Playoff Do or Die vs. Eagles

Big Tie-Breaker at Stake

Playoff Put Up or Shut Up (Curtis Compton/AJC)

  The Atlanta Falcons literally limp into the Terror-Dome to play the biggest game of the year against the Philadelphia Eagles in basically a do or die game to get to the postseason for the second consecutive year. The Falcons difficulties have been well-documented throughout the season including everything from tons of injuries and a difficult schedule to inconsistent offensive play and underperforming defense, but the bottom line remains that the NFL shows no pity and excuses need not apply. Of course the big news is the return of Michael Vick to a place where he used to play every Sunday. The reaction will likely be boisterous in the beginning and when Vick enters the game, but based off the amount he’s played throughout the year, the actual impact on the game may be minimal. Based on their record, performance, and wins the Falcons are pretty much an average team defeating only teams with losing records and falling to the better teams they’ve played. They are a very young team and are only in year two of “the process”, but the expectations were set high and fans want to see the team play hard, tough, and show a sense of fight for four quarters, which is not something that has been seen in every game.

The Philadelphia Eagles bring in one of the most talented teams in the NFC as well with big victories and being able to control their own destiny. If they defeat the Birds in the Dome on Sunday, they put themselves squarely in the driver’s seat for a wild-card berth and possibly even a chance at the NFC East Title Crown. If the Falcons win, they put themselves in a great position to make the postseason with their relatively easier schedule in the remaining four games, save the Saints game of course. The Eagles aren’t necessarily eliminated with a loss, but the Falcons basically will be. A loss on Sunday will give the Falcons a defeat in the tie-breaker category to all three NFC East teams, of which one will win the division and the other two will be right in line for the wild card are squarely in the playoff hunt (Cowboys 8-3), (Eagles 7-4), and (Giants 6-5). That’s also including the fact that the Packers are 7-4 and have a pretty easy road left as well. In other words, barring a complete meltdown by the other teams, the Falcons will likely be done in terms of the postseason. Plain and simple, its put up or shut up time for the Birds.

Six Searing Questions


1) Can the Battered and Bruised Pull it Through?

The injury report grows longer every week as the Falcons have been pounded by the red cross reports this year, something they largely escaped last season. The Falcons lost Harry Douglas, Peria Jerry, William Moore, and Brian Williams for the year and Jerious Norwood, Brian Finneran, and Michael Turner have missed games due to nagging injuries. And that was before last week’s medical register last week. The Falcons lost their franchise starting quarterback in the first series, starting right guard Harvey Dahl, starting left tackle Sam Baker, and franchise running back Michael Turner went down with an injury. Chris Redman came in and played very well off the bench, leading the Falcons to a season saving win over the lowly Bucs. Redman will get the start and play the entire game against a famously tough defense. Turner looks to be completely limited, if he plays at all. Norwood comes back at a critical time and Snelling will be counted on heavily to play a run-control, time-chewing offense. Brett Romberg has shown good ability in relief of Dahl, but can Will Svitek and/or Quinn Ojinnaka protect Redman against the traditionally gritty Eagles defense? The Eagles have injury issues of their own with two of their own biggest playmakers likely out for the game in DeSean Jackson and Brian Westbrook.

2) Will McNabb Have His Best Day of the Season?

The question may seem a little unsupportive, but the fact remains that every single quarterback that plays the Falcons secondary has a field day. Tony Romo, Eli Manning, and even Jake Delhomme had excellent days against the Birds, and fresh rookie Josh Freeman looked like a seasoned veteran throwing for over 250 yards and two touchdowns. Fans knew that the defense, and secondary in particular, would be a spot of concern, but the ease with which teams have passed up and down the field has produced some downright ire. Chris Owens and and Chevis Jackson had good games and the secondary didn’t have the worst day of the season (which isn’t saying much), but they haven’t ran up against the talent at wide receiver that the Eagles boast. Desean Jackson is one of the most dynamic players in all of football, Jeremy Maclin is having a fantastic rookie year, Jason Avant has averaged almost 100 yards a game over his past three, and tight end Brent Celek has emerged as a legitimate threat to stretch the middle of the field. And the best player on the team hasn’t even been mentioned yet in Donovan McNabb. The Eagles QB is having an excellent season in the process of getting comfortable with all his new weapons. The Falcons secondary better bring back the magic they wove against the Saints, because if they don’t it will be a blowout.

3) Will Any Pressure Be Applied?

The Falcons have had a really hard time generating any pressure on a consistent basis this year. They have a knack of feasting on inferior teams with multiple sack days, but evaporate against solid offensive lines. After adding left tackle Jason Peters in the off-season, the Eagles boast one of the best offensive lines in football. Couple that with the fact that McNabb is one of the absolute best in the business at sliding in the pocket and the ingredients are there for a disaster if McNabb has all day. The players deserve much of the blame, but Defensive Coordinator shares a large portion of the responsibility as well in his play-calling. Van Gorder often only rushes four defensive linemen with little to no pressure, drops his defensive ends into coverage too much, and has become extremely predictable and uninspiring with his blitz packages. And why is Jamaal Anderson still moving often to defensive end? Take no further look than the Saints-Patriots game to realize that pressure on quarterbacks helps to equal success, and that’s an issue the Birds have had of late. Abraham, Babineaux, Anderson, Biermann, and most importantly Van Gorder need to step up their game big-time or McNabb will destroy the defense.

4) How will the Falcons Show Up?

Much of the season’s inconsistency has been put on the players and their lack of performance, but the coaches certainly deserve their part of the responsibility, if not most of it. To his credit, Coach Smith led Falcons teams have played tough and showed a spirit of fight for four quarters, except for a handful. The Falcons have won all the games they were supposed to except for one (Panthers in Charlotte) and are undefeated at the Terror-Dome this year, but they are 1-5 on the road and by all accounts should have lost the game against the lowly Bucs. Four games on the year the Birds have failed to show up ready to play (Bucs, Panthers) or started well and collapsed in the second half (Patriots, Cowboys). That may be a cause for concern when the team goes missing for at least a half in almost half of the games played thus far. How will the coaches gameplan for the offense, defense, and injuries be structured? Coach Smith and Offensive Coordinator Mularkey will likely push for a heavy dose of Norwood and Snelling in an attempt to help Redman manage the game as well as keeping McNabb’s offense on the sidelines. Who knows with the defense, but if it’s the same vanilla approach fans have seen of late it may get ugly really quick.

5) How will the New Field Goal Team Play?

The big news, however expected, was the release of likely future Hall of Fame kicker Jason Elam. After trying out kickers the week before, and Elam missing yet another easy field goal that could have been the difference in yet another game, the writing on the wall was pretty clear. It was an unfortunate end to a feel good story of a hometown player coming back home to finish his career with the Falcons, but something went awry this season. Elam missed 7 field goals that could have easily been made and possibly could have made a difference in at least a few (Panthers & Giants). After long snapper Mike Schneck went down with a rib injury, that seemed to exacerbate the process. Most all fans wish Elam the best and certainly appreciate everything he’s done for the Falcons in a short amount of time. The Birds brought in Matt Bryant who is a 82% career kicker and is 5 years the younger than Elam. The signing is a much safer one than trying to bring along a young kicker in the middle of a playoff run. Question is how will Bryant do in his debut and why did no other NFL team pick him up after he was released by the Bucs?

6) Michael Vick Returns to the Georgia Dome

The story has been well-documented and when Vick signed with the Eagles in the preseason, the media blitz was sent into overdrive with the fact that Vick will return to the Georgia Dome in his first season back in the NFL since 2006. Many thought that Vick would surely be worked back in slowly, but things didn’t exactly work out as some believed with the quarterback rarely working his way into a serious rotation in the Wildcat formation. Barring a major change in the final five games, Vick looks to possibly move on to another team in the off-season and hopefully will get another opportunity to regain success in the NFL. The reaction has been intense in this city since the news broke on Vick and his legal troubles and the crowd will surely be raucous on Sunday one way or another. Michael Vick took this franchise to highs it rarely had seen and injected an enthusiasm never seen in the NFL in general. #7 was the franchise QB for the Atlanta Falcons and events well-known to all changed that landscape. Vick paid his debt to society and deserves every single chance at redemption in his life. Is it impossible for fans to pull for the Falcons and wish Vick the best in his career? Or are emotions still too raw from what transpired several years ago?

This is the biggest game of the season and the Falcons playoff hopes ride on this rumble in the Dome with one of the best teams in the NFC. Two teams fighting for their playoff lives with one of the most interesting side stories in the NFL equals a fantastic event in the Terror-Dome. Who will take a major step forward in the wild-card chase?

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


Your Turn

-How will the game play out?

-Can Falcons muster some post-injury magic?

-Are injuries too much for Falcons chances this year?

-Will Redman, Norwood, and Snelling pull it through?

-How bad will it get with McNabb under center?

-Any way Falcons DBs keep up with Eagles WRs?

-Can Coach Smith and Coach Van Gorder ramp up any pressure?

-How will Matt Bryant’s debut go?

-What’s your feelings on Vick’s return?

-Will Vick be much of a difference in the game?

239 comments Add your comment

Sarah B

December 3rd, 2009
11:37 pm

Where is everybody??? Good article.

Sarah B

December 3rd, 2009
11:43 pm

Matt Bryant cannot do worse.


December 4th, 2009
12:15 am

Good evening Late Nighters,
Had to turn in some school assignments. Bryant is a class act. Many say that a change of team can be a great boost for a kicker. Let’s hope that this the case with Bryant. And the new long snapper.


December 4th, 2009
1:19 am

Anxious to see the Falcons this weekend. Hoping that Redman can pick things up without any significant dropoff. I see that Turner was a no-go in practice today, so I really doubt that he’ll go this week. Run Snelling through the tackles and lets get Norwood going outside a bit more to stretch the defense to open up some more holes in between the tackles.

Utilize the short passing game and run some screens. We’ve got to be prepared for those exotic blitzes. I’m hoping Mularkey has drawn up some ways to counter those and get the defense back on their heels. Get Norwood more touches – not just running the football, but also in the passing game. Find ways to get him in the open field.

Hopefully, this defense steps up their effort this week. Hoping Smitty and BVG roll out a solid gameplan, because with the offense not at 100%, they’ll be expected to pick up the slack. FIND A WAY – DO WHATEVER NECESSARY – TO GET TO MCNABB!

No DeSean Jackson to worry about this week. But, they’ve got some guys that are more than capable of stepping in and getting the job done. Maclin can fly – DB’s can’t let him get behind them. Avant’s developed into a solid possession guy. Brent Celek just signed a contract extension this past week, so expect him to go out there an try to earn his money. The Falcons have really struggled stopping TE’s this season -remember Boss a couple of weeks ago? Must keep bodies on Celek.

I honestly believe we can win this game minus Ryan and Turner IF our coaches roll out a good gameplan.

BA Smyrna

December 4th, 2009
4:40 am

The reality is, Redman is not a drop off from Matt Ryan. He is a grizzly old veteran. I am not saying he is a super star by any means, but his experience would put him in the same quality as Ryan right now. Obviously Ryan has the bigger upside. But, what we have seen of Redman in the past does not suggest we will have any real drop off. Of course a healthy Turner would be a big help.

Our only shot at winning this game is some resemblance of a running game and trying to get a decent amount of pressure on McNabb which just won’t happen.

Can we please send Van Gorder back to the Dawgs. He really wasnt that good when he was there and he has to be one of the most vanilla coordinators in the league. We are going down the drain while he rushes 4 about 80% of the time. Makes no sense.


December 4th, 2009
5:22 am

My impression is BVG is attempting to prevent the big play while thus giving up on any proactive blitzing. The one recent successful one was the big delayed blitz up the middle by Coleman in a recent game (Redskins? too late to on “stat safari.”) Several times early in the season Brent Grimes (who is definitely tall enough to mess with QB’s minds) pummeled guys coming around the corner. Pick you poison, I guess, but I’ve always thought getting inside a QB’s helmet is really effective way of ensuring their timing is off for throws to WRs.

Hey, clearly DBs playing established roles is not working. Every time I see JA55 on TV (long distance fan,) he seems to be playing back a few steps. I can’t tell if that is strategy to free the LB’s up to cover further back or if he’s playing injured. Is this why other teams have been able to establish the run game?

Thoughts from those in the stands with a “bird’s eye view?’

