Overreaction Monday: Kyle Shanahan, have you met Roddy White?

“Whatever you do, DON’T throw it to Roddy White.” OK, just kidding. But it seems that way, doesn’t it? (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Welcome back to Overreaction Monday, where doom and gloom still carry the day…

FALCONS

Skinny: 6-3  (second place in NFC South). Sunday: Lost at San Francisco 17-16. Next week Bye. Home vs. Indianapolis Nov. 22.

Overreaction narrative: “Dan Quinn is overmatched and Kyle Shanahan needs to get a clue.”

Reality check: No (on Quinn), and yes (on Shanahan). I’m not ready to turn the botched fourth-down decision as a referendum on Quinn’s ability to be a head coach. But there’s no question he screwed up Sunday when he opted to kick a field goal from San Francisco’s one-yard line to narrow the San Francisco’s lead to one point rather than his team try for the go-ahead touchdown. Michael Cunningham has a great blog illustrating how statistics show the Falcons had a much better chance of winning the game had they gone for the touchdown. In fact, the odds were superior of them winning even if Quinn elected to go for the touchdown and failed. Check out the blog by clicking here.

But that decision wasn’t even the biggest issue Sunday. The Falcons never should have even been in that position. The 49ers had lost six of their last seven games, were starting a backup quarterback, Blaine Gabbert, who morphed into a punchline when he played in Jacksonville, and they were decimated by injuries and personnel losses. Further, the Falcons were coming off a string of mediocre-to-awful performances, the most recent being a home loss to Tampa Bay last week. But they showed neither a sense of urgency or passion that Quinn mandates. Certainly, they didn’t play “fast and physical,” which has been his mantra. He needs to figure out quick how to light a fire under this team again.

Then there’s Shanahan. He had some success early this season. But the offense is not producing enough points now and he needs to use the week to blow the dust off some pages in the playbook – particularly the pages with Roddy White’s name on it. The Falcons’ second-best receiver and one of Ryan’s top weapons with Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman has been reduced to a glorified blocker and decoy. If White couldn’t still play, I would understand him being phased out. But that’s not the case. He’s good enough to start, good enough to make clutch catches, good enough to be an integral part in this offense. The problem is he’s seldom, if ever, the primary receiver on the called play and he’s so deep into quarterback Matt Ryan’s progression that he’s rarely even targeted. Ryan threw to him only twice Sunday, completing one – a 20-yarder with less than seven minutes left in the game that led to the field goal. The Falcons’ defense was expected to have shortcomings, with the pass rush still lacking and injuries beating up the secondary. But there’s no excuse for the offense to be producing as few points as it is. Turnovers had been an issue recently but that wasn’t the case Sunday. Managing just one touchdown and three field goals was on Shanahan.

Georgia head coach Mark Richt, right, talks to defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt during Saturday's game against Kentucky in Athens. (AP photo)

Georgia head coach Mark Richt, right, talks to defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt during Saturday’s game against Kentucky in Athens. (AP photo)

GEORGIA

Skinny: 6-3 overall, 4-3 in the SEC (second place in the East Division). Last week: Defeated Kentucky 27-3. Next week: at Auburn (5-4, 2-4) Saturday (noon).

Overreaction narrative: “We’re back!”

Reality check: Please. The only way this game would have meant something would have been if Georgia had lost, likely pounding a nail in Mark Richt’s coffin. A win ensures nothing for him or Georgia, beyond officially making the Bulldogs bowl eligible. I can’t read athletic director Greg McGarity’s mind so I can’t say for certain Georgia needs to win out for Richt to save his job, or if that will even do it. But it’s fair to suggest the next game at Auburn carries a little more significance than the Kentucky game. The Tigers are coming off an impressive 26-10 win at Texas A&M after starting 1-4 in SEC. This game likely will come down to the two defenses, Jeremy Pruitt’s in Athens and Will Muschamp’s at Auburn. Georgia’s SEC resume isn’t impressive: The four wins have come over South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Missouri and Kentucky (combined SEC record: 5-20). The four losses to Alabama (5-1), Tennessee (3-3) and Florida (6-1).

GEORGIA TECH

Skinny: 3-6 overall, 1-5 in the ACC (sixth place in the Coastal Division). Last week: Bye. This week: at home against Virginia Tech (4-5,, 2-3) Thursday night (7:30 p.m.)

Overreaction narrative: “This is our last chance for a win.”

