Playoff six pack: Honest Abe not impressed with Starks

Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Abraham was honest when asked about Packers running back James Starks.  Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Abraham was honest when asked about Packers running back James Starks. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons defensive John Abraham has seen his share of good running backs.

He played with Curtis Martin, one of the finalist for this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame class, with the New York Jets.

He played two seasons with Warrick Dunn and has played with Michael Turner.

So excuse Abraham is he’s not real excited about Green Bay running back James Starks, who ran for 123 yards last week.

“I can’t hype anybody off one game,” Abraham said. “You’ve got to show me more.”

The Falcons held the Packers to 77 yards rushing on Nov. 28. They stuffed them inside the five, twice. So Starks is supposed to be the great equalizer in Saturday’s NFC divisional round game at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Georgia Dome.

Abraham clearly doesn’t plan to let some rookie from Buffalo get his way.

“I think our run defense has done so well this year that I don’t think we’re going to put a check by his name right now,” Abraham said. “He wasn’t one of our people to worry about. We’re worrying about 12 (quarterback Aaron Rodgers) right now. That’s probably the main thing.”

Here’s tonight six pack:

  1. Matt Ryan is the unquestioned leader of the Falcons

  2. Falcons not playing Packers’ tradition

  3. INJURY REPORT: Brian Williams misses another day of practice

  4. Falcons playoff memories: Moe Gardner

  5. Two-minute drill: Q&A with Falcons’ Dunta Robinson

  6. Key Matchup: Packers’ pass offense vs. Falcons’ pass defense

    –D. Orlando Ledbetter

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101 comments Add your comment

Poppa Falcon

January 13th, 2011
9:37 pm

One game & folks wanna crown Starks as the greatest playoff RB in playoff history. Dang shame.

John

January 13th, 2011
9:38 pm

John

January 13th, 2011
9:38 pm

My first time being first!

Go Starks

January 13th, 2011
9:41 pm

I hope Starks runs all over Abraham and the rest of the team

poppa falcon

January 13th, 2011
9:42 pm

Maybe next time u can be first, John.

Chris

January 13th, 2011
9:52 pm

Im getting my wisdom teeth out(all four) on friday morning but i will surely be in section 225 Saturday night. heres to taking Vicodin into the GA Dome!!!!!!!!!!

Seth

January 13th, 2011
10:00 pm

The Pack is going to beast!!! Here comes the Predator!!!#52

Thorpe

January 13th, 2011
10:09 pm

Mayor Kasim Reed has dubbed it “Pour a Beer on a Cheesehead Saturday.”

Rise Up Falcon Fans.

jp

January 13th, 2011
10:13 pm

who is starks? he ran over a bad bad defense in Philly, that won’t be happening against Curtis Lofton and this front 7

Kane337

January 13th, 2011
10:39 pm

The Predator is #55. Tyson Clabo will shut down Clay Matthews again.

Father Abraham has many sacks

January 13th, 2011
10:39 pm

If you wanna crown his ass, go ahead and crown ‘em!

Birds 42

peckers 24

Najeh Davenpoop

January 13th, 2011
11:19 pm

Philly was starting a rookie 7th round pick at middle linebacker and two journeymen at outside linebacker. It’s not like Starks was going up against the 2000 Ravens. He has good size, but Green Bay’s O line winning the battle at the line of scrimmage made those 123 yards happen.

time for timer

January 13th, 2011
11:38 pm

i got a hankering for a hunka, a slice, a slab. a chunka, i got a hankering for a hunk of cheese

D. Orlando Ledbetter

January 14th, 2011
12:00 am

Chris — I’m getting two crowns in the morning. I think get some good meds to go with that. Enjoy you’re trip to the Dentist

yoyo

January 14th, 2011
12:07 am

if we are basing all of our facts off of one game then marshawn lynch is the greatest of all time.

realbirdofprey

January 14th, 2011
12:28 am

Is there any chance this game could be post poned due to weather?

Falcons Fan In New Orleans

January 14th, 2011
12:32 am

LOL! Honest Abe has spoken and he ain’t impressed with the rook.

Poppa Falcon – Its so funny how the pundits are hoping and praying that Starks can give the defense fits like he did in Philly. You would think this dude was Barry Sanders reincarnated, SMH.

jarvis

January 14th, 2011
12:34 am

I say the same thing Abe, one game against a bannged up and terrible eagles run defense and now every packers fan thinks thats the solution and more “deadly”, and might I add thinks the packers will blow the Falcons out……….YEAH RIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!

jarvis

January 14th, 2011
12:35 am

pack falcons blow!

January 14th, 2011
12:37 am

Enter your comments here

pack falcons blow!

