Playoff Drive in the Meadowlands?

Can Falcons Rebound Against the G-Men?

The Atlanta Falcons enter their most pivotal stretch of the season as they travel up north to visit the 2008 Super Bowl Champions in the Meadowlands. The Birds are coming off a loss where they were given every single chance to win in Charlotte and separate themselves from the mid-tier wild-card pack. The Philadelphia Eagles lost and the Giants were then idle, already sitting at 5-4. The team certainly could have taken a lot of pressure off this game, but as fate would have it, the Falcons look to take the hard way to the playoffs. Is there really any other way?

Really a Playoff Team?

A particularly frustrating aspect was to watch the a team the Falcons beat early in the season, Miami Dolphins, go into Charlotte minus their best player and take care of business against a team in Carolina that was supposed to be on the brink of a really hot streak. The comparison game can get fuzzy and can prove to have little relevance, but are the Falcons really a playoff team at this point? The Falcons have been anything but consistent this year after smoking out of the gate to a 3-1 start only losing to the Patriots and beating Miami, Carolina, and Chicago in that span. Then the proverbial wheels and consistency have come off. The Falcons lost an embarrassing game in Dallas, played a tough game in New Orleans where they came up short, but then lost a game to a team that had serious issues and struggles, but failed to win. Just goes to show you that if you let any team in the NFL get into a rhythm, they will beat you. To say that the Giants win is a must-win is surely a cliché, but if the Falcons drop to .500 with the Eagles and Saints still left, do they really deserve to go to the playoffs. Time to show your city, fans, and selves whether this team is a serious contender for a wild card spot. Moral victories do not translate into playoff appearances. If the Birds drop this one, they really can only lose one more if they want to be a legitimate contender in the NFC playoff hunt. The Falcons usually play pretty well when their backs are against the wall and now they don’t have many other options.

Six Searing Questions

 

1) Can the Falcons Regain their Road Confidence?

Much has been made of the Falcons more difficult non-conference schedule this year, particularly on the road (New York, Dallas, New England), and by comparison their much easier road schedule last year (San Diego, Oakland, Philadelphia, Green Bay). The Falcons weren’t exactly road warriors last year with wins over weaker San Diego and Green Bay teams and Oakland, but they did go up to beat Minnesota to clinch a playoff spot. Regardless of schedule, they did what they needed to do and took a split on their road record at 4-4, but are currently 1-4 past the midpoint. After this one they get Tampa Bay on the road, who is playing much better as of late, and the Jets back in Meadowlands Stadium late in December and anything can happen. Barring two games, a big win in San Francisco and well-played loss in New Orleans, the Falcons haven’t played well at all on the road. They are a team that exemplify a tale of one half, either start strong and fall apart or don’t show up and turn it on. The Falcons couldn’t draw a much tougher task in getting an angry Giants team coming off a bye and a 4 game losing streak. Time to show if they belong in the playoffs or not.

2) Will Ryan and the Coaches Finally Get it Right?

This has become a standard question each week for the past month and has been analyzed ad nauseum, but if the Falcons hope to have any chance to get to January they have to get better, more consistent play from their QB. All the reasons have been discussed and brought up, but the simple fact remains that Ryan has got to get his confidence back and play like he did last year. He often seems nervous in the pocket and is not setting his feet and following through with authority on his throws. Ryan has absorbed what most rookies see in their first year and is committed to getting the mistakes corrected. At every chance, his teammates are quick to have his back in the media, relating the difficulty of playing quarterback in the NFL. That being said, Ryan must want to improve NOW and not assume that its ok simply because he’s young and learning. Along with Ryan, the coaches QB Coach Musgrave and Offensive Coordinator Mularkey deserve at least some of the blame as well. The passing attack has seemed to stagnate this year with Tony Gonzalez being the primary receiver, Roddy White getting fewer looks, and absolutely no production from the slot receiver. Ryan was at his best in Charlotte last week when he took what the defense was giving him, hitting short timing routes and using the running attack to his advantage. Michael Jenkins also has to get back to being a good complement to Roddy White as well and the loss of Harry Douglas looks to be hurting much more than many thought. The coaches need to adapt the offense to Ryan and his struggles to an extent, at least for this year. Ryan needs a comeback game in the biggest way.

3) Will (Should) Turner Go? Can a Norwood/Snelling Combo Work?

