Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Atlanta Falcons Report Card VS Lions

Yahoo Report Card for the Falcons


Passing Offense:   B-plus—The Falcons didn’t ask QB Matt Ryan to carry the load, but when it came time to keep the Lions off balance, Ryan was special. Ryan showed his accuracy on the first pass of his NFL career, when he hit WRMichael Jenkins on that skinny post for a 62-yard touchdown pass. He made another big-time throw to Ben Hartsock, after eluding some rushers, drilling a pass between defenders for a 17-yard gain.

Rushing Offense:   A-plus—Thunder and Lightning. Michael Turner went for a team record 220 yards and Jerious Norwood, running as hard as we’ve seen, added 93 yards on 14 carries. They helped to combine for a team-record 318 yards rushing.

Pass Defense:   C-minus—CBs Chris Houston and Brent Grimes battled Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams. Yeah, they received a lot of help from safeties Erik Coleman and Lawyer Milloy, but they didn’t allow the Pro Bowl caliber receivers to single-handedly beat the team.

Rush Defense:   A—The Lions wanted to establish the run but couldn’t after they fell behind 21-0 in the first quarter. With Big Grady Jackson leading the way, the Falcons held the Lions to 62 yards on 21 carries (for a paltry 3.0 per carry average).

Special Teams:   A—Adams Jennings did a good job returning punts and didn’t make any unnecessary fair catches. Norwood almost busted a kickoff return.

Coaching:   A—Coach Mike Smith knows he doesn’t have the most talented roster in the league, but he’s demanded that they play hard, nasty and mean. The Falcons have bought into Smith’s program and caught the Lions off guard when they bloodied their nose early and then stood up to a meek comeback effort.

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