Archive for November, 2011

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 …

Continue reading TV, radio: 5 questions with CBS’ Ian Eagle »

Lofton added to injury report; Baker’s back injuries related

 

Bears running back Kahlil Bell (32) is tackled by Atlanta Falcons defensive end Ray Edwards, right, and linebacker Curtis Lofton (50) the second half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. AP

Bears running back Kahlil Bell (32) is tackled by Atlanta Falcons defensive end Ray Edwards, right, and linebacker Curtis Lofton (50) the second half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. AP

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons middle linebacker Curtis Lofton, the team’s leading tackler, suffered an ankle injury and was added to the injury report as “limited” on Thursday.

Also, left tackle Sam Baker went through his second practice after returning from a back injury.

Baker said the injury was related to a discectomy, a surgical procedure on herniated disc material in his lower back, that was done in 2008.

Baker would not say if he underwent an additional surgery for the recent injury that caused him to miss the last three games. The Falcons have just listed his injury as a “back” injury.

Lofton is third in the league with 85 tackles, according to NFL.com stats. He has 100 tackles, according to the coaches’ film review stats.

Lofton is the key figure in …

Continue reading Lofton added to injury report; Baker’s back injuries related »

Over 30 Club has been busy this week

FLOWERY BRANCH — When the going gets tough, like it is right now for the 5-4 Falcons, the team internally looks to its veterans for leadership.

In part, that’s why coach Mike Smith has a key veteran within each position group and empowers his “Over 30” club. The group is working overtime this week to help the team rebound from a difficult 26-23 overtime loss to the New Orleans Saints.

Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling (44) is brought down by New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Tom Johnson (96) and others during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Atlanta Falcons running back Jason Snelling (44) is brought down by New Orleans Saints defensive tackle Tom Johnson (96) and others during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

“What separates good teams and not-so-good teams is how you respond to the adversity,” said quarterback Matt Ryan on Wednesday.

They are trying to put a failed fourth-down attempt in their rearview mirror and make sure they are ready for the Tennessee Titans (5-4) at 4:15 p.m. Sunday at the Georgia Dome.

“The message will be, ‘you’re flustered …

Continue reading Over 30 Club has been busy this week »

Video: Falcons prep for Titans

D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports from the Falcons practice facility as they prepare for Sunday’s matchup with Tennessee.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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Injury update: Baker’s back; Jones, Moore still out

Falcons lineman Sam Baker blocks Carolina's Charles Johnson, giving Matt Ryan time to pass. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons lineman Sam Baker blocks Carolina's Charles Johnson, giving Matt Ryan time to pass. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

By Chris Vivlamore

 

FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons left tackle Sam Baker returned to practice on a limited basis Wednesday. Baker, who started the first six games this season, missed the past three games with a back injury. The team’s original diagnosis called for Baker to be out three to four weeks.

“We are going to bring him along and hopefully he’ll have more reps [Thursday] than he did [Wednesday],” coach Mike Smith said. “It’s a very good thing to get Sam back in. We are a little bit ahead of schedule.”

Baker starting working with trainers last week.

Wide receiver Julio Jones (hamstring) and safety William Moore (quadriceps) did not practice with injuries. Moore missed last week’s game against the Saints. Jones injured his right hamstring against the Saints and did not play in the second half. Both worked with trainers …

Continue reading Injury update: Baker’s back; Jones, Moore still out »

TALE OF THE TAPE: Titans (5-4) vs. Falcons (5-4)

110804 Flowery Branch - Atlanta Falcons defensive ends John Abraham and Ray Edwards watch a play from the sidelines during practice at training camp as Edwards gets some pointers from his new teammate in Flowery Branch on Thursday, August 4, 2011.     Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

110804 Flowery Branch – Atlanta Falcons defensive ends John Abraham and Ray Edwards watch a play from the sidelines during practice at training camp as Edwards gets some pointers from his new teammate in Flowery Branch on Thursday, August 4, 2011. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

The Falcons and the Titans have beaten just one team with a winning record this season.

The Titans beat Baltimore 26-13 on Sept. 18. The Falcons beat Detroit  23-16 on Oct 23. Baltimore and Detroit are 6-3. 

The combined record of the Titans’ victims — Baltimore, Denver, Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Carolina – is 15-31 (.326). The combined record of the Falcons’ victims — Detroit, Philadelphia, Seattle, Carolina and Indianapolis – is 14-32 (.304).

“It’s going to be hard to beat a team in Atlanta that needs to win as bad as we do,” said Tennessee coach Mike Munchak to the Nashville media on Monday.

The Titans are coming off a 30-3 win over Carolina. Running back Chris Johnson broke loose for a …

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Likelihood of defending NFC South title down to 15.4 percent

110812 Atlanta - Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan throws a pass to Julio Jones during 1st quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, August 12, 2011.      Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

110812 Atlanta – Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan throws a pass to Julio Jones during 1st quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Friday, August 12, 2011. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Can you say “Wildcard?”

The loss to the Saints has decreased the Falcons’ chances of making the playoffs from 48.6 percent to 34.6 percent, according to the web site www.makeNFLplayoffs.com which calculates the chances each NFL team will make the playoffs.

The Falcons’ chance of winning the division, and defending their NFC South title,  has decreased from 31.8 percent to 15.4 percent. They are virtually assured of making the playoffs with six more wins and have a 45 percent chance of making the playoffs with four more wins.

Here’s a look at the Falcons’ depth chart that was released by the team on Tuesday.

OFFENSE

WR 11 Julio Jones 83 Harry Douglas 14 Eric Weems

LT 72 Sam Baker 74 Will Svitek

LG 63 Justin Blalock 73 Kirk Chambers

C 62 Todd McClure 61 Joe Hawley 66 Brett …

Continue reading Likelihood of defending NFC South title down to 15.4 percent »

Video: Falcons in a good spot for playoff run?

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC sits down with CineSport’s Noah Coslov to discuss the Falcons 4th Down decision vs. the Saints and to preview the Titans.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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Harry Douglas steps in with Julio Jones out

 

 

 

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) can't make the catch as New Orleans Saints cornerback Jabari Greer (33) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Rich Addicks)

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) can't make the catch as New Orleans Saints cornerback Jabari Greer (33) defends during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2011, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Rich Addicks)

 

 

By Chris Vivlamore

Don’t forget about Harry Douglas.

The Falcons wide receiver has not played a significant role in the offense this season. On Sunday, it was the Saints defense that lost track of Douglas. The oversight nearly cost them the game.

Douglas, subbing for an injured Julio Jones, caught eight passes for 133 yards in the Falcons’ 26-23 overtime loss to the Saints. One reception, for 46 yards, came in the first half. The rest of the production came in the second half after Jones left with an injured right hamstring.

Douglas had three catches for 66 yards on the Falcons’ final drive of the fourth quarter that resulted in the game-tying field goal.

“Same mindset I have everyday, when I approach practice, when I …

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Video: Falcons come up short against the Saints

The AJC’s D. Orlando Ledbetter takes a look at the positives and negatives of the Falcons 26-23 overtime loss to the Saints at home.
–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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Continue reading Video: Falcons come up short against the Saints »