(UPDATE TWO: LET’S CHAT — Jeff Schultz and I had to fly to Boston to have a shot at making the game. Schultz pulled the Boston move early and is already on a train to New York. I’m at the South Station in Boston waiting for the 9:45 p.m. train that gets to Penn Station at 2:20 a.m. So if anybody is out there and want to chat some football. Fire away! I put the Gameday info below and you all can update me on the Dallas at New Orleans game. — DOL)
(UPDATE: Falcons coach Mike Smith said decisions to play Matt Ryan and Michael Turner won’t turn on Dallas game on Saturday night. Invoked the “Best Chance to Win” doctrine. Dallas win over Saints = playoff elimination for Falcons. Ryan and Turner practiced on Friday. They were limited in their participation.)
BIRDLAND – It’s a week before Christmas and most NFL players have done their shopping.
Most are a little busy with getting ready for their last three games. (Y’all need some Christmas music for this blog? Here’s some Christmas Rappin’ from Kurtis Blow.
“Actually I got my mom on that,” wide receiver Roddy White said. “She’s doing a good job charging up my credit card.”
White’s mom doesn’t have any guidelines.
“I should have (put her on a budget),” said White, who signed a $48 million contract extension in August. “That’s what I should have started off with. She just brings things back to the house. I’m like, ‘who’s that for?’ She’ll say, ‘don’t worry about it.’ I’m letting her do all of my Christmas shopping this year.”
White was asked if he’s been naughty are nice?
“I’ve been pretty nice,” White said. “Handing out checks to everybody in my family. Things like that, you know. Everybody has been calling me and telling me thank you, so I’ve been pretty nice.”
Linebacker Curtis Lofton is doing his own shopping, but hasn’t accomplished much.
“Yeah, I’ve done a little, but the malls are packed,” Lofton said. “I’m always so tired, but I’ve gotten a little in.”
He doesn’t know what Santa is going to leave under his Christmas tree.
“I got a couple of watches that I want, but I really don’t have a wish list,” Lofton said.
Naughty or nice?
“Both,” Lofton said.
THE STAYING ALIVE BOWL: Falcons fans will have to root for the “Who Dat Nation” on Saturday night when the Dallas Cowboys play at New Orleans. A Cowboys victory would drive a nail in the Falcons’ playoff coffin. Dallas would be 9-5 and holds the tiebreaker over the Falcons.
The Falcons, Dallas and Green Bay could all finish 9-7, but Green Bay has the better conference record.
A couple of other tidbits from playoff guru Matt Moore, of AtlantaFalcons.com:
1. If there were a three way tie between Cowboys, Giants, and Falcons the Giants would move through.
2. If there were a three or four way tie with San Francisco in the mix, the 49ers would win the tie breaker based on conference record and would be the 6th seed.
So Falcons coach Mike Smith would have a tougher “game time decision” on whether to play Matt Ryan (turf toe) or Michael Turner (ankle sprain).
Let’s just assume that they can both play, but are clearly not at 100 percent. Smith will have to decide if he plays them and risk a re-injury in a meaningless (playoff wise) game.
“That would not have any bearing on what we are going to do,” Smith said after practice on Friday. “Our main focus is the New York Jets. Any decisions that we are going to make will be based on what gives us the best chance to win against the Jets.”
Now the franchise needs to win-out to shake the 44-year hex.
So maybe you play them anyway.
So the Falcons need to Saints to reach 14-0.
WEATHER REPORT: The Weather Channel sent along this forecast for the game:
Gametime Weather Index: 3 (Very windy & chilly)
The Falcons haven’t played outdoors since the Sunday before Thanksgiving and the Jets have yet to play in cold, windy weather this month. A coastal storm may flirt its snowy reach into northern New Jersey Saturday night, but is expected to pull away Sunday. However, strong winds will linger through Sunday afternoon, and will, therefore, be a major issue in notoriously windy Giants Stadium. Winds from 15-20 mph with gusts over 30 mph will howl from the northwest toward the southeast end zone. Temperatures in the middle to upper 30s, wind chills will be stuck in the 20s.
BERGERON TRANSACTION CHART (Check out the Q & A with Troy Bergeron)
Sept. 5 – Troy Bergeron , released
Sept 5 – Troy Bergeron, signed to practice squad
Nov. 14 – Troy Bergeron, signed to the 53-man roster
Nov. 15 – Troy Bergeron, released.
Nov. 18 – Troy Bergeron , signed to practice squad
Nov. 28 – Troy Bergeron, signed to active roster
Nov. 30 – Tory Bergeron, released
Dec. 1 – Troy Bergeron, signed to practice squad
Dec. 5 – Troy Bergeron, signed to active roster
Dec. 7 – Troy Bergeron, released
Dec. 15 – Troy Bergeron, signed to active roster.
Who’s else has their Christmas Shopping done? Been naughty or nice? Going to root for the Saints to beat the Cowboys? Going to y’all “Who Dat?”