Falcons Suffer Bad Loss in Steel City

Five Film Reviews from Defeat

Rashard Mendenhall (34, front) ran 50 yards for a touchdown 2:35 into overtime and the Steelers overcame a shaky start by replacement quarterback Dennis Dixon and a missed field goal attempt late in regulation to beat the Atlanta Falcons 15-9 on Sunday. - AP

Chumped it Really Good, eh? (AP)

 The Falcons lost a game that they definitely could have and should have won in Pittsburgh against a Steelers team that had less than a full roster on display. There were a few bright spots, in particular the defense, but blame goes wide and deep on the Birds coming up short against the Steelers. The offensive play-calling was pathetic, Matt Ryan had an awful and untimely interception, another missed field goal, zero running game, timid decisions from the head coach, and a defensive breakdown at the worst time. Yes, it’s only the first game and the Falcons certainly had their chances, but they better get some problems fixed in a hurry or this will be a long season for Bird fans. Points taken away from Falcons Film Review:

1) Who’s the MOST to Blame for the Loss?

Hook, Line, and Sinker (AP)

Not to pile on too much, but who deserves the lion share of the blame? It’s certainly a tough call because there are many candidates. Mike Mularkey is very much in the running as his play-calling was horrific bordering on egregious. Once again predictable in that if the running game is stuffed, the Falcons stall. Predictable inside running plays when they weren’t working, the same short passing plays, and going away from things that worked. Falcons never once gave a deep threat. Matt Ryan had a terribly untimely interception that well should have lost the game, even though Jeff Reed missed a field goal to force overtime. The defense giving up a 50+ yard run to in OT to lose the game. The insanely timid play-calling by Coach Smith in refusing to go for the win both in the red zone on 4th down and not taking a shot to win with 45 seconds left in the game. There was ZERO running game in an offense that’s supposed to be a run first offense. Michael Turner looked like he had pennies in his cleats. Sam Baker and Ovie Mughelli picked a really terrible time to have holding penalties. Tough decision we know, but try your hand.

2) Defense Was a Bright Spot

Yes the Falcons defense was facing a 3rd string QB, but it played very well overall excluding a few 3rd and long conversions and the straw that broke the Falcons back in overtime. Again and again they gave the offense more chances to get in gear by forcing many three and outs and generally keeping the Steelers running game under control. The linebacker corps looked faster and more athletic and were flying around the field. Peterson had a pick, Weatherspoon had nice coverage, and Lofton had a monster game. DeCoud played tough as always and the defensive line held up reasonably well not having Jonathan Babineaux in tow. Even though being held on some plays, Abraham and Biermann provided good pressure and notched a sack a piece. It wasn’t perfect and they did technically lose the game, but overall fans have to be a good bit pleased that the Falcons defense has seemingly improved, at least from week one.

3) Timid Calls

45 Secs: Nah, Let's Go to OT (AP)

Coach Mike Smith will likely get some criticism for playing it entirely too conservatively in having a chance to steal the game in Pittsburgh with a few calls that may have made the difference. The decision to play it safe and kick the field goal on 4th and 2 with just over three minutes left inside the 15 yard line can’t completely be crucified because it was the safe bet, but he was thinking about it for second and decided against it. The Falcons had their best offensive drive going and could have made a statement. Even if they came up short then Dixon and the offense would have had to drive the length of the field to win the game. As he said, playing the percentages can be somewhat tolerated, but the Birds were close to the 5 yard line. What’s pretty inexplicable is the decision for the Falcons not to try and get in field goal range with 45 seconds left after getting a gift from Reed missing the late field goal. Smith should come right out and directly say that was a huge mistake. Most teams that are entirely too conservative usually don’t win. Take a shot for goodness sake. It wasn’t like there was only 10 second left or something. The Saints won a Super Bowl on being aggressive. Coach Smith could take a page from Sean Payton.

