Can Falcons Avoid Trap Against Niners?

Six Searing Questions as Birds Come Back Home

 

Let's Keep it Going (AP)

 The Bird Cage offers a super short Falcons-49ers primer due to some time constraints. Can the Falcons come back down to Earth after their enormous when and continue their momentum against the wounded 49ers? The two teams are on opposite extremes. The Falcons are sky high after beating the defending Super Bowl Champs in New Orleans. The 49ers are 0-3 and have fired their offensive coordinator. This sets up as the perfect trap game for the Falcons. Can they continue their momentum or will they hit an emotional lull? Six searing questions as the Niners enter the Dome…………

1) Can the Falcons Avoid the Trap?

All the coaches, players, and even fans always say the right things about keeping their head down, working hard, and not taking anything or anyone for granted. But they call them trap games for a reason. The 49ers are a wounded animal and will fight like mad to avoid an 0-4 start, especially after an off-season filled with so much hope. Coach Mike Singletary will have his players ready to fight to the last breath after the Birds embarrassed them in San Fran 45 – 10. All the goodwill and great feelings after the huge win against the Saints will lose some luster if they lose the 0-3 Niners. Will the Birds step on their opponent early and quick or will they allow them in the game?

2) Will “The Bruise Brothers” Turner and Snelling Have a Repeat?

Ground and Pound with Bruise Brothers (AP)

Had a ton of great nicknames for the Falcons new tailback tandem, DHunt came up with one of the best nicknames for the two battering rams. “The Bruise Brothers” may have been used in the past, but it seems so appropriate because with Norwood’s injury the Falcons new tandem features two backs who can pound and ground a defense down by the end of the game. No slight to Norwood, but when you have two tough running backs that can take over the game, everything works so much better. The best linebacker in the NFL may have something to say about that.

3) Will Ryan and HD Finally Connect?

Two weeks in a row have given us glimpses of what might be in store in terms of the deep passing attack. Harry Douglas has beaten his man many times the last two weeks and Ryan has just overthrown him. Credit Mularkey and Ryan for not giving up on it. And even though the connection hasn’t been made, it surely has softened up the defenses a little. With Michael Jenkins being out, Douglas has regained most of his 2008 form and the combination of Roddy White, Michael Jenkins, Tony Gonzalez, and a speedy Harry Douglas could be a lethal combination. Keep taking the shots because the connection will be made soon, won’t they?

4) Can the Falcons Run on Patrick Willis?

The best linebacker in the NFL, Patrick Willis, will be at the heart of the 49ers trying to get in the win column. Traditionally, the Birds have struggled against 3-4 defenses with the one exception being against the 49ers last year when they blew up in San Francisco for 45 points. Willis has taken advantage of one of the best MLB’s in the game Mike Singletary and they’ve been accumulating more talent on defense with Parys Haralson, Dashon Goldson, and Navorro Bowman. Even though they lost to the Saints, they kept them in the game until the end on Monday Night Football. Can the Birds pull a 2009 repeat performance against the 49ers?

5) Can LB Corps Contain Vernon Davis?

Rookie OLB Sean Weatherspoon is off to a great start and tied for the team lead in tackles. Stephen Nicholas may not be starting full-time, but he’s getting plenty of playing time and doing well. Weatherspoon is banged up a little and may not play. Along with Mike Peterson, the OLB’s will have their work cut out for them while trying to contain Vernon Davis. Davis blew up last year as one of the best TE’s in the game and made the Pro Bowl. Many consider him in the class of Antonio Gates and Dallas Clark. The new offensive coordinator will surely target Davis early and often.

6) Will the Pass Defense Tighten Up?

The Falcons have kept their opponents out of the end zone except for once in the air. Granted, the Birds just played one of the best offenses in the NFL and one that throws first, often, and always, but the Falcons still rank in the bottom third in terms of passing defense. They’re keeping them away from six points, but there are still some issues in terms of coverage. They are opportunistic in terms of creating turnovers, but Robinson, Grimes, Owens, DeCoud, and Moore will need to tighten up a little. Can they hold Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, and Josh Morgan under control?

Your Turn

-Will the Birds come out hard-charging or flat?

