UNDEFEATED: Can the Falcons pull it off?





Cover of Mike Freeman's book "Undefeated: Inside the 1972 Miami Dolphins' Perfect Season."

Cover of Mike Freeman's book "Undefeated: Inside the 1972 Miami Dolphins' Perfect Season."

FLOWERY BRANCH — Just got to the Branch today, waiting for the open locker room session at 11:40 a.m.

After the game on Sunday in Philadelphia, the lovely Ashley Fox of ESPN.com asked me when the”Undefeated” talk would start.

I told her to wait until the Falcons get to 10-0, which would be a new franchise mark for most wins in a row. They’ve won nine in a row twice, in 1980 and 1998.

Then, I was working on the laptop on Monday and the wife (Queen Led) brought Mike Freeman’s book in from a stack I had in the garage.

I’m going to wait awhile before I track down Mercury Morrris, Don Shula and the rest of the South Florida crew.

In the meantime, I’ll enjoy Freeman’s book.

But, the schedule doesn’t look too daunting. Both of the Saints games — Nov. 11 and Thursday, Nov. 29– will be tough. Then there’s the matter of facing the defending Super Bowl champs on Dec. 16 and more than a safety will be required.

When should the “Undefeated” chatter start?

LATEST NEWS

Falcons rough up Vick, Eagles to soar to a 7-0 mark

Video: Falcons soar to 7-0 win over Eagles

Falcons guard Peter Konz shines in first NFL start

Falcons quotes after win over Eagles

Injury report: Weatherspoon suffered an ankle injury

OTHER RECENT STORIES

Is Michael Vick the “Coach Killer?”

Will the Philadelphia fans cheer for Asante Samuel?

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

Falcons at Eagles: 3 key matchups

Falcons at Eagles: By the numbers

Falcons shrugging off critics

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.

140 comments Add your comment

TechNut

October 31st, 2012
11:34 am

The NY game looks to be the only hiccup in the sched but we still have Dallas and two with Tampa…Entirely possible! Need home field for sure: don’t want to play in Chicago in January.

lowdownjj

October 31st, 2012
11:40 am

Not by the players, ever. For me…just win whwn it matters baby! RISE UP!

Bill

October 31st, 2012
11:45 am

Agree with TechNut, but on any given Sunday…. Still concerned about running game when we need to use some time. Dink and dunk can use up time, too, but higher risk. Go Birds.

BabymanED

October 31st, 2012
11:49 am

Right after we are 16-0! Just keep it ONE game at a time!

dbird1

October 31st, 2012
11:51 am

stay undefeated week by week. never looking ahead

LOOKS LIKE IT HAS ALREADY STARTED?

October 31st, 2012
11:59 am

Well if your writing an article on it, I’d say it’s already started hasn’t it? DUH!

Trainwreck

October 31st, 2012
12:03 pm

Never! Like MR2 said on NFL AM this morning… going undefeated is not our goal. I don’t want any extra pressure on the team trying to win in the playoffs for the first time as a unit AND staying undefeated. Just get to the dance and perform!

Zac

October 31st, 2012
12:05 pm

I’m thinking 14-2. They have had some close calls against teams they should have beaten easily. But the rest of the schedule is definitely winnable, and the Giants game will be their hardest of the year. So I fully expect there will be a couple of letdowns along the way – one of them against the Giants – but I also think they get homefield, and that first playoff win. Maybe even 2nd – whoever it’s against, they need it to be in the Dome.

And 2 with N.O., too...

October 31st, 2012
12:08 pm

…we are not even half way through the schedule yet, so D man, give it a rest…

atlfalconsfan0125

October 31st, 2012
12:08 pm

The Falcons owe their fans a 19-0 season after all the crap they put us through over the years.

Big Dude

October 31st, 2012
12:11 pm

Not that concerned about going undefeated. Odds are too high. “On any given Sunday”.
I would rather see them in the Super Bowl as champions…

FalconUGAFan

October 31st, 2012
12:17 pm

Way too early..And really I don’t care as long as we make playoffs. Want to win some games there.

Michael M .

