Falcons handle their business vs. Bears

The cheerleaders weren't the only folks dressed in pink in support of Breat Cancer awareness. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

The cheerleaders weren't the only folks dressed in pink in support of Breast Cancer awareness. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

DIRTY BIRD LAND – In the aftermath of the victory over the Chicago Bears, the Falcons were not rejoicing like they’d won a big game.

It was more a business-like tone in the locker room after the game.

Coach Mike Smith was in a good mood, but noted that several mistakes were made.

Pro Bowler Roddy White wasn’t too impressed with the victory that pushed the Falcons to 4-1 for the first time since the 2004 season.

“We just did enough to win I think,” White said.

The biggest play for the Falcons might have been the 62-yard kickoff return by Eric “The Whizzer” Weems. He received  good blocks on the return from tight end Keith Zinger and cornerback Chris Owens.

“That was key for us,” Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said. “Eric did a great job all night. That was a great play by Eric.”

The offense got out of a funk when it went to the no huddle in the second quarter.

“It was the spark that we needed in the first half,” Ryan said.

PINK SHOES: Ryan wore pink shoes against the Bears in support of the American Cancer Society’s Breast Cancer awareness program.

“They felt pretty light,” Ryan said. “Nike did a great job of creating some light pink shoes. It’s for a great cause. I think

Tight end Tony Gonzalez gave the Falcons a lead with his 10-yard touchdown catch right before halftime. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC).

Tight end Tony Gonzalez gave the Falcons a lead with his 10-yard touchdown catch right before halftime. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC).

it’s a great initiative . . . I was happy to be a part of it.

THE RUN GAME: Falcons running back Michael Turner only had 30 yards, but they were well-earned. The Bears appeared to have a copy of the Falcons’ playbook.

The Falcons rushed 23 times for 68 yards overall.

“The Bears had a very good plan to defend the run, but we just kept chipping away at them,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said.

DAILY DOUBLE: Free safety Thomas DeCoud had two interceptions and got some praise from the coach.

“Thomas was playing the ball very well in the air,” Smith said. “He went through his reading of the route progression and he played the ball. It’s good to see Thomas, a young player, third round draft pick, second year in the league, make plays like that.  These young guys continue to progress.”

BURNING THE BLITZ:  White’s 40-yard touchdown catch came when the Bears were blitzing and in Cover Zero (No safeties). Tight end Tony Gonzalez, wide receiver Brian Finneran and White were in a trips right formation.

Gonzalez and Finneran made good blocks to create a lane for White, according to White.

“We kept battling,” White said. “There were too many three and outs, especially early in the game. It seemed like they knew what we were doing and they kind of had our number. We couldn’t break the funk. We needed one big play. That’s what we kept saying in the huddle. Somebody make a play. Somebody make a play, right here.

Matt Ryan has thrown 123 straight passes without being sacked. (CURTIS COMPTON/AJC)

Matt Ryan has thrown 123 straight passes without being sacked. (ELISSA EUBANKS/AJC)

THROWING A NO-HITTER: The Falcons’ line has not allowed a sack over the last four games.

They have only allowed two this season. Three of the five starters were on the line in 2007 that allowed 47 sacks. Some of those were from Joey Harrington holding the ball and from ex-head coach Bobby Petrino’s designed “unblocked looks.”

But the Falcons’ offensive linemen don’t want to talk much about the sackless streak.

“That’s like when a man’s throwing a no-hitter, you can’t talk about it,” center Todd McClure said.

During the streak, Ryan has dropped back 123 times without being sacked. He’s helping them out by getting the ball out on time and throwing it away if he has to scramble out of the pocket.

Ryan was last sacked by Jason Ferguson with 9:06 left in the third quarter against Miami in the season-opener.

“I thought our guys up front did a nice job,” Smith said.

CATCHING THE DRAFT: Good luck up in Buffalo to former Falcons Chris Draft. He had a sack in the Bills’ victory over the New York Jets.

The St. Louis Rams cut him when he didn’t want to take a pay cut. He’s a “F.O.P.” – friend of the program. He helped us out with our rookie symposium story over the offseason and is a tireless worker in the community.

82 comments Add your comment

Ernest

October 19th, 2009
10:17 am

Great game by the Falcons! Let’s keep taking care of business and bring it to the Cowboys this weekend!

brody

October 19th, 2009
10:18 am

first, and what a tough win last night

Ernest

October 19th, 2009
10:22 am

Oh, I guess I was first! The only first I’ll be interested in is the Falcons finishing first for the season, after a Super Bowl win. To do that, we must play one game at a time. With this leadership team in place, I believe we can do it.

