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The 25 Ugliest Jerseys in Hockey History

25 of the worst alternate jerseys in hockey history

25 of the worst alternate jerseys in hockey history

Alternate jerseys were introduced to the NHL in 1992, when the Original Six clubs wore throwback jerseys in the league’s 75th inaugural year. They’ve taken on a life of their own in today’s NHL, where clubs release new alternate sweaters every few years.

This may bother those purists who believe that it’s just a cash cow for the league, but it gives the chance for those teams to atone for any previous jersey “faux pas.”

Some of these sweaters are so horribly bad that you’d be hard pressed to believe an actual NHL team wore them.

Outside of the NHL, you’ll also see some of the funniest or ugliest sweaters that you could ever imagine, especially in smaller market venues and, of course, overseas.

Here are the 25 Ugliest Jerseys in hockey history.

Originally posted by myself on May 24, 2011 to Bleacher Report, see the full slideshow here.



Buffalo would probably like to redo the events that led to this jersey’s design and release, because it’s pretty ugly.

The logo brings an almost garish feel to the sweater, and the BUFFALO along the bottom is just icing on the cake.

Almost Any International League


Having worked in the field of professional sports, I understand the bottom line and the need to generate revenue.

So sticking ads or company logos on your jerseys or players gets a small part of the job done—I get it. But at some point, you’ve got to say enough is enough, because this is ridiculous.

Quacked Up


The new Ducks jerseys are infinitely better than their previous Disney-themed ones, but their third jersey isn’t much to look at.

The logo and the scheme don’t get it done for their alternate jersey, but then again, the Ducks haven’t always had the best of luck with third jerseys.

Ho Ho Ho?


The Las Vegas Wranglers of the ECHL donned these festive Santa jerseys, but it’s not their only jersey to make this list.

The beard in front and the Wranglers logo on the belt are funny touches, but it’s hard not to laugh when you see Santa playing hockey.

King Me


The Kings’ retro jersey isn’t all that bad, but the logo in front doesn’t quite get the job done for Los Angeles.

It reminds me of a checker piece, and while it’s simple, it makes the sweater look incomplete somehow.

Don Cherry Night


Don Cherry is as entertaining of a personality as you will ever find if you manage to look past his ego and political views. So when the Kingston Frontenacs honored “Grapes” in 2009 by celebrating “Don Cherry” night, you couldn’t really blame them.

You can blame them for the jerseys, however, because these things are something else.



Looking at this picture for long periods of time makes me physically ill. It should be outlawed as a form of torture. After starting at it for more than 10 minutes, you’ll want to kick someone.

I cannot imagine trying to play hockey against this team, I would throw up before I took the ice.

It’s Better Than the Flying V


When you take the Canucks logo and put it on this color scheme with the gradient stripes, it makes for a horribly ugly combination.

The flying V jerseys aren’t a favorite of mine either, but this alternate jersey makes those sweaters look like a masterpiece on ice.

Rainbow Power


The Cleveland Lumberjacks of the IHL’s tie-dyed hockey jersey is certainly colorful, but also very ugly.

The early Gund Arena era jerseys were actually pretty sharp, but the beaver holding the hockey stick jokes would get old quick with this sweater.

To Heck with It


That’s what I imagine the designer for the Las Vegas Wranglers thought at the moment he created this marvel, and it makes me dizzy just looking at it.

Admirably Ugly


The Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL either stumbled across a picnic sale gone wrong or were inspired by the Maple Leaf waffle incident.

Either way, this guy doesn’t look too happy to be playing in this jersey, and I don’t blame him.

Southwest Disaster


While I happen to like the Coyotes franchise and wished their story of expansion would succeed, I was never a fan of their early jerseys.

The Southwest decor is understandable and meshes as well as one can expect, but the broken neck, abstract Coyote logo always confused me.



Hockey’s a tough sport, and I imagine it’s a lot tougher when you have to play in this jersey.

You can call this jersey effeminate, or you can call it feminine—just don’t ask me to play in it.

What Is That Thing?


The Rocky Mountain Rage are an inactive team in the CHL who have yet another Christmas-themed jersey to grace our list. While the art isn’t bad in and of itself, would you pull this sweater on to play in front of friends and family?

And what creature is that masquerading as Santa Claus, and why is he so angry?



The color scheme of this alternate jersey is bad, but the logo completes its transformation into one of the worst NHL jerseys ever.

