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Falcons Team Report
The Falcon Jedi
Falcons Team Report
Yahoo! Sports 1 hour, 55 minutes ago
The Falcons have lost their quick-strike capacity on offense.
In an attempt to perk up their sputtering offense, they are looking for more big plays.
“We’ve got too many play makers on this offense to not be scoring touchdowns,” running back Michael Turner(notes) said. “Guys are full of pride on this team so I have faith in those guys, including myself, that we are going to get the job done.”
The Falcons had one play that went for more than 20 yards against the Steelers. Quarterback Matt Ryan(notes) connected with wide receiver Harry Douglas(notes) for a 23-yard gain in the second quarter.
There are several ways for the Falcons to create more big plays.
They could throw more deep passes. Receivers could try to get more yards after the catch and break some tackles.
The offensive line is working on trying to spring Turner with better blocking.
The Falcons also can create some mismatches with some of their speed players like Douglas and running back Jerious Norwood(notes), who appeared set to run away from a linebacker at least twice against Pittsburgh.
Against the Steelers, the Falcons also had pass plays of 20, 18, 17 and 15.
“We have to get some more explosive plays on offense to make the drives easier,” wide receiver Roddy White(notes) said. “We are making it real hard on ourselves.”
• WR Harry Douglas, who missed all of last season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, started against the Steelers. Douglas, who took Michael Jenkins’(notes) spot in the lineup, finished with three catches for 36 yards. Jenkins was out with a shoulder injury.
“It was good to see Harry back out there,” Falcons coach Mike smith(notes) said. “Harry’s had a long battle coming back from that knee. He is going to be an integral part of what we want to do offensively.”
• Defensive end John Abraham(notes), a former 190-pound wide receiver who ran a 4.4 40-yard dash in high school, dropped in coverage and nearly had an interception.
“I’m not (a receiver) anymore,” Abraham said. “It came so fast. It was like by the time I turned around it was coming at me.”
Abraham, who had a sack, was not happy about the missed opportunity.
“What makes it so bad is that I dropped one in practice the other day so I feel even worse now because I feel like I should have had it,” Abraham said. “A little thing like that, now at the end of the game seems really big.”
• RB Michael Turner was held to 42 yards on 19 careers by the Steelers. Overall, the Falcons were held to just 58 yards rushing on 25 carries.
The Falcons spent a major portion of the preseason getting ready for 3-4 defenses.
“We didn’t block them up front,” Smith said. “We didn’t get movement on the line of scrimmage.”
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
• CB Christopher Owens(notes) left the Week 1 game at Pittsburgh briefly with a right knee injury, but he later returned to the action.
• S Erik Coleman(notes) received treatment on his left leg late in the fourth quarter, but returned to play.
• RB Michael Turner was held to 42 yards on 19 carries. The team had 58 yards on 25 carries (2.3 per carry).
• WR Michael Jenkins (shoulder) did not play against Pittsburgh. The team said he would miss four to six weeks after being hurt on Aug. 6.
• DT Jonathan Babineaux(notes), the team’s sack leader in 2009, served his one game suspension and will return to the lineup this week. Trey Lewis(notes) started for him and assisted on two tackles.
Report Card Vs . STEELERS
Passing Offense: C-plus—QB Matt Ryan completed 27 of 44 passes for 252 yards, but only had one completion of more than 20 yards. He spread the ball around to nine different receivers but targeted Roddy White on 23 (more than half) of his attempts. Harry Douglas started at wide receiver for Michael Jenkins and had three receptions.
Rushing Offense: F—The Falcons spent a great deal of the offseason trying to figure out how to unleash their rushing attack against 3-4 defenses. They failed that test against Pittsburgh as they were held to 58 yards rushing on 25 carries for a paltry 2.3 average per carry. Michael Turner was held to 42 yards on 19 carries.
Pass Defense: C-plus—The unit that finished 28th in the league against the pass last season had a respectable outing against Pittsburgh’s third-string quarterback. Hines Ward(notes) did catch six passes for 108 yards and Mike Wallace(notes) got loose for a 52-yard gain.
Rush Defense: C—The unit was having a good day containing Steelers quarterback Dennis Dixon(notes) and running back Rashard Mendenhall(notes) until overtime. They loaded up the box on the first play in overtime and Mendenhall busted through and scored on a 50-yard touchdown run. He finished with 120 yards on 22 carries. Dixon only ran twice and picked up just 4 yards.
Special Teams: B—Punter Michael Koenen(notes) had a good day. He averaged 39.1 yards on seven punts and placed four of his punts inside the 20. Two of them were downed inside the 10. Field goal kicker Matt Bryant(notes) was 3 of 4 on his field goals attempts. The kickoff return unit had a costly holding penalty in overtime.
Coaching: C—The coaching staff had a chance to make a bold move but elected to go the safe route. They kicked a field goal to tie the game on a fourth-and-1 from Pittsburgh’s 5. They also got a break when Pittsburgh missed a 40-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter. The offense used an unbalanced line at times, but still could not bust any big runs. They Falcons didn’t attempt to test the Steelers with any vertical throws.
good post Jedi!
Dome Section 232!
Norwood for all his haters out there has to be an explosive part of this offense. I know Douglas is going to be one of our playmakers this year unless Mularkey completely screws up on using him correctly, but we are going to need Jerious for big play potential. Hopefully once we have Jenkins back everything falls into place, and yes the team did miss Jenkins last Sunday in every aspect on offense.
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