FALCONS: 5 things we learned from the San Fran Beatdown

In the final seconds, 49ers were already beat down. (D. ORLANDO LEDBETTER/AJC)

In the final seconds, the 49ers were already beatdown. The fans had retreated to the Candlestick parking lots. (D. ORLANDO LEDBETTER/AJC)

DOCK OF THE BAY – The Falcons left their home in Flowery Branch, Georgia, headed for the Frisco Bay on Friday.

They were just sitting on the dock of the bay, ready to make this place their home.

They got off to a 14-0 start, but when it looked like the 49ers were going to storm back, the offense threw down a 21-point barrage.

After losing to New England, the Falcons felt they had nothing to live for. It was looking like, with the running game sidetracked, that nothing was going to come their way.

But instead of just sitting on the dock of the bay at Candlestick Park, the Falcons dealt out a 45-10 whipping, unknowingly paying tribute to Macon native Otis Redding and his classic hit.

Here are five things we learned in that victory that pushed them to 3-1.

1. Roddy White is not a possession receiver!: After holding out for nine days in training camp, White came into the game averaging 7.9 yards a catch (15 catches for 119 yards). He caught eight passes for 210 yards, including touchdown catches for 31 and 90 yards. He’s now averaging 14.3 yards a catch, which is more in line with the 15.4 yards per catch he was averaging coming into this season and the 15.7 he averaged last season, when he made his first Pro Bowl trip.

2. Michael Turner can still break the big run: The Burn Unit (the offensive line) helped to spring the Burner for a big 33-yard gainer. He didn’t eclipse the 100-yard mark for the second time this season, but he did average a hearty 4.4 yards a carry. He finished with 97 yards on 22 carries and three touchdowns. The burst appeared to back.

3. Matt Ryan can beat you throwing the ball: Ice, Ice baby. Ryan threw for a career high 329 yards and continued his torrid completion rate. He connected on 22 of 32 passes. Teams have stacked the box, daring Ryan to beat them. He’s 3-1 against that strategy. He’s 1-0 in blowouts when he has a solid rushing attack to support him.

4. Shaun Hill is not invincible: The 49ers quarterback was 7-0 at home. He’s now 7-1. The 49ers can’t win with him throwing the ball 38 times. The Falcons also had three sacks from Kroy Biermann, John Abraham and Thomas Johnson.

5. Jamaal Anderson might be a defensive tackle: He started the game at defensive tackle with Biermann playing left defensive end. Anderson had two assisted tackles and two quarterback hurries.


6. “Doctor” Dre Bly is not Deion Sanders. He’s not even Dr. Dre the Rap star and producer. His name is probably Andrew (Looked it up, it’s Donald Andre): This has to be the bone-headed play of the year. Bly put his hand on his helmet and was about to go into high-stepping mode when White tackled and stripped him. Center Todd McClure recovered the fumble to keep the Falcons’ drive alive that ended in a field goal and a 38-10 lead. He also had a stupid facemask penalty earlier. Now, I know why Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff kept deflecting questions about signing Bly over the offseason. They Falcons needed cornerback help. But not this kind of help. TD  kept saying something about the locker room, but he really must have meant “I’m not signing a ‘me first’ player.’ ” Mind you, the 49ers were down 35-10 when Bly decided that hand-to-the-helmet and high-stepping was in order.





My man Otis Redding. This is my favorite Karoke song, too.

My man Otis Redding. This is my favorite Karoke song, too.

Written by: Otis Redding & Steve Cropper

Sittin’ in the mornin’ sun,

I’ll be sittin’ when the evenin’ come.

Watching the ships roll in,

Then I’ll watch ‘em roll away again.

Yeah, I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay,

Watching the tide roll away.

Ooh, I’m just sittin’ on the dock of the day,

Wastin’ time.

I left my home in Georgia,

Headed for the Frisco bay.

I have nothing to live for,

Look like nothin’s gonna come my way.

So I’m just gonna sit on the dock of the bay,

Watching the tide roll away.

Ooh, I’m sittin’ on the dock of the day,

Wastin’ time.

Look like nothing’s gonna change

Everything still remains the same

I can’t do what ten people tell me to do

So I guess I’ll remain the same.

Just sittin’ here resting my bones,

And this loneliness won’t leave me alone.

Two thousand miles I roam,

Just to make this dock my home.

Now I’m just gonna sit at the dock of the bay,

Watchin’ the tide roll away.

