Scouting Report: Atlanta Falcons

Panther fans know their Panthers, but sometimes it’s knowing the skinny about our opponents.  The C3 Scouting Report gives you the lowdown on this week’s opponent, the Atlanta Falcons.


Division: NFC South
Record: 3-6
Division Standing:  3rd
Streak: 1 win
Last Meeting: 21-20, Panthers win in Atlanta (12/29/13)
All-time vs Panthers: 23-15 Falcons (Panthers have won last 3)


Key Players:  Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Steven Jackson, Roddy White

Hot Players:  Julio Jones (8 rec 119 yds)
                        Steven Jackson (16 rush, 81 yards, TD)

Tendencies: Four Vertical Attack

The Four Vertical looks like it could be devastating to a Carolina Panthers lacking a pass-rush.  The entire offensive system is predicated on receivers exploiting match-ups in the secondary.  If Matt Ryan has the time to deliver, this offensive system seeks to force one-on-one matchups.

Most categorize this offensive scheme as a stretch the field to take what you can get system.

Execution Last Week:

Passing: Effective - Ryan - (20/31,  219 yds, 87.6 QBR)

Rushing: Solid - Steven Jackson -(81 yds, 1 TD, 5.1 yards per carry)


Key Players: Jonathan Massaquoi, Desmond Trufant, Paul Worrilow

Hot Players: Osi Umenyiora DE, ILB (3 TKL, 1.5 sack, 1 TFL, 1 PD), Kroy Biermann (5 TKL, 1.5 sack, 2 TFL, 1PD, 3 QB hits), Paul Worrilow (10 TKL, 1 QB hit), Desmond Trufant (7 TKL 1 PD).

Execution Last Week: Improved.  The Falcons really struggle with problems similar to Carolina’s, difficulty generating pass-rush and a weak offensive line.  Last week, Atlanta did a better job getting after the quarterback, and the defense heckled Luke McCown and the Bucs offense all day.  Recording two INTs, a fumble, and forcing the Bucs to punt three times, Atlanta’s defense held strong, while the Falcons offense worked efficiently.

Coaching: Poor to moderate.  Mike Smith’s staff has struggled with injuries, personnel adjustments, and scheme this year.  This shouldn’t fall entirely on the coaching staff, when there are clear personnel deficiencies, but Atlanta Falcon’s analyst, Scott Carasik, has continually emphasized Smith’s inability to make defensive adjustments to capitalize on the players he does have on the roster.  

Head Coach: Mike Smith (63-42)
Offensive Coordinator:  Dirk Koetter
Offensive Scheme: Air Coryell
Defensive Coordinator: Mike Nolan
Defensive Alignment: 3-4

Standing: The seat is actually a griddle, and it is hot!  Mike Smith really is coaching for his job at this point.  Sadly, it doesn’t matter.  Current discussions among South Bound and Down analysts have questioned if Smith could maintain his job even if the Falcons found a way to win the division.  Right now, it looks like Smith is on the fast track to being out the door.

Injury Report: