Today was arguably the worst game of the year for the Falcons. They lost again by double digits with most of their points coming when the game was long over. There was the benching of Peter Konz, who started at RG today instead of Center. Konz gave up three sacks to Gerald McCoy that took the wind out the Falcons' sails on two promising drives. Those three sacks all happened in the first quarter.
The secondary was shredded by rookie quarterback Mike Glennon who had an absolute field day against this so called defense. Glennon had virtually no pressure on him and only had three incompletions on the day. He finished 20/23 for 231 yards and two touchdowns. He had an out of this world passer rating of 137.5. Multiple completions were deep balls to Vincent Jackson who consistently burned Asante Samuel and anyone else who was foolish enough to try and cover him.
DeCoud was also benched. After being elected to the pro bowl last season, DeCoud has been anything but that this year. The Falcons appeared to have seen enough.
The game was close for one quarter when the Falcons were down 3-0. But after that, it was all Tampa Bay. They scored 21 points in the second quarter and 14 more in the third quarter. One player who was a big part of that was running back Bobby Rainey. A player who signed off the street a couple of weeks ago, he was the X factor. He finished with 30 carries for 163 yards and two touchdowns. He averaged 5.4 yards per carry.
This was the second consecutive game in which the Falcons allowed a running back to rush for over 140 yards.
The Bucs ran and passed all over the Falcons all day at will.
The Buccaneers also attempted (and sometimes succeeded) on multiple trick plays. This included a fake punt that didn't work, a flea flicker that didn't work and a surprise onside kick that did work.
The Falcons offense had one of their most dysfunctional games this year with bad play calling, no pass protection and another bad road game for Matt Ryan. But, you can still pin a lot of this on Ryan never having any time in the pocket. There were also a lot of passes that were either dropped by receivers. Ryan though, hasn't looked like himself in a long time. Even though the O-line and dropped passes were a factor, Ryan had his share of overthrown passes that you could definitely blame on him.
Ryan finished with 254 yards passing on 19/36 yards passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Both touchdowns came well after the game was already decided.
On the year, Ryan has eight touchdown passes and 11 interceptions in five road games.
The Falcons really hurt themselves all day with poor play calling. Right from the very beginning, Steven Jackson was rolling through the Tampa Bay defense with his first two runs going for 15 yards and then seven yards. But instead of sticking with what was working, offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter attempted way too many passes, resulting in Ryan getting pulverized because of Konz's and the rest of the O-line's blocking ineptitude.
The Falcons never let Jackson get into a rhythm either. Jacquizz Rodgers would be inserted and then too many passes were once again forced. In a season in which Jackson has really struggled, this was the best start he was having to any game this season. But Koetter's over reliance on trying to pass too much again hurt this Falcons offense from becoming balanced and successful.
The worst play calling came in the third quarter in which the Falcons opened the third quarter with a nice, balanced drive. After a run that got the Falcons deep into Buccaneers territory, it was second and one. But Koetter chose to attempt to pass the ball on second, third and fourth down. All three times resulted in incompletions, and a turn over on downs that effectively ended any realistic chance of the Falcons coming back in this game.
Koetter would continue then to lean on the run as the deficit grew larger which made absolutely zero sense. This was Koetter's worst day as an offensive coordinator for this team.
Some positives? Paul Worrilow led the team in tackles again with 16, and Harry Douglas had 6 catches for 135 yards and a touchdown. 80 of those yards came on one play, a touchdown pass from Matt Ryan.
This team is completely out of sorts, and isn't competitive in any respect. The only upside is that the Falcons will be in a great spot to nab a top three pick in the NFL draft next year.
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