4) Mike Mularkey’s Seat Just Got Warmer

Yes Matt Ryan didn’t play like Tom Brady on Sunday, but he did complete over 60% of his passes against the Steelers defense and actually called his own plays when the Falcons went with the no-huddle offense. The fact that the no-huddle offense works so well is great, but the fact that only the times that Ryan was calling his own plays did the Falcons get in a good rhythm should tell you something’s wrong. The offensive coordinator has never been known to have a particularly explosive offense, but rather a hard nosed running attack with an excellent play-action passing assault with a few tricks thrown in for good merit. The easy culprit is to simply blame the quarterback because he controls the field and he certainly missed some opportunities himself, but people soon forget that few quarterbacks outside of Manning and Brady have been mistake-free signal callers this early on. Whether its Favre, Elway, Montana, Brees, Schaub, or Rodgers, they all have had their early struggles or sat on the bench learning and watching for several seasons before they hit their groove. Mularkey’s play-calling is stagnant, stale, and completely predictable. Stop the run and Mularkey can’t seem to adjust. There’s simply too much talent on this offense to be as bad and out of sync as they are. Many shrugged it off as simply preseason when the Birds struggled mightily, but preseason usually has much better omens than we realize. Brian Van Gorder has gotten better every season with his defense. It’s hard to say anything else but Mularkey’s gotten worse every year since he arrived. His seat should be getting warmer and warmer as we speak.

5) Special Teams Picked a Bad Time to Letdown

Can't Win by Field Goals Alone (AP)

Special teams has always been a hallmark of the Mike Smith led Atlanta Falcons. They put a heavy emphasis on special teams and it has shown, particularly kickoffs and punt coverage. While not being the most explosive team in terms of the return game, they have always been consistent and not made any mistakes that cost the Falcons victories (the field goal kicker is obviously not included here). Atlanta’s usually consistent special teams picked a really bad time to have a letdown. It is true that Matt Bryant’s first missed field goal may have been the game winner, but you do have to give him some credit for coming back to make 3 in a row. After Jeff Reed’s missed field goal and Coach Smith inexplicably decided to sit on the ball for 45 SECONDS, the Falcons finally won a coin toss. Ovie Mughelli had a terrible hold on the kickoff return that pushed the offense inside the 10 yard line. Even though the Falcons nabbed a first down, a Sam Baker hold pushed the Birds to 3rd and 17. A failed attempt brought in one of the NFL’s best and most consistent punters in Michael Koenen. Backed up against his goal line, the usually sure footed punter picked a bad time to shank one. A less than stellar punt put the Steelers on the 50 yard line and the rest is history. Granted, the Steelers probably would’ve won even if he’d smashed the ball deep, but he sure made it much easier. Obviously the loss can’t be pinned on the special teams, but a couple of bad plays in a row made it much easier for the Steelers.

Your Turn (Have Some Misery!)

-How sickened are you by the Falcons loss?

-Who’s the most to blame for the loss? Feel free to lay blame wide and deep.

-Is it more Mularkey’s or Ryan’s fault the O sucks? Or one in the same?

-Was the defense a bright spot or just played a 3rd string QB?

-Can you please explain what Coach Smith was thinking?

-How hot is Mularkey’s seat? How can he redeem himself? Is he even capable?

-Special teams bear any responsibility?

 

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320 comments Add your comment

Sporkdevil

September 13th, 2010
8:04 pm

I blame Mularkey. We played Mularkeyball, and it didn’t work. Who can we beat if we don’t score an offensive TD? I hated his playcall/formations/scheme last year, and we are running through it all over again this year.

Things I would love to see just once this year:

1. A play over 8 yards.
2. A pump fake.
3. A WR catch a ball in stride, gaining some form of YAC.
4. A screen pass.
5. A game plan that still works if we can’t run the ball effectively.

Bangkapi Ajarn

September 13th, 2010
8:09 pm

Very relevant post D3, I think I have already answered most of this on the previous post, but I will give it a shot–

Tom

September 13th, 2010
8:12 pm

The O-line got its butt kicked…Long season if the O-line keeps playing like that

UGABugKiller

September 13th, 2010
8:17 pm

If you’ve been following anything I’ve been saying since Sunday night, you know where I stand.

Simply put, the Falcons are hand-cuffing themselves from the get-go by deciding they want to be a “power running offense” in an NFL that has changed the rules so much that they are practically BEGGING you to throw the damn ball.

In effect, the Falcons are playing 20th Century football in a 21st Century NFL. And Mularky is ALL to blame for the ineptness this team has gone through on offense the last two years.

What is starting to get old quick is that on many pass plays, ESPECIALLY the 3rd and more than 5, is the fact that Mularky is only giving Ryan 2 or 3 reads. No spreading the field. No taking advantage of modern-day NFL rules.