Ooh, I’m sittin’ on the dock of the bay,

Wastin’ time.

Next Up: Da Bears! New quarterback Jay Cutler has them off to a 3-1 start. They are coming off a bye week and will be ticked. They had the Falcons beat last season before Matt Ryan’s heroics in the final 12 seconds. Also, teams coming off the bye week have won 59.9  percent of the games (57-38-1) over the last three seasons, according to Elias Sports Bureau (Give Jeff Schultz some love for digging out this stat!). This is the first of four games the Falcons will have facing a fresh team coming off a bye week. Dallas, Washington and the New York Giants will also have byes before facing the Falcons.

183 comments Add your comment


October 12th, 2009
6:39 am

All Hail the Birds!


October 12th, 2009
6:46 am

This game reminded me of they way SF did this to us during their golden years. We looked solid in all areas of the game. It was especially good seeing that the defense did not want to give up a meaningless touchdown at the end of the game. Seeing them blitz on every down proved that.

Jamal Anderson looked pretty good and seemed to get a good push up the middle. True this is one game but maybe DOL has a point.


October 12th, 2009
6:50 am

That was a great song and a very good win.


October 12th, 2009
7:12 am

This one was great fun-49ER’s way overrated and so are da Bears-Go Falcons


October 12th, 2009
7:28 am

Great way to come out following a too early bye week. Nice to see Norwood back. I swear I thought I saw Jamal Anderson with his hands on Hill several times, only to see him slip away or toss the ball away (or was it the beer?)

Jay Cutler ain’t no Shawn Hill…defense / offense will need another solid performance to grab a win from Da Bears…


October 12th, 2009
7:28 am

Funny how just last week on “Mike and Mike” they labeled the Falcons and 49ers as “maybe teams”… but not on the level of the Giants, Vikings, Philly etc… So now that we STOMPED the other “maybe” team… will we get the credit we deserve!??
And how terrible were those Fox announcers? And Dre Bly just lost any respect i ever had for him as a athlete!


October 12th, 2009
7:29 am

This game and the teams performance as a unit and some outstanding individual play showed just what this team is made of. A TEAM!!!


October 12th, 2009
7:30 am

GO FALCONS-GO SOUTHERN RUSH !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


October 12th, 2009
7:36 am

One other thing. Moose and Kenny Albert…what’s up with those a-hole apologists? They spent the whole damn game talking about “what was wrong with the niners”, how the niner’s defense was “off”, how the niner’s would be controlling the game with Gore, etc.

I mean..how about simply stating that the birds were the far superior team and gave the niners an ass whuppin right on their home turf? I wanted to toss the romote through the screen. Only Tony G had the cajones to tell people that the niners had played a weak schedule and maybe weren’t the magical team everyone thought they were!


October 12th, 2009
7:37 am



October 12th, 2009
7:56 am

I can’t wait to hear from the dude who keeps referring to Ryan as “Noolde Arm”

I got your noodle, buddy!


October 12th, 2009
8:00 am

Could someone PLEASE shut up that fat guy in the end zone??? Tony Serogusa (probably mis spelled) is a jerk who knows very little about footbal and even less about analysis of a game. He should be relegated to AFC games!


October 12th, 2009
8:10 am

I really believe that game was one of the better ines we’ve had so far. We have to win against less superior talent. I think the Bear’s D is not as high caliber as it was. So what if they are coming off a bye. Screw the stats. Here’s a stat for ya: SF had a top 10 D before yesterday…..check the stats now. Numbers mean nothing, only winning….and thats exactly what I expect us to do again Sunday! Good job Birds, let’s make it 2 in a row!


October 12th, 2009
8:12 am

Sure was nice for this old-timer to see a lop-sided score in Candlestick tilt in The Birds favor for a change. Still can’t decide if the Falcons looked that good or the 49ers looked that bad. Doesn’t really matter, does it? The Birds did what winning teams do. Does the 43 yr. streak end? Finally?

t larry

October 12th, 2009
8:14 am

Great game,Go birds. Bring back FALCONS SORRY, I miss his racist comments.

Bring on Da Bears!!!!!!!!


October 12th, 2009
8:15 am

Vick Supporter????Noodle Arm???????Falcons Sorry?????? Oh, man come on guys we’re worried about you. Let us know that your still OK! (Gutless punks)How did Flacco and that vaunted Ravens OFFense do yesterday?? Why they managed to produce ONE touchdown and Flabby Arm had less than 200 years total passing. Ohhhhhh, the humanity.

