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
4:06 pm

I can’t remember the last time the Falcons kicked butt like this, I enjoyed it so much!! I was so proud of them, even Jamaal the 2nd kicked in, I couldn’t believe it when I heard his name for doing something good!! Defensive Tackle is most definitely a better fit for him. Maybe (miracles do happen), he will thrive there. Way to go Beerman!! Awesome game, Roddy but my favorite thing you did was catching that idiot Dre Bly & stripping the ball from that jackass!!! Way to hustle, Roddy. Gonzalez blocked like crazy as did my boy Finn! Who says receivers can’t be good blockers? I just wish they’d throw my boy Finn a few more passes but I won’t quibble with what went down in San Fran yesterday, ha ha ha! Matt Ryan never looks rattled & it was so good to see the smiles on everyone’s faces at the end of the game, love the passion Mike Smith shows, he really cares. Great Game, all around.

Edgar Brimer

October 12th, 2009
4:11 pm

On 10/8 I said “…DO NOT PANIC!!!!!” and you replied “We saw that last year. But contenders are in the top half in everything, yards — passing and rushing — and scoring”. Today, I say “What a freakin’ game from the team on BOTH sides of the ball…..BUT….it won’t be that easy every week. I believe that we’ve finally got some of the pieces in place (in the front office, and on the field), and the future’s so bright, (all together now), that we gotta wear shades!!!!! There will still be some losses, and some ugly games, but at this point…….I’m a happy Falcons fan!!!!! A REALLY happy Falcons fan.


October 12th, 2009
4:15 pm

That concern I had about the Falcons lacking that “something special” which was so evident from last year has returned, at least for one game. If we keep it then we will be back in the playoffs and definitely a force to be reckoned with in the league. That was 60 minutes of hard playing football, even after the outcome was settled going into halftime. Great game, and solid performance by all. Now, let’s keep it together and shut the Bears up on Sunday Night.

Snewo DAWG

October 12th, 2009
4:16 pm

Good to have Jerious Norwood back indeed, especially since he’s now rocking that concussion helmet that looks like it could block three defensive linemen on it’s own. It kind of reminded me of the Lord Dark Helmet from Spaceballs. Man, that was a big helmet!


October 12th, 2009
4:17 pm

My husband & I also noticed how much the commentators were favoring the 49ers, it’s like what’s up with the Man Love for Mike Singletary?? Very very annoying!! And I also hate listening to Collinsworth, yuk, he is the pits, so smug & self-satisfied. Go Birds!!


October 12th, 2009
4:20 pm

Will the Dre Bly fumble make the “Come On Man” segment on ESPN tonight??

GT Brill

October 12th, 2009
4:29 pm

That broadcasting crew was shameful, even my wife was annoyed. I was irritated to the point of wanting to fire off an email to Fox Sports. That being said, totally destroying the 49ers in San Francisco made my Sunday.
Go Birds !!!


October 12th, 2009
4:41 pm

Hey, Vick Supporter. Thanks for sharing the backhanded bullcrap with the rest of us. If you give props where they are due, then here’s your second chance to do it the first time. What an A–hole!

Not Impressed

October 12th, 2009
4:45 pm

The Falcons didn’t win, the Niners lost!

Not Impressed

October 12th, 2009
4:48 pm


October 12th, 2009
4:06 pm
I can’t remember the last time the Falcons kicked butt like this,

“2004 against the St. Louis Rams 47-17″ but it was in a game that mattered.

Fox Announcers

October 12th, 2009
4:51 pm

The Niners have 4 or 5 Lombardi Trophies.

Show me a Lombardi Trophy and you will get our respect. Until then shut the hell up!


October 12th, 2009
4:57 pm

Oh, I forgot to mention: Those otherworldly stats that Vick has put up so far are against the fiercest of competition too (Chiefs and Bucs).

Again, those numbers just in case you can’t believe such offensive production could be true: 1-5 for 1 yd. and 5 rushes for 17 yds. And that’s not for an entire season folks (even though it might seem like it), that’s just two games against two of the best defenses in the league.

If anyone can make a legitimate argument for why they shouldn’t just hand the MVP award to Vick right now, I would love to hear it.

Just wait until next week against another dominant defense (Oakland). As if Vick’s numbers aren’t impressive enough already, I’m projecting him to go off even more next week. Looking into my crystal ball I see something like 2-5 for 8 yds. plus 3 carries for 12 yds.

You can’t stop Michael Vick, you can only hope to contain him!!!!!


October 12th, 2009
5:00 pm

Dre Bly joined a list of players that does not have a clue how team sports are played correctly. He looks like a lost cause if Singletary can’t get thru to him!

Ron Mexico

October 12th, 2009
5:06 pm

Vick is awesome, see him carve up the Bucs? I told you I’d be,ooops, I mean MV would be back.


