Falcons rough up Vick, Eagles to improve to 7-0




Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones scored on a 63-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. (Associated Press)

Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones scored on a 63-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. (Associated Press)

PHILADELPHIA — During their bye week, the Falcons heard all the chatter: Their 6-0 record was accumulated against the meeker souls of the NFL.

On Sunday, those same Falcons demonstrated that the league’s last undefeated team is strong enough to dismantle the dangerous Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles, winning 30-17 at rain-swept Lincoln Financial Field.

“We don’t care,” right tackle Tyson Clabo said of the perceived lack of national respect. “Everyone in here looks each other in the eye and we know that we believe in each other. We think we have something special.”

While it’s far too early to start talking about challenging Miami’s 17-0 perfect mark, the victory did allow Falcons coach Mike Smith to become the winningest coach in franchise history (50-21) on day when quarterback Matt Ryan was nearly flawless.

With Ryan’s pinpoint passing, some timely contributions from the ground game and better tackling, the Falcons shredded the Eagles, posting a 24-7 halftime lead and never looking back.

The Falcons, the NFL’s last remaining undefeated team, improved to 7-0. The Eagles dropped to 3-4.

Ryan completed 22 of 29 passes for 262 yards and three touchdowns, including a 63-yard bomb to Julio Jones in the second quarter. With their quarterback operating at a high level, the Falcons scored on their first six possessions. Punter Matt Bosher was called on only twice all day.

“Our offensive line did a great job in that (opening 80-yard) drive and, really throughout the entire day, of keeping a great pocket,” Ryan said. “We ran the ball really effectively, too.”

The defense, which has had having trouble stopping the run, made Vick look ordinary, taking better angles to the ball and wrapping up with force. Vick rushed for 42 yards on seven tries but was sacked three times.

The Eagles, who were averaging 379 yards per game, were held to 270 yards, their rushing attack limited to 92 yards on 24 carries.

Facing the Eagles’ revered defensive front, Atlanta stuck with their ground game and the plan eventually paid dividends. Running backs Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers combined for 118 yards rushing on 32 carries, Rodgers finally breaking loose for a 43-yard gain in the third quarter.

The offensive line, which featured rookie Peter Konz in his first NFL start, stayed after the Eagles all game.

“Our line coach Pat Hill said it was like an 80-round fight,” Clabo said. “There are 80 plays in a game, 80 rounds, and we had to answer the bell every time. I think we did. We just kept getting in the huddle, coming out and we were just fighting.”

While the offense was consistently putting up points, the defense was stifling Vick, who completed 21 of 35 passes for 191 yards.

“We knew that we could not allow their quarterback to extend plays,” Smith said. “He’s most dangerous when he extends plays. We knew that we couldn’t allow him to throw it over our head because he’s got a very strong arm. He’s got a 60-yard-plus arm.”

To counter the run, the Falcons used three defensive tackles on some downs, with Jonathan Babineaux shifting to defensive end.

“It’s just something that we’ve been working on,” said defensive tackle Corey Peters, who saw his first action of the season. “Maybe we’ll see more of it in the future. It just depends on what the offense is trying to do to us.”

With the defense tackling better, Eagles running back LeSean McCoy was held to 45 yards rushing on 16 carries.

“We tackled them when we had a chance to tackle them,” defensive end John Abraham said. “There weren’t many missed tackles. A lot of the big runs in weeks prior came from missed tackles. We did a good job of wrapping up.”

The Falcons came off of their bye week ready to play. The offense put together two long initial touchdown drives and the defense held the Eagles to a three-and-out as the Falcons jumped out to an early 14-0 first-quarter lead.

The Falcons led 24-7 at halftime.

The Eagles’ defense, under the direction of new coordinator Todd Bowles, didn’t seem to have any answers. The Eagles left wide receiver Drew Davis open for a 15-yard touchdown reception. The Eagles fired former defensive coordinator Juan Castillo on Oct. 16.

