Lofton, swarming defense kept Steven Jackson under control

Rams wide receiver Laurent Robinson (19. right) is tackled by Atlanta Falcons safety William Moore (25) during the first quarter. AP

Rams wide receiver Laurent Robinson (19. right) is tackled by Atlanta Falcons safety William Moore (25) during the first quarter. AP

ST. LOUIS – Falcons middle linebacker Curtis Lofton led the Falcons in tackles with eight against the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.

“It just took us a little while to get into the groove,” Lofton said. “But once we got it going, things started working out pretty good for us.”

The Falcons held Rams running back Steven Jackson to 54 yards on 11 carries.

“It took the entire defense,” Lofton said. “Everyone has to keep going after him and keep putting their pads on him. Everyone did a good job of that.”

The Falcons are 8-2 and have the best record in the NFC. They are tied with New England and the New York Jets for the best record in the league.

“8-2 is great,” Lofton said. “It was a nice road win. But we haven’t played a complete game yet, so I guess that’s next. We are in a good spot right now.”

Next up for the Falcons are the white-hot Green Bay Packers, who pummeled Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings, 31-3, to improve to 7-3. The Falcons need to beat the Packers in order to garner the head-to-head tie breaker in the case the teams end up tied for the playoffs.

Homefield advantage will be key. It could mean the difference between a middle of January game in frosty Lambeau Field or a nice comfy game at the Dome.

It might be time for the Falcons to come up with that “complete” game.

“We know that we can play a lot better,” Lofton said. “We haven’t played a complete game. I think everyone realizes that. We have to try to put complete games together and start building off of that.”

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60 comments Add your comment

scott

November 21st, 2010
11:13 pm

1st for 1st comment. good to be a winner!

scott

November 21st, 2010
11:15 pm

A pretty good game but the Falcons will have to really turn it on to beat GB. Still in a good position though.

kaminari

November 21st, 2010
11:21 pm

We survived and did well. Looks like the Rams are back. Good to be going home next week.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Myron Abernathy and John, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: Lofton, swarming defense kept Steven Jackson under control http://bit.ly/cdb5Rv [...]

Native Georgian

November 21st, 2010
11:29 pm

Hope Abe’s back because we need to make Mr. Rodgers very uncomfortable!

2Legit2quit

November 21st, 2010
11:39 pm

anyone see Harry Douglas today? Did he even play?

ATL Fan

November 21st, 2010
11:45 pm

Good to see spoon out there for a few plays. Hope Abe will be back for GB. Nice all around game once the Defense got on track. And how about that clock management. Wow, the time of possession was great.

bgfalcon

November 21st, 2010
11:46 pm

yeah HD played but you wouldn’t have know if from his increasing abiltity to disappear in games. he’s like a ghost

Sly Ty

November 21st, 2010
11:55 pm

Hey bird fans what happened to enjoying the victory. Forget Harry Douglas for right now, what about how well Michael Jenkins played today. While Jenks is not HotRoddy, he did really well today.

charles

November 21st, 2010
11:55 pm

Well now let me sat, that was a hell of game today. Next up is Green Bay so this is for you brother AAron Mr. Rogers this ant your neighborhood. If you don’t know it be longs to Mr. Ryan’s and Mr. Turner
so come on down and get yourself some. GO FALCONS

charles

November 22nd, 2010
12:00 am

That he did sly ty. he had a really good game today and it was on time, but those drops by T G hurt for a while then the O got on track.

Dominic Hughes

November 22nd, 2010
12:18 am

Let’s order a new set of shoes for the Falcons most expensive CB. Left shoe: ‘Earn your’. Right shoe: ‘pay Dunta’. Packers coming to town – it’s time to step it up, secondary.

LJ

November 22nd, 2010
1:22 am

Green Bay has ZERO running game, so the key will be to get pressure on Rodgers so he doesn’t have time to pick apart the secondary. Also, gotta get Turner going early to maintain time of possession. Keep Rodgers on the sidelines!

