Falcons thinking Eco-Green and Eagles’ green

Ovie Mughelli, Atlanta Falcons starting Fullback and Eco-Athlete, is welcomed by Green activist, Former Vice President Al Gore during his recent environmental seminar in Atlanta to discuss "Solutions to the Climate Crisis".  Phot by Chris Savas.

Ovie Mughelli, Atlanta Falcons starting Fullback and Eco-Athlete, is welcomed by Green activist, Former Vice President Al Gore during his recent environmental seminar in Atlanta to discuss "Solutions to the Climate Crisis". Photo by Chris Savas.

THE BRANCH — The Falcons are set to play the most important game of the season without their starting quarterback. A defeat to the Eagles and reaching the playoffs will be extremely difficult.

Also, running back Michael Turner, wide receiver Michael Jenkins and right guard Harvey Dahl could miss the big game.

Despite their 12-1 record at the Georgia Dome under coach Mike Smith, no one believes they can beat the Eagles, who are 5 1/2 point favorites. AJC columnist Jeff Schultz picks the Eagles to cover.   All seven of the Sporting News football prognosticators, including my man Clifton Brown (he’s from Philly) are going with the Eagles. At Pro Football Weekly, one of their nine editors,  Mike Wilkening took the Falcons to cover the spread. None picked them to win outright. (UPDATE: Watching NFL Live and Herm Edwards and Mark Schlereth also picked the Eagles.)

Let’s look at some keys to the game and what some Falcons are doing in the community:

THE RUN GAME: The Falcons have been held to 75 and 88 yards rushing in their last two games. They will need to

Chris Redman will make his 11th NFL start on Sunday.

Chris Redman will make his 11th NFL start on Sunday.

run it better in order to help out backup quarterback Chris Redman, who’ll be making just his 11th NFL start.

“As running backs, we just have to run down hill,” running back Jason Snelling said.  “They are an aggressive defense. Running down hill and getting tough yardage will help. ”

BALANCING THE LINE: With Sam Baker (elbow) and Harvey Dahl (ankle) injured, the Falcons may have to do some juggling along the offensive  line.

They only had seven linemen active last Sunday for Tampa Bay. After Dahl and Baker went down and Brett Romberg and Will Svitek went in, the cupboard was bare.

Quinn Ojinnaka, a combo guard and tackle, could be active to give them more options and depth. He’s been inactive for seven games this season.

“I don’t know exactly how we are going to put it together,” Smith said.  “But it’s all predicated on who’s healthy. It may go all the way down to the hour and a half before the opening kickoff.”

Tyson Clabo should have a busy day on Sunday.

Tyson Clabo should have a busy day on Sunday.

CONTROLLING THE EDGES: Tackles Sam Baker and Tyson Clabo have tough assignments against Eagles defensive ends Trent Cole (9.5 sacks), Juqua Parker (5 sacks) and Darren Howard (2.5 sacks).

“They’ve got three guys who play with a lot of energy and can run up the field,” Smith said. “They enjoy rushing the passer. It will be a challenge for us and our offensive staff to make sure we have protection schemes to eliminate those guys or they can make things rough.”

The Eagles will interchange their defensive ends and linebackers.  It’s hard to tell who’s blitzing and who’s dropping in coverage.

“They do a lot of stuff in their blitz packages,” Baker said. “They have a lot of personnel that comes in. They’ve got a lot of different guys who can get to the quarterback. Recognition and communication is the biggest thing this week.”

VICK NOT EXPECTED TO PLAY WR: Got an e-mail from Geoff Mosher, who covers the Eagles for The Wilmington [Del.] News Journal, Camden [N.J.] Courier Post and The Sporting News.

“In Eagleland, looks like DeSean Jackson won’t play. Jeremy Maclin will move from split end to flanker. Reggie Brown (former UGA Bulldog) will probably start (at) flanker and rotate snaps there with Jason Avant. In 3 WR formations, Avant will move to slot. Team plays more 3-WR sets than anything, so most of Avant’s snaps will be in slot.”

Michael Turner earlier in the season against New England.  (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Michael Turner earlier in the season against New England. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

The Eagles are seventh (26.6 points a game) in scoring.

“They are a very explosive team,” Smith said. “They are a fastbreak team.”

HOW THEY WERE BUILT: The Eagles are a general manager’s dream. Of their 22 starters, 16 were either drafted or signed by the team s a rookie free agents.