All I'm Saying Is...

October 12th, 2009
8:16 am

Great win by the Falcons as they had opportunities, took advantage of their opportunities by scoring touchdowns, and put the 49ers away by displaying a killer instinct and stepping on their throats when they had the chance by not only going up 28 to 10 thanks to the fumble recovery on the kick-off more importantly marching down the field for another 7 points and taking the score to 35-10 when they got the ball back with almost 5 minutes left in the half. That score broke the 49ers will.

Now, we should also recognize that the 49ers were without their star running back and their offense relies on the run to set up the pass. So we did not see their true offense. Still, its a major step forward when a team comes out and beats another one when their down.

We need to stay focused because the Bears will be coming of a bye and will want revenge from last season’s victory by Falcons snatched from the jaws of defeat.



October 12th, 2009
8:20 am

Yeah, those Fax Sports booth apes really irked my butt. They spent the first quarter hooting up the 49ers D and all of the second half denying that they had even mentioned it.

Saragoosa really blows. He needs to be working hockey games in Canada.

Dandy D

October 12th, 2009
8:20 am

Steve, Siragusa used to play pro football with the Ravens. He’s forgotten more football than you or I will ever know. This was a statement game. The Falcons are squarely in the hunt. They outplayed SF in every aspect. Hope the momentum continues at home vs. Da Bears!

War Jacket

October 12th, 2009
8:21 am

Gotta love this. After all those lean years when we were in the West, going out to SF and getting shellacked. I know times are different know, but regardless, this was a little sweet revenge.

Way to go Birds.


October 12th, 2009
8:29 am

No Gore was not playing but our offense still put 45 points on the board against their defense. Even if Gore played still would have been a Falcon win.

O’noodle arm was near perfect today. Good win!!!


October 12th, 2009
8:31 am

Beatdown is the word for yesterday’s game. I had a feeling the Falcons would play with intensity yesterday, but they surpassed my expectations. Yesterday’s game was the first one this season where I felt like I was watching the exciting team from last year. The big play was back, the running game was back — the Falcons are back!! Can’t wait till next Sunday. Go Falcons!!!


October 12th, 2009
8:44 am

Someone said it right…the analysts spent the whole damn game talking about the 49ers…what they have done right, what they were doing wrong, what they needed to do. Nothing much at all about how good the Falcons looked or how good they were prepared or how they were just kicking the s*#t out of the 49ers! I guess it’s gonna take a Superbowl win for the Falcons to ever get any love in the world of the NFL. That being said, i do think maybe they need to put Norwood or someone more explosive back there on kickoffs. I’m sorry, but Weems is just not a KR or PR. WE need to get better field position on kick returns because we will definitely need it down the stretch against those tougher opponents coming up! GREAT GAME!


October 12th, 2009
8:50 am

The Fox coverage was incredibly pro 49ers for well over the first half.
The Falcons were not getting it right – the 49ers were getting it wrong, according to Loose and Goose?
(Terrible nicknames)

It was great to see the team shut them up – although for those cement heads – it took 3 quarters.
The cameras also spent an incredible amount of time on the mug of M Singeltary and his halpless team on the sideline.

Shouldn’t they at least pretend to be impartial?


October 12th, 2009
9:04 am

Will wonders never cease! Grimes actually hit somebody. I supect that Niner dodged into him and he couldn’t help it.

Whatever, he still needs to go. He is mostly as useless as teats on a boar hog.


October 12th, 2009
9:09 am

Another thing…it will be key down the stretch that Turner gets more carries. He needs at least 25 to 30 carries a game. That will give him the opportunity to break a couple big runs during a game. Norwood is a good change of pace but they have got to get him the ball more somehow..(ie screens). Why do we not run any screens? You get some blockers out in front of Norwood or Turner and they will be gone. That will also help slow down other teams pass rushes and it will help the run game.


October 12th, 2009
9:24 am

Do I hear a baby crying, ‘All I’m saying”…. ? Injuries are part of the game. We lost Jerious Norwood for a while and he gives us break away speed in the backfield. What did the Falcons do? They made adjustments. They used a rotation of many backs and got the job done. Singletary lost control of his players and the game by acting like a kid who got punched on the playground. I’m so glad the Falcons didn’t get him.

