Atlanta Falcons: The good, the bad and the ugly from Week 7


The Atlanta Falcons took on the Baltimore Ravens last Sunday and the result sent the Falcons into an even deeper hole in the NFC South.  The Falcons never could find any traction against a tough front seven of the Ravens and the defense didn’t make enough plays when it mattered most.  Without further adieu, here is the Good, Bad, and Ugly from Week 7.

The Good – Robe…….Rober……..Robert Alford?

There has been no bigger detractor of Robert Alford than myself, and that’s why I’ll be the first to say he had a good game. It wasn’t great, mind you, but it was better than anything I was expecting out of the 2nd year pro.

He had a bad pass interference called early in the game, but after that, he was all over the ball. He picked off Joe Flacco twice and had two pass deflections in the game and looked more like the second round pick the Falcons were hoping to see. The first interception was a jump ball in the end-zone (and only Joe knows why he is throwing jump balls when the middle of the field is wide open), and the second was a similar type throw and Robert Alford played perfectly.

If the Falcons want to get back into NFC South contention, Robert Alford is going to have to played as well if not better than he played Sunday. Opposing Offensive Coordinators have been torching the Atlanta secondary as of late, but if Alford and the Atlanta secondary steps up, things will start to look up.

The Bad – The Running Game

68 yards. The Falcons had 6 runners that ran the ball 16 times and managed a whopping 68 yards. I’m not sure if Dirk Koetter abandoned the running game because it wasn’t working or since they got behind so early, but either way it was sad.

Granted, the offensive line got blown off the ball almost every play but 16 for 68 can’t happen. If you shut down the Falcons rushing attack, it’s not hard to know the only other people who can hurt you are Roddy White, Julio Jones, and the occasional gallop from Antone Smith. For Matt Ryan to be successful, he needs a run game.

Steven Jackson can’t average 2.8 yds per carry if the Falcons want a chance to win a tough road game.  Constantly putting Dirk Koetter and Matt Ryan in third and long situation is a recipe for disaster especially with how banged up the Falcons O-line has been.  That leads me to my final point…

More from Atlanta Falcons

The Ugly- The Big Ugglies (Falcons Offensive Line)

I almost feel bad for Matt Ryan.  He must wake up on Monday mornings and feel like he has been in three car accidents.  Matt Ryan was hit fourteen (14!!!) times on Sunday with five of those being sacks. I’m sure that Sports Science segment has dealt with this, but imagine being ran over by a 300+ pound man and drilled into the ground FOURTEEN times. I am fairly certain that I’d stay down after about two, but then again, that’s not my job.

I’m not saying all 14 hits are the O-lines fault. Matt Ryan has been slow with his release and just flat held onto the ball too long at times, but fourteen times can’t happen. Injuries certainly haven’t helped this group and more than a few of them are playing out of position. Jake Matthews shouldn’t be playing left tackle in his first year and starting center Peter Konz was just sent to the IR. Mike Tice is a great coach, and I think one of the better offensive line coaches in the NFL, but there just isn’t much he can do with this group. The Falcons have sent five O-lineman to the IR since training camp and we’ve only finished week 7. You know it’s bad when the next guy in line is undrafted rookie James Stone.

I don’t know what the answer is and there probably isn’t one. Serviceable offensive lineman aren’t just lying around in the middle of the season waiting for teams to call. About all that the Falcons can hope for is for this group to be serviceable and give Matt Ryan just a little extra time to make plays. Another game like Sunday and you might see T.J. Yates or Sean Renfree taking snaps.


The Atlanta Falcons have a bit of a road trip this Sunday as they travel across the pond to play the Detroit Lions (5-2) in London. I’m not sure how many “fans” will show up, with the Premier League in mid-season, but hopefully, the team will at least put on a good show, and Matt Ryan is still able to walk on Monday morning.