2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Falcons seeing red after loss to Dolphins

By MATT WINKELJOHN - Associated Press
    2013-09-23 19:19

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) - The Falcons can point to at least one area to explain their lost to Miami: The red zone.

Atlanta fell to 1-2 after scoring two touchdowns and two field goals on five drives to the Miami 20-yard line or deeper. The Dolphins went 3-for-3 - all touchdowns - in their 27-23 victory

The Falcons could argue they outplayed Miami, outgaining the Dolphins 377 yards to 285 on Sunday, and sacked Miami quarterback Ryan Tannehill five times while Atlanta's Matt Ryan was not sacked. The Falcons also held the ball for 37 minutes, nine seconds to the Dolphins' 22:51.

Falcons coach Mike Smith wasn't all that impressed.

"We did not play very good situational football We're talking about red zone, two-minute and third downs," Smith said. "We gave up 10 points in two-minute situations - a field goal at the end of the half, and seven points at the end of the game.

"We weren't as efficient as we needed to be on third down; they were 7-of-12. We were 0-for-3 (defensively) in the red zone. We were only 2-for-5 in (offensive) red zone efficiency so you can just do the math."

It's adding up to losses.

Remember, Atlanta dropped its opener 23-17 at New Orleans when four pass plays from the Saints' 7 or closer failed to score in the final 1:09.

The Dolphins moved to 3-0 after Tannehill passed 1 yards to rookie tight end Dion Sims with 38 seconds left in the game for a four-point lead.

The Dolphins trailed most of the afternoon, and when they took possession with 4:46 left in the game after Atlanta's Matt Bryant sent a 35-yard field goal try wide right, they had just 210 yards of total offense.

Tannehill completed 9 of 12 passes, however, for the win.

"There were a number of plays on that drive where we weren't as tight as we needed to be in our coverage," Smith said. "We had third-and-3s and third-and-4s, and we need to play press coverage; we can't be off."

Atlanta hosts the New England Patriots on Sunday night.

For Falcons rookie cornerback Desmond Trufant the Dolphins game was a learning experience.

"I've got to be better with my technique," he said. "It came down to one-on-one battles, and they were winning them ... even when we were in tight coverages."

Trufant was one of three rookies on defense, joining undrafted linebackers Joplo Bartu and Paul Worrilow.

Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan was not available for comment, and Smith dismissed a suggestion that Nolan may have been conservative in play calling because the injury-ravaged Falcons were deploying so much youth.

"Absolutely not," the head coach said. "Absolutely not. We've got to go out and execute, and we did not execute in those situations."

The Falcons, who rank No. 23 in NFL offensive efficiency (touchdowns on 50 percent of such possessions), had problems on that side of the ball as well.

They settled for a 20-yard field goal by Bryant with 2:04 left in the first half when Smith called for the kick rather than go for it on fourth-and-1 at the Miami 2 after running back Jason Snelling was stuffed for no gain on first and third downs.

"There was discussions that if we got the ball inside 1 yard (Atlanta would go for it)," Smith said. "When we saw that the distance that we needed was closer to 2 yards right before the half . . . it was important that we get points. Obviously, we didn't think that we were going to give up the two-minute drive right after that."

The Dolphins answered with an eight-play, 60-yard drive, and Miami kicker Caleb Sturgis' 46-yard-field goal as time expired cut Atlanta's lead to 13-10.

The Falcons had a few things to be happy about even several starters out injured.

Atlanta rushed for 146 yards, and even though Jeremy Trueblood made his first start at right tackle as Lamar Holmes moved from right to left, Ryan was not sacked.

But with the Falcons' offensive line situation, they shortened their passing game and called for Ryan to throw quickly.

That de-emphasis of the vertical passing reduced the threat of big plays. That made red zone offense more important, and although the Falcons ran the ball well up to the Miami 20 or so, they struggled when the field shortened - in the red zone.

"We've got to do a lot more on offense. In the red zone, score touchdowns not kick field goals, and we'll be fine," said wide receiver Roddy White, who was limited to two catches for 16 yards. "We've got to find a way to find the end zone."

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Miles AustinMar 30 05:32p

Free-agent WR Miles Austin (Browns) signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Eagles Monday, March 30. The deal is worth $2.3 million with $700,000 available in incentives, according to a source.

DeMeco RyansMar 30 05:02p

Philadelphia Eagles LB DeMeco Ryans (Achilles') said he will be ready for training camp in July after coming back from his second torn Achilles' tendon since 2010. He will [ More ]

Michael HillMar 30 05:02p

Free-agent RB Michael Hill (Colts) signed an undisclosed deal with the Washington Redskins Monday, March 30.

Demaryius ThomasMar 30 02:12p

Denver Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas will not be present at the Broncos' offseason program or attend workouts with QB Peyton Manning at Duke University. Thomas is currently in Los Angeles for a charity event.

