Magnitude of a Mistake is Maddening


Sep 22, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith in the first quarter of a game against against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Falcons have been in fix and patch mode since leaving New Orleans after week one.
Stephen Jackson goes out and Jason Snelling and Jaquizz Rogers combine for 139 yards on the ground in an impressive tandem showing, not counting the sixty five yards they added in the receiving game. Atlanta wanted to get more balanced on offense and through their rushing efforts the Birds had 38 pass plays and 30 rushing plays, a nice balance I‘d say. The Falcon offensive line which is still growing cohesively had to make adjustments with Sam Baker out and protected Ryan better than any game this year and also must get credit for some nice holes provided for the mentioned rushing attack.
Atlanta under coach Smith loves to control the clock, and did so with the balanced attack for a 24 to 10 first down showing in building a 37 to 23 minute margin in time of possession over the Dolphins.
Atlanta wanted to correct a poor pass rush, put pressure on the opposing quarterback and the defense managed five sacks on the day and led the quarterback hits stat 6 to 5. Mission accomplished.
Atlanta prides in the fact they are well rehearsed at jumping to a lead and led 10 to 0 early in the second quarter and 20 to 10 early in the third quarter. If you did not catch the final score, you’d be under the impression Atlanta had corrected some concerns at practice and won this game. Not so for a few mistakes.
John Wooden once said, “If you are not making mistakes then you are not doing anything, I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes”. Humans make mistakes. Even nature can make mistakes. It is part of life.The trouble of a mistake is the magnitude of when, how, and where it is made. Timing is everything.
The Harry Douglas fumble, steady Matt Bryant’s missed thirty five yard field goal, the Falcons unusual
wrong side of the penalty stat ( 59 yards to 13 yards against is not the norm for Smiths’ birds).
These are mistakes that are magnified with such a tough loss. But I think other mistakes are keeping the Falcons from a 3 – 0 start. Against Miami, with a 10 – 0 lead, the defense lets Miller slip through for a forty nine yard gain deep into Falcon territory, gaining more yards on that run than Miami gains the rest of the day. With two minutes left in the first half, Miami has the ball on their twelve yard line. Did we mistake to the prevent “D” ? because it did not prevent Miami from kicking a field goal as time expired.
Third quarter and William Moore’s interception gives the ball to Atlanta on their thirty five yard line.
Was it a mistake with Atlanta leading 20 – 13 to go for the juggular here ? Three passes including two incomplete bombs on the left side and the ball is returned to the Dolphins.
How many of us were screaming for Atlanta to go for that second quarter 4th down and goal on the two Yard line ? Smitty would say – too many field goals inside the red zone,- so here was an opportunity during a manageable part of the game to try to break that stigma. Is it a mistake to keep Roddy running Decoy when the league knows he is definitely not a threat ? Tony G understandably missed preseason, so perhaps Chase Coffman who had a very good preseason could get a few calls until Tony gets up to a hundred percent. White and Gonzalez combined for six catches for forty yards. That is not a typo mistake.
The mistakes made in the two Falcon losses to this early season have come against two very good football teams. Both losses against 3 – 0 teams and on the road. It seems as Atlanta makes strides to correct a mistake or plug a hole because of a injury, another leak in the dam appears. The Birds can hopefully correct some of these mistakes at home and end the first quarter of the season at 2 – 2 this coming Sunday, which will lesson the magnitude of the maddening start to the 2013 season.