The Falcons won this game, and it will be portrayed as ‘the Falcons bounce back from their Patriots loss’. Like, this now jump starts the Falcons return trip to the Super Bowl. Atlanta is 4-3 and people still cling to them as a ‘good’ team. I’m telling you Atlanta is not good and their 4-3 record is hiding the fact that they are in a virtual freefall.
Let me dissect this because I see it so clearly watching them the past few weeks and looking over The Computer data…
First, this team is poorly coached. Whatever respect I thought I might be gaining for Dan Quinn…he’s evaporated it. He might be a version of Jay Gruden – ‘typical’ head coaches who had a great O-C ‘make’ them and once that O-C left the Wizard of Oz/head coach was revealed to just be a man with a prop. This new O-C Steve Sarkisian offense is a joke. How could Quinn allow this? If you were the boss, you’d have to throw in the towel and make a change right now…at least, rip the play calling away. Nope. Quinn is going down with the Sarkisian ship because ‘tradition’ or ‘decorum’. I’m all for patience with people but the NFL is different. You have a 2-3 year job lifespan as head coach and failure early means you won’t ever get another head gig. Following up a Super Bowl run with this 2017 garbage performance – everyone will do the math…’2016 was because of Kyle Shanahan’.
The Falcons are collapsing on all fronts…their defense isn’t ‘young and emerging’…and Desmond Trufant looks the worst I’ve seen him in his career. The high flying #1 offense from 2016 is #15 in scoring 2017 YTD, and falling…16.5 PPG in their past four games – against the likes of Miami, the Jets, the Patriots.
Julio Jones is ‘done’ as a top guy. He’s well-paid, comfortable, low-energy. Three catches in this game. He didn’t see his first catch until 16 minutes into the game…this after Quinn saying they wanted to get him the ball more. Great execution…
Matt Ryan is an average/OK/good QB his entire career, with the one anomaly in 2016. He’s a great QB prospect from the 1990s/2000s mindset. The new era is not built for a non-mobile, so-so armed, drop back in the pocket and do what the play says kind of passer. Ryan is going the way of Nick Foles, Mike Glennon, Phillip Rivers, Eli Manning…outdated pieces. They’re like a five-year-old computer and old software system you’re using at work. It’s slow. It’s rudimentary. But, you know how it works…you’re familiar. The company has already spent the money on this software and equipment -- and it gets the job done…so why scrap everything and invest in something the 60+-year-old CEO doesn’t understand. Stick with familiar and don’t upgrade. It’s expensive and difficult. That’s Matt Ryan…’Windows XP’, not ‘Matty Ice’. Windows XP was really useful…but Microsoft isn’t supporting it anymore. It’s not compatible with the new anything, but it was good in its time and functionally useful-ish today but you aren’t going forward to new heights with Windows XP/Matt Ryan.
The Falcons lucked past the Bears in Week 1 when Jordan Howard dropped the game-winning TD late. They beat the Lions when that Golden Tate last second TD was called ‘short’ on review. They beat the Jets here, but the Jets are (a) awful and (b) the Jets played better in general or at least toe-to-toe. They beat Green Bay when GB was racked with O-Line injuries. The Falcons are closer to a 2-5 team than 4-3. Their schedule is much tougher from here, and The Computer projects them 7-9 final record today.
What can you say about the Jets? Let me share this story and it’s everything you wanted to know about how poorly run most NFL teams are…
The Jets traded the 49ers for CB Rashard Robinson on Tuesday…a young CB some scouts really liked and he became a starter this year but has been pretty bad and heavily penalized. At his press conference, head coach Todd Bowles was asked what he thought of Robinson and he had no idea what the reporter was talking about.
I don’t buy that Bowles was trying to ‘keep it close to the vest’. If the reporter knew the trade had happened, then the head coach should certainly know before it hits the media. As soon as the GM made the deal, he should have made contact with Bowles…because wouldn’t you want the head coach to call and welcome the player and start planning for his arrival on how to use him, especially if Mo Claiborne is hurt?
Here’s the video most sites won’t post when referring to the story:
The Jets are terrible…and they should’ve won this game…that’s how bad the Falcons are because they barely won this game/got outplayed by the Jets.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- I’m a Robby Anderson (6-104-1/6) fan and I want to believe in him for fantasy, but I can’t fully get excited yet. I still don’t see him being leaned on as a true #1, but things are slowly moving in that direction. There’s hope.
