Were the Falcons too self-satisfied facing the Panthers?




By MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM

FLOWERY BRANCH — Could it be that the Falcons somehow became a bit too self-satisfied before falling flat at Carolina last Sunday?

It might seem implausible that the Falcons would relax when they still have much room for improvement and so much is at stake. But the circumstances suggest it’s possible.

“You would like to not have that happen to you where you get complacent, but it’s human nature sometimes,” Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez said. “You have to fight through that.”

The Falcons shouldn’t have a problem getting charged up to face the Giants on Sunday but perhaps they did let down for the Panthers. Follow the time line:

The Falcons beat the Saints on Nov. 29 to avenge a defeat to their most hated rivals earlier in the season. The Falcons next wrapped up the South title when the Buccaneers lost the following Sunday. And 10 days passed between the Saints game and the game at Carolina, the last-place team in the NFC South.

Atlanta misfired from the start on the way to its worst performance of the season and a 30-20 defeat.

“Having a loss like that, it’s a new focus for us,”Gonzalez said. “ We have to — we will — come out and play a lot better than we did, especially that first half. I hate to call it a wake-up call because you shouldn’t need that, especially the kind of team we think we are. I don’t know, maybe it was.

“But we have to use that as motivation to say we’ve got something special here and we’ve got to go out and prove it this week.”

Falcons running back Michael Turner, for one, doesn’t buy the explanation that the long break between the Saints and Panthers games was a factor. He said it was a tougher to prepare to play the Saints on a Thursday just four days after playing at Tampa Bay.

“I think everybody went into that [Panthers] game feeling fresh,” he said. “It was like a bye week. We handled the first bye week fine.”

The Falcons won 30-17 at Philadelphia following their bye week.

LATEST NEWS


Panthers hold on to defeat Falcons 30-20

Report card: Falcons grades for loss to Panthers

Falcons quoteboard after the 30-20 loss to the Panthers

Run defense goes back to the drawing board

NBC’s Rodney Harrison is not a big fan of the Falcons

OTHER RECENT NEWS

Cornerback Asante Samuel, safety William Moore are questionable for Panthers

Falcons at Panthers: 3 key matchups

Q&A with Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who’s closing in on his first 1,000-yard season

Falcons amused by tough talk from Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy

Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter not worried about dip in Matt Ryan’s numbers

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

17 comments Add your comment

lowdownjj

December 14th, 2012
12:10 pm

Coons definately came out flat. Coulda been looking past the Panthers. Coulda been just one of those clunkers that every team seems to have at least one of. Check the top teams (Ari beating the Pats, SF losing to St Louis…) It happens. Flush that game and move on. That was our one and only mulligen. Time to get rolling because come Jan 12th or 13th if ya have a clunker its another long ugly offseason that NONE of us want. RISE UP! And HEAL UP Rowdy#84

David

December 14th, 2012
12:31 pm

Wake your A$$ up or it’s going to be a long day Sunday !

Esquire is in the HOUSE

December 14th, 2012
12:42 pm

Nothing wrong with self-satisfying, I do it all the time!

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

Zoomie

December 14th, 2012
1:06 pm

This theory ignores the fact that the Falcons’ offense has been sputtering and playing with no clear identity since about week 4.

Yes, the defense came out flat against the kittens, and really embarrassed themselves quite a few times in the game, but the ineffectiveness of the offense has become a trend.

I don’t think it’s a matter of “self-satisfied;” I think it’s more a matter of, 1) it was tough for the defense to really get up for a game that means nothing in full-season context, and 2) an offense with a weak offensive line which is still struggling to install an effective and consistent attack 14 weeks into the regular season.

It’s the portion of the season where contenders start to step up their game. We’ll see on Sunday whether this group of Falcons is up to the challenge.

Gray Mule

December 14th, 2012
1:08 pm

Giant loss. 2 first downs in the 1st half? How low can you go?
Another defeat coming up? Looks like it. Manning and Co. may
give us a long day Sunday.

++++++++++

Gamer

December 14th, 2012
1:16 pm

Jacquizz’s quick powerful elusive style of play present more conniptions for Giants…….Use Turner more in 4th quarter….

Falcons need to be coaching up Drew Davis for slot…..His size and speed will help bring more physicality at wideout. Falcons wideout must play physical vs Gmen defense…Falcons wideouts must attack the ball when it is in the air…Because Giants defensive players are not just opportunistic, they are also forcibly proactive….Giants defense hits fast and ferociously.

Falcons on three, DOMINATE!!!!!

Mr. Mustard

December 14th, 2012
1:16 pm

They have to be masters of their domains.

Esquire

December 14th, 2012
1:23 pm

27 dead in Ct Elementary school……………God that is sad.

Esquire

December 14th, 2012
1:24 pm

Joe

December 14th, 2012
2:32 pm

If we really want a Super Bowl, bring in Jon “chucky” Gruden, could you imagine what he would do fo this team……”WOW”!!!!!

Whadda Ya Know?

December 14th, 2012
2:54 pm

First thing the Falcons needs to do is get rid of all these small OL and DL on this team. Get some damn grown men on this team period with size to them. Take a minute and looks at the size of SF, Giants, Cowboys, Texans, etc. (all these teams with grown men and not little sized boys playing on their teams). This is the main reason teams run all over us and push us around.

LDawg

December 14th, 2012
5:17 pm

They were lousy against Carolina, yes, but I think our worst was the AZ game. I am still floored we won that game. Worst game I ever watched. At least with the Carolina game, we didn’t make too many mistakes in the 2nd half, although we did make them look like superstars. The AZ game mistakes galore throughout the whole thing. Ugly, ugly, ugly.

Ackshun

December 14th, 2012
5:53 pm

Well DUH!?! Does anybody out there realize how hard it is to win 11 games in todays NFL. They had the division well in hand and simply took half a game off. No worries here the Falcons win by 14 over the Giants on Sunday BANK ON IT.

tfalcon

December 14th, 2012
6:47 pm

@ackshun sure hope ur right,Man i don’t want to see a a$$ whippin like last week

Esquire is in the HOUSE

December 15th, 2012
12:26 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

5-6-7-8 WHO DO WE APPRECIATE???? GOOOOO FALCONS!!!!!!

WHERE’S MIKE’S COX????? I NEED IT BAD TONIGHT!!!! Please???

Falcon James

December 15th, 2012
1:26 am

Wish Turner could run the ball as good as he runs his mouth to the press. Have no idea why Quizz does not get more interviews.

Choke On My Grits

December 15th, 2012
1:54 am

Hell yeah they we’re….they took last Sunday off !