One of the most painful losses to an already injury-riddled year was seeing #33 coming up limp after torching the Panthers for over 100 yards in the first half alone. After a couple of so-so games, Turner got it going in a big way and was en route to another Pro-Bowl year (and still might be). High ankle sprains are some of the toughest playable injuries to get over and there has even been mention that Turner may go against the G-Men. Everyone knows how tough Turner is and if he’s legitimately ready to go than so be it, but they dare not risk injuring one of their franchise players even more so it would be pretty shocking to see #33 on the field running against the G-Men. Jason Snelling showed that he’s more than capable of handling the duties in Turner and Norwood’s absence, but the return of a healthy and speedy Norwood would be a welcome sight to a struggling passing offense. The Falcons will need to have Snelling and Norwood on top of their games to come out victorious in New York. Getting a glimpse at Norwood and Snelling would also be nice assessment of what a healthy three-headed monster of Turner, Norwood, and Snelling might look like. Norwood is also in the last year of his contract and needs to prove to other teams that he can be a feature back if he wants to test free-agency. Snelling has shown that he is a tough inside runner with surprising elusiveness and an excellent passing option out of the backfield. Snelling has shown that he looks to be prominent in the Falcons future….if they’re smart.

4) Can the D-Line Limit Jacobs and Get Any Pressure on Manning?

After a slow start Brandon Jacobs has turned it on in recent weeks running with toughness and power, using his huge 6’4, 250 lb frame to gain tough yards as well as showing a burst on the perimeter. The Falcons defensive line will have another tough assignment in trying to defend the running back in a lineman body, also having to account for speedy Ahmad Bradshaw who can take it to the house in an instant. The defensive line did a pretty good job against the Deangelo Williams-Jonathan Stewart combo last week and may have held the duo close to 100 yards if not for the late game game-ending jaunt by Jonathan Stewart. The D-Line is by no means a world beater, but they at least can hold really talented backs from dominating the game. There’s still a long way to go in improving the rush defense, but they have shown an ability to at least limit backs with the help of the linebackers. More at issue is the completely inept pass rush against good offensive lines and quarterbacks. The Falcons have shown an inability to get pressure on talented QBs when they run against a half-way decent OL. The four Falcon losses were games where they were unable to get pressure on the quarterback (Brady, Romo, Delhomme), and got Brees out of his normal game but still came up short. Where is the John Abraham from last year? If it’s injury, than he just needs to sit or work in only pass-rushing downs. After some promising snaps, rookie Lawrence Sidbury Jr. has not worked into the rotation and is Kroy Biermann a long term answer at D-End or did he just have a couple of good games?

5) Can Someone, Anyone, Step Up in the Open CB spot?

Falcons fans thought that Thomas Dimitroff may have pulled another fast one after Tye Hill dazzled the home crowd with good coverage skills, speed, and an awesome pick six. Then a splash of cold reality happened with a trip to Charlotte and Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammed on the field. Tye Hill was picked on over and over against the Panthers and had such a bad outing that he the hook pretty quick in the first half. Steve Smith had only scored one touchdown on the year, and he doubled his total with a critical third down TD against Hill. Brent Grimes came in and played well, but still has issues with big and tall receivers. If Grimes was a long-term answer at cornerback than why was he replaced in the first place. Chris Houston had a good day in Charlotte and is showing fans that they may have a solid cornerback for the future after all. With all the rotation and unsettled nature at the open cornerback spot, would it be that terrible to work Chris Owens into the rotation, at least in some nickel or dime situations? After having a good game against the Redskins, is Chevis Jackson back to his former self or still struggling to find a place? This is the risk that Dimitroff took when he let Foxworth walk and made no moves at cornerback until the first cut of waivers in Brian Williams. He only made that move after the really bad performance in preseason by the secondary. To say that the cornerback situation is fragile and needs an infusion of talent is the understatement of the year.Manning has confidence and has developed a great rapport with young receivers Steve Smith, Hakeem Nicks, &  Mario Manningham. If the secondary doesn’t show up, it could get ugly.  Houston has stepped up and its time for another corner to do the same.

6) Are the Birds Done without a Win?

