From the Back Row: Falcons Game Notes

Since we don’t have a mechanism for promoting reader content like, say, SBNation, we just made up something called: “From the Back Row.” First up, some fantastic Falcons game notes from reader Intropy. Enjoy. Yep, that’s right: Intropy has a free one-year subscription to Steelers Lounge coming his way.

For fun, I kept some notes as I watched the game, and I figured I may as well share. These aren’t in-depth analyses or anything — just a log of some thoughts I had, right or wrong, over the course of the game.

1. A couple weeks ago I read somewhere, possibly here, that Arians loves the end-around to ARE so much that when he’s in motion it’s a dead giveaway one is coming. I agreed. So how about that fake end around to ARE? I liked that.

2. Impressive big leg field goal by Jeff Reed at the end of the first drive.

3. The defensive line is showing some serious power, pushing through blockers.

3. Redman can play against first stringers in real games. I definitely liked Redman in preseason, but there was always that “yeah, but can he do it for real?” in the back of my head. Well, yes, hes can.

4. On that first long pass to Ward over the middle, did he get up and start running the wrong way? It looked to me like he got turned around getting up and his teammates quickly informed him.

5. The Steelers weakness on defense seems to be up the middle of the field 10 or so yards deep.

6. That looked like a clear catch and force out on ARE.

7. That was an incomplete pass on that long up the middle catch for Atlanta at the eand of the half. Very surprised the booth didn’t even review it.

8. That was too long a field goal attempt to make with so much time on the clock. But the decision is tough. What’s the highest percentage play there? I’m guessing you should pooch punt that (and yes this is what I though before I knew the outcome).

9. Roddy White is having a good game on the sidelines, but don’t blame McFadden. He’s playing well too, and the damage would be much worse if he weren’t.

10. The o-line is looking pretty good on both run and pass plays.

11. Reed gets a touchback!

12. I would like to see some passes with Dixon uncovered. (Later in the game an announcer was talking about how “between the numbers” has been much better for Dixon in the game. I don’t think the issue is where on the field the ball goes as much as where it was relative to Dixon. Rolling out buys you more field.)

13. The announcers are fellating Matt Ryan. This is especially odd considering how defensive this game is.

14. Hines Ward is still a star. He isn’t fast and never was, but he catches the ball, and more importantly, the man knows how to get open.

15. I don’t see how that can possibly be an incomplete pass (on the Matt Ryan sack). EIther he has control of the ball or he does not. It he does not, it’s a fumble and the ruling stands. If he does have control, that’s intentional grounding.

16. On that sack right before the two-minute warning warning, I think that should have been a running down given the clock situation (yes, I thought this before the play was run).

17. Why isn’t pushing a blocker into the kick receiver a violation of fair catch?

18. Great run by Mendenhall. Greater hole opened up for Mendenhall.

19. My MVP for the game is Sepulveda. Usually you call out the punter because your team had a bad day. But this time in a field position battle, Sepulveda consistently got off terrific punts and especially in the middle half of the game kept the Steelers from losing a lot of ground series-to-series.

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  • SteelerBill

    Great great notes…nice work….

    Just a quick note – the ‘force out’ rule is no longer in effect in the NFL…

    • Anonymous

      Ah good to know, and good riddance. I never cared for that one. Wasn’t it added not too long ago to begin with. In the 90s maybe?

      • RoB D

        They can get rid of “his arm was going forward” too, if it was up to me. You get hit while throwing the ball its a fumble. Make it simple and give the D a chance to force turnovers. The QB’s get way too much respect in this game and they get inflated stats as a result.. end rant…

  • http://www.steelerslounge.com/ ryan

    The thing about that force-out on Randle El — it was the first time Dennis had thrown high all day. Prior to that he was short-hopping passes like you got points for it.

  • http://www.steelerslounge.com/ ryan

    The thing about that force-out on Randle El — it was the first time Dennis had thrown high all day. Prior to that he was short-hopping passes like you got points for it.

  • Dennis Doubleday

    That was a poor timeout call by Tomlin right before the 2 minute warning. Near midfield, on 2nd down, you can probably score in 2 minutes no matter what. The only thing calling the timeout did was make sure Atlanta would have more time if the Steelers didn’t make first down.

    Which they didn’t.

    Polomalu bailed Tomlin out.