The logo fails to inspire anything but the confused look or uncomfortable chuckle. Hope Nashville got its marketing dollars’ worth with this one.

Oh Man…


I’m not even sure where to start with this one. The color scheme, logos and palm trees don’t flow well at all on this sweater. Someone in the marketing department either has a very good sense of humor or a very bad sense of style.

The Florida Everblades of the ECHL donned these jerseys in the spirit of Christmas, but there’s nothing jolly about these hideous things.

We Want Fishsticks


When these alternate jerseys were released, I honestly thought the New York Islanders had lost their damn minds.

As time has gone on, however, I’ve warmed up a bit to the fisherman and don’t blame him for his actions in the movie I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Having said that, however, it’s still plenty bad.

Barber Pole


This jersey should come with a seizure warning because I don’t know where Carey Price’s arm starts and his torso ends.

While it’s a part of hockey heritage, the Canadiens should have left his jersey where it belongs…in the past.



This Bruins jersey lasted quite some time, but I felt it looked too soft to represent a franchise like the Boston Bruins.

The logo looks too tame and ruins the sweater. Spelling out the team name on the shoulders in a weird font also clashes.

On a player and on ice, it made the Bruins look like a group of cartoonish characters—not a good look at all.



Dallas unleashed this horror in 2003, designing a logo that was supposed to be the stellar representation of Taurus.

Nicknamed the “Mooterus” for resembling the female organs, it’s an embarrassing moment in Dallas Stars history. The rest of the sweater doesn’t look half bad, which is truly a shame, but with a crest like that it’s hard to take it seriously.

Just Awful


Tampa Bay’s early alternate jersey is really bad. There’s just too much going on on this jersey for anyone to really appreciate.

Less would really have been more in this case. With the fringed font and the streaks of lightning coming down the player’s arms, it’s almost comical.

Cow Patties


The El Paso Buzzards played in the Central Hockey League before closing their doors in 2002.

Much like the Mallards, the Buzzards made their mark in hockey history with one of the ugliest jerseys ever made.

If the cow print jersey didn’t get your sides splitting, the fresh, steaming cow pattie did. Nothing says competition like fresh cow dung, and the Buzzards left their “mark” with this sweater.

Angry Burger King Dude


I don’t know what the Kings were thinking with this jersey, and where do you start if you want to complain about it?

The Burger King logo looks angry on this sweater, but not half as angry as Wayne Gretzky, who probably had to refrain from laughing wearing this thing.

Singing the Blues


Thank goodness for Mike Keenan, who smartly killed this sweater concept in 1996 as the coach of the St. Louis Blues, because it is just comical.

Words just do not do justice in explaining how atrocious this jersey really is.

If the three raging trumpets in the front aren’t enough, the cheery notes just don’t look inspiring on any competitive level, let alone the NHL.



This epic fail of a marketing scheme is the single most hideous sweater in all of hockey history, donned by the “Mighty” Ducks of Anaheim.

This sweater is the very definition of hockey fashion fail, and thank goodness the TV show based on the character never got off the ground.

With the expansion of hockey in its infancy and millions of Eisner dollars, some of the world’s very best artists spawned this?

What did you think of my The 25 Ugliest Jerseys in Hockey History list? Think I missed any? Let me know below!

– Banner photo credit –

Chris Harris ACL Injury will take Toll on Broncos defense

The Denver Broncos will be heading against Tom Brady’s New England
Patriots in the AFC title without Chris Harris. After an MRI it was
confirmed on Monday that Harris has a torn anterior cruciate ligament

Last Sunday’s game between Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers in
which the Broncos won 24-17, Chris Harris left the game due to a knee
and ankle injuries.

The Broncos have dealt with a lot of injuries on their defensive on
their way to the AFC Championship Game, the injury of cornerback Chris
Harris will add to their injury problems and could affect them
greatly. Harris is the fifth important defensive contributor to go
down. It was clearly evident when the Broncos nearly collapsed after
Harris left the game in the 3rd quarter. Before he was injured, the
Broncos shut out the Chargers while allowing just 1.54 yards a pass
play. They took a 17-0 lead into the fourth quarter. After he left the
game Broncos gave up 9.67 yards a pass play and allowed 17 points.
Chargers’ quarterback Philip Rivers capitalized on it to stage a
comeback, too bad for them Peyton Manning saved the Broncos from the
brink of another epic collapse and sent them into the title game for
the first time in eight seasons.