The season is barely past the midpoint, but fans and media alike look to games as must wins in order to get to the postseason. This one is huge in so many ways for the Falcons. Atlanta needs this win to regain confidence, to take a step ahead in the tiebreaker category, to show they can win on the road, and generally to act as if they belong in the playoffs. If they win, it will be a huge boon of confidence rolling into the tough stretch of Philly and New Orleans coming to town and will put them in the driver’s seat concerning the wild card. Losing to the Giants at home may not be the worst thing under any normal circumstances, but since the Birds failed to take care of business against the now 4-6 Panthers, than this game just got a whole lot bigger. Yes it true that they could get on a run and win some games down the stretch to make the playoffs, but time will soon be running out. Sure they may beat the Bucs, Jets, and Bills towards the end, but teams like these will not be suiting up in January and moral victories won’t get you into the postseason. If the Falcons want to be a playoff team, they have to start acting like it starting in New York.

Convo Starter

Did the Falcons make the right choice in letting Michael Boley walk into free agency and into a Giants uniform? (Check out DOL’s Falcons-Giants Preview Blog)  Boley’s numbers are modest (21 tackles, 0 Ints, 0 Sacks), especially considering that he signed a 5 year, $25 million contract in March. His off-the-field issues may have been a part Boley leaving, but the main reason was a failure to connect with the new coaching staff. He was benched in favor of Coy Wire at strongside linebacker and Stephen Nicholas would be given a chance to earn a starting spot, but they still had to go out and sign another linebacker in Mike Peterson, who’s 33 years old. The Giants may have overpaid, but did the coaching staff miss out on an chance at an unbelievably young and talented linebacking corps (Lofton, Nicholas, Boley)?

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

 

Bird Cage Meetup

Many of us are meeting up at the Taco Mac @ Lindbergh to watch the game. Come and put some faces with some screen names if you want.

 

Your Turn

-Will Falcons prevail in the Big Apple (technically Jersey)?

-Do the Birds have to have this game?

-Can Ryan finally rebound and break the 4 game slump?

-Will Turner play and how will a Norwood/Snelling combo look?

-What does Coach Mularkey need to do for the passing attack?

-Can the offensive line keep Tuck and Umenyiora off #2?

-Will defensive line hold Jacobs and Bradshaw in check?

-Who can or will step up and help this cornerback situation?

-If the Falcons fall short, are the playoffs done too?

589 comments Add your comment

Dork

November 20th, 2009
9:21 pm

John K

November 20th, 2009
9:28 pm

If we cab stop the run, I think we have a very good chance to take this game in the Meadowlnads.

Underdog

November 20th, 2009
9:31 pm

Agreed. Why not stack the line and stop Jacobs and make Eli beat us? Worked against the Dolphins. But easier said than done….

Shawty

November 20th, 2009
10:16 pm

Yahoo & ESPN FFL love Snelling. I picked him up in both.

Tripp Bowden

November 20th, 2009
10:30 pm

Nice blog. I can tell you love the Birds like I do. Been a Falcon fan since I was a punk kid–7 years old and now 42. I believe in this team and I believe in Coach Smith and Matty Ice. Remember ol Steve Bartkowski? He had a rough go of it in the early days but man could he sling it. And how about Troy Aikman going what 1-15 or some such and Payton not doing much better. But their coaches were smart in that they knew these kids had skills. Unrelated I do miss Grady Jackson–not sure why they let him slip away. Go Falcons!!

Birdman

November 20th, 2009
10:43 pm

Falcons will win this game .

bird

November 20th, 2009
11:10 pm

good point! speaking of which, take a look:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8GuH9oDHrU

DePlane

November 20th, 2009
11:12 pm

Great work D3.

This game is a must win. I believe they will do it.

LRD MoTO

November 20th, 2009
11:25 pm

D3. nice work! Must win, and believe we will win.

If we do not.. end of wildcard chase? potentially….. but more importantly will it keep the curse alive? Everyone wants play offs, and Blank needs it to keep the stadium full, but man just back to back seasons would be a boon.
Leave Turner out, hate to say it, but we need to prove we can win without him, and we will need him in the last season push. Snelling is going to step up and step on people sunday.
My concern, and we have hit on this before.. where is Jenkins this year? If Roddy was limited in practice this week, Turner is sitting, and Tony G is double covered.. it means we need Jenkins catching the ball, turning and putting his shoulder into some one for extra yards. Everyone has seen him tag people on downfield blocks, now lets see him run over some people with the ball in his hands.

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

sportaree

November 20th, 2009
11:34 pm

Birdman,
You are correct. The Falcons will win this game. Don’t forget that four of the six remaining games after we beat the Giants are at home.