Ryno

October 19th, 2009
10:24 am

Great win boys! We’ve got “Big Mo” on our side and (as an old high school coach used to say) “Ain’t no-mentum like momentum!”

On to Big D – let’s beat those Cowboys!

LRD

October 19th, 2009
10:40 am

Stunning performance by the Defense. Hung tough, the secondary did make mistakes, but luckily not enough to cost us the game. maybe no huddle could become a pattern as the O seemed very out of sync up to that point. I hope this game does not bring to much attention to the Birds and we can keep off the radar just a bit longer.. it is nice to be the underdog and come in swinging.
Oh, and like last week.. it says something for the drive of our O line when you again see the hustle of our lineman down field blocking after a pass. Coach Smith has to just love that!

Blue Fender

October 19th, 2009
10:41 am

I can’t wait for the Cowgirl fans to start talking smack! Time to show the boys how men play ball. GO FALCONS!

Falcfan

October 19th, 2009
10:44 am

DOL Im going to have to agree with Roddy in that the offense only did enough to win. For the most part they were fairly unimpressive. But the key was they did enough- a signature of good football teams in the NFL. The defense was impressive. I want to throw a shout out for Jamaal Anderson. I have definitely been of the thought that he was a bust (and still think he is at DE) but he is a potentail force a DT. Last night on a huge sack of Cutler (Im not sure who ended up getting the credit for it) Anderson ran right through two Bears completely collapsing the pocket. Very very impressive. If fact the entire defensive line is playing extremely well right now. I think Smitty and the staff are really onto something with the combination of Abe, Babs, JA, and KB. The defensive line was the perhaps the most impressive unit all night- matched only by the special teams. I’ll be back shortly with another thing I’ve been thinking about. Go Falcons!

vafalconfan

October 19th, 2009
10:50 am

The comical announcers kept saying that the Bears lost because they blew too many opportunities in the red zone. Well the Falcons “D” was laying some wood down in the red zone. Da Bears were sloppy because they were scared of getting hit in the mouth! Funny how the media chose to over look the hits by our defense. Ask Forte about those hits..

AV

October 19th, 2009
10:58 am

That bye week sure gave the Bears defense time to game plan against our offense. Wow, we were clueless until we went to the no huddle offense. Don’t know if going no-huddle was a coaching “adjustment” or just dumb luck. Either way, a takeaway lesson for the coaching staff should be the importance of making game plan adjustments on the fly. I think we’ve got 3 more opponents who will be coming off their bye weeks. Smitty and staff — hope you keep a tool box full of adjustments handy in the coming weeks. Nice win.

chc4

October 19th, 2009
11:05 am

Holy cow…. our D knocked the snot out of Forte on those two plays. Lofton just destroyed him on the first one. Kudos to the D playing the pitch on the second… most defenses would’ve left that wide open.

DJ

October 19th, 2009
11:23 am

The adjustment was getting the ball out in the flats; the Bears were selling out on pinching the middle of the field. So much for that – it didn’t work.

Oh yeah, when did sitting on the ball become legal posession? The refs were way to quick on calling “down by contact”; the only Bear around Forte’s first fumble was Forte and, I guess, since his butt was touching the ball the refs ruled possesion. Perhaps we should have stuck the ball up the ref’s rear end and let him possess it for a few seconds.

The Bears fans were chanting “Lets go refs” – it musta worked.

Reid Adair

October 19th, 2009
11:25 am

I agree with Roddy White that the team did just enough to win. However, there was a time – in the not soo distant past – when the Falcons didn’t even do that.

Last night’s win was big.

Marcus

October 19th, 2009
11:31 am

DOL,
just twitted you: Depending onextent Brian Williams injury, will we go out for DB help (free agents or trade) or will there be a Tye Hill sighting?
I would luv to have OAK DB Nnamdi Asomugha if OAK is looking to have a fire sale, but he is too expensive and may cost at least 1 draft pick (likely a 1st rounder).

Marcus

October 19th, 2009
11:35 am

AV, I think 3 of our future opponents will also be coming off the BYE week:
DAL – this week
WSH – Nov. 8th
NYG – Nov. 22nd

Balloon boy

October 19th, 2009
11:59 am

I don’t feel good…….RALPH!

Statesburr

October 19th, 2009
12:01 pm

Be careful….Mr. Ledbetter will get upset at you ….

