Character Game Against Jets in the Cold

Birds Try to Quell Red-Hot Jets

Big Game as Always (Curtis Compton/AJC)

The Falcons officially enter into the final push of the 2009 campaign with an extremely cold and frigid task up in New York against the red hot Jets. The Birds have had a penchant of playing tough and close this year against good opponents, but yet coming up short. The Falcons may not be playing the Saints or Eagles, but if the Falcons drop this one it will be a tough pill to swallow for fans. Meaning that the Birds are not only a part of the elite, but really aren’t a part of the second tier either. Should be a really interesting tell on whether the Falcons fight is for real or if the Saints loss was the end of the road. Let’s find out……..

Six Searing Questions

 

1) Can the Falcons Stop the #1 Rushing Attack?

Even though the Birds have been ranked near or at the bottom of every category in defense, they have improved a decent amount in stopping the running game. They have held many deadly combos under wraps and not allowed the teams to beat them on the ground. Thomas Jones is one of the best in the biz and Shonn Greene is a pretty amazing rookie. Can Anderson, Thomas Johnson, Babs, and maybe Trey Lewis or Vance Walker force Sanchez or Clemens to beat them?

2) Red Cross Report – Week 15

Will Ryan play? Will Turner play? Will anyone who started for the Falcons in game one be out on the field against the Jets in NewYork? Chris Redman has filled in pretty nicely, Jason Snelling has shown flashes, but the injury list is growing unbearable. Injuries are no excuse, but at what point do you concede that its not your year with the avalanche of injuries that have occurred this year?

3) Will Sanchez Do the Norm?

As has been mentioned before, the Falcons have done a good job of making the good, the bad, and the young look fantastic against them this year. The secondary has been beaten pretty much by everyone including the greats (Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Donovan McNabb), the good (Tony Romo), the young (Josh Freeman), and below average (Jake Delhomme). Mark Sanchez was on track for Rookie of the Year before his injury, so all signs point to a big game facing the Birds secondary. Yes, the Falcons did play “good” against Brees, but do they have to let every single QB get into rhythm and look like Unitas or Starr?

4) Can the Falcons Beleaguered Offense Match the Leagues Best D?

Big Day for Redman (C.Compton/AJC)

When Rex Ryan took over the Jets in his first year, the offense may have been a big question mark, but to have any doubt on his defense would be silly and best and egregious at worst. Ryan has built this team into the leagues best defense (statistically at least) in the NFL. In one year, the new head coach has transplanted the aggressive and tough defense from Baltimore to New York. Matt Ryan and Michael Turner have been practicing as of late, but this one would be a major test if the Falcons were 100% healthy. If Ryan and Turner can’t go, Redman, Snelling, and Coach Mularkey did a good job of mixing up the play-calling against an extremely aggressive Saints defense. Save for one play, the offense played fantastic and had a chance to win the game at the end. The Falcons need a repeat performance.

5) How Much Does This Game Play?

For the fans, how much are you still engaged? Are you a steel harbinger of breaking the Godforsaken curse? Or are the Falcons simply overmatched this year with all of their ridiculous injuries? Most Bird fans are looking forward to the last few games to see where this team is really headed, but many others may have bailed out after dropping under the .500 mark. Since the playoffs are over, has your interest level fallen off?

6) Ticket Gouge

Only speaking from a very young ticket season holders point of view, but the Atlanta Falcons Organization should be ashamed of themselves in their outrageous ticket increases this year. The longtime season ticket holders obviously get the most relevance and importance on this issue since they’ve likely seen this before and it may be nothing new. But the Falcons decided to raise season tickets for the middle earners (cheap seats) over 40% in one season. No one needs a person who talks about sports to vouch, but so many people are hurting right now both emotionally and financially in this country to even afford the most basic things, much less an almost 50% increase. Put a 40% increase on tickets (which makes it the 19th consecutive year of increases…………economy be damned), take away most of the gameday parking, basically require you to purchase an almost $100 parking pass, and not to mention the concessions, and the Atlanta Falcons Experience needs to rethink their “Customer Service” policies. Many fans, and this author certainly included, loves their Falcons and always will, but to raise the prices so astronomically in this economic environment is unfortunate at best and insulting at worst. No new stadium to pay for and a team likely not going to the playoffs………….a good time to raise prices almost 50%.

