Brent Grimes redeems himself against the Jets

Atlanta Falcons' Brent Grimes, left, tries to escape from New York Jets' Braylon Edwards, right, after intercepting a pass during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Falcons beat the Jets 10-7.  (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

Atlanta Falcons' Brent Grimes, left, tries to escape from New York Jets' Braylon Edwards, right, after intercepting a pass during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Falcons beat the Jets 10-7. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

NEW YORK – Cornerback Brent Grimes snuggled Mark Sanchez’ third interception as he went down to the turf.

It was his second of the game and he now leads the team with four.

“I just read the receiver and made a break on the ball,” said Grimes after the 10-7 victory over the New York Jets.

Grimes was playing right cornerback for Chris Houston. He’s been in out of the lineup this season.

Thomas DeCoud congratulates Brent Grimes. (Kathy Willens/AP)

Thomas DeCoud congratulates Brent Grimes. (Kathy Willens/AP)

He opened the season playing outside in the nickel package after Brian Williams was acquired. When Williams went down, Grimes started there fulltime before the team started shuffling him, Tye Hill and eventually rookie Christopher Owens.

Grimes got a chance to get back on the field after Houston pulled his hamstring.

He’s had a tough year, but appears to be finishing it strong.

“Two real big interceptions, Brent’s play all through the season has been fairly steady,” said Falcons head coach Mike Smith. “It was nice to see him get the opportunity to make some game-changing plays. I thought that both of those plays that he made were game-changing.”

It was Owens who got beat by Cleveland Browns castoff Braylon Edwards on the 65-yard touchdown.

Grimes didn’t want to have a let down just because the Falcons were eliminated from the playoffs.

“That always hurts, but you have to go out and compete,” Grimes said. “We went out and played the game and

PRE-GAME: The Sideline Communications Center behind the Jets bench.

PRE-GAME: The Sideline Communications Center behind the Jets bench.

competed even though we heard some news that nobody wanted to hear.”

CHIN STRAPS WERE NECESSARY: The Falcons didn’t like Jets coach Rex Ryan telling them they’d better button up their chin straps because it was going to be a physical game.

“I heard about it last night,” right tackle Tyson Clabo said. “I hadn’t heard about it before that, but that’s just talk and that’s not what we are about.

“We are not about running our mouths and doing all of that. We just show up and play.”

Clabo didn’t like the comment, but conceded that Ryan was correct.

“I’ll give their defense credit, it was a physical game,” Clabo said. “There was a lot of hitting going on. A lot of jawing. They came ready to play defensively. He was right. We needed to bring our chin strap and I think we brought them. We didn’t back down.”

GAME TIME DECISION, FOR REAL:  More than two hours before kickoff, Matt Ryan was dropping back and rolling out under the watchful eyes of Smith, general manager Thomas Dimitroff and offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey.

After that workout, the Falcons made the decision to play Ryan over Chris Redman despite the fact that Redman had received most of the work during practice last week.

PRE-GAME: NFL Logo on the field at Giants Stadium.

PRE-GAME: NFL Logo on the field at Giants Stadium.

“The decision to play Matt was a decision that we made right prior to the football game,” Smith said. “Matt had got some limited work during the week. We said we are going to play the guys that give us the best opportunity to win the football game. We decided to go with Matt and Michael Turner.”

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We kept scratching around and finally made some plays,” Smith said of the Falcons game winning touchdown drive.

PICKING UP THE BLITZ: Ryan got his cage rattled a few times by the blitz-happy Jets, but was not sacked.

“I feel very good about that,” Smith said. “We were short handed. Some guys were banged up and didn’t practice. That was a team that prides itself on putting pressure on the quarterback. It was a big challenge for our offensive line, but I thought they kept our quarterback very clean. . . .Schematically, we had a very good scheme in place to keep our quarterback clean.”

DAVIS ON THE BLOCKED FIELD GOAL: Chauncey Davis‘ blocked field goal was a key play in the game to set up the winning drive.

“We are taught to get off the ball, take three steps and get your hands up,” Davis said. “We got that good push and I got my hands up. It was just in the way of the line of the ball.”

