Atlanta Falcons: The good, the bad and the ugly from Week 10


After a bye week in Week 9, the Atlanta Falcons took to the road and faced the last-place Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 10. It is a game that the Falcons should win 100% of the time, and while they did, it wasn’t pretty. The victory moved the Falcons to within a game of the NFC South lead, and with 7 games left, the Atlanta Falcons playoff hopes are in their own hands. Let’s take a look back at what the Falcons did well and not so well in their week 10 match-up against the Bucs.

The Good – Turnover Margin

The Falcons had two interceptions and one forced fumble, and didn’t relinquish the ball once. That +3 turnover margin should win you most games at any level, let alone in the NFL. In all three Falcons wins, they have had a positive turnover margins. In the 6 losses, they are -3 in turnovers and with the offensive struggle his team is finding itself in, you must protect the football.

I’m excited to see that this secondary is finding ways to get turnovers even with the ball-hawking William Moore on the sideline. If this team is going to make a run at the NFC South title and the sub-.500 New Orleans Saints, the secondary will have to continue to take the ball away and find a hiding spot for Robert Alford.*


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The Bad – Robert Alford

I’ve given up trying to find a solution for Robert Alford, mostly because I’m not sure there is one. He is probably better than most of Atlanta’s back-up,s but he still gets abused on a week to week basis.

Josh McCown threw at him from the start and he and Mike Evans had a field day with Alford. Mike Evans had 7 catches for 125 and many of those were in Alford’s direction. At the very least, he’s a liability and I’m not sure what he does well. Hopefully in the coming week, Mike Nolan can give Alford some over-the-top help because the 1-1 match-ups are not fairing well for the red and black.

The Ugly – 3rd Down Defense

Coming into the week, the Buccaneers were struggling with converting on third downs, but you wouldn’t know it by looking at the box score as Tampa converted 12 of 17 third downs. The Falcons did a great job of getting the Bucs into a third down look but couldn’t get off the field when it mattered. Atlanta allowed 6 third down conversions of longer than 5 yards.

Against any other team, allowing that many 3rd-medium/3rd-long conversions will set you up for a loss. Luckily, Tampa isn’t very good and the Falcons were able to get out of Tampa with a much needed win and “improve” to 3-6 on the season.

The Atlanta Falcons will need to do a better job of getting of the field in the coming weeks as they face Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers next week in Charlotte.