Manning converted a 20-yard pass to Julius Thomas on third-and-17 from
his 20-yard line. He also hit Thomas on third-and-6 from his 45, then
the Broncos hit the dagger on Knowshon Moreno’s 5-yard burst on
third-and-1 with 1:12 left. They did what needs to be done in the
offense in the fourth.

Mike Adams said that the effect of losing Harris was obvious “When
Chris went down, things started to unravel a little bit on the back

Denver Broncos would need to think long and hard on their replacement
options for Harris. Champ Bailey would be a good choice, he played as
a slot cornerback since his return from sprained left foot.

Submitted by


2012 NFCDG – Falcons beat Seahawks?

Finally… the monkey is off the collective backs of Matt Ryan and Mike Smith with a strong win over arguably the hottest team in the NFC in the Seattle Seahawks.

As the Falcons prepare for the upcoming game against the San Francisco 49ers though, I have more questions about this win than answers. More on that later.

For now, enjoy a montage of gif action, compiled by and TheScore.

Love this play… The Real Beast was Jacquizz Rodgers on this play running over Earl Thomas

The win was uncharacteristically sloppy in regards to penalties, expect Mike Smith to clean that up before the NFCCG.

One of my favorite sequences was this one, featuring Richard Sherman and Roddy.

This guy has talent, but he’s also got a huge mouth and zero class.

Sherman made a few key plays during the game, especially on the deflection on an early game Roddy White target in the endzone. Matt Ryan delivered the ball late, allowing Sherman to catch up to the play and deflect a sure touchdown.

Sherman let Roddy have it, talking trash the entire way until this play.

notice Sherman “falling down” as ball arrives…

Of course… Roddy being Roddy, made sure to tell Sherman that yes, indeed he had caught the ball.

Love it.. you are down 20-0 just gave up a huge touchdown and you do the golf clap. #dontgetit

Sherman didn’t impress me much, he was abused several times by Roddy White.

The 5 yard touchdown to Snelling. Notice the Julio Jones decoy.

A look at the 5 yard misdirection shovel pass by Ryan… I really do love the fact that DK uses Julio so effectively as a decoy, but maybe it’s time to use him a little more than that?

Gonzalez with the huge touchdown in the 1st quarter. So happy for TG.

Unfortunately, Abraham re-injured his ankle early in the second quarter and did not return. He’ll need to get healthy quick to help a subpar pass rush, although with Colin Kaepernick coming to town, pass rush may not be as important as it is with traditional pocket passers.

containing Kaepernick is crucial

I’ll be back later with more preview of Falcons – Niners, and hopefully the Falcons heading to NO for the Super Bowl.

Rise Up.

NFL Week 10 Preview – Falcons March into Superdome to take on Saints

Well it’s finally here, the game I’ve been waiting for since Week 1, but it doesn’t have quite the feel I expected. I figured for a nasty showdown for NFC South supremacy but this is looking more like a desperation game for the Saints.

At 3-5 and with a porous defense, the Saints look ripe for the picking. Which looks worrisome to many Falcon fans in this pivotal week 10 interdivision matchup. Sadly, I don’t think the Falcon fans have much to worry about, because this Falcon team is going to shoot out of the gate and play angry.

Why? well… why not? The Saints are down and out this year, missing their head coach and fielding quite possibly the NFL’s worst statistical defense ever but none of that matters for the boys from Atlanta.

Last year the Saints ran up the score, despite the game being out of reach. Forty five points later Drew Brees set the passing record, and there wasn’t a single uttered word out of the Falcon locker room. Let’s not forget about ‘peeing’ on the Falcon logo midfield either, because there’s no doubt the Falcons remember.

The Saints defense has been flat out awful this year, with zero pass rush ( unless you behind the Eagles offensive line ), poor tackling and horrendous secondary play. They have also allowed a record setting amount of yardage on the ground, giving up 1,412 yards on 266 carries for a robust average of 5.3 YPC.

But that really doesn’t tell the entire story because this defense under Steve Spagnuolo is giving up points at a record pace ( points against – 229, for 28.6 per game ) and allowing  at least 400 yards in every game this season.


The Falcons are ranked seventh in scoring (averaging 27.5 points per game) and eighth in total yards (376.6 yards per game). Against a far superior 4th ranked defense in the Cowboys, the Falcons had a 300 yards passing, 2 100 yard receiving performances and over 100 on the ground.

