Trick or Treat? – Falcons @ Saints

Can the Falcons Manage Some Hallow Eve’s Magic?

 ((((((((((((((Technical Update)))))))))))))))))

Computer cord crashed this past week, so the posts will be somewhat shorter than normal. As soon as the technical issues are resolved, we’ll be back at full strength and ready to roll.

The Falcons enter the national stage of Monday Night Football extremely heavy underdogs against the Saints. The Saints are the best team in the NFC, and arguably the best team in the NFL. They are coming off a huge comeback win against the Dolphins that found them down by 3 scores, showing they can storm back to win, along with their normal role of blowing opponents out.  The Atlanta Falcons certainly enter on a different note, losing an ugly game in Dallas that saw Tony Romo have a field day on the secondary, the run game continue its ridiculously weak performance, Matt Ryan being sacked 4 times, and the offense again looking feeble, despite having so many weapons.  Of course it’s early, but if the Falcons lose here, they fall 3 games behind the Saints and, assuming the Saints continue their success, might be forced into the wild-card hunt.  A victory may not be in the cards, but the Falcons have got to show that they at least belong in the same paragraph as the Saints.  Keep the faith though Falcons fans, because anything can happen on “Any Given Sunday” (Monday in this case).  The Falcons have nothing to lose and can shock the NFL world by upsetting the hated Saints on Monday Night Football, and maybe a certain “treat” may be in order for Bird fans.

3 Key Match-Ups

1) Can the Falcons secondary pull a miracle?

 Pairing one of the worst secondaries in the NFL with the best passing offense might spell a very long day for the Falcons if they can’t get some good play out of the cornerbacks on the roster. The loss of Brian Williams has decidedly been a terrible loss for the Falcons. Falcons fans knew this would be the weakness after preseason, and now its obvious.  Yes, the defensive line must help them out and get better pressure on the quarterbacks, but Houston and Grimes have a hard time covering digs, hitches, and short routes, much less deep routes.  Enough talking, its time to see Chris Owens and Tye Hill. They may not hold the answers, but at least all doubt will be removed. A miracle is in order, and the Falcons will have to force the Saints to run the ball to win.

2) Can the Defensive Line get ANY pressure?

The defensive line seems to be boom or bust in terms of pressure. They were able to effectively pressure Chad Pennington, Shaun Hill, and Jay Cutler; but provided no worry whatsoever on Jake Delhomme, Tom Brady, and Tony Romo. The latter two being top-tier QB’s and making the Falcons pay, paving way for great days in the passing attack. True that the secondary situation is pretty horrid, but the defensive line deserves as much blame letting quarterbacks sit back in the pocket all day, pick apart the DB’s, and get into a great rhythm.  Abraham and Biermann need to find their magic they possessed in those few games, Jamaal Anderson needs to stay at DT, and its time to put Lawrence Sidbury Jr. in a serious rotation rather than a few snaps here in there.  Brees is one of the NFL’s best QB’s so he’s going to make plays, but the defensive line don’t have to make it easy.

3) Please rekindle the 2008 Falcons rushing attack

Being ranked second in the NFL in rushing seems ages ago. It has been a complete struggle for the Falcons all season to get anything going in the rushing attack. All parties deserve blame including Michael Turner, the offensive line, and Coach Mularkey’s play-calling. It is true that injuries have taken their toll on Ovie Mughelli and Jerious Norwood, which have made the Falcons pretty one-dimensional in their running game. Jason Snelling has been a bright spot and needs more touches. Aaron Stecker was signed in hopes of adding some speed to the rushing attack. Several fans have wondered why Thomas Brown’s phone didn’t ring since he added speed and a great knowledge of the playbook. Regardless of all those issues, its time to re-establish the rushing game, doing whatever it takes.  The excuse of playing 3-4 teams has been proffered, but that’s the coaches job to figure out ways to run the ball, be it 3 back sets, reverses, stretch runs, or even the wildcat.  Try something other than 1 and 2 yard dives. The offensive line needs to get their nastiness back, but the lion share falls at Michael Turner’s feet. It’s time for the former Pro-Bowler  and $16 million dollar man to run harder and deliver the hits like last year, as opposed to bracing for impact and tip-toeing.  The passing attack has its issues as well, but you have to run the ball to win in the NFL, just ask the Saints.