October 12th, 2009
5:12 pm

Hey MV77777, you’re right, I don’t have the Direct TV package because I don’t watch enough different teams to justify the expense. I follow the Birds, the Bills (God help me) . . . the Eagles because they have Vick, and I want to follow the 49ers because of what Mike Singletary is doing out there . . . I have the NFL channel, FOX, CBS, NBC, and SIRIUS satellite radio . . . if I can’t catch a game on one of those venues then I don’t deserve to catch the game . . .I was just wondering if Vick is getting any meaningful playing time or are the Eagles just keeping him in case McNabb gets injured and is out for the season. Or maybe he’ll be trade bait for next year’s draft . . . After all, it is a business, right???

Rocky Mountian Falcon

October 12th, 2009
5:23 pm

Mr. Ledbetter,

When we beat the Bears Sunday Night, I expect to see the lyrics of the song “Chicago” as well.


October 12th, 2009
5:28 pm

Al Smith ??? turner didn’t fumble in SF!!!! did u watch the game?

Rocky Mountian Falcon

October 12th, 2009
5:30 pm


Philly is giving Vick about 10-11 touches a game. Giving him enough touches to keep the intrest of other teams for trading value at the end of the season.
I live in Colorado, and I can not live w/out my NFL ticket. I got it so I could watch the Falcons every week. Better than watching Denver, KC or Dallas every week.

Rocky Mountian Falcon

October 12th, 2009
5:32 pm


I recorded the game, I think Turner DID fumble, but I think we recovered it. I will go back and check.


October 12th, 2009
5:36 pm

Things I learned this weekend. The defense is much better than I thought they were. They play with far more passion and tenacity that what they displayed in preseasoned.


October 12th, 2009
5:38 pm

Yeah Rocky Mountain Falcon, I feel you . . . I live near Athens, about an hour east of ATL, so I pick up all the games. I’m from Buffalo, so I have to catch most of their games on SIRIUS satellite . . . this year they are PATHETIC,. . . they can’t even beat the Browns . . .Falcons play at JERRYLAND in a few weeks . . . should be interesting . . .

[...] FALCONS: 5 things we learned from the San Fran Beatdown In the final seconds, the 49ers were already beatdown. The fans had retreated to the Candlestick parking lots. [...]

Take Good With Bad

October 12th, 2009
5:41 pm



October 12th, 2009
5:50 pm

The 49ers Just released Rossum to make room for Crabtree! Rossum is returning to his Atlanta home to ponder his next move. I think we can use a return man!

Kevrock/Smarty Jones

October 12th, 2009
5:52 pm

What a great Falcon Game. We really falconed them up yesterday!


Bring on the Bears and they will be leaving town saying What FALCONED Happened? We got our Falcon A%% kicked too.

Jamaal Anderson as a tackle is our answer…I think he can be groomed into a john henderson role. BUT he is even quicker than Henderson so let’s see what happens with that. FALCON A!!!!



October 12th, 2009
6:47 pm

Interesting…all of the Falcons NAYSAYERS who wanted to write the season off after ONE LOSS to the Patriots are now back with the team after a convincing win. Oh yes..and where are all the Roddy White haters who have been making statements about how he isn’t earning his money, playing as a no. 1 receiver, etc etc etc. Nowhere to be found! Good win for the Falcons..Curtis Lofton may be playing his way to a probowl y’all. Another double digit tackle game for our starting MLB. Hope Norwood will have his head ready for next weeks game (Also, can we get him some cleats that will allow him to keep his feet..LOL)

Way to open up the playbook Mularkey. I like to see Norwood going in motion across the line..I was waiting for a quick pass to him b/c the 49ers stopped paying attention to him after a time.

Let’s get ready for Sunday night Football. Faith Hill singing about the Falcons. Now..I don’t claim to be any kind of Country music fan, but good grief..that Faith Hill…*low whistle*

Not Impressed

October 12th, 2009
6:47 pm

Do any of you anti Vick bloggers know anything about football?
If you did you would know that Andy Reid is always about surprising the opposition.

The Eagles are 2nd in the league in scoring, there is no need for the Eagles to let the other teams know their hands. Do you really think they paid Vick all that money to make handoffs to the running backs?

The Eagles have some very good plays and don’t need to show them – just yet. You will probably see them, starting with the Giants game, when the competition gets tougher.

That 11-yard scramble is just the tip of the iceberg of what Andy Reid has up his sleeves. It’s brilliant actually, because teams have to spend all that practice time preparing for what Andy Reid is not even using yet, but when he does, you can bet it’s going to be something to watch.


October 12th, 2009
6:51 pm

Not Impressed said this:

“2004 against the St. Louis Rams 47-17″ but it was in a game that mattered.

If the games we’re playing now DON’T matter, how do you reckon the league will ever figure out who goes to the playoffs?