Reality check: Possibly, but not necessarily. Tech’s odds of becoming bowl eligible by sweeping its final three games against Virginia Tech, at Miami and home against Georgia are astronomical. But the Jackets could win any of the three games. Virginia Tech could get an emotional lift with coach Frank Beamer having announced his retirement, but the team just isn’t that great. Miami, since losing to Miami 58-0 and firing coach Al Golden, has won consecutive games over Duke and Virginia. Also, Tech has struggled at Miami recently. Georgia is a rivalry game but the Jackets will be an underdog. So yeah, this week could be it. The last time the Jackets played a home game on national television, they upset Florida State.

Recent ramblings
Latest Falcons’ embarrassment is on Dan Quinn
• Short takes: This Falcons’ loss is on Dan Quinn
Weekend Predictions: Dogs in middle of Dysfunction Junction
Georgia’s finish, Eason status shouldn’t tilt Richt decision
• Richt should take over Georgia’s struggling offense
• Overreaction Monday: Loss-loss-loss means chaos all around
Mark Richt has failed too many big moments — it’s time for a change at Georgia
Falcons may be 6-2 but they don’t look the part
Short takes: Sloppy Falcons gift-wrap game for mediocre Bucs
Matt Ryan: ‘It comes down to me being better’
Weekend Predictions: Jacksonville on Halloween? Ooh, scary: Gators over Dogs
Georgia’s quarterback problems fall at Mark Richt’s feet
Budenholzer can coach but can he build a champion?
Overreaction Monday: Ryan’s off, Tech’s alive and Georgia…
Georgia Tech has unforgettable moment in otherwise forgettable season
• Short takes on Georgia Tech’s miracle win over Florida State
Weekend Predictions: Falcons win, Jackets lose, ACC miserable
(Full column) Rick Pitino should lose job, culpable for Louisville mess
Rick Pitino may not survive latest claims regarding strippers, recruits
Overreaction Monday: Would Richt give Ramsey another look?
Misery like this shouldn’t happen at Georgia Tech
Short takes: Tech’s run of bowls, non-losing ACC seasons will end
Falcons flash some of their ugly past in loss to Saints
• Short takes: Falcons still plagued by poor pass rush, turnovers
Weekend Predictions: Spurrier, Cubs, Playboy…and Georgia can still win SEC East!
• Spurrier changed face of SEC, and then he walked out the back door
Health would be Spurrier’s only good excuse for retiring in middle of season
• Florida quarterback suspended for PEDs — and claims of, ‘I didn’t know’ ring hollow
Overreaction Monday: Chubb’s loss isn’t Georgia’s only problem
• There goes Chubb, there goes a loss, there goes Georgia’s season
• Short takes: After loss, Georgia is trailing even Kentucky in SEC East
• It’s too late to save season but Sefolosha deserved to hear words, ‘Not guilty’
Weekend Predictions: No fantasy, Chihuahuas will rebound (I think)
Braves may have a plan but it will be a while before masses buy in
Here’s your Depressed Braves Fan viewing guide to the postseason
Overeaction Monday: Now is not time to make decision on Richt
Falcons 4-0, Freeman 7 TDs — who didn’t see that coming?
• Short takes: An easy Falcons win, and this is a team to take seriously
Richt and Georgia fall off stage again when it matters most
Short takes: Georgia’s reality check — there’s a problem at quarterback
Georgia needs win over Alabama to alter perceptions

Reader Comments 0

91 comments
Dave Parkerson
Dave Parkerson

Got news for ya. CMR isn't going anywhere unless he loses the last three games. All of the rumors, suggestions and bashing is just background noise. Nothing to see here, move along....

Rick_James
Rick_James

My defense for Mark Richt has been the hole Tennesee dug for itself when they fired Fulmer.But now I have to think about the difference a coaching change made in one season at Florida.Gary Danielson thinks that Georgia is only a good quarterback away being a great SEC team and I think that will be Richt's supporter's argument which get him another year but Shottenheimer will be the fall guy..How about Spurrier for OC? Guess he hates UGA too much for that to happen. 

reddjonn68
reddjonn68

Oh yeah they blame RG3 for the failure to grasp the concept so what gives now Kyle ??????

reddjonn68
reddjonn68

So if you guys can see it why cant... Matt noodle arm Ryan if Roddy needs the ball call Shannahan out in team meetings so he wont be progression # 3 or 4 . Wow this is so stupid it defies explanation!!!

Wilbo
Wilbo

There is only one thing to say about the Atlanta Falcons. They have turned into a very sickly franchise. As have the Atlanta Braves. No surprises there. The only surprise is that Atlanta doesn't have sports journalists who would recognize that fact and help galvanize local sentiment to demand better. 


Sad.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Wilbo

"Turned into . . . ."???

Uh, they've both been sickly for the better part of half a century.

ONE championship in 50 years between them.