I’ve been saying it since LAST year, how much better the offense moves with Ryan NOT Mularky calling the plays. Even the most extreme Ryan haters in this city (all the former DogKiller Fans) have to admit to that fact.

Let’s be honest here for a moment. Mike Smith has an opportunity to turn this all around. He does. He can do what’s right and hand the reins of the offense over to Ryan. Create a “R-Gun Offense,” like Buffalo used to run in the Jim Kelly days. It doesn’t have to be hurry up no huddle. Just the same no huddle.

Have Mularky give Ryan a set to run 3 plays from. Just like Manning gets in Indy. He gets to the line, sees the defense, sets the play, reads the defense, changes the play, and there you go.

Also, what the hell do Mularky and Musgrave DO during the week with Ryan?

WHY do we keep on seeing Ryan make the same mistakes over and over again? Who here is sick of seeing Ryan try and force the ball into triple-covered Tony G? Who here is sick of seeing Ryan NEVER change up the snap count, or go to a hard count to catch the defense offsides?

YOU FOOLS ARE HIRED TO COACH THE DAMN QUARTERBACK… SO COACH THE DAMN QUARTERBACK!!!

This can all be fixed.

But then again, the guy who needs to make the decision to fix the problem is “Field Goal Mike.”

He has no guts. He has no cajones. He’s proving himself to be no Sean Payton, no Bill Belichick, no Mike Tomlin.

Hey, Mike Smith, I have a saying for you: NO GUTS, NO FRAKKING GLORY!!!

Learn it. Live it. Coach it.

D3

September 13th, 2010
8:22 pm

D@mn UGABugkiller, that’s an excellent post. Exactly what many are saying, but “playing 20th century football in the 21st century” might be the best and most fitting quote concerning one Mr. “Hot Seat” Mularkey. Agreed that Coach Smith better watch it on his loyalty, because all the goodwill he’s built up will quickly go out the window if he’s not honest about his homey calling the O plays.

Couldn’t agree more Sporkdevil

BA, what a GD weekend for football, eh? Good news is your striving in our own little pick’em league.

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Bangkapi Ajarn

September 13th, 2010
8:31 pm

Monday’s Misery missives;

-How sickened are you by the Falcons loss?
Actually, not as much by the loss as some, as I predicted a loss based on the rust displayed during preseason, and the lack of reps by the ENTIRE D. Prior preseason performance DOES apparently predict future results – the immediate future anyway. Something to consider when we go to 2 preseason games.

-Who’s the most to blame for the loss? Feel free to lay blame wide and deep.
First in line for me is MM, play calling was amateurish and far too timid for the NFL.
Second in line is the O-Line, that was NOT a playoff caliber O-line.
Third in line is– Matt Ryan. As has been pointed out the snap count was fooling no one, and he should have been changing it up. Perhaps he was doing something out of his comfort zone because of the noise, or whatever, but a starting NFL caliber QB must be able to compensate.
Sparky Turner slides in next, tentative running against this new steel curtain won’t get it done. Is he hurt again??
Next up in the blame line for me is Mr. Smith, grow a pair Smitty – you were playing for a tie, NOT for a win – in a hostile town, with a minimal running game, with a chance to steal one.

Wide and deep, indeed.

-Is it more Mularkey’s or Ryan’s fault the O sucks? Or one in the same?
MM, but MR needs to be able to change up the snap count in a noisy, hostile environment. Plenty of blame to go around, but all fixable.
Note to MM – averaging 9 points/game won’t earn you a spot in the super bowl, but it IS good for an early draft pick next year for the Falcons, and a spot on the OK coaching staff next to Willy Martinez for you next year.

-Was the defense a bright spot or just played a 3rd string QB?
Bright spot, their 3rd string QB doesn’t suck and didn’t do anything stupid to cost them the game. Understanding the Steelers aren’t the Colts or Pats, holding ANY NFL team to no TD’s is a notable accomplishment (goes both ways of course).

-Can you please explain what Coach Smith was thinking?
“DAMN, I hope this hammy doesn’t keep me off the next dancing with the stars”.

-How hot is Mularkey’s seat? How can he redeem himself? Is he even capable?
Warm, not hot. Smitty is loyal (Richt/Martinez, part 2 – and did anyone see what Martinez’s D did this weekend? Hehehe).