A fan throws a snowball onto the field during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Jets on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Falcons beat the Jets 10-7.  (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

A fan throws a snowball onto the field during the fourth quarter of an NFL football game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New York Jets on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2009, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Falcons beat the Jets 10-7. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

114 comments Add your comment

Wildebeast

December 20th, 2009
11:01 pm

Wildebeast

December 20th, 2009
11:02 pm

Couldn’t be prouder of the Falcons players and organization. Great win under tough conditions!

sane jane

December 20th, 2009
11:12 pm

We’ve seen enough ugly losses this season and this lifetime. It’s nice to win ugly too.

Trainwreck

December 20th, 2009
11:27 pm

Brent Grimes played very well today. So did Owens except for the TD… btw has anyone else noticed that alot of DBs are getting away with the same move that Grimes was called for interference for when he got that int against the Saints? That whole cutting the receiver off to go for the ball? Revis did it to Roddy White on the play where Roddy got the offensive interference called. I’ve just been really noticing it more often since last week.

poppa falcon

December 20th, 2009
11:34 pm

Matt Ryan & Mike Turner hurt, dinged up on offensive line, Roddy White banged up, Finneran on IR, playing the Jets at their house in their elements AND their number one defense…….YET we get a hard ea rned victory. I’m extremely proud of the Falcons.

FalconUGAFan

December 20th, 2009
11:35 pm

Welldone. Way to hang in for the win.

Retired on the lake

December 20th, 2009
11:44 pm

1 down 2 to go! Good game great heart! Go Falcons

Fanatic overboard

December 20th, 2009
11:48 pm

Celebrating and congratulating for anything less than making the post-season is just pathetic.

Atlanta Peach

December 20th, 2009
11:50 pm

Choke, “Howd you Doin” ?!!!

Moxie

December 21st, 2009
12:30 am

I’m very happy for this win. I kinda sorta expected a win, but sometimes you never know. I knew the Jets had the best defense in the NFL but I never expected them to be that difficult. But under all the conditions, the Falcons pulled out the win and showed heart that I didnt know they had. I’m excited about Matt Ryan. He had a horrendus game, but he showed up when it really mattered. And this isn’t really the first time he has done that. I know this season was pretty crappy for Matt but I think the experience of this season can really help him in his development and I think people we will have a really great QB! I sure hope so. Only 2 more wins to Back to back winning seasons!

E43

December 21st, 2009
12:39 am

the falcons cb coaches didnt do grimes a favor in training camp. i mean their job then was preparation, assesing the talent and developing the corners. they did everything to only one corner. im not saying that any coaches should be fired, im just saying that they need to find a system starting with a permanent depth chart and stick to int.

Singletary

December 21st, 2009
1:25 am

Serious MAN-UP in this game. Rex Ryan didn’t put pushovers on the field. Both teams were playing, whether for 9-7 or something more. Even Gonzo seems to have bought into how important it is for us to break the curse, even though he came here for something more like a trophy. Gotta like that.

Grimes has been disparaged by the fans. But if you look at the spectacular D plays of the season, his leaps are always almost half his height, and I haven’t seen him whiff tackling except one where he was being held by the jersey. In doing the math, it is hard to envision a 5′8″ covering a 6′4″ receiver, but his delayed blitzes around the corners and sheer athleticism make a case for keeping him on the team if nothing else for special teams. (Remember Tim Dwight who would throw his body into any melee/fracas/run-back? That’s who Grimes reminds me of most.

LJ

December 21st, 2009
1:35 am

To the hater who gets on this blog under the name “Matt ‘Choke’ Ryan,” I hope you can put that nonsense to rest. I am sure you were all set to pour that big glass of Hater-ade, but you were foiled LOL. Even with snowballs being thrown (I was at the game and had a clear view), Matty Ice delivered.

I’m sure you can pull up some stats or whatever, but I know one thing you can’t say!

GTisMIAMIbound

December 21st, 2009
1:40 am

Yes you have Trainwreck. It was a bad call and everybody and their mamas have said so. Only ones who haven’t, Saint’s fans. And they finally lose when we didn’t need them too. But like the song says, “it’s [the Falcons] own [dang] fault.”

Big Daddy

December 21st, 2009
3:48 am

From the time you are playing in your backyard with your boyhood friends, you dream of that moment when it is the last play with the game on the line and you are the quarterback. You drop back, make a quick read on the defense and throw a touchdown pass to win the game. Few get to actually do that whether it is Pop Warner, High School, College or especially the Pros. Congradulations to Matt Ryan and the Falcons for never giving up and now even if you did not throw the pass you were part of the team that made that play.

falcondawg

December 21st, 2009
5:43 am

STILL A CHANCE!!!