Abraham and Bierman pinching on the corners and the push up the middle did not allow Chicagos QB to step and follow through hence the ball was sailing a little….

Chill

October 19th, 2009
12:06 pm

Good Tough Win for the Falcons. However Chris Houston is a serious liability on defense. I’ve been watching him for the last few weeks and he continues to cover receivers down field WITHOUT TURNING HIS HEAD AROUND!!! We won this game but if this is not corrected asap expect a lot of teams(Saints) to expose this to the Maximum. I sure hope the Falcons coaches see what I see and correct it before its too late…

Ryno

October 19th, 2009
12:10 pm

I’d also like to praise Jamaal Anderson. He hasn’t really developed into the DE we needed – but he has been pretty good at getting a push from the middle.

Glad to see his hard work paying off. Go Falcons!

Russ

October 19th, 2009
12:12 pm

The defense is improving each week. I hope Williams injury isn’t too serious, but it didn’t look good. Let’s hope the Falcons treat the Cowboys and their fans to another home loss in that fancy new stadium next week. GO FALCONS!!!

I see Vick had another huge game this week.

Keith

October 19th, 2009
12:16 pm

Enjoyed the story as always! However, I am a little disappointed.

You haven’t gave kudos to the GA Dome crowd last night that assisted with the false start penalty as the Bears were basically on the goaline which significantly made the last play more difficult.

GO FALCONS!

Wildebeast

October 19th, 2009
12:34 pm

Chris Houston should go bus tables at Houston’s…Gawd he’s awful!

I MUS WRITE

October 19th, 2009
12:57 pm

My 2 cents…………

1.Jamal Anderson is a WAY better DT than DE…Beast against the run

2. Chris Houston is terrible IMO,How can you cover a guy and never turn you head to locate the ball. Johnny Knox ate his food and left the dishes. Knox is one of the better rookie receivers i’ve ever seen.

3.Sum one put Baby oil on Turners gloves before the game, he goes from never fumbling to fumbling every game.

4. Grimes is small but he may be our best overall corner, besides Williams.

5.DeCoud is becoming my favorite Falcons player, even before his performance last night,he stood out to me. BALL HAWK, great tackler,plays with attitude, and is good in coverage…TD got this one right

6.Weems has cemented himself as our return man. never thought a guy from Bethune Cookman and most recently the practice squad would have this type impact. This guy is always in the right place.

7. It takes a while for rookies to become contributers but our 09 draft class doesnt look so hot. Perry/Moore constantly hurt, Owens cant beat out Houston and grimes, Sidbury -the jury is still out,Middleton/Walker- no comment

Good win now lets kick sum cowboy azz

cutter

October 19th, 2009
1:00 pm

Brian Williams out for the season. Moore and Norwood hurt AGAIN.

cutter

October 19th, 2009
1:08 pm

What happened to all of the stuff the trainers were doing to reduce injuries??? If it’s the same hamstring for Moore he might as well hang it up for the year.

Myles

October 19th, 2009
1:09 pm

Matt Ryan is scared to be great hes alot better then how he played last nite.

Terrell

October 19th, 2009
1:26 pm

I MUS WRITE,

I guess you’ve never heard of Mathis. The CB for the Jaguars. He went to BCC just like Weems.

Terrell

October 19th, 2009
1:31 pm

I MUS WRITE,

You also have to consider that even though they aren’t starting now the rookie class of this year isn’t bad. If they were starting that could mean one of “TWO” things

1. They are special players or
2. Who we have isn’t and we have to start our rookies.

Just learn patience. Today’s society doesn’t show that. I would rather we do with these rookies the same thing we did with Nicholas and he’s become a pretty good LB as the season progresses than just to throw them in the fire. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t

Ree Roe

October 19th, 2009
1:32 pm

Bad news guys:

CB Brian Williams DONE FOR THE SEASON ( Torn ACL). Any chance we see Chris Owens @ Dallas?

-REEcently ROE…YO!

Eric C.

