Playoffs Done with Pathetic Effort

Birds Fall Apart in Blowout

Playoffs Over....As They Should Be (Bob Andres/AJC.com)

The playoffs are unofficially done, and they should be. The mask was ripped off of this Falcons team against the Eagles when they not only failed to show up, but led a pretty embarrassing effort to boot. Injuries are definitely abound throughout the Falcons roster, but excuses need not apply. The Falcons didn’t have Ryan, Turner, Dahl, Baker and even Jenkins, but Philadelphia wasn’t at full strength either. The Eagles didn’t have their number one running back (Westbrook) or their number one receiver (Jackson), but they found a way to come out and play the game tough and resilient. They found a new stud in their offense with Leonard Weaver, who looked like John Riggins against the Falcons defense. The Falcons looked uncharacteristically uncomfortable in the Dome on Sunday. They came out and played soft and weak from the opening whistle. Everyone knows well about the return of the player who once owned this city and lost it all, and he had his “redemption”, if that’s what some want to call it. Redemption is defined as “recovery or preservation from loss or danger”. And that can certainly be applied concerning himself, but it has no regard or relation to exercising anything with the Georgia Dome or the Falcons. If a mistake was made, any redemption would be relegated to self-modification and not connected to Atlanta and its fans. The Falcons folded on playoff Sunday and the season certainly should be redefined.

1) No Excuses

Injuries No Excuse (Bob Andres/AJC.com)

Falcons fans know all about the injuries that have plagued their team this year, but that excuse rings hollow when it comes to the playoff hunt. The Falcons had injuries across the board and then some, but the Eagles did too. The Birds were without Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Sam Baker, Harvey Dahl, and Michael Jenkins. That comes to almost 50% of the starting offense. That can definitely be attributed to the loss, but the Eagles were without their number one wide receiver (Desean Jackson) and number one running back (Brian Westbrook) and still managed to come out and win the game. They didn’t only win the game, but pretty much dominated it from whistle to whistle. The Falcons defense didn’t have any injuries and they pulled their same performance in folding out. The Birds D did keep them in the game early, but many of the conversion fails were due to drops as opposed to excellent defense. The offense is mainly to blame for the blowout, but the defense made it really easy in the second half. Just like normal.

2) QB Issue Put to Rest

Not a Great Day for Redman (Bob Andres/AJC)

Several fans took the time to issue the charge that their wasn’t that much a difference in starting quarterback Matt Ryan and backup Chris Redman. The thought pattern went that Redman was able to manage the game in the same regard as Ryan in terms of not throwing interceptions and getting the job done. Even though there never was an issue, it was surely put to rest on Sunday against the Eagles. Chris Redman had his struggles early and often in his first start for the Falcons. The QB missed his receivers several times by throwing too high or low and just never seemed to get into rhythm. He took the opening drive and went three and out. The Eagles game-planned and wanted to make Redman beat them and he couldn’t. If Redman had legit starter talent than another team starved for QB readiness surely would have inquired about him. Redman tried his best, but the game was over pretty quickly for fans realizing the field couldn’t be stretched. The interception for a touchdown was the icing on the cake of really terrible day.

3) Zero Offense

The defense has been much maligned this year, but the biggest fault for the Falcons blowout came in the form of the offense failing to do pretty much anything. The Eagles game-planned for the Birds wanting to run the ball first, always, and often and stopped them pretty well. Norwood and Snelling had several attempts to get something going, but the Eagles stacked the box and let their stellar corner man up on Roddy White and……….Michael Jenkins was out, so you do the math. The receiving corps was thought to be one of strength, and that certainly isn’t the case. There’s Roddy White and Michael Jenkins and that’s it. Douglas was injured early and there is nothing after that. Play-calling can certainly be called into question, but everyone deserves blame in this embarrassment. The Eagles bracketed Gonzalez and stuck Asante Samuel on Roddy White and that was about it. At one point in the telecast, Fox put up a stat where the fullback Leonard Weaver had 95 total yards and the Falcons had 94 yards. Even though the Falcons were decimated by injuries, they still had a really, REALLY bad game.

4) The Return

The national media framed the result as though Vick started and had an enormous impact on the game. Unfortunately they failed to acknowledge all the Falcon fans that endured the debacle surrounding the “Michael Vick Experience”. When the game mattered the most, Vick had two rushes for 7 yards. When the game was out of hand and had a preseason feel to it, then Vick was inserted and looked like the all-star he was when he was in Atlanta. It was great to see the former Falcon have good success and everyone deserves a second chance, but having a quarterback score a 5 yard touchdown run and drive another with a 20 plus lead might be a touch on the misleading side. Vick deserves every chance to remake himself and find success, but the degree to which the media belayed it was ridiculous. To say that Vick “won over the fans in his two touchdown effort”, as NFL.com described it is both disingenuous and insincere. Congratulations on the 5 yard touchdown run and 5 yard touchdown pass in the place you once ruled like a king.

