An Ugly Win is Still a Win

Falcons Find a Way to Get the “W”

Season Saving Catch? (Curtis Compton/AJC)

The Atlanta Falcons avoided a catastrophic defeat against the Tampa Bay Bucs on Sunday in a game that was one of the ugliest in recent memory, but found a way to claw and fight for the victory, keeping the playoffs still in the picture. Injuries were the theme of the day with the Falcons, losing starters across the board: Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Harvey Dahl, Sam Baker, and Chris Owens. The Falcons defense did everything they could to allow Josh Freeman and the offense to get into a rhythm, with the rookie QB going over 250 yards passing and 2 touchdowns. One drive lasting a whopping 2 plays, 80 yards, and a touchdown. There are serious issues on the defensive side of the ball, be it players, coaches, schemes, or a combination of all the above. The Falcons did do what they had to on defense to give the offense a chance to win the game, but after being up 10-0, the Bucs stormed back and did pretty much whatever they wanted. The injuries piled up, but the Falcons showed serious resolve in finding a way to win the game. The offensive performance wasn’t pretty, but Chris Redman came in relief and led the final scoring drive to win the game, albeit with some help from the Buccaneers in the redzone’s closing seconds in getting a holding call which gave the Falcons a new set of downs with goal to go on the five yard line. The Falcons seemed to sleepwalk through much of the game and definitely played down to a team that was 1-9 and had fired both of their coordinators through the season. The Falcons had a really rough game, but managed to come out on top. After getting through last year pretty injury-free, the Falcons are getting their share of tough injuries and then some this season.

Storylines from the Tough Win

 

1) Injuries Abound

Injury Riddled Year (Curtis Compton/AJC)

After escaping the injury bug very well last season, the Falcons are getting hit hard by tough injuries this year. The Birds had already had a hard time this year with their players getting nicked up and even lost for the year. Harry Douglas was lost for the year in training camp, something that obviously has been more detrimental than thought concerning the passing attack. 1st round draft pick Peria Jerry was lost for the year in the second game of the season. 2nd round draft pick William Moore battled injuries throughout camp and finally was put on injured reserve early in the year. Brian Williams, the Falcons best CB, was lost for the year against the Bears. Jerious Norwood has battled the hip flexor all year and had less than 80 yards rushing before today because of it. Brian Finneran has been lost for many games with injuries. Ovie Mughelli missed several games as well. Michael Turner was lost last week with a high ankle sprain. And that was all BEFORE today’s red cross melee. The starting quarterback (Ryan) was lost on the first series, the starting left tackle (Baker), starting guard (Dahl), starting running back (Turner), and even starting cornerback (Owens) were lost for the day. How many injuries can one team sustain before expectations have to be re-adjusted? How good would other teams be with this many injuries? Wednesday’s injury report should very interesting to say the least.

2) Sleepwalking Birds

The Falcons talked all week about the Bucs being a dangerous team at 1-9, and they certainly allowed them to be every bit as dangerous as they discussed. The Falcons seemed out of it from the first snap in a game they had to have to remain in the playoff hunt, but sure didn’t play like it. They committed penalties, dropped passes, made a QB rookie look like a Hall of Famer, and uncharacteristically even had a punt blocked. The Atlanta Falcons had no where even close to an effort resembling a squad that possessed a killer instinct to put away a team that was at the bottom in terms of records and admittedly in pure rebuilding mode. Injuries probably played a part, but the team is guilty of playing up or down to their competition this year and nearly lost a game that would have surely derailed the season. Great teams may find struggles for a little while in games with much lesser opponents, but will find ways to pull away at some point. The Falcons are definitely not too that point yet, but they did win the game to their credit.

