Falcons have traveled well out West under Mike Smith

091712 ATLANTA: Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith pumps his fist after a defensive stop against the Boncos bringing up fourth down during second quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Monday, Sept. 17, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

091712 ATLANTA: Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith pumps his fist after a defensive stop against the Boncos bringing up fourth down during second quarter action at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Monday, Sept. 17, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

FLOWERY BRANCH — The Falcons’ travel routine will be challenged this week.

Under fifth-year coach Mike Smith, the Falcons, who play the San Diego Chargers at 4:05 p.m. Sunday at Qualcomm Stadium, have posted a 5-0 record on the West Coast.

“We’ve been very fortunate since we’ve been here to go out to the West Coast and come back with the outcome that we were shooting for,” Smith said. “I think a lot of it has to do with how we lay it out to the players when the season starts, what our schedule is going to be and how we are going to approach it.”

Last season, the Falcons defeated Seattle 30-28, and they defeated the Seahawks 34-18 in 2010.

In 2009, they routed San Francisco 45-10, and in 2008 they won at Oakland (24-0) and San Diego (22-16).

The Falcons (2-0), who played this week on “Monday Night Football,” will leave for San Diego (2-0) on Friday and have a walk-through practice there Saturday.

Smith picked up the travel tips when he was an assistant coach under Brian Billick in Baltimore.

“We have a certain approach when we travel to the West Coast,” Smith said. “We will change up our practices during the week a little bit. We’ll try to keep our bodies on an East Coast time, the whole time that we are out there.”

West Coast teams generally are considered to be at a major disadvantage when they travel two times zones to the East. When they are playing 1 p.m. games, their body clocks are at 10 a.m. The same premise applies to East teams traveling at least two time zones to the West.

Some studies have concluded that athletes’ optimum performance time on their body clocks is in the afternoon. In will be early evening on the Falcons’ body clocks in the fourth quarter of the San Diego game.

The Falcons will make the adjustments this week in order to have their body clocks set for the time difference.

“This is a very short week,” Smith said. “We will be changing our practice schedule. Not necessarily the time, but what we are doing and how we are doing it.”

In an attempt to help their injured players recover, the Falcons will not practice in pads Wednesday.

“That was a very physical football game [against Denver] that was way too long and ended way too early in the morning,” Smith said. “Or we got out of there way too early in the morning.”

In addition to making sure they are physically ready, the Falcons are facing a hot San Diego team.

“San Diego is playing very good football,” Smith said. “[Quarterback] Philip Rivers, I think he’s number five in terms of passer rating right now. He’s throwing the ball extremely well. He’s not thrown a whole lot of interceptions. I think he’s only thrown one.”

Rivers is indeed off to a great start. He has completed 48 of 65 passes (73.8 percent) for 515 yards and four touchdowns. He has a passer rating of 110.7.

The Falcons could face Rivers without nickel back Christopher Owens, who’s in the NFL’s concussion program after Monday’s game.

“We feel like with the depth that we have in our secondary, even if guys go down, we feel like the next man can step right in and make plays,” cornerback Dunta Robinson said. “Losing [Brent] Grimes and Chris Owens. … We don’t panic because this group has been together the entire summer. We’ve seen guys make a lot of plays in the secondary. We understand that injuries are a part of this game.”

The Chargers, who have wins over Oakland and Tennessee, have allowed 83 rushing yards in two games. They held Tennessee’s Chris Johnson to 17 on eight carries.

“Their defense is outstanding,” Smith said. “They do a nice job with third-down efficiency. It’s going to be a big challenge for our team.”

Smith started to watch video of the Chargers on Monday, while waiting for the kickoff to the Denver game.

“They are playing with a lot of confidence,” Smith said. “They had a really efficient game last week. It was something where they started very, very fast, and then Tennessee was in catch-up mode.”

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62 comments Add your comment

ClassicFalcons

September 19th, 2012
5:18 am

We Win This Game… It May Be a While Before We Lose!! RISE UP DIRTY BIRD NATION!!!!!

Marcus

September 19th, 2012
5:44 am

DOL,
Is having had a late game (MNF) prior to a West Coast trip some “psudo prep ” for the body clock issue for the SD game?

Ken

September 19th, 2012
5:49 am

Falcons will continue to RISE UP!!!

Marcus

September 19th, 2012
5:51 am

I know the short week/less recovery time will also be an issue…but I guess other than having back-to-back MNF games or MNF-SNF back-to-back, I guess we were fortunate to have the latest-possible game start time for a regularly-scheduled game to max. out the time for recovery, travel notwithstanding.

