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Old 12-03-2011   #1
CloakNNNdagger
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Default The Z Report: Know Thy Enemy

Inside info on the Falcons with score prediction

Quote:
* Matt Ryan has taken a step back from last year, but some of that has to do with poor offensive line play. Last year Ryan was sacked 23 times and had 28 TDs and 9 INTs while this year he has been sacked 22 times already and has just 18 TDs to 10 INTs. Ryanís yards per attempt are up this year thanks to his shots down the field Julio Jones. The Falcons have a new left tackle, which has helped, and Matt Ryan has been much better recently than earlier in the season.

* The Falcons came into the season expecting to throw the ball more, but that strategy was a big FAIL and they got back to running the football with increasing success. Michael Turner got into a bit of a funk towards the beginning of the year as he looked a step slow and his offensive line was getting no push or movement off the ball. Over the last six game, Turner looked quicker and has been able to get to the second level much more quickly. Over the last 6 games, Turner is averaging 98 yards per game and heís looking spry, trust me. Turnerís groin injury from early in the week doesnít appear to be a problem so the Texans can expect to see him toting the rock.

* Jason Snelling is an interesting option for the Falcons because they use him as a runner and as a pass catcher out of the backfield. One of the the things the Falcons like to do with Snelling is use him in 2 WR, 2 TE packages that look like base packages but become 4 or even 5 men out in routes after the snap.

* Julio Jones
and Roddy White will challenge the Texans all over the field, but Jones is the guy who has had the most success down the field as a deep ball threat for the Falcons. Because of the size and speed of both White and Jones, the Texans will have to be smart with their safety help over the top which means that the Falcons have an opportunity to take advantage of the Texans in 3 WR formations with Harry Douglas. Douglas works out of the slot and is very quick out of his breaks with his crossing routes. Remember how Lance Moore gave Kareem Jackson fits in the 4th quarter of the Texans loss to the Saints? Well Harry Douglas is faster than Moore and has the potential to create big plays for the Falcons offense. Brice McCain will probably get the nickel matchup with Douglas as he is better equipped to guard Douglas from a speed standpoint; however, the Falcons will also run from their 3 WR looks which is another matchup issue they might create.

* The Falcons have been doing some interesting things from a personnel groupings standpoint, but the success of the offense will rely heavily on the how they can hold up against the Texans. Houstonís front seven has proven to be the most relentless in football this year and the Falcons are a very limited group up front so the Texans have a chance to really exploit the Falcons pass protection and force QB Ryan into mistakes. The Falcons have moved Joe Hawley into the starting lineup at RG and he has added a big shot of athleticism while Will Svitek might be less mistake-prone at LT in place of the demoted Sam Baker. To me, the Texans will win or lose based on how their defensive front matches up against the Falcons offense.

* The Falcons are playing much better this year along their defensive line and a big reason for that has been the physical play of their DEs Ė John Abraham and Ray Edwards. The Texans run game had too many issues last weekend against the Jaguars because they didnít do a proper job of winning on the perimeter and that is another area to watch closely in this game as their outside zone success is partially dependent upon winning some battles against DEs.

* The Falcons LB corps is a solid group with a couple of athletic OLBs in Sean Weatherspoon and Stephen Nicholas who are aggressive on runs and screen passes on the perimeter. Curtis Lofton is physical and a good tackler, but I could see the Texans putting him into some tough coverage situations in the middle of the field if the Falcons go zone.

* The Falcons best CB, Brent Grimes, will be out for this game against the Texans, but will the Texans be willing or able to attack the starters (Dunta Robinson and Christopher Owens) with T.J. Yates at QB? The Falcons will typically go to their nickel look when their opponent goes to a 3 WR set, but against the Texans, they might try and stay in their base defense more often just because they want to keep Texans from running at them from 3 WR set.

* Speaking of the Falcons secondary, one of the reasons theyíve been much better against the run this year is that their safeties have done a nice job of bum-rushing the line of scrimmage and attacking the run. The problem for the Falcons is that their safeties are pretty average against the pass and their CBs are just okay as well. With Matt Schab under center, the Texans could have exploited this matchup. With Yates, they are probably going to have to hope to hit a couple of big plays against them, but I canít see them attacking them as much as they would like.


Prediction - The Texans should be able to run the ball with some success despite the Falcons gawdy run defense numbers and despite the fact that T.J. Yates is under center. I donít expect Kubiak to just turtle up and go into an offensive shell just because of who is QB is. That isnít his style. With that said, I donít think Yates can attack the Falcons the way that they need to be attacked down the field and that will come back to haunt the Texans. The Texans defense face their toughest test since the Falcons [I think he meant Saints] game, but the Falcons arenít as good as the Saints offense and their offensive line issues could be a factor against the Texans pass rush. To win, the Texans must run the ball well and turn Matt Ryan over and special teams needs to be a strength. I donít see all of those three things happening.

Falcons Ė 21 Texans Ė 17
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Old 12-04-2011   #2
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Default Re: The Z Report: Know Thy Enemy

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Originally Posted by CloakNNNdagger View Post
I belive we will make the plyoffs regardless,

Lets see if Kubiak has the stones to see what we have in Yates?

That's the only way we will figure out what Yates is the Texans QB of the future.

Bright side: Jake will get his 2nd chance at a SB.

Go Texans
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