-Will The Dome be rocking?

-Can Ryan and HD finally connect?

-“The Bruise Brothers” take over again? (Great nickname DHunt)

-The offense have a repeat performance?

-Will Spoon’s injury have an affect on the defense?

-Can passing defense tighten up?

365 comments Add your comment

Bangkapi Ajarn

October 2nd, 2010
9:29 am

YES, they will avoid the trap, I am encouraged by the comments coming out of the Branch, and Smitty’s interview.

Bangkapi Ajarn

October 2nd, 2010
9:31 am

Oh, and I forgot – Uno, Yek, Nung, Ein, etc. for the previous post.

[...] Can Falcons Avoid Trap Against Niners?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)The best linebacker in the NFL may have something to say about that. Two weeks in a row have given us glimpses of what might be in store in terms of the … [...]

Bangkapi Ajarn

October 2nd, 2010
9:46 am

Saturdays Sage Subjects (or D3’s S3’s);

-Will the Birds come out hard-charging or flat?
I am thinking hard charging, they are at home and will be charged up by the atmosphere, nd there has been a lot of work at the Branch to avoid the letdown.

-Will The Dome be rocking?
Another late arriving crowd, but it will get raucous as the Birds pile on the points. The game may well be over by the start of the 4th quarter, so the dome could empty out early as folks try to beat the traffic from TWO downtown games (Braves are playing as well, special Bobby Cox day and a chance to clinch a playoff spot afte 5 years in the wastelands)

-Can Ryan and HD finally connect?
Thinking this could be the week, but the emphasis will continue to be on the running game.

-“The Bruise Brothers” take over again? (Great nickname DHunt)
Yes -( Didn’t like burst and spurt? :-) ). They will pound the D, and they WILL wilt.

-The offense have a repeat performance?
I think they will have a great week this week, closer to the Arizona game than the Saints game.

-Will Spoon’s injury have an affect on the defense?
Sure, when you lose your top tackler it will have an impact. The 49ers will work the middle of the field to death, short passes to the TE and RB out of the backfield.

-Can passing defense tighten up?
Likely not because of the above, but they will likely have a bend but don’t break (much) kind of day.

Sarah B

October 2nd, 2010
10:05 am

BA like I said last night I have two tickets for tomorrow + a parking pass. Sec 342 row 6. You should take the little lady to the game so she knows why you spend so much time blogging. LOL

Sarah B

October 2nd, 2010
10:06 am

No trap game – we win 31-10.

LRD

October 2nd, 2010
10:13 am

Heading to the Dome… BA stated the braves game, well there is the REO Speedwagon opening up for the Braves, and scattered fall festivals. So traffic downtown could be a fiasco to put it politely… marta is smarta…
Dome will be loud tomorrow… as folks are starting to believe after the Saints game.. Took little man to the braves game weds…and think I saw as much falcon gear on folks as I did braves gear.
We smash the niners and falcons fever could continue to spread.. the bandwagon no longer the broken down pickup truck with the dog in the back.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mike Patton, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: AJC's fan blog: Can Falcons Avoid Trap Against Niners? http://bit.ly/dwxv2T [...]

Resign or Resign?

October 2nd, 2010
11:21 am

Niners have 3 rookie OL and Crabtree; only difference between this year and last in team the Birds destroyed in SF. Game in the Dome; better defense, Turner & Snelling, Douglas, etc. should mean the Birds roll! Agree with all of above, should be another game like the Cards. GO BIRDS!!

Bangkapi Ajarn

October 2nd, 2010
11:24 am

Sarah;
THANKS, but the little lady is NOT a football fan (have you met? She is 4′11″, a real little lady for sure). She is Thai, and doesn’t even follow sports over there.

Need to pass on the tickets though, sadly, but I would LOVE to see the dome. I have a relative just went into the hospital again, we will be at Gwinnett Medical Center Sunday afternoon(and I will watch the game on the room TV for sure).

Her training schedule eases next week, so it would be great if we can meet after work next week for your scarf (it DOES look cool promise).I will bring the little lady :-) .

Thanks for thinking of me.

Resign or Resign?

