2016 Season Blog.

The ALT Vs Packers.

2nd Quarter Part II.


Greetings Pats Fans,

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Turning Into A Fiasco.


1st and 10, Empty. The Falcons matched up with 9-guys on the line. Four guys rushed. The rest went Man, except the Mike and the FS. Rogers hit Nelson wide open 9-yards downfield. He dived to the ground and held on as he waited for the CB to comeback and touch him.

The Falcons really backed off and allow you to catch it underneath. "The red area is obviously the toughest place to throw the ball on the field because you have less space. The windows are tighter, the throws are going to have to be more accurate, a lot of times you're going to have to make some contested catches and sometimes if people drop more than six or seven into coverage it can be really, really tight windows down there," McDaniels said. "I thought the guys worked hard on both of those plays. The plays actually got extended a little bit. Look, sometimes the design doesn't really do much for you and then kind of the scramble rules take effect and you start moving and trying to find some space and stay alive for the quarterback and I think that our guys have learned to try to do that. I think a big part of that is understanding where the other people are in the pattern so that you don't end up with too many people in the same area or the same spot because then obviously you can have one defender cover two people.

"Tom did a good job of keeping his eyes up the field and staying patient and then the guys continued to try to work to create some space for themselves in an area that is not always easy to do that. Sometimes things work out the way you design it and sometimes guys extend the play and really work hard to try to find some space after the fact and I think in both of those cases the guys worked well together and found an opening and Tommy found them in the end zone." Brady will find those openings in this defense if they continue to back off as much as they did against Green Bay.

This is big for Pats Fans, because the way the Falcons covered in this game the Pats will be going into the fastbreak offense. "I think the big thing for us is there's a lot of ways to look at getting ready to play a game. You try to evaluate the opponent as best you can and be very thorough with your preparation and your study and your research and you look at your team and where we're at and what we think we can do best, and then you kind of put it all together and try to figure out exactly what you need to do to try to win the game," Josh said. "Again, Bill does a great job of identifying for us how we all fit together and play into a team game that can result best in success. So there's a lot of things, like I said earlier in the call, in terms of whether it's personnel or formations or tempo, maybe sometimes it's throwing the ball down the field, maybe sometimes it's throwing the ball shorter, maybe it's running outside [or] running inside. There's a lot of variable that you could use but ultimately you're trying to make the decisions that you think can give you the best chance to succeed. Whether, like I said, four receivers on the field, tempo or many other factors that go into the game, I think those are all decisions we try to make in terms of what's best for the team." You can bet your bottom dollar on that.

The Falcons secondary has not been as bad as decimated Packers secondary, but they have not been good by any stretch either. "Those things can change during the course of the game. Maybe you didn't plan on doing something a whole lot then all of a sudden it's either working or not working and then you have to shift gears and make adjustments," McDaniels said. "These are the best teams that are left in our league and they're all very well coached, they all have great players and schemes and challenges that they present and one thing is not going to work forever. They make adjustments quick and they challenge you to make adjustments back. I think that all goes into those decisions about how to play the game and how to implement your game plan and how to try to help your players be successful." Their zone drops back quickly and leaves a lot of room to run under.

If the Pats don't turn the ball over, they will chew up this young secondary with two rookies starting, like the Steelers had. "Ultimately it all comes down to what our guys do on the field," McDaniels said. "Whether we go fast, slow, huddle, no huddle, small personnel, big personnel, if we can block them well and run well and throw and catch the ball and protect the football, usually we're going to have a chance to have success and like I said that credit goes solely to the players. In relation to the goal line or short yardage, there's a lot of different ways that could happen." Edelman is more than happy to slash underneath and take the four, five, and six yard passes.

And Brady is more than happy to dink and dunk his way to a TD. "Obviously our quarterback, he has got great perception of what's going on on the other side of the ball," McDaniels said. "If for whatever reason we feel like going quickly is the right thing to do, then that may happen or sometimes we might call it but it could be a combination of the two things. But again, none of that ensures success at all. What is really important is how we execute whatever it is that we're doing because you can go fast and go nowhere in a hurry and then you just come off the field and give the ball back to the other team quickly. So there's a lot of ways to go about that. We've tried it and have been very successful and other times the other team may have executed better than we did." I think the Pats offense matches up to the Falcons defense better than their offense matches up to the Pats defense.

2nd and 2, Packers in a 3-Wide Strong shotgun. Falcons matched up in a 4-2 Nickel. They sent four. Then one of the ILB delay blitzed. Rogers threw outside to Nelson.

