‘Sugar and Salt’ – Week II


September 17, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White (84) runs out before the game against the Denver Broncos at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons won 27-21. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

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)- Roddy White- After Julio Jones stole the show in week I, a number of Falcon faithfuls lost a little hope in Roddy White and his future in Atlanta. White exploded from the smoke, and in Week II reminded the bandwagoners that he is still the staple possession receiver for the team and one of the best hands receivers in the league. Roddy made big catch after big catch, finding ways to sneak into the stingy gaps of the Broncos defense on crucial 3rd downs. He caught 8 balls for 102 yards, and kept two crucial drives alive late in the game with fascinating catches on the sidelines. Will we see a game in the coming weeks where Julio and Roddy go off? I sense it is coming….

Sugar (defense)- Mike Nolan- The defense had the impossible task of shutting down arguably the greatest quarterback of all time in the second game of the season without its arguably best corner back (Brent Grimes). Mike Nolan not only devised a brilliant game plan, the defense executed it to perfection to start off the game with three Peyton Manning interceptions. The game plan was to crowd the box with nine players before the snap, then have specific players (depending on the play and situation) drop into coverage while sending at least one on a blitz to keep Manning guessing. William Moore looked more like Troy Polamalu flying all over the field, making interceptions and forcing fumbles. Thomas DeCoud played center field like an old Johnny Damon, flagging down anything that came close to him. This is why the Falcons went out and snagged Nolan from the Dolphins, and we as fans are really starting to see the benefits from it. I can’t wait to see the game plan against “killa Cam” in a couple weeks in ATL.

Salt- Michael Turner- It hurts me to put this because I have been such an enormous fan of the “fire hydrant with legs”, but 42 yards on 17 carries is not the Michael Turner of old. They say running backs can only defeat father time for so long, but I thought Turner would be different because of his tree trunk frame rooted to the ground. The worst part about it is the fact that his last run of the game was 15 yards, and had that run not been a solid gainer his numbers would be more around 17 carries for more 27 yards. Do that math on that one…. The fact is when the Falcons are up big in games, they have to be able to pound the rock and earn first downs to keep the clock rolling. It may be time to experiment a little more with Jacquizz Rogers, or at least (the fake Mike Alstott) Jason Snelling, who you know will run like he’s going through a brick wall. If not, I’m cool with sending Julio Jones or Harry Douglass on some reverses to get a run game. In terms of Turner though,  I’m not even going to mention the DUI….but that could explain the bad game…

September 17, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Michael Turner (33) jumps over the pile for a touchdown in the first half against the Denver Broncos at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE