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

Philip RiversDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) is active Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:22p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20, for Week 16.

Ryan MathewsDec 20 07:12p

The San Diego Chargers have declared LB Cordarro Law, DL Damion Square, CB Greg Ducre, WR Keenan Allen, P Mike Scifres, DL Ryan Carrethers, RB Ryan Mathews inactive for Week 16.

Carlos HydeDec 20 07:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20.

Ahmad BrooksDec 20 07:02p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared LB Ahmad Brooks, OG Andrew Tiller, RB Carlos Hyde, OG Joe Looney, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Stevie Johnson, CB Tramaine Brock inactive for Week 16.

Dennis KellyDec 20 03:32p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, WR Jeff Maehl, S Jerome Couplin III, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, DE Taylor Hart, LB Trent Cole inactive for Week 16.

Leonard HankersonDec 20 03:12p

The Washington Redskins have declared CB Chibuikem Okoro, LB Gabe Miller, DL Jason Hatcher, OG Josh LeRibeus, LB Keenan Robinson, WR Leonard Hankerson inactive for Week 16.

Roy HeluDec 20 03:02p

Washington Redskins RB Roy Helu (toe) is inactive Saturday, Dec. 20, against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Peyton ManningDec 19 07:42p

Updating a previous report, Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) was officially limited in practice Friday, Dec. 19, but he threw more than he did than the day prior, [ More ]

Frank GoreDec 19 05:42p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) was limited in practice Friday, Dec. 19, and is questionable for Week 16.

Keenan AllenDec 19 04:42p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) and WR Keenan Allen (shoulder, ankle) have been ruled out for Week 16 against the San Francisco 49ers.

Cam NewtonDec 19 04:12p

Updating previous reports, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) has yet to officially be cleared to play in Week 16 against the Cleveland Browns, but head coach Ron Rivera [ More ]

T Y HiltonDec 19 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) missed practice all week but is questionable for Week 16 against the Dallas Cowboys.

Peyton ManningDec 19 02:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh) was back to a full practice Friday, Dec. 19, after being limited Thursday, Dec. 18. Manning made several strong throws in the portion open to the media.

T Y HiltonDec 19 02:12p

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) missed practice again Friday, Dec. 19, and RTV6's Mike Chappell is convinced that Hilton will not play in Week 16 against the Dallas Cowboys.

C.J. SpillerDec 19 12:53p

Buffalo Bills RB C.J. Spiller (shoulder) has been added to the active roster and is probable for Week 16 against the Oakland Raiders.

Cam NewtonDec 19 12:52p

Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton (back) is listed as probable for Week 16 against the Cleveland Browns.

Blake BortlesDec 19 12:12p

Jacksonville Jaguars QB Blake Bortles (foot) completed only 13 passes for 115 yards in the win over the Tennessee Titans Thursday, Dec. 18, but he didn't show any signs [ More ]

T Y HiltonDec 19 11:52a

Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is not participating in the portion of practice open to the media Friday, Dec. 19.

Julio JonesDec 19 11:22a

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (hip) is not participating in portion of practice open to the media Friday, Dec. 19.

DeMarco MurrayDec 19 10:52a

Dallas Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray (hand) is likely to play in Week 16, according to a source. Murray has a high threshold for pain, and according to the source, [ More ]

Eddie LacyDec 19 10:12a

Green Bay Packers RB Eddie Lacy (eye) said he wasn't able to read a teammate's nameplate a few feet away in the locker room Thursday, Dec. 18. Lacy said [ More ]

Leon WashingtonDec 18 11:32p

Tennessee Titans RB Leon Washington caught a team-high seven passes for 62 yards and a touchdown in the team's 21-13 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars Thursday, Dec. 18. He [ More ]

Philip RiversDec 18 11:22p

San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers (back) looked good throwing the ball in the practice Thursday, Dec. 18, according to head coach Mike McCoy. 'Philip had an outstanding day,' [ More ]

Peyton ManningDec 18 07:22p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (thigh, illness) said his illness is behind him, and he was receiving treatment for his thigh Thursday, Dec. 18. Head coach John Fox called Manning day-to-day.

Roy MillerDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Tommy StreeterDec 18 07:12p

The Jacksonville Jaguars have declared DL Andre Branch, CB Jeremy Harris, SS Matt Daniels, DL Roy Miller, CB Teddy Williams, WR Tommy Streeter, OG Tyler Shatley inactive for Week 16.

Kendall WrightDec 18 07:12p

Tennessee Titans WR Kendall Wright (hand) is active for Week 16 after being limited in practice all week.

Frank GoreDec 18 07:02p

San Francisco 49ers RB Frank Gore (concussion) continues through the concussion protocol this week, but head coach Jim Harbaugh anticipates Gore suiting up in Week 16 against the San [ More ]

Julius ThomasDec 18 06:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) played just 29 snaps in Week 15; only ten of them were pass routes, according to Pro Football Focus.

Rashad JenningsDec 18 06:12p

New York Giants RB Rashad Jennings (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

Carlos HydeDec 18 05:52p

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde (ankle) did not practice Thursday, Dec. 18.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group