3) Falcons Defense Continues QB Streak

The Falcons defense have a pretty good streak going this season in allowing any quarterback they play to have a really, REALLY good day. Be it a future Hall of Famer, a grizzled veteran, or brand new rookie, the Birds are guaranteed to allow the opposing quarterback to have a field day. Josh Freeman looks to be the real deal as a first round draft pick, but the defense made him look like an all-pro in the Georgia Dome, passing for over 250 yards and 2 touchdowns. On one remarkable drive, the defense even allowed the Bucs to complete a 2 play, 80 yard touchdown drive. With the Falcons up 10-0, the defense sputtered again and allowed the Buccaneers to get right back in the game. The running defense has improved this year, but the Falcons have absolutely one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL, fans and stats prove that alike. The defensive line regularly gets no pressure whatsoever on the QB, the coordinator runs 4 man rushes and drops back defensive ends, and cornerbacks regularly look lost. Often times there is simply no one around the receivers when they catch the ball. All that and its not even considering the fact that the Birds can not get off the field on 3rd down to save their life. The defense is starved of talent at key positions, but the blame should go wide and deep. Thomas Dimitroff deserves much of the blame for refusing to address the situation in the off-season and preseason. The signing of Brian Williams was good, but was completely reactive as opposed to proactive. The Falcons may not have the best defensive talent, but the coaches deserve some blame too. The defense appears to be getting worse, not better. The aggression, toughness, and tenacity that Coach Van Gorder was known for as defensive coordinator at UGA must not have followed him to Atlanta, because the bend-but-don’t-break scheme is a joke. Were the best defenses in the history of the NFL known as “bend-but-don’t-break”? Nope.

4) Redman Earned his Distinction

Stepped In and Stepped Up (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Much was made of Chris Redman being one of the highest paid backups in the league during training camp and preseason. Theories were offered, including this author, that the Falcons could get younger at backup quarterback and save money because it was a backup position after all. This author feels really silly right about now. Chris Redman earned his salary today by stepping into a game the Falcons were snoozing in and did what he had to do to win the game. He was by no means perfect, but he did what had to be done to win the game. Redman threw for over 250 yards and 2 touchdowns. The last drive was masterful. He and the offense was helped by the untimely penalties by the Bucs, but he was smart with the football and delivered when it mattered most: 4th and goal on the 5 yard line with the game in the balance. The decision to throw the slant to Roddy White was a very risky one because any number of things could have gone wrong (a tipped pass, a deflection, an imperfect throw), but Redman threw an absolute strike right on the money and won the game, and saved a season. A loss would have been beyond embarrassing on many fronts, but Redman stepped in and stepped up. Redman’s contract is up this year and maybe he has earned the chance to start elsewhere. Great kudos to an unselfish player ready to do what the team needed to win the game.

5) Some Bright Spots in the Secondary

Owens Had a Good Game (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Even though the defensive secondary had another forgettable and downright bad day, Chris Owens filled in nicely starting his first game as a rookie at cornerback. He may not have been perfect by any means and lumps surely lie in the future, but it was nice for fans to see some promise, any promise, from the cornerbacks musical chairs. Chevis Jackson had not been playing up to the level he established last year as the team’s nickel back, but Jackson had a good game today making many stops on third down and showing physicality and good tackling skills. The cornerback situation is in dire straits this year, but some hope may be on the horizon.

6) Jenkins Back to Good, Norwood Back

After having some big drops throughout the year, Jenkins showed fans that he can be a good complement to Roddy White when he’s on the top of his game. Jenkins had many nice catches throughout the game, particularly down the stretch to win the game. White and Jenkins are legit receivers for the Falcons, but the cupboard is bare after that. Eric Weems seems to have gotten some more looks Sunday, but still isn’t proving to be the answer a true #3 slot receiver. After showing some promise early in the year, the addition of Marty Booker has proved to add minimal value to the passing attack. Troy Bergeron finally was added to the active roster and would it hurt to see if he could carry some of his AFL magic to the Falcons aerial attack. Great to see Jerious Norwood back in action.  He reminded fans of his game-breaking speed with his long TD jaunt on the shovel pass from Chris Redman. Norwood’s return was a welcome addition to a much maligned backfield.

7) How Much is Enough?

