Each week for my post game analysis, I will give one offensive and defensive Falcon player a little “sugar” for his “sweet” playing on the field. I will also give one player on the Falcons a little ”salt” for his salty, lackluster play for the week. Please feel free to leave comments and provide your own “Sugar and Salt” for the week. You can also tweet me at @ianborders7 or all of us at @bloggingdirty to provide input for your picks each week.
Sugar (offense)- Matt Bryant- Ok, so it wasn’t looking very promising at the beginning of the game for Matt Bryant and his chances of winning the sweet sugar of the week, but after a second game winning kick with little to no time left on the clock, it is hard to look elsewhere (especially in a game where Matt Ryan threw three picks). Bryant came through with two field goals in the 3rd quarter to tie that game going into the 4th. Those clutch kicks would find a way to be much needed due to the fact the offense only scored one touchdown for the entire game (the lowest of the season by far). As soon as the Raiders scored late in the game, and I saw they left Matt Ryan (possibly the best 2 minute drill quarterback of the past three years) 40 seconds to work with, I knew the game was over, especially since we only needed a field goal for the win. Props to Matt Bryant and his ability to bounce back after shanking his first attempt. The “lonesome kicker” went from zero to hero rather quickly.
Sugar (defense)- John Abraham- This guy has been on an absolute mission this season. Abraham single handily pressured Carson Palmer throughout this game. Even when he didn’t get the sack, he was close enough to the quarterback to provide a solid “you better get the ball out” hit that led to an interception late in the game that Asante Samuel (aka pick 6) took to the house. Oh, and by the way, he did record three sacks and a forced fumble that left our offense in the redzone. Like I said a couple weeks ago when I honored him with the sugar of the week, if he can do this in the playoffs, the Falcons will make a strong, long push.
Salt- The Running Game- Throughout the game, the Falcons were trying to pound the rock to get the play-action rolling and get the offense flowing. Other than one possession (which ended with a Roddy White TD), the running game just couldn’t get on track. This caused our defense to constantly have to step up and stay on the field. It is not often you dominate the possession battle and lose the game, and that is exactly what happened to the Raiders. Thanks to some timely defensive plays, and some solid kicking in the second half, the Falcons were able to overcome being out possessed by 13 minutes. I think maybe they should look to use Snelling more than just one carry on goal line plays. Let him catch a couple screens with he and Rodgers in the game together. This will help open up Rodgers for some screens and delays as well as it will keep the defense guessing. It could also open up the big play for our studs outside. That said, 6-0 for the first time in Falcons history….. We are winning the close games …… So going into the bye week, I couldn’t be happier. Rise up!