No Answer For Taylor

The Atlanta Falcons did their best to slow down the Patriots running game on Sunday , but to no avail. Fred Taylor still managed to gain 100 yards and the Patriots rolled 26-10.

Backup defensive tackles Thomas Johnson and Trey Lewis received mixed results in their first extended action of the season.

The two players rotated with Jonathan Babineaux at under tackle, but also played at lot of nose tackle against New England.

The Falcons rotate eight to nine defensive linemen each week.

But it was Johnson and Lewis who filled in for Peria Jerry, the team's first round draft pick who is out for the season with a knee injury.

For Lewis, it was his first game back since tearing up his knee on Sept. 28, 2007, almost a full 22 months.

"Trey got a number of snaps," Falcons head coach Mike Smith said. "He definitely had some rust on him."

Smith was quick to point out that Lewis was not the sole reason for the porous run defense.

"Trey can play better than he did, we know that," Smith said. "Just because we had Trey and not Peria Jerry, believe me that was not the reason that we did not defend the run. We do not even want to insinuate that at this point."

Smith has plenty on his "to do list" for team's bye week.

But near the top is getting the team's run defense re-established after they were gashed by the New England Patriots for 168 yards on 39 carries.

"We were not gap sound," Smith said on Monday. "Any time that you are giving up 6-, 7- and 8-yard runs, someone is probably out of a gap. That was definitely the issue (Sunday)."

--RB Michael Turner was held to 56 yards against New England. Over the last two seasons, the Falcons are 3-5 when the opposition holds Turner to 70 yards or less rushing. Going back to last season's playoff game, Turner has had three fumbles over the last four games.
--WR Roddy White is either not getting open deep or the Falcons are not throwing the ball deep. White has been targeted on 26 passes. He has 15 catches for 119 yards (7.9 yards per catch). He averaged 15.7 per catch last year and 15.4 over 230 career catches coming into this season.
--CB Tye Hill is going to get a chance to work with the Falcons defense during the bye week.
--RB Jerious Norwood (head) is expected to be ready for the San Francisco game on Oct. 11. He did not play against New England.
--SS William Moore (hamstring), a rookie second round pick, is expected to be ready for the San Francisco game. He has been inactive the last two weeks.

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