Once again,

Nice logic


October 12th, 2009
6:55 pm

Do you guys think Shaun Hill is even remotely the same passing threat as Jay Cutler?

Better think that over again.


October 12th, 2009
6:59 pm

Not Impressed is a FALCON LOSER. Can’t wait to see Philly “unlease” Vick in December’s game with the Falcons. His lover’s will write all kinds of smack leading up to the game, until he get’s smacked down by this FALCON D. Thanks, Kevrock/Smarty Jones — I’ll be using that phrase all week. ;-)

Cali Falcon Fan

October 12th, 2009
7:19 pm

Doesnt “Take Good With Bad ” remind you of “VICK SUPPORTER 2″???? I think its him but he jumped back on to the falcons bandwagon because of this win…I know its you man!!!! Just admit it!! Vicks nuts dont taste good anymore huh???


October 12th, 2009
7:24 pm

Hey Orland, where is my blog? Are you screening me out.

This is a SECRET froma FALCON FAN. TELL EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


…………………”ONE NEARTBEAT, BABY!!”………………………

Al Smith

October 12th, 2009
7:33 pm

IIRC turner and norwood fumbled…falcons recovered both. Turner needs to put some stickum on them fingers. He needs to pretend it’s a cheeseburger


October 12th, 2009
8:01 pm

Lets see, Noodle Arm has a 66% completion percentage, 7 TDs to go with 2 ints, and a 102 QB rating.

Vick has one completion for 1 yard.

BWWWWAAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAAHA (wiping tears away). Now, when Obama goes down, all will be right in America.


October 12th, 2009
8:17 pm

Hey Y’all:

“ONE HEARTBEAT, BABY!!”, “ONE HEARTBEAT!!” The FALCONS kicked that butt in “ONE HEARTBEAT!!”. The Niners did not know what they were getting into. “KUDOS” to Coach Smith and hos coaching staff. They id an excellent job getting our guys “HYPED UP” and playing “ATTACKING” FALCON FOOTBALL. I LOVED IT!! The guys left their heart on the field. They played “NASTY” and “TOUGH”. THEY TOOK NO PRISONERS BY THE BAY!! THE NINERS WERE “DEAD MEN WERE WALKING.” I truly believe the coaches and players have set the tone for how they are going to be playing for the rest of the year. And from what I saw, it will be some NASTY, AGRESSIVE, ATTACKING FOOTBALL ON OFFENSE, DEFENSE, AND SPECIAL TEAMS. IT IS ON!!!! AND I AM DOWN WITH THEM. I AM DOWN WITH THEM IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!! BELIEVE ME THE BEAT IS STARTING TO GET LOUDER.

Did you see how our defense played? They left it all out their on the field. Our defensive linemen were not playing around with the opposition. They were quickly shedding blockers, looking into the backfield, and going after the running backs and the quarterback. They had the Niners offensive men running for their lives. Cirtis Lofton was paying like a man possesde from the middle linebacker spot. Man, the boy has grown up. I feel sorry for the leauge. He played like a mad man. THE DEFENSE ATTACKED. ALL OF THEM. Even Jamal Anderson had them running for their lives. I gave the defense until the 6th game to JELL and get SOLID. Coach Smith and Van Gorder are inthe “LAB” creating a “MONSTER”. And it is not even HALOWEEN. From the 6th game on, THE DEFENSE WILL BE A TERROR!!!! They did not draft all those young defensive players for show. SPEED KILLS.

On offense, TURNER was “SLASHING” through the line. He was not tipping. He was “BUSTING” through the line and hurting people. The niners had enough of him by the end of the 2nd quarter. Jerrious Norwood almost broke a couple of runs also. The oofensive line was doing on hell of a job on passing and running plays.They all played with “ONE HEARTBEAT!!” The receiverscaught everything in their path. Ryan was throwing some accurate “LASERS” that could not be stopped. I CANNOT WAIT UNTILL THE NEXT GAME.

O.K. FALCON FANS AND THE COMMUNITY. It is time for our part. I will be at the GEORGIA DOME” OUR HOUSE on SUnday. I will be there with my “ONE HEARTBEAT t-Shirt screaming on every play “ONE HEARTBEAT!!,” ONE HEARTBEAT, BABY!!”. THIS IS “OUR HOUSE”. “THE HOUSE OF PAIN!!” How dare Chicago or any team come to “OUR HOUSE” for a win. “IT AIN’T GOING DOWN LIKE THAT!!!!!” Y’ALL GOING DOWN IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!. IT IS ON!!

GO FALCONS!!!!!! KICK THAT BUTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a SECRET of a FALCON FAN. TELL EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

………………………”ONE HEARTBEAT, BABY!!!”……………….

