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John Clayton: Saints D versus Falcons

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; NFL - John Clayton's Last Call - ESPN 1. Falcons caught off guard: Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith summed up his team's 23-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday by saying, "There is always the unknown in Week ...

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Old 09-09-2013, 01:04 AM   #1
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John Clayton: Saints D versus Falcons

NFL - John Clayton's Last Call - ESPN
1. Falcons caught off guard: Atlanta Falcons coach Mike Smith summed up his team's 23-17 loss to the New Orleans Saints on Sunday by saying, "There is always the unknown in Week 1." In a rivalry as close as Saints-Falcons, better words couldn't have been spoken. The logical assumption going into the game was the Falcons had a significant advantage. They added Steven Jackson to one of the most talented offenses in football. The Saints have known for years they have to double cover Roddy White, Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez. Add Jackson's 77 yards rushing and 45 receiving you would assume the Falcons would win, particularly with the strange state of the Saints' defense. As it turned out, the unknown of the Saints' defense defeated the Falcons.

Atlanta knew the Saints were in their first game in a 3-4 and were doing it with only two outside linebackers on their 46-man roster. Martez Wilson was inactive because of an elbow injury. Parys Haralson, acquired last week in a trade, and Junior Galette, who missed most of the preseason with injuries, were the only available outside linebackers. New defensive coordinator Rob Ryan outcoached the Falcons by using a three-safety defense featuring Roman Harper, Malcolm Jenkins and first-round pick Kenny Vaccaro.

"In the first game, you see a lot of unscouted looks," Smith said. As it turned out, the Saints baffled the Falcons with plenty of different looks and fronts. The Saints pressured from the right, left and middle. Matt Ryan still completed 25 of 38 passes for 304 yards and two touchdowns, but he was pressured enough to convert only three of 11 third downs and had only four drives longer than five plays. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Saints rushed at least five defenders 13 times and recorded three sacks with those rushes.

One concern of the Falcons is their offensive line. It looks as though it can be physically beaten. The Bengals showed a little of that weakness in a dual practice in Atlanta last month. Matt Ryan and Smith each said some of the problems will be fixed in the weeks ahead with execution.

Still, in the end, these games come down to one play. You can criticize the Falcons' blocking or praise the Saints' defensive coaching, but Matt Ryan was at the Falcons' 3 on third down with a chance to tie. The Saints covered the next two passes and won, continuing an amazing rivalry. Eight of the past 11 games between these teams have been decided in the final possession.

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Old 09-09-2013, 01:07 AM   #2
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Re: John Clayton: Saints D versus Falcons

Mike Smith saw something he hadn't before?

That's funny... We've kicked his butt quite often lately
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Old 09-09-2013, 01:21 AM   #3
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Re: John Clayton: Saints D versus Falcons

So to sum up, the Saints defense is only good because they caught the Falcons by surprise. Heaven forbid ANYBODY start to see we might actually have a few pretty decent players.

Oh well, more fuel for the fire. Think those defensive players aren't getting hyped to prove everybody wrong? The fun thing to realize is that they're only going to get better as they start to understand the system more and more and the young players get more experience.
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:52 AM   #4
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Re: John Clayton: Saints D versus Falcons

So the team, the fans, AND the coach rationalize?

Why Mike Smith will never get anywhere, he is too stupid to realize his excuse points the finger at him being unprepared..... Which for an NFL coach is hugely unacceptable.

Ill go with the ill-prepared reason though.
Ill-prepared in the personnel dept
Ill-prepared in the scheme dept
Ill-prepared in the execution dept


Atlanta didn't lose because they failed on one drive, it wasn't a blow out because we flubbed quite a few plays. Colston strip being one of them.
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Old 09-09-2013, 05:58 AM   #5
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Re: John Clayton: Saints D versus Falcons

Originally Posted by RockyMountainSaint View Post
As it turned out, the unknown of the Saints' defense defeated the Falcons
That would indicate a failure on National Media to do their job...

Looks like they don't know all they thought they did...
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:09 AM   #6
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Re: John Clayton: Saints D versus Falcons

I expect the media to be quiet or apprehensive about the unknown... That's the only way they can produce anything to publish.

What i am hoping is that it tempers Saints fans fear of the unknown.

This is framed with the Spagnuolo unknown that we actually felt good about in the start of the season in 2012 that bit us in the azz.

Analytical minds approach a situation the same way typically, same process.. Its unknown, so what we knew about the defense and the players we still have gets put on a shelf just by the change of scheme and coach...

The emotionally driven have a very difficult time forgetting the burn of last year and cant put that on a shelf even though Coach has changed, scheme has changed, and at least 1/3 of the personnel have changed.

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Old 09-09-2013, 07:24 AM   #7
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Re: John Clayton: Saints D versus Falcons

Sorry, the Saints won that game, the amazing-failclowns didn't give it to 'em, .
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Old 09-09-2013, 07:54 AM   #8
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Re: John Clayton: Saints D versus Falcons

Originally Posted by SloMotion View Post
Sorry, the Saints won that game, the amazing-failclowns didn't give it to 'em, .
Slo, with Suh & Co., how in the hell is Petersahn able to rip through those guys like that?!?

Glad to see you guys came back, even if my favorite fantasy wide receiver didn't go much...

Oh, enjoy Reggie; looks like he may have things figured out...
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:18 AM   #9
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Re: John Clayton: Saints D versus Falcons

Originally Posted by jeanpierre View Post
Slo, with Suh & Co., how in the hell is Petersahn able to rip through those guys like that?!?

Glad to see you guys came back, even if my favorite fantasy wide receiver didn't go much...

Oh, enjoy Reggie; looks like he may have things figured out...
He is AP and he's gonna' break one now and then, but they pretty much contained him ... take away that 78yd gain and he's something like 17 carries for 15yds. A healthy, motivated Fairley has always been the key, IMO.

I've been a harsh critic of that d/line and felt they've underperformed in the past, but they showed me they may finally live up to their billing this season.

Same for the offense, Reggie-between-the-tackles is what I wanted to see and the sophomore O/T Reilly Reif did a decent job with Jared Allen. Ironic, isn't it? The Lions new running game consists of Joique Bell/Reggie Bush ... what they trying to do? Be the Saints? .

... this space intentionally left blank ...
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Old 09-09-2013, 08:57 AM   #10
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Re: John Clayton: Saints D versus Falcons

Originally Posted by Jack Vegas View Post
The fun thing to realize is that they're only going to get better as they start to understand the system more and more and the young players get more experience.

ABSOLUTELY.

How many times do you hear about a D needing to "gel".

There were a couple of bad plays on D yesterday, but I'll take that on a new system - especially one that gets turnovers, pressures the QB and can make goalline stands.


Will we be a top 5 D like Marshall Faulk said? NAH - probably not.

But all we need to be is top 15-20 to have a shot at the big prize!
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