Falcons down Cardinals, but it’s uglier than ever


November 18, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) walks through the tunnel before the game against the Arizona Cardinals at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

It’s absolutely shocking how very bad the Falcons played against the Cardinals. Perhaps I should say it’s shocking how terrible Matt Ryan looked and performed against the Cardinals.

Matt Ryan found a way to throw 5 interceptions. Until Sunday, he’d never thrown more than three in a game. He put up a real stinker of a game against the Oakland Raiders when he threw 3 interceptions against them, but I legitimately thought that was his mulligan for the year. He’d gotten it out of his system, and wouldn’t have another game filled with misery again this season. Boy was I wrong.

The first three interceptions Ryan threw weren’t his fault. Yes, they went on his stat line, but a dropped pass by Roddy White, a pass tipped up at the line of scrimmage, an INT on a pass where he got absolutely crushed while throwing. His fifth interception of the day was a tipped pass as well. Really, the fourth interception was the only ungodly bad interception on the day. But while four of the five either weren’t his fault of were mostly the fault of others, there is no way any quarterback can or should throw 5 picks in a game. I’m good and mad about it. Maybe I shouldn’t be, but I’m really peeved at Ryan today. He HAS TO PROTECT THE BALL BETTER THAN THAT.

It doesn’t help that the production from the running backs wasn’t there nearly at all, and that they had another turnover in addition. Jason Snelling fumbled, giving the Cardinals another shot with the ball. The running game? Poor once again. Michael Turner had 15 carries…and a grand total of 45 yards. Same as always, he has way too many carries of 1-yard or no gain. Take away a singular 10-yard carry, and he’s only 14 carries & 35 yards. Gross.

Nobody got help from the offensive line. No holes were opened in the run game, and the poor play of the line was a major contributing factor in each and every one of Matt Ryan’s interceptions. I can’t really begin to fully express how bad the o-line played without looking at the game film one more time.

A major reason the Falcons won, was because Arizona has one of the least productive offenses in the league. The Falcons had a defensive touchdown off of Arizona’s offense. The quarterback situation in Arizona is an absolute disaster, as the best QBs on the roster were hurt, or scratched due to lack of production. Enter Ryan Lindley, who was very unproductive for Arizona. With his lack of production, an offensive line that couldn’t to jack, and a serious lack of weapons offensively, Arizona wasn’t able to score many points despite having countless opportunities due to Falcon turnovers.

It stands testament also, that the Falcons defense could physically handle being on the field as long as they were, and only give up 19 points on the day. The Falcons gave the ball to the Cardinals 5 times in their own territory, and three of those in the redzone. Arizona just was unable (or not allowed) to put up many points. I think the lone bright spot for the Falcons was the resiliency of this Atlanta defense all day long.

It feels like the Falcons got absolutely manhandled and beaten yesterday. They were absolutely handled up front when they were on offense, and weren’t able to make and adjustment to get in any kind of rhythm. They constantly turned the ball over, and were it not for the ineptitude of the Cardinals offense, the would have absolutely gotten blown out. The Falcons have to get better up front offensively if they are to have a shot ever for the rest of the season. And they have to figure out a way to not throw interceptions. It’s absolutely unacceptable.