Falcons Recap:Week 2

by Dre McClendon

After dropping their first game 31-24 to their division rival the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Atlanta Falcons were looking to get on track as they traveled to California to take on the Oakland Raiders. Let’s recap all the action that happened on the field:

Offense- After a disappointing showing in the run game. It was a significant improvement this game as the Falcons gained 139 yards on the ground. Devonta Freeman had 17 carries for 93 yards, while Tevin Coleman had 12 carries for 46 yards and a touchdown. Matt Ryan continued his stellar play, completing 26 of 34 passes for 396 yards, 3 touchdowns and 1 interception. Julio Jones (5 receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown) and Jacob Tamme (5 receptions for 85 yards and a touchdowns) were among the leading receivers for the Falcons passing attack.

Defense: The Falcons defensive struggles continued. While Vic Beasley recorded his first sack of the season, the pass rush was once again non existent. Sloppy tackling, bad angles, and penalties continue to plague the defense. This defense must improve in order for the Falcons to be considered playoff contenders.

Summary: Falcons defeated the Raiders by a score of 35-28. Up next, a Monday Night Showdown in New Orleans against their heated division rival the New Orleans Saints.

Falcons recap Week 1

After the training camps and preseason, Week 1 officially kicked off for the Atlanta Falcons as they welcomed their NFC South division rival, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, to the Georgia Dome. Let’s do a recap of the action that took place.

Offense: While the running game was slow, with only 52 yards total (Tevin Coleman with 22 yards and Devonta Freeman with 20 yards), Matt Ryan got the passing going, completing 27 of 39 passes for 334 yards and 2 touchdowns, one to Julio Jones and one to newest Falcon Mohamed Sanu. Sanu finished the day with 5 receptions for 80 yards and a touchdown, while Julio caught 4 receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown.

Defense: There can be alot of words to describe the defensive showing by the Falcons, but one word sticks out the most: undisciplined. Sloppy tackling, blown coverages and penalties that extended some of Tampa Bays drives led to the ultimate downfall. Once again, lack of a pass rush showed as the Falcons defense had a grand total of zero sacks and putting no pressure on Buccaneers Quarterback Jameis Winston as he constantly found his receivers downfield. 

Summary: Final Score was Buccaneers 31 and the Falcons 24, Falcons outgained the Buccaneers 374-371. The Falcons will travel to Oakland to take on Raiders. 

Falcons Preseason Recap: Week 3

After posting a 24-13 win over the Cleveland Browns, the Atlanta Falcons headed to Orlando for a preseason tilt with the Miami Dolphins. Here is a recap of what took place on the field.

Offense: It seemed like the offense could never get on track as the offensive line seemed to be overmatched against the stout Dolphins front seven. The running game never got going as they only mustered 31 yards total. Matt Ryan played well into the second half, going 12 for 22 for a 129 yards, but threw a costly interception in the red zone. Matt Schaub continued his consistent play, going 10 for 11 for 109 yards and continues to make a case for the backup role. Julio Jones only had 1 reception for 17 yards, while Aldrick Robinson was the high man with 3 receptions for 70 yards. 

Defense: Besides the interception by Desmond Truant, the Falcons defense looked lackadaisical and uninspired. Pass Rush was non existent, as the Falcons collected zero sacks. This could be a concern for the team as the Falcons finished dead last in sacks last year with 19. 

Summary: This was a game that the team and fans most likely will want to forget as the Falcons fell to the Dolphins 17-6. On top of that, the injury bug made its rounds and took out some key players (hopefully not serious for some). We have two weeks till Week 1 so hopefully the kinks will be worked out and the health of the players will be good to go as the Falcons prepare for their final preseason game. 

Falcons Preseason Recap Week 2.

After winning their first preseason game 23-17 over the Washington Redskins. The Atlanta Falcons headed up north for their second game against the Cleveland Browns. Alot of fans were looking for tweaks and improvements in all facets of the game. So let’s get a recap of all the action.

Offense: The first team offense moved the ball alot better then they did last week. Matt Ryan looked more crisp on his passes and seemed more comfortable in the pocket then he was last week, so the panic button is not being pressed so hard now. Devonta Freeman ran the ball well and scored the first touchdown of the game. Julio Jones had one catch on one target and Mohamed Sanu had a decent game with 3 receptions for 45 yards. Matt Schaub continued his consistent play, going 8 for 12 for 78 yards while he continues to solidify his spot as the backup quarterback. Brandon Wilds continues to shine, carrying the ball 8 times for 49 yards including a 32 yard touchdown run. With Terron Ward battling injury, it will be an interesting battle for that third and final roster spot for running back if Wilds continues his solid play. Other key contributors for the Falcons offense was Quarterback Matt Simms (10-13 for 136 yards and a touchdown), Running Back Cyrus Gray (18 carries for 76 yards), and Wide Receiver Devin Lewis Fuller (4 receptions for 49 yards). 