Esquire

September 19th, 2012
6:09 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 theem, So we tell theem,
We are the FALCONS!! We are the FALCONS!!
Mighty mighty FALCONS, Mighty mighty FALCONS!!
OHH AHH OHH YEEAHH

The Real Rick

September 19th, 2012
6:11 am

Travel is part of the game…..This team seems more focused and ready to play than they have been in recent history…….last year they seemed very flat at times…Im hoping to see them come out and continue to play with the same intensity they have shown so far…..If they do, we will be 3-0….Rise Up

Esquire

September 19th, 2012
6:22 am

Marcus

September 19th, 2012
5:51 am
“have the latest-possible game start time for a regularly-scheduled game”
_______________________________________

That’s 1pm San Diego time.

FAILCANT fans a are so delusional

September 19th, 2012
6:29 am

Enjoy your 15 mins of fame…about to be over, loosahs…forever SB ringless in da ATL…lmao..

Jerry Glanville

September 19th, 2012
6:33 am

Smith deserves the west coast trophy!!

The Real Falcon

September 19th, 2012
6:54 am

Will Dent be making the trip or is he still missing in action? 1 tackle in 2 games!

The Real Falcon

September 19th, 2012
6:55 am

FAILCANT fans a are so delusional . Do the Aints still play football?

Mike Franklin

September 19th, 2012
7:15 am

Those saints fans do really hate us, don’t they? That’s not only sad, but also unhealthy.

Stupid

September 19th, 2012
7:23 am

Travel will not be an issue for the Falcons, everyone know it is easier to adjust to the time factor when you travel from east to west. Norv Turner has not been a successful head coach inthe NFL, this will be another win for the Falcons.

Mike is Back

September 19th, 2012
7:54 am

Dled, this will be another HIGH Profile opportunity for the BIRDS…Mike Smith and his Staff had a GREAT game plan for Denver…I just hope they stay on THE ATTACK!

O YEAH, that’s the Roddy White I remember.

RISE UP BIRDS…LET’S GO…LET’S GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seen This B4

September 19th, 2012
7:59 am

“This is a very short week,” Smith said. “We will be changing our practice schedule. Not necessarily the time, but what we are doing and how we are doing it.”

–I would venture that the Chargers aren’t changing a thing…..

Ed

September 19th, 2012
8:40 am

I think the Falcons will play well in San Diego and come back to Atlanta 3-0

OPEN YOUR EYES

September 19th, 2012
8:46 am

@ESQUIRE- STFU AND OPEN YOUR EYES!!!!!!!

dr

September 19th, 2012
8:57 am

We need a middle linbacker to help with run defense. Dent has one assist in two games. Sad

True Falcon Fan

September 19th, 2012
9:07 am

7:59 —- B4 is this one of your profound prophecy now trying to be suggestive, “What an idiot”

Cejay

September 19th, 2012
9:08 am

@OPEN YOUR EYES

I know your team is 0-2 but don’t be so angry………..are you back for more crow eating predictions ?

Geronimo

September 19th, 2012
9:12 am

I would venture that the Chargers are playing at home and did not have a short week.

Cejay

September 19th, 2012
9:12 am

That whole Peyton will murder the Falcons thing didn’t work out to good for you …..

Cejay

September 19th, 2012
9:13 am

I would venture that the caliber of the team has more to do with it than that…..just sayin’

Geronimo

September 19th, 2012
9:20 am

@Cejay Agreed. I say the Falcons will go out there, rattle Philip Rivers (who hasn’t been the most consistent qb), and get the win.

FalconFANatic

September 19th, 2012
9:21 am

Seen—How is Curtis Lofton workin’ out for ya? lololololol. The aints defense is pourous…I told you so :)

Michael M.

September 19th, 2012
9:23 am

It must be an optical illusion…………………………………..

Atlanta 2- 0 = The Champs————– ATL @ SD = 3 – 0

Tampa Bay 1 – 1 = trying —————TB @ Dallas = TB 1 – 2

Carolina 1 – 1 = wannabes————– NYG @ Carolina = Carolina 1 – 2

Caints 0 – 2 = bottom dwellers ——- KC @ NO = Caints 1 – 2

Grape Nuts are neither grapes or nuts

September 19th, 2012
9:31 am

You know, if you didn’t respond to the acerbic Saints fans, they would discontinue their discourse here. You all are fueling their behavior.