October 19th, 2009
1:38 pm

Uggghhh…did we really lose Brian Williams for the season??? That hurts big time….I mean that could be a season-turning injury for the Falcons unless a trade is made. Man…

JewellNelson

October 19th, 2009
1:46 pm

The Falcons did ok last night. They could have played much better and had opportunities to score more points. I hope the Falcons correct their weaknesses and mistakes in time for their matchup against the Saints. The Saints are the top team in their division and are scoring machine, registering a ton of points each week. The Falcons may have to score 60 points to beat the Saints, which they can. The Falcons MUST however eliminate their early 3-outs because they will have to score on almost every posession in order to beat the Saints or the good teams like the Patriots. Good News though. ALL of the Falcons problems or weaknesses are correctable. The Falcons MUST score like they did against San Francisco to beat anyone on their schedule. That is how they need to play each and every week. If not, the Falcons wont win when they get into the playofs because you will always face good teams in the playoffs and the Falcons will play a good team capable of beating them. I believe this CAN be the Falcons year if they stay humble and continue to improve. If they feel they have arrived and try to beat teams on talent and past accomplishments, the Falcons will fail in the post-season like they did last year against Arizona. The Bears game could have been a lot more explosive in terms of offese on both sides because the Bears could have scored more points AND the Falcons could have scored more points. The final score of the Bears game last night could have been 40-37 with the Falcons on the winning side. The Falcons squandered many opportunities to score and played pathetic football. The Falcons red zone defense saved them last night along with their special teams play. I think the Falcons are happy, fortunate and relieved to come out of the contest last night against the Bears with a win. Those pesky Bears just wouldnt quit last night and it made it a tough win for the Falcons.

JWRITZ

October 19th, 2009
1:58 pm

Way to go “Birds”. Keep on pluggin’ along. It’s a long season….

Kashi

October 19th, 2009
2:03 pm

4th Quarter – TOUCHDOWN punt return, why the heck one of Falcon’s coach pointing finger where our punt returner stepped out of bound by few inches. He helped offical to blow whistel when he was half way down the field. Someone tell Falcon’s coaches to keep their hand in pocket. Dang it!

ToccoaDawg

October 19th, 2009
2:05 pm

I liked the D timeout coach Smitty took. They played Hard after that. Also the fans with the Smitty hard hats was good. But lets give it to ALL the Falcons fans who were so loud they could hear them in LA and not Lower Alabama but LA californication. way to go 12th man. I was also glad to see the “players” talking about what they needed to fix like they had lost a game. TD and Smitty has changed this team in all the right ways. Proud to be a Falcons fan

rickypr

October 19th, 2009
2:07 pm

OK boys and girls this was a great team performance, we know we have great weapons on offense but we won’t get anywhere wihtout playing as a team. Last night was the beginning of the true evolution of the Falcon’s rise it is incredible how the team has grown before our eyes. The defense looks solid and aggressive – granted we need to continue working on the secondary – but the talent is there to do so. Enough about Jamal Anderson, he is a DT and a good one, he was all over the ball yesterday, disrupted the run and by the way and tipped the last pass last night in coverage. We are building something special in the ATL. Have the CB practice hard and Michael turner to secure the ball better and we have a very very TOUGH TEAM to beat. The DIRTY BIRDS are here to stay.

midnite

October 19th, 2009
2:09 pm

Why don’t you little girls that worry typos and editing go on over to the knitting blog. This is a b-l-o-g.

ToccoaDawg

October 19th, 2009
2:11 pm

rickypr I take on exception with your post. These are not the Dirty Birds because they would have folded last night. These are the high flying Killer Birds with a purpose.

Falcfan

October 19th, 2009
2:13 pm

First- I come here to read about football not for the grammar. I suggest those of you that have this backwards go somewhere else and quit posting on this blog. If you have some football related news then by all means post, but otherwise go whine somewhere else. Second- the Brian Williams injury hurts bad. If he is out for the season that spells potential major trouble. Hopefully it could also spell a Tye Hill sighting. I seem to remember a corner last year who was held back by the coaching staff for quite a while and then when he finally got in the game proved he to be our best corner- let’s just say I’m hoping this story repeats itself with Hill. Third, teams are really looking to stop our run so I hope these next couple weeks The coaches let Ryan take over and open up the run. Thus far this season Turner’s holes have really opened after Matty and the birds have come out throwing aggressively. Ryan’s great and knows his stuff and the Falcons are at their best when he is running the show (for ex. the no huddle). Lastly, I don’t think I can say enough about how impressed I was by Jamaal Anderson at DT and DeCoud’s season thus far. Go Falcons!

Iceman

October 19th, 2009
2:13 pm

I expected it would be a tight game, but heck yeah…the defense stood their ground! I heart Tony G.

neshield

October 19th, 2009
2:23 pm

First of all kudos to the DL line. They were the story last night. If you don’t think so just ask Matt Forte he will testify.

Secondly, i hope Tye Hill is ready cuz i just heard on 790 that BWilliams is out for the season.