And now, here comes the part where I tell you that most of this data is probably not going to be relevant for this Week 10 matchup. Why? because its the Saints and Falcons! why else?

A Review of the Falcons-Cowboys game.

Simply put, this is the season for the hosting New Orleans Saints. A win would be their fourth in five games and make them a dark horse for the last wildcard spot, a loss means it’s pretty much over at 3-6. Just ask Mike Shanahan.

So on paper the odds don’t look good for the Saints, which is what really worries me. While the Falcons hung 443 on the league’s 4th ranked defense in the Dallas Cowboys, there will be no doubt that Joe Vitt will have the Saints ready to play.

So the Superdome will be a-rockin, the Saints will be a-desperate but that won’t save them against a resurgent Michael Turner and the multi headed passing attack led by Matt Ryan.

Julio Jones and Roddy White shred the Cowboys #4 ranked defense and the pair of Claiborne and Brandon Carr, hauling in 100+ yards apiece. After much of the media focused on the Cowboys corners, and proclaiming they could “shutdown” the Falcon receivers, these Dirty Birds still cannot get a shred of respect.

Which is why they need to win big, which is why I think the Falcons go outside the box and run up the score on the Saints.

If you are watching at home, you should pay attention because this opponent is the only one I can see head coach Mike Smith rolling the score up on.

Also watch for ex-Falcon MLB Curtis Lofton, who didn’t fit in Mike Nolan’s scheme due to his coverage skills, or lack thereof. Lofton has taken liberties and been very outspoken about hating the Falcons, so it will be interesting to see what gameplan the Falcons roll out.

Falcons in a blowout – 45-21, and a 9-0 record.

Here’s to listening to the media pundits on Monday continue to talk about how unimpressive the 9-0 Falcons are.

Go Falcons.

COTW : Marcus Vick Scouting Report – A look back

In honor of Marcus Vick’s now famous thread of tweets sent out during the first half of the Eagles / Saints game in Week 9, I’ve un-retired an old “Chump of the Week” post about the younger Vick on one of my older blogs I used to run.

For those who haven’t seen the tweets in question, here they are :

I couldn’t have put my foot in my mouth any better than that Marcus, congratulations. While your brother is being blasted on every snap, you decide to run your fool mouth DURING HIS GAME and heap fuel onto an already very volatile situation.

Originally posted on Jan 10th 2006, I wrote up this post before Marcus declared himself eligible for the NFL draft, and before the Dolphins unsuccessful quarterback-to-receiver transformation.

Here it is in all it’s glory, Enjoy!

Originally posted on Jan 10th 2006

Nowadays you cant seem to follow sports without stumbling upon a guy so gifted that hes a complete moron. Someone like Marcus Vick.

Yes, I am a Falcons fan, yes I love watching Michael his brother, and yes sadly, I almost laugh in glee when I see Marcus because here’s an idiot in an athletes body. Here’s a guy who according to a lot of NFL scounts had more potential, more skills and more physical gifts than his brother Mike, and thats saying something.

Too bad Marcus was absent when God was handing out brains. In a mere matter of 3 weeks, he goes from NFL potential star / first round draft pick / millionaire to becoming’s next CHUMP OF THE WEEK.

Sept. 2, 2003  Suspended for one game by coach Frank Beamer for undisclosed reason.

Feb. 17, 2004  Arrested without incident and charged with four misdemeanors — three for allegedly allowing the underage girls to have alcohol and one for allegedly having sex with a 15-year-old at a January party. Released on $2,500 bond.  

May 14, 2004  Convicted of three counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $2,250. Found innocent of having sex with the 15-year-old.  

July 3, 2004  Charged with reckless driving and possession of marijuana after a traffic stop about 25 miles east of Richmond at 2:30 a.m. Police said he was clocked at 86 mph, 21 mph above the speed limit, and that the vehicle stunk of marijuana.  

July 6, 2004  Indefinitely suspended from football team for off-field problems.  

Aug. 3, 2004  Suspended from the university for the 2004 season on same day he pleads guilty to reckless driving and no contest to marijuana possession in New Kent. Is fined $300, has driver’s license suspended for 60 days and is placed in a first offender program on the marijuana charge, requiring that he perform 24 hours of community service, undergo drug counseling and random drug tests, and give up his driver’s license for six months.  