Falcon Jim

November 22nd, 2010
1:33 am

Wow. Cannot wait for the Gang Green Packers ! ! ! !

san diego dawg

November 22nd, 2010
2:02 am

This was one of the best games ever called by Mike Murlarkey. The falcons need to keep the no huddle going and let Matt Ryan make decisions at the line. I saw very little negative today except for Roddy uncharacteristically losing his temper once and Dunta being asleep at the wheel on a few plays. Special teams play today was solid. O line gave up zero sacks today. Overall solid effort on the road. I’m not sure what the 3 RB formations were all about since I think they netted 5 yards total out of that scheme. maybe this is something they are trying to build on for one big play in the future?

Reid Adair

November 22nd, 2010
2:22 am

It’s going to take an effort equal to, if not better than, the Baltimore game to beat the Packers. I am looking forward to the Green Bay game, especially if John Abraham can get healthy and back in the lineup.

Keith Brooking

November 22nd, 2010
3:53 am

I sure miss you guys.

Kurt Warner

November 22nd, 2010
7:28 am

Don’t worry Keith, I’ll send you an early xmas present like I have the last few years.

Lawyer Milloy

November 22nd, 2010
7:29 am

Don’t forget about me Kurt!

dean

November 22nd, 2010
8:02 am

Good win yesterday. But…does anyone else get the feeling the Falcons are playing up/down to the competition?

SRF

November 22nd, 2010
8:14 am

I like the Falcons but I really cannot see them beating Green Bay or Philly. The Giants have amazing speed on defense and they could not cover the Philly receivers. You saw what Philly did to us a few weeks ago – in the playoffs they will beat us twice as bad.

PHIL

November 22nd, 2010
8:18 am

I am a Matt Ryan fan. BUT he made 3 bad plays in the red zone today that cost us three TD’s and that can’t happen against a good team if they expect to win. He threw a very short pass to TG at the 5 that was thrown too hard for any human to grab. Next trip down he didn’t see him uncovered in the endzone. Next trip he tried to make up for that mistake by throwing it to TG who was blanketed by 3 Rams. Those mistakes can’t continue to be made and also beat good teams.

[...] swarming defense kept Steven Jackson under control (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) Falcons middle linebacker Curtis Lofton led the Falcons in tackles with eight against the St. [...]

Joycee Banicheck

November 22nd, 2010
8:30 am

Since Fox Charlotte decided to show the flippin’ Saints game and I had company in town I was unable to watch the Falcons/Rams at a bar so please bear with me…

Did I see on a “gamebreak” that #23 for the Falcons got burnt for another TD??? Please, someone tell my eyes were playing tricks on me. What is the breakdown on performance between #23 and #20 this season on coverage, TDs, yards after catch, etc.??

Some “shutdown” corner he has been. He’s pretty much one step away from being Big Play Ray.

stendek

November 22nd, 2010
8:43 am

SRF

November 22nd, 2010
8:44 am

Dunta is just one step above placing a tackling dummy in front of the receiver and hoping that he will trip.

Joe Tess Fish House

November 22nd, 2010
8:52 am

So…..Where was Perrier Jerry? Same with Witherspoon. I seen him in the game, but I only seen him NOT make plays.

Way to go Atlanta First Round Busts!

Jake

November 22nd, 2010
8:55 am

The coaching staff by focusing on fast developing routes, Matt Ryan with his quick release and the O line all deserve credit for stopping cold a good defensive pass rush. –We seem to be transitioning into a pass first to set up the run team as once again Turner and the run game was ineffective early in the game. Has Harry Douglas retired? Kudos to the long snapper, holder and PK as we have one of the most consistent kickers in the conferance. Special teams had a second straight excellent game. Hope Abe recovers soon, but remember he had a groin injury after the opening Carolina game two years ago and was out three or four games. Pass rush against the Rams was ineffective without him. Ryan needs to improve in one aspect: once again he overthrew a wide open receiver White on a long pass. Defense holding Rams to 17 is a B+.

