ESPN Falcon's Mailbag - Printable Version
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ESPN Falcon's Mailbag - Sporkdevil - 10-28-2010 12:41 PM
Quote:Atlanta Falcons mailbag
I bolded what seemed important. I'm glad we weren't the only ones concerned about the lack of the deep pass.
RE: ESPN Falcon's Mailbag - AtlantaFalconPokerPro - 10-28-2010 12:49 PM
does anyone have access to the Grimes article?
RE: ESPN Falcon's Mailbag - Sporkdevil - 10-28-2010 12:54 PM
I don't have the Grimes article, but there have been a few about his solid performance this season. I think even Jay Adams had one.
RE: ESPN Falcon's Mailbag - Peyton - 10-28-2010 01:00 PM
The article is posted....look for the thread that say "NFC goest through Atlanta" or something like that.
RE: ESPN Falcon's Mailbag - Paulitik - 10-28-2010 01:17 PM
I didn't see it here, but here it is. It's an ESPN Insider, so I won't bother with a link.:
No situation illustrates the year of transition that is the 2010 NFL season like the battle for the top spot in the NFC. At various times since September 12, you could make a case that the Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers, New Orleans Saints, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles were up there -- but injuries and inconsistency have stopped them all from moving away from the pack.
Those teams' inability to play up to their talent level could be leaving the door open for the Atlanta Falcons to make a run for the conference title. The Falcons have, for the past couple of years, been a star-studded team that didn't play up to its abilities, but a breakdown of the game tapes and metrics from this season shows this Atlanta team isn't like its predecessors.
It turns out that three of the Falcons' big name veterans are stepping up their games in unheralded ways, along with an unsung candidate for defensive player of the year.
That is a big statement to make, but Brent Grimes is backing it up with terrific coverage numbers. Grimes had more than solid metrics last season, as his 6.7 yards per attempt (YPA) mark ranked him in the upper one-third of the league in that category, but he has taken it up a notch this year.
He has allowed only 124 completion/penalty yards on 27 pass attempts. That equates to a 4.6 YPA, which is only a yard per attempt more than Darrelle Revis posted last year in his coverage season for the ages. Atlanta has been in dire need of a true No. 1 cornerback for a long time and Grimes has provided that to them.
The Falcons' secondary is also one of the beneficiaries of the veteran turnaround. Dunta Robinson has always sported a reputation as a dominant cornerback -- but his metrics never actually backed up that assessment. A perfect illustration of this reputation/performance dissonance came in 2009, when Robinson's 8.4 YPA was the highest of the three regular cornerbacks on the Houston Texans' roster.
There are many ways to illustrate Robinson's improvement this year. The first of these is his 6.1 YPA when facing a wide receiver. To put that into perspective, consider that the rule of thumb for superior performance in this area is a 7.0 YPA mark or lower.
Ryan, Turner and White get most of the attention, but Grimes and Robinson are a big part of the Falcons' rise.
Robinson has also shown dramatic improvement on vertical passes (vertical being defined as aerials thrown 11 or more yards downfield). His 10.4 YPA total in this category last season ranked 68th in the league, but this year he has cut that down to a 7.1 YPA total.
Tony Gonzalez is a lot like Robinson; his vertical numbers are also finally starting to equal his talent level. That wasn't the case in 2009 when Gonzalez posted a 7.6 vertical YPA, which was the 8th lowest in the league among tight ends. A late career drop-off of that nature often means the player is on the decline, but Gonzalez has staved off that thought by posting a 12.1 vertical YPA this season.
One possible reason for Gonzalez's improvement could be the development of Roddy White into a true matchup buster.
White had always been a high-target-volume receiver who can run the entire passing tree, but he wasn't always a wideout who could consistently dominate cornerbacks. Proof of this can be found in his 7.9 YPA when facing cornerbacks last season, a total that ranked him tied for 36th best among wide receivers in 2009.
This season has seen White master the matchup buster role. His YPA against cornerbacks has shot up to a 10.1 mark despite facing top coverage players such as Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Jabari Greer, Shawntae Spencer, Eric Wright, Asante Samuel and Leon Hall. Only ten wide receivers were able to post a double-digit YPA against cornerbacks last year, so White is currently operating in rare air.
Add the play of these four to the superb seasons that Matt Ryan and Michael Turner are having, and it is clear this is a team that could be ready to hit on all cylinders. Since their schedule is more than a bit favorable (five of nine games at home, only one trip to the west coast, five contests against Carolina, St. Louis and Tampa Bay), it is very easy to see a path to home field advantage, and possibly a trip to Cowboys Stadium in early February, in this team's future.
RE: ESPN Falcon's Mailbag - juraitwaluzka - 10-28-2010 02:42 PM
I hope that comes to pass. Getting goose bumps thinking about it.
RE: ESPN Falcon's Mailbag - AtlantaFalconPokerPro - 10-28-2010 02:46 PM
(10-28-2010 12:54 PM)Sporkdevil Wrote: I don't have the Grimes article, but there have been a few about his solid performance this season. I think even Jay Adams had one.
Not sure how I managed to miss that article, thanks.
RE: ESPN Falcon's Mailbag - cnasty - 10-28-2010 03:19 PM
Just thinking out loud here, if you were on the Atl coaching staff would you change Grimes and D-Rob in the offseason if Grimes continues to outperform D-Rob?
RE: ESPN Falcon's Mailbag - Peyton - 10-28-2010 03:54 PM
(10-28-2010 03:19 PM)cnasty Wrote: Just thinking out loud here, if you were on the Atl coaching staff would you change Grimes and D-Rob in the offseason if Grimes continues to outperform D-Rob?
You mean, have them switch sides? I doubt it. Grimes is better on the right side, but Robinson is a lot better on the right side. So don't see much point in switching them.
RE: ESPN Falcon's Mailbag - The Don™ - 10-28-2010 03:55 PM
I'm eating crow b/c of Grimes. I thought Owens should have started and was the better fit at LCB.
I take that back. Grimes is absolutely beasting right now, and I have no doubt that he will get an extension to be here for a long time....