Fanatic overboard

December 21st, 2009
6:44 am

falcondawg…still a chance at what?? Saints, Vikings, Eagles, Cardinals, Packers and Cowboys. The only team with a “chance” at making the postseason for the NFC is the Giants. The Falcons have NO CHANCE.

Fanatic overboard

December 21st, 2009
6:47 am

Will they give out little trophies and certificates for participation on Jan 3rd to all the Falcon players? That’s what you get when you’re playing for moral victories! Just like the Little League teams! Its all about the character building victories! How lucky for the teams going to the playoffs that’s its about THAT.

Bud Wiser

December 21st, 2009
6:53 am

Great win, with the playoffs gone for this season and all.

I’m a bit surprised there are no whining “J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets” here as yet. Did you see the snowball barrage during our winning drive? NYers were even an embarrassment to themselves, and that’s saying quite a lot.

It also appears the “J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets” were deliberatelt targeting Turner’s ankle.

Typical of losers.

jdub

December 21st, 2009
7:31 am

To Fanatic:
We’re not celebrating the win you douchebag, we’re CONGRATULATING our team on a hard-fought game that they were able to pull out.
What team do you root for? Is Fanatic Overboard your new name since they banned the “JOKE” blogger?
Its just nice to beat the media darling NY Sanchez and the J-E-T-S. They get too much hype but the Falcons shared a little of their underserving limelight yesterday.
Go Birds – lets finish with a winning record so we dont have to hear about that stupid streak anymore.

FoxNoise.net

December 21st, 2009
7:42 am

Draft needs: Aside from the obvious help on defense (again) we must pick up a running back by the third round.

Icfraud

December 21st, 2009
7:44 am

Thanks, Coach Smith…Your smile after the game showed pure joy and pride…something we fans appreciate.

gt 97

December 21st, 2009
8:06 am

Is it possible the D is gelling just a few weeks too late? Of course the Jets offense is ho hum, but good effort against the Saints and Jets. The way our D was playing, I wondered why Coach Smith tried that long field goal late instead of punting or even going for it?

Sick Fan

December 21st, 2009
8:24 am

Does anyone besides me think it’s time for Jamaal Anderson and Jerious Norwood to find new homes after this season? JN gets hurt every time he carries the ball and that buster JA is wearing a robbery mask on Sundays.

MrHughes

December 21st, 2009
8:47 am

I’ve been very impressed with the development of Grimes this year. Add his interception last week to the totals and he would have 5 for the year. That’s very impressive for someone a lot of people wanted to send packing and was a nickle back at the beginning of the year. He makes very athletic plays and is getting better in coverage.

Anderson plays very well against the run. He was missed yesterday, but the rest of the D stepped up. You always want guys on your defense that are stout against the run and stay in their gaps instead of free lancing. That’s JA to a T.

The reason the Falcons won yesterday was the D. The Jets have the top rushing attack in the league and thought they would be able to run easily on us. I love the way the D is maturing right before our very eyes. It will bode very well for next year when we get a lot of our pieces back and draft a few more. Our young guys are growing up. TD picks are looking better by the minute. If we manage to get to 9 wins with the injuries, road record, and dissapointing losses we’ve had, then you have to label that as a good campaign.

McNasty

December 21st, 2009
9:04 am

Glad that we won. However the Jets are not a good team. Everytime we meet a competant quarterback our defensive game plan is not competitive. You can’t always blame personnel for a poor fundamental scheme. We must go in a different direction with the d coordinator & replace the D back coach since there has been no improvement back there for years.
Offensively we were lucky that the only one play that Gonzo was open the entire day was the last one. How many times will we have to watch the falcons run a play twice to see it fail miserably the second time. It looks like there is a very limited number of bread & butter plays that can be counted on for 5 yards on 1st. or second down.
On both sides of the ball it looks like the coaches dont recognize tendecies that opponents easily countermeasure.
However I love Smitty

Arthante Lafleur

December 21st, 2009
9:07 am

Great job, big win for this team. These past two weeks I’ve been able to hold my head high as a Falcons fan b/c the team is playing hard and it shows. That’s all I can ask of the players and I commend them for the strong effort (even if Matt did look a bit rusty…). Of course, Jay Feely and his long snapper helped us out more than anything, but it’s about time we benefited from Feely’s shenanigans for a change.