What Do Falcons Do With Elam? (Curtis Compton/AJC)

Many fans think its safe to say that Jason Elam has lost it. The guy is almost a sure shoe-in to the Hall of Fame, but he has missed 7 field goals this year, and could have potentially lost another game for the Falcons. In consecutive weeks, Elam has missed at least one field goal in games that could have made a difference in the final score. The miss today continued a bad streak for Elam in failing to make fairly easy field goals. Elam is 39 years of age after all and every player reaches an end at some point. He did make two field goals, but the misses are piling up and Elam is only in the second year of a four year deal. The Falcons tried out four kickers this past week, but didn’t offer any contracts. That may change this week. The question for the Falcons organization is how do they handle the situation? Do they allow Elam to finish out the year and end his tenure in the off-season, or do they make a chance right now in the middle of playoff race? Would brining in a completely new kicker who’s never kicked in the NFL be any better? After being such a lock for so long, Elam appears to have lost his confidence if nothing else, and his kicks are showing it.

Game Balls  - Chris Redman and Roddy White for their game-winning throw and catch.

The Atlanta Falcons played one of their worst games of the year and were pounded yet again by the injury bug, but as they say “an ugly win is way better than a pretty loss any day of the week”. The Falcons didn’t really show up to the game and for all their talk of taking the Bucs serious, they sure did not play like it. Give credit where its due, the Falcons did what had to be done to win the game and every team has bad days, but if the effort on Sunday is replicated than playoffs will go out the window very quickly. All the side stories aside, the Falcons playoff chances rest against the Eagles on Sunday. If the Birds somehow pull it out they’ll be in the thick of the race, but if they lose to Philadelphia on Sunday than they will have lost head-to-head tie-breakers to all 3 teams vying for the same wild card spot. Should be fun.

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

Your Turn

-Proud the Falcons won or shouldn’t have even been close?

-What’s the deal with the injuries this year?

-Can the Birds be expected to do much with the injury problems?

-How concerned are you about Turner and Ryan?

-Can the Falcons beat the Eagles without #33 and #2?

-Is Chris Owens finally the answer at cornerback?

-Who is the MOST to blame for the defensive woes?

-Will Coach Van Gorder be on the hot seat if defensive slide continues?

-What’s your answer at FG kicker?

171 comments Add your comment

Sarah B

November 29th, 2009
11:43 pm

Dawson Devitt (D3)

November 29th, 2009
11:48 pm

Dos……hah.

Have a good night all, see you on the flip side :twisted:

Sarah B

November 30th, 2009
12:04 am

Good article… tough win! But I’ll take it.

Box

November 30th, 2009
12:08 am

Sarah B

November 30th, 2009
12:10 am

Wabe

November 30th, 2009
12:12 am

Good write up D3.

Box

November 30th, 2009
12:14 am

Definitely a good article, I know it probably hurt to write it, but we have to deal with the truth. It may be year three, or year four before we can be spoken of as a very good team. But I believe we are being led by the right HC and GM.

Box

November 30th, 2009
12:20 am

Hey Sarah,
Heard people say that the Dome was empty. Probably people traveling for thr holiday weekend. I’ll bet it won’t be empty next week, though.

[...] The Atlanta Falcons avoided a catastrophic defeat against the Tampa BayBucs on Sunday in a game that was one of the ugliest in recent memory, but found a way to claw and fight for the victory, keeping the playoffs still in the picture. …Read Original Story: An Ugly Win is Still a Win – Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

Sarah B

November 30th, 2009
12:33 am

Box, it definatley was not full, but not empty, probably 3/4. I also blame it on the holiday.

Sarah B

November 30th, 2009
12:35 am

And the fact it was the 1-9 Bucs, although they missed a great game, to great. It will be totally full next Sunday when FALCONSORRY returns.

Sarah B

November 30th, 2009
12:40 am

I mean the Eagles.

Box

November 30th, 2009
12:58 am

Concerning Baker injury, he was oft injured last year as well as this year. Last year was a back problem if I remember correctly. Giving up six sacks to a 1-10 team, we may need to look at O-line depth as well or Matt could get one of these weekly concussions that QBs are getting.

