Falcons have not traditionally been ready for prime time

The Falcons, who have dropped six straight on Monday Night Football, don't want to get too hyped like they did in 2005. They got into a pregame s<IMG class="size-medium wp-image-14621" title=Rumble alt="The Falcons, who have dropped six straight on Monday Night Football, don't want to get too hyped like they did in 2005.  They got into a pregame scuffle with the Philadelphia Eagles before a Monday Night Football game on Sept. 12. Philadelphia Eagles All-Pro middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter and Falcons defensive back Kevin Mathis were ejected before kickoff.  (Associated Press)  " src="http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-blog/files/2012/09/Rumble-300x138.jpg" width=300 height=138 mce_src="http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-blog/files/2012/09/Rumble-300x138.jpg">cuffle with the Philadelphia Eagles before a Monday Night Football game on Sept. 12. Philadelphia Eagles All-Pro middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter and Falcons defensive back Kevin Mathis were ejected before kickoff. (Associated Press)

The Falcons, who have dropped six straight on Monday Night Football, don't want to get too hyped like they did in 2005. They got into a pregame scuffle with the Philadelphia Eagles before a Monday Night Football game on Sept. 12. Philadelphia Eagles All-Pro middle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter and Falcons defensive back Kevin Mathis were ejected before kickoff. (Associated Press)

FLOWERY BRANCH — When the league and the television networks have scheduled the Falcons on Monday Night Football, the franchise has traditionally been a major not-ready-for-prime-time performer.

The Falcons (1-0) will get a chance to improve their 9-24 (.273) MNF record when they face Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos (1-0) at 8:30 p.m. at the Georgia Dome.

Both teams are ranked in the top 10 in the league power rankings by the Associated Press, ESPN.com and Pro Football Weekly. The Falcons are ranked 6th (ESPN.com), 7th (AP Pro 32) and 6th (PFW) while the Broncos are ranked 9th (ESPN.com), 6th (AP Pro 32) and 9th (PFW).

“This week is going to be a tough test for us,” Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez said.

The Falcons are 0-3 on MNF under head coach Mike Smith and have dropped their last six MNF games. Their last MNF victory was a 36-17 win over the Saints on Dec. 12, 2005.

Manning is a formidable MNF foe. He’s posted an 11-3 record on MNF.

He was strong last week against Pittsburgh in his comeback from a 20-month layoff because of neck surgery.

“I do think physically, he’s back,” ESPN analyst Jon Gruden said. “He’s quick. He looks sudden. He looks natural under center.”

In their last MNF appearance, the Falcons gave up the league’s single-season record for most passing yards, to Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints in a 45-16 loss on Dec. 26, 2011.

The franchise’s MNF highlight occurred in 2005 when the Falcons became the first team to win three home games in a season with wins over the Eagles, (14-10, Sept. 9) Jets (27-14, Oct. 24) and Saints (36-17, Dec. 12).

That Jim Mora-led squad also had a pregame rumble with the Eagles. Philadelphia linebacker Jeremiah Trotter and Falcons defensive back Kevin Mathis were ejected before kickoff.

So, while the Falcons want to be fired up for the Broncos, they can’t get too excited and receive the Trotter-Mathis treatment from the replacement referees.

Even with the proliferation of Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday night games during the NFL regular season, Monday Night Football has maintained its allure with the players.

“That’s what you dream about growing up as a kid,” cornerback Asante Samuel said. “You want to be a superstar, a NFL star, a football player and you know that Monday Night is prime time, so you get excited about these games.”

Even for Gonzalez, who’s in his 16th year in the league, the Monday night game is still very special.

“It’s really cool,” Gonzalez said. “Your schoolteachers when you were little kids are watching. The people that you’ve lost touch with and the people that you still keep up with, they are all watching. So it’s a chance to shine on the national stage. Old girlfriends” are watching. ‘Look at me now!’ ”

The Falcons played all four of their exhibition games at night. They’ve been through that routine of sitting around all day before playing.

