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Falcons Confuse Manning - Monday Night Review

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:07 am    Post subject: Falcons Confuse Manning - Monday Night Review Reply with quote

Great Read actually gives the Falcons credit!

From NextEra NFL

Arguably the game of week 2, came on Monday Night Football as Peyton Manning and the Broncos travelled into the Georgia Dome to face the high flying Falcons.

But it was a very “un-Peyton-like” display from the Broncos QB to start the game. Manning threw 3 interceptions on his first 3 possessions in what was a coming out party for the new and improved Atlanta Defense. A Defense, now coordinated by Mike Nolan came in with an aggressive gameplan to disguise coverage and to unsettle Manning from the get-go. There was constant movement prior to the snap on Defense and the Falcons showed blitz on nearly every snap. The beauty of the gameplan from Nolan, is he kept mixing the plays and the coverages, it never got to predictable for the Hall of Fame Quarterback.

The first pick was made by Safety William Moore, Manning threw the ball down the seam but Moore read it the whole way and easily made the play on the ball . Moore returned it to the 1 yard line, that was eventually punched in by Michael Turner for a Falcons 7-0 lead.

As everybody watching was getting their heads around the first pick, the second came almost instantly. With the Falcons showing two deep safety prior to the snap, Peyton thought he had the right play to beat the look. After the snap, the Falcons rolled into a single high safety completely catching out Manning as Free Safety Thomas Decoud glided over to pick off Manning. The change in look was designed to bait the QB to throw down the field into DeCoud’s area and it worked.

The Falcons offense had a resulting field goal, but had an opportunity to finish with 6, a good ball from Matt Ryan couldn’t quite get reeled in by Julio Jones in the endzone to power home the Falcon advantage.
The Broncos next drive started a bit better but had the same result as those before. As Manning, on only his 8th pass threw his 3rd INT. This time it was backup corner Robert McClain who made a play on a bit of an air ball, to get the Georgia Dome absolutely rocking.

Despite all the success Defensively, the Falcons failed to capitalize on the turnovers, that they had created. Even after another turnover, this time a fumble forced by Stephen Nicholas off a Knowshon Moreno run, the Falcons only held a fragile 13 point lead. That in part was due to the steller play of the Denver Defense. They shut down the run game and forced the Falcons to play a quick strike passing game throughout the 60 minutes, due the quick pass rush skills of the Denver front seven.

Atlanta put together a nice drive in the second quarter to take a bit more a “choke-hold” of the game finishing with a play action fake on the goal line for a touchdown.

20-0 down and the Falcons dominating, Manning woke up. Albeit on a less than clinical drive. A couple of 4th down conversions and penalties helped the Broncos into the redzone. Finding the touchdown on 3rd and goal, was DeMaryius Thomas with a back corner catch. The officials ruled him out at first, but was clear to everyone that both feet had touched down. It was eventually overturned correctly, but was just a small chapter in a horror story for the officials on Monday Night.

The replacement officials had lost control of the game by the second quarter. Poor decisions clearly riled up Broncos HC John Fox, as he used up his two challenges in the first half. It wasn’t just the decisions, lack of decisiveness on basic things such as ball spots and enforcement of penalties, lead to an incredibly slow pace (the first half lasted nearly two hours).

Back on the field, Atlanta scored another touchdown this time on a Matt Ryan rollout pass to Roddy White. White, was the go to guy on the night, making key catch after key catch finishing the game, with 8 balls for 102 yards and a touchdown.

At 27-7 the game still was not over. The Broncos did nice work on Special teams getting good field position for their units at the end of the game. Manning was able to capitalise running off two touchdown drives within quick succession, to get everybody thinking about the potential comeback. The Falcons in between these drives couldn’t get any momentum going with the run game, and handed the ball back a couple of times after taking next to no time off the clock.

With a game breaking third down with just over two minutes left, Matt Ryan hit Julio Jones on the crossing pattern to give the Falcons some breathing room. The killer blow in the comeback was dealt by Michael Turner, with a 15 yard run, his longest of the night.

Manning, had his struggles on the night, but on the whole he didn’t have an awful game. The Broncos have plenty to build on, but now fall to 1-1 on the year.

The Falcons played with a lot of “swag” on Defense. A term used by incoming corner Asante Samuel really epitomized what the Falcons D showed the nation on Monday Night. A new look Defense could be ready to take Atlanta, deep into the postseason. For now, they are 2-0, atop the NFC South and with arch rival the New Orleans Saints starting 0-2, Atlanta will be delighted with the start to the season.

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