Here are the original Eagles: CB Sheldon Brown, SS Quintin Mikell, LB Joe Mays, LB Chris Gocong, DE Trent Cole, DT Mike Patterson, DT Brodrick Bunkley, TE Brent Celek, LG Todd Herremans, C Jamaal Jackson, RG Nick Cole, RT Winston Justice, WR DeSean Jackson, QB Donovan McNabb, WR Jeremy Maclin and RB LeSean McCoy.

The Falcons are getting there. They will start 12 of  22 homegrown starters. It would be 13 if Matt Ryan were playing. All were drafted.

WR Michael Jenkins, WR Roddy White, LT Sam Baker, LG Justin Blalock, C Todd McClure, DT Jonathan Babineaux, DE/DT Jamaal Anderson, LB Stephen Nicholas, LB Curtis Lofton, CB Chris Houston, FS Thomas DeCoud and CB Christopher Owens.

FALCONS IN THE COMMUNITY

Fullback Ovie Mughelli’s Foundation is holding a fundraiser to help create avenues for kids to learn more about the environment on Saturday at the Georgia World Congress Center.

“We are excited about our Foundation and its energy to give kids access and activities to learning about the environment,” says Mughelli.  “We want to thank our supporters and encourage others to help empower our youth to take ownership and pride about their lives and the roles that they play in society.”

Funds raised will support the first annual Green Football Camp and Environmental Workshop in Atlanta , Ovie Mughelli Foundation’s Green Educational Workshops in Charleston , along with supporting Atlanta-area’s Green Speakers Series through partnership with Greening Youth, LLC.

Tickets for the event are $250. For more information call 510-417-1063.

Jonathan Babineaux (L) doing some community work with the Boys Scouts earlier this season.

Jonathan Babineaux (L) doing some community work with the Boys Scouts earlier this season.

GONZALEZ GOING SHOPPING: Tight end Tony Gonzalez will host his “Shop with a Jock” program at the Cumming Wal-Mart store for 50 children from the Atlanta Union Mission.

This private event will give homeless, neglected and abused children from the Atlanta area a night of fun, filled with food and games, and a $100 shopping spree at Wal-Mart with Gonzalez and other Falcons players.

BABINEAUX BAKING COOKIES:  Defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux will bake Christmas cookies and help decorate the Covenant House Christmas tree on Tuesday with runaways and teenagers who live on the streets and find shelter at Covenant House.

Jonathan hopes spending time with the runaway and homeless teenagers will help lift their spirits and continue to stay and get help from Covenant House instead of living on the streets.

131 comments Add your comment

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 4th, 2009
1:57 pm

Enter your comments here

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 4th, 2009
1:59 pm

- Conspiracy

- Fake Injury

- Benched

Finally Art listened to me :)

midnite

December 4th, 2009
2:03 pm

Thanks DOL, sounds like Sunday is gonna be a grinder. I’ll be there sitting directly across the field from you. Hopefully we come out of there with a win, I believe we can. Have a good weekend to all!

Jason Elam

December 4th, 2009
2:12 pm

NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!! NERDS!!! 30-24!!!

kappellmeister

December 4th, 2009
2:15 pm

What kind of a loser hangs out waiting to read and post on blog pages of teams he doesn’t care about nor like? Get a life, CHOKE-boy.

Who is YOUR favorite quarterback?

SHOTYME

December 4th, 2009
2:17 pm

$0.02 to the person who brings me the head of the idiot who calls herself “CHOKE”, I would pay more but thats about all the S.O.B is worth.

Hollywould

December 4th, 2009
2:19 pm

Choke, still with the gay faces. Look stat boy, Kolb has more 300 yard games than your messiah. Look it up. And check with philly.com and see who the back up qb is.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

December 4th, 2009
2:19 pm

CHOKE: Quit instigating. Talk about the game. Your guy only plays 3 to 6 snaps and is the third string QB behind Kevin “Corn On the” Kolb. Your act is getting old. You need to get on topic i.e. Sunday’s game.

MIDNITE: Going to be a tough one for the Falcons. But Eagles are without Brian Westbook (who torched the Falcons last year for 167 rushing, 42. receiving) and it’s doesn’t look like the fleet DeSean Jackson is going to get cleared. Didn’t the Eagles lose to the OAKLAND RAIDERS???

