OK, so it wasn't the ass kicking that we all expected.......
10-04-2010, 01:13 AM
OK, so it wasn't the ass kicking that we all expected.......
....well I didn't expect it, but all the "experts" did.
The Niners are a talented football team, I wasn't surprised at all that the game was a battle.
So just watched the game over studying each play, and here are some of the things I saw:
Let's start with the obvious - Roddy White played basically a perfect football game. I'm not sure but I don't think there was a single ball thrown anywhere near him that he didn't catch. The effort he showed on the interception was unbelievable, more on that later.
Here is the thing with Matt Ryan, and it was especially true in this game. When he decides he is going to throw the ball to Tony G prior to the snap, there is a good chance something bad is going to happen. When he reads the defense both pre snap and after the snap, he becomes brilliant. The first pick happened because Ryan assumed that Tony would beat Takeo Spikes on an out pattern, and the second pick happened because the Niners knew exactly what Ryan would do if they blitzed a LB that lined up on top of Gonzalez. Ryan needs to rid himself of those tendencies.
The Niners defense didn't think the Falcons could handle blitzes on Ryan's weak side, and they were right. I don't know if Baker should have been sliding or if a back was suppose to pick up those blitzing LBs, but the Falcons need to get that fixed.
I saw somebody on the other board lamenting the lack of pressure by the defensive line. Well....when you watch the game back, you realize that the Niners were running 80% screens and quick outs and there reailly isn't much pressure you are going to get on those plays. I thought the defensive line played extremely well, both against the run and the pass.
Somehow, the Falcons came into the game completely unprepared to deal with the screens, but they did a lot better in the second half, so they made some nice adjustments.
OK, I am sold on William Moore. As the guy gets more experience his football instincts are taking over, and I am more than impressed with his performance today. His INT was not a horrible pass by Smith, he totally suckered Smith into the read he made and I am confident that over half the QBs in the league would have taken that bait as well. His perfectly timed blitz was one of the key plays in the games. All Day, William Moore was in the right place at the right time making the right play. As long as Moore is healthy, Coleman will never start another game at SS for the Falcons.
Mike Peterson is soooooooo slow. The guy can come up with a big play from time to time, but really, he is a liability. On the plays where the Niners had any kind of success, it was usually a play where Peterson was directly involved and not able to get there in time. I hope Nicholas can get out of the coaches dog house because as the season wears on, Peterson will be exploited, and I'd feel better if Nicholas was opposite Weatherspoon.
Ok, I am famous for being biased on this subject, but let me tell you something. Throwing at Brent Grimes has resulted in nothing but fail for teams this year. The Niners took 2 shots at him down the field, one time in man and one time in zone, and got nothing. They took a shot at a slant on third down and he owned Morgan. They took a shot at an out and Grimes narrowly missed a diving interception. The only play teams are running succesfully at Grimes is the WR or TE screen. The Falcons have to clean it up. They either need to get a LB over there that can chase that down or allow Grimes to get up their in the WRs face. Grimes is an incredible cover guy, freaking incredible, but he can't fight off those kick out blocks coming from OTs or TEs. He's just not that guy.
On the other side, Dunta had a tough game. People will blame the sceme, but the truth is that Dunta was just giving those guys way more respect than they deserved. Maybe I was the only one that noticed, but the Falcons gave Dunta a series off late in the 3rd quarter, not sure why. Unfortunately, the Niners immediately hit an in route on Owens when they did, but the Falcons forced a punt a few plays later after Grimes broke up the slant. Anyway, found it interesting that the Falcons held out Dunta at a critical time of the game.
The seven catches from Finneran and Douglass were encouraging. HD was especially impressive, although he did have one pretty horrible drop today. The run he made after the catch on the slant patter was outstanding and exciting to see. He is coming along.
Curtis Lofton played the best single play of pass coverage he ever played in his entire career when he stopped that slant to Gore, then the refs had to go and give him that completely bogus PI call. No effing way man, bad call.
He did miss several tackles today, badly, but the good news for him is nobody in this fanbase notices if he misses a tackle. But don't miss a tackle if you are Brent Grimes lol.
Matt Bryan is straight cash homie. I consider him to have had a perfect season. Heinz field is so brutal for kickers that I am considering 3/4 a perfect season.
About that fumble at the end. There is not enough credit that could be given to Roddy White, that plays was just that good. But I got to also give props to Harvey Dahl, who was husltling his butt down the field and was in position to pounce on that ball when it came loose.
Some of the fans are going to be discouraged that the team didn't take care of this game easily. They shouldn't be. The Niners came in determined and with a great game plan, and the Falcons did what they had to do to overcome it. That is the way you have to win them sometimes.
I am famously skeptical and everybody knows that I don't think this team is "great". But I've noticed something - there isn't a "great" team in the NFC. I don't even know if there is a team that is close to "great" in the NFC. So even though this team is short a playmaker on the WR group, it can be overcome.
So.....I don't think people should be discouraged by this one......just getting that w on the board was the important thing.
Thank you Roddy White.