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
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.“
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.