Final thought for fans: WE are the intangibles in this game. Don’t bend to Eagles game planning strategy to use Vick’s arrival in the Predator Dome to detonate the crowd. We cheered for Vick as a Falcons player (uh, maybe not as much during the last Mora season,) and some cheer his resurgence. Let’s be classy, allowing our gladiators to punch the win out with ‘em out with more sacks and an offense that is hopefully coming back.

Keep those good posts coming, D3.


December 4th, 2009
5:25 am

Good note, Box. If y’all haven’t seen the Zelenka video, he’s a complete stand-up guy and very funny on camera. He’s so excited to be in the ATL (or fakes it well.) Former Jag and Cleveland prep school graduate (Benedictine) that my beloved states is a perennial victor in Ohio.


December 4th, 2009
7:40 am

Vangorder is over rated, I judge a coordinator on how well he does with rookies and little talent. Thus far and moving forward he hasn’t done a good job. In order for us to have a chance , the defense has to step up. Play calling will be Imperative in this game against the Eagles. We need not leave one stone unturned. I know we’ve had a lot of Injuries, but the guys filling in are still professional athletes. It’s simple next man up…..


December 4th, 2009
8:00 am

Good post. I must say my optimism is pretty drained at this point in the season. Abe needs to wake up and we need to manufacture some turnovers and give none away to have a chance in this one.


December 4th, 2009
9:00 am

I guess it’s settled then. Fired BVG and sent him back to Athens. For some who claim to say they are not “calling for any heads” it sure sounds like it. I’m sure anyone of you will make a better DC.

Here We Go

December 4th, 2009
9:02 am

McNabb is a veteran who can recognize blitzes and is still pretty mobile, so given our masquearding cornerbacks I’m not sure this is the right week to go blitz crazy. We just have to keeo their speed guys in front of us and play solid against the run. Make them convert third downs.
I really think it’s the OFFENSE that needs to crank it up, be creative, and play wide open this week to win. Even without our starting QB. I agree with many posts to get Norwood in space & on the edges…they are banged up defensively too. If we have to score 34 to win a close one, that’s what the offense needs to do.
And, hopefully the crowd will be all Falcons. There will be some Philly fans there, and some #7 fans…don’t let them get a foothold. OUR crowd needs to fire up our guys & bother their guys, bottom line. If the eagles get a two score lead and the place gets quiet, I don’t think I’m being over dramatic to say it will mark the end of the playoff hopes and a damaging blow to the psyche of a still (hopefully, though this years draft makes me wonder) developing team.

Martys Grass

December 4th, 2009
9:12 am

bye bye playoffs………

Homer Simpson

December 4th, 2009
9:32 am

Oh cruel fate, why do you mock me?


December 4th, 2009
9:35 am

Unca' Bob

December 4th, 2009
9:49 am


Nice read. One could tell there was something bubbling under the surface, but I never knew it would run so deep.


December 4th, 2009
10:00 am

IF our D that showed up against the Saints is on the field Sunday, we have a chance. If the D that has shown up against Skins/Bucs we are done against the Eagles. The more i have read the D discussion going on as of late, I am siding more and more with mix up the schemes. Show different stunts and fronts,etc
Plus, right now, go all out.. Our backs are against the wall as far as play offs. We have to utilize every single tool VanGorder has in that tool box. Our D is going to give up points, I much rather see them going down fighting. Show us that fire, and keep the fans in the game.

Since Ryan is not playing,and Vick is not playing much. I think a bit of the hype of “The Return” has died down. Hard to compare the 2 when neither is playing. I will say Vick had a good interview on 680 the other day with Coach Reeves.

And would like to see Snelling lower his shoulder and pound some Eagles…


December 4th, 2009
10:17 am

I agree with the general consenous. We will have to out coach the eagles to win this one, and it’s not that hard to do. On offense, we will have to use Draws, slants, and screens to offset their blitzing. It couldn’t hurt to also throw a few deep balls to back them up as well. On defense, they will have to play inspired football, we either have to get to Mcnabb, or create turnovers. Ditch the zone coverage, every team in the NFL has seen our zone, and knows how to pick it apart. Let’s get some bump and runs against these smaller wide reciever’s, and use press coverage to throw off the timing, and that will create turnovers. Either way I’ll be at the dome hoping for a win.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[...] The Atlanta Falcons literally limp into the Terror-Dome to play the biggest game of the year against the Philadelphia Eagles in basically a do or die game to get to the postseason for the second consecutive year. The Falcons difficulties have been …Read Original Story: Playoff Do or Die vs. Eagles – Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]


December 4th, 2009
11:01 am

Home game…Falcons win. So far under this management the Falcons are 12-1 at the Dome. So, the key is for the fans to get behind the team. Donovan has been here before and I am certain the crowd can get inside his helmet. The D’s task here is to make sure they wrap him up.

