Fox's Howie Long has fixes for Falcons' offense

FLOWERY BRANCH -- Howie Long, an NFL studio analyst for Fox Sports, has a few ideas for reviving the Falcons' offense.

The Saints stymied wide receiver Roddy White, tight end Tony Gonzalez and running back Michael Turner in their 17-14 victory Monday night.

The Saints committed two players and rolled zones in White's direction, effectively taking the three-time Pro Bowl receiver out of the game. He was held to a season-low in catches (three) and yards receiving (43).

Gonzalez was held to a season-low 12 yards receiving. Turner averaged only 1.3 yards on 16 carries, if you take away his one run for 27 yards.

"In order for them to be successful in the playoffs they need to run the ball better, and I have no reason to believe they won't," Long said Wednesday via telephone. "I have no reason to believe they won't get that fixed and figure that out."

With White attracting a mini-convention of Saints defenders, quarterback Matt Ryan threw 13 of his 29 passes to other wide receivers. He netted only five receptions and 40 yards -- all by Michael Jenkins -- from those 13 passes. White was targeted only five times -- and only once on third down.

The Saints used safeties Darren Sharper and Malcolm Jenkins to help over the top on White and Gonzalez. Ryan did a good job of recognizing the safeties and did not throw into many double-coverage situations.

"We’ve seen some more of that throughout the year," said Ryan of White's extra attention. "I felt like he still had some really good plays in the first half. Collectively, we didn’t take advantage of the opportunities that we needed to when we were in good position."

Based on the stats, Jenkins was the player left in the most one-on-one situations, and he had nine passes thrown to him. He drew a pass-interference call on a deep pass to the end zone.

“Michael Jenkins had a pretty good game," Smith said. "I thought Michael stepped up. ... He’s played well over the last month.”

Harry Douglas was targeted three times, but didn't have a catch.

"Douglas needs to be a bigger factor," Long said. "Jenkins coming off of this last game needs to continue on and take some of the pressure off of Roddy White. Roddy White has been something short of amazing on third downs and late in the football games."

White believes it was only a matter of the Falcons not executing their offense.

"They give us a bunch of different looks, but that's what they do," White said. "They are going to cut everything that I do. The crossing routes, all of that. We just have to make plays. I just felt like we didn't make plays especially on offense."

White did get open for his ninth touchdown catch of the season.

"They decided to play one-on-one down there on the goal line," White said. "I guess they had a blitz on. I gave him a little fake, and he jumped outside so I went inside, and that made it easy."

White believes the offense will get re-calibrated.

"We all have to go back to the drawing board and get going good before we start the playoffs," White said.