January 14th, 2011
12:39 am

FAlcons had fluke season watch tIe pack make tI’d dome home and advance all you queer falcon hood rat fans

jarvis

January 14th, 2011
1:16 am

must be a saints fan!!!!

kaminari

January 14th, 2011
1:38 am

Falcons gotta just hang with Rodgers and the Packers and eventually wear down their defense. I look at the Falcons coming out early like they did against Seattle, marching down the field and putting up a few scores on the board, and then wearing down the Packers. As we all know, there probably isn’t a team out there more conditioned than our Falcons. As long as we are within two scores going into the 4th, we’ve got a good shot.

We kind of hope that they hand off to Starks a lot in this game. Rookies tend to melt in pressure-packed scenarios like the playoffs. I’m looking for at least one Packers fumble.

The Packers are a good team. But there is a lot of pressure on them: come into the dome and win a road game; get revenge from the regular-season beating they took here; pretty much favored by the country (except N.H. and the Deep South) and most of the media networks to win this one.

Can’t wait for this game.

Also, Packers and Saints fans, welcome to our boards. We are winners here. I’m sure you’re here to get some of our positive and winning spirit to take back with you to your own boards, so you can share the same warmth we give you.

13-3.

1st in the NFC South

#1 seed in the Playoffs.

Good luck.

John

January 14th, 2011
1:42 am

All of you that are talking this trash about Starks obviously have no idea about him. If this guy was not injured he was projected to go in the late first or early second round. The talent is there and he can run, a lot of his teammates compare his style to APs style, so I would watch out if I was the falcons, you don’t want to sleep on him, he will put up the yards.

Lesa

January 14th, 2011
2:16 am

Thanks, Abe!! Glad to hear somebody tell it like it is. This Starks kid is a nobody who had one 100+ yard game against a deficient run defense. All the Pack-loving pundits are saying that this time GB will beat Atlanta because they now “have a running game.” BARF! The Falcons will shut down this so-called running game of the Packers and we will beat them even more soundly than we did last time. GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!

Jazzyonajc

January 14th, 2011
3:01 am

Way to Go Abe!

Falcons March to Super Bowl

January 14th, 2011
3:13 am

Considering when they played last time, the run threat was almost solely Rodgers himself, I agree with Abe. Maybe he’s good, maybe he got lucky and the Eagles D was just .. bleh …. we’ll see soon enough

Jmac

January 14th, 2011
3:18 am

Yes, please go right ahead Falcon fans/players/coaching staff and pretend that James Starks is no threat at all. I’m sure the Packers offense would like it that way. I would be very nervous if I were a Falcon fan. You realize that Packers have never trailed by more than 7 in a game this year? The Packers aren’t happy about losing the first time around so they will be out for blood. And I’m sure a certain #52 would like to solidify his position as the front runner for DPOY. Cheers.

cheesehead

January 14th, 2011
4:25 am

Hudson Grill tonight packer Fans! Packer pep-rally!!!

Go Pack Go!

Kenny

January 14th, 2011
6:10 am

Should be a good game.You know what? If Green Bay wins, they deserve it.That would be 3 tough road wins in a row. I dot see it happening. Lets Go Falcons! Your fans have been waiting a very long time for a winner. Lets do this!

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tony Simmons, D. Orlando Ledbetter and others. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: @Marty2634 Check out what ABE thinks of Starks and the Packers running game right here —>>>> http://bit.ly/fLSCgC [...]

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by RPC. RPC said: RT @AJCFalcons: JOHN ABRAHAM SPEAKS: Playoff six pack: Honest Abe not impressed with Starks http://shar.es/XTgiC [...]

Packer Pete

January 14th, 2011
7:06 am

The difference that Starks offers to the Packer running game isn’t 40-yard Barry Sanders runs; the difference is that while Brandon Jackson would carry between the tackles for 2 yards, Starks gets 4 yards. Doesn’t seem like much a diffence, but it moves the chains. Also, the Packers had only 3 runs longer than 20 yards all season – Starks picked up two such runs in the Eagles game. This will help the Packers’ play action game. Starks won’t single-handedly beat the Falcons, but he adds a potential dimension to an already potent offense that the Falcons must consider. The difference might simply be that Starks can hammer it in from the 1 while Rodgers fumbled on his QB sneak in the last game. Starks’ value might be summed up in one play after this game.

CapBuster

January 14th, 2011
7:41 am

The only threat the Packers have is Rodgers. He thrives when teams blitz. The last game we didn’t blitz and dropped 7-8 in coverage. They had a lot of yards between the 20’s, but not a lot of points. Clay Matthews was neutralized and not much of a factor. Their running game is weak in spite of all their faith in Stark’s one game against a weak run defense.