Great job by the defense!

GO FALCONS!!

The Grinch

December 21st, 2009
9:10 am

Nice, positive post MrHughes. And I will agree JA is disciplined against the run. But the #8 overall pick at DE isn’t there for that purpose. If he’d been taken in the fourth or fifth and was being paid accordingly to be a rotational guy, nobody would be on his case. But his salary vs. production is an albatross to the team.

The players are buying into Smith/Dimitroff, and that’s what’s important for the long term. We’ll be busy in FA this off-season, and over the next two or three we’ll clear up McKay’s mistakes and get the talent to go with the heart and fire. Take cheer, Falcons fans; time for sustained excellence isn’t far off.

littlebird

December 21st, 2009
9:21 am

I agree 100% with the poster about getting rid of the toothpick legs #32 . . . he can’t take the NFL hits . . . has probably played less than half the plays since he was signed. Now it’s not necessary to tackle him, just blow in his direction and he’ll fall!! The only value he has is IF there’s not anyone within 15 yards of him then he can run! Draft another RB with toughness along with defensive players. GRIMES is a PLAYER regardless of his size!

Real Talk

December 21st, 2009
9:26 am

i can honestly say the falcons are a good team and the d is gettin it together it would be nice to see grims in as a ss or a fs cause the dude got speed and heart, owens did good as a rookie and i like the way they played our lb’s been playin good all year i don’t care what nobody say just hope we can win out.

Rev Blake

December 21st, 2009
9:43 am

The run defense has been improving for several weeks now. Love the pic of DeCoud lifting Grimes in the air. Sorry, but he looks like a little kid being picked up by his daddy.

Shameful that the refs did nothing in terms of flags when the NY fans were throwing snowballs. Did anyone else notice the snowball that landed directly beside Ryan as the ball was snapped on the fourth down, touchdown pass?

I wish we were going to the playoffs, but I’m a Falcons fan and I’ll keep cheering for a 9-7 season.

dawg fan 4 life

December 21st, 2009
9:48 am

Does anyone besides me think it’s time for Jamaal Anderson and Jerious Norwood to find new homes after this season? JN gets hurt every time he carries the ball and that buster JA is wearing a robbery mask on Sundays. I love your comment Sick Fan, I hope that someone else agrees.

hoop235

December 21st, 2009
9:48 am

Great win yesterday!! This team is playing with alot of heart and that’s something we haven’t seen in years. TD, Smitty and the coaching staff are doing a great job of working with injuries and the younger players. I for one think BVG is doing a good job with this young defense. Let’s not forget this is the same coordinator that went 11-5 last year. Also, congrads to Brent Grimes, I just wish you were 4″ taller and we would have one the best corners in the league.

Ken Strickland

December 21st, 2009
9:55 am

Earlier in the season, after losing CB BWilliams, we had trouble stopping the run and the pass, which is why we’re still ranked so low. Isn’t it funny how the DEF seems to have benefitted from injuries? We lose DT PJerry and former starting DT TLewis has difficulty getting into form. These issues caused DE JAnderson to be moved inside and gave rookie DT VWalker and UFA TJohnson their chance and they seem to have solidified the interior of our DL.

Suddenly, we’re stuffing the run and getting pressure on the QB. Before the season started, we had questions about CB, SS, DT and OLB. Well, their definitely aren’t any further questions about the play of our SS, DT’s and OLB’s. With the recent play of CB’s BGrimes and COwens, and the return next yr of CB BWilliams, along with a 1st rd pick and FA money to sign a FA CB, we should be in good shape next yr defensively.

With the work ethic of QB MRyan, you can bet he’ll address all of the problems he had this yr. Last yrs success was due partly to DEF’s unfamiliarity with our players, OFF and what we were doing. The other part was our ability to avoid serious injuries throughout the season. All of that caught up to us this yr. With DT’s VWalker, TJohnson stepping up, with JAnderson becoming a factor inside, the return of PJerry from IR next yr and the emergence of DE CBierman, our DL will be deep and solid as a rock.