Box

November 30th, 2009
1:44 am

From a CBSSPORTS.com article under notes
Elam connected from 45 and 37 yards, but he had predicted the Falcons would probably cut him if he missed another. He was wide left from 43 yards with 6 1/2 minutes to go, leaving him just 8 of 15 on attempts of at least 30 yards.
FYI.

tom shoupe

November 30th, 2009
2:02 am

I guess Vick has not learned from his downfall. To say Atlanta is his town is a joke. The only people in Atlanta that still wear his jersey and would like him back are miscreants. Just the kind of people he likes to hang with.

MarkATL

November 30th, 2009
3:56 am

tom.. that is not an appropriate comment for this forum…. hope we get this comment removed!!

tbhawksfan

November 30th, 2009
4:32 am

MarkATL : It’s not the comment that’s inappropriate, it’s the actions that Vick perpetrated. The comment actually fairly well represents reality. I believe anyone has a good reason to disapprove of Vick and (because of) his behavior. And when you say “hope we get this comment removed!!” who is WE? Some sub-group, you and…..

What do some of you think, dispite Vick’s illegal, immoral and disrespectful behavior and attitude, the Falcons and people in general should still idolize him as you probably do? Tsk, Tsk, Tsk

drew

November 30th, 2009
6:05 am

Ugly win, but I’ll take it.

But I do have a bone to pick with the coaching. The Falcons were lucky they got the defensive holding call at the end. Especially since they had wasted a couple of downs spiking the ball. This was simply BAD COACHING! Yes, there are times for spiking the ball, but this wasn’t it. So you save 10 seconds, but forfeit one of your four downs? Instead of four shots at the end zone, you have only three. This is not smart football. Fortunately for the Falcons, the holding call bailed them out, giving them a fresh set of downs…and they needed EVERY ONE OF THEM. I know, I know, we won, and I’ll take it. But bad coaching needs to be pointed out, even when it works out.

LRD

November 30th, 2009
7:59 am

VERY ugly. But a W is a W. S
till would like to see Jenkins finally get his TD ( but in some ways he did.. as the pass interference call gave us those 4 shots we needed to finally win that game).
Elam… beating the horse… horse that needs to go to pasture. I would guess we see kickers in at Flowery Branch this week.
VanGorder needs to be on hot seat and as others have stated (Cbrass and Wabe etc), time for new
coacha and overall scheme change?
Gotta wait to hear any leaks on Ryan MRI today and then the official report. But we will be beat up for the Eagles… and if we are a play off team, we need to find a way to dig deep and win this one coming up.

D3 Nice Write up!!

gdg73

November 30th, 2009
9:11 am

At this point, there isn’t much difference between Matt Ryan and Chris Redman. One glaring difference is that Chris protects the ball better (no interceptions today).

JJ

November 30th, 2009
9:21 am

From Adam Schefter on espn. com:

“Defensive linemen, not QBs, could be story of 2010 NFL draft:

April’s draft could turn into the Spirit of ‘76.

The last time two defensive linemen were the draft’s first two picks was back in 1976, when Tampa Bay selected Oklahoma’s Lee Roy Selmon and Seattle followed with Notre Dame’s Steve Niehaus.

Now, the same could happen in the next draft. The candidates vying to be the top two picks are Nebraska nose tackle Ndamukong Suh and Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.

One scout said Suh was one of the top defensive prospects he has seen in years, maybe ever. Another said that for as impressive as Suh is, McCoy might be the better NFL prospect because of his lateral movement.

Either way, those tackles look poised to be the top two picks in the draft. Even Mel Kiper Jr. had them ranked as his top two prospects on his most recent Big Board, with Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap as the third-best prospect in the country. It’s not out of the question that defensive linemen could be the top three picks in April, which would be an upset.

In seven of the the past nine years, the NFL draft’s No. 1 pick has been a quarterback.”

No way we can get either one without a #2pick but we can dream!!!