October 31st, 2012
12:18 pm

Thinking 12 – 4 here……………..but just love the undefeated streak. You never can tell in a football game really who will win the game because all games are different. ………….players from one team may play another team completely opposite than the one the week before . Yeah, I like to see em go 16 – 0 in the Regular Season just to prove a point but I rather see em go 12 – 4 or 13 – 3 and win what games they have to play in the playoffs at home and then play and win the first ever Super Bowl for Atlanta too. …………………or in other words if they going to lose a game or a few do it in the regular season and win em all in the playoffs and win the darn Super Bowl.

PMC

October 31st, 2012
12:20 pm

It’s the NFL. Every week is a season. I worry about every week.

falconfan1

October 31st, 2012
12:20 pm

schedule is a joke rest of way. our team is getting alot of breaks go their way which gives every reason to believe they will go undefeated. take away brent grimes they have had no injuries really, played a eagles team with a QB controversy and a new D coord, have a lousy division and the ball is just falling their way. so we will because its meant to be. thankfully we are not injured like the ravens, packers etc. health is a huge part of it. 16-0 will happen i promise that

Chuck

October 31st, 2012
12:20 pm

Would love to see it happen for this city and this franchise, but despite records, there is a too much parity across the league for the Birds to have a realistic shot at it – there’s a reason it’s happened so few times.

Michael M .

October 31st, 2012
12:21 pm

and whoever knocks Atlanta off the undefeated streak if anybody can beat them……………..you can pretty well bet they gonna think they are a better team and the media is going to praise em like they are already the champs of the world !

bjohndawg

October 31st, 2012
12:33 pm

you wrote this article about it….so the talk has started. And WAY too soon IMO.
Still see areas of weaknesses in this team. I think they can have a special year.
UNDEFEATED? might be a challenge.
they have been for the most part injury free….that could always change
the schedule has been weak teams so far.
What happens if/when those two things change?

falcons_in_the_house

October 31st, 2012
12:34 pm

Can we keep our focus to beat Dallas…

FBGuy

October 31st, 2012
12:34 pm

There’s no special virtue in going undefeated. You can get too focused on that and lose sight of the bigger goal: getting to and winning the Super Bowl. That’s all that matters here.

Chuck

October 31st, 2012
12:35 pm

On another note, it’s no fluke – from Arthur to Thomas to Mike, they are all 100% committed to building this franchise for the long haul, and are doing a fantastic job at it.

We are so lucky Arthur Blank bought this franchise.

Steve From Dalton

October 31st, 2012
12:36 pm

I am more interested in a play off winning streak than undefeated talk.

falcons_in_the_house

October 31st, 2012
12:38 pm

Falcons fans could actually feel OK if they lose to the Cowboys Sunday. Why? Washington, New Orleans and Indianapolis all went on to win the Super Bowl those years. (3 undefeated teams Cowboys beat in the past LOL) — WHAT a weird stat..

SawThat1nce

October 31st, 2012
12:40 pm

Winning their division and trying to get homefield advantage throughout the playoffs is what counts, IMO.
p.s. It would be real nice to smoke the Taints and the Bucs, in all four of those games.

tay

October 31st, 2012
12:43 pm

THATS RIGHT!! FOCUS ON DALLAS COWGIRLS

D man

October 31st, 2012
12:53 pm

Dan

October 31st, 2012
12:58 pm

16-0 regular sason doesn’t guarantee anything ( right Patriots? ) just take it one game at a time and the most important thing is to just keep improving. I thnk Mike Smith is the perfect coach to have because he will not allow the guys to focus on nonsense.

abby normal

October 31st, 2012
1:02 pm

REALITY CHECK!!! The Falcons will not go undefeated, just ain’t gonna happen. In fact, I’m already starting to sweat the Dallas game.

Adogg36

October 31st, 2012
1:08 pm

Its about da playoffs not being undefeated they can lose a game or so but we need dat playoff win to shut da critics up.

David Puddy

October 31st, 2012
1:10 pm

Yeah, they’ve navigated a really tough schedule, so far. C’mon folks, let’s see them beat a top-tier team before we start this talk…..and don’t mention Denver. It was Manning’s second game back after a more than 1 year layoff. Chuck and Turnoff started talking SuperBowl this week. They did the same thing with the Braves when they started printing play-off tickets at the All-Star break. What is it about Atlanta sports talk that makes all reality and logic go out the window and most people start talking going to the mountain top as soon as a team goes on a good run?