5) Expect-a-Change

Disappointing Effort, Coach (Kent Johnson/AJC.com)

Falcon fans will certainly remake their early projections as they head toward the final fourth of the season. The Birds were picked by many to win the NFC South and lead the way towards a serious playoff drive. That has not been the case, and then some. Injuries have piled up and that will a solid reason for the Falcons woes in 2009, but fans don’t want to hear excuses. The New Orleans Saints destroyed the team of the decade, Patriots, at home without either of their starting cornerbacks. The Falcons are at .500 and have still not beaten a team with a winning record to date in the ’09 season. The label to date would have to be inconsistency. The Falcons have not had any winning streak or really any identity this season. They’ve beaten the teams they should have (save one in Charlotte), but haven’t gotten a W against a team worth very much. The Birds are smack dab in the mix of a new youth movement and that has proved to be a very big challenge. The playoffs are done. Fans of the Birds know they have lost to every important NFC East team and fail in every tie-breaker category. The Falcons currently stand at 6-6 and have the unbeaten Saints next week. Dark clouds have begun to form over Northside Drive and MLK. The once bulletproof armor of the Mike Smith and Thomas Dimitroff era is starting to show kinks. The Falcons are embedded in a massive change from a decade of bad personnel decisions, poor hires, and illegal activities, but fans were beyond disappointed today.

6) Defensive Toughness, then Collapse

The defense had a typically bad day, but they did play good enough to keep the Falcons in the game when the offense was completely pathetic. After a first series three and out and a kickoff return fumble, the defense was put in the absolute worst position. They held their own for a long while, but finally collapsed in a wave of weakness. The Falcons secondary had another terrible outing in allowing McNabb to dominate the passing attack and made fullback Leonard Weaver look like John Riggins. Jamaal Anderson continues to play defensive end, Abraham is obviously done, and the cornerback situation is beyond atrocious. Brian Van Gorder may have been a whiz at UGA, but his defenses on the pro level are anemic and weak. The few times Lawrence Sidbury Jr. and Kroy Biermann were in, they made a sack. For a team and organization that spent 7 out of 8 draft picks on defense, the results are awful.

Falcon fans had to once again absorb another embarrassing defeat in the Georgia Dome. The emotion would understandably be present and the injuries have decimated the Birds, but the fight was absent on Sunday, particularly in the second half. The Vick experience fell in favor of the former Falcon and his fans. The Birds move forward, virtually being eliminated from the playoff picture and will have a tough road to hoe in fielding a winning season. After holding on to a thread that the season could turn around, Falcon fans got a big splash of cold reality in a dominating loss. Hopefully good times are ahead.

200 comments Add your comment

Sarah B

December 6th, 2009
11:59 pm

No it doesn’t.

Sarah B

December 7th, 2009
12:19 am

It was loud the 1st qtr. Then not so much… once it was 27-0 most everybody left. It was awful on all fronts.

Great Falconi

December 7th, 2009
12:27 am

The instant results some people expected from a bunch of rookie defensive players may be awful, but the top two guys barely got on the field. Sidbury’s been kept under wraps for most of the season. Chris Owens hasn’t really been burned much while he’s been out there. I have a feeling that we’ll get a lot more out of these guys next season. We’ll also have another offseason and draft to get the secondary straightened out. There’s no Kool-Aid to drink here, but you can’t expect a bunch of rookies to come in and take the league by storm. We are taking the hit this year. If the D stinks next season, go ahead and get out the torches and pitchforks.

D3

December 7th, 2009
12:44 am

Perfectly put Great Falconi!

Sarah B

December 7th, 2009
12:58 am

Yrs it was, I just had to get over being mad and let it go. But he’s right.

Sarah B

December 7th, 2009
12:59 am

that was yes it was…

Mike maguire

December 7th, 2009
4:22 am

Once again I had the same number of sacks as Jamaal Anderson. Theyt need to release him and sign someone/anyone to take his place on the roster….looks like Abrhaman has lost two steps as well…..they sure do miss GraDY jACKSON IN THE MIDDLE….

Dean21

December 7th, 2009
5:11 am

The Offense sucked and the D didn’t help either but the biggest issues was the coaching by Mike Smith and Mularkey…bad decisions and BAD play calling! If you have a week to prepare and the plays you run during the game happens to be plays my grandmother know is coming is darn right pre-school like! This was the Eagles show and they did it behalf of our beloved Falcons! They played with no heart, no emotion and no true GRIT! This was a practice game…oops a preseason game gone bad!

A. Blank

December 7th, 2009
5:49 am

For Sale: Snakebit Falcons Franchise…..CHEAP!

Broken record

December 7th, 2009
7:20 am

Where to begin. I was at the game yesterday and my frustration had nothing to do with Vick.

First, I park in the Orange lot (right next to dome) and the smell of weed was rampant- this is a typical situation. In addition, walking to the dome dodging all the ignorant a$$holes standing on the sidewalk playing on their phones is ridiculous. Mr Blank, if you didn’t own the team, I guarantee you wouldn’t take the same 500 yard walk that I do. If this is the environment you wanted to create, I congratulate your success. Unfortunately, you will lose me and many others like me in the process.

During the game, I reflected on the last 25 years of the Falcon franchise. What happened yesterday was nothing out of the ordinary. Most years have brought similar levels of ineptitude and mediocrity. With a long history of failure, I’m out of ideas on how to turn it around. I know this, I won’t walk my wife through a drug zone to watch these pathetic performances any more.

Mr. Blank, I suggest you take control of your team and the dome quickly. The people you have entrusted with them have not done their jobs.