True Falcon Fan

September 19th, 2012
9:31 am

Esquire
September 19th, 2012
6:09 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 theem, So we tell theem,
We are the FALCONS!! We are the FALCONS!!
Mighty mighty FALCONS, Mighty mighty FALCONS!!
OHH AHH OHH YEEAHH

OPEN YOUR EYES
September 19th, 2012
8:46 am

@ESQUIRE- STFU AND OPEN YOUR EYES!!!!!!!

8:46 —- What a MORON!!!!

jay

September 19th, 2012
9:31 am

LOL, at the Dent comments. He can’t make tackles if he isn’t on the field. Nolan has been going with more Nickel packages. I think Weatherspoon and Nicholas played the entire game.

True Falcon Fan

September 19th, 2012
9:32 am

Great post “Esquire”

Go Falcons – Chargers next

Mikey

September 19th, 2012
9:35 am

The Falcons have started the season looking HOT! Last year, their first two games were weak and it took them a while to get things going. Not so this year… everybody is firing on all eight cylinders. San Diego will be a challenge for them not because of the time zone but because the Chargers are playing very well too. If our Falcons can continue such a high level of play as they have demonstrated, they will be a handful for Norv Turner and the boys. Regarding Mr. Dent… our Falcons seem to have figured out how to tackle everybody on every play so it really doesn’t make much difference who exactly got the tackle… this was a team win and Superbowls are won by TEAMS, not individual stat-grabbers. Mr. Dent played an important role on this great defense and contributed to a team WIN! GO FALCONS! YOU ARE RISING UP!

rome

September 19th, 2012
9:58 am

Y’all are killing me. We never played no more than two linebackers all night against Denver. Dent is fine he didn’t even see the game. He maxed a great special teams play. I would suggest watching the Falcons before giving your expert opinions to the public

Michael M.

September 19th, 2012
10:01 am

A big yawn…………………………………

Michael M.

September 19th, 2012
10:11 am

I read a story said John Fox was going to take Manning out of the MNG if they had another shot at the end of that game to try and get a score to beat the Falcons……………….desperation indeed for a Coach that was fanatical during the entire game !……………………………………

[...] to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Falcons under Mike Smith are 5-0 on the West [...]

Esquire

September 19th, 2012
11:06 am

OPEN YOUR EYES
September 19th, 2012
8:46 am

@ESQUIRE- STFU AND OPEN YOUR EYES!!!!!!!
_________________________________________________

Please tell me what’s getting under your skin
Cause I would be happy to do it again
S-T- F-U what’s the matter can’t you spell
I got no problem telling you to go to hell
“Open your eyes” ..what kind of handle is that
I’d rather you be “Cool Blue Channel Cat”
We all know you to be a bottom feeder
but surprised us all that you are an ___ eater.

Esquire

September 19th, 2012
11:10 am

Grape Nuts are neither grapes or nuts
September 19th, 2012
9:31 am

You know, if you didn’t respond to the acerbic Saints fans, they would discontinue their discourse here. You all are fueling their behavior.
________________________________________________
So in other words, don’t feed the trolls.

Esquire

September 19th, 2012
11:13 am

Seen This B4
September 19th, 2012
7:59 am

–I would venture that the Chargers aren’t changing a thing…..

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

…………………..and the Caints better be changing everything………..!!!!!!

Falcon James

September 19th, 2012
11:20 am

The Saint is definitely the cannon fodder of the NFL. But enough talking about the odds on favorite for uncontestedly securing the 2013 number one draft pick.

The falcons will be challenged this week but will give the Chargers a game. This could be a shoot out. Can’t wait to see what Nolan dials up.

FALCON fans are so irrefutable

September 19th, 2012
11:35 am

We are enjoying a 2-0 start to the 2012 NFL season. Will we be 16-0….? Probably not, but we will be better than your teams record. We’ve been to the Superbowl and will get their again before your team. By the way moron, all participates in the big game get a ring……….so quit saying ringless…..we got jewelry.

One last thing………….that lmao crap……….we know you’re not laughing your ass off, your team is floundering and showing little hope of regrouping this year. This is the year of the Falcon baby, take it like a man.

Well, ok, one very last thing:

FACT

old falc

September 19th, 2012
11:58 am

we need dent to showup and a real running back

Paddy

September 19th, 2012
12:06 pm

Fans, cut the Saints folks some slack. Their newspaper does not have a sports blog, so they can’t vent. Will leave FAILCANT out of this. He seems to have missed one to many Mensa meetings and will not be going on to the ‘lightning round’

johnm

September 19th, 2012
12:12 pm

The game isnt until 4:00 so they dont need any adjustment. It will basically be like a regular game

Michael M.