-Special teams bear any responsibility?
They didn’t lose the game, even helped with improving field position in the 1st half. 3 or 4 FG’s is OK in the NFL outside the 40 (did I actually say that???), and punting was outstanding. Returns weren’t great but return coverage was good. So, I’d say no. They played good enough to win if the O had managed just one TD.

UGABugKiller

September 13th, 2010
8:37 pm

HEY RYAN HATERS (DOG KILLER FANS):

HOW’S YOUR BOY JOE FLUKE-O DOING TONIGHT???

You kill Matt Ryan in a game playing against a top-5 NFL Defense, so of course, with Fluke-O holding the ball too long, getting strip-sacked, throwing a HORRIBLE interception into double coverage…

… you’re gonna hold HIM accountable for THAT, right???

Bangkapi Ajarn

September 13th, 2010
8:37 pm

D3 – Yep, I posted that last blog but the monster ate it. This was my first full football weekend in Ga. since 1995 or so, and they ALL LOST. Even the Braves, who were in first by 2 or 3 games when I left, and are now in second place.

Feeling a bit like Joe Btfsplk.

JB

September 13th, 2010
8:38 pm

You all are forgeting one thing. The third string Steelers were the better team and the better team won. Quit crying and watch us in the Super Bowl.

Troup Dawg

September 13th, 2010
8:46 pm

I understand it’s early just after 1 game but 1 glaring fact continues to shine through from last year, the preseason, and now game 1. This offense is just “SOFT” Sam Baker stays in a backpeddle more than an NBA player, the mean, nasty Harvey Dahl was manhandled yesterday and this line can not fire off the ball and push the DL back for passing lanes or running holes. QB, WR, TE just settle in for th 5-6 yard duck and chucks. This isn’t going to get us far this season till this offense, OC, and HC decide to man-up and realize this is big boy ball and they are truely paid the big bucks to get it done.

As said by the great philosopher Jerry Glanville ” the NFL stands for Not For Long” when you play like they have now for 1 season and 1 game.

Till I see a leader stepup and start carrying this team forward…..I’m afraid Sunday was just a reminder of how the Falcons play offense last season and this season nothing has changed.

Same goes for the Dawgs except the Dawgs are soft in all phases of the game. Boys trying to play tackle football and not using flags. When MR decided not to do 2 a day drills this past camp, it showed Saturday. Soft tackles, soft missed tackles, DL playing timid just to hold the line of scrimmage. Backs unsure where the hole will be, OL pushed around like prom dates. MR appears to have allowed his compassion, and soft nature influence his coaching style. A HC must be a HC he can’t be a pastor while trying to get young men to be the best and toughest they can be in a physical game.

See how recruits are treated during boot camp. I promise you there are no pastors under those DI hats.

Both performances were huge let downs this weekend. Sure teams are going to lose but to wait all spring and summer for football to arrive and then we get what we got. Shameful!!

Bangkapi Ajarn

September 13th, 2010
8:48 pm

JB;
The crying is a result of heightened expectations, and the clear understanding that the flaws CAN be corrected. We DO expect to be watching the Superbowl, as the Falcons pull it together in the meat of the season.

I understand that your Steelers are a great team, and would have a real shot at the Super Bowl as well if they could just keep their QB out of our Georgia ladies restrooms. Maybe you folks could try weening him off restrooms with an occasional shot at warm bicycle seats??????

D3

September 13th, 2010
8:51 pm

On Smith’s loyalty, God I hope not BA. I understand its one game, but this offense has been underachieving and digressing since 2008 caught the NFL by storm (and a weak schedule) and the D-Coordinators adjusted appropriately and its been tankville ever since. I could sympathize if this was one game, but this is all on Mularkey, IMO. As much $— as I gave Weems, he proved he can play when he gets the ball. Looks like it was one Mr. Coordinator all along, at least IMHO. BTW, Soft Willie coaches the D-Backs Only at Oklahoma, not the whole defense :grin:

Very well put Tom. McClure and Blalock are the only ones that looked halfway not terrible (even though I haven’t gone back to check), but Baker, Dahl, and Clabo all got their lunch eaten throughout the day. Again, Mularkey’s fault for not doing a hard count, because the entire defense (DT’s, DE’s, OLB’s, and even S’s) had the snap count down to an art form.