Davis’s grab capped a splendid opening 16-play drive that took 8:44 off the clock.

In his most extended duty, Konz appeared to hold up well in the trenches.

“He did a great job,” center Todd McClure said. “I told him that I was proud of him.”

The Falcons can take their case to the nation Sunday when they face Dallas in a nationally televised game at the Georgia Dome.

LATEST NEWS

Injury report: Harry Douglas is out; Peters may be activated

Falcons at Eagles: 3 key matchups

Falcons at Eagles: By the numbers

Is Michael Vick the “Coach Killer?”

Will the Philadelphia fans cheer for Asante Samuel?

OTHER RECENT STORIES

Q&A: Falcons coach Mike Smith on first practice after the bye week

Tight end Michael Palmer (shoulder injury) returned to practice on Monday

Defensive tackle Corey Peters (stress fracture left foot) returned to practice on Monday

Falcons shrugging off critics

Nicholas held out of practice with ankle injury

Hot start boosts Falcons’ TV ratings

Tony Dungy tells Mike Smith, ‘Get Michael Turner back involved’

Get instant updates on Twitter at AJCFalcons and you can join the Facebook Fan page at AJC Falcons.

117 comments Add your comment

Looking ahead......

October 28th, 2012
4:13 pm

Looking ahead......

October 28th, 2012
4:13 pm

Nice win for the home team!

Looking ahead......

October 28th, 2012
4:14 pm

Orlando, did you see the low light of MeAngelo Hall getting ejected for cussing out a ref?

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired

October 28th, 2012
4:16 pm

Great win for the Falcons…..Plus Mike Smith is now in sole possession of the coach with the most wins for the Falcons. Very few of the pundits thought that the Falcons would win in Philadelphia….oh well what do they know???????

FalconUGAFan

October 28th, 2012
4:16 pm

TNDAWG

October 28th, 2012
4:18 pm

Wow! Falcons 7-0 Kinda hard to believe. They really look good. GO FALCONS!!!

Hey, "CHOKE"

October 28th, 2012
4:18 pm

…where are you? But, at least #7 had no turnovers today…

Yo Vince

October 28th, 2012
4:22 pm

My Falcons …. yep

uga boy

October 28th, 2012
4:24 pm

FALCONS WIN SUPERBOWL / UGA WINS BCS JUST WATCH!!!!!!!!!! THE ATL CURSE IS OVER

GATiger

October 28th, 2012
4:26 pm

Now what would make the weekend complete is a complete destruction of St. Drew and his band of thugs in Denver.

Linda31652

October 28th, 2012
4:26 pm

Now, Mr. Bradley, get on a plane and get out of there before it’s too late.

Whadda Ya Know?

October 28th, 2012
4:27 pm

7-0 we just seem to keep winning. Dang where’s that little Seen Boy at? Go Falcons!!! Go Broncos!!!

Mike Franklin

October 28th, 2012
4:28 pm

Now then, let’s find some black pants and make the Coyboils wear their blue jerseys next week in OUR dome!

Mike

October 28th, 2012
4:29 pm

Atlanta Falcons 7.0 . Cowboys , welcome to our house and Mr. Jones might need lasik for next week. LOL

Mike Franklin

October 28th, 2012
4:29 pm

Oh yeah (almost forgot), to Mr. Bradley… the Dawgs won and the Falcons won.

You’re FIRED!

Mr. Mustard

October 28th, 2012
4:30 pm

Great game, good football. This Falcons team showed heart today in a tough place to play and in bad weather.

Solid, all the way around. Congratulations.

Th

October 28th, 2012
4:32 pm

I’m so disappointed with our horrible loss today. Everyone was right that Reid and the Eagles would expose the Falcons as the pretenders they are. NOT

lees

October 28th, 2012
4:33 pm

Would love to see the Cowboys beat the Giants and then hear the national sports media try to explain (whine) why they think the Giants are still the best team in football.(better than the Falcons???)

