Atlanta Falcons: Ryan Mathews could test run defense

September 17, 2012 - Atlanta, Ga.,: Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) shows his frustration with running back Willis McGahee, right, after Manning is sacked by the Atlanta Falcons in the first half of their game in the Georgia Dome Monday night in Atlanta, Ga., September 17, 2012. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

September 17, 2012 - Atlanta, Ga.,: Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) shows his frustration with running back Willis McGahee, right, after Manning is sacked by the Atlanta Falcons in the first half of their game in the Georgia Dome Monday night in Atlanta, Ga., September 17, 2012. JASON GETZ / JGETZ@AJC.COM

FLOWERY BRANCH – San Diego running back Ryan Mathews, who suffered a broken clavicle  on Aug. 9 on his first preseason carry, could return to face the Falcons at 4:05 p.m. Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium.

He was cleared for contact last week, but didn’t play in the 38-10 rout of Tennessee.

Mathews, who played for Falcons offensive line coach Pat Hill at Fresno State, has averaged 4.7 yards a carry in two seasons in the NFL. He rushed for 1,091 yards and six touchdowns in 14 games last season.  

The Chargers averaged just 1.6 yards per carry in their season-opening win over Oakland. With backup Jackie Battle carrying the load, they had 18 carries for 82 yards — a 4.6 average — with two touchdowns against the Titans.

The Falcons have not stopped the run against Kansas City or Denver.  

Denver running back Willis McGahee rushed 22 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns against the Falcons, who played 66 of 67 snaps against the Broncos in their nickel defense.

Overall, the Broncos rushed 27 times for 118 yards. The Chiefs rushed for 152 yards on 33 carries against the Falcons in Week 1.

The Falcons are giving up 135 yards per game, which ranks eighth in the NFL.

“We’re giving up too many rushing yards right now for our liking,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “We’ve got to be able to line up and stop the run when people are going to try to run the football. I think they were effective running the football. That was their answer to our disguise and the looks that we were showing them.”

The defensive line should be able to help more if they can take their normal rotation against San Diego.

Defensive tackles Jonathan Babineaux and Vance Walker had a sack each against Denver. Defensive end Kroy Biermann led the linemen with five tackles.

“There were only certain times that we could rotate in a no-huddle drive,” Smith said. “Basically if we put a guy out there, he was going to be out there for that drive. We didn’t have the capability to be running guys in and out like we normally do when the team is huddling.”

The Falcons’ defense held the Broncos to 4-of-12 (33 percent) on third-down efficiency.

Linebackers Stephen Nicholas and Sean Weatherspoon combined for 18 tackles to lead the defense against the Broncos.

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106 comments Add your comment

yeahsure

September 19th, 2012
10:24 am

We need to give Snelling and Quizz more touches. Turner needs to get his head on straight.

The Real Falcon

September 19th, 2012
10:35 am

We need an OL that can run block And pass block. We don’t have one and every non-footbal fan doesn’t get it

mountain_jim

September 19th, 2012
10:36 am

Bench Turner. Snelling and Quizz yes, but how about some speed back runs to the outside with Antone?

The Real Falcon

September 19th, 2012
10:37 am

If Antoine was that good Smitty would be playing him.

Michael M.

September 19th, 2012
10:51 am

Its like Coach Smith said…………..they need to be able to run the ball at times during the game when they feel that is what they need to do to move the chains and he means getting 7,8,9, or more yards per run, not the average 2 or 3 they have been getting per carry…………………they need the run game as well as the pass
Everybody blames it on Turner, but really ……………………….has anyone else showed up in the running attack either ?

Seen This B4

September 19th, 2012
11:20 am

I would forecast a four game suspension for Turner for drunk driving. Maybe more?

rollo lawson

September 19th, 2012
11:23 am

Garrett Reynolds is pathetic!! Did anyone else notice? Get Peter Konz ready quick, fast and in a hurry. Also, let’s get a look at Antone Smith. I believe this guy brings an added dimension to our running back corps, SPEED!!! Turner is on his last legs.

