game and giving Ryan time to throw.
When was the last time we saw an Atlanta Falcons team put together 87, 89 & 63 yard drives in the second half let alone in the 4th quarter? When was the last time you saw the Falcons look so clutch and composed in come from behind victories?
Yes, it’s time to recalibrate our expectations, or more importantly throw out our perceptions and forget the previous nightmarish experiences over the last 2 seasons.
Falcons fans we have to get our head around this team being the hammer and not the nail in the 2nd half!
For much of Smitty’s reign the Falcons would get up on an opponent in the first half, but never put them away in the second. Even in years when we locked up home field in the playoffs we always seemed to fade late or have to hang on for dear life while field goals, and not touchdowns, went on the board in the second half.
Now we’re the team making adjustments. Although Dan Quinn said there was nothing schematic in the second half comeback over Dallas, it was more about the players making tackles and attacking.
Dan Quinn loves that word attack, it came up in his introductory press conference and you hear it every week.
This Falcon team goes on the attack in the second half… not into a shell.
And I don’t want to hear any excuses from Cowboys fans… Dallas was up 14 and Brandon Weeden was setting the franchise record for consecutive completions until Willie Mo picked him off. This Falcons team took some body blows in the early rounds and then dropped some haymakers late in the fight.
After missing 9 tackles, by Dan Quinn’s count, the Falcons defense hunkered down and stymied Joseph Randle and the Cowboys run game in the second half.
Meanwhile, the Falcons offensive line kicked the Cowboys ass. Devonta Freeman showed that he can be a workhorse every down back for this team.
And Julio has found another gear… call it Super Julio!
This week Jerry Jones thought out loud, why haven’t the Cowboys used Dez Bryant the way Kyle Shanahan used Julio Jones last Sunday. Shanahan moved Julio into the slot and all over the formation to create mismatches and touchdowns for the hottest wide receiver in the league.
Hmmm, great question Jerry… why don’t you ask Jason Garrett and the half dozen other offensive gurus on your staff.
The Texans roll into The Dome Sunday. Force of nature JJ Watt now has a healthier Jadeveon Clowney to help him get after Matt Ryan. This was a game we pointed to back in August as a true litmus test for our offensive line.
Kyle Shanahan will presumably move Matt Ryan in the pocket to avoid the pass rush. And so far this season Matt’s impeccable play action has given him even more time to find Julio or Leonard Hankerson.
Speaking of Hankerson, he’s seeing a lot more touches than #84. A lot of Falcons fans have asked us, “What’s up with Roddy White?”
Truth be told, he should have had a touchdown to go along with 90 yards in the Eagles game. Hankerson and tight end Jacob Tamme got the few throws not going to Julio in Week 2 vs the Giants. And this week Roddy’s lone catch for a first down was negated by a penalty.
Dan Quinn sang Roddy’s praises as a run blocker on Monday, but why would the Falcons give a then 32 year old Roddy White a $30 Million dollar contract last year including $10 Million guaranteed to be a blocker?
Kyle Shanahan has familiarity with Leonard Hankerson from their time at the Redskins, and yes he’s quicker than Roddy, but he’s dropped almost as many passes as he’s caught. I say it’s still too early to pronounce Roddy a dead man walking in this offense.
Hopefully by Week 5, when we take on the Redskins, this teams gets Tevin Coleman back to provide a dynamic 1-2 punch in the backfield. Although, it will be interesting to see how Shanahan divides the touches after Devonta’s monster day in Dallas.
And we still haven’t seen Devin Hester out there yet. He continues to struggle with turf toe. But can you imagine the points this team can put up when #17 is back there flipping the field for the offense?
Speaking of field position, how ’bout the job punter Matt Bosher is doing. He is having a pro bowl caliber year.
So many great things happening for this Falcons team right now, most important of which is the confidence that comes from winning these come from behind games, knowing they can take a knock out punch and still win the fight.
Now, let’s go beat the Texans wire to wire!