CBrass

November 30th, 2009
10:08 am

D3,

Nice article. I can only imagine how hard it was to write it. It’s going to be a very long day Sunday if we do not get any pressure on McNabb. I say leave JA98 at DT and use Beirmann and Davis when Abe is not in. I do not understand they they insist on putting Anderson at end when he couldn’t even get past me. It’s going to be up to them if not McNabb is going to have a field day against a secondary that has Chris Houston as it’s number 1 corner!!! :-(

As Sarah B. stated Turner shouldn’t have been playing. I felt exactly the same way. Snelling is more that capable of carrying the load and they should have trusted him to do so. I have a feeling that Ryan may miss the game on Sunday. I hope I’m wrong but I just have that feeling. We have to get Dahl back out there because Clabo just gets manhandled when he’s not in there. Those two feed off of one another and we are going to need that nastiness they bring.

Norwood was just a bright spot yesterday. I’ve missed his speed!!! That shovel pass was just an excellent call and it was executed to perfection!!!

Coop

November 30th, 2009
10:23 am

D3 – Great writeup. Gald to have the W.

Also glad Redman played well, but there is no way we beat PHI or NO without Ryan. If CBrass was correct, and it’s ligament damage in the big toe, we’re screwed. He’ll be out the season.

JeanE

November 30th, 2009
10:41 am

Very good summation of this team. I can’t get a handle on them, yes, injuries have been devestating but all teams deal with those. I was at this game & from the first series, we looked sloppy & out of sync. We most definitely play up & down to our competition, not sure whether to blame that on coaching or players not self motivating. Probably both. The bottom line is: this team is not that good. They played well last year and took advantage of an easier schedule & Ryan kinda snuck up on people. Not this year, tougher schedule, Ryan is in a sophmore slump even though no one wants to admit it and we’re making too many mistakes. We knew what this defense was going in, I still to this day don’t understand our refusal to pay D. Foxworth to stay here. Big mistake! We lucked out with B. Williams but he’s gone. I have complete confidence in Chris Redman, he held the ball a little too long but he’ll get better working with the 1st team in practice this week. O-line is a sieve…not sure why Baker was really out but we need Havey Dahl back. Need Finn back, on special teams & as a possession receiver. I’m confident in Jerious & Snelling but durabilty is an issue with Norwood. Elam for whatever reason, is just hit or miss, literally. After being money last year, what’s different this year? You can’t tell me age caught up to him that fast. But you just can’t count in him & that is very costly. Playcalling is just ATROCIOUS. Why can’t we execute a screen pass?????? Why are we running Jerious up the middle, come on! Mularkey is awful. But it was still a very exciting if heart stopping win. A win is a win no matter how ugly. Maybe we’ll play up to the Eagles next week & show Vick we don’t need any part of him. Go Birds, I’m still behind you!

Where, oh where

November 30th, 2009
11:38 am

I know he caught the winning touchdown but Where, oh where is Roddy White? We played TB, a 1-9 team and you tell me Roddy White, our number one receiver could not get open more. Jenkins stepped up for a change but Roddy is consistently missing from games where he should be racking up passing yard. Number one receivers get open, no matter how tight the cover, that’s what make them #1. Moss (Pat), Holmes (Pit), Fritzgerald (Cards), Jackson (Eagles) show up for games. Where, oh where are u Roddy?

Dream

November 30th, 2009
11:45 am

ERIC BERRY….. We can only dream!

Marcus

November 30th, 2009
11:57 am

Dimitorff use every bit of your previous scouting experience to find some CBs for next year. Please.
Also, I got a phily cheesesteak on the line for the Eagles game. Make sure I don’t go hungry next Monday.

LRD

November 30th, 2009
12:09 pm

White: Just an opinion, but one could assume that the injury that has him listed as “limited” in practice is in fact worse than Smitty is admitting to the press corps, and there is just not enough time for it to heal to get him back up from 87% to 95% (at this point is anyone really 100%?) This has cost him a step and as the season has progressed he still has a burst or 3 in every game, but is missing that consistent downfield explosion of last year.
That being said, he is still in every game…. as others have stated before we need, NEED a #3 (or #2 dependent on opinion of Jenkins) that teams feel somewhat threatened by…

Knew Money

November 30th, 2009
2:03 pm

The game against Philly is hugh and to see MV7 Return to the ATL makes this game even more interesting. I can’t wait to see what the reaction will be for Mr. Vick.

