Good Win in Cleveland and Huge Game in Philly

Birds Notch Road Victory in Cleveland 

#33 and a Cloud of Dust (AP)

The Bird Cage offers up a combination of sorts since the week is winding closer to the Eagles game and farther away from the Browns game. Apologies for lack of post this week, but a little downtime and recharging was in order. The Browns game was a win in the NFL on the road and that’s enough said. No, it wasn’t the prettiest or a big blowout that many fans wanted, but it was a win on the road in a tough environment against an underrated team. The Falcons came out sloppy once again on offense and are starting to create some worry among fans as the meat of the schedule looms. The Birds fell behind and did what had to be done to win the game, particularly on offense, but many fans will remember that the Falcons were 4-1 last year as well, and then went on to go 2-6 over the next 8 games, needing a three game win streak to erase the “never-back-to-back” cures once and forever. A much improved defense is proving to keep the Birds in every game, but the offense is starting to cause anxiety among fans as the Eagles, Ravens, Bengals, and Packers loom ahead. A look back at the Birds win in Cleveland……..

1) Bier Truck THE MAN!!!!

What Can He NOT Do? (AJC)

It has graced every highlight reel from week 5 of the NFL and will likely go down as one of the single best individual plays of the 2010 season. With the Falcons nursing a very tentative 13-10 lead and the Browns driving, Biermann rushed the QB Jake Delhomme on third down. Knowing he wouldn’t get to him in time, he jumped up when he pulled back to throw. He batted the pass in the air, scrambled to his feet, made an awesome diving catch, had the awareness to know he wasn’t touched, jumped to his feet and made an amazing rumble and tumble down the field for an mind-blowing 31 yard touchdown. He may only have one sack to his name so far, but the Bier Truck nabbed a pass defensed, an interception, and a touchdown all in one play. The guy just turned 25 and his ceiling is limitless.

2) The DL Rotation is Paying Off

The Atlanta Falcons defensive line has gone from a liability to a major strength. The injuries that have forced the Birds to develop depth is now a contributing factor in the Falcons making a leap to a top 10 defense. The Birds are ranked tied for 9th in sacks, 10th in total yards per game, 8th in rush defense, and 1st in interceptions. The Falcons defensive line gets much of that credit. John Abraham is on target to nab almost 16 sacks, Biermann is progressing superbly, Jamaal Anderson is only 24 years old and is wreaking havoc on the inside and outside, Corey Peters has claimed the starting spot and is doing well as a rookie. Jonathan Babineaux is on his way to the Pro Bowl, according to Eagles coach Andy Reid, Peria Jerry is slowly making his comeback to form, and Vance Walker is getting invaluable experience in Trey Lewis’ absence. Chauncey Davis has been a great rotation and versatile player. The D-Linemen are fresh and are driving this defense towards being one of the best in the league. Against the Browns, obviously Biermann’s play gets the notoriety, but the Falcons also limited Peyton Hillis to 28 yards rushing and the D-Line in general disrupted the Browns offense all game long.

3) Turner’s Just Getting Warmed Up

The Bird Cage posed a question last week asking whether Turner has lost a small step: his answer was to run for a season best 140 yards and carry the offense on his back. After seeing a few weeks of Turner run hard but not really bust loose, #33 tore the Browns apart and helped to put the Falcons in scoring position over and over and over again. The Falcons early offensive struggles in Cleveland can’t be placed on him. The Burner is proving he’s got what it takes to get himself back to his 2008 Pro Bowl form. The TDs aren’t coming like they were (1 TD so far), but the yards are coming back in heaps and the goalline scores will likely soon follow. Turner the Burner is just getting warmed up and that’s a good sign as the Birds enter a critical stretch.

4) Another Game, Another Special Teams Mistake

Another Game, Another Mistake (AP)

This will be a film review in The Bird Cage until the dubious streak is broken. Say what you will, but the mistakes on special teams will catch up with the Falcons at some point if they continue. Granted, besides the one token major mistake per game, the special teams play is pretty solid overall. But five games into the season, the Falcons have received a drive-killing holding call on kickoff return in overtime, given up a huge return on punt coverage to the 2 yard line, allowed a punt block for a touchdown, and allowed a field goal to be blocked. Rookies, newbies, and new alignments be darned, the Falcons can’t keep giving up these plays in big games.