Still Gritz Blitz'n

October 28th, 2012
4:33 pm

Where vomit choke, & seen da’ floor at, Huh?

2012 Week 8 Rapid Reaction – ESPN (blog)

October 28th, 2012
4:33 pm

[...] (blog)Eagles narrowly avoid going 0-for-October in quarterback sacksYahoo! Sports (blog)Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) -NBCNews.com -SB Nationall 784 news [...]

Mike

October 28th, 2012
4:34 pm

Of course no love from FOX, ESPN and others. Don’t give us love , we don’t need your crap hype. By the way , thank you Mike Dytka , Keyshawn Johnson and others to pick the pigeons to win. How do you like these birds now ?

MarkATL

October 28th, 2012
4:34 pm

F-A-L-C-O-N-S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How dumb does Peter King feel now trying to cheer for Philly?? LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

bird

October 28th, 2012
4:35 pm

Any word on Spoon’s injury?

GregKennesaw

October 28th, 2012
4:35 pm

7-0, great job Falcons, and I see Scam lead his team to defeat again!

Mike Franklin

October 28th, 2012
4:35 pm

In honor of all the Ain’ts trolls who don’t have the stones to show up…

… no, there ain’t no honor there to honor.

never mind.

falcon fan

October 28th, 2012
4:35 pm

Shouldn’t that say “Falcons to improve to 7-0″ and not “Eagles to improve to 7-0″. Great job Falcons!

eagleschmegals

October 28th, 2012
4:36 pm

Nothing better than watching pissed off Philly fans take a brutal loss. Except maybe doing the same with Florida fans.

Linda31652

October 28th, 2012
4:37 pm

Bird, early reports on Spoon are saying sprain, not break but nothing confirmed. Hope we get some good news there. And soon.

Seven and O Falcons

October 28th, 2012
4:37 pm

Super Bowl with DLed !

MarkATL

October 28th, 2012
4:39 pm

Spoon has an ankle sprain. Hopefully he will be OK for next week.

JK

October 28th, 2012
4:39 pm

Great Falcons win! Eagles aren’t the greatest team, but a win on the road in Philly is still a really tough win! I love that all the Northeast-loving pundits (Keyshawn, Ditka, et al) thought that the hapless Falcons would lose to the Eagles and now they’re eating a big plate of BIRD after the Falcons stuffed those choker Eagles 30-17.

That being said, I think we still need a better running game and I’m worried about Spoon’s injury.

kd

October 28th, 2012
4:40 pm

Where are the non believers? Oh, and peters held his own

Paul

October 28th, 2012
4:40 pm

All the initial post-game media reports focus on the decline of the Eagles and their Defense, rather than the Falcons win and going 7-0. This disrespect will not end until the Birds win a playoff game.

The pundits will also pick the Cowboys to win Sunday Night.

Realfalconfan

October 28th, 2012
4:41 pm

man guys hope spoon is ok that is huge!!!!!

kd

October 28th, 2012
4:43 pm

Falcon nation!!!!! No more listening to these dumb ass analyst, capeeeesh???????

MarkATL

October 28th, 2012
4:43 pm

Who cares about the pundits?? Let them pick Dallas. Birds are focusing on 8-0!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Still Gritz Blitz'n

October 28th, 2012
4:46 pm

Even o’l ex falcon Jaime Dukes was say’n theres no way the falc’s couldn’t pull this off, the Eagles were play’n for Andy’s Job, michael’s job, everybody in philly’s job, so Mr. Dukes said the falcons would never succeed in hostile environment, & the elements. Wow, no love man, no love, that’s ok, the more the can’t do sayers, the more they do win, Thank you Uncle Jaime, Thank you.

Still Gritz Blitz'n

October 28th, 2012
4:48 pm

@kd, capeeeesh!