Jesse Stone

November 22nd, 2010
9:01 am

PHIL- If you want to be picky, I agree with points 2 and 3. However, an NFL player, especially one the caliber of Tony Gonzalez must make that catch.

stendek

November 22nd, 2010
9:03 am

Nice victory Falcons. Ram QB prevented TD return of 100 or so yards after key interception at end. Things were about to get really scary. Falcon secondary needs tremendous amount of improvement. Too many blown assignments and mishandled interceptions. Falcon front needs to notch up pressure on QB. With or without John Abraham. Still not completely satisfied with offensive play calling. Falcons had no business allowing Rams to continue to hang around. Final score does not indictate closeness of contest. Another Matt Ryan overthrow for TD plus Roddy White drop on third down were not factors. Would be against quality teams like Green Bay Packers or New Orleans Saints. Glad Michael Turner squeezed out over 100 yards rushing with last burst. Deserved plateau. Defense saved day again with end zone interception. Becoming a habit. On top in NFC now but one or two losses can knock Falcons into middle of pack in a hurry. So it goes. Still no respect. Oh well. STENDEK

stendek

November 22nd, 2010
9:06 am

Hi Dean. Every professional team in Atlanta seems to make that mistake. Killer instinct never been present in city teams. Best. STENDEK

Jesse Stone

November 22nd, 2010
9:41 am

Looks like Joe Tess either found his spell check or posted under the wrong moniker by mistake.

North FLA Falcon

November 22nd, 2010
10:21 am

You guys who are giving kudos to the special teams did not watch the game that I did … another STUPID step out of bounds penalty, more long returns, and then we almost got called for having an “illegal wedge” on our longest return of the day — the announcers pointed this out and were expecting a call on it. Gotta lock down our special teams play. Teams that go deep in the playoffs take care of this stuff.

RockyMtnFalcon

November 22nd, 2010
10:24 am

I LOVE my Falcons, don’t get me wrong, but if we gave up two touchdowns to a rookie QB, what is our pass defense gonna look like vs. Aaron Rodgers? Our pass defense has to get better. We can not afford to allow big plays vs. Green Bay. Crowd noise needs to be loud, our defensive front needs to pressure Rodgers and our safeties and corner backs better be covering the WR’s and TE’s like a blanket! Our defense better step it up a couple of notches if we plan on keeping the best record in the NFC and NFC South!

Joe Tess Fish House

November 22nd, 2010
10:25 am

@ Jesse

Eitehr tlak football or leave. No need 2 call me names.

FrontRow

November 22nd, 2010
10:30 am

@ North FLA Falcon – Special teams were solid. The one long punt return should have been flagged….Weems was clearly being held at the point. The illegal touch was not a penalty….the refs picked up the flag during the TV timeout and the Rams started right where the ball was touched.

The Rams did what they could (nice young disciplined team) but they got mauled by a better team.

FalconsFan284

November 22nd, 2010
10:32 am

Joe Tess—–Peria Jerry made a huge play to stop Steven Jackson from making a third down run. He looked pretty good despite not being out there the entire game; which is the only way you would stop calling him a bust.
As for Sean WEATHERSPOON, it was his first game back from a knee injury. What did you expect?

JONESBORO SLIM

November 22nd, 2010
10:33 am

Some of you fans (or what ever you are) are to %$#@@ sorry…”you keep drinking the Kool-Aid of ESPN, NFL Nework, Mike and Mike, desk top analyst, and sorry a$$ sports writers who have never played a down…..If I remember last year we beat a good Jets team in New York…and then you scare to death because the Ravens were coming to town to beat our BUTTS….so for you sorry doubtful so call Falcons fans check and FEEL if you still have some BA*&S…….

North FLA Falcon

November 22nd, 2010
10:42 am

Move the Green Bay game to 4:15. Let the fans get home from church, down to the Dome, get all likkered up and then make it LOUD for Mr. Rodgers.

Fish Bisch

November 22nd, 2010
10:55 am

Nobody cares about the Falcons. The media is gushing over Green Bay, The New York Jets, and The Patriots.

