FALCONS: 5 things we learned from the Carolina win

Falcons Cheerleaders sported Throwback cheer outfits for the Carolina game. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC).

SPIRIT FINGERS!!!: Falcons Cheerleaders sported Throwback outfits for the Carolina game. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC).

SEATTLE OF THE SOUTH - We’re closing in on the record for consecutive days of rain. Five down, 35 to go. Who’s out there getting the Ark ready?

The Falcons post-game locker room was bizarre. I have to attend coach Mike Smith’s interview, but one longtime and legendary national reporter asked me why so many players leave so quickly after the game.

For the guys who were left, all of the talk was about how poorly they played.

No doubt, coach Mike Smith came into the room and likely lit into the team for some downright shiftlessness! The

Falcons cheerleaders were ready for the Throwback game. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC).

Falcons cheerleaders did some high-stepping for the Throwback game. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC).

penalties by Harvey Dahl, Justin Blalock and the offsides by tight end Tony Gonzalez could not have made him happy. There was Michael Turner’s fumble inside the red zone.  There was a weak arm tackle attempt by Chris Houston.

“I felt that we battled through a number of things the entire football game,” Smith said. “We had some miscues. We had some good plays.”

But in the end, he didn’t seem too happy with the victory. Guess he knows that in order to beat the very good teams in the league, you can’t make so many minor mistakes.

“We’ve got a lot of things that we can improve on,” Smith said.

Here are five things we learned from the victory:

  1. BLITZ BONUS: The Falcons have been working on being more aggressive. Their blitzes are starting to get to the quarterback. Linebacker Stephen Nicholas got his first sack of the season and third of his career. Safety Thomas DeCoud and Nicholas also had quarterback hurries.
  2. SNELLING’S A WEAPON: When Jerious Norwood left the game with a “Head” injury  — Don’t know why they don’t like saying “Concussion” – Jason Snelling came in and ran the ball hard. Every time he’s gotten a chance to play, he’s been up to the task. Because of his strong play, the Falcons won’t have to rush Norwood, who was running pretty hard himself, back into the action.
  3. ELAM’S FINE: Jason Elam, the legendary kicker was listed on the injury report with a hamstring and was coming of a rare bad game where he missed two field goal attempts and an extra point. He didn’t have any field goal attempts, but was striking the ball well on his extra points, where he was four of four.
  4. The 60s/70s era Go-Go Boots were a hit. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

    The 60s/70s era Go-Go Boots were a hit. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

    GONZALEZ IS GREAT: His best catch on Sunday was the one with the linebacker draped all over him. Followed closely be the one that was challenged and ruled a reception at the 10-yard line. He’s a force in the redzone. He got Jason Snelling open for his touchdown when he took two defenders with him into the end zone.

    5. POWER BALL: The Falcons couldn’t run the clock out with just 2:37 left after Chris Houston’s big interception. They want to have a running identity. That’s when you need to grind out 10 yards to secure the victory. If the offense powers the ball at the Panthers, then they would not have needed to sweat out the Hail Mary pass.

  5. NEXT UP:  Atlanta (2-0) vs. New England (1-1). Will the Falcons be favored? They Patriots have looked shaky in Tom Brady’s return.  If Buffalo’s Leodis McKelvin (of Waycross and Troy State) had taken a knee in the endzone in Week One, the Pats would be 0-2.

HERE’S MY FANTASY TEAM: Don’t have time to draft, so got into one of those auto-draft, public leagues on a website. Here’s my team. The Auto-drafter GM did pretty good. Haven’t check, but with Brees, I think I won this week.


QB Drew Brees, New Orleans

WR Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona

WR Mark Clayton, Baltimore

WR Percy Harvin, Minnesota

RB Thomas Jones, New York Jets

RB Joseph Addai, Indianapolis

TE Kevin Boss, New York Giants

K Stephen Gostkowski, New England

DEF Baltimore


WR Anthony Gonzalez, Indianapolis (have to cut him, he’s hurt)

WR Braylon Edwards Cleveland

TR Vernon Davis, San Francisco

QB Brady Quinn, Cleveland

RB Willie Parker, Pittsburgh

PK Josh Brown, St. Louis

114 comments Add your comment

really badnews

September 22nd, 2009
3:42 pm

MV still riding the bench while a ROOKIE QB starts in place of McNabb ! ha ha ha


September 22nd, 2009
4:16 pm

Season ticket holder, how many days does it rain this time of year…not many.If we had an outdoor stadium the number of sunny days will far outweigh the rainy days this time of year…Look at the number of high school football games, tech and bulldog games are play outside in this area…Lets face it football is meant to played outdoors!!!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

September 22nd, 2009
4:27 pm

Phil Lunney

September 22nd, 2009
5:03 pm

Enter your comments hereAny word on Norwood?


September 22nd, 2009
5:49 pm

Ken S,

Great point about the size of the Pro Bowl corners.

And I’d bet that Grimes could out jump most of them. Amazing hops.

He just needs to play and he’ll get better. He’s only played 16 total games in his career, so he’s hardly gotten his feet wet yet. I think he’ll make us very glad we have him at some point.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

September 22nd, 2009
6:01 pm

Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick shows Dimitroff, Mike Smith and Tony Gonzalez some love today on his teleconference with the Boston media.



September 22nd, 2009
6:47 pm

Enter your comments here


September 22nd, 2009
7:21 pm

KS- Grimes is 5′7 on a good day, ive seen the guy in person and 5′10 he is not. Grimes has crazy athleticism and he’s okay in coverage,but he is not a starting quarteback in this league IMO…. Especially on a team with playoff aspirations and a killer schedule.

Wow you mentioned Grimes in the same key stroke as Winnfield,Samuels and Revis- I hope that was just a comparison on stature.

Tom ….C’mon man, with the doom and gloom -Jerry will be fine and playing by week4 next year maybe, depending on the severity- im not a doctor but i play one on Tv lol….

“Matt Ryan cant throw deep” When did that happen, I mean we’ve only played 2 games. The hoddy says his arm is Strong and Accurate….I think he knows more than most, so uhhhhmmmm yeeaaaahhhhhhh……..


September 22nd, 2009
7:23 pm

CORNER BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


September 22nd, 2009
7:52 pm

Any word on SIDBURY?

Bad News

September 22nd, 2009
8:48 pm

NOODLE ARM vs Tom Brady………

Joe Flacco vs Tom Brady……….

Let’s see who the real BUST is :)

Boo Boo

September 23rd, 2009
4:06 am

j anderson is alive and breathing, so he can fill a space at dt. who else we gonna get to play there?

all the moaning and groaning about the 4th quarter … try running around the yard at your house each play the defense runs. you might find yourself winded by the 4th quarter too. remember those worthless dbs from the preseason? they are still playing, but looking better when the d-line is putting pressure on the qb. late in the game the qbs get better against the falcons. that’s why they will need big leads all season to win. you can expect the dbs to start looking bad sooner, especially get toasted by brady, with jerry out for the season, and j anderson living up to his bustness self.

Nicholas Fan

September 23rd, 2009
8:38 am

I’ve been saying all along Nicholas would be a player, I watched the guy all through college and he makes plays. The more experience he gets this year the better he’ll be, the guy has pro bowl potential down the road, mark my words!

ct falcons

September 23rd, 2009
6:04 pm

I’m a huge Falcons fan in Connecticut(since ‘91) n I’m going 2 c our guys hopefully go whip on the patsys in foxboro. Good 2 c a good start without playn our best football…by the way relax on #98 J.A.he gets a good push n is improving. He WILL make a big play down the stretch. Go dirty birds!