Sept. 13, 2004  Makes a plea deal, pleads no contest to one misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Receives 30-day suspended jail sentence, is fined $100, ordered to perform 24 hours of community service and stay away from the teenage girls.  

Jan. 17, 2005  Cleared to rejoin football team and re-enroll at Virginia Tech.  

Oct. 1, 2005  Leads No. 3 Hokies to 34-20 victory at West Virginia, and makes obscene gesture to fans who have been calling him names related to past problems throughout the game. He apologized a day later.  

Dec. 17, 2005  Pulled over by police in Hampton for driving 38 mph in a 25 mph zone and driving with a suspended license.  

Jan. 2, 2006  Leads Virginia Tech to a 35-24 win over Louisville in Gator Bowl. In the game, he stomped on the left calf of Cardinals All-American defensive end Elvis Dumervil, the     NCAA sacks leader. Claims the incident was accidental and that he apologized to Dumervil, who denies ever receiving apology.  

Jan. 6, 2006  Is kicked off team at Virginia Tech for legal trouble and unsportsmanlike conduct in Gator Bowl.  

Jan. 10, 2006  Charged Monday with pulling a gun on three teenagers during an altercation in a restaurant parking lot, Vick turns himself in after three warrants were issued for his arrest. Vick, 21, was charged with three misdemeanor counts of brandishing a firearm, and was released on $10,000 bond.

To save NFL scouts precious time, I have spent countless hours pouring over game tape and have applied the many talents of Marcus Vick against one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time….. Quarterback Jack.

There you have it, another entry into the legendary annals of “Chump of The Week”

NFL 2012 Week 9 Preview – Cowboys a potential trap game for Falcons

What a difference a week makes huh? Just 2 weeks ago it looked like the Falcons were falling back to earth and perhaps being exposed for being the biggest frauds in the NFL outside of Arizona.

After completely outcoaching, outplaying and destroying the Philadelphia Eagles on the road in Week 8, the Falcons now prepare for a tough home test against the Dallas Cowboys.

Dallas looked dysfunctional in their week 8 home 29-24 loss to the New York Giants, and after losing three of their last four games, they are desperate and dangerous as they come in the NFC. Currently tied with the Eagles at 3-4, this game is a must win for Dallas if they want to remain relevant in the NFC.

The Cowboys are hungry and desperate coming into this game with a lot of question marks and the Falcons are on cruise control. Perfect recipe for a trap game if I’ve ever seen one.

It’s hard to get a good read on this team, mostly because their quarterback Tony Romo is so wildly inconsistent from week to week. While I’m no fan of Romo, he is extremely talented but also prone to turning the ball over with fervent aplomb as evidenced by his 10 interceptions over just the last four games.

Much of this can be attributed to the lack of apparent trust between Romo and Dez Bryant, which could be another reason why Witten hauled in 18 passes for 167 yards in the Week 8 loss.

Falcons nickel linebacker Sean Weatherspoon has a low ankle sprain and is listed as probable. They are going to need him if they want to match up well against Witten, but the Cowboys have linebacker issues as well with Sean Lee out for the year. His replacement, Dan Connor who should be familiar to Falcon fans, is also nicked up and may miss the game with nerve damage to his neck.

— Weatherspoon is out against the Cowboys, as per ESPN.

If Connor cannot go for the ‘Boys (did not practice Wednesday) they would be looking at Orie Lemon as his replacement in the base 3-4 alignment. Against a Hall of Famer in Tony Gonzalez, the Cowboys will need to help Lemon if they want to contain the middle of the field.

The problem is, their secondary will have their hands full against the trio of Julio Jones, Roddy White and Harry Douglas, who may return after missing Week 8. Cowboys corners Morris Claiborne and Brandon Carr have done well this season, and their secondary is  third in passing yards allowed (187.7), but they have yet to face an attack as diverse as Atlanta’s this year.

Demarco Murray returned to practice this week for Dallas, and they will need to get him going as Felix Jones has struggled to provide balance for the Dallas offense.

The Falcons run game has been a mix of good and bad this year, mostly bad but with the emergence of Jacquizz Rodgers, Atlanta may have a two-headed running back attack thing going. Against a talented front seven in the Cowboys the Falcons will need to maintain balance to prevent Demarcus Ware from teeing off on Matt Ryan.

