What kept this game close and made it so ugly: 3rd down defense...(Posted by THRILLHO on 11/21/13 at 11:42 pm)
Offense missed opportunities, but they were very efficient. Offensive yards per play = 6.3, which is .1 yards better than our season average, which is good for 4th in the NFL. We were 7 of 13 on 3rd down, which is fantastic. Didn't turn the ball over. Yet we still had the lowest scoring output of the season.
In large part, that was due to 3rd down defense, which killed us in time of possession:
Falcons were 6 of 12. On the season, we're third best in the NFL in terms of getting off the field on 3rd down (32.8% conversion by the opponents). We're #1 in the NFL at 33:44 TOP, but not being able to get off the field tonight led to our only having the ball for 26:14. And that's really what the entire problem was tonight, as the defense allowed a reasonable 5.4 yards per play (we're allowing 5.2 on the season).
White's terrible play early is an easy culprit, but our DL didn't start getting pressure until just before halftime (after that, we really turned it on). Also, our LBs were atrocious tonight. Ryan was dinking and dunking all game (as he is wont to do) and the LBs will have a responsibility on a lot of those crossing and slant routes. So while we only allowed 13 points, the defense had a hand in that 17 points scored, as well.