Taking a closer look at Harry Douglas’ big day


The numbers tell part of the story.  And it was a good story for Falcons receiver Harry Douglas.

The third-round pick who arrived in the same draft as Matt Ryan caught seven passes for 149 yards and a touchdown against the Buccaneers.

Douglas made those seven catches despite being targeted only eight times.  (The incompletion became quickly forgotten, thanks to a roughing the passer penalty.)

The first two catches came on Atlanta’s second and third plays from scrimmage.  On the first reception, Douglas was loosely covered by a linebacker in the slot, and as a result Douglas was wide open for a four-yard gain.  On the next play, he was again uncovered in a short zone on the right side, for a seven-yard gain.

Later in the quarter, after stopping on a dime while trying to run past press coverage from Johnthan Banks, Douglas reeled in a 12-yard reception.

Perhaps the most surprising reception came when Darrelle Revis was giving Douglas whopping a seven-yard cushion.  Douglas easily ran inside of Revis, making a 26-yard catch and run.

The biggest gain of the day for Douglas came after the pocket collapsed, Ryan stepped up, and Ryan found Douglas down the field as, according to Douglas, the third option.  Despite interference from cornerback Leonard Johnson, Douglas made the catch and completed a 54-yard gain.

On the first play of the next drive, from the Tampa 37, Douglas became the first option after Ryan spotted safety Dashon Goldson preparing to creep up.  Ryan changed the play, Goldson started to step back at the snap but then came forward, and Douglas sprinted by him.  Banks, who was lined up to Douglas’ outside shoulder and seven yards off the ball, hesitated off the snap and then was burned when Douglas turned on the jets.

Six of Douglas’ catches, for 140 total yards, came in the first half.  In the second half, Ryan distributed the ball more to other players, throwing only once to Douglas.

Moving forward, the question now becomes whether Cardinals will play him a little more aggressively.  Douglas was understandably discreet during a Thursday appearance on PFT Live regarding whether he’ll be targeted more than eight times on Sunday.  Unless Arizona pays more attention to him than Tampa Bay did, Douglas could have another big day.

10 responses to “Taking a closer look at Harry Douglas’ big day

  1. Do they trade him or anybody else if they lose this next game to the Cardinals? Which teams are on the bubble for major action change depending on the result of this week’s outcome?

  2. Unfortunately for the Falcons the defensive line with Fartbox and ex-Falcon John Abraham at OLB will pressure Matty Ice into an INT or 3 while lil’ Jacquizz & S Jax will be stymied into another L. The ATL will see Carson Daly throw for 350+ yards an will be unstoppable on 3rd & 4th down as Mike Glennon last week looked Bradyesque and the dry desert locale will bring back bad memories like several years ago in the one & done playoffs.

  3. The guy has had a lot of promise since being drafted. I know it’s a little late for a “breakout” year, but that may just be what happens. The key with Douglas has really always been consistency. If he can repeat Sunday’s performance with any kind of regularity, there will be no way to stop the passing attack of the Falcons next year with JJ and White healthy on the outside.

  4. When tom brady has a big day with bench wr’s, the media goes crazy over him.

    When Matt Ryan has a big day with bench wr’s, the media goes crazy over the receivers.


  5. Good for Harry. He never complains and has always been a team-first player. Not that he’s on a Julio/Roddy performance level, but he’s never in trouble and stays healthy. He quietly has been a solid contributor to the Falcons since his arrival. It’s nice to see him have such a big game.

  6. Harry Douglas is so underrated it’s not even funny. That Bucs secondary is probably the best group on that team, and might be a top 5 secondary in the NFL. Definitely an impressive performance.

  7. for all of you drooling over how good he is, remember the nfc champ game last year? had a clear path to at least the red zone, maybe even the end zone, noone around him, perfectly thrown ball by matt ryan, AND FELL DOWN, and in my view dropped the ball.

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