Matt the Brave

October 12th, 2009
8:54 pm

I was sincerely hoping that the Falcons would move Anderson to DT. It could be a great combo with him and Jerry next year together in the middle!


October 12th, 2009
9:02 pm

What was with the weird 3 man booth on FOX? Siragusa was like the sideline reporter but he would just cut in with unecessary comments and disrupt the whole broadcast. On the subject of Grimes, did everyone see the play where he jumped like 2 feet in the air to knock the ball down. Im definetly not sold on him but that was an athletic play.


October 12th, 2009
9:21 pm

@atlfann44..not only did Grimes knock it down, but he did it with his left hand as the rest of his body was going to the ground. Good play by Grimes. I can’t figure out how Grimes always ends up on the opposing teams tallest receiver in Nickel packages, but I’m not the defensive coach, so oh well.

Ken Strickland

October 12th, 2009
9:42 pm

It’s amusing to hear some of our so called fans complain about us beating down the 49ers by saying, “THE FALCONS DIDN’T WIN, THE 49ERS LOST”, OR THE FALCONS HAVEN’T BEATEN ANYBODY YET. Well, aren’t the Falcons beating the same NFL teams the Vikings, Colts, Patriots, Giants and Steelers play and routinely beat?

These are some of the same people that were predicting we would have a losing season because we’re playing one of the NFL’s hardest schedules. Now we’re hearing how we’re winning because we haven’t played anybody yet, WOW. Well, noone’s dumb enough to complain about the Vikings being undefeated and leading their division while playing only one team with a winning record, the 49ers, which they struggled to defeat. Noone’s complained about the Colts being undefeated while not playing a single team with a winning record. The Giants are also undefeated and have played only one team with a winning record, Dallas. Didn’t the SB champion Steelers struggle to defeat the lowly Lions yesterday? IT MUST BE MISERABLE FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO APPROACH EVERYTHING FROM SUCH A NEGATIVE MINDED PERSPECTIVE ALL OF THE TIME.

Falcons Fan

October 12th, 2009
9:54 pm

Moose and Albert. How about tackling these dumb a$$ announcers next time they pick up a microphone. Who hired them anyway?

Shananeeeeee Fananeeeeeee

October 12th, 2009
9:56 pm

We learned that the Falcons do great against the poor and average teams in the league but they can’t compete with the elite teams in the NFL. Period, end O’ story.

Beg to Differ

October 12th, 2009
10:38 pm

I wonder if Vick has been neutered…


October 12th, 2009
10:41 pm

Many posters on these boards have praised Mike Smith over the last year, and many of the same people were quick to point out what they didn’t like about his coaching in the NE game (rightfully so). When he said after that game that it was something the Falcons should learn from, it’s great to see that he learned something as well.

The most encouraging thing to me about the SF game was that many of the problems from the NE game were addressed by the coaching staff during the bye week:

Intensity and urgency – The Falcons played hard, aggressive football and they out-hit and out-hustled SF.

Defensive pressure – Moving JA98 inside and playing the beer man helped, as did the various blitzes with man-to-man coverage which confused the SF passing game.

O-line / Rushing game – The line got their meanness back a little and Turner got some holes to run in. It helped to have Norwood in the mix as well.

There are still things to fix and tougher opponenents coming up, but you have to like the turn of events since the last game.


October 12th, 2009
11:10 pm

I think Reid is saving plays with Vick for when he needs them. For example, a completed pass. He has only shown that play once so far all season.


October 13th, 2009
1:27 am

“(Turner) didn’t eclipse the 100-yard mark for the first time this season, but he did average a hearty 4.4 yards a carry.”
Do a little research before making declarations, man. Turner had 105 yds rushing against Carolina. He would have had a over a hundred in this game except you have to stop once you get into the endzone.

I moved to Nashville, TN last year and they WILL NOT show Falcons games here. In fact, the FOX station here will not show an NFC game directly against the Titans game. I am stuck with Cowgirls games or whoever is playing Minnesota.


October 13th, 2009
6:11 am

Dandy D, I am well aware that the GOOSE used to play football. My point is some guys calling the games could play (and he was a heck of a DT) and some guys could play AND talk about it. He could be the worst side line reporter I’ve ever heard. Someone should just shut his mic off and get him a chili dog quick!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

October 13th, 2009
10:43 am

Sautee: Thanks. Wow, that’s great you got to see the Big O. He’s my favorite. Was a real Male singer!!!! Can you still play that horn?


October 13th, 2009
10:56 am

Oh forgot to mention that NOODLE ARM had net 10 yards and Roddy had 80 Y.A.C. yards so that was a 10 yard bomb.


I’m just a dumb broke “blogging” Falcon Fan


October 13th, 2009
10:57 am

I didn’t show my face after the New England game because ole NOODLE ARM couldn’t complete a pass over 20 yards and had ZERO tds………