“You just can’t get anxious,” running back Michael Turner said. “You have to stay focused and not try to get yourself too worked up for the game. Sitting around, it’s a waiting game.”

The Falcons met with the producers and talent from ESPN on Saturday. They’ll have meetings in the morning before the game.

“It’s an all-day process,” Turner said. “We are going to study and prepare up until the last minute. Coach [Smith] is going to take advantage of every minute.”

The Falcons were one of three teams to score 40 or more points in Week 1.

If they are able to score on their first eight possessions like they did against the Chiefs, the Broncos would likely be in for a long evening.

“We are not anticipating that it’s going to be that routine like last week,” Gonzalez said. “They’ve got guys like Von Miller and (Elvis) Dumervil, so we’re going to have to protect Matt in order to get the ball down the field. Champ Bailey is one of the best ever to play this game.”

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60 comments Add your comment

Grape Nuts are neither grapes or nuts

September 17th, 2012
2:24 pm

Sigh…..No one can say first now.

JSS

September 17th, 2012
2:24 pm

There’s no bad blood between these teams like there was in ‘05… Just going to one team’s strength against another team’s perceived strength…

Vinny D

September 17th, 2012
2:36 pm

I am expecting a very close game. I think their D is underrated and the loss of Grimes scares me. Hopefully the Dome will be rockin!

Esquire

September 17th, 2012
2:39 pm

Heck Grape Nuts……………..all of us can write first now. First now…………….SEE! Told ya!

Hey JSS, maybe we could get Eugene Robinson to come down to the locker room and jack these guys up. Ask them to play like the Champions they could have been if not for a small police matter.

StuDawg

September 17th, 2012
3:01 pm

I was at the SB in Miami in 99 when the Broncos embarassed us, hopefully they dont do it again tonight on MNF at home.

Esquire

September 17th, 2012
3:05 pm

DLed, you’re writing about a team from “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….”. This isn’t the Rankin Smith era, this isn’t the fiasco of 2007. This is the Blank owned, Dimitroff sculpted, Smith coached, Matt Ryan quarterbacked, 4 back to back winning seasons, 2012 edition of the

*********************NFL Atlanta Falcons NFC South Champions***********************

_____________________*******RISE UP*******____________________

Sage of Bluesland

September 17th, 2012
3:09 pm

Is Keith Brooking set to start?

Esquire

September 17th, 2012
3:13 pm

StuDawg
September 17th, 2012
3:01 pm

I was at the SB in Miami in 99 when the Broncos embarassed us, hopefully they dont do it again tonight on MNF at home.

___________________________________

In my opinion the Bronco’s did not embarrass us, Eugene Robinson did……….

How do you go from accepting the Bart Starr Award from the Christian group Athletes in Action to a nice pair of matching bracelets in the wee hours of the morning before the biggest game of your life……? That game was over as soon as Dan Reeves phone rang.

Grape Nuts are neither grapes or nuts

September 17th, 2012
3:26 pm

OK…..No one can claim first.

SirReal

September 17th, 2012
3:31 pm

@esquire Yeah Robinson trying to solicit an undercover agent pretty much took a lot of wind out of the sails. He should have at least waited until we won the title!LOL LOL We actually had a great team that year so yeah, the Broncos didnt really embarass us moreso than people on our own team.
Fast forward to now, I think we’ve done a decent job. The year we went 13-3 we had a couple natl games and showed up. Beat the bears and someone else I believe. We did a decent job in our thrusday night slugfest with the Ravens. MNF is no different. A big stage is a big stage. The Birds will be ready. Its should be a better game than some fans I see on here believe. I wish we’d stop the knee knocking and get ready for a good game.

JSS

September 17th, 2012
3:36 pm

“How do you go from accepting the Bart Starr Award from the Christian group Athletes in Action to a nice pair of matching bracelets in the wee hours of the morning before the biggest game of your life……?”

Since when has hypocrisy ever needed excuse to happen? Y’all are too hard on Robinson
Eugene’s working for the Panthers, you may want to call C. Bennett and see if he can teach your chosen leader Weatherspoon to stay on the field!

Just Sayin.....