BigMac

November 30th, 2009
3:35 pm

-Proud the Falcons won or shouldn’t have even been close? They Were LUCKY At Best!!

-What’s the deal with the injuries this year? Every Team Has Injuries..NEXT!!

-Can the Birds be expected to do much with the injury problems? ONLY If The Replacements Step It Up!

-How concerned are you about Turner and Ryan? Not Very!! Thats Why We Have REPLACEMENTS!!

-Can the Falcons beat the Eagles without #33 and #2? MAYBE!! If EVERYONE Does Their Job!!

-Is Chris Owens finally the answer at cornerback? Time Will Tell!

-Who is the MOST to blame for the defensive woes? DEFENSIVE Coach-

The Falcons Have YET To Beat A WINING Team! All You People “DREAMING” Of A PlayOff Team
Are In A DREAM World!! This Team Is A LAUGHABLE Average Team At Best!! They Have Been Getting PROGRESSAVELY Worse Since The Playoff Game Last Year!! You Have To Lay The Blame Of The Coaching Staff & The GM Period….

-Will Coach Van Gorder be on the hot seat if defensive slide continues?

-What’s your answer at FG kicker?

LRD

November 30th, 2009
3:44 pm

Man o man.. Many have stated Redman earned his money last week.. well lets hope he doubles down on this coming Sunday. No Ryan, probably no Turner and a game we have to win.
Sometimes you have to think The Scribe has a wicked sense of humor.

Wabe

November 30th, 2009
3:48 pm

BIG BLOW…

BIG BLOW…

Lets hope Turner’s good to go. We’ll need a steady running game if we hope to pull out this one.

CBrass

November 30th, 2009
3:53 pm

I had a feeling that he would be out!!! Damnit!!! His injury is being described as turf toe.

http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-falcons/falcons-ryan-out-for-219641.html?cxntlid=brkng_nws_bnr

Birdman

November 30th, 2009
4:01 pm

Good day cage
AS some have said ( a win is a win ) Man I hope that MR is OK . We need him next week or this week ! Redman earned his money yesterday but he ant the man we want leading the Birds this week . Hope Turner is going to be OK . Man they should not have played him this last game ! I heard he has a new injury not the same one . This tells me he was probobly useing another part of his legs more and stronger to confinsate for the anckle , witch in turn helped him get this one .
The Birds have got to get someone who can make field goals ( this is killing them ) almost three games now lost by this . And this week with the Eglas that could be a big facter ( 3 pionts ) I tell you man this scares me more than Turner being out .,gota have a goal kicker ”
If MR is in good enough shpe to play this week we have a chance I think , a good one , But if they use Redman I think we get our first dome loss . But who knows ?
Great post D3 All you cagers have a good one .I leave out at five in the morning and want be home untill late friday night so ya,ll keep things alive here in the cage.

SW . Jason DANG I hate the Makers and the Bulldogs got burt out last week but we know they will be back . Rockdale county ,here were I live is still in it . Go figure. So now I guess I.ll root for them . Ya,ll have a blessed day US 84!!!!!! GO FALCONS!!!!!!!

Wabe

November 30th, 2009
4:01 pm

This season just seems like it wasn’t meant to be. Inconsistent play plagued us all season long. And now, going down the stretch, we’ve been hit with some critical injuries to key players.

The game vs. Philly is critical – the season is pretty much on the line this week. Redman was great against the Bucs, but the Eagles are a completely different animal. Expect to see some serious blitz packages thrown at Redman. He’s got the playmakers around him to make things happen, but, will he be solid enough to WIN THIS GAME – not just manage it.