Thirdly, is it possible to tie chris houston’s facemask over his right shoulder and attach it to his belt so he has to look for the BALLL!!!!!!!

Lastly someone tell Romo to look out for these numbers on sunday 95,55,71,and 98 he going to see them all day

GO FALCONS!!!!

MO Zack

October 19th, 2009
2:32 pm

The offense always sputters when Jerious Norwood is not in the game. He is our X factor. Defenses have to spot him when ever he’s in the game, leaving one or two holes open to run or pass. When he’s not, well you cover Gonzalez and White and spy on Turner. I think it would also help if we had a quarterback who could/would scramble more. There are times when Ryan could run to get a couple of yards instead of throwing it out of bounds. Keep your head up Ryan. The holes are bigger for you than they ever were for MV. Take the five they give you, then get 20 on the next.

ILL-logical

October 19th, 2009
2:33 pm

Came over here to offer the Falcons a well deserved congratulations on a timely vicory last night. Here’s hoping for at least a 10-6 season this year.
There are some issues to be addressed though: got start thinking about drafting Turner’s replacement because he doesn’t look like he has more than 2 years of high level productivity left and Norwood is probably done for this year as well. I just am not comfortable with the running back picture long term.

Tight end Tony Gonzeles has been a life safer but his fast approaching his expiration date , so you got to think of his replacement too.
And last but not least, can the braintrust find a cornerback over 5′7”? Dallas is going to burn these guys like a short oder cook in a skid row diner next week and Tony Romo is not the second coming of Dan Marino.Imagine Drew Brees versus theses guys.

So let’s enjoy the season but plan to get better personnel for next year.

PaulWinchester

October 19th, 2009
2:34 pm

This may come as a surprise to some people; but I think that when Jerius Norwood returns from his injury AND by the time the Falcons have made it to week 12 of the regular season; THE FALCONS WILL HAVE THE BEST TEAM IN PRO FOOTBALL. That is only a prediction it is not a statement of fact. I like making predictions and I like being right most of the time. If I’m right again this time, the Falcons may have themselves a superbowl contender, like they had in 1998.

MO Zack

October 19th, 2009
2:35 pm

Also as impressive as it is that Turner has tree trunks for legs, he needs more speed after he receives the ball. Have him work with a track coach that specializes in 100 yard dash. Cut his weight by 20 lbs. and the speed will help him avoid more tackles than he would have to break.

Wanda

October 19th, 2009
2:44 pm

Love the Falcon’s.

MO Zack

October 19th, 2009
2:44 pm

Norwood is injured a lot because other teams have noticed what we have. They are head hunting. When he was tackled and on the ground another Chicago Bear player hit him on the back. I guess he was continuing the play, but it didn’t look like it to me.

Ken Strickland

October 19th, 2009
2:51 pm

This was a classic example of a bend but not break DEF. The key to its success was stopping the run, and ironically, that trend began when we made JAnderson the starting DT. His presence has made a tremendous difference in both our run DEF and interior pass rush. His size, height, strength and athleticism has allowed our coaches to do a lot of things we weren’t able to do before with our DT’s.

DT JBabineaux seemed to have disappeared after the Miami gm, but playing next to JAnderson seems to have revived him. We seem to be continuing a trend that started last yr. We’re giving up a lot of yardage, but not a lot of points. We’re playing excellent redzone OFF and DEF. Next wk, we go at it against the Cowgirls, and as we all know, put pressure on Romo and he’ll self destruct.

Atl Resident

October 19th, 2009
2:54 pm

Falcons doing good, some key games we gotta win coming soon which includes Saints. We got to stil work on running game somewhere since Turner is all power but doesnt have bursting speed out backfield.

Chuck

October 19th, 2009
2:59 pm

different chuck

Samuel

October 19th, 2009
3:01 pm

Iv’e been one of the people to talk badly about Jamaal Anderson, But I will admit he had a pretty good game last night against the Bears. He seems best as a run stopper. The Falcons are getting better at the saftey position, now going forward, if we get our corners to consistently make plays the sky is the limit. We might need one more back that’s quick enough to get around the corner besides Norwood. That kid Norwood is going through tuff times. I really like our Oline.. Go Falcons beat the Boys.!!

Uh Oh.....

October 19th, 2009
3:24 pm

Starting Nose Tackle (Done)

Starting Corner (Done)

Backup Safety “Moore” (Done)

Norwood (As good as Done)

Who’s Next………….

Doesn’t look too promising with the Cowboys, Giants & Saints high powered passing games coming up………..