Cowboys Vs Falcons

On September 28, 2015, in Sporting News, by Buddy TB

NFLSchizophrenic squads

We saw this couple of teams that showed themselves very different versions of themselves in every step of the way. The first two quarters were all Cowboys and they were nearly perfect, the RB Joseph Randle ran open by the offensive line and QB Brandon Weeden threw short passes that gave good results. The defense resisted and saved a wasted opportunity CB Morris Claiborne to take an interception in goal area by dropping a ball that hit him and a bad decision that ended in Weeden interception, everything would have been fine otherwise.

For the most part, the Falcons didn’t seem to find a way to fully involve their star WR Julio Jones and defensive was feeling a lot more vulnerable to short passes in the  midfield. The story of the second half was exactly the opposite, Atlanta completely swept the Cowboys defensive by thw ¿e works of RB Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones. The Falcons offensive line eliminated the rival front. Dallas’ defense, which had a couple of weeks completely stifling opposing offenses in terms of productivity, the team allowed an -over 140 yards- runner, a receiver for more than 160 yards and almost 40 points.

Meanwhile the local attack stalled off to run exactly the same as the game plan that they had from the start and the adjustments from Head Coach, Dan Quinn, arrived in a timely manner to eliminate short passes in midfield and carries.

Devonta Freeman and Joseph Randle.

In just two carries in the first three offensive plays from the Cowboys Joseph Randle got 65 yards adding the next offensive possession with another 22 yards. DeMarco Murray had left last season and the fact that only in one quarter of football he had those numbers, what was coming would be much better. But that was all he could get into the game, afterwards. Every time he received the ball he was completely stopped by the Atlanta defense.

Meanwhile Freeman’s approach was different, while Randle received the ball only 14 times, the # 24 from the Falcons had 30 carries, which in the second half was the the key man of the Atlanta attack, the element that moved the chains to keep drives alive.

The beginning of the end

At the end of the first half with a little over 2 minutes left of the game, Dallas’ offense got the ball and up the score by 7 points and three timeouts. Scoring points was key because Atlanta’s offense would open the second half and the least this team wanted to allow was the start of a comeback.

The offense moved throughout the entire field on the first half, however, the problem came when after receiving the 15 yard pass RB Lance Dunbar set it inside the 25-yard line with 58 seconds on the game clock, Head Coach Jason Garrett called a timeout. The offensive took a similar move that left the attack just a yard away from the score and again called a timeout with 46 seconds left on the clock.

Just one play later the touchdown came by running with 40 seconds left in the game clock, an eternity for QB Matt Ryan as he also had his three timeouts ready for use.

What came next was a six plays and 66 yard drive that secured another three points for the Falcons and placed them only 9 points away. Thereafter, the Cowboys never scored again and the Falcons got another 22 points unanswered. A better management of the clock by the Head Coach Jason Garrett.

Brandon Weeden, the executor.

Although many would point out his limitations and the fact that he did not throw beyond the 15 yard mark, he limited himself to execute a game plan that clearly stated to not endanger the football, he would look for short areas in the midfield and to deliver the ball to his runners relying on their offensive line. Suddenly the team was behind on the scoreboard and the need to be vertical to the attack was not enough to get him out of that “prevention” state of mind, he continued doing the same thing and the defense was ready to stop it.

Julio Jones / Matt Ryan for MVP

These two players are performing at an exquisite level. Dominating all areas of the field and their chemistry is at an ideal spot. The influence of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, is evident. No wonder he has chosen to have this job, which has at its disposal the great talent of Matt Ryan, a QB that could move within the pocket and talented elite receiver Julio Jones.

 

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