John Waynesworld

December 7th, 2009
7:56 am

I have no idea what reports say about the Dome’s fans cheering Vick but I can tell you it was the cheers of ONLY Eagles fans and dog haters because my ENTIRE section (except for the ones that were wearing green) left WHILE that Philly guy was returning the interception down the sideline. The very second that that shitty pass was intercepted by the defender, drink cups and cardboard wrappers hit the ground, people were grabbing their coats, and the exit walkways of the Dome were like 5 o’clock traffic on 285. It was like a fire alarm went off. I believe that was around the end of the 3rd quarter, so anything that happened after that was skewed by the skeleton crew of Philly fans, Vick (anti-Falcon) fans, and people with nothing particular to do the rest of the day left watching the Philly scrubs and Vick playing scrimmage against whatever players wanted to play on the Falcons.

By the way on Vick’s first touchdown my mother with bad feet could have broken through that deceased D line we were offering at that point in the game. Our defenders, thanks to the ZERO offensive effort, were worn down and basically toast. I WANT TO EMPHASISE THIS…Our defense was hanging on so tough in the first half and the third quarter trying to hold the fort while the offense SUCKED its way through a thousand 3 and outs. It was only a matter of one more offensive stop (we had ALL had enough of no offensive product) on our part after that Vick 5 yard stroll up the middle, and the fans were already scoping out the exits before the 4th quarter even started. Lovely game.

John Waynesworld

December 7th, 2009
7:58 am

I have no idea what reports say about the Dome’s fans cheering Vick but I can tell you it was the cheers of ONLY Eagles fans and dog haters because my ENTIRE section (except for the ones that were wearing green) left WHILE that Philly guy was returning the interception down the sideline. The very second that that crappy pass was intercepted by the defender, drink cups and cardboard wrappers hit the ground, people were grabbing their coats, and the exit walkways of the Dome were like 5 o’clock traffic on 285. It was like a fire alarm went off. I believe that was around the end of the 3rd quarter, so anything that happened after that was skewed by the skeleton crew of Philly fans, Vick (anti-Falcon) fans, and people with nothing particular to do the rest of the day left watching the Philly scrubs and Vick playing scrimmage against whatever players wanted to play on the Falcons.

By the way on Vick’s first touchdown my mother with bad feet could have broken through that deceased D line we were offering at that point in the game. Our defenders, thanks to the ZERO offensive effort, were worn down and basically toast. I WANT TO EMPHASISE THIS…Our defense was hanging on so tough in the first half and the third quarter trying to hold the fort while the offense SUCKED its way through a thousand 3 and outs. It was only a matter of one more offensive stop (we had ALL had enough of no offensive product) on our part after that Vick 5 yard stroll up the middle, and the fans were already scoping out the exits before the 4th quarter even started. Lovely game.

Willie Coyote

December 7th, 2009
8:30 am

We didn’t have any defensive injuries? Our top two picks and starting CB are out for the year. Don’t underestimate the effect that has had on the performance this year. Some of those guys are not supposed to be out there the way they have to be now.

That was very disappointing but now that I can look at it objectively, how many teams can lose this many people throughout the course of the year and still be .500? Look at Seattle and St. Louis the last couple of years for a good example of what usually happens when this many injuries hit a team.

I’m happy Vick has landed on his feet and wish him the best but I’ll be damned if I am going to chant & cheer for the other team when I come to watch the Falcons. Come on guys, get behind your team. We have a owner and administration that is trying to build a winner. Get behind them.

The Real Falcon

December 7th, 2009
8:35 am

Kool-Aid is what it is. The facts speak for themselves and it begins with the off season.

1. The decision to let Grady Jackson sign elsewhere. He requires a double team which opened up
lanes for Abe. Result. An anemic number of sacks by Abe and the team. Leaving the secondary
exposed.

2. The decision to depend on rookies and an undrafted free agent for corners instead of re-signing
Foxworth. This while expecting Houston to up his game. Neither has been a good decision.
Result. We lead the NFL in plays over 20 yards. In the bottom three all year in yards allowed.

3. The decision not to sign a veteran backup QB.It was decided that Ryan would stay healthy all
season again. Result. Injury to Ryan and a backup who has not started in a real game since
2007 and is obviously too small to complete passes over the middle resulting in blocked and
deflected passes all game.

4. The decision to have only 7 offensive linemen instead of 8. This along with signing backups with
little if any starting experience. Svitek, 4 career starts and out of football in 2008. Romberg 23
career starts in 6 years. This with the experience that Sam Baker is injury prone and the position
needed an experienced backup to get us through last year. Result a laughable running game
against Philly.

We knew the schedule would be more difficult this year but decisions were made based upon hope rather than football contingencies. Perhaps money related.

Those decisions have come to roost. 6-6

Willie Coyote

December 7th, 2009
8:39 am

elviskl, learn to spell before you insult people. If you feel that way, Atlanta is definitely not the place for you. You may want to try some potato field in Idaho though.

jt23

December 7th, 2009
8:42 am

This one hurts. But I am still a Falcon fan. Though it looks more difficult after every game I am still optimistic that the Falcons will improve in the final 4 games. This is just dreaming, but I would like the Falcons to beat the Saints and use that victory to motivate them for the rest of the season. Anything can happen but the chances of it actually happening is slim to none. One can dream. Go Falcons.

The Real Falcon

December 7th, 2009
8:44 am

elviskl Don’t forget I-75 goes south and your turnip truck is calling!