Hollywould

December 4th, 2009
2:22 pm

Back to the game DOL, Falcons win 31-30. Matt Bryant kicks a 48 yarder at the buzzer. Take the 51/2 and call in sick Monday.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

December 4th, 2009
2:23 pm

DON’T GET sucked into “Choke’s” wind tunnel today. There’s a big game this Sunday. Let’s talk about the game. I’ve got to go and try find out more about Ryan’s toe.

Reid in EAV

December 4th, 2009
2:31 pm

DOL, if “Choke” requires two reprimands in the first 10 comments, might a banning be expected shortly?

One can only hope. In the meantime, ladies and gents, don’t feed the troll.

CLK Falcon

December 4th, 2009
2:33 pm

DOL, keep up the good work. Seems like you’re only one looking out for trolls!

I hope Ryan’s back for the Saint’s game. I hate to see them have a perfect season when we had two chances to stop them.

Should be a great game Sunday!

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 4th, 2009
2:34 pm

Hollywould

December 4th, 2009
2:19 pm
Choke, still with the gay faces. Look stat boy, Kolb has more 300 yard games than your messiah. Look it up. And check with philly.com and see who the back up qb is.

“Actually I’d take Kolb over the CHOKE” :)

E's Dirty Birds

December 4th, 2009
2:36 pm

We got this game! Redman’s last performance was actually better than anything Ryan has produced recently. For some reason, Jenkins can catch Redman’s ball, but he struggles with Ryan’s. Finn’s back so hopefully we will see more Zone and less Man 2 Man. This should enable us to only have to block a 4 man rush. Oh well, I’m sure all of these predictions will go awry right after kick-off!

Tiger

December 4th, 2009
2:38 pm

Rev Blake

December 4th, 2009
2:40 pm

The current troll is angry about many things. You guys help him feel avenged every time you acknowledge him.
On to the game…

I believe the Falcons will win. I was very scared we would lose last week because I watched the Bucs defense a week prior and knew they would be aggressive and fast. The Bucs’ defense is much better than their record indicates.

The Eagles are not as big of a “trap” game. They have injuries, but not the same depth that we have at running back and WR. Look for the Falcons to win this one by a two touchdown margin.

SHOTYME

December 4th, 2009
2:40 pm

People please come to the dome this week and support our home team the FALCONS,Ijust dont understand the logic of wanting the falcons to make the playoffs but yet still you show your support for the opposing player, if your suppoting the opposing player then you are really supporting the Eagles and only a DUMBA$$ such as “CHOKE” would find any logic in that. GO FALCONS

Ban Hammer

December 4th, 2009
2:42 pm

I think I see it about to be wielded.

And more on topic, I’m expecting a good game and hoping for a hard fought Falcons win. Maybe without their homerun hitter, we can hold the Eagles to a few field goals instead of TDs.

Bill Simmons

December 4th, 2009
2:46 pm

Ravens (6-5): Underdogs in two games (at Green Bay, at Pittsburgh); the other three (Detroit, Chicago, at Oakland) are gimmes. Feels like 9-7. Regardless, these guys are shaky in tight games, and I blame Joe Flacco. As soon as crunch time rolls around, he starts to look like Russell just blindsided him in a “Survivor” tribal council. For his career, he’s 2-7 in games decided by less than a touchdown … and one of those wins was the game Dennis Dixon handed them last Sunday. Thought that was interesting. I’m becoming more and more convinced that the NFL quarterback position is 63 percent about looking like you’re a cool customer.

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 4th, 2009
2:51 pm

TEAMS BEATEN BY FALCONS:

Miami (5-6)

Carolina (4-7)

San Fran (5-6)

Chicago (4-7)

Redskins (3-8)

Tampa (1-10)

And they will beat the Eagles?……….HA HA HA

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 4th, 2009
2:53 pm

Bill Simmons

December 4th, 2009
2:46 pm
Ravens (6-5): Underdogs in two games (at Green Bay, at Pittsburgh); the other three (Detroit, Chicago, at Oakland) are gimmes. Feels like 9-7. Regardless, these guys are shaky in tight games, and I blame Joe Flacco. As soon as crunch time rolls around, he starts to look like Russell just blindsided him in a “Survivor” tribal council. For his career, he’s 2-7 in games decided by less than a touchdown … and one of those wins was the game Dennis Dixon handed them last Sunday. Thought that was interesting. I’m becoming more and more convinced that the NFL quarterback position is 63 percent about looking like you’re a cool customer.