 

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

331 comments Add your comment

Sarah B

December 19th, 2009
12:53 am

Hello???? Anybody???

Sarah B

December 19th, 2009
12:58 am

Well D3 section 342 Row 6 did not change… still $39 a game. Whew… otherwise I may not have been able to renew.

Box

December 19th, 2009
1:04 am

Sarah B.
I’ve been watching all evening. No comments since raves about crab legs.

Box

December 19th, 2009
1:08 am

D3,
Need to keep JA98 at DT to help slow down this run attack.

Dawson Devitt (D3)

December 19th, 2009
1:16 am

I’m Section 326, Row 14 and above and I guess that means we’re getting screwed. In all likelihood, if the ticket prices continue going up than I’m not sure a family of teachers/cops/firemen can make it.

Box

December 19th, 2009
1:24 am

D3,
I didn’t know AB was losing so much money. Is he in it for the cash or the glory and the team?

Sarah B

December 19th, 2009
1:30 am

I hope the glory & the team. D3 you can move over with us, still good seats.

Sarah B

December 19th, 2009
1:31 am

I know Box so was I. Don’t know where everyone went.

Shemara Louie

December 19th, 2009
3:39 am

Hey yo, Sarah B.- wow you guys are using this forum to trade seats, et. al. Wow that’s probably why my Jets team will not just beat your Falcons team, we will embarass them. Jeff Francoeur, ex-Brave who now plays for my New York Mets, said that the difference between New York sports fans and Atlanta fans is that New Yorkers are passionate and rabid and Atlantians are not.
And your blase blase posts attest to that.
At the start of the season, the Falcons were predicted to be real contenders in 2009. But then the team just fizzled. The Jets are a good old fashioned team- best defense in the league, best running attack.
This game, played by two teams who desperately need a win to stay in the playoff hunt, will be about who wants it more.
And by 4pm Sunday, the Jets will stand over the Falcons, victorious.
Sorry, but that’s the truth.

Tannous LaShea

December 19th, 2009
4:27 am

Hey ya, Shemara. I’m with you. Atlanta fans are weak-hearted front runners.
Jets are gonna kill the Falcons Sunday. Can’s hardly wait.
Booya.

MCook

December 19th, 2009
4:44 am

The reason why fans in Atl are this way is that most people who live here are from else where.
Makes for a weak fan base all around.

In any event, conditions are suppose to be ( according to the latest report here ) near or at white out for the game.

Should be a very close contest.

MCook

December 19th, 2009
4:49 am

Not making excuses, just a fact.
I have been a Falcon fan since 1968. Still am.

Having said that, all in all, most Atl fans suck…

JJ

December 19th, 2009
7:08 am

D3, nice blog buddy. Maybe the ajc or Mr. Blank will comp you 2 season tickets AND parking pass for all your work FOR their customers, falcon fans,

Look at all the fish this am, unfortunately do not like fish for bk.

Hope our LB’s are ready for this rushing onslaught. Could be a winter wonderland on sunday! Go Falcons!

BT

December 19th, 2009
7:44 am

Nice Job, D3
I hope you and yours have a safe and Happy Christmas.

On the Falcons injury situation, nobody (in the Org.) is using the teams glut of injuries as an excuse for anything.
That said, as a Fan. I think, they crossed the threshold ( for reasons, not excuses) back when Turner, Norwood, Ryan, Baker and Dahl were all out for multiple games in a critical stretch of the season and those issues continue.

Yo! On the Jets.
The 3 recent wins over some awful teams in the Bills, Panthers and Bucs only elevated to Jets from being a bad team to only a mediocre one.
Most casual NFL fans could not even name the 3 QB`s that started those last 3 games against the Jets without looking it up.
New Yoik fans, your view of the playoffs will the be same as Falcons fans. Watching other teams (than your own) play from your couch, in 800 a square foot apartments in the Bronx that you pay $2,000 a month to rent, while most Falcons fans watch from their 2500+ square foot houses, they own.
A recent living article, conducted a survey and found that of the 51 states, ten of the top 20 states for happiness are located in the South and New York came in a 51st.
If the Falcons or Jets win on Sunday?
That will not change one bit.

