01-03-2012, 11:59 AM
FALCONS' PASS DEFENSE FACING BIG TEST (http://www.profootballweekly.com/2012/01/02/falcons-pass-defense-facing-big-test)

"The Falcons finished the regular season with a 45-24 win over the Buccaneers
on Sunday, putting the final nail in the coffin of the Raheem Morris era in
Tampa Bay and clinching the No. 5 seed in the NFC playoffs. The Falcons, who
already had secured a wild-card spot, marched out to a 42-0 lead in the second
quarter before being outscored by the Bucs 24-3 the rest of the way. Atlanta
suffered a blowout loss to the Saints in its previous game, but the offense was
particularly impressive as the club notched its 10th win of the season, against
the Bucs.

"We wanted to come out and set the tempo with our execution, and I was very
pleased with the way that our guys played, especially there in the first half,"
Falcons head coach Mike Smith said. "We did some things that we needed to do—
we had to get it fixed from our previous game — and I'm really proud of the way
our guys bounced back."</p>

Atlanta will travel to face the NFC East-champion Giants in the wild-card
round of the postseason. These two teams have not met since the 2009 season,
when Eli Manning threw for 384 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-31 Giants
victory at the Meadowlands.</p>

The Falcons won five of their final seven games this season but fell to the
only two playoff teams they faced in the second half of the season — the Saints
and Texans. The club is still looking for its first postseason win under Smith,
who will lead his team to the playoffs for the third time since he was hired
four seasons ago.</p>

The PFW spin</p>

One of the potential problem areas for the Falcons is their pass defense.
Bucs QB Josh Freeman, who struggled mightily this season, dropped back to pass
50 times Sunday, and he was sacked only twice. He had a completion percentage of
68.9 (31-of-45), and Freeman completed two passes longer than 30 yards — he
completed more than 68 percent of his passes in only five other games this

The Falcons also picked off Freeman three times Sunday and recovered his lone
fumble, but Atlanta is going to face a much sharper quarterback when the defense
lines up across from Manning, who lit up the Cowboys for 346 yards, three
touchdowns and no interceptions Sunday night. He has one of the league's better
WR tandems in Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, and the Falcons' secondary will be
in for a long afternoon if it doesn't get a lot of help from the front four in
the form of a highly disruptive pass rush on Manning.</p>

The Packers exposed weaknesses in the Falcons' secondary when the two teams
met in last season's playoffs, a 48-21 Green Bay victory in the divisional
round. The Giants, while not as high-powered as the Packers, have the ability to
carve up a secondary, too.</p>

Atlanta's defense would get a boost from the return of its best corner, Brent
Grimes, who has missed four of the past five games since undergoing knee
surgery. He played in Week 16 vs. the Saints, and the Falcons considered playing
him vs. the Bucs before deciding it was best to sit him.</p>

The Falcons spent big money to sign CB Dunta Robinson before last season, but
he hasn't played up to expectations. Grimes is headed for unrestricted free
agency in the offseason. The team needs those players to step up when it counts

01-04-2012, 04:19 PM
Thanks RF! I really think the Gmen will have a big day passing the ball. Hope Jake Ballard can get in on the action although Bear did a decent job last week and got us in position with his hurdle and run so that Cruz was set up on the next 3rd down play for his big TD. Looks like Nicks will be a full go. Hopefully Eli can spread the ball around to Cruz, Nicks, Manningham and Ballard and get them all focused in a big game. OL needs to protect as they did last week.

01-04-2012, 04:22 PM
We have a big test, that's stopping Tony G and Turner

01-04-2012, 04:29 PM
We have a big test, that's stopping Tony G and Turner</P>

thats the key... I think we can put up our points. the big thing is can we stop the falcons offense from laying the wood on us.</P>