October 2nd, 2010
11:24 am

Replays show that Douglas gave up on one of those routes and was knocked off his route in another; so that wasn’t all Ryan’s fault. Other teams see the plays on “film” and must prepare for it, nonetheless; should open up the shorter routes and running game since the safeties can’t ignore the “deep” threat.

Bangkapi Ajarn

October 2nd, 2010
11:26 am

LRD -
Total agreement on “the bandwagon no longer the broken down pickup truck with the dog in the back.”

It is a STEAMROLLER

Bangkapi Ajarn

October 2nd, 2010
11:32 am

Bangkapi Ajarn

October 2nd, 2010
11:33 am

The theme song for the bruise bros?

Resign or Resign?

October 2nd, 2010
11:35 am

Good one. BA!

FrontRow

October 2nd, 2010
11:38 am

I’ll believe the bandwagon is rolling when the Dome is full at kickoff.

Between the Braves and festival crowds, traffic, slow trunstiles, and throw in reduced MARTA service everyone needs to be aware and plan accordingly.

After 3 great games, the team deserves to see partisans in the seats AT KICKOFF.

Please give yourself and extra 15 minutes. Forgo the extra tailgate dog and, on your way into the stadium early, shoo the rest of the tailgaters along. Let’s jam the turnstiles between 12:30 and 1:00 instead of the usual 1:00.

BE THERE….EARLY!

Resign or Resign?

October 2nd, 2010
11:43 am

The bandwagon is now a stretch Hummer limo!

Bangkapi Ajarn

October 2nd, 2010
11:43 am

Conflict in 49er ville, good news for us, per CBS rapid reports!
S Michael Lewis’ agent told CSN Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco that his client’s relationship with the team is “beyond repair.” He also said he doesn’t know who’s calling the shots for the organization and doesn’t think the team knows either.

Over an hour ago – The flap involving S Michael Lewis apparently involves his status as a starter, The Sacramento Bee is reporting. Coaches told Lewis he would be the starter when he asked for clarification early this week, but he was told Friday that rookie S Taylor Mays would be eased into the lineup. 49ers RapidReports
Over an hour ago – Multiple Bay Area outlets are reporting that S Michael Lewis was not on the plane taking the team to Atlanta and that he has asked for his release, which the 49ers has not granted. 49ers RapidReports

Bangkapi Ajarn

October 2nd, 2010
11:45 am

Music to my ears:

Over an hour ago – There can’t be much of a worse matchup right now for the 49ers than a road game at Atlanta. The Falcons beat them 45-10 last season, with RB Michael Turner scoring three touchdowns and WR Roddy White having a career game with 210 yards and two scores. 49ers RapidReports

Over an hour ago – When asked to name the common qualities of teams that do well on the road, coach Mike Singletary replied, “I don’t know. I hope to become one of them real soon, but I don’t know. I couldn’t answer that.” An ominous sign for Sunday’s game at Atlanta. 49ers RapidReports

Resign or Resign?

October 2nd, 2010
12:11 pm

Good news; BA.

Resign or Resign?

October 2nd, 2010
12:25 pm

IMHO Singletary, as great a player as he was, is in over his head as a HC.

Bangkapi Ajarn

October 2nd, 2010
12:38 pm

R or R – Singletary was likely the right guy at the right time when he got the job to try and pull together a highly fractured trainwreck of a team, which he did with sheer force of will, personality, and passion. That shock blitzkrieg of cred (as a legit all-pro) and emotion has apparently lost it’s impact looking at the S situation coming into the Falcon game.

That in and of itself isn’t enough to succeed as a top flight NFL coach, however. Singletary may be a one trick pony as regards a head coach. See the issues with his OC as an example, and communication issues with Lewis regarding his status as a starter and Mays status, and an apparent inability to list qualities his team should emulate to be successful on the road (betting Smitty would have come up with an unoffensive soundbite referencing focus, intensity, preparation, coaching, etc.).

[...] Can Falcons Avoid Trap Against Niners?Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)The best linebacker in the NFL may have something to say about that. Two weeks in a row have given us glimpses of what might be in store in terms of the … [...]