You can’t expect Redman to “manage games” with the defense that we have. He’s gonna be expected to make plays and WIN THIS GAME. That’s asking alot from your backup QB.

This week, the defense must play inspired. Not only are they not stopping people (getting gashed on the ground and through the air), they’re creating absolutely no turnovers. They’ve got to rattle McNabb this week. Force turnovers – give our offense more opportunities with the ball. Time of possession will be crucial this week – they must find a way to get off the field.

If I’m Mularkey, I’m really working on shifting to play towards our strengths. Someone said it earlier, we never run screens. With Redman in the game and Norwood back, I’d expect them to take a page out of Andy Reid’s playbook and run a number of screens. Get White on some screens outside. Utilize the short passing game with Gonzo. And when given the opportunity – hittem deep. Basically, use the short passing game to get the defense to start cheating up the field. Once the defense does that, stretch the field and go vertical. USE WEEMS IN THE SLOT!

We’ll see what happens. Redman gets a whole week of practice. What I liked out of him last week – he doesn’t make ill advised throws. The guy took care of the ball – and I’d expect him to do the same in the upcoming week.

Wabe

November 30th, 2009
4:05 pm

The Eagles will send the blitz this week, at least I would think.

Screens = the perfect counter

It’ll really put them back on their heels and minimize those blitzes.

Birdman

November 30th, 2009
5:08 pm

BigMac not every team loses there QB and STAR RB in one week and name me a team who has ,that has won a lot of games without them . So yes I think its very bad for the Birds ,this time of year and 2 big games coming its very bad .

John Waynesworld

November 30th, 2009
6:10 pm

I agree Wabe that it doesn’t seem to be in the cards this year. That being said, why not beat the Eagles? They have their injury bugs too, and as I tell anybody who wants to bet against the Eagles, “Don’t bet against Westbrook”. Well Westbrook is out and so should be DeSean Jackson, who is going to be the latest in politically correct neuro-doctors forcing him to sit out of Sunday’s game as well. At least we should all hope because Jackson would smoke our secondary like a non-filter Kool.

falcon21

November 30th, 2009
6:38 pm

The D needs to step it up this weekend and keep it close if that is possible. If they have an A game I hope they bring it. And maybe just maybe we will have a dependable field goal kicker for this game.

BT

November 30th, 2009
6:56 pm

Falcon21-
My football instinct tells me the Falcons will have a good week of practice and come out against Philly with focus and intensity.
There is no QB controvery in Atlanta, Ryan is the man.
With that, I have lot of confidence in Redman.

All the Cagers that said they should have rested Turner.
You were wrong before the game and also wrong in hindsight.
It`s my guess, Turner told Smitty he was ready to play, good enough for Smitty, good enough for me and that should be good enough for you too.
That is all I have to say about that.

D3- Good job as usual.

Wabe

November 30th, 2009
6:57 pm

I completely agree JWW and Falcon21.

The Eagles will also be shorthanded as well, but they’ve still got some capable reserves who should step in and perform pretty well. Maclin has been explosive as a rookie. Jason Avant has stepped his game up the past couple of weeks. And they’ve got an up and coming TE in Brent Celek. Although Westbrook’s out, I think McCoy gives them a much more stable back to pound the ball with – he might not be as shifty as Westbrook – but the guy can get the job done in the screen game as well.

Defensively, we must limit the big plays. To me, it seems like everytime I’m watching an Eagles game, they’re hitting home runs. McNabb throws a hell of a deep ball – so our DB’s can’t let Maclin get behind them.

I’m hoping – REALLY HOPING – BVG gets this defense cranked up for this game.

There’s still no word as to how significant Ryan’s injury is. If we can pull this one out in the Dome, we would be right where we want to be to secure a playoff spot. I honestly wasn’t expecting to beat the Saints, even with a healthy Ryan and Turner. With them, it wouldn’t have been out of the question, but without them, I honestly say no way. Still, all we need is a split here. A win this week, and we’re still in great shape.

SeminoleWarrior

November 30th, 2009
6:59 pm

D3, an excellent piece as always.