The Falcons go into the land of creole as huge underdogs and given absolutely no chance, but that’s the way you want it sometimes. Backs are against the wall and the character of team has even been called into question, so a hard-fought and gritty performance is due in New Orleans on Monday Night. Time to “trick” the Saints unbeaten record and “treat” the Falcons fans to a belief that this team can do great things THIS year!

GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

-What’s your key match-ups?

-Shock the NFL World or be shocked into submission?

-Can the defensive line get any pressure on the streaking Brees?

-Will we finally see Tye Hill, Chris Owens, and more Chevis Jackson?

-Can Matt Ryan break out of his mini sophomore slump?

-Will Turner get back to his Pro-Bowl status? Can Aaron Stecker and Snelling be the spark needed?

-Will the receivers have a chance to stretch the field?

828 comments Add your comment

BT

October 31st, 2009
1:02 pm

Like Coop,
Not meaning to be negative but, this one smells like a pure beatdown in the Saints favor.

John Waynesworld

October 31st, 2009
1:23 pm

It’s either going to be “Beatdown Weekend” or there is going to be a huge upset either Saturday or Monday, or both.

It is possible. I’ll take the week off for even one upset.

Jmayne

October 31st, 2009
1:36 pm

D-Line please show up. It could get ugly without you guys. #21 needs to get on the field. Lets see what hes got. Got to be better than Houston and Jackson.

John K

October 31st, 2009
3:12 pm

I sure am wondering why Tye Hill and Chris Owens have not been tried. They must have terrible practices (assuming they get adequate reps) I have heard that some players have great practices and make poor showings come gameday,(maybe Houston and Grimes fit this category), wonder if the reverse is sometimes true.

eturn

October 31st, 2009
3:28 pm

Old Falcon fan from way back in the day. But not letting my heart defeat reality. Its gonna be Ugly in the Superdome.The fans the noise and home field will have the Saints Jacked Up. Secondary in for a long day. And on top of it, the Falcons never show up when they are on the National stage, they lay an egg every time. Saints 54 Falcons 24

Wabe

October 31st, 2009
4:05 pm

Man, UGA is just pathetic this year.

CBrass

October 31st, 2009
4:13 pm

Wabe,

Pathetic is to nice of a word!! I guess the team put more time in what uniform they were going to wear instead of practicing. Who are we…Oregon!?!?!?

boxcarar

October 31st, 2009
4:23 pm

ESPN article by Pat Yasinskas say it all about our corners.

boxcarar

October 31st, 2009
4:25 pm

Is that Houston and Grimes playing for the Dawgs today? That is the last time I’ve seen receivers that wide open.

Wabe

October 31st, 2009
5:34 pm

Wabe

October 31st, 2009
5:35 pm

That’s the link Box is talking about.

JJ

October 31st, 2009
6:19 pm

D3, great mini-blog, still its 10x longer and more informative than we got from the “bird-babe” last yr, nice job under tech diff. Sure you know this, but a few yrs ago when I had tech prob., I always went to the local fedex store-think its $1 per 10 min.

UGA- at what point do you look at next yr and put in another qb. Cox isn’t bad (that last pump fake td was nice) but if we lose today, is it not time to get next yr qb some exp.? No doubt the DC Martinez- is gone after this yr or next yr it will be on Coach Richt. Go Dawgs, hate the uniforms!!!

CBrass

October 31st, 2009
6:32 pm

Joe Cox for Heisman!!!

Saints #1 Fan

October 31st, 2009
6:33 pm

28-13 Falcons getting the Saints back below the clouds and a reality check. We let them keep it close last year and see where they ended up, not 16-0 no Bush mvp and no playoffs, pretenders as usual.

CBrass

October 31st, 2009
6:36 pm

JJ,

“Cox isn’t bad…” The understatement of the century. Take that back you’re right he’s not bad he’s HORRIBLE!!! I mean throwing into triple and quadruple coverage?!?!?