The coverage was great by the CB Alford. "Just to go against a guy with so much experience is a challenge within itself," Alford said. "He's a guy who takes really good pride in knowing the defense and what the team is doing against him. He is a great quarterback. To go against this style of quarterback, we've gone against some great quarterbacks this year, but Tom Brady is another level. To go against a guy like this you have to be ready at any given time." Nelson caught it out of bounds.

That was the best coverage by any DB on either side so far this game. "[You've] just got to be physical," Alford said. "Go right at them. You can't try to finesse anything. You have to be physical and go right at them." Besides the nerves of the Super Bowl, I just don't see this secondary stopping the Pats.

The 4-2 Nickel is likely to be the base defense for the Falcons against the Pats. "It's tough because you don't really get that look in practice because you're going against your guys who are trying to figure out scheme stuff. I think these guys, they know what to do. They're focusing on what their job is," Brady said. "They know what their responsibilities are and they play hard. They create a lot of turnovers and when you give this offense the ball more times than they're supposed to get it they put touchdowns on the board. They've been getting them all year. It's going to be important. Ball security is always important for our team. We talk about it every week. It's our number one goal. I think their number one goal is getting the ball off the opposing offense. So it's going to be a battle of who can possess it." The Pats are going to go 3 and 4 Wide all game.

3rd and 2, they motioned Empty. Falcons matched up in a 4-2 Nickel, and have to spread it out. They sent four, and then the Slot CB Poole blitzed. He hit Rogers as he tried to throw to the Slot guy Poole had lined up on. Cobb caught it but it was low and inside. He fell down catching it behind the line to force the punt.

1st and 10, Falcons lined up in a 3-Wide Strong shotgun, with Sanu and Julio lined up in Twins-left. "I think they have a great offense. I think it's no secret when you break down the game, us trying to stop that offense is going to be tough," McCourty said. "I don't think anybody from the outside looking in is saying that offense has to try to score against that defense. It's all about if we're going to be able to stop them. I think, like any team, you go to the Super Bowl and I don't think anybody goes in the Super Bowl as a clear favorite of everyone." The Pats are going to have cover this formation well.

The Falcons motioned the TE to the Twins side, 3-Wide Strong-shotgun. Twins-L Motion: Pass 1 for 1. Ryan dropped and the protection was perfect. He had time to wait for Coleman to break open in the Flat. He caught it, broke the tackle of the DB covering him, and turned up field and ran for another 14 yards.

1st and 10, 3-Wide Singleback motion Twins-left. They ran out of this formation in the 1st quarter, and passed in the 2nd. This feels like an every other down formation, so they will run here. "I think their two running backs are very tough to stop. Obviously, on the ground, the stretch running scheme and their ability," McCourty said. "Coleman's very fast, hits it downhill. Freeman really can end up anywhere, cutting back. So you add that in and then, at times, they split out and run receiver routes. It's not the normal running back splits out and they have maybe two routes to run. These guys run everything from out there.

"It puts a lot of pressure on the defense. You have to be aware and be alert for the different formations they'll give you: the empties, the stacks, the bunches. It's going to be 60 minutes. Nothing is going to be easy for us out there. They're going to be ready. Kyle Shanahan does a great job of game planning and getting matchups that he wants. We'll have to be aware of those things and just know our job and be disciplined out there." They ran Coleman off tackle for a few.

2nd and 7, Falcons lined up in a Trips-left Strong-shotgun. No motion, usually means run. Then they send the outside WR Gabriel in motion, and try a direct snap Jet-Sweep to him. He fumbled the snap. But, Falcons recovered the fumble on the attempted run play.

3rd and 10, 4-Wide Weak shotgun with a Stack on the left, and there is no doubt that they are passing. No one is open. Ryan felt the pressure and tried to take off. Then he spotted Coleman waiting for the ball on the left after he faked like he was blocking. He dumped it off to him. He ran for eight to force the punt.

1st and 10 Packers at their own Ten, they lined up in a 3-Wide Strong shotgun. Atlanta matched up in a spread out 4-2, with five guys on the line. The Mike and both outside CBs backed off as Rogers was barking. But Poole stayed on the Slot WR on the Blindside. He blitzed when Rogers was done barking. He knocked Rogers into the Endzone after he threw. Rogers completed it to Nelson.