Chop Buster

October 2nd, 2010
3:47 pm

-Will the Birds come out hard-charging or flat?
They get off to a hard-charging fast start and make the 49ers attempt to play catch up.

-Will The Dome be rocking?
Oh yeah! We need to make so much crowd noise the 49ers can hear themselves think–let alone communicate a play.

-Can Ryan and HD finally connect?
I think they may have went back and had a little timing practice to open the long game up. I say they connect on the deep ball this week. Especially since the 49ers secondary isn’t that stout.

-“The Bruise Brothers” take over again? (Great nickname DHunt)
Bruise Brothers are going to take to the 49ers and we will take Willis out of the play just like we did to Vilma. Run it all straight up the gut and make it a very long day for them.

-The offense have a repeat performance?
Yes they do. I think they finally started getting some rhythm and Ryan is beginning to spread the ball better. If we come out and score a TD on the opening possession it’s going to break the 49ers’ spirit.

-Will Spoon’s injury have an affect on the defense?
No I don’t believe so. Aaron Rodgers will be too busy running from our front four to get anything off. They will attempt some screens and try to get the ball to the TE, but it’s not going to work. Besides we should have too much of a drop-off with Nicholas in the game.

-Can passing defense tighten up?
This is the key. I want to see our secondary play tighter coverage–even when they go into a zone defense. These guys have the skills and speed to get to the ball for some picks. They just have to be smart and discipline.

Moose

October 2nd, 2010
5:19 pm

Thanks D3………….

Trap game?……… Not this one as the Falcons win an easy one by 14………..

Trap game to me is when you are playing a lesser opponent that is taken for granite while lookig ahead at facing a stronger opponent the following week……….. Put this one on bruise control…….

The Browns game is a perfict trap game comming up as they are not as bad as they look…… Falcons go on the road to the Browns and after a home win are maybe looking ahead to the Philly game………. Don’t do it………. Browns could win if they do………….

FrontRow

October 2nd, 2010
5:22 pm

-Will the Birds come out hard-charging or flat?
Yes especially if the 49ers start off trying to stuff the run

-Will The Dome be rocking?
A little better than AZ game….please be in your seat at kickoff

-Can Ryan and HD finally connect?
Yes again especially if SF starts in a run stuffing mode

-“The Bruise Brothers” take over again? (Great nickname DHunt)
Expecting 8+ in the box not until that gets loosened up just a little

-The offense have a repeat performance?
Yes. Matt Ryan is getting good at reading which way the coverage is rolled (White or Gonzalez)

-Will Spoon’s injury have an affect on the defense?
No. Spoon brings extra speed 49ers don’t know about

-Can passing defense tighten up?
I don’t think the 49ers are any more a threat than the Saints. AZ was no slouch either.

Game difference is the home cooking. The defense plays to dominate at home and not lose on the road.

JJ

October 2nd, 2010
8:15 pm

wow, what a catch! Know we need OL, RB help but damn, did you see AJ’s catch? He’s the next R. Moss!!! Dogs your defense sucks and bee’s cannot complete a pass. GSU rules again unfortunately!

JJ

October 2nd, 2010
8:17 pm

PS – dont think we have to worry about aaron rodgers this week, nor alex smith.

Frank Wilson

October 2nd, 2010
8:35 pm

BA,

Have you heard Elvis’s version of Steamroller Blues? Better to go with our RB’s

Frank Wilson

October 2nd, 2010
8:38 pm

Chop Buster

October 2nd, 2010
8:40 pm

Nice one JJ…my bad. I mean Alex Smith of course. He and Rodger look too much alike. LOL

Sports Review

October 2nd, 2010
9:30 pm

[...] one of the NFL's best tight ends. What's better, Gonzalez is 34 and having the time …Can Falcons Avoid Trap Against Niners?Atlanta Journal Constitution [...]

DHunt

October 2nd, 2010
9:39 pm

D3, humbly yours, I am merely a vessel.
No traps in the Dome. We’re beyond that now
.Expecting to see the Birds get better every game. In every aspect of the game. So far the offense and defense haven’t disappointed. Looking for Special Teams to step up this game.
@Moose, I’m loving “put it on bruise control” Will be screaming that at the TV for the rest of the season.