Fan since '66

October 12th, 2009
9:32 am

What a game! The Birds played like they expect to beat any team on any day! Complete effort! Especially proud of the two times the 49′ers were tackled from behind after the interception and the long pass. We never gave in. Probably the best overall team the Falcons have had since 66. No showboating after great plays, well…except for the one attempt by Roddy to imitate Carl Edwards! If they do celebrate, they do it as a team! No one ever mentions that. Gotta be Mike Smith’s influence. What a class guy! The booth pukes were nauseating. I thought “Goose” was gonna cry at one point. He just couldn’t understand how the great 49′ers were getting pounded by this upstart team. Gotta love it! Is there someone we could write to at Fox to make them give us decent announcers?
Can’t wait till next Sunday!!!


October 12th, 2009
9:33 am

Great game on both sides of the ball. I will be in the house this coming Sunday. Singletary should just go on the motivational talk circuitfull time. He was too emotional, really showed his a$$, and lost his players early.

An Observation

October 12th, 2009
9:40 am

First off….it was great to see Norwood back on the field. All facets of the team (offense, defense, special teams) played great in the win against the 49ers.

The “REAL” Falcons’ fans need to show up this coming Sunday night and ROCK THE DOME!!!!! It should be sooooo loud in there that I’ll need to take ear plugs. GO FALCONS!!!!

Larry S.

October 12th, 2009
9:45 am

The ” beer man” (Kroy) has arrived in Atlanta. Did anyone notice that the FOX announcers repeatedely referred to Kroy Beirman as the “Beer Man” during 49ers game ? I feel sorry for the Miller Lite Beer Man having to take a back seat to the Atlanta Falcon’s new Beer Man .


October 12th, 2009
9:53 am

I love the people who are saying “Oh they didn’t have Gore” It’s fine keep making excuses for every time we win. The real fans know that this team is f’in stacked, and the team believes in themselves, their QB, and their coach. Last I checked Gore didn’t play D, and our O absolutely destroyed that vaunted D.

What is the excuse going to be next week?

Gritz Blitz

October 12th, 2009
9:56 am

Turning the tables is sweet. Putting 45 on SF on their own field, is a little payback for all those embarrassing divinsional losses we had to them at the hands of Montana, Rice and Steve Young. Go Falcons!


October 12th, 2009
9:57 am

“dock of the bay” metaphors. dude, you’re the primary beat writer for a large metro daily. act like it and spare os the corny “i work for a weekly and thought this was clever” writing. most of us here are adults who could use some adult commentary on the events that transpired. a little more maturity — here and in much of your typical “light” jargon — would be refreshing.


October 12th, 2009
9:57 am

One thing noticeable in this game, the overall non stop hustle… everyone will highlight White stripping Bly, or Jenkins running cover for Whites long TD run.. but did you all notice Dahl, Clabo down field blocking after pass receptions.. and on the DE side,so many team tackles and Jamaal may have found his new home( Maybe..fingers crossed).
I think the team that showed up Sunday was the team we were expecting all year.,..


October 12th, 2009
10:08 am

That was about as satisfying a victory for me to watch as any in memory. It was satisfying because it seemed like every sports prognosticator and their mother picked the 49ers. The play-by-play commentators were even routing for the 49ers and with everything the Falcons did right, they would say, “what is wrong with San Fran?” I was actually yelling at the TV that maybe it’s because we aren’t Arizona, Seattle, or St. Louis!

It was also satisfying because I remember all those beatdowns Atlanta got from the 9ers back when the NFL was geography ignorant.

This week will be another test, but I’m hopeful that they will rise to the challenge. Many have posted that they “stole” a victory against Chicago last year. In my opinion, they simply took back a victory that they squandered. They got a kick-off return from Norwood to like the Bears’ 20-yard line, played it safe with 3 running plays, and Chicago called three time-outs, leaving around 2 minutes left on the clock. They were playing for the field goal, instead of the guaranteed victory of a first down. The Bears loaded literally all 11 in the box and the falcons ran three times for minus 1 yard. The Falcons went for the field goal and Elam misses the chip shot. If he makes it, Chicago has to score that TD and get the ball back with 12 seconds left or however long it took them score. If Atlanta gets one first down, they run out the clock by taking a knee. Atlanta made a great play at the end to make a long field goal to “steal” the victory, but it should never have come to that. As happy as I was with the victory against San Fran yesterday, I was equally frustrated and angry with that victory. The only time I can remember still being angry after a Falcons’ win.

I’m glad to see that others noticed how biased the Fox sports coverage was towards San Fran. I don’t like that Atlanta will have a disproportional amount of games coming up against teams coming off of bye weeks, but if Atlanta is going to have a winning season and make a playoff push, they have to beat all comers at all times.