We’ll win. It may not be pretty, but who really cares. The champagne will flow in Lot A after the game. Come on by.

BigJohn

January 14th, 2011
8:11 am

The Packers are a very good team. Atlanta is just a little better. I hope that the Atlanta players took note of the Saints and Seahawks. The Saints were/are the better team BUT they still lost. I have always liked Green Bay unless they are playing Atlanta just as I like the Cubs unless they are playing the Braves. I see a VERY close game probably decided in the last few minutes of the 4th qtr. Remember us knocking out Staubach only to see White lead Dallas to a win? In the playoffs, anything can happen!

Roy

January 14th, 2011
8:21 am

If this is what the Packers will use to beat our FALCONS on Saturday then so be it. But I see our beloved Falcons focusing on the big picture the Super bowl. Go Falcons. Our focus is to play 60 min of great football and the better team will prevail and we know who the best team is.

Bill

January 14th, 2011
8:39 am

The weather might be he falcons best friend. After an uncertain week, it will be clear enough for the packers to fly in. In the meantime, the falcons have been holed up in Flowery Branch with nothing to do but prepare.

Bill

January 14th, 2011
8:41 am

Packer Pete,
Pretty good analysis. It will be surprising if it is not close, and it may come down to whose running game is more effective.

Bill

January 14th, 2011
8:43 am

There is one important difference in the Falcons since the last time they played Green Bay. The Falcons Defense, particularly the secondary is playing much better.

Bill

January 14th, 2011
8:45 am

The danger for Green Bay and Aaron Rogers is that they underestimate the Falcons secondary. Prediction: If the Falcons win, they will have picked off two Roger’s passes.

cheesehead

January 14th, 2011
8:50 am

There is a thought that has repeated itself often this week,”this will b a great game.” Can’t wait for tmrrw night.

Go Pack Go!

falconfanriseup

January 14th, 2011
8:53 am

I am not worried about Starks we have faced more backs better like Steven Jackson and held him to 45 yds and the week before he played us ran for 190 so Starks will be a none factor

cheesehead

January 14th, 2011
9:00 am

U r right Bill. You’re soooooo smart……..why they”d have to b fools to underestimate the 22nd ranked pass d in the nfl. Just crazy I tell ya. Crazy

Go Pack Go!

The Truth Squad

January 14th, 2011
9:01 am

Are you thinking about Starks Jon? Then score one for the Packers.
Truth is, it doesn’t matter if Starks gains 100 yards, what matters is that the Falcons THINK he could. You don’t think Starks will open up the play-action pass? Rodgers threw for 350 yards without a single threat of a RB in the first game, what can he do with Starks as a threat?
And before we anoint the Falcons Run D as good, let’s look at some other stats. Yes, they were 10th in the league in yards per game, BUT they were 25th in yards per attempt at 4.6 ypc.
In the last 5 games since the Packers game they have given up almost 700 yards on the ground and 5.7 yards per carry.
Philadelphia was 15th in Run D, BUT had a 4.2 ypc average which ranks them higher than Atlanta.
Atlanta’s Defense is good because their offense controls the ball which limits possessions for the opponent, but in reality when they are on the field they are not so good.

Zoomie

January 14th, 2011
9:01 am

In 2005, GB came into Atlanta with a much-maligned running game. The first-time starter at RB, Samkon Gado, proceeded to gash Atlanta for over 100 yards and three touchdowns.

Don’t think it will happen again. 1) Atlanta’s coaching staff is much better than the 2005 version. 2) GB had to play their hand last week to beat the Eagles, so GB’s new-found running game won’t be a surprise.

If the players on both sides execute to their capabilities and don’t commit game-changing errors, the game will come down to coaching. In that case, Atlanta wins, hands-down.

cheesehead

January 14th, 2011
9:08 am

I’ll admit that coaching and special teams are in the Falcons corner. McCarthy does not have a good record in close and or big games:-(

Oh Cheese n Crackers

Go Pack Go!

DR. FALCON

January 14th, 2011
9:23 am

AARON RODGERS, AARON RODGERS! THATS ALL I HEAR! MATT RYAN WILL PROVE TO BE THE BEST QB ON THE FIELD SAT. NITE! THIS IS MATTY ICE’S HOUSE!

Doc Dawg

January 14th, 2011
9:25 am

Hudson Grille? I go there for lunch sometimes. Not anymore.

Hudson "Benedict Arnold" Grille

January 14th, 2011
9:35 am

Don’t need that “e” in grill, fancy pants.

Will

January 14th, 2011
9:39 am

Starks is going to to plow right through and get another 123 yards, yull see.