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Falcons Playoff Review

Yes there is a delay on this post, but after a loss, I’m generally not a happy individual.  I am in a bad mood and usually vow to never watch a game again with whoever is with me (sorry for those that had to hear that from me this weekend).  In order to close out the season right, I’d like to pass on the following playoff review as well as what I’ll be looking for in the offseason.

There are many things to take away from the playoff game (Falcons 24, Cardinals 30).  These things can be both on the field and off the field as well as listed below here for your reading pleasure.  Here are my quick thoughts that I had during the game.

  • The Cardinals stadium looks like it is inflatable
  • Why do we get stuck with Cris Colinsworth?  He’s terrible.
  • Larry Fitzgerald is amazing
  • Is it just me or do the Cardinals have Ryan’s snap count figured out?  Maybe the Falcons will have that fixed in the second half.
  • I’ve said it once and I will say it again:  The Van Gorder defense only works if you get to the QB.  We keep getting so close but not close enough.
  • We just can’t win the field position battle.  Are we just trying to make our team go 90+ yards to score?
  • Why does Roddy catch semi-difficult catches but can’t seem to bring in the ones when he is wide open and alone down the field?
  • All year I have heard we need to get Norwood the ball more.  He is an impact and needs to be given the ball.  Did we forget this thought or just felt that Turner would eventually break through.
  • Roddy don’t just stare at passes that are coming up short for you.  Become a defender and knock it away from the defense.
  • I believe Michael Jenkins is still on this team.
  • All season we have wanted a pass catching TE.  Marcus Pollard just now appears in this game?
  • The media will state that Ryan ended up looking like a rookie in this game, but Sam Baker is the one looking the most like a rookie as he is getting blown up on the line.
  • NFL, please stop coddling the QBs.  If a QB is wrapped up and still moving around, let play continue.  Don’t whistle the play dead because he might actually still be able to get the ball away.  The QB should be smart enough to weigh injuries vs additional penalties for certain decisions.
  • Is it possible to have an onside kick after a safety?  I know many will scream at me for this move since you are already in terrible field position, but is it actually possible?  Or does the punt not have the same properties and rules as a kickoff?
  • Keith!!!  We all knew it was going to be play action.  We all saw it coming but you and your veteran abilities did not.  Ahh!!!!!

The season has ended for the Falcons, but it is just beginning of looking towards the process for next year.  Here’s my quick guide for what I’d like to see this off season (draft, free agent) as well as next season.

  • Last season we went out and spent for Turner and it paid off many times over.  However, I don’t really see any “big names” in this offseason that we should spend the money to get.  If anything we should pick up the quiet guys like we did last year with Coleman and Foxworth.
  • On the defensive side of the ball, we need to look to fill Safety, OLB, DT, and CB.
  • On the offensive side of the ball, we need to look to fill OL and TE (Pass catching)
  • Keith should become more leader than player.  Teach the younger guys.  I don’t want to see Keith leave because he is always a Falcon and Georgia guy.  Let him stay here and end his career.
  • Next season create more offensive plays around Norwood.  I see him as a Brian Westbrook style back that would excel best in screens and quick pass situations.
  • To follow up offensive rookie of the year, let’s see if Thomas and Smitty can pick the defensive rookie of the year.
  • A Pro Bowl for Koheonen in 09.  He had a pro bowl style season in Atlanta, but no one votes for punters often unless you are in the NFC East.
  • Can we finally end the 43 year drought and finally get back to back winning seasons?

The process is complete.  It is now time to stay the course of action

Posted under Sports


Charlie Says:
January 7th, 2009 at 6:58 pm

yes, you can onside kick after a safety. After a safety, the kicking team is given a “free kick”. This allows you a choice to kick the ball off a tee like a normal kick off or to punt the ball in hand. Traditionally, the punt is preferred as the team is already giving up field position, so they want to ensure good coverage by kicking a high punt with good hang time. But that does not eliminate their choice to put the ball on the tee and do an onside kick.

a much less known rule, but perhaps much more fascinating is the free kick following fair catch rule. This rule allows you to take a free kick from the spot of the fair catch where you are able to let someone hold the ball like normal and attempt a field goal, OR you may take the punt option. If you punt the ball through the uprights, you still get 3 points. Hasnt been attempted in quite some time, but always fun to see scenarios where it just might apply.

Ben Says:
January 7th, 2009 at 7:00 pm

I didn’t know a team had the option, but if a team chooses punt can they still onside kick or run a fake punt?

I did know about the free kick rule and I believe Flutie Flakes himself was the last to attempt the drop punt field goal. If you call for the free kick following a fair catch, does the personnel on the field change and line up like a normal kick or is it a free for all based on who is on the field?

David Bethea Says:
January 10th, 2009 at 10:41 am

Benjamin, I actually don’t have too much add since I agree with most of what you have written (GASP!). The only thing I disagree with was Brooking blowing that coverage (which you and I have already discussed). I think you’re right about not getting Norwood involved more in the game also. We did such a great job of creating plays for him during the last 5-6 games of the season, but he seemed like sort of a forgotten man against the Cardinals. It didn’t help us that their defense played out-of-their-minds and over-their-heads in that game. Chalk that up the emotion of at home playoff game. No way they duplicate that against Carolina.

I did have a nice chuckle when I looked at your defensive needs. Did you realize you put nearly every position (lol)? Believe it or not, I completely agree with you because most of the positions you put are ones where we are aging, but I still found it amusing to see 4 of the 6 positions listed as needs. Overall, nicely done.

Alright, that’s all I got. Here’s to 2009!!

– Bethea

Mr WordPress Says:
January 15th, 2009 at 1:56 pm

Who are the Falcons?

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