It seems most of the nay-sayers are TV watchers. For instance, Singletary is bemoaning JA #55 but what he is missing is the real story – JA #55 showing the ref his nearly removed jersey and the next play is a holding penalty.

If Philly employs the grab-em-till-the-refs-drop-the-flags strategy then it will be a long day (unless the refs pull out the hankies in the 1st quarter) but the Falcons will win nonetheless.


December 4th, 2009
11:16 am

Two quick thoughts. I hate to say it, but I just can’t see us winning. That’s based soley on performance through 15 games. We have not looked dominant against inferior teams (save SF) and haven’t beaten better teams. So, I really have no reasonable hope. As a fan, I will hang on till the end and pull my heart out. But realistically, I just see us losing the next two and struggling for 9 wins.

As for BVG… I’ve thought about this all season, and I’m to the point where someone has to take accountability for the D. Yes we’re young and injured, but does that give BVG a pass for making ZERO changes? At a certain point, you get crazy. Switch to a 3-4, Rush 8, blitz with your punter… do something man! This shceme is not working. It’s not improving. BVG and Smitty can’t just resign themselves to thsi D. If BVG keeps running the same schemes, them I’m afradi I’m with others who say he needs to go.


December 4th, 2009
11:21 am

A showdown in the GA Dome fitting and Michael Vick presence will be a factor.Atlanta Falcons need to be balanced on offense.Running game needs to find mojo.Maybe the franchise can transform and keep prevent the curse of not having back to back winning seasons.PLAYOFFS Playofffs..they lost last year emabarrassed off season let quality players drop from the board oh and free agency.This team dug itself this hole now we will find out if they are really NFL playmakers.The Philadelphia Eagles Defense will be another notch better than Bucs.That game was so ugly.Hopefully at the end of the season they get rid Brian VAn Gorder bring in Brian Billick.Also secondary needs to addressed through free agency no more out of draft.HOw many have we chosen to fill this role.Players need to earn that check.Haters you all going end up in a psyche ward stressing over MV7 yeah deep down you wish he was still here given Matty Ice injured.He needed to redeem himself and what better way than to catapult this silly franchise full of smoke and mirrors.The winning product on the field could not contend with the Buccaneers.Saints game revenge.I have forgiven MV7j others should too so you can sleep good at night.I know he scares the hell out of some people on these blogs.Why, because that raw talent wins may the best team win.I still have both of my MV7 jerseys Atlanta will regret letting him go yeah he screwed up badly but time to move on to brighter days.YOu know in some areas of China they eat dogs cats in fact be careful here in USA the next time you want something different.PEACE!.


December 4th, 2009
12:03 pm

Great post D3
Good to be back home got in early.
DJ I like what you have had to say . Come-on lets get a win Birds and show us you still have that will .I say ,Its good to here Finn will be back . He does well on those 10 yard passes . I hear Turner may suit up for some plays if he is up to it . What do you guys and gals think about that ? Part of me says use him because we need this win so bad and the other part says rest him ,don’t gamble with his future . So I’m indecisive .
Know doubt the D has got to get pressure on DM . Rush Him and protect the middle of the field ,You let Mcnabb open and he will run it himself . We have seen that from time to time this year against the Birds with other teams . So the D needs to show us there is improvement in many things not just the secondary and rushing . I think they have a chance tho . Its time for them too .And its a must win .