Heisenberg

October 31st, 2012
1:13 pm

Regardless of undefeated or home field clinched, I hope Falcons keep playing regulars. History has not been kind to teams resting players with the assumption they can just turn it when playoffs start.

But if you want to see Falcons go for the undefeated season, then root for the 1 loss Bears to keep winning. If Atlanta is 15-0 and Chicago is 14-1 going into final week, then there is something to play for that takes the focus from going 16-0.

extremus

October 31st, 2012
1:15 pm

As much as I’d LOVE to see the Falcons run the table on a perfect season, this kind of talk can be the kiss of death for any team that’s had a great start, especially if the players start believing their own press. Let’s just focus on the next game, one at a time, please.

Samuel

October 31st, 2012
1:17 pm

As a Falcon fan, I don’t care if they go 16 and 0- but I do want to see them win a playoff game.

Arlito

October 31st, 2012
1:17 pm

Let’s concentrate on getting home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Then, once we have it, DEFEND THE DOME! 14-2, maybe even 13-3, should do it.

Man Please

October 31st, 2012
1:22 pm

Every competitor’s goal is to win the next game. Awareness of being undefeated simply means you’ve been better than everyone you’ve faced. If you lose a game your goal hasn’t changed; win the next game. If you reach the end of the regular season without a loss then you were simply better than everyone you faced when you faced them. Cool story bro.

When you hoist the championship trophy and are undefeated, only then can you look back on it all and say we were better than great this season.

Worrying about going undefeated and fearing any jinxing is for fans and sportswriters. The players aren’t going to feel any extra pressure.

Jason

October 31st, 2012
1:26 pm

The Giants are defending champs and considered by most to be the second best team in the league. Until that game happens, it’s hardly a consideration.

Jim (not Moran Mora)

October 31st, 2012
1:28 pm

Wonder what difference Brady Euwing would have made in the running game this year???

Jazz

October 31st, 2012
1:28 pm

OK lets just stop all this talk of an undefeated season!! This is what the Falcons need to do to make satisfy Falcon fans.

1. Win homefield advantage
2. WIn first playoff game of the Mike Smith/ Matt Ryan era
3. Win NFC Championship Game
4. WIN SUPER BOWL!!!!

Tom E. Gunn

October 31st, 2012
1:28 pm

This team can’t even win ONE playoff game, and the hack is already beating the drum for unbeaten status. This is a crumby franchise in a crumby sports city. The last time BIG talk was heard, GB stomped the buzzard beaks into the fake turf. And the fans left the sinking ship in droves.

Jim (not Moron Mora)

October 31st, 2012
1:31 pm

Sorry….typo….it’s Moron Mora.

[...] Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution said for fans and the media to wait until the Falcons were 10-0 before starting to really think [...]

Blue

October 31st, 2012
1:37 pm

David; so are you really going to tell me that San Francisco is not a “top tier” team right now?

Blue

October 31st, 2012
1:40 pm

Tom E: really, “crumby”? What the hell is “crumby”?

IceColdATLien

October 31st, 2012
1:41 pm

The undefeated talk should start when we’re 15-0. I don’t want the team focusing on anything other than the next game, so only at 15-0 should they be thinking about an undefeated record. Even then, we might not want it if the team already has #1 seed locked up because it’s more worthwhile in my opinion to rest the players and get ready for the postseason.

DirtyBirdinCali

October 31st, 2012
1:41 pm

Why does his blogs always have issues with posting?

IceColdATLien

October 31st, 2012
1:43 pm

Tom E Gunn, you’re wrong. THIS team hasn’t played a playoff game yet. 3 of the past 4 Falcons teams couldn’t win a playoff game, but this one is much different than those others.

DirtyBirdinCali

October 31st, 2012
1:49 pm

Really?? Again??

All I'm Saying Is....

October 31st, 2012
1:50 pm

F GOING UNDEFEATED — THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS IS A SUPER BOWL WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

LET’S GO FALCONS!

All I'm Saying Is....

October 31st, 2012
1:53 pm

AND IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU HAVE HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE OR NOT, YOU STILL HAVE TO PLAY THE GAME!

LET’S GO FALCONS!

DirtyBirdinCali

October 31st, 2012
1:54 pm

So, if I already submitted a post, then why isn’t it on the blog?? Stupid @$$ AJC filters. I guess they don’t want any objective opinions.