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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Thoughts on a hard fought loss

A couple of thoughts about the Falcons game (and telecast) while they're still fresh in my mind.

Why couldn't we see replays of any of the calls (facemasks, late hits, etc) until the second half? It seemed Fox was preoccupied with letting their announcers ramble rather than address the calls on the field.

On second thought, it's probably best the they didn't show some of the calls. This was one of the oddest officiated games I've ever witnessed. The refs couldn't decide whether to call everything (D. Halls hit to Smith's "head", the verbal sparring between the two) or to call nothing (Jenkins obliteration of Harrington that went uncalled). The unsportsmanlike conduct calls on both sides were ludicrous and at times it felt as though the referees wanted nothing more than a little face time. I sincerely hope the league reviews the calls and disciplines the officials accordingly.

On the bright side, Harrington looked much more poised and decisive and had a solid outing. He seemed more in command of the offense and not holding the ball eternally or looking immediately for the check down. Perhaps better route running by the WR aided him. Additionally, John Abraham must be looking for new endorsement deals because he played ridiculously well. The Cats were unable to keep him out of the backfield and he blew up several plays all on his own. Jamaal Anderson was quiet. Like studying in the library quiet. The O-Line played pretty well, good scheming kept Peppers from being a factor.

Kris Jenkins went out with his yearly injury.
Smith seemed to cramp, as always. He was held in check by Hall (other than one good PI call and two HORRIBLE other calls)
Delhomme's elbow got hurt without any contact. I call this the Mike Hampton.
Carr looked good in relief, handing off seamlessly to Foster repeatedly.

The real problem negatively was the linebacking corps. An incredibly fast group, they were constantly around the ball but unable to deliver the hits necessary to slow down, stop, or punish the ball carrier. Williams and Foster kept plowing through them as the game progressed. Brooking looked like a shell of his former self unable to bring down the ball carrier on multiple occasions. At this point maybe we should do him a favor and trade him to a team like the Colts who could use some help at LB (and get out from under his contract and get a decent draft pick in the process).

Our future QB did his part this weekend, putting up ridiculous numbers in a losing effort. 45-65 for 455 yds and a handful of TDs. As long as the Falcons keep losing, this might become a weekly segment--the Brian Brohm update. For the year he's at 68% completion, 1700 yds, 15td/3int and only sacked 4 times.

Oh, and Georgia heartbroke the Crimson Hefelumps. An incredible game, fought intensely on both sides. It was fun to watch and I felt pretty comfortable with Stafford getting the ball in OT (and having Coutu there to kick if needed).

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