October 12th, 2009
10:28 am

What a great game! Falcons football is exciting, they look like a true team that plays for each other, and the sky is the limit. Strengths over-shadow weaknesses and overall they were hitting on all cylinders.

The offense was amazing. Enough said. But someone pointed it out earlier and for me the highlight of the game was the refusal to give up the garbage touchdown toward the end of the game. That says so much.

I put on my jersey every week and hope for huge offensive numbers and enough D to get the win. But the hustle and urgency of the Defense is what’s going to put this team over the top. Awesome win and can’t wait until Sunday night!

It’s also great when the Ryan haters have absolutely no material to work with. 110 passer rating vs a solid D and over 100 for the year by the way. We should be able to read these blogs this week without losing any IQ points for having read their mindless crap.


October 12th, 2009
10:33 am

Let’s pray they keep jamaal anderson at DT and the beer man at end.

MO Zack

October 12th, 2009
10:35 am

As an native Atlantan, I realize that the ATL sports franchises will never get the “respect” from certain announcers. Why should we care what the announcers think? Our team doesn’t. It only affects our team when the referee makes blatantly erroneous calls. Otherwise, great game for the Falcons. Way too many penalties. We need to keep those down. GO TURNER WHITE RYAN! TWRNG (Turner, White, Ryan, Norwood, Gonzalez) were defenses are laid to rest.


October 12th, 2009
10:39 am

TBizzle, Daniel, bluto…Amen!! My sentiments exactly. I wrote about this weak beat writer last week only to have my response removed from this blog. I’m glad other true sports fans feel the same way. Last week he excused these errors because he had a “Mandatory” meeting and couldn’t edit this junk. Stay tuned for this week’s excuse and more 5th grade level analysis.


October 12th, 2009
10:43 am

Hats off to Matt, Roddy and Michael, but lets not overlook the continued great work of our franchise punter and kicker. He continues to give the Falcons great field position.

Al Smith

October 12th, 2009
10:47 am

Okay I’m back on the bandwagon now, that was really impressive.

[...] got their problems corrected on the bye week, and I think the final product speaks for itself. (Check out DOL’s new blog on the Niners win). A look at the [...]

Diehard ATL Fan

October 12th, 2009
10:50 am

SF GAME: It was an “A” performance but I’m concerned with some of Murlarkey’s playcalling. The recurring play where Norwood and Snelling go out wide for a WR screen has gained -8 yards and yesterday led to a turnover. Scrap that play or use it as a decoy. And I’m not hounding MM on one play. Not feeding Turner enough. Abandoning the run too early. Not enough RB screens. ALSO, we have to stop shooting ourselves in the foot on offensive penalties that create long drives.

CHI GAME: The Bears almost “stole” one from us last year. WE outplayed them from start to finish. Cutler scares me but losing Urlacher negates that gain. We simply have a better squad plus we’re at home. We should take care of our business. 4-1 and tied for 1st after Sunday.

Dr. Warren

October 12th, 2009
10:54 am

Lots of enthusiasm for the Birds in this article, but little enthusiasm for copy editing. Karoke? And that first sentence–what does it mean?

Michael White

October 12th, 2009
10:57 am

great game defense made a giant leap forward- i am on roddy white’s fan club- ryan is cool-go falcons


October 12th, 2009
11:08 am

I couldn’t get over how impressive Mike Singletary’s first timeout was, and niether could Darryl Johnston. Just a great, great, great time-out. Who cares if Roddy caught a 30 yard TD on the very next play or the 49ers couldn’t challenge the fumble because they had no TO’s left? That was a phenomenal time out, best one all season.

Al Smith

October 12th, 2009
11:10 am

Yeah the announcers were cheering SF on big time. You’d think we were watching the game on a SF network.

J Cole

October 12th, 2009
11:14 am

Hey “Captain Obvious”, tell us something we don’t know. We can read the stats on any website. How about some insight? You were at the game. Otis Redding was weak and reaching. Proof you work already. Every week.


October 12th, 2009
11:18 am

The Ryan to White TD after the timeout, after the announcers basically spent the next few minutes talking about how amazing he is and how amazing that timeout was, was a wonderful moment. Then Dre Bly show boating after the int, down 35-10, ON YOUR OWN 35 YARD LINE, was absolutely hilarious.

I am so pumped for Sunday night.