September 19th, 2012
12:17 pm

ha ! ha !………………………………… I just watched the Broncos- Falcons Game on rewind……………poor Peyton Manning was embarrassed , humiliated and murdered in that Monday night game……………..that first pick he shook his head and shrugged it off, that second pick he started looking worried , that third pick ha ! ha ! ha ! ha !…………………he was nutting up………………….and the sacks…………………………………lmao on lmao…………………….

Roger

September 19th, 2012
12:32 pm

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcwest/post/_/id/75148/mike-sandos-mvp-watch-55

Mike Sando’s MVP Watch

1. MATT RYAN
Quarterback | Atlanta Falcons … Next Game: 9/23 at SD … Last Poll: 3

Ryan has set a quick early pace while leading the Falcons to a 2-0 record. He leads the NFL in Total QBR by a wide margin thanks to five passing touchdowns, one rushing touchdown, two sacks and zero turnovers. He has never finished a season with 30-plus scoring passes or a completion percentage higher than 62.5. His quick start and the Falcons’ overall strength put Ryan in position to enjoy a career year both in production and team success.

2. ALEX SMITH
Quarterback | San Francisco 49ers … Next Game: 9/23 at MIN … Last Poll: 7

Smith ranks second only to Ryan in success rate, defined as percentage of place meeting accepted benchmarks for success (gaining 45 percent of the necessary yards on first down, 60 percent of them on second down and 100 percent on third and fourth downs). Like Ryan, Smith has zero turnovers through two games. Despite taking seven sacks, Smith ranks second only to Ryan in QBR among quarterbacks with enough attempts to qualify. He’s at 81.9 out of 100 after finishing last season ranked 22nd at 45.8. (Fifty is average, suggesting the 49ers won largely for factors beyond QB production.)

3. AARON RODGERS
Quarterback | Green Bay Packers … Next Game: 9/24 at SEA … Last Poll: 2

All MVP Watch candidates are not created the same. Those with lesser career credentials must be producing at a high level to earn spots on the list. The few players with Rodgers’ credentials get the benefit of the doubt in the absence of their usual production, especially early in the season. Rodgers has yet to get going, but he has also faced two rugged defenses. The trend continues when the Packers visit Seattle in Week 3. Rodgers’ production should pick up against New Orleans (Week 4) and Indianapolis (Week 5) before a tough matchup at Houston (Week 6).

Dirtybird of Prey

September 19th, 2012
1:03 pm

@ Michael M

I take it u enjoyed the rewind of the game ha ha……well get ready 4 some more enjoyment cuz the Falcons r going 2 shock the Chargers….Go DirtyBirdz….Rise up….cuz we 2 legit 2 quit!

ijonathan

September 19th, 2012
1:11 pm

All those “where’s Dent” comments, others (and the coaches) have explained it…in the “new” pass-happy NFL, the Falcons rarely go with their base package, often going with their nickel or dime packages for the vast majority of the game. I think Dent only played 11 snaps in the KC game, probably similar in the Broncos game.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why they may have been okay letting Lofton go, this is why. As primarily a base defender/run stopper, Lofton proably wouldn’t have been getting many more snaps than Dent. At least so far, that was money much better spent elsewhere.

Marcus

September 19th, 2012
1:18 pm

Esquire

September 19th, 2012
6:22 am

Marcus

September 19th, 2012
5:51 am
“have the latest-possible game start time for a regularly-scheduled game”
_______________________________________

That’s 1pm San Diego time.

=================

I don’t disagree My point being it would feel like 4 pm EST to the body clock of the Falcons, since DOL brought up that point, and other than a SNF or a MNF game , this is the latest possible start time for the next game that the team could have (meaning maxing out recovery time) coming off this weeks’ MNF game.

Dirty Bird

September 19th, 2012
1:24 pm

Should be a good one, but they said that about the Bronco game as well!

RISE UP!

Mike Nolan is gonna do great things for this defense.

You don’t need superstar CBs, just a ball hawk secondary, and it showed Monday Night.

Even 5th string CBs were making picks!

Only thing that concerns me is Turner, on and off the field.

Dirty Bird

September 19th, 2012
1:26 pm

Speaking of opening eyes……..how about you open your eyes and realize this is a Falcon blog, not an aints one.