December 4th, 2009
12:36 pm

Hey Y’all:

From now on and throughout the rest of the season, it’s “ALL HANDS ON DECK!!!” “ALL HANDS ON DECK!!” The coaches, the players, the fans, the local media, and the community. It is “ALL HANDS ON DECK!!” in “ONE HEARTBEAT!!!!,BABY”. This is “PLAYOFFS” time and every game has ‘PLAYOFFS IMPLICATIONS”. It is an “EXCITNG TIME” for PLAYERS and FANS, alike ,to be in the “HUNT” to get into the PLAYOFFS” march toward the SUPER BOWL. Our FALCONS are more than capable to “FLIP THE SCRIPT” and get in the playoffs where anything and everything can happen. However, we got to take care of businees “ONE GAME AT A TIME” and this week it’s the EAGLES. They will be in for a RUDE awakening when they run into our FALCONS on Sunday. I believe COACH SMITH will have our guys NASTY, ANGRY, AND READY to play some INNOVATIVE AND CREATIVE, NASTY FOOTBALL. Our BIRDS are running around like “RABID DOGS” due t the injuries and I truly believe they are going to be “VERY DANGEROUS” to any team coming into “OUR HOUSE”: THE GEORGIA DOME. Therefore, “ALL HANDS ON DECK!!!”. ALL HANDS ON DECK!!. It’s “PLAYOFF TIME”. For the next 6 weeks we need our coaches, players, local media, fans, and the community in “PLAYOFF MODE”. WE AIN”T TAKING NO PRISONERS!! IT’S WAR, BABY!! THEREFORE, ALL HANDS ON DECK!!!. ALL HANDS ON DECK IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!!” WE AIN’T PLAYING!!! WE OWE EVERYBODY A BUTT KICKING. NEVER FORGET!!!!!!!!



………………………………..”ONE HEARTBEAT, BABY!!!……………………………

Football Bat

December 4th, 2009
12:59 pm

This blog is better coverage of the Falcons than the rest of the AJC combined. THANKS!

The Eagles are certainly qualified to give us a beating on Sunday, but think about this: Both Ryan and Turner have had several games where they didn’t perform all that great. Redman and Snelling on the other hand have shown great promise. If the coaches can use them to their potential and focus on getting McNabb on his back, then we could definitely pull out a win.

Also, what happens if Vick gets in the game and gets hammered? MOTIVATION to win! I think it comes down to who wants it more.



December 4th, 2009
1:18 pm

In my opinion, I much rather have McNabb try and beat us with his feet than have him beat us with his arm. at least if he is beating us with his feet we can say our D is doing its job on coverage and rush.
I also would say the more he is scrambling due to pressure the chances of him making a mistake or turnover increases. (and yes, the chance for the big toss down field too) … and we need the Eagles to make some mistakes, forced or by their own hand.


December 4th, 2009
1:20 pm

Blaze – I don’t know whether to agree, disagree, or ask what you’re on. Man, that was like speed blogging!

Unca' Bob

December 4th, 2009
3:30 pm

Pressure from our DT’s will help cut down the amount of time McNabb will have to read our Defense. It will be crucial for Babs to have a career game this Sunday. Our DE’s are getting around the corners, so if we get pressure up the middle, it will be completely disruptive because McNabb will have nowhere to step up to. Should this happen, everyone will say, “What a great day our DB’s had against Philly”.


December 4th, 2009
4:25 pm

What many of you are forgetting…

We lost to the Giants (by a coin flip or fieldgoal) and Dallas … both coming off byes. And away.

We played New Orleans better than just about anyone … at their dome … again fieldgoals and turnovers an issue.

We are a victim of an atrocious schedule, injuries, and some poor play from Ryan and Elam during winnable games.

It looked like Turner and Ryan found their mojo when this injury bug hit … so it is really difficult to tell how good we really are.

(homerism off)

None of that matters though now.

Redmen and Snelling are capable … really more concerned about our offensive line than anything else.

But the Eagles are soft in the middle … and hopefully Mularkey can use that to play to our strengths with Norwood, Snelling, and Gonzalez on dinks and dunks.

Bottomline … let’s just win this one. We control our own destiny to a large extent.

The season begins this Sunday.


December 4th, 2009
4:53 pm

Magnus23, you da man!


December 4th, 2009
5:22 pm

I agree the playoffs start now for the Birds one loss and there out -Saints
They must bring there game on and beat the Eagles .
And I agree also ,where might they be without those missed field goals .But our injuries are not good at this time of the year.Time for the coaching and the whole team to put it in gear .


