A win is a win is a win. That is something Mike Smith is preaching to his team after an incredible come back victory against the Carolina Panthers.
The game itself was a slug fest. The Falcons and Panthers would answer each other’s call drive after drive. The offensive play of both teams was great. Both passing and running games had fantastic rhythm. It was great to watch both of these team’s offenses. It was extremely fun to see both these elite quarterbacks go back and forth. I am giving credit where credit is due, which is to Newton and Ryan.
Huge credit goes to Michael Turner. He answered my challenge this week, and proved why he is still an elite running back. He surprised many others too, as I saw on Twitter while I was watching the game. I will take credit for saying I wanted to see less Turner and more Jacquizz. I still do. But Cameron, that is ridiculous! Did you just see how good Turner played? Obviously I did. But I have valid reasons for wanting to see the carries split that way. First, Turner looked better when he came in for chunks of drives. He was fresh when he did come in, which helped him with his overall speed, which we saw on that 40 yard reception touchdown. I haven’t seen him run that fast in two seasons. Secondly, Jacquizz has WAY better hands. Turner dropped the ball a bunch today. Why not put Jacquizz in for those packages? He is going to make the grab for you. But none the less, great game for Turner.
The most impressive performance was by Roddy White. He was open all game. The Panthers had no clue what to do with Roddy. His biggest play was easily the last minute bomb that set up the game winning field goal. He truly looked like Ryan’s go to guy today. He also looked like Roddy White, plain and simple. What this means is he was having fun, and catching passes throughout the game.
Matt Ryan looked fantastic as always today. But I did notice a lot of mistakes. He obviously had the interceptions, but he also had a few times where he should have thrown it away. The one particular play I remember was the 3rd and 3 towards the end of the game, where he took the sack instead of throwing it away. While it didn’t effect the final score, it very well could have. Still, a great game for Matt Ryan.
I have to say, the offensive line showed their true colors today. They looked plain terrible when protecting Matt Ryan. Ryan was brought down 7 times. That is not going to work. I expect them to improve, and if they don’t, we’re in trouble. But they did create some very nice holes for Turner today. I hope they can correct this problem, while still opening holes in the running game.
I found that not even Mike Nolan had a great solution for the freak athlete Cam Newton is. Newton ran all over the defense today. Whenever he stepped out of the pocket, I got nervous. I got nervous because I knew Newton wasn’t going to be stopped after the first hit. Newton read the blitz beautifully, and escaped promptly.
Speaking of guys we couldn’t stop, Greg Olsen had a hell of a day for the Panthers. He was a big mis-match for most of the game today. He was one of the few guys I figured we had no solution for. I could tell we tried a little too hard to shut down Steve Smith. It left plenty of gaps in the secondary, which the Panthers capitalized on.
I am going to be honest, and we all know it. The Panthers out played us today. That win was stolen away from the Panthers. But hey, I am not going to complain. HUGE credit goes to everyone on the team for not giving up today. Julio came up with a few nice catches toward to end of the game, but he was not there in the first 3 and 1/2 quarters.
The play of the game was not the one you think I will choose. I think the biggest play was the 4th and inches with about 2:00 left in the 4th. The Atlanta Falcons defense didn’t jump offside when they had the hard count. If they did, Ryan would never had the chance to lead the game winning drive.
The player of the game was obvious today. Roddy White played out of his mind. Greg will cover this, but he earned 10 wings today. I will buy him 12 wings if he wants.
Well, I am going to relish in the best comeback win in recent years for the Falcons. The Falcons are sitting at 4-0, and are 3 games up on the Saints and the Panthers. They may even be 3 games up on the Bucs after today too. All I know is, the Falcons are in control. If you would like to see more, make sure to follow me on twitter @cam_sports. Until next time, I am signing off!