Monday, January 17, 2011

B&B On the Falcons

Here's a link to a piece that Michael over at Braves&Birds did on the Falcons. To see the best season in franchise history ended with our worst playoff loss ever was quite painful; but it was also not unexpected. I think we all knew the foundation was wobbly and could crumble away at any moment. But, overall, I feel like we're headed in the right direction and might just be one or two defensive free agents or draft picks away from being able to win in the post-season. Michael, on the other hand, says the problems run deeper, and after reading his piece, I'm more inclined to agree with him:

"The 13-3 record masked the fact that the team just isn’t that good on offense or defense. The shortcomings were exposed brutally by the Packers [Sat.] night. If anything, the game was another illustration of the fact that a team is often not as good or bad as its record...The Falcons, on the other hand, have a raft of issues to address. In fact, the silver lining to a loss like that is that it will prevent Thomas Dimitroff and the rest of the Falcons’ brain trust from buying the notion that the team is elite and needs only minor tinkering...What needs to change?"

First, he calls out Mike Malarkey. While I'm not behind everything he said, he nailed certain other points. Anyone who follows me on twitter knows how I felt about that end-of-the-first-half play call. You know the one. It was terrible; a terrible call by Malarkey and poor decision making by Ryan. Michael even calls it "one of the worst playcalls in recorded history." Agreed. His other points are valid, but that playcall is the BIG ONE for me - we just looked like we hadn't been there before.

He then goes on to criticize the defense, but manages to defend Brian VanGorder, and justifiably so: "there was evidence of good defensive coaching yesterday in the fact that blitzes dialed up by VanGorder got unblocked blitzers into Rodgers’ face on numerous occasions. Those blitzers whiffed repeatedly, which is a clear an example of a failure in talent as opposed to scheme."And whiff they did. When Aaron odgers started looking like Mike Vick, you knew it was O-V-E-R.

He goes on, hitting on other issues here and there. It's a good read and I highly recommend it. It helps ease the process of putting this season on mothballs and realizing your team, which won 13 games, just really wasn't that good. There's always next year...

No comments:

Post a Comment