Tommy Kelly isn’t buying Falcons play-action game: ‘I’m going to put all my eggs in [pass rushing] basket’
|09.27.13 at 1:50 pm ET|
FOXBORO — It’s not often that you get the kind of bold prediction on strategy that Patriots defensive tackle Tommy Kelly provided Friday when asked about the Falcons running game and how much their play-action could be a factor in keeping the Patriots pass rush honest against Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and Roddy White.
“Their play-action to me, it’s alright,” Kelly began. “You know they want to throw the ball. Me personally, I’m playing pass. I’m defending the run on the way to the quarterback, personally, because these guys want to throw the ball, they want to make big plays, they want to get the ball into Julio and Roddy White’s hands. I’m going to put all my eggs in that basket thinking they’re going to throw the ball.”
With quality running backs Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rogers, why does Kelly feel so strongly?
“That’s their offense,” Kelly answered. “They want to run the ball but I mean, you have a top-5 quarterback, two big-time receivers, hall of fame tight end, they’re going to throw the ball. So, you don’t want them to run the ball. You don’t want ever for their offense to feel like they can do anything they want against you. You want to stop the run and get them in long yardage situations and get Matt Ryan off the spot.”
The stats bear out what Kelly is saying. Through three games, the Falcons are passing the ball almost exactly twice as much as they are running it. They have 119 passing plays while just 60 runs heading into Sunday’s showdown with the Patriots. Interestingly enough, the reverse is also true, as their opponents are passing at an even higher rate, with 125 passes to just 62 rushes.