“And the CHOKE” has not beaten a team with a winning record, since midway last season :)

Black Lab

December 4th, 2009
2:55 pm

Orlando, shouldn’t the Falcons play V Hayes and Stecker more ? I also think Ovie is great on the screen. It seems we get “stuck” on a few playmakers and not try new options.

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 4th, 2009
2:57 pm

Eagles 55

Falcons 3

Hollywould

December 4th, 2009
2:59 pm

Let me correct stat boy again!! Both sf and chicago were 3-1 when we beat them. I guess that doesn’t count. Look it up stat boy.

Singletary

December 4th, 2009
3:04 pm

Roddy said it best: we are in the playoffs now. To highlight his words, every game counts. While I’m not that spiritual, i’ll put it in that context: my prayers are with Redman, Lofton, coaches and DBs. You are going to need it. Everyone else, just play up to double your normal speed, and we should eke this one out thanks to the fans in the Predator Dome.

Special request to BVG: try that delayed and round the corner blitz again. He can be “McNabbed.”

P.S. I’d LIKE to be talking Xs & Os ONLY but the lead on this forum was not positive. Can we at least fake having some class on Sunday? No BOOO birds; Booing Santa in 68″ was an all time NFL low by the Eagles fan base. (Just like “it depends on what your definition of “is” is.” for the presidency. I think Ds and Rs can agree on that one) ‘Nuff said.

Hollywould

December 4th, 2009
3:06 pm

I must admit that Redman is way better than Ryan. I thought Matt was the better pick, but we could have made the playoffs with Redman. Matt just is not that good at all.

Falcons' Win!

December 4th, 2009
3:06 pm

Falcons 27

Eagles 17

choke that!

Hollywould

December 4th, 2009
3:09 pm

Guys how can we beat the Eagles when we haven’t beaten a team above .500. New England, Saints, Giants and Dallas whipped us like we stole something. We can only beat up on the cellar dwellers.

Matty Ice

December 4th, 2009
3:09 pm

OMG!!!! Thought this was the sportspage and I open up and find the Climate-Fraud-Perpetratin’ Al “Woodenhead” Gore on here………..keep the politics out of here D-Led..

Hollywould

December 4th, 2009
3:10 pm

Nice try stat boy. Every day I have to correct you. Must be tough to constantly be wrong. Using my sign-in. You are WEAK stat boy. Why do gay people use the smiley face? Can you answer correctly?

Hollywould

December 4th, 2009
3:12 pm

How many of you thinks Matt is faking being injured? I mean, why did Smitty rule him out on the next day after the game. He didn’t do that before, so why now? I don’t know guys but it’s looking like they didn’t want him to get embarrassed when the former quarterback’s new team comes to town.

Hollywould

December 4th, 2009
3:15 pm

Stat boy, You gave it away when you wrote THINKS. Only YOU people talk that way.

Hollywould

December 4th, 2009
3:15 pm

When I was a little boy, I can remember my uncle taking me behind the shed and playing doctor. I liked it, but not at first, but that’s a story for another day, but I’m glad the coach benched Matty Ice because he is playing horrible.

eddiedawg

December 4th, 2009
3:15 pm

Can’t we ALL boo Vick when he takes the field?? FALCONS fans should boo him (he screwed the franchise) and Vick fans should get a life.

I seem to recall Green Bay booing Favre EVERY time he was on the field this year because he screwed their franchise-and he brought them a SB. WHY CAN”T ATLANTA FANS BE LIKE THAT??

GO FALCONS-BEAT THE IGGLES. BOO MIKE VICK.

Barnacle Bill Bavasi

December 4th, 2009
3:16 pm

Man, this blog is unleashed and off the hook.

Hollywould

December 4th, 2009
3:17 pm

Good try stat boy, but we all know that Matt really hurt his toe, because he started limping worst after he got to the sideline. If he was faking, why did he become a cheerleader on the sideline? Tell me that stat boy.

eddiedawg

December 4th, 2009
3:24 pm

eddiedawg

December 4th, 2009
3:26 pm

HOLLYWOULD- you are wasting your time trying logic with “Choke”. He will simply cut and paste your comments then throw out some stats and mention something intelligent like noodle-arm.