JB

September 13th, 2010
8:52 pm

lol…Bankkapi. Well you are right there. The kid has a lot of growing up to do. Maybe we will be playing the Falcons in the Super Bowl

Bangkapi Ajarn

September 13th, 2010
8:54 pm

JB-
Looking forward to it!!

D3

September 13th, 2010
8:59 pm

JB, I’ll say that our coaches got their @ss handed to them by some coaches who know what the hell they are doing. Tomlin, and especially LeBeau just made Smith and Mularkey look like little boys. Also credit Arians for coming up with a helluva a gameplan and sticking to it. No crying here, you guys whipped us and we deserve all the embarassment we get. :mad:

Troup Dawg — My sentiments exactly. I knew preseason would be more than just “nothing to worry about” and I (along with many, many others) were exactly d@mn right. Some acted as if we intentionally tanked in preseason not show our hand. Totally agreed on Dawgs. Did like the defense manning up in the second half. Bobo has to go. Way too much talent on offense to be that pathetic. Most overrated OL in the nation 3-4 years running. :neutral:

Bangkapi Ajarn

September 13th, 2010
9:01 pm

D3 -
Re: Martinez – Yep, I was referring to the 222 yards or so passing OK gave up. I think I saw something from DOL about it.

Regards MM, one COULD put a different spin on Smitty’s decision to go for the FG late on 4th and 1. Perhaps a lack of confidence in MM’s offense at that stage, knowing that the gameplan wasn’t working????? I know, grasping at straws, grasping at any hint of a silver lining, etc.

But, after all the heart vs. head issues I am fighting thru here (heart is appalled at yesterdays Offensive performance (double meaning intended), head is confident that a 11-5 season is still on plan), I still see the Falcons fixing some of these issues and going to the NFC championship.

D3

September 13th, 2010
9:11 pm

BA — I agree. I do think that we still have shot if we can get the offense fixed, but I’m simply starting to wonder if Mularkey will get us to where we want to be. Maybe he proves me wrong, but there’s a certain fatalist inside me to want Mularkey gone giving us enough time to make a run while TG, Roddy, Turner (if he’s not bustville), are still young. Mularkey makes me :evil:

Wabe

September 13th, 2010
9:18 pm

Mike Mularkey is definitely on my list.

I don’t want my criticisms of Matt Ryan to overshadow the fact that this isn’t an excuse for Mike Mularkey’s egregious playcalling.

But, I want people here to be real.

People often praise QB’s like Manning and Brees for spreading the ball around and getting all of his receivers/backs into the mix.

Ryan, on the other hand, tends to target in on Roddy and TG. It showed again Sunday. I’m tired of being labeled a “Vick loving racists” everytime I or anybody else for that matter raises a legitimate concern in regards to our QB. He’s not above criticism. This is what happens when you put a player on a pedestal.

Ryan’s solid.
He’s ahead of the learning curve.
In year 3, Rodgers was still sitting on the bench.
Ryan’s learning through gametime experience.
So there will no doubt be lessons for him to learn.

But, pointing out things like his tendency to target in on a particular player or his inability to zip passes to receivers shouldn’t mean you’re rooting against him.

People point out his 61% completion percentage yesterday.
That’s fair.
But someone else pointed out the average yards per completion.
Around 6 or 7 yards?
That’s also fair.
Roddy White himself was quoted speaking of the lack of big plays.

Even the players see what we’re blogging about. If we’re ineffective stretching the field, we’re doing opposing defenses a huge favor. The coverage tightens, because they know they’re not threatened for any plays over the top.

Mularkey needs to open up the playbook.
Ryan needs to get more guys involved and spread the ball around
The O-Line needs to protect.
Turner/Norwood/Snelling need to make the most of their opportunities.
The receivers need to get seperation and catch the ball when it’s right between the numbers.

We’re a team.
There’s enough blame to go around.
Singling out the coordinator or a particular player goes against the team concept. The team together failed Sunday, and the only way to overcome our flaws will be if we as a team put forth a better effort this Sunday at the Dome.

Wabe

September 13th, 2010
9:20 pm

I’m guilty of singling out a particular player or a coordinator plenty…

I don’t want to come off as a hypocrite.
It may have been out of frustration.
But whatever it was out of, I will do my best to come back to what I just posted.