JeanE

December 7th, 2009
9:18 am

Very good commentary and totally on point. I have so many mixed emotions but the primary feelings are resigned disgust and depression regarding this team. I’m happy for Vick but disgusted with all the so called “fans” cheering for him. And let’s be honest, he really didn’t look that good. We just looked that bad. Next week, he’ll be back to irrelevance in Philly. Dimitroff deserves alot of blame for this debacle of a team. How can we draft so many defensive players and still be so bad? You chose not to pay Fox and to go into this season with these corers. You’re reaping what you sowed. Nothing. We need to rebuild and fortify both the o-line and d-line. I like our skill position players on offense, that’s about the best I can say about the offense. Need a veteran QB to backup Ryan. Who knows where this turf toe situation is going to go and I don’t blame Redman for everything but he did look awful. Pay a free agent corner, for God’s sake. Fire Mike Mularkey who is just horrible and predictible. This team is just not tough and is wildly inconsistent. The Falcons are actually always reliably inconsistent. Thus the no back to back winning seasons in 43 years of football. How is that possible? I dread the game next week, we will be annihilated.

real fan

December 7th, 2009
9:39 am

Wow , I suppose everyone was expecting a superbowl year huh. I got news for you , it takes years to build a franchise , years . Just like it will take years to build a loyal fan base . Years of plus 500 ball which I think we have a good chance at this year. I wasnt expecting any more than that at the beginning of the year. As for the trash at the game (including Vick ) by next week it will be a distant memory . And the nay sayers will don there saints gear and act like they have been rooting for them all along . But they too will be a distant memory when this team reaches its full maturity . And that may be just a year or two away. Go Falcons .

John Waynesworld

December 7th, 2009
9:39 am

TRF, totally agree with #1 & #2. Unless you have a freak athlete you need to be REAL big up front at NG or DT in the NFL to be successful. We need to get Wilfork.

John Waynesworld

December 7th, 2009
9:49 am

And Seymour too. Their contracts are both up in 2010. Wilfork’s money and I’ll take an old Seymour over what we got right now.

darrell starks

December 7th, 2009
9:52 am

Awful is the word 2 describe the falcons yesterday.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!

darrell starks

December 7th, 2009
9:54 am

TD I HOLD YOU TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR NOT GOING 2 GET THE PLAYER WE NEEDED.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

December 7th, 2009
9:57 am

IF redman play another down i hold coach mike responsible for putting him back out there this guy is horrible, he played like he just didnt care yesterday.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

December 7th, 2009
9:59 am

OFF LINEMAN, YOU HAVE NO SERVICEABLE BACK UP I BLMAE THAT ON TD PERIOD.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

December 7th, 2009
10:02 am

NEXT YEAR PLEASE GET A LEFT SIDE OFF TACKLE SAM BAKER IS A BUST THE GUY STAY HURT ALL THE TIME WE CANT AFFORD THIS EVERY YEAR.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!

stendec

December 7th, 2009
10:06 am

I humbly request that censors permit this post despite its length. Thank you.

This is difficult to type. I am speaking as a fan who has been a Falcon supporter since the birth of the team in the 1960s. All that ended over the weekend. I suffered in silence as Keith Brooking gloated during a Cowboy victory in Texas. It hurt but at least the Falcons competed. That was not the case Sunday at the Georgia Dome. Excuses be damned. There are no excuses for that giveup job. Some folks will say it is just a game. In this instance I disagree. This was a citywide disgrace. Falcon defenders should have been out of their minds when Mike Sick took the field. What was the response? Falcons stepped aside as he walked uncontested into end zone. Unacceptable. Falcon secondary looked the other way on his short touchdown pass. Unacceptable. Over the decades I have only despised and wished doom on several Falcons. Three quarterbacks come to mind. One of which was in the Georgia Dome recently. I can hionestly say I gate every player/coach on present Falcon roster with the exception of Tony Gonzalez who works his butt off every play. Sorry you wound up with these

stendec

December 7th, 2009
10:36 am

I humbly request that censors permit this post despite its length. Thank you.

This is difficult to type. I am speaking as a fan who has been a Falcon supporter since the birth of the team in the 1960s. All that ended over the weekend. I suffered in silence as Keith Brooking gloated during a Cowboy victory in Texas. It hurt but at least the Falcons competed. That was not the case Sunday at the Georgia Dome. Excuses be damned. There are no excuses for that giveup job. Some folks will say it is just a game. In this instance I disagree. This was a citywide disgrace. Falcon defenders should have been out of their minds when Mike Sick took the field. What was the response? Falcons stepped aside as he walked uncontested into end zone. Unacceptable. Falcon secondary looked the other way on his short touchdown pass. Unacceptable. Over the decades I have only despised and wished doom on several Falcons. Three quarterbacks come to mind. One of which was in the Georgia Dome recently. I can honestly say I truly hate every player/coach on present Falcon roster with the exception of Tony Gonzalez who works his butt off every play. Sorry you wound up with these quitters Tony. Just take the money and grit mouth guard tightly. A spot awaits you in Hall of Fame. I see injury prone Matt Ryan as a one season wonder with no instestional fortitude (guts). Allowing a toe bruise to keep him on sidelines. Matthew Stafford competes for his team with much more serious afflictions. Maybe the overrated Falcon QB and Thrasher waste Kari Lehtonen should tank their present seasons as a team. Both appear worthless. All I hear from apologists is wait till next year wait till next year. Listen people. I am over half a century old with a weak heart. That was fine when I was in my 20s but not now. Time is of essence for me and others like myself who have suffered with these losers since day one. Defeats are part of sports. Quitting is not. The Falcons quit against Philadelphia. That was painfylly obvious to everyone with eyes to see. In the one game for which I would not sugar coat or forgive another defeat. Falcon wins used to bring me great joy. No longer. The Falcons quit on me. I have quit on them. Many will scoff and say good riddance. No problem. As a sportswriter for many decades I have an extremely thick skin. Many will call me a fair weather fan. That is not true. The decision I made was difficult due to my former adoration of team. I now wish nothing but doom and failure on this uncaring franchise. Southern teams like the Saints and Dolphins now have my support. They are now my official state teams. The Falcons are dead to me. Just as they are officially dead to the rest of NFL. Continued success Tony Gonzalez. God bless you. ++STENDEC++

