Atlanta's deep passing better than you think

Earlier this season, a lot of readers and a certain NFC South blogger were saying the Atlanta Falcons weren’t taking enough shots downfield in the passing game.

Well, it turns out that’s not really true. The fine folks at ESPN Stats & Information passed along some pretty interesting stuff this morning about receiver Roddy White and pass attempts for him at least 15 yards downfield.

White’s been fairly prolific in this area and quarterback Matt Ryan has been accurate when throwing downfield for White.

Through the first seven games of this season, White’s been targeted 21 times on passes at least 15 yards downfield and he’s come up with 15 of them. In the entire 2009 season, White was targeted 44 times on that type of pass and only caught 16. White had three touchdowns on such passes all last season and he’s already caught three this year.

A couple of other telling numbers. On passes of 15 yards or more last season, White caught 36.4 percent and was overthrown 31.8 percent of the time. This season, White has caught 71.4 percent of those passes and has been overthrown on only 19.1 percent of the attempts.