2nd and 1, 4-Wide Strong shotgun. The Falcons lined up in a 4-3, with ten guys within five yards of the line. They sent four. The rest dropped almost in a straight line across the field. Rogers threw quickly to Cobb. He broke a tackle and ran for a 1st.

1st and 10, 3-Wide Strong shotgun. The Falcons matched up in a 4-2 Nickel with Neal creeping up, but as Rogers barked he started creeping back. Rogers had a ton of time. He hit Nelson in the hands, and Alford leaped in and knocked the ball out.

Alford was their best CB in this game. "I feel like they have a nice group out there with the Patriots," Alford said. "From what we've seen on film, you can see that Tom Brady has been on those guys to be where they're at now. As far as us on defense, we've been improving each and every week during the season and I think that's what got us here now." He is likely to be locked up on Edelman.

I don't think he can cover Edelman short. "I feel that we still have time to prepare. We had a few good days last week," Edelman said. "We have got to continue to build off those because the more and more you watch these guys, the more and more you see why they have won so many games and why they are at where they are at. The preparation process hasn't ended, it technically just started. They are a very good football team and we are going to have to take advantage of these next few days and go from there." They are watching the same tape as I am.

2nd and 10, Packers in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun. They matched up in a 3-3 Nickel with all six guys on the line. Beasley dropped out, and started dancing around the middle of the line before the snap. "He's a great player," Beasley said about Brady. "He's a future Hall of Famer and his game is impeccable, so we got to do what we can to stop him." He sort of half rushed, but it didn't matter as their big DT Ra’Shede Hageman bulled the OC right off his feet, and dived over him to trip Rogers for a Sack.

3rd and 21, Packers lined up in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun. They matched up in a 4-2 Nickel with the LB back, as they formed a Prevent to protect the marker. They dropped into a zone to protect the marker. Roger threw a Hail Mary.

The deep safety Ricardo Allen intercepted the so called pass 55-yards down field. "I've gotten to know Tom over the last seven or eight years," Allen said. "We met, really for the first time when they came down for training camp, and I got to spend some time with him. Tom has been awesome to get to know. He's incredibly supportive. We exchange text messages back and forth quite a bit. I think all quarterbacks and younger guys have looked up to Tom throughout their career. His consistency, his longevity, just the way he has competed throughout his entire career has been impressive. So, I think all of us have looked up to him." He made a great play on that INT.

However they just lost another DB, Michael Hyde hurt his shoulder, and I'm not sure they can even go Dime anymore. The Falcons will be facing an entirely different level of talent in the secondary in the Super Bowl. And I don't mean that as a cheapshot against Green Bay, but they had lost what? Four DBs before this game? They were just too decimated to put up a fight. The Pats DBs are completely healthy, and will put up a fight in coverage.

1st and 10, the Falcons lined up in a 3-Wide Weak shotgun, Twins left, and the H-Back just off the line. And of course this is a passing situation as they want to score again before the Half is over. So this formation is a passing formation that they will line up in when everybody know they are going to pass. No one covers the middle of the Box.

Freeman scooted out of the backfield, 5-yards over the middle, and under the coverage. "These backs are really, really good. Ryan knows how to use them and Coach Shanahan knows how to use them," BB said. "It is not just the running game; they are a big factor in the passing game. Sometimes they are the downfield guys, which is a problem. Sometimes, more often the receivers are downfield and if they are covered they give it to the backs and they have space and then they make a lot of yards.

"It is a very difficult offense to stop, but the backs do a tremendous job of gaining the yards that they can gain and then making more yards on their own with their run skills and their toughness and playmaking ability. Coach Shanahan does a great job of using everybody, the tight ends, the backs, the receivers, in multiple positions and multiple schemes. They are very hard to defend." Matty Ice used him perfectly on that play.

2nd and 2, 4-Wide Weak shotgun, with two guys on each side of the line. Ice dumped it off again to Freeman sneaking over the middle of the box. "Scoring on offense, passing and running the ball into the end zone," Branch said. "Obviously they have weapons and they're pretty cohesive, or they wouldn't have had the title of best running offense in the league. We have a lot on our plate. We have to figure out what we have to do to stop them or what our best game plan is at this point." He ran for the First, and kept going past Midfield. 

1st and 10 at the 49, the Falcons lined up in a 3-Wide Strong shotgun, Twins left. They actually covered Freeman with a linebacker this time. Ryan got pressure and had to try and dump it off. Freeman couldn't bring it in, as the LB was all over him.