WR

December 7th, 2009
10:37 am

Morning Cagers, back from a nice weekend in the great state of Florida to watch the ACC championship game, just watched the Eagles practice in the GA Dome yesterday and I’m still wondering if that was the Dacula Falcons or the Atlanta Falcons they scrimmaged against.

Once again I noticed some making excuses, such as, the Defense played well but the offense sputtered, apparently I caught a different scrimmage, there was no defense or offense in this game, if nothing else we can finally say it was a total team effort or lack of it. I hope the Falcons are under better management and better coaching but this seems very similar to there 43 year old history, lose like hell, hire a new coaching staff, win and show promise for a season, then start the decline back to being the same old Falcons. We say in TD we trust and we might be able to, but realistically as a Falcons fan not a bandwagon jumper, nothing about this team has changed past perceptions. Win one season, get the fan base excited and believing, then crush those beliefs. Nothing against the process but honestly, has anyone seen any progress much less a process from this team this year. My bad, we lost our first round on the small side defensive tackle, and a second round safety that was often injured and wouldn’t have beaten out the current starter in the first place, oh and my bad, Turner and Ryan were hurt, but this team was hurting long before the present two got hurt, this team is bad, and I mean real bad, the OL is not good, the DL is horrible, the CBs’ are a joke, outside of the inconsistent Roddy White there are no real WRs, the offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator play not to lose offense and defense and the Head Coach is in charge of it all, there is enough blame to spread around but lets start with the players as some have blamed:

SeenThisB4

December 7th, 2009
10:52 am

All demoralized falcons fans are welcomed to join the Saints wagon! C’mon over, there’s plenty room! We’ve got some things in common, Southerners, love of football, love our GRITS! Welcome aboard!

WR

December 7th, 2009
10:57 am

LBs, Brooking out-Peterson in, this was an upgrade, Peterson brought more speed, ability and intensity, Boley,Wire-Out, Nichalos In, yet another upgrade, yes the Falcons lose a little experience here, but they gain alot more speed and ability, plus Wire is still on the roster having replaced Boley as the starter last year.
S, Milloy out-Decoud in, yet another upgrade, yes the Falcons lost experience but they gained more speed, coverage ability, and skills in general, the loss of experience is big here though
CB, Foxsworth out-yo momma and my momma in, or whoever else you can think of, Foxsworth was good as a CB last year, but most forget he didn’t even start until later in the season, which means some of the same DBs we are complaining about now were holding there own at least based on the scheme from last year
DL, Grady Jackson-Out, Peria Jerry-in, then injured, replaced by Johnson, Walker, Lewis, Jackson was a huge loss because he required double teams and ate up space, but you mean to tell me between Johnson, Walker, Lewis, they couldn’t at least give 60% of what Jackson gave, who’s the DL coach, and who decided these players should be on the roster, thats where the finger pointing should start.

Now given these players and positional improvements, why has this team suffered so much defensively, point the finger at the players as much as you want, but sometimes it just comes down to coaching. If every coach that succeeded at the college level succeeded in the Pros, Saben would still be in Miami, Carroll would be in NE, and Spurrier would still be in Washington, news flash, there not, but they continue to perform well if not great in college coaching roles, they did in the past and they continue to do so now, and yes that includes Spurrier at lonely old S.Carolina. Outside of UGA what has BVG gone, absolutely nothing, and he’s called a good DC based on that, lets at least be realistic, offensive breakdown to come later.

nhe

December 7th, 2009
11:13 am

As a falcon fan – I would rather have the debacle we had Sunday than to sneak into the playoffs at 10-6 with a completely healthy team, only to get plunked in the first round – which would have happened.

And that would be bad, because we would not see then what we all see now – the “process” that the falcons’ brass has mentioned over and over is going to take a lot longer than we thought – I’m thinking 2011 before we realistically have a shot at a playoff win.

Changes that need to come:

- Find a taker for John Abraham – we may not have a 2nd round pick next year, but maybe we can get another 3rd round pick for him

- Adjust!!! – the league adjusted to the Falcons this season, and the coaching staff (particularly Mularky and BVG) have not responded accordingly. If we’re giving up the most 20+ yard plays next year, and continually not getting our receivers open next year, it won’t be all about lack of talent – the coordinators are suspect at this point, and they need to find an answer soon and show the ability to adjust effectively.

