The giddiness is over. The Falcons are 1-0, and getting ready to host the Panthers. I am not surprised that the Falcons won, but I am surprised the way they won.
Pat Yasinskas of the NFC South blog at ESPN wrote
How could we have doubted them when they gutted their defense in the offseason? And how could we question that defense after it looked bad in the preseason?
There’s no questioning the decision to rebuild the defense after what that unit did after the season-opening victory against Miami. The Dolphins aren’t a bad team, but the Falcons made them look like one.
The Falcons came just less than four minutes of shutting out the Dolphins. The scary thing is this defense only is going to get better.
I really wanted that shutout. I thought we would be doing some Monday morning QBing about the Falcons defense, but not in a good way. To further hammer the point home, The Phinsider blog lamented the Dolphins line.
Yet all these decisions and all that guaranteed money means nothing once these players take the field for a game. On Sunday, we saw Jake Long get beat over and over. We saw Vernon Carey also get beat for QB hurries and sacks. And we saw very little push up front when the Dolphins tried to run the football. On most of the backs’ 19 carries, there was no hole to run through – not even a little crease. And we know that this is not an offense that can rely on passing the football time and time again. To be honest, though, I’m not sure what concerns me more. Is it the inability to open any running lanes for their running backs? Or is it their inability to keep the quarterback upright?
Key stat: the offensive line surrendered four sacks, four additional QB hits, and 13 total hurries. How can you expect any quarterback to do much of anything when he’s under that kind of pressure?
It was a nice opening week. I hope Atlanta can make it 2-0 this weekend.