Archive for September, 2011

DEPTH CHART: DeCoud still listed as the starter

 

 

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) fumbles the ball, stripped by Falcons defensive end John Abraham (not pictured) as linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (56) hits Vick. Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick (7) fumbles the ball, stripped by Falcons defensive end John Abraham (not pictured) as linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (56) hits Vick. Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

 

 

FLOWERY BRANCH — Despite starting and playing almost 90 percent of the snaps at free safety against the Eagles, James Sanders is still listed as the backup on the Falcons “unofficial” depth chart released by the team for the NFC South opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 4:15 p.m. on Sunday at Raymond James Stadium.

Thomas DeCoud is still listed as the starter. 

Defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder said the two are basically in a weekly competition for the starting spot.

“I think we have to keep evaluating new players like the both of them (Sanders and Kelvin Hayden),” VanGorder said. “I think for a safety, his first game against an offense like Philadelphia was a tough chore. Especially with all of the different personnel [groupings] and the calls that we make, but I …

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VIDEO: Focus shifts to the NFC South

Continue reading VIDEO: Focus shifts to the NFC South »

Falcons-Eagles a big TV hit in Atlanta

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan attempts a pass in the first half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan attempts a pass in the first half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH — Half of the television sets in the Atlanta television market were tuned in Sunday night to watch the Atlanta Falcons’ 35-31 victory over Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night on NBC.

The game registered a 15.7 overnight rating and a 25 share, a gain of three percent over last year’s Week 2 game, according to overnight ratings data released today by The Nielsen Company. The game also led NBC to another Sunday night win while going head-to-head against the Emmy Awards on Fox.

The 15.7/25 overnight rating for last night’s game, in which Matt Ryan and the Falcons defeated Michael Vick and the Eagles, 35-31, is up three percent from last year’s Sunday Night Football Week 2 contest, which featured the Manning brothers, Eli and Peyton, competing against each other for the second time (Giants-Colts, …

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DVR ALERT: NFLN to replay Eagles at Falcons

 

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan attempts a pass in the first half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan attempts a pass in the first half of their game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH – The NFL Network will replay the Falcons’ 35-31 victory over the Eagles at 8 p.m. Tuesday night.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw a career-high four touchdowns as Atlanta erased a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to defeat Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles.

It was the 14th time that Ryan has led the Falcons to victory in the fourth quarter or ovetime.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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Dunta Robinson draws the wrath of the league

Falcons defensive back Dunta Robinson (23) breaks up a touchdown pass by Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10). Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

Falcons defensive back Dunta Robinson (23) breaks up a touchdown pass by Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10). Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson was fined $40,000 for his hit on Eagles wide receiver Jeremy Maclin during the third quarter of the Falcons’ 35-31 victory on Monday night.

Robinson was fined after putting a similar hit on Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson last season. He was docked $50,000, but the amount was reduced to $25,000 on appeal. He’ll likely appeal again.

With 6:12 left in the third quarter, Robinson leveled Maclin. The league said Robinson violated player safety rules.

Falcons coach Mike Smith and Robinson were convinced that Maclin was running and not a defenseless player. Robinson was called for an unnecessary roughness penalty.

“I saw him catch the ball,” Robinson said. “Last year, they said the receiver didn’t have time to see me. He was a defenseless receiver. But I saw him catch the ball. I …

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VIDEO: Falcons prevail over Eagles

Continue reading VIDEO: Falcons prevail over Eagles »

QUOTABLE: What the players were saying . . .

Falcons defensive back Dunta Robinson (23) breaks up a touchdown pass by Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10). Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

Falcons defensive back Dunta Robinson (23) breaks up a touchdown pass by Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10). Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

DUNTA ROBINSON

ON BEING DOWN 10: We had a lot of football to play. We’ve been down before. Just keep your composure and keep fighting. We understood coming into this game that it wasn’t going to be an easy win. We knew it was going to be a battle. A back and forth football game. We had to keep our composure.

ON THE HIT ON MACLIN: I saw him catch the ball. Last year, they said the receiver didn’t have time to see. He was a defenseless receiver. I saw him catch the ball. I saw him run, trying to get up field to score. So me as a defender, if I whiff on him, he’s probably is going to run around me and score a long touchdown. This is a physical football game. That’s the way I play. If don’t play that way, I wouldn’t make it in this league. I definitely didn’t think it was a dirty play. I’m not a dirty player. I don’t go out …

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Q&A: Falcons’ coach Mike Smith elated with win

Falcons defensive end Ray Edwards returns a Philadelphia Eagles fumble by quarterback Michael Vick as Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) pursues. Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

Falcons defensive end Ray Edwards returns a Philadelphia Eagles fumble by quarterback Michael Vick as Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10) pursues. Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

Falcons coach Mike Smith was elated with the 35-31 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night at the Georgia Dome.

In an NFL rarity, he admitted that the coaching staff mis-calculated the final two minutes and went into the victory formation too early.

OPENING STATEMENT: I can’t tell you how proud I am of the way our guys played tonight. There was a lot of tough sledding in the football game. We obviously didn’t play our best game, but we played enough to get it done. On offense, we picked up the defense when we had to, and on defense we picked up the offense when we had to. I thought it was a very solid special teams effort as well. We’re going to move on as quickly as possible because winning in this League is not easy. It’s something that you have to go out each and every week and …

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GAME STORY: Falcons 35, Eagles 31; Vick injured

Actor Samuel L. Jackson performs "Rise Up" to open the game against the Eagles. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Actor Samuel L. Jackson performs "Rise Up" to open the game against the Eagles. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Michael Turner, left, celebrates his game winning touchdown with Roddy White, right, for a 35-31 victory over the Eagles during 2nd half action. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Michael Turner, left, celebrates his game winning touchdown with Roddy White, right, for a 35-31 victory over the Eagles during 2nd half action. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

The Falcons pulled out all the stops against Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night at the Georgia Dome.

They revamped the defense, passed out white flags and even brought in actor Samuel L. Jackson to whip  the crowd into a euphoric frenzy as he told them to “Rise up.”

Quarterback Matt Ryan, tight end Tony Gonzalez and running back Michael Turner heard the pleas and helped to lead the Falcons to a 35-31 victory before a nationally-televised Sunday night audience.

Part of the battle for Ryan was not to get caught up in the hype over Vick’s return to Atlanta as a starting quarterback.

“I’ve got a lot of respect for our guys in the locker room for handling everything the …

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Falcons’ inactives for tonight’s game vs. Eagles

A couple of the Falcons cheerleaders posing for pictures before tonight's game. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

A couple of the Falcons cheerleaders posing for pictures before tonight's game. (D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com)

Here are the inactive players for tonight’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Cornerback Darrin Walls

Running back Antone Smith

Linebacker Spencer Adkins

Center Todd McClure

Guard Mike Johnson

Defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux

Defensive end Cliff Matthews

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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