Coop

October 31st, 2009
6:40 pm

I just can’t stand watching these DAWGS anymore. Mark Richt MUST go. Sorry guys, but this is just depressing.

The Falcons CAN win this game. I’d love to talk to the team. I would question their manhood (along with the coaches). We have the players, we need the desire sometimes. Both lines just need to smack the sh!t out of the other line.

I’ll be pulling for all I’m worth. No matter what, just don’t quit. Please fight till the last whistle Smitty.

JJ

October 31st, 2009
6:41 pm

CB, I was being nice, but some of those pics should have been caught not tipped. But yes, time to see next in line, who would that be?

Edd

October 31st, 2009
6:42 pm

Saint Fan, the Saints SHOULD win this game. They are at home and the fans should be into it. BUT there is about 35 percent Falcons fans there as well. If the SAINTS lose at home they will fall apart, a close one, 30-24, Saints. (Homefield)

Unca' Bob

October 31st, 2009
6:43 pm

BT,

Good luck to ya’ this week. It looks very close for our match-up. I’m not brimming with confidence this week. Too many bye people. Enjoy!

JJ

October 31st, 2009
6:45 pm

CB, I actually had not horrible instead of bad, but I changed it. OK, Cox may have been a great HIGHschool qb, but he sucks as a COLLEGE qb. He should apply for GSU if he has any time left. j/k

Happy halloween cagers!

JJ

October 31st, 2009
6:48 pm

UB – BT: Game of the Titans, both teams are dominating our league, great job guys, envious, jealousy all that stuff, lose,lose,lose! lol ;)

Unca' Bob

October 31st, 2009
6:55 pm

JJ

October 31st, 2009
6:56 pm

Unca' Bob

October 31st, 2009
7:01 pm

JJ,

LOL. I like that in a person.

Unca' Bob

October 31st, 2009
7:07 pm

Nite ya’ll.

boxcarar

October 31st, 2009
7:07 pm

UB,
Early night?

JJ

October 31st, 2009
7:12 pm

UB, I know by faults and I bet you know who has the longest winning streak too, gotta go with the RAPTORS this weekend! We are over half way, have you looked at the proj playoff pictures? I have and their are some teams I would rather not meet in the first round, BUT you never know. Guess it will come down to week 13 and the standings, but yes I know the marine code- sempe fi, hooahh! Get um Unca’Bob!
As a rookie like me, the best part of this ffl is meeting great friends like you and the other in our league! no hugs, no kisses! lol

boxcarar

October 31st, 2009
7:17 pm

JJ,
I’m hurt. Not all good people are in the FFL.

JJ

October 31st, 2009
7:26 pm

lol, you too buddy!!!

JJ

October 31st, 2009
7:26 pm

Bet your in next yr!

Shawty B

October 31st, 2009
7:32 pm

Box you are my backup CEO, never forget that.

JJ

October 31st, 2009
7:37 pm

box, you’re on early, thought you were part vamp?

JJ

October 31st, 2009
7:38 pm

SB, nice work on your team, your numbers are way up!

Saddawg

October 31st, 2009
7:39 pm

I’m a UGA Alum, and I remember when J-ville was fun for us…not anymore! That was as bad a display of “football” as I’ve ever seen from a Georgia squad…stupid penalities (again!), throwing into triple coverage (again!), poor play-calling (again!). We’re the fourth-best team in the SEC east (and I’ll bet Kentucky is licking it’s chops!). Oh well, UGA Gymnastics starts soon!

And, on top of UGA’s suckfest, I expect the same in The Big Easy…rotten football weekend all around!

JJ

October 31st, 2009
7:39 pm

Keep the new name, but you’ll always be sarah to me.

Wabe

October 31st, 2009
7:48 pm

The Saints have dropped 40+ in 4 out of 6 games this year. The only thing that could prevent this from happening to us is if we can run the football effectively. If we can put together several long 10-15 play drives that take time off the clock, we could really keep Brees and company on the sidelines and keep them out of rhythm.

Ryan must protect the football this week. He’s done some uncharacteristic things in these previous two games with some of his decisions. He must keep an eye on Sharper at all times.

