Archive for August, 2009

Roster Spot Competition

2009 Falcons Roster Spot Friendly Competition

 

(((Post Length Note)))
Apologies for long length, this one got away. May need to take a snack break to finish.

Beware the Turk
The best time of the year for us football junkies: 3 days away from Thursday Night College Football on ESPN, 5 days away from College Kickoff Weekend, and 13 days away from Birds-‘Fins in the Terror-Dome. The eminent start of the NFL season brings a very nerve-racking time for many players fighting for their professional lives across the league. Players known as bubble candidates will be putting their absolute best foot forward in the remaining week and final preseason game to ensure they get one of those crucial final spots on the 53 man protected roster. Players will be looking over their shoulder as the final cut down day of Saturday, September 5th approaches. This is the day the teams must trim their roster to get to 53 players. These players that are on the bubble will be looking out for the “Turk” …

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Falcons-Chargers Preview

The “Real” Preseason Game

 After months and months of prognosticating, predicting, and analyzing, the start of the 2009 Atlanta Falcons Football Season is finally creeping  so close we can feel it. The Birds preseason has had its peaks and valleys, but overall the Falcons have shown the capability that fans came to expect from last year’s magnificent run. The offense as a whole has looked good (Lions) to fantastic (Rams), and the defense rebounded with a solid performance after a pretty weak opening game showing. This looks to be the “real” preseason game for all NFL teams as the coaches put game-plans in, treat it like the real deal, and leave their starters in for at least the first half. It’s the best indication for starters to shake any last rust off and candidates on the bubble to make the roster have a huge chance to make a lasting impression. The players that are in question will of course have one more game to fight it out, but having a great performance in the biggest …

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Redemption in St. Louis: Defensive Analysis vs Rams

Big Improvement from Detroit 

Much Better Performance (Chris Lee/ St.Louis Post-Dispatch)

Much Better Performance (Chris Lee/ St.Louis Post-Dispatch)

Many of our fears as Falcons fans were put to rest, or at least calmed a little, after the defense came out with sense of urgency and ferocity that seemed to be missing in the first contest against the Lions. Granted the Rams were without their starting QB Marc Bulger, Steven Jackson only played three series, and Donnie Avery didn’t suit up, but the defense did come out played with much more of an intensity and striking tendency than in Detroit. After a 9 yard run by Jackson on the first play, the defense settled down and proved they could rise up and defend the run better than preseason week 1. The starters looked good and flew around the ball much better and seemed to work out the kinks and rust from their first performance. A look at the positions:

Defensive Tackle
Babineaux and Trey Lewis started at defensive tackle and both did very well against the run, holding one of the best backs …

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Well-Oiled Machine: Falcons-Rams Offensive Analysis

Model of Efficiency by Starting Offense 

The Falcons allayed many fears Friday night when they came out with a sense of urgency and fire that seemed to be missing in the first contest against Lions. Just as you can’t get too worried about a bad preseason performance, you can’t get too excited about a solid one either. However, the offense came out and showed why it can be considered to have a lethal, explosive potential as a unit that can put up points, eat up the clock, and convert third downs. The defense came out with an intensity and fire that was certainly missing in Detroit. Many of the missed assignments seemed to be corrected and the defensive players were much more in the mold of the fast and striking defenders we had hoped for talking about in the off-season.

Quarterbacks
Matty Ice came out was on point, sharp, and in full command of all his loaded arsenal on offense. Ryan looked precise and accurate completing passes to his favorite target of last year Roddy White, …

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Fantasy Football Special Edition and Favorite Tailgate Spot

Fantasy Football Special Edition

Just a Game?
The month of August is finally starting to fade into September, the kids have been back in school for a couple of weeks, and the air is finally starting to feel a little crisper. Ok, maybe a stretch on the last one, but it’s that time of year that many football junkies crave….we’re speaking of Fantasy Football of course. The game has become an absolute addiction for millions of people including young and old, rookies and veterans, and men and women alike. Fantasy Football has seen an unbelievable explosion in the last couple of decades.

