It was another bad weekend for the Falcons, resulting in their third straight loss by double digits. After being competitive in their first four losses, the last three have been abysmal.
Here were a couple of things we learned about the Falcons after Sunday's loss.
JACQUIZZ RODGERS NEEDS MORE TOUCHES
The Steven Jackson experiment hasn't worked thus far. In five games played, he only has 47 carries for 151 attempts. Now, he was injured and the offensive line is bad, and the Falcons are down almost all the time meaning they have to pass far more than they run. But after yesterday, the Falcons need to consider his understudy. Jacquizz Rogers had only three carries yesterday, but had 31 yards after three carries. That's a 10.1 YPC (yards per carry) average. Compare that to Steven Jackson's nine attempts for 11 yards yesterday. That's an average of 1.2.
Jackson was effective against Carolina and has gone back and forth in having bad days and average days since his return from his injury.
What's apparent is that Rogers may be more equipped to run behind this offensive line. Jackson is slower and needs more time for his offensive lineman to set up their blocks than Rodgers, who is faster than Jackson. Rodgers can use his speed to compensate for the bad run blocking and get up the field quicker.
Rodgers needs more carries if the Falcons want to win another game this year.
THOMAS DECOUD CAN'T DEFEND THE PASS… OR THE RUN
Thomas DeCoud continues to take bad routes in both running and passing play. Russell Wilson picked on him yesterday when he threw a 40+ yard bomb to the end zone for the touchdown. DeCoud was in one on one coverage with the receiver and was in a very bad position the entire play and couldn't make a play on the ball, resulting in a touchdown.
Marshawn Lynch's only rushing touchdown was the result of DeCoud taking another bad route in trying to stop Lynch. Instead of getting physical in the line of scrimmage, DeCoud avoided engaging in contact from the blocking full back, and slowed up in his pursuit of Lynch. This allowed Lynch to scamper around the flat for an easy score.
DeCoud has been getting burned all season on deep balls in particular. He's seemed really lost out there the last couple of weeks, and teams are picking on him early and often.
FALCONS MUST INVEST TOP DRAFT PICKS IN OFFENSIVE LINE, DEFENSIVE LINE
This is something that has been stated for quite a while, but it was never more apparent than it was yesterday. The Falcons have lost this year largely due to their inefficiencies in the trenches, but their effort yesterday was so bad that if Thomas Dimitroff does not invest heavily on the offensive and defensive line in next year's draft, he needs to be fired.
Matt Ryan had no time yesterday, and we have never seen him check down to running backs more in his career than he did yesterday. He threw for only 172 yards because he didn't have a chance to throw the ball more than three yards before a Seahawks defensive lineman was on him.
Ryan has been able to compensate for the line's poor play in the beginning of the season, but he can't do it anymore. This is one of the worst units in all of football. If the Falcons want to utilize their big play offense next season, they need to bring in top tier talent to assist in the protection of their 100 million dollar quarterback.
On the defensive side of the ball, there was more sloppy tackling yesterday from the front four, and virtually zero pressure on Russell Wilson. The Seahawks were playing three backup offensive lineman yesterday and have given up 27 sacks on the season. The Falcons only got one sack on Wilson and that was after a busted play in which Wilson had the ball for at least 8-10 seconds, and had no where to go.
Top draft picks must be invested into the trenches next season. No longer can the Falcons draft these players in the third, fourth or fifth round or hope for another Paul Worrilow by taking chances with undrafted free agents. The Falcons must invest their top picks next year where they need to the very most. It's like beating a dead horse saying this again and again, but it continues to be at the top of the very long list of negatives this team has had all season every single week.
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