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A Word on the Defense...

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Obviously our defense let us down yesterday. The offense certainly did its part, spotting the D 38 points. It seemed as if we did a fairly good job against their rushing attack, but by day's end, they had ammassed over 170 yards on the ground. It was impressive that the longest run by either Vick or Dunn was a mere 14 yards. Still, we wore down late, especially during overtime.

Our plan was clearly to make Michael Vick beat us with his arm. We dropped into what we thought were confusing zone coverages. Maybe they were, but they were also predicated on us getting pressure on Vick and forcing him to get rid of the ball earlier than he would have liked to. This didn't happen. We couldn't get to him all day, and it really wasn't because of his mobility. Yes he did escape some pressure with his feet, including on the most important play of the game when it was 3rd and 9 in overtime, but for the most part, he simply had all day to make his reads and deliver the ball. By day's end, Vick had only been sacked once. Obviously this was a point of attention for the Falcons after being sacked 7 times the previous week by the Giants. Kudos to the Falcons OL and coaching staff for making the necessary adjustments.

We could have used Joey Porter in this game. I'm not suggesting Arnold Harrison doesn't have what it takes to be a contributor on this team, but it was a tough test for him playing on the outside against Michael Vick. Too many times he took the wrong angle to Vick or chased Warrick Dunn only to be dead in his tracks when Vick bootlegged. A more experienced, savier player wouldn't have made those mistakes more than once. Maybe I'm being too harsh. After all, Troy Polamalu did the exact same thing against Vick and he's usually as sure a tackler as there is in the NFL.