Defense: After putting on a solid performance last week, the Falcons defense was ugly in the first few minutes. Sloppy tackling and lack discipline contributed to alot of penalties, and All-Pro Cornerback Desmond Truant was burned badly on a long pass against Terrelle Pryor. Even though the defense had 2 sacks, the lack of pass rush was evident, as Browns QB Robert Griffin III had time to look down field and make throws with either his arm or feet. Rookie Safety Keanu Neal made his debut and was up and down. Some plays he made were good and other times he didn’t look so great. Deion Jones while he made some plays, whiffed on a few tackles and rookie De’Vondre Campbell once again stood out, whether it was in coverage or making tackles. This defense has the speed and athleticism to be pretty good, but it will be some growing pains, so Falcon fans will have to be patient and stick it out. 

Special Teams: If Nick Rose is trying to get on as the backup to Matt Bryant, he is off to a shaky start, missing another kick from makeable distance. The big news is punter Matt Bosher suffering a chest injury in the contest. No one knows how bad it is so hopefully it’s nothing serious. 

Summary: Despite the miscues, the Falcons still won handily by a score of 24-13. They outgained the Browns 498-243 in total yards and had more first downs (31-12). The preseason is all about tweaks and the Falcons will continue to do so these next two games. If it’s anything that we saw last night, it’s a positive sign for Falcon Fans.

Falcons Preseason Recap: Week 1

After all the preparation, the long and grueling hours on the field, and hitting teammates, the Preseason is here upon us. While it may be a satisfaction to us fans to finally get to see some football after months and months of waiting. The Preseason is a ways for coaching staff and veterans to work out the kinks before opening week in the season, and an audition for rookies drafted and undrafted to showcase their skills and to make their case on why they should be part of the 53 man roster. The Atlanta Falcons are one of those teams, as they opened their preseason against the Washington Redskins.

Offense: The first team offense were very slow to start off and it seemed the timing was off in the beginning. Matt Ryan only played one series but was zero for four on his pass attempts. Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman had some pretty good runs but also played a couple series. Julio Jones didn’t catch any passes and new acquisition Mohamed Sanu had 2 receptions for 18 yards. 

Second team offense played a little better. Veteran Matt Schuab played very well going 10 for 15 with 179 yards. Brandon Wilds had 10 carries for only 26 yards but scored the only rushing touchdown for the Falcons. Aldrick Robinson was Schaub’s favorite target, hauling in three catches for 118 yards, including two very long receptions. 

The offensive line seemed vastly improved, as they gave up zero sacks. Although there were some breakdowns in blocking at times, the o-line seems like it is starting to get, and will during the course of the season.

Defense: The defense seemed a lot faster and more aggressive to the ball then in years past, which is what Head Coach Dan Quinn has preached since he has been in Atlanta. The most noticeable abscence from the defense was first round draft pick safety Keanu Neal. Rookies Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell made solid debuts with nice open field tackling and always seems to have a nose for the ball. The defense also collected 3 sacks, which is a positive sign for the Falcons considering they were dead last in the league in sacks last season with only 19. 

Special Teams: It was pretty much status quo for special teams, expect for one play. J.D. McKissic took the second half opening kickoff and raced 101 yards to the end zone for kickoff return touchdown. This was a statement by McKissic who is trying to make the Falcons roster as an undrafted free agent out of Arkansas State. He has a long road ahead, but if he continues to make plays like he did on special teams, he can definitely make the case. 

Summary: The Falcons outgained the Redskins 359-234 in total yards and had more first downs as well 17 to 14. Even though Ryan didn’t complete a pass and some Falcon Fans are hitting the panic button calling for Schaub to be the starter, just remember it’s the preseason and they are working out the kinks. They will get back to work in training camp and prepare for the next preseason game against the Cleveland Browns.

Rookie Spotlight: De’Vondre Campbell

‚ÄčAs Falcons training camp continues to grind on, many players are starting to make their presence known to the coaching staff and fans alike. While the veterans are pretty much penciled in as starters (Julio Jones, Matt Ryan), the rookies are trying to make a impression because this may be their only shot to make the team. Even though alot of praise has been heaped upon first round pick Keanu Neal. Another rookie who is making quite an impression is the Falcons fourth round pick out of the University of Minnesota, Linebacker De’Vondre Campbell.

Campbell, a two year starter at Minnesota, is a physical specimen (6’4″, 232 pounds)  and has the speed (4.58 40-time) to run sideline to sideline and downhill. Campbells attributes are exactly what Head Coach Dan Quinn wants in his defense. As a senior, Campbell had 92 tackles (6.5 tackles for losses) 4 sacks, and 3 passes defensed, earning him All Big 10 Honorable Mention.

Coaches and fans alike have been impressed with his play, whether it was covering a running back, wide receiver or rushing the passer, Campbell has been on full display in training camp. He is expected to compete with veteran linebackers Philip Wheeler and Sean Weatherspoon for the weakside linebacker spot, but if he continues to shine in training camp as he has been, there is no doubt he can become a Week 1 starter this season.