"Turned into" my a*s.

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

If a coach is just now thinking about the no huddle he didn't do his home work before he got hired. Matt Ryan has flourished in the past with the hurry up. Shanahan is stuck on making White a thing of the past and developing his guy injury prone Hankerson, Nick Williams and Justin Hardy.  Nothing wrong with that, they are the future. But if White's open it makes no sense to not getting him the ball. It comes down to not leaving no stone unturned when it comes to winning football games period.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Iowa?


#5


dogs?


zzzzzzz



TOJacket
TOJacket

@OH:IO Big 10 Championship.........being billed as "The Battle of the Eyes"!

RangeRover
RangeRover

"The four losses to Alabama (5-1), Tennessee (3-3) and Florida (6-1)."

Oh Jeff...that's three loses.  But, three very bad losses that defined this coaching staff.

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@RangeRover 

Jeff must be anticipating a UGa loss to Auburn Saturday, then his overreaction Monday column can be about CMR getting Canned. Kind of an easy write just repeat last week's column.

dawgfacedboy
dawgfacedboy

The Falcons lost to a team that is a dumpster fire, started a joke at QB (and subsequently made him look like an all-star), and is decimated by injury?? Did the UGA coaching staff take over on gameday and the week leading up to it???? 


Here's hoping UGA loses out so we can get Captain Mediocrity out of town. Aaron Murray to Eason's sophomore year will be 4 years in between competent QBs. That can't happen at a school like UGA. 

E983
E983

I'm not a Kyle Shanahan believer. His offense is too much like his father's, old.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Someone tell Chip no one reads 10 at 10 anymore. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

One of many items that no one reads on this site anymore--thanks to format changes and greed.

RexHavoc
RexHavoc

Roddy only has value as a decoy IF he is thrown to occassionally.  Not using him is like not using Tony Gonzalez (they always lost when they did that, too).

namssip
namssip

The only reason KS is an OC is due to his daddy. Interesting that the TB offense run by Dirk Koetter out performed Atlanta. The Falcons could still finish at worst 12-5,and win a wild card. Just sayin.

soo
soo

New Offensive Coordinator...how do you not run more no huddle when your running game was basically stuffed?!!!  Should have broke that out late third quarter.  This is not your dad's Bronco's...starting to look like your dad's Redskins!

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

Thanks JS, like I said in your Friday blog, you picking ANY team in Georgia is the kiss of death! Do us a favor, you and Lillie take the rest of the year off from picking any games with ANY team in Georgia. You both are shooting blanks right about now!

Aikendawg
Aikendawg

Why don't you just fast forward two years and put Quinn and Shanahan in the same boat with Richt and Schotty? Your kidding yourself if you think this Falcon regime is going anywhere but down and out. The games they have lost have been like Georgia losing to Ole Miss and Arkansas on coaching blunders. Maybe a favorable schedule will give them a 10-6 season while Georgia ends up 10-3. Hope Quinn wins a national championship like the Falcons' old Hall of Fame coach. What's his name?

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

The view from NE

Overreaction: Pats lost a key RB and have no healthy OLs. They might lose homefield.

Reality: Brady is healthy and focused, and Bill will have an answer to the injuries. In the AFC the road to Super Bowl L goes through Foxboro.

TOJacket
TOJacket

@PaulinNH Paul................make sure they hired some new ball checkers!!........SSSsssssssssss........can you grip it now Tom?

TrueFalconFan
TrueFalconFan

????SHANAHAN????


OR MAYBE MR2 --- BUT I DON'T THINK SO --- WE NEED A CENTER BADLY!!!!!

PROBABLY A "SACKMASTER" WOULD BE REALLY NICE.....OUTSIDE OF ALL THAT FALCONS REALLY SUCK!!!!


GO FALCONS --- GET SOME REST-UP

candlin14
candlin14

I don't get the "Where is Roddy Talk". Ryan targeted Roddy on 3rd and 8+ and Roddy dropped a much needed pass that would have moved the chains. Watch White run his routes, he is going through the motions. We want to blame Ryan for every little thing, but when he puts a dime in the receivers hands they drop it. 


If your going to call out Ryan for everything lets call out White and the entire receiving core for costly drops all year. Especially Hankerson. Cmon people, this is a team game. You do not lose a game because of one player. 


For the love of God, put in Jake Long!!

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

He targeted him 2 times in the whole game? Come on Candlin!!!! The guy runs wide open routes and he is not in MR's mind! Drops happen like interceptions, fumbles and other miscues!