- Dimitroff – stop valuing “character” in draft picks higher than injury proneness. S Baker, P Jerry, and W Moore were all TOP picks the past two years and they ALL had a history in college of being very injury prone…………where are the ALL now? I’m all for getting character guys in here, but I prefer having character guys that actually suited up for all of their games in college – there should be plenty of those out there – Vonte Davis comes to mind – the pick right after Jerry this year…..wow, would he look good in our secondary right now.

- Stop throwing bouquets at Thomas DeCoud……..he’s not an NFL player, sorry – he is the number one reason why we’ve given up the most 20 yard + plays. He’s late rotating over on EVERY play. He needs to be replaced. It is very important next year that W Moore come in and play SS and move Coleman back to FS………as much as our corners are justifiably maligned, DeCoud’s play has been the worst of anyone back there, and yet he’s getting props because 2 balls got thrown right to him one game – what else has he done?

- Go get quality depth!!! Particularly at OL, DL and QB………stop worrying about hurting people’s feelings.

Flappin' Falcon

December 7th, 2009
11:15 am

Pathetic effort to say the least…but nothing compares to Andy Reid and the entire Eagles organization actually allowing Vick to play at all. After he disgraced Atlanta, the black community, his team, the League, all the people (white and black)that cheered, rooted and believed in him for the Eagles organization to allow him to actually rub it in our faces was disgusting. A true low for the Eagles organization. As a life long Falcon fan I hope and pray we get Philly somewhere down the road so we can completely demoralize them.
Also if someone has an extra bionic big toe, please send it to Matt Ryan…FAST!!!!

Flappin' Falcon

December 7th, 2009
11:17 am

NHE-
Your right on the money!

BeAnotherTeamsFan

December 7th, 2009
11:36 am

This blog and comments are pathetic. True fans stick with the team despite losing..even losing badly. Philly was missing Westbrook and Desean that does not equal losing 2 OL, starting RB, QB, WR. Philly’s played without Westbrook most of the year. They also have good depth behind Desean. We don’t have depth. It’s clear when we have to play our backups that we’re thin in many areas. Last year was a miracle season and we did it partly b/c we stayed relatively injury free. This year we have been hit hard and it’s hurt us. Do you think TD wanted to draft almost all defense last year? He did what he had to do to develop depth. If you thought we were going to the SB this year you were out of your mind. It takes a good front office time AND several drafts to get the team where it needs to be. Please take your criticism to another team. We don’t need fans that moan and complain that the QB is a wuss b/c he values longevity over one game. Ryan and the Falcons will be fine.

Ken650

December 7th, 2009
12:11 pm

Falcon Fans are horrible!! With the score 13-0 it was quiet it the dome I have been to other cities and let me tell you Kansas City, Pittsburgh, PHILLY those fans are real fans they keep cheering the team on!! ATLANTA FANS awful!!

WR

December 7th, 2009
12:18 pm

BeAnotherTeamsFan, what is being a fan to you. Being a fan is about Monday morning Quarterbacking, being a fan is about going through the ups and downs of the team your a fan of, being a fan is saying what you beleive and being proven wrong, whether thats for the good or bad, thats being a fan. Most people on this site are true fans of the Falcons, if you look up mediocrity in the dictionary there probably will be a picture of the Falcons but as fans we continue to believe in them, yes we criticize and probably over criticize, but we haven’t had a consistent winner so we all get to play coach, and at times GM, for a few days out of the week leading up to the real thing. Thats what fans do, if your not congratulating or celebrating for your team, your criticizing and berating your team, if your doing neither, chances are your not truly a fan of the team, what we all say we won’t isn’t necessarily for the better of the team, in our minds it is, but we are not decision makers for the team, some of us wish we could be, because we think we could do it better, buts thats why we are fans, and thats why sports is such an entertaining venue, through the week when all else is going good or bad, we think and talk about the teams and players we love, ultimately the sacrifice from these men and women, give us a break from the everyday rigors of this important thing that we go through everyday, called life, thats being a fan, if you don’t get that, find another blog, and better yet find a life, I hear K-Mart’s having a blue light special for the holidays, black friday has passed but maybe you can find one on discount.

Birddawg

December 7th, 2009
12:20 pm

First of all, I am a Falcons fan, always have been, always will be. I am also a Vick supporter and although I was sick to my stomach to see the Falcons’ performance yesterday, I was happy to see him have some success. For all of his faults and issues, he has still made much more money and breathed more life into the Falcons than any other player I can remember. He did the time for his crime, and for those that just want him to continue to suffer for his mistakes, it is truly a wasted to hold on to such hate. He has lost more than most of us will ever have so let go of your petty small mindedness. As for the team, don’t lose hope. There may be no playoffs this season, but there is still reason for optimism on the horizon. The game yesterday, the Falcons were missing 5 offensive starters, 6 if you count Harry Douglas(which I do, the guy’s a beast in the slot) and three starters on defense if you count William Moore(which I do since he was drafted to be a starter). TD can’t prepare for everything and when multiple season ending injuries hit, he filled them in as best he could. You can’t sign a pro bowl replacement for every starter or impact player that goes down and the Falcons have had a lot of them. Until the game yesterday, those replacements had shown good effort, just little efficiency. Understandable, that’s why they are backups. Two areas to fix in the offseason and this team will be a true contender. One, fix that damn offensive line. For years, even since the days of Vick, the line has been allowing a jail break up front, and no quarterback can be effective without proper protection. Peyton Manning is almost single handedly leading the Colts to win after win and I question even his effectiveness behind this line. Second, get a solid veteran left corner until Owens is ready to go full time. He will be a good corner with experience. Other than that, more PT for Bierrmann and Sidbury, move Jamaal Anderson to defensive tackle full time and rock on. Lastly, I am a little disappointed that Matt Ryan didn’t make more of an effort to play. This wasn’t a game that his team could afford to lose and while turf toe is very painful(I’ve had it before) it’s not something you can play through. Turner injury was much more serious(I’ve had a high ankle sprain, too) and he at least gave it the old college try to help his team. If the Falcons one day make it to the Super Bowl and Ryan gets turf toe in the NFC Championship, I hope he won’t allow his team to fall flat on their faces again.