Cejay

September 19th, 2012
11:23 am

First offense…….never happen Seen

Cejay

September 19th, 2012
11:28 am

Turner will probably get a $50,000 fine from the league. I doubt very seriously any suspension time would occur from first offense. If it did, 1 – 2 games max, but I doubt it

Esquire

September 19th, 2012
11:41 am

5-6-7-8
Everywhere we goooO,
Everywhere we goooO,
People wanna knooOw, People wanna knooOw,
Who we aaa are, Who we aaa are,
So we tell them, So we tell them,
We are the FALCONS!! We are the FALCONS!!
Mighty mighty FALCONS, Mighty mighty FALCONS!!
OHH AHH OHH YEEAHH

Seen This B4

September 19th, 2012
11:44 am

@Cejay: It was Vilma’s first offense too, and assumming Vilma was guilty, which I have not done, but for the sake of argument, let’s just say he was, all he was doing was putting other players’ career in jeopardy, that’s it. As opposed to Turner who was putting the general public’s live’s at risk. Oh, I say he get’s at least four games, well deserved, and should be suspended for life.

I usually just read but...

September 19th, 2012
11:51 am

Speaking about the Turner thing. A few years back a friend called me and wanted me to bail him out for DUI. When I got to Sheriff office I was told to come back later because drunk drivers have to spend at least 24 hrs in a cell before they can be released. Is that a law? Has it been changed? or. Do some people just get special treatment? Anyone know?

yeahsure

September 19th, 2012
11:56 am

I wonder how well Ovie is healing up. I hope they’ve done their due dilligence on it. I’m not seeing much from Polite

tjhook

September 19th, 2012
12:02 pm

Stop hoping for a lengthy suspension, Seen. Turner has been charged, not convicted so nothing can officially until Turner gets his day in court or unless he pleads no contest or guilty.

Seen This B4

September 19th, 2012
12:02 pm

Do some people just get special treatment?! LOL!! You must be living a sheltered life to be asking that question. The answer is simple: Money talks.

Falcon Fan

September 19th, 2012
12:03 pm

Falcons 2-0, Saints 0-2. Seen This B4……

Esquire

September 19th, 2012
12:03 pm

Clark Haggans – SF was suspended for 3 games from a 2011 DUI conviction, his 2nd.

tjhook

September 19th, 2012
12:03 pm

Now, the only question is would Coach Smith sit him for being a reckless professional?

Seen This B4

September 19th, 2012
12:04 pm

@tjhook: Good observation, I can say the same thing about people who are crowning the falcan’ts as the division champs already.

Esquire

September 19th, 2012
12:04 pm

Falcon Fan
September 19th, 2012
12:03 pm

Falcons 2-0, Saints 0-2. Seen This B4……ZERO

lol

Seen This B4

September 19th, 2012
12:05 pm

@falcan’t fan: You must be an AJC reporter with that three day old news.

Esquire

September 19th, 2012
12:06 pm

NFL ATLANTA FALCONS NFC SOUTH CHAMPIONS 2012

tjhook

September 19th, 2012
12:06 pm

Seen, how well is that Curtis Lofton transaction working out? Good guy, but maybe A TAD overpaid.

Esquire

September 19th, 2012
12:08 pm

tjhook…………..but Lofton has been hurt hasn’t he?? What are they gonna do with Curtis when Vilma suits up………??

Cejay

September 19th, 2012
12:09 pm

@Seen
Vilma’s first offense of what ?? Is there a “premeditated act to harm someone for monetary gain” policy that I don’t know about. Vilma’s case is like apples to oranges….not even close. What Vilma supposedly done, there is no known protocol for because its never happened. Turner would have to fall under the leagu’se substance abuse program, which sadly has had lots of use. I’ll stand by what I said earlier and we’ll wait and see.

Seen This B4

September 19th, 2012
12:09 pm

@tjhook: No matter how much he bathes and scrubs he still reeks of that stench of falcan’t.

Seen This B4

September 19th, 2012
12:12 pm

@Cejay: You predicted a fine and no more than 1-2 games suspension. You must like hedging your bets…my earlier guess was a 4 game suspension and said nothing about a fine….

Seen This B4

September 19th, 2012
12:12 pm

@Cejay: You predicted a fine and no more than 1-2 games suspension. You must like hedging your bets…my earlier guess was a 4 game suspension and said nothing about a fine….

Esquire

September 19th, 2012
12:13 pm

Seen This B4
September 19th, 2012
12:05 pm

@falcan’t fan: You must be an AJC reporter with that three day old news.
________________________________________________

Hey DLed, that’s below the belt………………..that should be a blog 3 game suspension……..or FOR LIFE!!