JNorwood’s injury issues and the fact he’s lost his KR duties will likely signal the end of his tenue with the Falcons. This is where someone like former UGA RB TBrown might have a chance to become a factor, assuming we don’t draft a RB. If we win out, we’ll likely end up drafting in the 13 to 18 range. Will that be high enough to get us the quality CB we need, or will we go FA instead.

THIS IS GOING TO BE ONE EXCITING OFF SEASON FOR THE FALCONS.

GINA

December 21st, 2009
9:57 am

Will there be a parade on Peachtree Street if the Falcons go 9-7?? Confetti?? A trophy? I guess you can get one from Office Depot.

Roll Tider

December 21st, 2009
10:19 am

“With their first pick in the NFl draft, the Atlanta Falcons select Joe Haden, CB from the University of Florida.” Hate the school but that man can flat out play.

truth

December 21st, 2009
10:50 am

Please explain to me why it is wrong to root for your team to end the season with a winning record. You who are complaining about that are newbie fans who only came around because of what happened last year. The fans who have supported this team for several years are excited because for the 1st time we may have a chance to witness back to back winning seasons.

So to you newbie fans…….STFU!!!!! We don’t need you on this board anyway.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

December 21st, 2009
10:53 am

truth

December 21st, 2009
10:59 am

thank you D-Led.

LongSufferingFalconsFan

December 21st, 2009
11:05 am

With this defense this team would be nothing more than 1 and done in the playoffs. Finishing 9-7 ends the year on a high note, while at the same time breaking a 40+ year curse. I think that is something to be happy about heading into the off season. Realistic fans didn’t expect a Super Bowl this year. I’m confident TD will make the right moves in the off season, and next year we should have a better schedule. I think we are setting ourselves up for a hell of a year next year.

LongSufferingFalconsFan

December 21st, 2009
11:07 am

I just hope the team wants 9-7 as much as true fans do. These last 2 games can still end our chances. We need to go out and take care of business and end it positively.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

December 21st, 2009
11:32 am

TRUTH: You’re welcome.

My man Brian Cearns from the PR staff is working OT for us. He just brought back Thomas DeCoud for me. I know the secondary has had its ups and down, but DeCoud (2nd year), Grimes (2nd year on the field) and Owens (1st). What if these kids keep growing with Coleman and William Moore waiting in the wings. If they keep progressing . . . who knows maybe the Falcons end up with a nice secondary for a long time.

McNasty

December 21st, 2009
11:55 am

So no one sees the same problem that has been going on for years with the dbacks even before this regime? Time to make a change towards game planning & coaching that is competive against Tier 1 teams

Zippo

December 21st, 2009
12:17 pm

So, the fact that our backup QB among others had a chance to beat the then undefeated Saints isn’t good enough for you, McNasty? You ever tried looking at the positives in things?

midnite

December 21st, 2009
12:41 pm

Glad you are back DOL and thanks for that victory you brought back. What Grimes lacks in size he makes up in heart, the kid is a playmaker. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Go Falcons bust that “curse”.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

December 21st, 2009
12:44 pm

MIDNITE:Thanks for your kind words. Merry Christmas to you and your family. My favorite Grimes play was the interception in New Orleans when he jumped out of the Superdome to pluck Brees’ pass out of the sky.

Ivan

December 21st, 2009
12:44 pm

Truth,

There’s nothing wrong with wanting your team to win in 31 NFL cities. In one NFL city though, the fans cheer the other team and love watching their team lose. Welcome to Atlanta!

LJ

December 21st, 2009
12:56 pm

@Ken Strickland,

You make some very good points. I was at the game in the frigid cold and I cannot tell you how proud I am of this group of players. Yes they struggled, but the fact that Ryan and Turner came out to play, despite the fact that Dallas dashed the Falcons playoff hopes speaks volumes! If we can get to 9-7 and get this monkey off our backs, I see a bright future ahead.

Timmy

December 21st, 2009
1:06 pm

The most effective play Grimes made was the tackle on the kickoff. He was the last defender between the returner and the goal line. He saved 7 points and probably the game on that play.

Jeffery

December 21st, 2009
1:16 pm

BTW, What in the heck was with teh Jets fans throwing snowballs those last few plays. That’s a bunch of low life crap…. What would have happened if one would have it the reciever and or QB and caused that last play to fail. Woudl it have been a personal foul??