Things to watch for :

“THE BIG THREE” – No, I’m not talking about Matt Ryan, Roddy White and Jones / Gonzalez. I am talking about the tackles Jonathan Babineaux, Vance Walker and Peria Jerry, who formed a unique defensive line against the Eagles on running downs.

The Falcons entered the game giving up 143.8 yards rushing per game, but held the Eagles to 92 yards rushing on 24 carries (3.8 yards per carry) in their 30-17 victory. Most of the 92 yards rushing came in garbage time, as the Falcons stuck to prevent defense.

Is this a sign of things to come as the Falcons truly do not have the big nose tackle that Nolan desires in his defense?

“BEER MAN “ Falcons DE/LB Kroy Biermann played a pivotal role against the Eagles, both in “spying” Michael Vick and as a zone dropback defender on Brent Celek. His diverse skillset is being used by Mike Nolan to tremendous success, as ‘Beerman’ had seven tackles and one sack, and limited Vick to 42 yards on the ground

Julio Jones vs…. well anybody : I soundly disliked the draft day trade for Julio Jones, but he is making me eat my words ( happily I might add ) He is a dynamic force for this offense, and his impact is felt even when he doesn’t get the ball as evidenced by the 2 first Atlanta touchdowns in Philly. He also managed to make a very good man cover cornerback look the complete fool last week, as Matt Ryan had a passer rating of 158.3 when targeting Nnamdi Asomugha, according to Pro Football Focus…. yikes

It’s going to be a tough game, but one that should fall right into the Falcons wheelhouse at home.

31-10 Dirty Birds for win number 8

Go Falcons.

Colin Cowherd is an idiot.

Straight to the point huh? No special tags, no double meanings in that title whatsoever.

Colin Cowherd is an idiot, plain and simple.

Why you ask? well I can name any number of incidents, but his recent NFL power rankings has me wondering if good ‘ol Colin isn’t sniffing bath salts.

According to Cowturd, his rankings are as follows :

1. Giants
2. Bears
3. Patriots
4. Steelers
5. Texans
6. 49ers
7. Falcons
8. Packers

Yes, the Falcons that just dismantled the Eagles on the road, the offense scored on their first six tries, didn’t punt until late in the fourth quarter and the much maligned run defense shut down a “hungry” Eagle offense.

I’ll admit I’ve had my doubts about how good this team is ( being a Falcon fan since 1981 will do that to you ) but after the Eagles game, there cannot be any doubt.

Not saying the Falcons will go undefeated the rest of the way, or will win the Super Bowl or anything ridiculous like that. Just saying that given the small sample size we do have, there cannot be any question who number 1 is.

Anything to the contrary and you are just a biased homer who doesn’t know anything about football.

Speaking of…..

Colin’s reasoning for placing the Falcons so low is that “they did nothing to improve in the offseason” multiple tries by Falcons fans to inform Cowturd that the coaching staff changed the team were hung up on because they were “biased”

Colin states that the Falcons barely beat the Panthers and the Raiders even though the Steelers lost to the Raiders and Bears got dominated by the Panthers before pulling out a miracle win.

Biased much?

I’ve bashed this idiot before, but this one really does take the cake. How he gets paid to write nationally I will never know, but one thing’s for sure.

If you don’t know what you are talking about, pretend you do, and bash anyone who opposes you despite facts or real data, you are an attention whore.

Not that Mike Smith and the Falcons are complaining, I’m sure. The less attention they have the more they like it, and I agree with them wholeheartedly as they prepare for the Dallas Cowboys.

So keep on hating Colin, maybe the 7th best team in the NFL just make you look like the total ass that you are.

Go Falcons

NFL 2012 Week 8 Recap – Falcons Trample Eagles

I previewed this game and thought the Falcons would lose a close and physical battle to suffer their first setback of the NFL season.

After all, an impending hurricane, a dome team on the road with a leaky run defense and facing an coach that was undefeated coming off the bye week, all pointed to an ugly game.

So imagine my surprise when the Falcons rolled up the Eagles and beat them like they stole something in Week 8

Falcons Offense vs Eagles Defense Video Review

While some may laud the Falcons for coming right out and shooting out of the gate, to me this game was an indication as to how far the Falcons have come with new coordinators in place.

New offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter had said in the week leading up to the Eagles game, that they were well prepared for the “wide-9” technique that the Eagles employed.

He wasn’t lying.

