Hmmm… Maybe we should’ve rested our guys, Mike?. That should be the caption underneath the photo above. I’m pretty sure that’s what TD was thinking after Tampa Bay throttled his Atlanta Falcons at home last Sunday.
Of course the big question heading into the Tampa game was whether or not Mike Smith should play his starters. I went on record, saying no way! What’s to gain from playing an old guy like John Abraham in a meaningless game? The coach wanted to ride momentum into the playoffs. I get it. But at what cost? It was obvious that the team wasn’t as hyped for the game as the Bucs.
Atlanta only managed 278 measly yards of total offense. All that ice melted from Matty’s veins as he only completed 63% of his passes and got sacked twice. Not to mention he was pressured and hit hard several times. The Burner looked more like molasses only gaining 18 yards on 6 carries… One of those carries went for 17 yards. You do the math. It ain’t pretty. Yet Smith continued to play his starters well into the fourth quarter.
So the plan backfired. Robinson and Samuels go down early. Even though Samuels returned I still don’t see the point. Then of course in the fourth quarter you lose your only pass rusher to an ankle injury. I don’t care if both Abraham and Robinson are “ready” or not next Sunday, everyone knows they won’t be 100%. And by everyone I mean Pete Carrol and Mike Shannahan.
So we hurt the team AND lose momentum all in one three hour game. Hopefully Coach Smith can exercise these demons with a victory next week in the warm confines of the Georgia Dome. Look on the bright side… Atlanta rarely loses back-to-back cames under Smitty. Let’s hope that holds true into our playoff game.
I’m still very proud of what this team accomplished in 2012. 13-3 don’t come easy in this league. I just hope 2013 starts off with a playoff victory. And for Mike Smith’s sake I hope he has a healthy Abraham and Robinson on the roster.
I’ll have a playoff preview as soon as we find out who our first victim will be. Happy New Year to the Falcon Nation! Let’s go get that monkey off our backs.