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Falcons Fail To Execute, Lose Opener

Posted By Josh Brown On Sep 12 2011 @ 10:16 am In Atlanta Falcons | 3 Comments

The Atlanta Falcons didn’t look like contenders on Sunday.

Their defense looked bad and their offense looked even worse.

Defensively, Jay Cutler and his Bears found many open holes in the Falcons zone defense. Although the Falcons defense looked good at first, the short fields that the Bears were given led to easy points for Cutler’s offense. Thomas Decoud dropped two easy interceptions which could have made this a very different game. Cutler passed for 312 yards on 22 completions, although 56 of those yards came on a Matt Forte screen play.┬áSean WeatherSpoon led the Falcons with 10 tackles, but his missed tackle on the Forte catch led to the Bears touchdown. The highlight of the Falcons defense was a interception return for a touchdown from DE Kroy Biermann, and that turned out to be the lone touchdown for the Falcons today. The defense piled together five sacks. Special teams was shut down

Offensively, the Falcons offensive line gets half of the blame, while the Bears Defense gets the other half of the blame. Matt Ryan was sacked 5 times, and he was rushed many more times. He could not maintain his rhythm that he found in the first quarter when he completed almost each of his passes. Ryan did pass for 319 yards while going 33 of 47, however. Michael Turner rushed for 100 yards on 10 carries. Tony Gonzalez led receivers with 72 yards and acclaimed rookie Julio Jones came in second with 71. Both had 5 receptions.

Key Plays:

  • In the first quarter, on 2 and 2, Matt Ryan rolls out looking for Tony Gonzalez but hits Bears LB Brian Urlacher right in the hands for an interception.
  • Michael Turner fumbles after the Forte touchdown and turns the ball over back to the Bears.
  • Matt Ryan fumbles at the Falcons’ 12-yard line and Brian Urlacher runs the ball in for a touchdown.
  • In the 3rd quarter, Jay Cutler finds Devin Hester on 1st and 10 for a 53 yard play which led to a Bears touchdown on the next play.
  • In the fourth quarter, John Abraham blocks a Cutler pass and Kroy Biermann takes it to the endzone in an interception return for a touchdown.
Opinion:
The Falcons looked bad. However, it’s not the end of the world. The offense put up good numbers and must translate that into touchdowns and not field goals. We can’t forget that the Bears have one of the best defenses in the league. They prevented any deep plays and forced Matt Ryan to check down. The Falcons’ defense stopped the run pretty well and it would have been a different game if not for those big plays by Devin Hester and Matt Forte. The Falcons offensive line must block better next week and give Matt Ryan time in the pocket.
Bonus:
Next week, Philly is in town. The Falcons need to contain Vick and somehow get open on offense against the Eagles secondary, which acquired Nnamdi Asomauga. Also, The NFC South might be a tough divison once again. Cam Newton threw for 422 yards (though the Panthers lost).

 

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