The Falcons looked as prepared as I have seen from ANY team on ANY Sunday, and the coaching staff clearly outcoached Andy Reid and company. The Eagles defense looked LOST, and didn’t force a punt until the end of the fourth quarter.

All the adjustments Todd Bowles the new defensive coordinator had planned? Didn’t see much in the way of that at all as the Falcons almost looked like they KNEW what was coming next.

The Snelling screen in the video above that made it 14-0 is a perfect playcall against the Wide 9, by the time the Eagles end had taken 3 steps, the touchdown was all but guaranteed.

What a world of difference that Koetter has made for the Falcons, who according to ESPN, set a new record in screens attempted in one NFL game.

Even when the Falcons weren’t running a screen, the mere threat of one created the first score, as four Eagle defenders rushed to attack Julio Jones, leaving rookie Davis wide open in the end zone.

And when Julio wasn’t burning them on the screen, he was busy running past Nnamdi Asomugha for a crucial TD.

Free releasing a receiver that runs the 40 in 4.3 is bad for your career… mmmkay?

The Falcons run defense came out and did the job against LeSean McCoy but to be honest, after the Julio bomb, Reid didn’t exactly stick with the run. The Falcons held the Eagles to 5 total yards in the first quarter, and did just enough to keep the Eagles at bay.

Matt Ryan was masterful in the performance, torching the Eagles and making them pay for their mental and at times tenative play. But to me, the game ball has to go to the coordinators, who coached circles around the Eagles.

Eagles fans boo their team plenty, but the “fire Andy chants” can’t be a good sign for Philly.

A good sign was the increase in touches for Jacquizz Rodgers, who looks like he is getting comfortable running the ball. He ripped off a huge run late in the game to help put the nails in the coffin for Philadelphia.

Another game, another win, but this team is beginning to look like it’s absolutely for real and their next test is against the Dallas Cowboys.

More film breakdown and analysis coming, stay tuned.

Go Falcons

2012 NFL Film Review – Atlanta Falcons Run Defense Breakdown

I love NFL Game Rewind and the new feature “All-22” which lets fans like me dissect and look at the film that coaches use.

In this writeup, we’ll be looking at the Atlanta Falcons base defense versus the run, in Week 5 and Week 6 of the 2012 NFL Season. The Falcons gave up several big plays on the ground against the Raiders and Redskins, especially in their base defense and with Akeem Dent on the field.

The first play we’ll be looking at is from week 6, a 1ST & 10 @ the Oakland 20 – D.McFadden runs left end to OAK 34 for 14 yards tackled by T.DeCoud.

Akeem Dent the mike linebacker is highlighted here.

The running play is a counter with the guard and fullback ( in motion ) pulling to the weakside of the formation.

You’ll see that Sean Weatherspoon the WILL linebacker overruns the play, losing contain. Akeem Dent the MIKE attempts to attack the gap, but finds himself on the wrong shoulder of the pulling guard, only to be destroyed.

You can see here that Dent is simply overmatched, while DT Peria Jerry nearly gets a hand on the shifty Darren McFadden.

Dent – MIKE ( RED ) Jerry – DT ( BLUE ) Weatherspoon – WILL – (YELLOW )

The second play we’ll be looking at is from the Washington game in week 5. This play is another 1ST & 10 @ Washington 31 – A.Morris runs left end to WAS 47 for 16 yards tackled by T.DeCoud.

A simple stretch pitch play, with Akeem Dent (ILB) highlighted in white. While this may look like a 3-4, defensive coordinator Mike Nolan is well known for his expertise in multiple fronts and comfortable in 4-3 or 3-4 looks. John Abraham is simply standing, giving a 3-4 feel to an otherwise offset 4-3 front.

While Stephen Nicholas tries to maintain gap integrity while following the play laterally, Dent shoots the wrong gap and is snuffed out in the wash, providing rookie Alfred Morris with a clear lane.

Annnnnnnnddd…. he’s off.

I’ve written in the Week 8 preview against the Philadelphia Eagles that the run defense must be prepared against LeSean McCoy, or they’ll be giving up huge plays like this all day.

The problem is, after losing Curtis Lofton to free agency the “Akeem Dent in the middle experiment” doesn’t look like it’s quite ready for the big stage. While the Falcons have been getting by with the extra defensive back, the Eagles may come out heavy and force the Falcons into a less desirable formation.

One thing is for sure, the Falcons will have their work cut out for them if they want to stay perfect in the 2012 season.

Go Falcons.