December 4th, 2009
6:16 pm

Good job D3, Nice as usual.
I agree, with Magnus23 on the attack.
You can bet that Gonzales will be bracketed between an LB and safety most of the day and A.Samuel will go man up on Roddy.
The Eagles D-line will be more of a challenge than the Bucs last week.
Therefore, quick slants and screens to Jenkins, Norwood and Finneran should be utilized, mixed in with Snelling between the tackles.
The Falcons must play pysical.

On defense, this is the week to read and react, keeping everything in front of the secondary and not allow the explosive play.
Pressure up the middle from the interior D-line is a must as well as good play from the LB corps.

One last point, THE 12TH MAN needs to be there and heard from start to finish.

Chris Redman

December 4th, 2009
6:18 pm

Is there no one out there who gives us a chance. Remember I was here through the whole Petrino/Vick era. I know how bad it was and when I strap on my helmet Sunday I will be motivated. If there are any true Falcon fans out there, I want to see you in full force, no Vick jerseys. He single handedly hurt this franchise, now it is our turn to show him what he gave up. We will overcome adversity and win out starting this Sunday. Believe it fans!


December 4th, 2009
7:00 pm

I was kind of hoping you guys win on sunday, that way the saints get to knock the dirty birds out of the playoff’s next week. Just kidding, I’ll never pull for the dirty birds under any circumstances, it’s has to do with you guys being a rival with the saints. Nothing personal guys, and even though I live in dacula, I just CAN NOT AND WILL NOT, pull for the dirty birds.


December 4th, 2009
7:31 pm

What up cagers! We shock the the NFL with a destructive D and win 31-21. GO FALCONS!!!


December 4th, 2009
7:39 pm

Rocky is underneath the bed and says he wint come out until darth vick has left the state. The drowning, electrocution, drowning and slamming down off a 20″ ft deck due not sickin me as much as the little house dog thrown into the cage to get tortured and devoured…sic. Rovky aka playa would like to see an eye for an eye…justice for dogs and I hate peta!!!


December 4th, 2009
7:40 pm

excuse spelling…schhhhh..ive had a drink! lol


December 4th, 2009
8:03 pm

Good post Magnus. That’s some real perspective right there.


December 4th, 2009
8:18 pm

It’s cool JJ, if I can figure out what you wrote anyone can. We have to win this game. No bought a dought it!!!

[...] The Atlanta Falcons literally limp into the Terror-Dome to play the biggest game of the year against the Philadelphia Eagles in basically a do or die game to get to the postseason for the second consecutive year. The Falcons difficulties have been …Read Original Story: Playoff Do or Die vs. Eagles – Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]


December 4th, 2009
8:41 pm

Serious question. Do any of you guys/gals think that Mad Mike & Co. will have enough confidence in Redman to run the no huddle?


December 4th, 2009
9:06 pm

Good evening Cage. Another quality post from our esteemed leader of the pack. This is a defining moment in the season for our Birds and I will be in good old section 209 Sunday to see how they respond.

There is a saying out there that goes pressure makes diamonds. Another favorite that defense turns the tide. NOW is the time for the Falcon defense to turn the tide. The defense MUST apply a high order of pressure on McNabb. It is crucial not to let him get into a constant, sustainable rythmn.

The success of this game rests squarely on the Falcon defense. At about 5 pm or so on Sunday, we will know where we are. And to quote Denny Green, I certainly hope the defense is not who we thought they were. I want to see warriors on that field. I want to see aggression, a sense of purpose and injury. I damned sure do not want to see Houston’s braids as he looks into Maclin’s hands as he makes play after play. I want to see a DL player finish the damned game with more than two tackles. DL, can a Warrior get a sack….please!! At least one.

Forget the fact that DeSean Jackson is out with a concussion. The Eagles offense has plenty of quick strike capability to work with. The ONLY way to disrupt the groove that McNabb enjoys with his cast is to pressure him. JA55, Biermann (the love of CB’s life), Babs, and any one else who feels the mojo to rush the passer….PLEASE show up on Sunday. You are in critical need!!

Offensive line had better come to play as had TipToe Norwood and Jason Snelling. D3 is correct. A heavy dose of the run is needed on Sunday. Pound the damned rock, wear down the aggressive Philly front, and employ that effective short passing game. The PeeWee league defensive front of Tampa we p-footed around with last week is nothing compared to what we will have to deal with on Sunday. Give up SIX sacks this week and we may have a DJ Shocklely start next week against the Saints.