Wabe

November 21st, 2009
12:30 am

I honestly don’t think that a loss here would necessarily knock the Falcons out of contention for a wildcard spot. But, the real question for me would be, are we really a legit wildcard threat if we were to squeak out a wildcard spot? A loss to the Giants would make the Falcons 1-5 on the road this season. Our losses include at NE, at DALLAS, at N.O., at CAROLINA, and potentially a loss at NY (Giants). If the Falcons were to get in as a wildcard team, we’d hit the road for that playoff game, and honestly, judging by what we’ve done on the road this season, we’d be looking at another one and done.

I completely understand that once you get in, anything can happen. But, I’m the kinda guy that likes to focus on a record rather than hope. And the record speaks for itself. Tough losses against tough opponents at their places.

I’m not trying to sound like a pesamistic person here, but truthfully, the Falcons have given us very little to be optimistic about this season. Sure, some might like to think with the “glass half-full” theory, but I just can’t see it like that. We’re yet to earn a quality win this season. We’ve beaten the Dolphins, Panthers, 49ers, Bears, and the Redskins. Only the Dolphins stand at .500 at this point, the rest are mediocore – average at best – football teams. Our defense has struggled to stop the run and the pass – and our offense hasn’t been as explosive as it was advertised to be before the season kicked off.

We still have a ways to go this season. There are still plenty of games on the schedule to make the most of this season. But, the Falcons must show us something – anything – to prove that they are indeed a legit playoff threat. They need a quality win, and although the Giants have been struggling as of late, this would be a great one right here.

Get it done Falcons!

P.S. – How bout those Hawks!?!?!?!?!?! 11-2 (7 in a row)!!!!!!

Ed

November 21st, 2009
4:59 am

Great work D3…I am especially concerned about #5 as there doesn’t appear to be any relief in sight. Ryan is definitely having his problems but there is a huge amount of hope and belief that he will come around. Hopefully the CB position can be corrected in the upcoming draft.

theriddler

November 21st, 2009
5:00 am

I have not recovered yet from the 1st down call/execution from late in the Carolina game. That play could have been checked out of by Ryan, Smith, Mularkey etc. I thought this group was smarter than that. IMO that play will loom very large in the outcome of this season. go falcons.

Marcus

November 21st, 2009
6:14 am

Just read on ESPN where LB Antonio Pierce is out (neck issue). May prove a boon to Falcons offense. Still gotta work through Ryan’s decision making, but Pierces’absence may open some lanes for Snelling & co.

Samuel

November 21st, 2009
6:51 am

The Falcons paid to much for Michael Jenkins, let’s hope he earns his paycheck Sunday. I can see Norwood come in and help with spotty play. But to get a lot of reps, conditioning would play into that. I don’t think the falcons risk Turner coming in and playing. If you pull off an upset he would be more valuable down line. Especially with the Eagles and New Orleans coming to town. John Abraham and Kory Beirman need to show up for this game. They haven’t done well against pro bowl lineman. I think Jason Snelling will be a pleasant suprise and Aaron Stecker is a good pro. So I think the running game will be solid. Matt Ryan and the defense will have to have one of their best games this season. In order for the Falcons to be successful. This game will have valuable Information going forward about this team….

JJ

November 21st, 2009
8:13 am

Damn D3, I guess the computer is fixed. Remember the bird babe blog? We would get 1/2 paragraph. Your best (or at least top 3) post yet, great job buddy. Ryan will turn it around (even though I dropped him in FFL) with shorter passes/screens. Our expectations were huge for this kid this yr and this will be a learning yr. for him. Next yr. I bet he makes huge improvements.. This is not a playoff caliber team (mainly because of the defense,IMHO) but the process continues, it’s only yr 2. Huge draft next yr for this young team.
Cannot make it on sunday, but have a round on playa and me, lil dave will pay from last bet! lol

JJ

November 21st, 2009
8:16 am

Lil’Dave, wings are included too, right? lol ;)

John Waynesworld

November 21st, 2009
8:23 am

If our guys play like they did in New Orleans, win or lose I’ll be satisfied. The refs will usually try to take the game away from the visiting team, but if we stay focused and fly around with passion like we did against the Saints we have a great chance to steal this game away from a very rested 2008 Super Bowl champs. Besides I think the away team has won every game for a while in this matchup.

