Numbers Tell Tale of Full Team Effort

Numbers Tell Tale of Full Team Effort

Jay Adams

Published September 26, 2012 at 2:31 PM

One of the biggest stories of the first three weeks of the regular season has been how hot the Falcons’ offense has become under a new system and new coordinator. One look at the offensive stats, however, and it may raise plenty of questions.

The Falcons are 19th in the league in total offense, 25th in the league in net rushing yards per game and 15th in net passing yards per game — stuck in the bottom half in all three big offensive categories.

But while you look at those stats and start to think up all sorts of questions about how the Falcons’ offense has been so efficiently hot with those types of numbers, know that the answer to all of those questions is quite simple: field position.

The Falcons are tops in the league in that category, starting offensive drives on average at their own 34.2-yard line. Between special teams and the Falcons’ defense — which, oh, by the way, has accounted for 11 forced turnovers — the offense hasn’t exactly had a full field to work with much.

“It’s a complete team stat, even though it may fall under an offensive category,” guard Justin Blalock said Wednesday. “If we’re bottom 10, as long as we’re winning games and putting up points, I think, to a man, we’ll be fine with that.”

So far, so good.

The Falcons are tied for third in the league in points scored per game (31.2) and have scored the most points in the league off of turnovers (40), making the unit the league’s most efficient when it comes to capitalizing on opportunities.

Even when the offense is faced with more than a handful of yards to go for a score to start a drive, the unit is producing. During Sunday’s 27-3 win over San Diego, the Falcons converted a 17-play, 96-yard drive into a touchdown in the second quarter after starting the game with a 10-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a Jacquizz Rodgers touchdown.

Believe it or not, there’s still room for improvement.

“(The defense has) been getting us the football a whole lot and giving us opportunities with short fields to score touchdowns,” wide receiver Roddy White said. “They’ve been playing lights out. If they can continue this pace, there’s a lot of good things we could do.

“The sky is the limit, but I think we’ve got to pick it up a little more on the offensive side of the ball. There’s a lot of stuff that we’re still leaving out there on the field that I think we can fix.”

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