TV, radio: 5 questions with CBS’ Ian Eagle

FLOWERY BRANCH — Here’s the TV and Radio info for the Falcons (5-4) game against the Tennessee

CBS Sports' Ian Eagle will handle the play-by-play on Sunday.

CBS Sports' Ian Eagle will handle the play-by-play on Sunday.

 Titans (5-4) which is set for 4:15 p.m. Sunday night at the Georgia Dome.

RADIO COVERAGE: Star 94 (94.1 FM/790 AM): Play-by-play: Wes Durham, Color Analyst: Dave Archer, and Sideline: John Michaels.

TV COVERAGE BY CBS: Play-by-play: Ian Eagle and Color Analyst: Dan Fouts.

NATIONAL RADIO BY WESTWOOD ONE: Play-by-play: Howard David. Color Analyst: Tony Boselli.

5 QUESTIONS WITH IAN EAGLE

Q: How’s your preparation for Sunday’s game going?

A: I did the Falcons and Packers playoff game on radio last year and at that point I think the feeling around the league was that Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan were neck and neck with who’s going to be the next guy that jumps into the upper echelon of quarterbacks and we know what’s happened since then. Rodgers won that game, advanced on to the Super Bowl and now is the favorite to win the MVP. Matt has basically stayed at the same level. It’s amazing to think back to that one game as playing a pretty large role in the perceptions of where these two quarterbacks stand in the league.

Matt was right there. Now, here he is in a dogfight to try and make the playoffs. I still think they are a playoff team. I look at the logjam in the NFC and I still believe they can go to the postseason. The issue for me, just looking at the numbers, is that all of their wins have come against sub-par opponents with a combined record of 14-32. All of their losses have come against teams that are 26-11. That shows me that they are team that’s beating the teams they are supposed to beat. Teams that are at their level and above their level, they have not been able to breakthrough against them.

Q: What’s does your analysis of the defensive numbers tell you?

A: They are too inconsistent thus far this season. You would think that their defense would be farther along than it is at this stage. The playmakers are still there. [Curtis] Lofton is a playmaker. DeCoud makes plays, but he also makes mistakes. I’d say that their defense has been more frustrating than it’s been reliable so far this season.

Q: Any key matchups for you on Sunday?

A: The key matchup to me is how they deal with a veteran quarterback. Matt Hasselbeck has really been impressive with the way he’s led this team. He’s going against a good secondary as we know. His experience has really stood out over the course of the season for Tennessee. This is not a great receiving corps. They lost Kenny Britt. He’s now made Damien Williams into a legitimate threat. They find a way. With the Titans, nothing really jumps out at you, but they’ve been very competitive throughout the season even with a running attack that we all assumed would be among the best in the league. It’s Hasselbeck against those corners and that secondary.

Q: Do you expect the Falcons to handle adversity and bounce back from a tough loss?

A: If you look at the history under Mike Smith they’ve been very good bouncing from losses. They don’t lose consecutive games. It been 28 straight games where they haven’t suffered back-to-back losses. The precedent has been set that this team seems to respond and bounce back under adversity. While there is still a lot of season left, this is a really pivotal game for these two teams. Looking at the standings, Tennessee is now in a position, with [Houston quarterback] Matt Schaub out for an extended time and potentially for the season, they’ve got an opening here with Matt Leinart going in. How do they handle that knowing that things might have just gotten a little tighter in the AFC South. For Atlanta, winning the division looks unlikely. Now, it’s a matter of fighting for playoff position. Unfortunately, when you get into the wildcard race, some things are out of your hands. All you can do is worry about going out and taking care of business and that’s what Atlanta faces this week.

Q: Are you looking forward to returning to the Georgia Dome?

A: I have not done a television game at the Georgia Dome since the Dan Reeves era. I’ve done a bunch of radio games there. I always enjoy calling games [at the Georgia Dome.] They have great sight lines. We have two teams that are playing well. Very good ambience and having called that Falcons-Packers game on the radio, the energy and the electricity was tangible coming into the game and then obviously things changed in a hurry. I’m looking forward to getting back to the Georgia Dome to call the game on television.

Ian Eagle is in his 14th year at CBS covering the NFL. It’s his second year working with Dan Fouts. He’s also worked with Rich Gannon, Solomon Wilcots and Mark May. Also, he’s been the voice of the New Jersey Nets for 18 years and has done the NCAA basketball tournament for last 14 years for CBS and he does the Thursday Night NFL games on Westwood One Radio with Trent Green.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

Get instant updates on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC Falcons.

25 comments Add your comment

Truth Hurts

November 18th, 2011
12:21 pm

JB FALCON

November 18th, 2011
12:25 pm

Ian sounds like the kind of guy who will call the game as he sees it without siding on either team. That will make the game a lot better.

Remarkable

November 18th, 2011
12:25 pm

Where is Matty Ice? Those short passes he made last year are no where to be found this year.

Michael M.

November 18th, 2011
12:29 pm

Atlanta 31————Titans 17
Deposit it in your Sports Bank Boys !