Win as a team.
Lose as a team.

UGABugKiller

September 13th, 2010
9:23 pm

Wow… Joe Fluke-O not looking good tonight.

Overthrew wide open for sure TD. Strip-sacked. Threw egreggious INT. Is overthrowing players all over the place.

Fluke-O is the product of a great defense and a great O-Line.

Matt Ryan has had neither of those things while in Atlanta.

Fluke-O also has a much better offensive coordinator, Cam Cameron.

Bangkapi Ajarn

September 13th, 2010
9:46 pm

Troup Dawg-
I will go along with the soft look on the offense at least (especially the O-line and Turner), BUT I am thinking it is because they came out of preseason that way for some reason – soft and unprepared. I am hoping that a few games will hone them to a razors edge, but I don’t see this team being ready for NO in week 3. I fear a 1-2 start before they are NFL ready.

The Defense is really hitting, nothing soft about the tackling I saw yesterday.

Ed

September 13th, 2010
9:58 pm

I thought the defense played extremely well and just needed to intercept some of the badly thrown balls by dixon chris owens had one in particular that slipped right off his hands. As for the offense they played pretty well between the twenty yard lines but couldnt punch it in matt ryan made a lot of nice throws but got very predictable throwing that out route to roddy whit and polumalu picked up on that on the interception. matt ryan still has to improve quite a bit and be more consistent. overall im still optimistic and i believe strongly in coach smith i think he will get things corrected for this week against the cardinals.

bigjohn90

September 13th, 2010
10:00 pm

Thats Steeler football baby…falcons didnt blow it…Steelers won it…get it right publishers…i have much respect for the falcons theyre a good team with a lot of young talent and potential but dont take anything away from the effort my steelers gave without big ben fighting into OT for a hard earned win against a good team

Roderick Thompson

September 13th, 2010
10:05 pm

It all really comes down to X’s & O’s. The Falcons have a sub par team that has overrated players in important positions. Matt Ryan is at best an slightly above average QB that has been over hyped to make everyone forget about #7. Tony G is 50 years old. Micheal Turner was ran in the ground 2 years ago. The Defense has alot of work to do. “They are who we thought they where”. They have a weak schedule so if they dont go to the playoffs the proof is in the pudding.

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Sarah B

September 13th, 2010
10:18 pm

Well now that I’m not mad enough to spew nonsense. If we had to drop a game right away at least it was to A AFC Team. Doesn’t count so much if it comes down to tie-breakers.

Screen Pass/ Fire Mularkey NOW!!

September 13th, 2010
10:19 pm

Wabe, read the last blog if haven’t yet. Once more, I have to criticize your criticisms. M. Ryan distributed the ball to 8 players on Sunday, 2nd to only 1 quarterback having 9 targets. M. Ryan “spreads” the ball just fine. Your complaint should be about no pump fakes and locking eyes on intended target, then I would have no real objection. Watching Flacco play tonight it is obvious that he is not better than M. Ryan which means yet again the blame for our offensive woes belong squarely on M. Mularkey. I don’t mind people calling M. Ryan out, but if your gonna come then come with facts not mularkey.

Sarah B

September 13th, 2010
10:19 pm

Thanks bigjohn90. I feel the same way.

Wabe

September 13th, 2010
10:33 pm

Screen Pass,

I’ve read from numerous people within this very blog that Ryan tends to key in on TG and Roddy too often. Yesterday for instance, he found Weems a couple of times early in the game, and the same with Douglas. But, we got away from what was working.

I didn’t say this, I’m repeating what many on this blog have said.

Finding a receiver once or twice while targeting Roddy for 13 catches doesn’t equate to spreading the ball around. I understand Roddy’s the #1 receiver and TG’s hands are HOF hands, but, going back to last season, many on this blog have complained (not just me) about Ryan’s tendency to key on these guys. We gave him the benefit of the doubt last season and pinned a lot of this talk on the injuries of Douglas and the lack of a slot guy that could stretch the field. Well, Douglas is back, and Weems looked pretty solid yesterday at receiver. But, stretches of the game would go by and I wouldn’t even know whether Douglas or Weems were in the game.

Again, we can agree to disagree.

