Atlanta Falcons News and Notes

Publisher
Posted Oct 19, 2005


News and notes from the Atlanta Falcons.

--QB Michael Vick completed only two of his next seven passes after reinjuring his right knee in the first quarter against the Saints. He didn't miss a snap, but Vick had one interception and New Orleans sacked him once during that stretch. Fortunately for the Falcons, Vick recovered on the final drive to complete all four of his passes and to run for a first down. Vick completed all four passes he attempted on the final drive, which ended with Todd Peterson's game-winning field goal after the officiating crew gave the Atlanta placekicker a second chance when the Saints were called for defensive holding. The cliche says, "It's how you finish," so the bottom line for Vick was improving to 4-0 in his career against New Orleans, and 21-6 all-time indoors.

--QB Matt Schaub continues to work against the No. 1 defense in practice. He will not take any reps with the starting offense unless Vick suffers a setback with his right knee.

--RB Warrick Dunn has gained 406 yards and scored two rushing touchdowns in his last four games. He's making excellent reads, bursting through holes and wiggling away for extra yardage better than at any stage in his nine-year career.

--FB Justin Griffith will take many of the carries Duckett normally would get as Dunn's backup. The Falcons will use backup FB Fred McCrary to give Griffith several snaps off against New York.

--TE Alge Crumpler is averaging a robust 13.4 yards per catch, so look for Vick to connect with him at least six to eight times this week.

--WR Dez White has only two catches in three games and looks like a candidate for the waiver wire. He provides no redeeming value as a receiver, which is ironic for a veteran who runs excellent routes and often beats single coverage.

--WR Michael Jenkins, slowly but surely, is trying to emerge as a viable option on slant patterns and crossing routes. He caught two passes covering 24 yards against the Saints.

--WR Roddy White has only three catches, but the team needs to do a better job of incorporating him and giving him a chance to make plays.

--WR Brian Finneran didn't catch a pass for the first time last week, inexplicably ignored after he started as the lone receiver in a two-tight end set with Crumpler and Eric Beverly. Dez White's problems should give Finneran, the team's second-leading receiver, more chances.

--PK Todd Peterson is 7-for-7 this year, thanks to the second chance at a game-winning field goal that he was afforded after officials threw a flag for defensive holding against the Saints. Overall, Peterson has converted his last 10 opportunities.

--LCB DeAngelo Hall has become a marked man because opponents can see that he looks lost when the ball is in the air. Any young player who envisions himself as an elite player must address this deficiency immediately.

--MLB Keith Brooking needs to stay inside and let outside linebackers Demorrio Williams and Michael Boley do their work instead of trying to help in coverage and leaving huge holes open for the Jets to hit on play-action.

--Coach Jim Mora gave no indication that RB T.J. Duckett will miss this week. The team sent Duckett for MRI exams on Monday. He left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury and wore a walking boot as he strolled slowly toward the team bus a couple of hours later. Without Duckett, the Falcons will rely almost exclusively on Dunn, but Justin Griffith is likely to carry the ball maybe five to seven times a game.

--Despite the great plays he made that led to second-quarter touchdowns, rookie SLB Michael Boley struggled all day to get off blocks. He gives Atlanta better size at the position than Demorrio Williams has, but Boley mostly performed at the level you would expect from a first-time starter. Unfortunately, the Jets are flying into Atlanta this weekend and bringing Curtis Martin, who ran for 148 yards, so Boley is likely to be a focal point of attack for New York.


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