I will give Ryan a pass (I cant believe I am saying this) on ALL of his interceptions...ALL OF THEM! But he does not get a pass on birddogging Julio, and not incorporating Roddy into his plan. Check the stats on Roddy! Even last year playing hurt he put up numbers!

Why put in Jake Long? Falcons showing that they dont respect veterans who can help them win!

slydawg
slydawg

"....Miami, since losing to Miami 58-0..." lol

slydawg
slydawg

"...He needs to figure out quick how to light a fire under this team again..."

Hard to light a fire when you no wood. There is a lighter and oxygen available but absolutely no wood or brush to start it with.

TideDawg
TideDawg

That Falcon loss may be good for the team. Now they know anybody can beat them if they aren't at their best and playing with a physical attitude.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

What was the point in wasting Jake Long's time? Keeping the over-matched Schroeder on the Field is 100% Smitty! :(



patriotdog
patriotdog

JS, you do remember that the O line was put together the week before the season?  How can we expect more? Right about Roddy, though.  He is a shell of his former self, but still the second best receiver on the team.  No reason to give up on running the ball so soon, either.  Twelve carries for Freeman?  Good backs get the ball, even when the going is tough.  Eventually, they break one.  Devonta is a good back/ 

slydawg
slydawg

Exactly. Toddler Gurley (23 carries, 89 uards)

The Colonel
The Colonel

What is up with the NFL and Falcons and their thinly disguised support of our nation's Veterans by " camo'ing up" with hats and headsets yesterday? The NFL charges our own National Guard to attend games to render the colors and provide home game honor guards.......we taxpayers pay wealthy teams and owners to show the flag? Where and when did Blank and Goodell serve our great country? Where was Blank during Vietnam?

slydawg
slydawg

You don't get it? The military is at the service of the elites and other billionaires, not the other way around. Why the he'll are our soldiers in SW Asia anyway? Business. Strictly business.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@slydawg

Why are they in SW Asia?

Why are they anywhere in that part of the world?

There's certainly no valid reason.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

Mark Richt will pull one out and really hammer Auburn Saturday.

Dawgs 38 Auburn 7

JeffersonDavisHogg
JeffersonDavisHogg

Whatever B-Ham/ Big Macon. I'm a Dawg fan and this team/ head coach couldn't beat Locust Grove HS 38-7.

I'm pulling hard for the players but not so much for CMR.

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

@JeffersonDavisHogg

You should.  Georgia's odds of getting a coach that can do better are probably 20%.  Odds he will do worse 20%.  Odds he does about the same 60%.

JeffersonDavisHogg
JeffersonDavisHogg

B-Ham. Yeah, we could be content with mediocrity. Not counting the Dawgs record against top 10 and top 25 over the past few years the worst stat of all is since 2008 their record is 5-22 against SEC teams with 500 or better records. It's hard to get much worse than that.

I'll take my chances.

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

The Falcons still need a few more players on both sides of the ball to get to page one. Patience needed.


Huge game for Mark and Gus.


Bama better have their A-Game vs Miss State or we will be playing in some who gives a sheet bowl starting at 8 AM in New Year's Day.

JeffersonDavisHogg
JeffersonDavisHogg

I don't see Bama having a letdown . Not sure anyone in the country can beat them when on their game. The Ole Missy loss was weird but so was OSUs loss to Va Tech last yr and we saw how that turned out.

JeffersonDavisHogg
JeffersonDavisHogg

@GTBob. Hard to argue that. Bama, if they're gonna struggle, will be against a spread team. I was surprised LSU didn't try to string them out a little. But Bamas front 7 is playing well now and could be playing well enough to offset their deficiencies in the secondary. We will find out soon enough

TideDawg
TideDawg

@KeepOnSmilingWetWillie  You're right about that! Prescott can run and pass. Miss. State and Auburn.....two upsets waiting to happen. LSU was a brutal, physical game and Bama has got to be bruised up, but the mental side is what I think is the biggest concern.

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

@GTBob @KeepOnSmilingWetWillie Bobby I do....I think we were on the right track then. You just need someone to bring some excitement to town. Mike will not have to out recruit the Dawgs to have some success.  I am not slamming Paul but both the Dawgs and a Jackets need a peaceable Divorce (HC)at the end of the year.

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Just wont let go of that stupid bama prediction will you Bob? They had one bad game

With 6 turnovers and some of the luckiest completions against them ever yet you cant let that ego of yours admit they are a really good team. So funny and stupid.

GTBob
GTBob

@JeffersonDavisHogg The Ole Miss game happened because Bama is relatively average against a quality passing game. The teams like LSU and UGA who rely on a power running strategy make Bama's defense look a little better than it actually is. Nobody can run on Bama. They have holes in their secondary though.