Falcons down to 61 yards on screen passes

Only a week ago, we were congratulating the Falcons for reaching 62 total yards on screen passes this season. Looks like we’ve got to pull back on that one.

The latest numbers from ESPN Stats & Information are out and, although the Falcons completed the one screen pass they threw in Sunday’s game at Carolina, they’ve taken a step back. They now are at 61 yards.

Matt Ryan has completed 15 out of 17 attempts on screens. That’s not a lot. Although the Falcons say they have plenty of screen passes in their playbook, they’ve used them less than just about any team in the NFL. Plus, when they have used them, they’ve gained almost nothing. The Falcons are averaging 3.6 yards per attempt on screens and they haven’t scored a touchdown.

I’m searching for something to compare that to and not coming up with much.

Denver’s Tim Tebow also has attempted 15 of 17 screen attempts. But Tebow hasn’t even been starting all season. Plus, Tebow’s screens have resulted in 125 yards and three touchdowns.

I’m looking at the rest of the list and seeing only three quarterbacks who have attempted 17 or fewer screen passes. One is Minnesota rookie Christian Ponder (12 of 17 for 77 yards and three touchdowns) and he hasn’t been the starter all season.

Arizona’s Kevin Kolb has missed time with injuries, but he’s completed eight of 14 screens for 62 yards and a touchdown. I guess the only guy Ryan looks good next to is Kansas City’s Matt Cassel, who also has missed time with injuries. Cassel has completed 11-of-15 for 17 yards and no touchdowns.

The other NFC South quarterbacks have had a lot more opportunities to throw screens. Carolina’s Cam Newton has completed 47-of-51 for 430 yards and a touchdown.

New Orleans’ Drew Brees is 43-of-50 for 269 yards and a touchdown. Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman has completed 32-of-37 for 254 yards and no touchdowns.