JONESBORO SLIM

November 22nd, 2010
11:00 am

@KOOL-AID drinkers…

Green Bay is not all that….keep in mind they have no running game… they’re one dimensional that makes playing them a little easier…so just have your BUTT at the “ICE HOUSE” Sunday making as much noise there as you do on this blog….let me know if you and your party would like to join me in my suite with food and drinks…..

Ueeediot

November 22nd, 2010
11:05 am

Dude, I am at every game! I would love to see the inside of a GA Dome suite!
ueeediot@yahoo.com

JONESBORO SLIM

November 22nd, 2010
11:19 am

@ Ueeediot and Everybody else

I been informed that its not my week to have the “Timeshare” suite at the Dome…but I’ll let all of you know when its is…..I’m sorry.

Ueeediot

November 22nd, 2010
11:21 am

oh well, the dream lives on…

Joe Tess Fish House

November 22nd, 2010
11:24 am

@ Falconfan284

Witherspoon is a first round pick. I expect more better then he is giving us. He is a bust. Plane and simple.

Lagunadawg

November 22nd, 2010
11:36 am

If Atlanta beats Green Bay and Chicago beats Philly this week it’s possible neither Green Bay or Philly will make the playoffs. The wild cards will be either Atlanta or New orleans and most likely Tampa Bay.I would love that to happen. I think Chicago and New York win their divisions.

Ken Strickland

November 22nd, 2010
11:57 am

Remember during the off season when everyone was all up in the air about getting rid of WR MJenkins, or replace him with HDouglas, as well as replace CB BGrimes and DT/DE JAnderson? Can you now see how stupid it is to make snap judgements based on emotions and/or uninformed opinions?

OC MMularkey has certainly opened up the OFF, and we’re clicking. The only thing that keeps the Falcons from being considered an elite team by the masses is our DEF. While we certainly have the talent to be an elite DEF team, we don’t have enough experience.

Other than DE JAbraham, DT JBabineaux and OLB MPeterson, none of our starters have 4yrs of experience, and the same goes for the majority of our backups. This is expecially true when it comes to the interior of our DL. DT CPeters is a rookie, DT PJerry is essentially inhis rookie yr, due to missing virtually all of last season, DT VWalker is in his 2nd yr, and DT/DE JAnderson is in his 4th yr and really coming on strong. OLB SWeatherspoon is a rookie, SNickolas is in he 3rd yr, and SAdkins is in his 2nd yr. This is essentially FS WMoore’s rookie yr, due to missing all of last yr due to an injury, and SS TDeCoud is in his 3rd yr. CB BGrimes is in his 3rd yr, COwens his 2nd yr and DFranks his rookie yr.

Due to youth and lack of experience, the Atlantal Falcons DEF has a tremendous amount of room for growth, and will continue getting better as a result. We just need to add more depth.

FrontRow

November 22nd, 2010
12:06 pm

Do you have to wear a tie and jacket in a suite?

If you ever catch me wearing a tie to a football game, shoot me.

dbird1

November 22nd, 2010
12:18 pm

Joe,
“Witherspoon is a first round pick. I expect more better then he is giving us. He is a bust. Plane and simple.”

what are you talking about. “give us” you are not a falcons fan. you talk garbage all day long. repeat the same junk about players who are busts. you have no idea what you are talking about. from the true fans to you, LEAVE. NO ONE CARES WHAT YOU THINK

Justin

November 22nd, 2010
12:39 pm

The Falcons are playing to their competition, and that’s fine as long as they keep finding ways to win. If this, if that…..there are few COMPLETE teams in the NFL, so here’s my IF……Give us and sho nuff shut down corner…..not another D. Hall (his big head won’t let him be as good as he can be.) Even if it’s someone older like a Charles Woodson with a couple of good years left in him. Someone to teach the younger guys. I like our D line, but they are young. Is Abraham a big help to these guys in the locker room? I’m not knocking him, it’s an honest question because I don’t know…