Cejay

September 19th, 2012
12:16 pm

I said just a fine, and if there was suspension, no more than two games but I doubt suspension. You said four game suspesion and did not say anything about a fine……….lets wait and see

Esquire

September 19th, 2012
12:18 pm

Seen This B4
September 19th, 2012
12:09 pm

@tjhook: No matter how much he bathes and scrubs he still reeks of that stench of falcan’t.
________________________________________________________

It’s that #7 jersey

Seen This B4

September 19th, 2012
12:19 pm

Okay, but that could take weeks…in the meantime: GO CHARGERS!!!!

gb

September 19th, 2012
12:20 pm

seen get out of here yall losing and you still hatin. thats called big time loser

Cejay

September 19th, 2012
12:21 pm

yes GO CHIEFS !!!!!!!!!!!

Michael M.

September 19th, 2012
12:23 pm

You guys quit pickin on STB4……………..thats my Falcons buddy…………………….lmao……………

Esquire

September 19th, 2012
12:24 pm

Esquire
September 19th, 2012
12:03 pm

Clark Haggans – SF was suspended for 3 games from a 2011 DUI conviction, his 2nd.

___________________________________

PS reprinted without permission
“Haggans faced discipline after serving jail time in June after pleading guilty to DUI charges stemming from an April 2011 incident. His hearing before the NFL occurred on Sept. 5.”

Hell, Turner may not have a team to be suspended from if it takes that long to have a hearing.

Michael M.

September 19th, 2012
12:24 pm

Rise up little chiefs………………………………………..

tjhook

September 19th, 2012
12:25 pm

Seen, don’t be desperate. You need to worry about your team’s inability to play defense instead of hoping there are enough teams to knock off your rival (and my favorite football team). The Dirty Birds are in flight and you just need to appreciate the close view. Barring massive injuries, we ARE taking the division; the only question, of course, is like 2010. How well will we wear the crown (of being the best) once the playoffs start.

Esquire

September 19th, 2012
12:27 pm

Seen This B4
September 19th, 2012
12:19 pm

Okay, but that could take weeks…in the meantime: GO CHARGERS!!!!
_______________________________________________________

Notice how quickly people can jump on and jump off of a bandwagon.

Seen done split the scene from New Orleans.

Watch, before the end of the year he will be a FALCONS bandwagon jumper on-er.

Michael M.

September 19th, 2012
12:31 pm

Its just a misdemeanor, some cop nothing to do caught him speeding going home from some strip club after unwinding after the Big Game

North FLA Falcon

September 19th, 2012
12:32 pm

Suspension from the league may or may not come. But if the Falcons are smart, they will put Turner into a rehab program for a week or 2. Let him dry out. He wasn’t terribly productive anyway, he had 2 decent runs in 2 games. Let him get his sh*t together and maybe target him to return after the bye week. Meanwhile, groom Quizz, Smith, and Snelling to carry the load.

Michael M.

September 19th, 2012
12:35 pm

@ STB4……………….Seen, you see what the Atlanta defense did to Manning ? They are gonna do the same thing to Drew Sleeze and the Caints………………………………………….

Seen This B4

September 19th, 2012
12:39 pm

@gb: What? I wish you functionally illiterate people would stay off the blogs! LOL! Yeah, the Atlanta Public School system really did a number on most of you.

@tjhook: Let me get this straight, you had absolutely no partisan feelings with respect to the Skins/Saints and Can’thers/Saints games? You deny that you had no preference that our opponents would beat us? Is that what you’re saying? That I should not hope that the Chargers beat your sorry team? Cause if that’s what you’re saying, then you’re just full of sheet. Along with a number of your brethren here! LOL!

GEAUX SAINTS!!!

True Falcon Fan

September 19th, 2012
12:44 pm

@B4 —- you sound like a baby lost his momma in K-Mart in New Orleans….. ;)

Go Falcons — Chargers next

Michael M.

September 19th, 2012
12:45 pm

@ STB4……………..you need to make an appointment with a head shrink and take a lay on the couch routine………………..our sorry team ?…………..This is not a mularkey —–Van Gorder team anymore…………………….this is a really good football team this year……………..get over it already…………………………

True Falcon Fan

September 19th, 2012
12:45 pm

You are “CRYING” LOLOLOLOLOL :)

Cejay

September 19th, 2012
12:47 pm

Seen, one thing I don’t understand……how can you sit and call other teams “sorry” when your team has yet to win a game and is at the bottom of the division. Please enlighten me in your thinking

Michael M.

September 19th, 2012
12:49 pm

Seen = Coach John Fox of the Denver Broncos………………..hes nutting up………………………

Cejay

September 19th, 2012
12:51 pm

Michael, that actually made me laugh out loud

Michael M.

September 19th, 2012
12:52 pm

that poor soul……………………………………….