September 17th, 2012
3:47 pm

Elite qbs win in prime time…..

Just sayin…..

Esquire

September 17th, 2012
3:48 pm

SirReal
September 17th, 2012
3:31 pm

I wish we’d stop the knee knocking and get ready for a good game.

*******************************************************

That was my point in presenting some stats on the 2010 Peyton Manning…….he is not a GOD.
36 years old coming off of major surgery, we can take this guy.

Monday night curse is real...

September 17th, 2012
3:55 pm

Broncos 56
Fail clowns 10
Game summary: Falcons take 10-0 lead into halftime, and are on top of the world. Matt Ryan starts the second half off with a pick 6, which kicks open the flood gates. I recommend leaving early because riding Marta after dark can be an adventure…

Esquire

September 17th, 2012
3:59 pm

JSS
September 17th, 2012
3:36 pm

I’m only responding, no attack on Eugene here. Like I said, that was all over the moment Dan Reeves picked up the phone. And I know he’s doing radio for the Panthers, still active in the Church and hopefully still happily married to the same woman.

Esquire

September 17th, 2012
4:01 pm

Monday night curse is real…
September 17th, 2012
3:55 pm

SuxThisBZero……………..you are making me laugh. Woooooo ghosts and goblins and it ain’t even Halloween.

Esquire

September 17th, 2012
4:03 pm

I wish we’d stop the knee knocking and get ready for a good game.

*******************************************************

That was my point in presenting some stats on the 2010 Peyton Manning…….he is not a GOD.
36 years old coming off of major surgery, we can take this guy.

****************************************************************************
****************************************************************************
BUT JUST IN CASE FALCONS BRING YOUR “A” GAME! LOL……!!!

Damage Inc.

September 17th, 2012
4:09 pm

esquire- they won’t use their real names. They’re too (as in 0 and 2) embaressed.

Monday night curse is real...

September 17th, 2012
4:10 pm

Peyton is 9-1 in his last 10 Monday night games. The Falcons…not so much? Maybe it’s because they’re worried about their cars being stolen!

Monday night curse is real...

September 17th, 2012
4:11 pm

@Damage inc.
You misspelled embarrassed.
You fail.

JSS

September 17th, 2012
4:12 pm

That game was over the minute Dan Reeves started to game plan… They played their best ball when he was in the hospital…

Damage Inc.

September 17th, 2012
4:12 pm

curse- don’t be a debbie downer. Don’t you have billy goats trying to cross your bridge troll?

Damage Inc.

September 17th, 2012
4:13 pm

Did I misspell troll too (as in 0 and 2)

Monday night curse is real...

September 17th, 2012
4:14 pm

There are teams in the NFL that have never won a Super Bowl, one of them is playing tonight. Guess which one it is…

Monday night curse is real...

September 17th, 2012
4:16 pm

Not a Saints fan…I just dislike the Falcons, and their uber delusional fan base.

Damage Inc.

September 17th, 2012
4:18 pm

I give up. Who?

Monday night curse is real...

September 17th, 2012
4:19 pm

It’s not the Falcons! :)

Damage Inc.

September 17th, 2012
4:20 pm

I don’t like lots of teams. Guess what? I don’t go on their blogs. Not sure what that means for you though..

Damage Inc.

September 17th, 2012
4:21 pm

I wondered when the smiley face would come up choke.

Monday night curse is real...

September 17th, 2012
4:24 pm

Not Choke either…but I do think his posts are hilarious!
:)

gl

September 17th, 2012
4:25 pm

A victory tonight would send a message nationally that the Falcons are a contender for a championship. It would shock many pundits that easily dismiss Atlanta. So, for the city and Falcon fans everywhere I hope the Falcons defeat the Broncos convincingly.

Monday night curse is real...

September 17th, 2012
4:26 pm

Tell you what Damage Inc. meet me back here after your beloved Falcons lose, and then we’ll talk about that Curse of Monday night!!! ;)

Damage Inc.

September 17th, 2012
4:28 pm

Which bridge will you be under? I’ve got to warn the goats!

Monday night curse is real...