Jordan TodmanMar 30 01:42p

Free-agent RB Jordan Todman (Jaguars) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Monday, March 30. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Miles AustinMar 30 11:42a

Free-agent WR Miles Austin (Browns) will likely sign with the Philadelphia Eagles this week if all goes well with his physical, according to a source.

R. Griffin IIIMar 29 07:42p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will be the first-team quarterback during offseason workouts, according to head Jay Gruden, but Gruden also said he expects QB Kirk Cousins and [ More ]

Stevan RidleyMar 29 10:12a

Free-agent RB Stevan Ridley (knee) is scheduled to meet with a few teams this week. Ridley is expected to receive full medical clearance in around six weeks.

Andre EllingtonMar 27 07:52p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington, who averaged 20.6 touches per game in 2014 before being injured, won't have his role reduced in 2015, according to head coach Bruce Arians. [ More ]

C.J. AndersonMar 27 07:32p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson, who finished 2014 with 648 rushing yards in the last six games, will enter the 2015 season at the top of the running back [ More ]

Jonathan MartinMar 27 04:32p

San Francisco 49ers OT Jonathan Martin was claimed off waivers by the Carolina Panthers Friday, March 27.

Alan BallMar 27 03:02p

Free-agent CB Alan Ball (Jaguars) signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears Friday, March 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jarrett BoykinMar 27 02:12p

Free-agent WR Jarrett Boykin (Packers) signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers Friday, March 27. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nick FolesMar 27 01:22p

St. Louis Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said it's the team's intention to draft a quarterback in this year's draft, despite trading for QB Nick Foles in the offseason. [ More ]

Dont'a HightowerMar 26 08:02p

New England Patriots LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder) will miss six to seven months after undergoing surgery on a torn right labrum. Hightower's availability for the beginning of the regular [ More ]

Brian QuickMar 26 06:52p

St. Louis Rams WR Brian Quick (shoulder) is making progress in recovering from a torn rotator cuff and separated shoulder he suffered last October. Head coach Jeff Fisher has [ More ]

Jay CutlerMar 26 06:32p

Chicago Bears QB Jay Cutler will head into the offseason as the team's No. 1 quarterback on the depth chart, but head coach John Fox said there will be [ More ]

Danny LansanahMar 26 05:42p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB Danny Lansanah signed his one-year tender Thursday, March 26.

Jonathan MartinMar 26 04:52p

San Francisco 49ers OT Jonathan Martin was waived Thursday, March 26.

Pat SimsMar 26 04:22p

Free-agent DT Pat Sims (Raiders) signed an undisclosed deal with the Cincinnati Bengals Thursday, March 26.

Victor CruzMar 26 01:32p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) 'looks really good and light,' according to head coach Tom Coughlin. Cruz started running last week six months after he tore the [ More ]

D. Heyward-BeyMar 26 11:52a

Free-agent WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (Steelers) re-signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers Wednesday, March 26. Heyward-Bey signed a one-year deal with the team, but financial terms were not disclosed.

Paul RichardsonMar 26 12:43a

Seattle Seahawks WR Paul Richardson (knee) might not be ready for the start of the season, head coach Pete Carroll indicated Wednesday, March 25. Carroll did say Richardson's rehab [ More ]

Blake BortlesMar 25 08:43p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles received an endorsement from head coach Gus Bradley Tuesday, March 24. Speaking at the AFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Annual Meetings Tuesday, Bradley [ More ]

Travis KelceMar 25 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce played at roughly 250 pounds in 2014, but head coach Andy Reid wants Kelce to report bigger in 2015, and Reid thinks Kelce [ More ]

Drew BreesMar 25 05:03p

Oregon QB Marcus Mariota isn't an option for the New Orleans Saints in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, according to head coach Sean Payton. Payton said [ More ]

Adrian PetersonMar 25 04:33p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson is wanted back in Minnesota, but the question is if Peterson wants to come back. Head coach Mike Zimmer said he doesn't believe Peterson [ More ]

Ifeanyi MomahMar 25 03:13p

Free-agent TE Ifeanyi Momah (Lions) signed a one-year contract with the Arizona Cardinals Wednesday, March 25. Financial terms were undisclosed.

Terence NewmanMar 25 01:53p

Free-agent CB Terence Newman (Bengals) agreed to a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings Wednesday, March 25, according to a source. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jordy NelsonMar 25 12:23p

Green Bay Packers WR Jordy Nelson (hip) underwent hip surgery this offseason and is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Victor CruzMar 25 11:53a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) could miss the start of the 2015 season with a torn patellar tendon in his knee, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. [ More ]

Josh HillMar 25 11:03a

New Orleans Saints TE Josh Hill is expected to have a bigger role in the offense in 2015. Head coach Sean Payton has mentioned him quite a bit since [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group