NFL Preseason Week 2 Game Notes: Atlanta Falcons at Baltimore Ravens

Atlanta Offense vs. Baltimore Defense

  • LB Dumervil is explosive off the edge. ATL is having to leave a RB in to help block or chip him on the way out into his route
  • ATL double teaming inside, leaving LT Baker 1-on-1 against LB Suggs. Good battle and Baker is holding up well.
  • DE Canty showing a very good ability to stack and shed at the line of scrimmage vs. any of the ATL offensive linemen.
  • Falcons base is 11 personnel and setting the tendency to run out of any heavier personnel sets. Look for play action out of these personnel groupings later.
  • WR Douglas is the slot receiver in base personnel. WRs aren’t moving all over the formation. Very basic looks from ATL.
  • RB Jackson is a great fit for ATL scheme – runs well out of shotgun, very good pass blocker, and catches well.
  • RB Jackson should benefit from “light fronts” because defenses will have to match up to ATL’s base 11 personnel with nickel and sometimes dime packages. Jackson will be running against much smaller personnel. Jackson is a power runner between the tackles and will punish smaller defenders in the hole.
  • There are a ton of flags in this game, killing any flow it might have.
  • Dumervil having better success rushing than Suggs is from either side.
  • RB Jackson shows superb vision and savviness when attacking the line of scrimmage.
  • Rookie S Elam looks as if he’s added weight. Bulkier than I remember. That’s good.
  • S Huff is slow to react when acting as the single high safety. Doesn’t fly to the ball.
  • CB Smith is outmatched vs. WR Jones (as many CBs are). Smith isn’t physical and isn’t pressing which is often leaving him in a trail position with no chance to maintain with one of the NFL’s best WRs.
  • QB Ryan exhibits strong ability to read through full progressions over the entire field. Sometimes seems to get a muddy picture in the middle of the field and intermediate areas.
  • ILB Daryl Smith playing well vs. run – plugging holes and attacking the ball carrier. Very efficient at stacking and shedding at the point of attack.
  • S Elam lacks good feel for zone coverage. He seems frozen by QB Ryan’s eye movement.
  • QB Ryan’s pocket presence is making the ATL OL look beter than its overall performance.
  • DE Canty consistently showing the ability to penetrate and reroute runs in the backfield even when he doesn’t make the tackle.
  • DT Ngata looks healthy. He’s immovable in the middle, even when double teamed.
  • ILB Smith showing good football IQ in coverage – bumps when necessary and uses good leverage to maintain good position.
  • S Elam is a shoulder hitter and not a wrap up, form tackler. This could create injury concerns.
  • S Huff is not an attacker. Slow in reaction and pursuit. Ihedigbo played much better and faster. Huff may end up being the 3rd safety on the depth chart fairly soon.
  • RT Holmes did not play well. Getting beaten too often. 9:24 left in the 2nd quarter is a good example. Shows poor technique and effort to offer very little resistance as DE Arthur Jones essentially runs right inside of him to make a tackle for a loss.
  • Rookie LB Arthur Brown flies all over the field. Plays with instincts and physicality. Smooth in everything he does. Will eventually be a starting LB on this defense.

Baltimore Offense vs. Atlanta Defense

  • DE Osi Umenyiora is very disruptive early. Good speed and use of hands to rush in pass and get inside vs. the run.
  • QB Flacco’s first few throws were slightly off. Poor ball location early.
  • WR Smith 77-yard TD came on a slant vs. cover 3. Flacco gave a small play fake to the RB which drew the LBs in (they were already too close to the LOS) and eliminating them from the play. Smith catches the ball in stride with plenty of space to run. S Moore takes a bad angle after the catch which turns a 15-yard gain into a 77-yard TD. Smith just outran everyone after Moore’s missed tackle.
  • Safeties Moore and Decoud are very active and aggressive. Play in the box and near the line of scrimmage a lot. This is something teams will gameplan for and against.
  • DT Babineaux winning inside. Inside rip move is allowing a fairly clean release off the snap.
  • Ravens’ OL specifically having problems inside with the Falcons’ under fronts. Offensive line missing combo blocks or not getting into position quick enough when sliding blocking (hard to tell without the end zone angle).
  • TE Shiancoe looks smooth in route running. Finding open space but lack of chemistry with Flacco showing with mistimed throws or positioning.
  • Falcons continue dropping DE Biermann into zone coverage multiple times
  • DE Umenyiora seems to be involved in every play, one way or another.
  • It’s very clear the Ravens aren’t running their normal offense. Everything is short and easy. No downfield throws or even very many deep routes. Super vanilla.
  • No deep attempts is one reason WR Jacoby Jones wasn’t very involved in the offense.
  • RB Rice runs with such a low center of gravity – adds to his ability to change direction and to break tackles.
  • LG Osmele did not play well. He showed up in a negative way too many times.
  • I would expect the Ravens to get Shiancoe even more involved in the gameplan early in the next preseason game to get him familiar with the offense and build chemistry with Flacco.
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