September 17th, 2012
4:28 pm

T minus…4 hours until the Monday night beat down begins!!!
:(

Damage Inc.

September 17th, 2012
4:29 pm

We’ll see you back tomorrow right? Don’t go and hide like all the saints scrubs.

Michael M.

September 17th, 2012
4:31 pm

Only cursing tonight will be Manning when he throws a couple of interceptions……………..then after he has lost……………………………………………..you’ll see that bottom lip stuck out and the stupid pouting look he always gives when he has just tasted a spoonful of defeat………………………………………………………and I hate those ugly uniforms …………………………almost reminds me of the Tennessee Volunteers……………………………………..

Monday night curse is real...

September 17th, 2012
4:32 pm

I’ll be in the Gulch…I’ll be the one laughing my butt off after the beat down. Place your bets:
Broncos 56
Falcons 10

Monday night curse is real...

September 17th, 2012
4:33 pm

Falcons are the UGA of the NFL! Wait! At least UGA has won a championship!!!!

Michael M.

September 17th, 2012
4:44 pm

This isn’t college and Peyton Manning aint John Elway and this isn’t the Superbowl………………56 to 10 is sooooooooooo funny………………………

Monday night curse is real...

September 17th, 2012
4:51 pm

You’re right Michael M. How’s this?
Broncos 55
Falcons 10
Better? ;)

Michael M.

September 17th, 2012
4:55 pm

no…………..if you put it in a different frame of light…………….it may wind up looking like this……………………………………Falcons 33 – Broncos 26

…………………………but we will know the real deal shortly, in about six or so hours………….

Monday night curse is real...

September 17th, 2012
5:12 pm

No, because I’m rational and realistic. You are being a fan…no offense. Falcons wet the bed again on national TV.

easynow

September 17th, 2012
5:16 pm

Past history is nothing more than hype for all you pin heads..Matt Ryan and company have more than enough tools to get the job done..this game lines up for me as a prequel or playoff game to show the world once and for all that the Falcons can line up with the best of the best and WIN!! Matty Ice needs
to “school” Payton manning and the Broncos on the no huddle offense and the run game needs to break out large..the defensive line thrust needs to be all over manning & crew like stink on poo poo!!
We get the push up front, keep Ryan clean and we win by 17..Rise up you clowns,rise up!

Atlanta Prime Time

September 17th, 2012
5:17 pm

Falcons Win
Falcons Win
Falcons Win
Falcons Win
Falcons Win
Falcons Win

Michael M.

September 17th, 2012
5:19 pm

A big yawn for your realistic expectations, we shall soon see who needs a diaper change………………………………………….

Michael M.

September 17th, 2012
5:22 pm

Ryan is 4-0 in home openers, and the Falcons have averaged 32.2 points in those victories over Detroit (34-21 in 2008), Miami (19-7 in 2009), Arizona (41-7 in 2010) and Philadelphia (35-31 in 2011).

copied and pasted D-led………………………………………..

Esquire

September 17th, 2012
5:34 pm

Monday night curse is real…
September 17th, 2012
5:12 pm

No, because I’m rational and realistic.

***************************************************************
Hey Dunce hat, fool. You can’t have a handle like “Monday night curse is real” then write how you are rational and realistic. Congratulations, you get the ignoramus anus of the day award!

Flacco – 2 interceptions, lost fumble, not a good day for Joe. (only 232 yards passing, you can’t be serious)
Brees – Pick 6 thank you very much (Brees post game quote: “damn my back side hurts”)

Just Sayin.....

September 17th, 2012
5:35 pm

The Falcons beat the team that was blown out by the team that was blown by the team that the Falcons blew out that got blown out by the team they play tonight.

Just sayin…..

Michael M.

September 17th, 2012
5:39 pm

Just sayin posts like he just got up from a Falcon’s sack………………….lmao…………………………….

Michael M.

September 17th, 2012
5:42 pm

Drew Sleeze got lucky yesterday on that sack that his leg was not in another position or otherwise he would probably be done for the year…………very lucky indeed……………………………………..