    • 412True

      No, no. That was an appropriate time out. The reason being that you by calling that time out, it opens your playbook and allows you to run the football – because you have the 2 min warning – which is doubly important at that moment because it is 2nd and 5 and you have a limited passing options given your QB situation. Now it is surprising that they threw the ball – and the Arians haters will no doubt jump all over that call – but that is exactly why it may have been worth a try (because it was SURPRISING). Atlanta had been dropping guys into coverage all day, they were expecting the run and brought a bunch of people on that play. Had Dixon broken containment (something he is apt to do) he very well could have run or thrown for a big play (in which case the call would have looked like pure genius, unless of course your of the opinion that anytime things go right on offense it is in spite of the play calling, not because of it). In any event, IMHO while the play call is questionable, the choice to use a time out there was not, cause really what else were you saving it for.

    • 412True

      No, no. That was an appropriate time out. The reason being that you by calling that time out, it opens your playbook and allows you to run the football – because you have the 2 min warning – which is doubly important at that moment because it is 2nd and 5 and you have a limited passing options given your QB situation. Now it is surprising that they threw the ball – and the Arians haters will no doubt jump all over that call – but that is exactly why it may have been worth a try (because it was SURPRISING). Atlanta had been dropping guys into coverage all day, they were expecting the run and brought a bunch of people on that play. Had Dixon broken containment (something he is apt to do) he very well could have run or thrown for a big play (in which case the call would have looked like pure genius, unless of course your of the opinion that anytime things go right on offense it is in spite of the play calling, not because of it). In any event, IMHO while the play call is questionable, the choice to use a time out there was not, cause really what else were you saving it for.

    • 412True

      No, no. That was an appropriate time out. The reason being that you by calling that time out, it opens your playbook and allows you to run the football – because you have the 2 min warning – which is doubly important at that moment because it is 2nd and 5 and you have a limited passing options given your QB situation. Now it is surprising that they threw the ball – and the Arians haters will no doubt jump all over that call – but that is exactly why it may have been worth a try (because it was SURPRISING). Atlanta had been dropping guys into coverage all day, they were expecting the run and brought a bunch of people on that play. Had Dixon broken containment (something he is apt to do) he very well could have run or thrown for a big play (in which case the call would have looked like pure genius, unless of course your of the opinion that anytime things go right on offense it is in spite of the play calling, not because of it). In any event, IMHO while the play call is questionable, the choice to use a time out there was not, cause really what else were you saving it for.

  • GlennW

    Dennis D, agreed on the 2-minute timeout decision. Made no sense regardless of the following play call.

    Ryan, a QB isn’t called for intentional grounding when he is clobbered as Ryan was on that “fumble” call. Good officials’ overturn there– this one was obvious.

    Halfway through the game I was thinking that Dixon was awful, but given expectations he played a decent game. More than anything I offer a hearty welcome back to our long-lost defense, courtesy of Troy.

    • RoB D

      He’s ok on safe throws but he can’t read a zone. Everytime out he throws 3 or 4 balls that should be picked and he’s been fortunate more of them haven’t been.

      But he’s our QB and I am cheering him on. Just hope they don’t ask him to do too much. We need at least another win out of the next 3. Should be do=able…right?

    • http://www.steelerslounge.com/ ryan

      Glenn,

      Just to be clear: I posted reader Intropy’s game notes so those were his thoughts.

      And I completely agree about thinking Dixon looked like crap early but thought he had a much better second half. In fact — and I don’t even want to admit it because I’m sure a lot of fans were yelling the same thing — I would’ve been fine if Batch came out to start the third quarter. I’m glad he didn’t, but the thought crossed my mind during halftime.

      • Anonymous

        Yes these were my notes, and I want to clarify that they’re were just the things I wrote down because they stood out to me during the game.

        With respect to the overturned fumble, I completely agree with the final call insofar as the arm was moving forward. I also agree with you that as NFL games are currently called, the final ruling was correct and consistent.

        This comment was the result of a confluence of two trends in rules and ruling with which I disagree. The first is that I think the “throwing action” is interpreted to broadly. I think a similar standard to that of a rception should be used, namely does he have control through the throw. I also think that intentional grouding is intepreted too narrowly both in that a “receiver in the area” is usually judged too generously and in the rules themselves (for instance I don’t like that pocket status has any bearing). But again, these things are what they are, and I think the the overturning of the play was proper and consistent with the visual evidence and with other applications of the same rules.

  • RoB D

    I get the feeling Tony Hills gets a starting helmet next week. We’ll find out soon if he has really made the progress indicated by preseason. Kinda scary.

  • JCRODRIGUEZ

    Intropy, nice call on Sepulveda, he was, actually, ROBOPUNTEResque, in agame of field possition, he was a great weapon to have.

  • FW

    I need to go back and watch the slo-mo on the non-fumble rule. Looked to me like his arm was not starting to go forward until AFTER he was hit: if that’s the sequence, wouldn’t it still be a fumble?

    Who gets LT? I was thinking Hills, but any chance Flozell slides over? And for all that Scott was serviceable at LT…