Defensively, pick your poison…
This week, I really have no idea what BVG and company will do. Our blitz packages haven’t been too effective. I wouldn’t be surprised if we tryed rushing four and dropping into soft zones to keep the big Saints plays to a minimum.

boxcarar

October 31st, 2009
7:53 pm

Wabe,
As long as we quit dropping Abe into pass coverage and turn him loose on Brees.

boxcarar

October 31st, 2009
7:54 pm

JJ,
Sort of am one, but don’t mind the sunlight. I start work at 08:30 weekday mornings, and you see where I am at night.

boxcarar

October 31st, 2009
8:09 pm

Saddawg,
I was hoping for one out of two upsets this weekend and we know where one didn’t happen, so keep our fingers crossed. I am, however, a long time Falcon fan and have been conditioned like Pavlov’s dogs for the worst.

JJ

October 31st, 2009
8:11 pm

-non falcons- skip-

SEMPER FI, my bad.

“The Marine Corps adopted Semper Fidelis as its official motto in 1883 (Semper Fidelis is also the title of the official musical March of the Marine Corps). Translated from Latin, Semper Fidelis means “Always Faithful.” U.S. Marines use an abbreviated verbal version, “Semper Fi,” to voice loyalty and commitment to their Marine comrades-in-arms. Previous mottos of the Marine Corps were (1) To the Shores of Tripoli, adopted in 1805; (2) Fortitude, adopted in 1812; (3) From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli, adopted in 1848; and (4) By Sea and by Land, adopted in the 1850’s.”

Thanks Unca’Bob, Seminole Warrior AND JR, and all others enlisted so my boy Rocky is free, well and me too. May you all lose horribly in ffl like stirg is about too…happy halloween brothers!

catfish31015

October 31st, 2009
8:14 pm

Maybe the Falcons aren’t playing their best football, but lets not put them in the Lingerie Football League just yet. On second thought, hmmm….O.K. Get your mind out of the gutters. If the Birds let these guys crush them, they could be done. They might not even have a winning season. I don’t have an answer. I’ve seen these guys play with enthusiasm and determination, but the Saints are wanting them right now and want to take them for all they are worth. If they look good and lose, they are still three games back. That’s not a laughing matter. That Lingerie Football League looks good. Have you seen their players. Look really good. We’re not here to look good, we’re here to win a damngame. I repeat…if I want to see a good looking team, I will tune in to the Lingerie Football League games. Win, baby, Win. Go Falcons…….

An Observation

October 31st, 2009
8:18 pm

I’m keeping my fingers crossed on Monday night hoping for a miracle.

But being a realist, I don’t know how we really have a chance to win with Grimes and Houston as the CBs. Hopefully this can be addressed via a trade, free agency or in the draft for next year’s team. Right now it is what it is and we just have to hope that they can play a lot better than they have this year in coverage. Otherwise…it is going to get U-G-L-Y on Monday night.

Ken Strickland

October 31st, 2009
9:15 pm

None of the Saints WR’s are burners and their passing OFF is primarily predicated on timing routes. Therefore, we need to stop playing our CB’s in soft coverage and pressure them at the line of scrimmage. That will stop a lot of their quick hitting routes, which would give us an advantage when we blitz. If we play scared and soft with our secondary, especially our CB’s, they’ll have the advantage and will kill us.

CBrass

October 31st, 2009
11:08 pm

Pay close attention to the section titled “Getting to Brees”

http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-falcons/newly-acquired-stecker-to-180638.html

boxcarar

October 31st, 2009
11:20 pm

CBrass,
You mean about our whole defense being injured or hobbled? I sure hope that this is a smoke screenor we will be in for long Monday night.

CBrass

October 31st, 2009
11:22 pm

MWC

November 1st, 2009
12:06 am

Gotta admit Ken S…If we don’t pound them up front…we are swiss chese.
Brees will eat our lunch.

Shawty B

November 1st, 2009
12:42 am

Box, you still out there?

boxcarar

November 1st, 2009
1:34 am

Shawty B.
Of course.

Shawty B

November 1st, 2009
1:58 am

Good, me too…