Just take him for what he is-a Vick sycophant.

But he may not know what that word means. Try loser.

Hollywould

December 4th, 2009
3:29 pm

Eddiedawg, he can’t stand the fact that I have put him in his place. I AKSED him why gay people use the smiley face? Still no answer from stat boy.

Hollywould

December 4th, 2009
3:35 pm

Ok I am out. headin to pick up the kids and get a christmas tree before the big snow. See ya at the dome sunday. sec. 326 row 1 seat 1/come by and opine.

Ron Roberts

December 4th, 2009
3:36 pm

This team put more of a scare into the New Orleans Saints in their building than the vaunted Patriots did; the Iggles lost to the Raiders on the road – the RAIDERS! And Chris Redmna’s ALREADY a more accomplished QB than their starter is. Frankly, our running game only got going again when our BACKUP RB (this week’s starter) Jason Snelling put a little heat on Turner, so I don’t think we lose much in that aspect of the game, either, if the line can hold up.

This is the type of game where John Abraham needs to stop looking behind to blame the secondary and start being a factor again. A good ol’ fashioned mid-throw kidney & rib crunch of Donovan McNabb would be nice. Then they can trot out their heralded 3rd stringer.

Dump The Chump

December 4th, 2009
3:46 pm

Guys how can we beat the Eagles when we haven’t beaten a team above .500. New England, Saints, Giants and Dallas whipped us like we stole something. We can only beat up on the cellar dwellers.
—–
the falcon fans are similar to al queda fanatics. the think with their hearts not their mind.

:) :) :) :) :)

Arthante Lafleur

December 4th, 2009
3:50 pm

I’m hoping we can really uncork Jerious for the first time this season. With how banged up this line is, his shiftiness may even be preferable over Turner’s more power-based approach (since there will be Eagles in the backfield all day). If he can make one or two of them miss he could be off to the races–I just hope we don’t abandon him early. It seems like when we give him 8-10 snaps he produces something special.

To the mindless drones who are going to the first Falcons game of their lives just to stand and cheer a guy who they claim was so mistreated by this franchise, this is a guy who was given $120 million, and what he did in return was:

- show up late to and leave early from practice,
- flick off the fans,
- lie repeatedly to the face owner and coaches,
- continually get himself in embarrassing and distracting public situations, and
- leave the franchise in shambles.

I was never calling for Vick’s head, and I’m glad he got a second chance–but at least educate yourselves about what really happened here. Support this TEAM, not someone you’ve made a poster child for some sort of injustice you created in your own head.

Finally, Chris Redman has got to ditch that frosted tip thing. Come on bruh!

GO FALCONS

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 4th, 2009
3:51 pm

I actually think Matt Ryan is the next Joe Montana,,, he just needs a few years to develope,.. I see the Falcons making a superbowl run in the next year or two.

PMC

December 4th, 2009
3:54 pm

So did the guy on the right pay the “carbon” tax on all that botox?

Geez.

PMC

December 4th, 2009
3:58 pm

The Eagles are not a great team. Unfortunately the Falcons are without most of thier bullets.

John Abraham has a lot of QB pressures and no sacks…why? Cornerbacks on this team are total complete utter garbage. 3 to 4 seconds and WR’s are running free.

Unfortunately Avant Maclin and Celek are more than enough and Leshaun McCoy can run as well as Westbrook at this point.

I’m hoping the Falcons can make a few plays on defense, fumbles, force picks (help us out DECOUD) and then the offense can score enough to get it done in the end like last week.

Winning ugly is just fine with me.

tom shoupe

December 4th, 2009
3:59 pm

Don’t think the Falcons can pull this one off. (even if Ryan was pLaying). Hope I am wrong. Rooting for the birds.

PMC

December 4th, 2009
4:00 pm

Redman is plenty capable of matriculating the offense we’ve just got to have guys step up and make plays. No negative plays this week.

Steve C

December 4th, 2009
4:15 pm

The only injury faker is Roethlisberger last week. Practiced all week and then backed out last second.

txdawg

December 4th, 2009
4:19 pm

“Choke”, this is my first and only post. please go away. your only reason for being is to be an a#$hole. if your main goal in life is to post on a blog for no other reason than to piss people off, you have won. now go away. please. no one on here wants to hear your trash. for the love of god, GO AWAY.