Spreading the ball around is crucial.
Ryan’s gotta get guys involved and keep them involved.
At the same time, these guys gotta get open and catch the balls when they hit them in the numbers.

Wabe

September 13th, 2010
10:39 pm

Roddy caught 13 passes yesterday.
The rest of the team had 14 catches.

John Waynesworld

September 13th, 2010
11:03 pm

Hi Cagers, D3 thank you,

Bottom line is with the variables as they were, we should have won that game. Backup untested QB vs supposed high power offense…All Pro yet aging Steeler D vs the new retooled Falcons D.

In a vacuum, maybe.

Their coach Tomlin is a great coach. He is so cool, he is the big toe. The way he called time out when the game was tense was a thing of beauty. He bleeds confidence and his players are all vampires. The way Heinz ward just imposed his will on that one drive with that 3rd down circus catch. All those catches. Unbelievable. Then the late heroics by #43, perfectly timed and executed and just the crucial moment when momentum was changing. Truly great players.

Winners really, in simple terms. Confident winners and yes, still a level above us. They won because they know winning. Let’s be real, if Ben wasn’t suspended we would ALL would have marked that game as a loss. Pittsburgh’s opening day winning streak, the fact that they were the 2008 Champions, and we all know they lost several games last year because #43 was hurt (yes he is that good).Then there are all the question marks on our own team from last year coming in. Yep that was a gimme loss.

So, actually we are right where we should be at 0-1. Onto the next game! Arizona? Bring ‘em on!

screg

September 13th, 2010
11:33 pm

who is the genious who decided that laurant robinson was not in our long term plans?

EddieB

September 13th, 2010
11:35 pm

Are the people talking about the Falcons.Fans who are just mad about losing a game that we could have,should have,and did not win this game,Because of people like Hine Ward,A top five Defense who refuse to lose at Home on Opening Day regardles of the Quarterback for how many years now?Yes i agree that all the coach`s blew the gameplanning on Sunday.But most of all the Offense had chance to stand up an win that game.Just did not do anything at all to win the game on the line.This Team needs to show that it`s Fans that they are one of the better offensive teams in the League is why people are upset about Sunday game.Because we lost a game that the Defense kept us in till the End of the Fourth quarter.OT Play calling is what bugs me most all,Because you know first score wins.Unless you can pin them down in the Ten yard line.And your defense was playing like on Sunday o.k.Ours Coaches need to get more like other teams like old 49ers,Green Bay.I still say you have to beat the best to be the Best Atlanta.Hey boy`s do you guy watch how the better teams in this League play the Games.Like how the best Cornerbacks watch the player eyes or look back for the ball went covering guys.Are bold on Fourth downs at times by going for it on 4 and 1 or 2.Short of the Second Round of the Playoffs or a Superbowl win in Good for this City(Atalanta,Georgia)or State period.Go Birds let`s make this the year we put all the part`s together an win it all after this opening day loss what a come back that would be?

darrell starks

September 13th, 2010
11:47 pm

It doesn’t matter who your QB is, if not enough weapons at WR, and you don’t throw deep or more play action pass 2 the runner out of the back field then your vulnerable and more predictable on offense.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

September 13th, 2010
11:53 pm

I have been screaming the hole year for the falcons 2 go either in the draft, trade, or free agent for and WR on the opposite side of white 2 give the ice man a legit number 2 WR and TD did nothing in the draft or free agent 2 do so, there for the ice man will be the sand man this year.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!

Great Falconi

September 14th, 2010
12:05 am

Mularkey…

I’ll lay the blame at his door. He has elite talent at TE and WR. Ryan isn’t elite, but he knows what he’s doing (the no-huddle is evidence of it). Turner can’t do much if Mularkey quits on the run. Where the hell was Norwood? Snelling? Why not spread the Steelers out and try to run it?

You’ve got to be able to make adjustments. Mularkey doesn’t do that a lot of the time. I’d rather Matt call the plays for a game. Let’s see how it goes.