More than a Hobby
Although it may be hard to believe, the game was created and has been around since 1962 when Bill Winkenback, an employee for the Oakland Raiders, developed the idea and the very first fantasy league as the GOPPPL (Greater Oakland Professional Pigskin Prognosticators League). As we can see, the game has been around for a long time, but the advent of the internet and computers has …

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The Horror! Defensive Wrap vs Lions

Weak Start! Falcons-Lions Defensive Wrap

DEF made Brown Look Like Barry Sanders (Daniel Mears/ The Detroit News)

DEF made Brown Look Like Barry Sanders (Daniel Mears/ The Detroit News)

Only a Preseason Game, but…..
Ok, ok we all know that it’s just a preseason game, but the overall defensive was pretty atrocious across the board, except for a few solid performances by a couple of individual players. Although it was the second and third team defense gave up the points that led to the Lions trumping our Falcons, our first team defense looked sub-par at best and terrible at worst. All the worries Falcons fans had going into the season have been exacerbated and increased in one preseason game. The defensive line push was pretty anemic, our linebackers looked a touch slow and disoriented, and our defensive backfield allowed quarterbacks Daunte Culpepper, rookie Matthew Stafford, and Drew Stanton to methodically march down the field mostly at will. Another fact that added to the misery had to do with who the Lions had, or didn’t have, lining up last …

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Good Start; Falcons-Lions Wrap: Offense

A Decent Start on Offense 

It’s Only Preseason Right?
The first preseason game is in the books and we finally have some “game tape” to analyze as Falcons fans. Well, we looked pretty good on offense at times, but had a pretty atrocious performance on defense, save a few bright spots by individual players. Special Teams coverage looked pretty good overall, but our kick return game certainly needs a little work as well. Please repeat: it’s just a preseason game, it’s just a preseason game. And as long as our coaches got what they need, our players can learn from it, and we can improve as a team, than a loss won’t mean anything come regular season time. The fact that the Pittsburgh Steelers went 0-4 in preseason and won the Super Bowl, and conversely the Lions went 4-0 and didn’t win a single game out of 16 has been thrown around quite a bit. There were bright spots in the game for sure, and our Birds had it all but wrapped up, at least we thought. We went 2-2 in the preseason …

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Falcons-Lions Preview and Well Wishes to MV

Debut in Motown

 

The Dark Clouds Have Lifted, Well Almost
The wait is finally over my friends, Atlanta Falcons football has returned, well sort of. No, its not the real deal yet, but if you’re a serious football junkie than it can serve to be an awesome experience for many reasons. One, the preseason game officially rings the bell that football is back. Two, preseason games are an excellent way for fantasy football junkies to do research on players that might be sleepers or risers, and conversely can help drop some players who may be overrated. Three, it’s a great time to try and figure out who will make the final 53 man protected roster. And finally, hey its football, do you need another reason? 

Tale of Two Franchises

Atlanta’s coming off one of its most surprising and exciting seasons in recent memory after going 11-5 and making the playoffs when everyone in the NFL wrote them off as barely winning a couple of games. The misery of the Detroit Lions is certainly …

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Who Takes Open Cornerback Spot?

Who Starts in Empy Cornerback Position? 

Foxworth to the Free Agent Sunset
One of the more surprising moves of the off-season came with Thomas Dimitroff allowing Dominique Foxworth to walk into Free-Agency without as much as a hint of attempting to resign him. Foxworth came to the Falcons for very cheap, a trade with Denver for a 7th round pick, and quickly filled in to become an extremely consistent starting cornerback. He didn’t have extremely flashy stats (10 Games Started, 38 Tackles, 11 Pass Defenses, 1 Int), but developed into a cornerback that played opposing wide receivers close and tough. Many fans felt it was a big mistake letting a reliable cornerback go with seemingly no interest in bringing him back at all. As many NFL teams know all too well, good cornerbacks can be really hard to find. Of all the players Dimitroff let go, fans seemed the most upset that Foxworth wasn’t brought back, even though he only played in Red & Black for one year. Although many in Atlanta …

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Is Houston a Franchise Corner?

Is Chris Houston a Lockdown, Franchise Cornerback? 

A Number One CB? (atlantafalcons.com)

A Number One CB? (atlantafalcons.com)

Ups and Downs
Drafted alongside his Arkansas teammate Jamaal Anderson, Chris Houston decided to forgo his senior year in college and enter the 2007 NFL Draft. Little did he know that he would get picked with his teammate by the same team in the same year. Like Anderson, Houston has seen mixed results, thus creating a split about his abilities and performances as a Falcon. Supporters are quick to point out his solid progression and the fact that he’s played in every game in Red & Black (32 games in 2 seasons), and starting in all but 5 games in two years. His backers point out that he had an excellent 2nd year, doubling his pass defenses (16) and interceptions (2). They acknowledge that, besides quarterback, no other position is more difficult than Cornerback, drawing the top receivers in the game week in and week out. As a number one corner drawing the best receivers in the game, Houston …

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