GO FALCONS!!!

andrew

November 21st, 2009
8:53 am

We cant stack the line and let eli beat us. or he will. we just need to control their run and put pressure on eli. and matt ryan cant throw 2 int or were gonna lose every game.

Sautee

November 21st, 2009
9:33 am

We need to win the turnover ratio. I don’t think we beat the Giants at home, coming off a bye without some forced TO’s.

mountain_jim

November 21st, 2009
12:02 pm

Lose and all we are playing for then is to end the string of never having had back to back winning seasons.

[...] I don’t know about road confidence, but a better performance on the road in the Meadowlands would be huge. Teams that can’t win on the road don’t got to the playoffs, generally speaking. [...]

Jay Falcon

November 21st, 2009
3:22 pm

The Falcons didn’t let Foxworth walk. He ran to his hometown team where they overpaid him. He didn’t fit the Falcons system anyway. The only reason he looked so good is because the rest of our CBs are that bad.

Boley gave the coaching staff no reason to keep him. Remember last year how he transformed from the dominant player he was 2007 to a mediocre at best linebacker who couldn’t stop the run. Both good moves.

I fear the falcons are going to get blown out. At least that is what seems to be set up for this game. Although, this is the type of game the Falcons will pull out of their ass. so, I’m hopeful.

I’ll be watching in a bar here in New York, no doubt surrounded by Giants fans ready to rub my nose in a loss, so I need them to win

GO FALCONS!!!!!!

[...] The Atlanta Falcons enter their most pivotal stretch of the season as they travel up north to visit the 2008 Super Bowl Champions in the Meadowlands. The Birds are coming off a loss where they were given every single chance to win in Charlotte and …Read Original Story: Playoff Drive in the Meadowlands? – Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

Wabe

November 21st, 2009
5:42 pm

Don’t think we’ll get blown out. I’m confident that the Falcons will play the G-Men tough. But, as stated by D3, moral victories do that Falcons no good at this point. The Falcons play extremely hard after taking a loss – just look back to the Saints game. They played hard enough to win that game, but mistakes killed them.

If the Falcons can minimize their mistakes this weekend, they’ll be in a good spot to win this one.

LRD MoTO

November 21st, 2009
7:51 pm

Watching NFL network tonight… everyone on the NFC show picked the giants to win.. however, the Madden game showed the falcons trouncing the Giants…. I do not know if that is a good omen when we are picked by a video game..HAHA

GO FALCONS!!!!!!!

Dawson Devitt (D3)

November 21st, 2009
8:50 pm

Great Best Next Best Day of the Week Cagers!!!! :grin: Hope everyone’s weekend is off to a good start as we stare down Thanksgiving week and the biggest game of the season. Lot of worry out there :neutral: about the upcoming game in the Big Apple (I mean Jersey). Rightly so. Listening to Chernoff on 680 The Fan yesterday, he made a good point: the expectations are that the Falcons will lose based on their performance this year, where they’ve under-performed in general but especially on the road. His point >>> PROVE US WRONG! And I think that is a very valid point. Couldn’t get it done in Dallas, New England, or New Orleans, which is understandable; but losing in Carolina really puts a thorn in fans side. Time to put up or shut up Falcons!

Bird Cage Meetup – Alright Cagers….it’s finally on. Obviously some of you can’t make it due to locale(falcon21, Birdman, Seminole, Nookah, Stirg, Box) and JJ can’t make it because of work; but looks to be a d@— fun time at Taco Mac @ Lindbergh (on the Marta Line and right next to the station). Come one, come all Bird Cagers! Anyone got a read on who may get there first? I’ll be there ’round noon in my #3 Shockley jersey (Matty Ice #2 Black Jersey is @ Dry Clean). I’ll bring my computer of course, to keep all the guys and gals tuned in to the party.

R.I.P. UGA VII GO DAWGS and can’t wait to finally see Cagers in person.

Wabe, Samuel, sportaree, Marcus, & DePlane – Really excited you guys have become regulars here in the Bird Cage. Your insights are the $h—-!

Ed – Thanks brother. Looks like the CB position is fairly thin, but I know that Joe Haden out of Florida and Patrick Peterson(sic?) out of LSU are the real deal. CB is such a d@– crapshoot as well. How nice would it have been to have gotten Sean Smith instead of William Moore? 20/20 hindsight is always easy, but that sure would’ve been nice.

riddler – What a great point. All parties involved deserve blame. I like being aggressive in that point, but for chrissake, do you have to give it away on the first play? Bad call and even worse throw by Ryan, but I will say after watching the replay that Michael Jenkins had a chance if he would have kept running his route. Good point all around.