Smitty, hear me. There is NO need to rush Turner and Ryan back onto the field. I am your biggest advocate of the PROCESS. We, unfortunately, have not used the time correctly to evaluate what we have and to ensure QUALITY depth is available on our team. Coaching is at fault there. But to risk the future of the franchise when YOU know that this thing is taking on water is a crazy move. To risk added injury to Turner or Ryan is wreckless and unwarranted. Let Redman, Snelling, Norwood, White, and TG handle the offensive workload. The future is too promising with the core to risk it on a fading prayer over the next two weeks.

The Matt Bryant signing needs to be monitored carefully. He is coming off a hammy injury last season. That and cap issues led to his Tampa release. He has looked well in his UFL training auditions and appears to be ready to return to form.

TD and Smitty, I defending you big time. I keep telling my Cage brothers and sisters to hang in there. Trust in the Process. I keep saying believe in the progress of the Process. Well, the next two weeks are gut check time.

Tell me Smitty and TD. Will I be able to share in the glory of a defining moment in the Process OR will I have to send each of my Cage brothers and sisters a gift card to Walgreens so that they can get something for their aching hearts, heads, and stomachs.

Lace ‘em up and come into that Dome Sunday ready to lay the smackdown. Or as CBrass or D3 would say, hunker down!! Let’s get it on Falcons. It’s gut check time. Nothing short of victory will do.


December 4th, 2009
9:06 pm


December 4th, 2009
9:09 pm

CBrass, I think Redman could do it. He is a heady guy in his own right. Mad Mike may need to be prepared to call the entire arsenal of plays on Sunday. No huddle may be the only way to offset what could be an intense Philly pass rush. When on, that Trent Cole can be a monster.


December 4th, 2009
9:10 pm

I said it two weeks ago and I was right. I will say it again tonight.

There is no way in hades that Turner should play on Sunday. NO WAY!!


December 4th, 2009
9:14 pm


Loved your post. Someone needs to Hunker down. My Dawgs wanted until the last game of the season to do it so hey maybe the Birds can do it also.

Redman is a very smart guy and if asked to run the no huddle I think he and to. With a supporting cast of Gonzo, White, Jenkins, Norwood, and Snelling we can come away with a W but as you stated earlier it’s all on the D. Simply put they have to come and play. And yes Beirmann is the love of my life…LOL


December 4th, 2009
9:14 pm

Magnus23, the only thing this team is guilty of is a lack of focus and intensity of late on defense. If that Falcon defense shows up that played against the Saints earlier this year, the defense that went to San Francisco and dominated, that defense that challenged Dallas in Dallas, if we can find that spirit again, we stand a chance. But where in the hell are they? If you find that hustle, let them know they are needed a 1 Georgia Dome Way this Sunday please?


December 4th, 2009
9:30 pm

Breaking right Cage. Will catch you all on the other side tomorrow. Laters.


December 4th, 2009
10:11 pm

In reguards to SW`s 9:10 PM post.
Women and children off the street.
This is how the Falcons best and toughest player (Turner) handles it.

Turner said he’ll suit up if at all possible.
“I feel better than I did before,” he said. “But ankle sprains are funny injuries. You’ve just got to take your time with it, not rush things and make sure you’re back to being as close to 100 percent as possible.”

Of course, he knows what’s at stake Sunday.

“I don’t know if I’ll play,” Turner said. “I’m taking it day by day. I’m not ruling myself out. I’m not saying I’m going to play.”

Turner has no second thoughts about playing against the Bucs and doesn’t believe that he re-injured his ankle by rushing back too soon. He said it was simply a typical football play: a defender fell on his ankle and he got pushed back under a pile of players.

“The team needs me out there. We need everybody out there,” Turner said. “If I can go out there and give it some type of effort, I’ll suit up and go. I have no regrets about that.”


December 4th, 2009
11:12 pm

I believe that the staff can give Redman “no huddle light” and be fine. Only a week with the first team, we don’t want him forcing to many plays. Give him six check downs to avoid pressure and he will execute. He is a quality BACKUP QB.


December 4th, 2009
11:32 pm

Same old Falcons it appears and I really hate to say it but I’m a realist.