RA has led all Jets WRs in targets the past few weeks, but that’s usually 5-6 targets in a game. Not enough to get radically excited by because he’s not a bubble screen-and-go guy. He needs to connect on a downfield strike to make magic. He’s a strong WR3…with WR2 potential in a given week because of his TD prowess.
Leading up to this game, Robby’s catches in games: 4-2-3-3-2-4-3. But he got 6 in this game, doing so in a constant rainfall…pretty impressive. I’ve been a long time Robby advocate, but hate the Jets situation. I’m starting to get re-energized on him (a sure sign of ArDarius Stewart rising up now…).
He’s a top 20 WR rank for us this week because Buffalo’s pass defense is fading and I like the Tampa opportunity next week as well.
-- Robby Anderson has hope because Josh McCown (26-33 for 257 yards, 2 TDs/ 0 INT) is playing pretty productive football.
The past 4 weeks…
17.1 FF PPG (just passing/4pts per pass TD) 253.5 yards, 2.25 TD/1.0 INT per game = McCown
16.4 FF PPG -- 285.5 yards, 1.50 TDs/0.5 INTs per game = Tom Brady
McCown’s last 4 week’s average is not from one ‘stat spike’ either…he has 2-2-3-2 TD passes in each of his last 4 games.
FYI…McCown is the #12 in FF PPG (4pts per pass TD) among QBs YTD
-- Here’s how I know Steve Sarkisian is a terrible O-C and Matt Ryan is not very bright…
How does Tevin Coleman (14-82-0, 1-22-0/1) only have 1 target in a game? In a blowout, or once in a blue moon…I could forgive. Coleman has had 1 target in a game for the past three games?!?!?!!
Every game is the same it seems when I watch Atlanta tape…Tevin Coleman is clearly the superior RB to Devonta Freeman. It’s not even debatable. Not saying Freeman to the bench, but Coleman should be the guy taking the most touches. He singlehandedly won this game, in a sense.
The Falcons couldn’t get the run game going, and then Coleman broke a tackle and absorbed another hit, keeping his balance and darted for a key 52-yard run…setting up a go-ahead score in the 2nd half. Late in the game, Coleman took a 3rd & 25 screen pass and went 22-yards and almost pulled off a miracle 1st down and put the game away with an individual effort.
As the Falcons tried to sit on the lead with 2+ minutes left…it was Coleman in every play taking carries.
Excited for a Coleman rise to the top? Not likely. The Falcons sold their soul to incredibly average Devonta Freeman and they don’t want to look bad. Freeman really is terrible for a ‘star’ RB. The Falcons paying him big money shows how poorly run they really are.
-- On the Jets side of the field at RB, Bilal Powell (14-33-0, 3-28-0/3) is suddenly the main carrier of the ball, but not doing much with it.
Matt Forte (4-7-0, 6-45-0/7) has become the PPR guy…and he looks so good as the receiving back. For a season+ it was Powell as the pass catcher and Forte as the runner. Those roles have started to reverse.
The past three games for Forte: 6.3 catches (6.7 targets), 48.3 yards, 0.0 TDs as a receiver.
The Jets #1 WR…is Forte, now.
-- Julio Jones had that late TD catch in garbage time vs. the Patriots Week 7. In fact, Julio had his best 2017 game vs. NE but most of it in garbage time. Ignoring the Pats game, here are Julio’s averages for 2017 in all other games…
7.4 FF PPG (11.7 PPR) on 4.3 rec., 73.5 yards, 0.0 TDs per game
He’s a fake #1 WR…more of a WR2-3 with occasional WR1 spikes.
-- Like I’ve said for weeks, I don’t see any ‘it’ with Austin Seferian-Jenkins (5-28-0/5). He’s getting catches but not doing anything with them.
5.2 catches per game = great
33.5 yards per game = sad
-- Austin Hooper (4-47-1/6) – See our “Downside Surprise” tight end for Week 9 on the projections page for more info.
Short version – seeing more targets, doing well against bad defenses covering the TE…but schedule gets tougher ahead. Don’t trust.
-- Falcons IDP Grady Jarrett (7 tackles, 2 TFLs, 0.5 sacks) put up two goose eggs Weeks 1 and 2. Since then, he’s been on fire.
From Weeks 3-8, Jarrett has averaged: 5.4 tackles, 1.0 TFLs per game…fantastic for a DT.
Snap Counts of Interest
29 = Powell
29 = Forte
03 = McGuire
40 = Freeman
29 = Coleman
47 = Grady Jarrett (77%)