The defense had to make some adjustments

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon had a simple reason for the defense’s slow start.

“I don’t think we played tough in the first half,” said Weatherspoon, after Sunday’s 40-24 victory over the Chiefs. “We ended up playing a little bit tougher in the second half and we got some takeaways.”

Kansas City moved the ball at will in the first half and trailed 20-17 at halftime.

The halftime meeting with new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan was not very pleasant.

The Falcons defense came up with turnovers on three straight third quarter possessions to flip the tables on the Chiefs and hold them to only seven points in the second half.

Some of the defenders feel that the soft practice schedule, which basically bans tackling in training camp, was a contributing factor to their slow start.

“When [14-year veteran] Mike Peterson first came into the league, camp was camp, and you were going to know how to tackle because you’ve been doing it for a month,” Weatherspoon said. “We don’t get that many opportunities, so we kind of used the preseason games for tackling. That’s all we have and that has hurt us a little bit. We tackled better in the second half.”

Defensive end John Abraham got things started with a sack and strip on Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel.

Safety William Moore followed with an interception and Cassel, trying to make something happen, threw another interception to linebacker Stephen Nicholas.

The Falcons turned those three turnovers into 13 points to make it 40-17 with just 10:44 to play.

“That’s how you have to do it,” Weatherspoon said. “You have to go in, regroup. We didn’t play so well in the first half. The guys knew it. We knew it was on us to go out there and give some support to our offense because they were rolling the whole game.”

Nicholas led the Falcons with 12 tackles and also had two passes defensed. The interception was Nicholas’ second of his career.

23 comments Add your comment


September 9th, 2012
9:00 pm


September 9th, 2012
9:03 pm

Similar game to that of UGA and Mizz. Took a half to figure things out.


September 9th, 2012
9:05 pm

Enter your comments here


September 9th, 2012
9:08 pm

We need some big physical DB’s, it’s going to be a long year with Dunta Robinson, he in not worth a crap !


September 9th, 2012
9:16 pm

I’m happy that the defense actually made some adjustments at halftime, something that was nonexistent when VanGorder was here. It showed as the defense stepped up in the 2nd half!

loyal falcon

September 9th, 2012
9:26 pm

I saw some growth in the Falcons this game. I was waiting to see how they would adjust after halftime. They did a great job. It was very encouraging. These aren’t the same ole falcons people.
Go Falcons!

loyal falcon

September 9th, 2012
9:26 pm

Oh, almost forgot…JULIO IS A BEAST!

Falcon James

September 9th, 2012
10:07 pm

The adjustments were very noticeable. I have to say that this was Dunta worst game since becoming a Falcon. I am afraid that he goes downhill from here. The Chief new how bad he be and targeted him over and over. This is the Falcon worst nightmare because other team will see this and will throw his way all season. Too many people say that Dunta stink because BVG liked to play zone and Dunta was stronger playing man. Well guess what? The Falcon were in man coverage all day and Dunta still stunk it up.

Illini Chris

September 9th, 2012
10:25 pm

Still problems getting off the field and I think sometimes Falcons try to be too smart by half. Later in the game after Birds had taken control, they had the Chiefs in a 3rd and like 13. Blitzed Grimes and had Abraham drop back in coverage. I understand you want to keep offense guessing, but that just strikes me as absurd to have your coverage guy rushing and your rush guy in coverage.


September 9th, 2012
10:36 pm

The defense looked awful in he 1st half. But, it was good to see them making adjustments in the 2nd half. That my friends is what you called coaching. Wait until they gel together. this will be an awesome defense.

Slaw Dawg

September 9th, 2012
10:37 pm

Enter your comments here Still no pass rush with the exception of Abraham. Falcons gave the Chiefs way too much time to get rid of the ball. This will cause us major problems before the year is out. Cannot afford to give pro QB’s this much time.

Clown called jss

September 9th, 2012
10:38 pm

The D made adjustments at half and got after it. Hate that it took a half but glad to see our DC can make adjustments! Only things I might really be disappointed about the D was giving up so many first downs and giving up the 3rd and 14. Keep making adjustments we need them for next week!


September 9th, 2012
10:49 pm

Dent had ZERO tackles, Edwards two-this can’t continue-by the way Lofton had eight but we didn’t need him, did we?



September 10th, 2012
12:10 am

It’s silly to sit here and count Lofton tackles. Did the Saints win the game or not? Did the Falcons put up 40 on KC on their own field? Lofton is not a Falcon any more and he was not missed today. Move on with your life. This was Dent’s 1st start and he will be just fine.

This Gets Old

September 10th, 2012
1:35 am

Hmmm, something’s missing….where’s SeenThisB4?


September 10th, 2012
8:03 am

I didn’t get to see the game, did Akeem Dent play?


September 10th, 2012
8:04 am

The first half was a combination of two things, no pass rush and a too-soft zone coverage. Give KC props, their OL is huge but atheletic. Clearly, the Falcons better utilized their LBs in the second half. Spoon and Nich had great games, whether it shows on stats or not. And how about DeCoud? Running down Charles…
I think Robinson and Samuels both were releasing their men too early that will show up on film and be corrected. Hope Grimes is alright, he didn’t have a particularly good game either, but he is critical to the defenses success.


September 10th, 2012
8:10 am

Oh yeah and Julio is a beast.
Ryan 139.4 passer rating, second only to RG3, looked good, definately more athletic, and starting to trust is receivers in coverage more. Still needs to sharpen up passes inside the 10 more, should have had a couple more TDs.

Seen This B4

September 10th, 2012
9:25 am

Right here. What? Do you expect me to be there holding your hand This Gets Old. KMA.

No more eggcuses 4 Perrier Jerry

September 10th, 2012
10:48 am

I got a sulotion cut Perrier “BUST” Jerry.


September 10th, 2012
11:13 am

The D will have to be sharper from the start Monday in the Dome against Peyton, but it was good to see them bounce back in the 2cd half. Everyone’s back ripping Robinson again, he’ll show up, the whole D will improve, it was their 1st game in a brand new system & he drew a tough assignment in McCluster out of the slot. He would have given Grimes or any of our cb’s a difficult time in that match up. That being said, I would have like to see him adjust & try to press him at the line more to see in that would have been more effrective. But It also didn’t help our secondary that Cassle still had all day to throw, still need more pressure, but again I’m being patient & trusting Nolan’s scheme bc we finally have a trustworthy D cordinator.

I thought Nicholas & Spoon had very good games! & was impressed by DeCoud running down Charles

Big O

September 10th, 2012
1:24 pm

Yes, Julio is a beast. Question: if you look at the old combine/pro day numbers for Kevin Cone, you will discover his 40 yd time, vertical jump, and 225 lb reps are very nearly the same as Julio’s. Cone is 4 lbs lighter and 0.2 inches shorter than Julio which are nil differences. Remembering how Cone looked on the 49 yard catch, two tackle breaks, and acceleration away from defenders, Mr. Cone perhaps can be polished into a Julio look-alike?

byron farmer

September 10th, 2012
1:51 pm

Robinson is a joke. He reminds me of ” big play ray “, except he makes more money and is worse. When you pay a man for a job before he does the job — well, look what we got.