Lastly, only an ignoramus would suggest that, the Atlanta Falcons reason for (mostly) losing is their fair weather fan support.
That logic is equivalent to putting the cart before the horse.

The Real Falcon

December 19th, 2009
8:08 am

As an Atlanta native comments like those of MCook and BT are exactly what is wrong with the Atlanta fans. It’s all about excuses. All large cities have transplants. If Atlanta natives don’t go to the games it may be because of the price of tickets (see above on season ticket price increases), or because Atlantans are tired of team organizations which only manage at the lowest evel of achievement ( insert Thrarashers and early Hawks here). Perhaps it’s because the teams are penny-wise and pound-foolish (insert Thrashers here). The Falcons made a management decision to not have experienced backups for the season and that decision has killed us this year.

As a season ticket holder since 1985 I am part of a group of 12 who make it to all the games every year including tailgating, we deserve better.

JJ

December 19th, 2009
8:10 am

BT, watching 2 bucks right now, a 6 and 4 pt, if thats the right term.

JJ

December 19th, 2009
8:21 am

RF, do not think BT was making excusses. If you take out any teams starting: QB, RB, 2 OL, RB2, HB, DT, FS, 2CB- any team would have suffered. Imagine NO without brees. Imagine SD without rivers and LT.
It’s just facts, not excuses. Have been a falcon fan/resident since the early 70’s and the team finally has the right ownership, GM, and coach. Yes they fubard with the defense and defensive back-ups but I beleive help is on the way next april. JMHO.

BT

December 19th, 2009
8:22 am

The Real Falcon,
What did I say, that was not true?
My overall point was, blaming Falcons fans for the teams failure is idiotic.
Please explain (to me) where you find an excuse in that.

Carlos

December 19th, 2009
8:27 am

Not true regarding increase in price tickets. Section 321 is slightly LESS than last year.

BT

December 19th, 2009
8:50 am

Listen, this is not rocket science.
It`s about market forces of supply and demand.
Lot`s of ”Real Falcons fans” don`t buy the tickets because of the value of the product verses price and other options to spend their entertainment dollars.

The truth is, Atlanta and Georgia is in the heart of football territory.
The fans here know and understand football (both collage and pro) on a level well above any national average.
Lets honestly look at the Falcons overall history.
It`s a history of winning one year and losing two.
As much as I like Arthur Blank, that history has not changes one bit, that`s a fact.
The 1st five years of AB was within a game or two of being the same result (win loss wise) as the last five years of Taylor Smith.
The Falcons need to win one of their last three games this season to have equal the total wins, this decade as that of the `90`s teams.

Falcons and Atlanta sports fans in general get a bad rap.
I could argue, why keep buying the book, when you already know how the story is gonna end?

TRUTH

December 19th, 2009
9:28 am

When will Blank move his team out of Atlanta. I wouldn’t care if he moved them out of state. Does Alabama want an NFL team? Alabama Falcons…..don’t sound to bad.

BT

December 19th, 2009
9:39 am

Truth, what diffrence would that make?
The would be second football fiddle to the Tide there (as much or more) as them being second fiddle to the Dawgs in Georgia.

MCook

December 19th, 2009
10:14 am

I never said lousy fans are a reason for losing. Atlanta fans have a history of flat out embarrasing this city. Phillly game as a last example.

Does any one remember the Falcon game where only 3,000 people showed? When tickets were cheap? What about the Braves in the late 70’s…300 fans sometimes…also very cheap tickets.
The Hawks are the hottest team in the NBA, playing out of their brains, can’t come close to selling out a game unless they play LA, Boston, or Cleveland.

Atlanta fans are a joke.

BT

December 19th, 2009
10:46 am

MCook, Lets get your facts straight.
I was at the Braves all time lowest home attendance game in 1989.
There were 980 fans in attendance.
It was a late September, rainy, mid-week, night game with the Braves 30 games out.

There has never been a Falcons home game where only 3,000 fans show up.
If it`s your opinion that Atlanta`s sports fans are lousy?
Fine but there is no need to make crap up to support your position.