EddieB

September 14th, 2010
12:19 am

John Waynesworld i agree that we need to become like the Steelers win games they could have losted,But pride make winners.I trade for Hine Ward this year or next year.He good for two or three wins a year for the Steelers on Heart alone?Georgia boy should play his last couple seasons for the Birds?Won`t Happen,But i have dream about it for years now?Cost to much,But a Second Round pick not too much for Him?Even give them Mike Jenkins and a Fourth or Five Round pick?

jb

September 14th, 2010
12:28 am

The problem was predictable and ineffective play calling by O-coordinator and ineffective blocking and pass protection by O-Line. Repeatedly running Turner into a wall of defenders, calling the same out pattern that eventually got jumped. Minimal use of Norwood in space. I don’t blame Ryan for much. In fact, the no huddle was fairly effective. He needs to look off the receivers more and not force the ball into coverage.

Sarah B

September 14th, 2010
12:29 am

Chargers are losing, Colts lost, Iggles lost, Cowboys lost… is the world ending??? Do they all suck??? NO! We all have a bad week. Let’s let it go and kick ARZ arse Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jb

September 14th, 2010
12:32 am

I don’t fault Smitty for FG on 4th and 1, especially given the fact that the line couldn’t open a hole for Turner.

jb

September 14th, 2010
12:34 am

At least we came away healthy. Dunta Robinson vs Fitzgerald should be interesting this week.

Screen Pass/ Fire Mularkey NOW!!

September 14th, 2010
1:01 am

“Finding a receiver once or twice while targeting Roddy for 13 catches doesn’t equate to spreading the ball around.”

Lol. You should really learn to leave it alone. I won’t be apologizing again. So, in your genius world who should we compare the worthless, clueless, and “non-spreader” M. Ryan to? How about D. Brees, you know the guy that won the super bowl last year and the guy not taking any heat for his last performance.

D. Brees and Saints Receiving Statistics week one; http://bleacherreport.com/tb/a5R2h

M. Ryan and Falcons Receiving Statistics week one; http://bleacherreport.com/tb/a5R2h

You might be able to notice that D Brees hit his 2nd target 5 times compared to Ryan’s #2 with 4 times. Are you telling me that ONE PASS makes Ryan and his distribution suck? Oh I see, your point is based on his 3rd receiving option…Hhhhmmm both Brees and Ryan hit their 3rd three times. Ahhh I see your point now…Ryan sucks because he only matched Brees. Wait, you mean Ryan sucks and doesn’t distribute because of 4th or 5th options? Let’s see, once more ONE PASS difference. So in your world ONE PASS is the difference between a Super Bowl quarterback and the worthless, clueless Ryan. If Ryan sucks so bad why did he have equal completion and greater yard production then Brees when Brees faced a much worse defense in Minn? Ryan isn’t the problem so wake up and help us get Mularkey fired. Oh thats right, you DEFEND “Bull” Mularkey, I forgot. Here is an article written all the way back in 2008( http://bleacherreport.com/articles/25493-mike-mularkey-is-not-the-answer-for-atlanta-falcons ), you might find it an interesting read. Really odd how everything it predicts came true.

John Waynesworld

September 14th, 2010
1:17 am

News Flash of the Future: Chargers sign Vincent Jackson right after tonight’s game.

Wabe

September 14th, 2010
2:24 am

I’ve said numerous times…

We can agree to disagree.

Just drop it.

Wabe

September 14th, 2010
2:25 am

Screen Pass/ Fire Mularkey NOW!!

September 14th, 2010
1:01 am

Oh thats right, you DEFEND “Bull” Mularkey, I forgot.
Wabe

September 13th, 2010
9:18 pm
Mike Mularkey is definitely on my list.

Wabe

September 14th, 2010
2:26 am

Now, we can drop it.

Wabe

September 14th, 2010
2:35 am

I don’t know why I’m jumping back into this…

But, did you happen to click on the link you provided for the Saints receiving distribution, Screen Pass?

Matt Ryan Has to Be Better Than He Was in Week 12
Comments
Say Something »

9/13/2010 3:00 PM ET By Dan Graziano

That’s the title of the article to the link you’ve provided…

So, why are you attacking me for the way many are feeling?
The links you’re providing feel the same way I feel.
So again, why do you feel obliged to constantly come after my posts, and my posts alone?

But, you’re entitled to your opinion as I’m entitled to mine.

Agree to disagree.

Wabe

September 14th, 2010
2:40 am

Matt Ryan Has to Be Better Than He Was in Week 1
2 Comments
Say Something

9/13/2010 3:00 PM ET By Dan Graziano

That’s the title to both links you’ve provided Screen Pass.