LRD

December 7th, 2009
12:22 pm

Questions in my mind this week
1) How bad is Smitty going off on them for quitting on this game
2) How is Mularky and Vangorder going to get their sides back on track and regain faith from the fans
3) Whom of the walking wounded will be back against the Saints
I know I will be at that dome flying my Falcons colors and screaming my head off this Sunday. Will be rooting to try and salvage the back to back season.
Maybe, just maybe, this beat down will fire up the team enough to pull off what most deem impossible and give the sainst a loss to go marching home too.
Plus as this season is winding down, some of these players have to know at this point they are playing for chance to keep their job to start next year.
GO FALCONS!

Wabe

December 7th, 2009
12:28 pm

NHE, co-sign with much of what you’ve said. However, I’d have to disagree with you on DeCoud. First year starter, he still needs time to mature and improve pass coverage abilities, all part of the growth of a player – but he’s one of the few players on the Falcons DEF that I’d think they need to build around.

If you think Moore’s gonna come in next season and shore up this secondary, you’ve got another thing coming. Moore’s an exceptional run-stopping safety proned to making the big hit. His pass coverage ability will be as suspect as DeCoud’s have been at this point to you.

There have been so many instances where DeCoud has been in the right place at the right time with the ball coming right at him, he just hasn’t come down with picks – I’d say because of bad hands. But, the guy’s stepped into that FS spot and proven to be one of the few players on this defense that actually may have a future with the unit.

I don’t think you can pin all the blame on the secondary for giving up the most 20+ yard plays. It’s just a breakdown on all levels. No pressure up front resulting in too much time for QB’s to stand in the pocket and for WR’s to get downfield into their routes. If the Falcons could generate a pass rush upfront, this secondary would look nowhere near as bad as it is.

Lofton/Nicholas, DeCoud/Coleman/Moore, C. Jackson, C. Owens, Biermann/Peria/Sidbury.

Those are the players I’d be building around if I were T.D. I’d seriously consider trying to get Abraham, Anderson, and even Houston shipped out for some draft picks. Stock-pile those picks and let’s have one of those milestone drafts that Arthur Blank always talks of having.

LRD

December 7th, 2009
12:29 pm

Oh, and one more for #4.,, if this was year 4 or late year 3 of the process I would be way more concerned than I am right now.
Still a believer in the process, still drinking the Kool Aid. havent seen too many funky things yet from the drink… and just hoping it is not a long strange trip

Dhunt

December 7th, 2009
12:46 pm

QB issue put to rest? Can I get some of what you been smokin? The exact same assessment that you made of Redman was what was being said of Ryan before he went down. The passes that were knocked down were not because of Redman’s size, it’s because the Eagles line was well coached and they know that Falcon’s QB;s have weak arms and throw the same short routes almost all the time, which means they were coached to jump into the passing lanes on every rush. I bet you won’t see them try that jumping up nonsense against a QB with any arm strength or ability to escape when the pocket collapses. No Falcon’s QB has those two critical skills.

And for all you idiots who want to marginalize what Vick did yesterday, Hating is bad for your heart, and this man is going to continue to break your hating hearts. He was out of football and on lockdown for two full seasons. You may despise what he did, but to pretend like he hasn’t paid a steep price for his actions is disingenuous at best, and more likely just outright hating. He obviously needed some time to get back into football shape. He got six snaps yesterday, and did exactly what you should expect of him. The ability to pick up positive yards whenever he has the ball, Check. The ability to make defenses overcompensate to deal with him, Check. The ability to escape the pocket and make plays on his own, Check. The ability to throw the ball on a line 55 yards in the air with a flick of his wrist, Check. The ability to draw the entire defense to one side of the field and then throw back to the other side on a rope with some accuracy, Check. The ability to move a crowd and galvanize his teammates, Check and Check.

Keep on hating. Keep on pretending that because he doesn’t play the game like Peyton, Brady, or Brees, he is a failure at QB. The man has more upside potential than anything the Falcons have at QB. And the Vick conversation will never go away in Atlanta a long as he is playing and winning in the NFL. Which could be a good long time haters, so keep that heart medicine handy.

D3

December 7th, 2009
1:06 pm

Tough Hangover Day Cagers! :cry: It’s a hard time to be a Falcon fan these days, but WE WILL THROUGH AS A FRANCHISE! It just wasn’t our year this year guys and gals. Too many injuries combined with a ridiculous schedule really exposed that we just an average team to this point and have some time to go. It was an embarassing loss to say the least, but we’ve still got a long way to go. The defense kept us in the game, but the offense was just horrid. The failure to get the TD at the end of the half was a killer, IMO. As they say, if you can’t get into the endzone inside the 5 yard line with 4 tries, you don’t deserve to win the game. We’ve also had a big problem of either not scoring before the half or getting scored on right before the half. That’s happened a lot this year. We can assume a loss next week, but hopefully this team will have some heart to try and win out the last three games and salvage a winning season.

