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Slacking Falcons Play Panthers This Weekend

Posted By Josh Brown On Oct 13 2011 @ 6:51 pm In Atlanta Falcons | 1 Comment

We all figured the Panthers wouldn’t have a good record by the time Week Six came. I don’t think we would guess that the Falcons would be only one win above them at the same time.

The Falcons are playing uninspired football, after being the NFC’s best team last year. They are 2-3, and two of those games they would have won if they had some kind of offense.

The cause of the problem is not clear. I do know that the cause lies within the offense. Some of the initial problems have been fixed: For example, the offensive line finally remembered how to block. The line has only given up one sack in the past two games. So if the line is blocking well, why isn’t the offense performing great?

First off, the running game has slowed down. Michael Turner hasn’t gotten 100 yards since the Eagles game. And this Atlanta offense is based around running the ball to set up the pass. The pass hasn’t been able to flourish because defenses aren’t loading the box with defenders to stop the run.

Secondly, penalties are killing the Falcons. They were the least-penalized team last year with 58 penalties. This year, they have 32 already. A lot of the penalties have been unnecessary. We’ve got to stop that.

Thirdly, play-calling is killing us. This goes for offense and defense. Mularkey and Van Gorder need to get more creative with play-calling. On the offensive side, we have seen Matt Ryan call some good plays out of the no-huddle, but you can’t rely on the No Huddle all game long. Fix the play-calling, or bad things will happen to us.

But back to the task at hand. The Carolina Panthers have been playing good football, but they are just coming up short in games. As you all should know, Rookie QB Cam Newton is playing like a second- or third-year player. He makes some mistakes at times, but he makes up for them but fantastic plays. WR Steve Smith is playing at a high level once again. The Panthers may be 1-4, but they are playing like they are 3-2.

So how do we stop the Panthers from embarrassing us this weekend?

Keys to Victory:

  • Pick up in the passing game: Julio Jones is out for the game, so other WRs such as Eric Weems and Kerry Meier have to step their game up. Eric Weems will probably move into Julio Jones place and keep Harry Douglas in the slot. Roddy White must catch crucial passes.
  • Pick up in the running game: Michael Turner, Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers have to get going. Nothing else to say here. The offensive line is playing better so the RBs need to take advantage.
  • Keep playing good defense/special teams: I loved the Falcons play on defense last week, limiting the Packers to 25 points but giving our offense chances to win. Aaron Rodgers had a clinic out there when it came to yardage, but a lack of running game and lack of touchdown efficiency limited the Packers. This means that the Falcons should do better when playing other QBs (because not every QB is a Aaron Rodgers type of player)
Prediction:
Falcons are playing bad. Panthers are playing worse. If the Falcons remember how to play offense in the second half, then we’ll win.
Falcons 28, Panthers 17

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