The Pats have to pay attention to both RBs sneaking out of the backfield on passing downs. "It all depends on the back. They're both good," Chung said when asked about Coleman and Freeman sneaking out of the backfield. "They both can do it from the backfield or motion out of the backfield. It really doesn't matter with these two. They're both good." If you don't cover them, Ryan will dump it off to them every time.

2nd and 10, Empty. Ryan got pressure. He side stepped the rush beautifully. "He gets the ball out on time. He has Julio Jones, he has (#18) Gabriel, he has (#12) Sanu, he has a lot of weapons out there, including the running backs. They can go out to the wide receiver spot also. It helps him out a lot." He also showed some nice feet in the pocket.

He saw something, and took a shot down field. He tried to loft it to #19 Robinson in the endzone. The pass was short. Robinson leaped up out of the endzone and at the ball. He actually hit the Packer safety Evans with his Helmet as he caught it, and knocked the ball out of his hands. Then he hit the ground and hurt his hand.

3rd and 10, Falcons in a 3-Wide Weak shotgun Twins right. As Matty Ice is wont to do, he completed the pass for a First on 3rd down. Gabriel caught over the middle.

1st and 10 from the 33, 3-Wide Weak shotgun Twins left. Ryan got pressure. He stepped up again, and dumped it off to Freeman. Who made a Ha-Ha miss at the 25, and then burst to the 14. He is dan-ger-ous after the catch.

1st and 10 at the 14, the Falcons lined up in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun. All four guys in the Packers rush won. So Ice took off straight ahead, and slid down at the Five. 2nd and 1 at the Five, 4-Wide Strong shotgun, Trips-left. They motioned into a bunch. Ryan almost threw an INT, as he threw it low and late.

2nd and 1, the Falcons lined up in a 4-Wide Weak shotgun. Ryan threw a beautiful pass to Julio on an Out, where only he could catch it. Game-Set-Match Falcons. I am not going to break down the 2nd Half, because it turned into a meaningless fiasco.

2nd Quarter:

Motion 3-W I, Twins-R: Run 1 for 1

2-W D-shotgun: 1 for 1 pass

Singleback: Run 1 for 1

Singleback Bunch-R: Run 2 for 2

3-W Singleback Motion Twins-L: Pass 1 for 2

3-W Double-Stack Singleback: 1 for 1 Run

3-W S-shotgun, Twins-L Motion: Pass 2 for 2

3-W S-shotgun, Trips-L: Jet Sweep 1 for 1

4-W W-shotgun, Stack-L: pass 1 for 1

3-W W-shotgun, Twins-L: Pass 1 for 1

4-W W-shotgun: Pass 2 for 2

3-W S-shotgun, Twins-L: Pass 1 for 1

3-W W-shotgun, Twins-R: Pass 1 for 1

3-W W-shotgun, Twins-L: Pass 1 for 1

4-W S-shotgun, Trips-L: Pass 2 for 2

1st Half:

Singleback Twins-TE-R: Run 1 for 1

3-W Singleback Motion Twins-R: Run 1 for 1

3-W Singleback Motion Twins-L: Run 2 for 2

3-W Singleback Twins-L: Run 1 for 3

Singleback: Pass 2 for 3

Singleback H-B motion: Pass 1 for 1

Singleback Bunch-R: Pass 2 for 2

4-W S-shotgun, Double-Stacked: Pass 1 for 1

4-W S-shotgun, Trips-L: Pass 2 for 2

4-W W-shotgun: Pass 2 for 2

4-W W-shotgun, Bunch-R: Pass 1 for 1

4-W W-shotgun, Motion Trips-R: Pass 1 for 1

4-W W-shotgun, Stack-L: pass 1 for 1

3-W S-shotgun, motion Trips-L: Pass 1 for 1

3-W S-shotgun, Stack-L: Pass 1 for 1

3-W S-shotgun, Twins-L: Pass 1 for 1

3-W W-shotgun, Twins-L: Pass 2 for 2

3-W S-shotgun, Stack-R: Pass 1 for 1

3-W S-Shotgun, Twins-L Motion: Pass 2 for 2

3-W S-shotgun, Trips-L: run 1 for 1

3-W W-shotgun, Twins-R: Pass 1 for 1

I-Formation: Run 2 for 2

Stack-R I-Formation: Run 1 for 1

Motion 3-W I, Twins-R: Run 1 for 1

2-W D-shotgun: 1 for 1 pass

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