More in a bit…………

Dawson Devitt (D3)

November 21st, 2009
8:57 pm

LRD & Sautee – Meant to add you two to the “Glad You’ve Become a Regular” category as well. You da men!

Box

November 21st, 2009
9:22 pm

D3,
I wish that I could attend, but make it known that the Bird Cage is alive and well at Taco Mac, and that we are true Falcons fans.

Birdman

November 21st, 2009
9:44 pm

D3 I hope you guys and gals have a whale of a time at Taco Mac . I will be headed out of town once again to work . I really got a good feeling on this game for the birds to take a victor here . I don’t think the burner will play nor do I think he should. But Norwood should be out there tho. I don’t think he would be at practice this week if he was not going to see some playing time in this game. Its all going to be up to him and Snelling now for the run game this week so maybe that with the short pass to the both of them as well as TG will get something going .
You guys don’t count the Birds out quiet yet we still have a few weapons left and I think Smith is going to put us a pretty good O together for this game . I just hope Ryan has a good game and our D needs to step up and put some pressure on Eli M . But what else can be said . I still just got that gut feeling tho and I hope I’m right.
I wont post a prediction on the score I just think the birds will win .
COME ON FALCONS AND PLAY SOME FOOTBALL !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Box

November 21st, 2009
10:42 pm

Amen, Birdman.

sportaree

November 21st, 2009
11:21 pm

I don’t cuss much, but damn what a mess.

Box

November 21st, 2009
11:25 pm

sportaree,
Cox wasn’t consistent, but execution comes down to coaching and discipline. Someone without a jersey has to shoulder some of the responsibility.

sportaree

November 21st, 2009
11:40 pm

That begs a question, why does everyone want to blame Willie Martinez for the Bulldogs problems, when there is no blame placed on Brian Van Gorder?

LRD

November 21st, 2009
11:41 pm

D3, thanks man! I am really enjoy this blog. Your write ups are fantastic, and I am learning from the comments and insights from others way more knowledgeable than I. ( Disclosure. I grew up in MD and was grew up as a Skins fan for way to long.)
Anyway, I am here after a night out at Twains… and watching the NFL network again. And the folks are saying that the Giants are going to walk all over our Team. They knocked on Ryan and picks, that Turner wont play and that Norwood will be in for 1-2 qrtrs max…. oh and insult to injury (no pun intended) they have listed White as questionable.
If all the factors above come into play, the D cant bend.., Lofton is going to have a HUGE game. (please y’all get out and vote this guy into the pro bowl!!!!) and Houston will continue to surprise use(hoping!)
I still think we will pull this one out. I think Eli will still be iffy if .Bierman has a good game, with Jamaal shutting down the run inside.
Every game is must win, but confidence for the players, confidence for the fans, and the fact it seem everyone is 5-4 right now, we NEED this game!
GO FALCONS!!!!!

Box

November 21st, 2009
11:55 pm

I can place some blame on BVG, but cutting the number of veterans for the youth movement has to have problems with players and not just schemes. I expected it, but hoped that we could overcome. IMHO.

Box

November 21st, 2009
11:55 pm

Be back later.

Atl Resident

November 22nd, 2009
12:27 am

Whats sad is falcons should have been using Norwood and Turner in backfield together long ago before Turner’s injury. Coaches and Ryan need to figure that out and quick. DB’s are okay they just undersized but they can be better. Really, everyone on team can be whole lot better.

Ed

November 22nd, 2009
12:28 am

D3 waddaya think? Does Richt need to go? My gosh when the time has come we lose at home against Kentucky I think it’s time. I always felt the end of the 10-year work cycle in any profession was a time for change. With that being said there are no obvious choices to replace him and very little chance it will happen.

D3

November 22nd, 2009
12:40 am

Ed – Great question. I though that a new defensive coordinator might make the difference in helping UGA get back to national prominence, but I agree with you…..Richt’s time may have passed. He may get another year (or likley two), but I think this is the first time that UGA fans are finally starting to question whether Richt should be in the long term plans. He is the longest tenured coach in the SEC after all. Since he last won the SEC (2005), Tennessee, Auburn, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss have gotten new coaches. Hate to play the fire/hire game, but two names would win big in Athens IMHO………Will Muschamp(Texas D-Coordinator/Head Coach in Waiting/From NW Georgia and Played @ UGA), or Charlie Strong(Will Never Happen, but one of the Greatest D-Coordinators in Recent Memory and Could Do Amazing Things in the State of Georgia).