The truth is about the Falcons, there has always been a base of hard core fans of around 30,000 that will show up and support the team, no matter what the teams record and that`s even in non Vick years.
To those fans, I tip my cap.

The whole idea that , there is some sorta of built in geographical inheritance that causes folks to be lousy fans is, complete and utter nonsense.

TRUTH

December 19th, 2009
10:55 am

Truth to that BT. How about N.Dakota? lol. Outdoor statium of course.

pilgrim

December 19th, 2009
11:11 am

The Jets game holds my complete attention. If a team handles adversity well it adds interest in rooting for them in the future. This year has had several waves of adversity (the Elam misses, the injuries, the Vick game, the wildcat breakdown, Babineaux and Weems, the potential doom of another losing season, etc., etc., etc.). So trounce the Jets, Falcons, and show us what you are made of.

BT

December 19th, 2009
11:13 am

Now ya talking, TRUTH
At least move the team outdoors and not play in some silly assed pink dome..lol

MCook

December 19th, 2009
11:31 am

BT,

Lowest Falcons attendance 7792

could not find it but you say 980 for Braves

I was trying to remember off the top of my head. Hardly ANY difference.
So what’s your point Mr. Perfect?

BT

December 19th, 2009
11:56 am

MCook,
Mr Perfect?
Not hardly but it does have nice ring to it..lol
My point being, I am sick and tried of people craking on the Altanta Sports fans for being less than good or great sports fans.
When you condiser the overall dynamics of the current ecomony, competition for our entertainment dollar, the teams history of (shall we say) less that stellar sucess and the venues.
IMO, Atlanta sports fans are at or above national average, when all the facts are considered.
If, you think Atlanta sports fans suck and you care to join another group of fans?
I-75 and a 5 hour drive will take you almost straight to Jacksonville, where the team always seems to be winning but they never seem to sell out their games, with little or no direct competion.

Chris

December 19th, 2009
11:59 am

Horrible conditions predicted in Jersey Sunday. I would bench Ryan if he gets off to a slow start.
Also BT, I think MCook was thinking about that game the Braves had to cancel due to lack of tix sold. Don’t remember exacly when, but it was in their lean years.

MCook

December 19th, 2009
12:05 pm

It’s just my opinion. I will continue to support all Atl teams no matter what. There is no need to get bent out of shape.
So, can we get back on topic?
Peace

MCook

December 19th, 2009
12:09 pm

Enter your comments here

BT

December 19th, 2009
12:19 pm

MCook,
I am not bent but folks cracking on Atlanta`s sports fan is one of my peeves.
If you are one of us, well alright.
I understand some frustration in (what is perceived as) a lack of support.
What set me off was early this AM when some New Yioker come on here, stooping so far low as to say, Falcons fans caused the teams failures.
That`s just idiotic, no matter how you spin it.

BT

December 19th, 2009
12:49 pm

About the Jets game itself?
It mostly hinges on a healthy Turner returning to the lineup.
Him and Gonzalez are by far the Falcons two best players.
Given the team and game conditions.
Gonzalas impact will likely be reduced but shutting down a healthy Burner could be a big problem for the Jets.
Sanchez will return and start for the Jets.
Fine, he might make a few plays that Clemens might not have made but he is more likely to commit rookie errors and turnovers too.

MCook

December 19th, 2009
1:13 pm

BT,
I agree…Fair enough.

Now , Jets game,
I’m guessing Sanchez has little or no game time under the conditions he will face tommorrow. I agree a healthy Turner could be a big factor. Look for Ryan/Redman to go underneath to Tony, alot of screen action to White.
Does anyone think Bergeron will see some action, given the sloppy field? He had great hands in the AFL and to me looked good in pre-season.

BT

December 19th, 2009
1:29 pm

MCook,
Given the Weems situation, It would not suprise me one bit to see Bergeron get plenty of reps.
Coach Rex Ryan has stated the weather will be advantage to the Jets.
I am not too sure I agree with that opinion.
Whiteout, high winds and bitter cold might do something for the Falcons pass defense that, they cannot do for themselves, i.e. stop somebody.
It appears to me thats more of an equalizer than anything else.
The game will be won by the team that wants it more and don`t mind being involved in some good ole hard hitting football.