In-Depth Analysis to come.

Keep your heads up Cagers! We have an owner who is committed to winning. A head coach who seems to have what it takes for long-term success and a general manager that has transformed this team in a short period of time, but still a ways to go. We’re only in year 2 of “the process” and by all intensive purposes we exceeded our own time-table and expectations with a really easy schedule and a miracle season. Hang together Falcons Fans! Rome wasn’t built in a day. If we’re having this same conversation at this time next year, than its time to panic!

Dawson Devitt (D3)

December 7th, 2009
1:15 pm

DHunt – Congrats on a 5 yard TD run and a 5 yard TD pass when the game was completely out of reach. Yeah, he did great things when the game was 27-0. He deserves a medal. Spare me the self-righteous act as well. Acting as if Falcon fans did anything wrong in the whole debacle is ridiculous and preposterous, and that his return somehow cleansed some kind of redemption is completely absurd. Galvanize his teammates? Yeah, those combined less than 100 yards on the season really has made a big impact on his teammates.

Birddawg

December 7th, 2009
2:05 pm

Dawson Devitt – Clearly you weren’t at the game yesterday, nor have you seriously considered the impact Vick has on his teammates. First of all, he scored his first TD when the score was 13-0 and the Falcons were (laughably) still in the game. Several trips inside the red zone only yielded 13 points for them before Vick entered the game. Second, aside from the several Falcons that were excited to see him out there and greeted him as if he was stil quarterbacking the team, his few plays fired up his teammates more than any others except for maybe the interception returned for a touchdown . It’s not the Falcons fans, necessarily, that are wrong in the whole situation, it’s the Vick Haters who refuse to acknowledge any good he did for the team and want him to be continuously and repeatedly punished for his crime. He broke the law, he let the team and the city down, I understand that. He also has apologized repeatedly, lost hundreds of millions of dollars, and spent two years in prison for it. Arthur Blank has forgiven and forgotten as well as most of his former team and Vick cost them much more than any of the Falcons fans/Vick Haters. It’s past time to let go of simple, narrow minded hate.

Willie Coyote

December 7th, 2009
2:08 pm

I’m disappointed in the loss as well, but don’t you think the Falcons (of all franchises) have had worse losses in their history. We have the ‘Aints this weekend. Let’s get up for that one and heres to hoping we can get some of our guys back on the field.

Dawson Devitt (D3)

December 7th, 2009
2:14 pm

Birddawg – Granted I was out of town and wasn’t able to attend the game, but I do have season tickets. Obviously, you haven’t Read this blog very much either, because if you would have you would know that I’ve wished Vick nothing but the best since he’s returned to the NFL. I, like many others, loved Vick when he was here and have forgiven him. He had a great game in his limited snaps and best wishes to him in his future. But to act like he did anything more than take advantage of others putting him in a good situation is ludicrous. If his role does increase from this point on than I will be the first to say I was/am wrong, but if he returns to rarely playing as he did in the past than this was a one-time deal. If you don’t believe of my well intentions for Vick than read for yourself.

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-fans/2009/08/13/falcons-lions-mv7/

Singletary

December 7th, 2009
2:55 pm

Why were we always in zone when McNabb can thread a needle? You can’t blame Redman (completely) if he has less time to drop back and throw. Can we really not do anything with the Patriots and 3/4 of the NFC East? I really hope these do not become the Falcons of my youth. It was so bad yesterday, I turned to the spouse mid-fourth quarter and said let’s put it on Game Mix. My Holiday wish list of playing in the NFC Championship is looking like a one-way ticket to drafting six more cornerbacks.

Lofton came out to play, but other than Biermann, I didn’t hear another defensive name seconded during the broadcast.

Thanks for the post, D3.

nhe

December 7th, 2009
3:00 pm

I don’t see it on DeCoud Wabe – I’m sorry. He did make a huge play on Drew Brees – the defensive play of the year for the Falcons, for sure………and he does seem to be sure tackler.

But he’s small, not overly fast, and (save for the hit on Brees) not much of a hitter. He is the free safety – its his job to double down on receivers and take them away – and that never happens. I agree there’s plenty of blame to go around, but I just think a few “plays” this year have led the Falcons to think there’s much more to him than there really is……..”not and NFL player” is too harsh for me to say, but I hope that he’s a backup next year with Moore coming in the SS spot and Coleman moving back over to FS – it just makes a ton more sense.

I agree with you on the rest of the young defensive players we have to build around – the nucleus is there………I hope people realize if they haven’t that Lofton is most likely going to Pro Bowl, at the very least, as a reserve – he’s the guy that doesn’t get enough credit.

Vince Burchfield

December 7th, 2009
3:01 pm

I spent 300 on NFL season pass for the Birds, 900 on six tikets for games, drove 6 hours each way for the games and read endless blogs. But, me and my boy spent some great moments together watching and cheering and I know TD and Smitty and one of the classiest owners in sports are on the right path. I am a FAN. Period. I want them to win every game, but shiz happens and you get turf toe and the probowler has an ankle sprain. Next year baby !!!!!