Sav FAN

October 28th, 2012
4:48 pm

Where are the NO fans-come on mannnnnn

Seven and O Falcons

October 28th, 2012
4:50 pm

Atlanta roughed up Philly and the FrankenStorm.

Still Gritz Blitz'n

October 28th, 2012
4:52 pm

But I do enjoy the ” they can’t do it” sayer’s, especially these ‘aint’s who crawl on here, & u have to give them a pile of “crow dung” that they enjoy eat’n in there jumbalaya & gumbo. & wash it down w/ some swamp water,

Samuel

October 28th, 2012
4:54 pm

I knew Drew Davis could be the sleeper with Harry Douglas out.Matt Ryan not only did his job, he was on fire.This team played it’s best all around game to date. Coordinator Dirk Koetter was relentless, he was aggressive through- out the game. Go Falcons!

Still Gritz Blitz'n

October 28th, 2012
5:01 pm

With ya markATL, I’m Fired Up Baby, Fired Up! 7 down, 9 to go, one game at a time, the telling tale; A New Breed of Bird is in town, & all these know it all’s from the outside, keep making excuses, it won’t last long, they is lucky! whatever they say, won’t affect the red & black, they are purpose driven, keep preaching it Coach Smith; Coach Nolan; Coach Koetter; Keep ‘em Driven. NEXT!

TommyNobisfan60

October 28th, 2012
5:06 pm

Wow was a nervous about this game and that went away fast. Every time Quizz Rodgers touches the ball I get real excited. He is also a excellent blocker.

TommyNobisfan60

October 28th, 2012
5:15 pm

Falcons play with so much confidence today. For the Falcons to play like that on the road really stops anybody from thinking they are not the real deal. It feels like 98 all over again. When you knew you had the best team every time you step onto the field.

Still Gritz Blitz'n

October 28th, 2012
5:15 pm

The Dawgs went a swamp’n, Gator hunt’n, & the Atl had them some philly “cheese” steak, in hostile environment, man, what a blast to be a DawgFalcon fan, noth’n better! ATL liv’n Large, & Dang, this feels GOOD!

Al Bruce

October 28th, 2012
5:16 pm

Falcons showed that they know how to respond when the national media disrespects them, now we will see how they handle being media darlings. Great win.

Mike Franklin

October 28th, 2012
5:23 pm

It was 1968 – we went 2-12 and I fell in love with this team at age 14. Over the next few years, there was Cannonball Butler, Harmon Wages, Randy Johnson, Bob Berry, Jim Mitchell, Tommy Nobis, Claude Humphrey, John Zook… and many more.

Those were the days because even in a bad season, the old AFCS was like a community party. We didn’t have access to all kinds of jerseys and stuff. We saved soda/beer cups and ticket stubs back then.

In 1980, we were going to the SB but the Cowboys came to town and broke our hearts. I have never forgotten that game or the Leeman Bennett Super Bowl Team song that made the airwaves.

1998? yeah… SB XXXIII and I still hate that ugly boy who wore #7.

It’s 2012 now… age is catching up and I am hoping… nay, praying that we finally bring the Lombardy Trophy home this year…

Rising Up for 44 years!

Still Gritz Blitz'n

October 28th, 2012
5:30 pm

TNF60; No better said, that ‘98 was special, I hope Coach Smith & Mr. Blank can get Coach Reeves & that ‘98 squad to come & speak, to inspire this squad of this opportunity compared to then, if these Bird’s of a different Breed can plan it sometime this year, if Mr.Blank & Coach Reeves have resolved any differences in the past. they are inspired now, but just to hear it from the old birds to these new birds, first things first, one game atta time, keep finding ways to win outright, win that 1st playoff game, get the monkey off the ATL back, then keep charging, !st, w/o looking too far ahead, keep take’n care of business, 1 game atta time, New Bird fly’n in the ATL, Different Breed!

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 28th, 2012
5:31 pm

I’m on Eagle blogs defending my hero. I’ll be back to humiliate all you losers later.