[...] One interesting point here is that this is almost guaranteed to be a cold-weather game, and it could be snowing like crazy in New York Sunday, too. We’ll see how the typically dome-bound Falcons do against a team that’s pretty comfortable with frigid temps. [...]

Unca' Bob

December 19th, 2009
1:47 pm

With the Jets recieving corps and young QB Sanchez, they have pretty much had to resort to the run. And run well they do. With Jones as their primary RB and back-ups Greene and Washington, they present a very good run block O-Line. Greene and Washington have combined for 142 carries this year, with Washinton recieving the brunt of receptions from out of the backfield. J Cotchery is their #1 reciever and while he may not strike fear into most secondaries, we aren’t most secondaries.

Their D-Line is servicable and can bring some pressure. They have one of the very best Corners in football with Revis. Basically he shuts down half of the field regardless of where he lines up. He likes to cheat down sometimes on the TE, so lets hope he does, to free up R White. With the nasty weather in Jersey, this should be a run oriented game plan installed by both Coaches. Thou shalt not run…It’s a must.

BT

December 19th, 2009
1:55 pm

Unca Bob,
Very good and informative take.

Unca' Bob

December 19th, 2009
2:19 pm

BT,

Thank you. It pleases me you enjoyed it.

Unca' Bob

December 19th, 2009
2:30 pm

Fanatic- noun, A person affected by excessive enthusiasm and devotion.

Fan- noun, [From fanatic] An admirer or devotee of someone or something.

From what I read earlier, none of the usages of the word fan even apply…Just a thought.

CBrass

December 19th, 2009
3:21 pm

D3,

Great posted as usual. I say sit Ryan in these conditions. If we are able to get Turner back that would be great!!! Alot of quick screens to Norwood is something that has to be used!!! Simply put we need to get him the ball in space. I really do not know much about Bergeron but I’ve heard raven reviews about him.

Unca’ Bob,

Hope you are doing well today.

Unca' Bob

December 19th, 2009
3:59 pm

CBrass,

A healthy M Turner would indeed be a boon. While Sneeling is giving it his all, he’s not Turner. Given the weather conditions, Turner would need to be 100%,IMO. To risk further injury at this point would be folly.

I trust your weekend is going smoothly. I will be able to watch the game from my den this week because the Panthers have an 8:20 start time. The Falcons will be shown as an alternative.

CBrass

December 19th, 2009
4:21 pm

Unca’ Bob,

I’m sure you’re excited about being able to watch the game from your own couch. Yea if Turner is not 100% he should sit. The same goes for Ryan.

Weekend is going as well as can be expected. Thanks for asking.

[...] The Falcons officially enter into the final push of the 2009 campaign with an extremely cold and frigid task up in New York against the red hot Jets. The Birds have had a penchant of playing tough and close this year against good opponents, …Read Original Story: Character Game Against Jets in the Cold – Atlanta Journal Constitution (b… [...]

BT

December 19th, 2009
4:44 pm

Unca Bob,
Did I understand you correctly if, you were bring some posters fan hood into question?
My good man, that`s form of blasphemy and could be interpreted as fighting words.

”Some people feel that football is a life or death situation.
I disagree with that assessment.
It`s much bigger than that.” – Unknown

falcon21

December 19th, 2009
5:00 pm

Well said BT.

Unca' Bob

December 19th, 2009
5:31 pm

Fighting words? Lord almighty, BT. I’too old, don’t have enough fanny, and don’t heal like I used to, and have no reflexes other than knee-jerk!! Don’t be so mean on an old man(LOL). The quote you gave, priceless.

BT

December 19th, 2009
5:37 pm

I kid you not, The NFL Network has been non stop 24/7 coverage of the Saints.
Maybe a little hyping Cowboys but it`s the Saints 4 to 1 over all 31 other NFL teams.
All the more sickening considering we (their arch rival) have to pull for them to defeat the Cowboys, to keep our playoff chances alive.

falcon21

December 19th, 2009
5:40 pm

D3, my interest level has not fallen and never will. I’m a fan for life. If we finish 6 and 10 I will still be at the branch first thing next season. We gotta have faith.