The Down-Field Pass


While watching the preseason game Thursday, I couldn’t help but feel a tad bit of frustration every time Michael Turner received a dump off pass from Ryan. A few times is fine, as you do feel pressure, but Turner had 3 of them. May I remind you that they only played one and a half quarters. I expect about 4-5 in a full game, but 3 in 1.5 quarters is ridiculous in my opinion, especially with a RB who isn’t meant to have break away speed. What Atlanta needs to realize is that Turner isn’t fast enough to do dump-downs. If you are going to use the dump- down, put in Jacquizz. He HAS the break away speed, and the hands, to be a great RB for the dump-down pass.

The reason for the dump-down passes was not Ryan’s. There is one true source of this madness. The offensive line. We all know that the Offensive Line has been the Falcon’s weakness, and while we have been trying to improve it, it still hasn’t been good enough.

While the dump pass frustrates me, another thing that frustrates me is the small slants and screens we run. Again, we have to run those plays, and they are beneficial, but there is a point when you do it too often. I felt like they ran them a tad too often. It is only the post season, so maybe they reduce the amount they had. The proof? Matt Ryan completed 18 passes, and only had 174 yards and 1 TD. When you complete than many passes, you should be in the 200 yards.

So the most frustrating thing is the lack of down-field passes they had. When you have Julio Jones lined up, you should be thinking big play often. But the Falcons don’t. While watching the game, we all saw the beautiful play where Andy Dalton hooked up with AJ Green for a TD. When I saw that, I had to think that Matt and Julio could do that just as well. That was the frustrating thing, is that they don’t even try.

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