Alright, I'm not saying ATL was going to be a cakewalk by any means. I've got no problems taking a loss in a solid game. This was definitely not a solid game though. Too many dumb mistakes and too many missed opportunities. I won't put the loss on Maclin's shoulders like a lot of people want to. We shouldn't have blown the lead, we should have challenged that damn INT. What sucks is even if we challenged that INT and expanded our lead, something tells me that the Falcons still would have rallied to close the gap very closely and our defense wouldn't have been able to do shit about it.
Offensively, our gameplan should have been simple. Wear the ATL defense down with the screens. Which we did. Only it was bubble screens to Maclin. Maclin had a great game, I've got nothing against him. Yeah he dropped a conversion but we shouldn't have put ourselves in that situation anyway. In my honest opinion, and I've been saying it all week, run the screen to Shady early and often and it wears down that defense. You guys know that ATL has a bad defense against the screen. It showed when we had some nice gains via the bubble screen but once they keyed in on Maclin, you saw how that changed. They adapted to Maclin towards the end and even though he was still making plays, there definitely was more defenders focusing on Maclin.
In that case, when they key in on the guy having the big game, dump it off to another excellent playmaker in, you guessed it, Shady McCoy. Whether Todd Herremans and Kyle DeVan or Jason Peters and Evan Mathis, our lineman are very athletic and can definitely get up the field and set up blocks and spring Shady to have a huge day in the pass game. Is there any particular reason we didn't do that?(serious question, by the way)
Also, Shady had 95 yards rushing and 2 TD's. When you have a guy like that, why are we passing on 1st and 10? I know we're a pass happy team but jeez, call me crazy but when I have an excellent RB, on first and ten, I'm gonna see if he can get us some yards which more than likely, yes he will. He's an explosive runner and receiving threat.
I cant really be TOO upset with DeSean's numbers last night. He was hurting and the D was keying in on him. Jeremy Maclin had a huge game in his place though which I'm sure every one of us was happy about. Our offense, aside from dumb mistakes, performed exceptionally though I would have liked to see more use of the screens as I noted above.
Well, I'm sure everyone would have made this exact personnel change during the game: Move Namdi to cover Gonz, DRC to Jones and Asante to White.
I can agree with that move for sure. I don't know why we decided to keep Chaney/Page/Coleman covering a HoF'er when we have a shut down guy who can definitely take Gonz out of the game while still not giving up the big gain to White or Jones.
Aside from Gonz making one handed grabs and carrying our guys into the endzone, I thought we defended the pass to the other guys on the ATL offense pretty well.
Also, our Redzone D is again, pretty disappointing. Asante Samuel made some stupid fake leap to avoid contact with Turner but still make it look like he tried. Matthews had one stuff and 7 tackles which I couldn't really be too mad about but Matt Ryan is the kind of QB who needs a run game to rely on in order to excel in the pass, in my opinion. There are QB's who can just fling it all day and you cant find an answer for it, IE, Peyton, Brees and Brady to name a few. We definitely needed to stop Turner which I said all week. Pinch that DL, I don't care if we're going into the Wide-9, on obvious run downs against a guy like Turner, why stay in the Wide 9 and open up the middle to him so he can kill our LBs?
Now in my opinion, those changes I listed above are changes to me that should have been made in order to maintain our lead longer. Why didn't we do any of that? Did we and I missed it? What do you guys think?