But you’re exactly right……….nothing will happen. Heard through the rumor mill that FSU is talking to Kirby Smart(Alabama D-Coordinator/Also played @ UGA) to replace longtime legend Mickey Andrews as D-Coordinator.

Could be totally wrong, but I don’t think that Richt will win another SEC Title.

Box

November 22nd, 2009
12:44 am

Ed,
I think that infrastructure needs change, but not head coach, unless you can name someone better. Not a long list of top prospects. MR needs to bring in top DC and resume play calling. IMHO.

Wabe

November 22nd, 2009
12:47 am

Man, I feel for any UGA fans out there. A loss to Kentucky after being up 20-7 is a tough one to swallow.

[...] I don’t know about road confidence, but a better performance on the road in the Meadowlands would be huge. Teams that can’t win on the road don’t got to the playoffs, generally speaking. [...]

Bobby Cox

November 22nd, 2009
1:09 am

Is he some kin to me ?! I know about underachieving !

FalconUGAFan

November 22nd, 2009
1:16 am

@Wabe Thanks for the kind words. Tough to get sympathy from anyone. Everyone over at Shultz wants to fire someone or want to pour as much salt as they can find in our wounds. I really feel so bad for Joe Cox. The kid gives it his all and people are very cruel to the guy. Turnovers and penalties just killed us again. Well hope they are at least respectable against Tech.

dan33

November 22nd, 2009
4:46 am

Alot of Ryan’s miscues seem to be timing-him or the receivers? Defense keeps getting burned on same plays over and over. Hopefully everything will come together @ Jersey.

GO FALCONS

JJ

November 22nd, 2009
7:24 am

WR, play nice today…obviously a very bad week for the dogs.
Birdcage FFL: good luck to everyone (except Lil’Dave), were coming down to playoff match-ups.
Hope everyone has a blast at Taco Mac, no DUI’s and GO FALCONS!!!

John Waynesworld

November 22nd, 2009
7:25 am

Well the incinerator has cooled since burning all my Georgia stuff and it’s on to BIG BOY FOOTBALL! The senior circuit has some GREAT matchups and I for one am cancelling all yard duties at high noon so I can get ready for BLOWOUT WEEKEND in the NFL!!! There are so many lopsided games today it is incredible. The only potentially close game to watch is YOUR ATLANTA FALCONS!!!!!!!!

I hope all of you Cagers that are meeting up have a great time. I would love to see you all’s faces when you finallly meet (some might have given general self-descriptions but really nobody has a clue what anybody looks like, lol). That’s what makes it fun!

I will offer my NUMBER ONE way we win this game no matter what else happens…PUT ELI ON HIS BACK early. Period. If anybody gets their “cage” rattled after getting hit it is Eli Manning,

We do that, we win.

Falcon 8211

November 22nd, 2009
9:34 am

just hope we stop the run and put pressure on eli also stop the front four from getting to matt. well it game day so let’s roll

Dawson Devitt (D3)

November 22nd, 2009
10:57 am

Great GameDay Cagers!!!!!! The more I think about it, the more I beleive this is a game that we really need (captain obvious), but here’s the following reasoning:

-At this point we control our own destiny, and maybe only the Philly game allows us to control our fate in the wild-card spot. The Giants, Eagles, and Cowboys will be fighting for the NFC East Crown and the other two will vie for the wild card spots.

-The Giants are in a must-win as well because they’ve been hounded by the brutal New York media for over a month now and I expect them to come put smoking today.

-Don’t count on the Eagles staying bad for too long either. One thing about Andy Reid and his teams, they find a way to turn it around, one way or another.

-Big game today is the understatement of the year, and we may have a chance if we come up short today, but this will be the last one we can legitimately lose, and maybe one more, but 10-6 may not get us in and 9-7 surely won’t IMHO.

‘Bout to get ready to head up to the MARTA Doravilee Station and head down to the first Bird Cage Meetup. Probably only be able to stay for a half with the little one still nursing back to health, but looking forward to it. Cagers come on down and put some faces to those screen names. Try to blog from TMac, but we’ll see.

GO DAMN FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!