Sarah B

October 2nd, 2010
9:45 pm

Can’t wait for tomorrow!! Will be cheering/screaming from Super Suite #2. Hey maybe I’ll finally get on TV. Still have 2 seats availble in 342 row 6.

Sarah B

October 2nd, 2010
9:47 pm

FrontRow – for the record I’m always in my seat before the singing of the National Anthem. Always!

Wabe

October 2nd, 2010
9:49 pm

I’ll be honest, I’m actually growing a bit more nervous as we get closer to tomorrow’s game.

There’s not a doubt in my mind that the Falcons SHOULD win this game. They’re 14-1 at home with Ryan under center.

But, how will they respond to a victory of this magnitude?

I’ll leave the 45-10 beatdown we put at their feet last season to the side for this one – because they have a lot guys that weren’t able to go last season playing tomorrow (Gore, Crabtree).

Now, it’s not as if I’m shaking in my boots. But, again, will the Falcons come out flat? I’m intrigued to see how they handle last week’s victory. If they can lay another beatdown on the 49ers, it’ll erase any shadow of a doubt that I have about the character of this team. They answered a lot of questions last week – they’re definitely proved to be a much more talented + mentally sound football team by winning in a hostile environment on the road. But, do they have championship make-up?

As funny as it sounds, I think playing the 0-3 Niners after coming off last weeks big win will show us a bit more about where this team’s mentality is.

I’m hoping for a blowout – as it should be.
But, I’m thinking this one could be a lot closer than it should be.
Hope I’m wrong.
I hope they drop another 45 on them tomorrow.
Lets get to 3-1.

Sarah B

October 2nd, 2010
9:53 pm

3-1 here we come. Alas, Saints will also advance, Carolina is terrible.

Moose

October 2nd, 2010
10:26 pm

Wabe…….. Maybe this will let you sleep better tonight……….

Since 2005, the 49ers have a 6-23 record in 10 a.m. PT kickoffs. That record is 2-22 against teams other than the St. Louis Rams.

JJ

October 2nd, 2010
10:51 pm

Dogs? Bees? Panthers? Regardless, I want AJ GREEN!

DePlane

October 2nd, 2010
10:52 pm

I’ll be in my seat well before kickoff. I’m ready to cheer the team to victory over the 49′ers…and I have no doubt they will prevail.

DePlane

October 2nd, 2010
10:56 pm

Hey chop buster….Aaron Rodgers?

Wabe

October 2nd, 2010
10:56 pm

Good find Moose.

That’s a good stat.

DePlane

October 2nd, 2010
11:04 pm

Thanks Moose…damn they suck playing in ET zone!

Stirg d'Nahsif

October 2nd, 2010
11:54 pm

At least the Birds are still flying…Falcons; Hawks; hell, even Bees won today, in dramatic fashion. Say, Braves and Bulldogs out to change their name to something that fly, like Atlanta Bats and the Georgia Bird Turds.

What’s up, Cage? Ready for some football tomorrow?

Sarah B

October 3rd, 2010
12:23 am

Stirg to bad you’re not here – I have extra tickets. Probably sell to scalpers tomorrow.

Stirg d'Nahsif

October 3rd, 2010
12:28 am

Darn, Shawty B. Oh well; Its Me and You tomorrow. You ready?

Sarah B

October 3rd, 2010
12:32 am

Ready, but you’ll probably grab a win, 3 of my top players are on a bye. Had to cut & paste a team. No hard feelings if you win. I expect it. No Romo, no Austin, no AP.

Sarah B

October 3rd, 2010
12:33 am

Go Chad Henne Go…

Stirg d'Nahsif

October 3rd, 2010
12:44 am

Excuses Smuches. You got to wear your game face for the next 24 hours. Don’t count yourself out yet. Everybody has to make that adjustment. Come week 8, I had eight players on a bye; my whole damn team. Got to make the adjustments and take this loss like a big girl.

Sarah B

October 3rd, 2010
12:52 am

I am a big girl. And I will take it as such. I believe my 2nd string will come through.