JSS

November 18th, 2011
12:36 pm

“The issue for me, just looking at the numbers, is that all of their wins have come against sub-par opponents with a combined record of 14-32. All of their losses have come against teams that are 26-11. That shows me that they are team that’s beating the teams they are supposed to beat. Teams that are at their level and above their level, they have not been able to breakthrough against them.”
– Ian Eagle

I wasted a perfectly good afternoon wasting my time making the same point yesterday… 1-5 against those teams who have winning records. Everybody see it except for the dead enders…

Really?

November 18th, 2011
2:32 pm

You removed my comment about your poor spelling?

hiramsaint

November 18th, 2011
2:56 pm

friday , 2:55pm- mike smith makes another stupid decision and comes to work today!

Michael M.

November 18th, 2011
3:10 pm

@ hiramsaint————-> Blah,Blah Blah, and then More Blahhhh , ,
Michael M. says ——-> Deal with it Hiram…..lmao

Tell it like it is.

November 18th, 2011
3:48 pm

I hope the Falcons make better game decisions this time.Last week we let one get away,and may cost us down the line.Got to win out now!

Robert08

November 18th, 2011
3:59 pm

Who cares what the announcer thinks? I want to know how is the team refocusing after the tough loss to the Saints? How is Julio Jones, Curtis Lofton and William Moore? Will they play?

Long Time STH

November 18th, 2011
4:57 pm

JSS..We have not been blown out by any “winning” team this year however. A couple of plays here and there could have changed the outcomes on all. Last year we were winning those. Packers still have our number, but Saints, and TB are both winnable and they should also win the next two.
Robert08. Julio didn’t practice and is questionable. Moore is out.

Long Time STH

November 18th, 2011
4:58 pm

Forgot to add..Lofton is probable.

Robert08

November 18th, 2011
5:21 pm

Thanks … I saw that on Falcons Facebook page after this was posted.

hiramsaint

November 18th, 2011
6:14 pm

oh believe me mikey , i’ve been dealing with it all week long and it’s one of the best dealings i’ve had to deal with ! now , how are y’all gonna deal with not making the playoffs ?

JSS

November 18th, 2011
6:31 pm

A loss is a loss… That little waxing back in January was a blow out…

CGD..

November 18th, 2011
7:00 pm

JSS

November 18th, 2011
12:36 pm

“The issue for me, just looking at the numbers, is that all of their wins have come against sub-par opponents with a combined record of 14-32. All of their losses have come against teams that are 26-11. That shows me that they are team that’s beating the teams they are supposed to beat. Teams that are at their level and above their level, they have not been able to breakthrough against them.”
– Ian Eagle

“I wasted a perfectly good afternoon wasting my time making the same point yesterday… 1-5 against those teams who have winning records. Everybody see it except for the dead enders…”

“The Ship Be Sinkin” Former New York Knicks Two Guard..

Hey JSS, these loooooooooog time Falcon Fanatics have expectations have been set real low by this under performing franchise for almost 5 decades. They cant see the tree in front of them while their standing in the forest….lmbo!

The Titanic is taking on water very slowly but its coming Mr. Blank….

That almost 4 touch down loss @ home on National TV was a disgrace! Unacceptable..

Fire COACH SMITH YESTERDAY

Good stuff @Ian Eagle!

CGD..

November 18th, 2011
7:12 pm

“I did the Falcons and Packers playoff game on radio last year and at that point I think the feeling around the league was that Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan were neck and neck with who’s going to be the next guy that jumps into the upper echelon of quarterbacks and we know what’s happened since then. Rodgers won that game, advanced on to the Super Bowl and now is the favorite to win the MVP. Matt has basically stayed at the same level. It’s amazing to think back to that one game as playing a pretty large role in the perceptions of where these two quarterbacks stand in the league.

CGD..

November 18th, 2011
7:13 pm

@Ian Eagle, yeah it is amazing! Rodgers is the one and Ryan aint! ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

JSS

November 18th, 2011
7:14 pm

@ CGD…
They will spin it harder than Karl Rove in front of a room of deep pocket hedge fund managers! And then someone had the nerve to say they haven’t been blown out this year! But hey, at least he admitted that the Packers have their number! The scary thing that I have never brought up is that last 4 above .500 opponents that have come into the Dome have walked out with a W. So much for the aura of Matt Ryan invincibility at home, it is a myth…

JSS

November 18th, 2011
7:31 pm

And as you said, that Chicago game was a nearly 3 TD bloodbath…

CGD..

November 18th, 2011
7:32 pm

Yea JSS, Ryan has become a Myth! Great way to put it Sir…

Man I miss Basketball already….Hawks not so much! lol

CGD..

November 18th, 2011
7:37 pm

Thanks to Karl we have two unwinable wars that are draining our pockets dry….

JSS

November 18th, 2011
7:52 pm

I’ll leave Rove’s accountability alone because too many loons come out of the woodwork and these blogs descend into place that no adult should to be witness too… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… Here they come!

In Consistent Blogging

November 18th, 2011
8:23 pm

I’m concerned about the way this blog is administered. You should be too..

Wrecker

November 20th, 2011
9:09 pm

Anybody else wish Dan Fouts would shut up?