Commentary

Are the Falcons backsliding?

Atlanta's offense has been shut down in recent games, which should raise concerns

Updated: September 13, 2011, 3:12 PM ET
By Vince Verhei | Football Outsiders
Julius PeppersDennis Wierzbicki/US PresswireMatt Ryan (right) had a tough time overcoming Julius Peppers and the Bears' D.

The Atlanta Falcons won 13 games in 2010, but their season ended in a 48-21 drubbing at the hands of the Green Bay Packers in the playoffs, an embarrassing home loss in which the offense scored just 14 points.

Atlanta's offense was efficient last year, but not explosive, with only 44 20-yard plays (about 2.8 per game). Looking for more scoring power, the Falcons traded up in the draft for Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones.

"We feel like Julio is a fine addition to our offense and will continue to help provide Matt [Ryan] with the tools that we need going forward as an offense and as a team," said Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff.

And how'd that work out? Atlanta's season-opening 30-12 drubbing at the hands of the Chicago Bears was eerily similar to the Packers game, and perhaps at least some cause for worry when you consider the competition.