The Atlanta Falcons finish the 2012 regular season at 12 – 3 and take the South division crown by six games, winning the top seed in the NFC playoffs on a hopeful march to the Super Bowl.
Coach Smith played the Gas pedal down approach as he said he would which makes the loss to the Bucs a little frustrating in my opinion of the Birds. Tampa had not been playing well, but came to the dome, ruining the Falcons perfect record at home. This has been a very bright year for Atlanta but the annoying thing to this loss was the starters were playing and there are signs to be frustrated with beyond the loss.
I hope the hearts were not quite into this and playoff time we capture the focus shown in the past two weeks.
The most frustrating thing was that Tampa has the worst pass defense in the league and except for flashes of Jaquizz and one twenty eight yard play to Julio we did not look formidable. Ryan was only sacked twice but the under five yards average per pass bothers me a little. The third down efficiency of three for fourteen attempts shows the days offensive woes. The passing attack is our ticket to the Playoffs and if Coach Smith wanted to keep the pedal down it did not happen this game. I thought the Falcons would work on running the ball a lot in this final game but the sixteen attempts for sixty five yards looked like a carbon copy of many 2012 games. Seventeen points is not a good showing with starters, at home, against a suspect defense to a team that had lost five straight games. The questions of execution and focus may have more of an impact to the team than the injuries to Abraham and Robinson. I don’t go against Smitty’s decision to play the regulars, but the detriment mentally to a team that had flown high the last two weeks is going to have to be corrected during the bye. The defense is not off the Frustrating list either. Zero sacks is not going to work well against some of the Quarterbacks the Falcons will see in the playoffs, like that QB Green Bay has. It will be very frustrating if Abraham’s ankle injury is not one hundred percent healed in two weeks.
Doug Martin is a premier back, but this was the Dome, and we had done a good job on him earlier in the season. The tackling on his forty yard touchdown run was more than Frustrating.
So now we sit and watch the first set of games in wait for playoff time at the Birds nest.
There will be much discussion on who fans want to play. I feel if Atlanta went out and won the Tampa game in same fashion they beat the Giants and then the Lions I would not care knowing this is not the playoff team we’ve seen the last few years, but now I have a lackluster home loss to conjure demons of some doubt.
The coaches will work hard to correct the level of play needed , the players will have time to heal bruises and prepare and the Georgia dome will be rocking as loud as it is possible no matter who comes to play in two weeks, but the frustration of this last game will linger a bit, I just hope the cause of my frustration does not re-appear again on the Dome field for the next five weeks. We all wish for a Happy New Year. We all know how 2013 can start exactly that way. A Good luck toast to all in Falcon Nation.
A Frustrating Finale
Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":