This past weekend of football was just not it at all for the Warrior. The Seminoles are about to run my coach out of Tallahassee, the Gators kicked our @$$es, and the Falcons looked absolutely pathetic for a team playing at home.

I’m not going to get deeply into any particular phase of the game but as I sat in my seat and watched, I simply just could not believe it. That was the best we could do? With all the marbles at stake over the next three weeks or so, that was the best we can do. Ohhhhhhhhh, Jim Mora Sr., where are you? Diddly pooh…..playoffs, playoffs?

Player of the Game: Chris Redman. Where in the hell would this team have been yesterday without his poise, his grit, and his heart.

Can’t analyze or break it down; too damned depressed. Both of my beloved teams left me empty this weekend. And the sun just seems unable to shine for me today.

PLEASE Smitty…PLEASE Falcons. Bring some heart to the Dome this coming weekend. I beg of you!!

Birdman

November 30th, 2009
7:12 pm

US 84
Cairo and Tville went down . Can you belive it the dawgs beat the Jackits .If only they had run the ball more this season . And I did wish that some how some way the Noles could have upset Floridia but next year man .

Sportaree

November 30th, 2009
7:19 pm

Fantasy Football:
Aurthur Blank + Thomas Dimitroff + Coach Smith + Charlie Weis + Mike Zimmer + a few quality players = Super Bowl.

SeminoleWarrior

November 30th, 2009
7:19 pm

Cage, Redman CAN get it done. The question is can the supporting cast, i.e., offensive line, defensive line, place kicker, and defensive backs get it done. The Eagles know what is at stake and they will come to ATL with a purpose and focus. I certainly hope that the Falcons arrive with more intensity and drive than what was on display yesterday.

falcon21

November 30th, 2009
7:23 pm

Wabe, Ryan has turf toe, it may not sound like much but it is hard to get over. That ended the career of the great Jack Lambert along with a little age.

John Waynesworld

November 30th, 2009
8:30 pm

SW, you are so right, Redman all day MVP of the game. It was agonizing fun. I couldn’t believe he managed the game to a big win with no picks or fumbles. Now he’s got some game experience for next week. It’s also great it’s another home game.

D3 great article. I remember screaming about why the Bucs were even bothering running the ball, because all they have to do is throw it downfield. We do make the mediocre look good. The Braves do that alot with opposing rookie pitchers. But our defense held them to a couple of touchdowns, and one was a gift from a blocked punt. It was just the inbetween that we looked horrible. Howling horrible. Fear of leaving the youngsters on the edge in too much space with a receiver 8″ taller than them horrible. Just like when the announcer was talking about us allowing the most 20+ yard plays in the league. Yea, the reason we do that by design so as not to allow the most 50+ yard plays in the league, because that’s what would happen if we left Chris Owens alone with a big time receiver. Our DB’s need seasons to learn and grow. So right now we bend but don’t break. It’s crappy on stats but after all we did hunker down pretty good in the red zone. haha

Coop

November 30th, 2009
8:31 pm

I’m not sure about this “turf toe” diagnosis. If he’s hurt bad enough to make the determination on Monday he’ll be out Sunday, don’t count on him back for several weeks. At that point, why not keephim out the rest of the season? I figure we lose to PHI and NO. We can beat TB, NYJ, and Bills with Redman.

Don’t get me wrong, if Ryan is TRULY ready, play him as soon as possible. Just don’t rush him back, even to save 9 wins. For the playoffs, OK.

CBrass

November 30th, 2009
8:36 pm

Coop,

Interesting see you say he may be out for several weeks. I just did a look up on what turf toe is and it’s said that it can keep someone out for at least 3 weeks!!!

SeminoleWarrior

November 30th, 2009
8:46 pm

Do not attempt to rush him (MR) back. That mistake has already been made once in the form of Michael Turner. The PROCESS must come first and foremost. Continue to see what you have in the basket for the LONG term. Let Redman and Wilson handle this for the foreseeable future; MR, take your time, chill the competitive nature, and come back completely healthy where the time is right.