5) An Offensive Enigma

Who knows where the problem lies on offense in several games: Mike Mularkey’s play-calling, Matt Ryan’s inaccuracy, lack of a running game, too few receiving options, little to no deep threats, or poor offensive line play, but the Falcons offense has a knack for starting insanely slow and thus putting a ton of pressure on the defense to keep them in the game. To their credit, they have put it together when they’ve needed to, but the offensive struggles are an enigma and have shown themselves more often (Steelers, Niners, Browns) than not (Cardinals, Saints). Fans keep waiting for this offense to hit another gear on a consistent basis and if they don’t drop their mandatory offensive coma, then the defense may not always be there to save them.

Huge Game Awaits in Philadelphia

Forget the embarrassment of last year (even though its hard as fans), the Falcons need to make a statement that they can win on a consistent basis in the NFC and that they are a force to be reckoned with. The victory in New Orleans against the defending Super Bowl Champs was huge, but it lost a little luster when the Arizona Cardinals dropped them by 10 points. The Falcons and their fans should be reminded once again that they were in this exact same position a year ago and went on to only win 2 of their next 8 games. It won’t be the end of the world if the Falcons don’t win on the road in Philly, but it will signal they’re not the dominant force in the NFC that some analysts are saying. Every game is huge, but this one is enormous in terms of what it means for this season. Can the Birds go on the road and win against the Eagles in Philly? Four fiery questions to ponder as the huge game nears………….

1) Can the Birds Contain the Eagles Weapons?

Even though the Falcons have played the Saints and beaten them in New Orleans, this is the most dangerous matchup in terms of facing a team loaded with weapons abound. Regardless of who the Eagles QB is, the green and silver birds possess some of the best offensive players in the NFL. First of all there’s Desean Jackson who can take it to the house anytime he touches the ball, both as a receiver and returner. Opposite of Jackson is speedster Jeremy Maclin who has had a knack for finding the end-zone so far this season. Brent Celek is getting close to making the jump to elite TE status with his excellent route-running, blocking, and catching. Running back LeSean McCoy already has over 500 yards rushing and receiving combined and 5 touchdowns. Throw in Jason Avant and you got a reason to worry.

2) Will the Falcons Offense Stop Their Obligatory Coma?

As mentioned above in the Browns recap, the Falcons have now come out flat on offense in more games (Steelers, Niners, Browns), than they’ve come out roaring (Cardinals, Saints). Their only loss came when the offense couldn’t get going, they needed a miracle strip from Roddy White and a last second drive to notch one win, and a better (albeit great) second half to beat a Browns team with serious injury issues. Perhaps Michael Jenkins coming back as their true number 2 receiver may help, but the offense can’t continue to count on their defense to keep them around when they continue to go 3 and out much of the time and have to settle for field goal after field goal. It’s been analyzed, dissected, pulled apart, and put back together again on the reason for the offense’s often coma, so no need to go over it again, but to be considered the best team in the NFC, the offense has to quit they’re more than occasional lapses. Stalled drives are one thing, but the Falcons O has a habit of going quarters with issues.

3) What’s Up with D-Rob?

Now mind you, he’s no Chris Houston and hasn’t given up any huge plays, but Dunta Robinson hasn’t exactly lived up to his 6 year, $57 million dollar contract either. He has been a sure tackler and kept the defense in front of him, but he’s also been giving up huge chunks of yardage after offering enormous pillow-soft cushions to opposing receivers. He’s notched 22 tackles and 3 passes defensed, but hasn’t been the cover corner many hoped for when he inked his big contract. To his credit, he has helped lead the Falcons secondary and defense in general to be the number 1 ranked team in terms of interceptions, even if he hasn’t grabbed them he has helped create them. He also has helped the Falcons be tied for 3rd in the NFL giving up the fewest amount of 20+ pass plays. Many fans would consider him doing good to this point, but is he living up to his big payday?

4) Can the Falcons Make Another Statement?

The Birds already were the first ones to beat the defending Super Bowl Champion Saints in their own house back in week 3. That was a huge statement game both for the NFL in general but also especially for this relatively young Falcons team, proving to themselves that they can hang with and beat any team, anywhere. Besides the Saints, the Falcons have beat the lowly Cardinals and 49ers, despite how much talent they possess, and beat a Browns team who may be on their way up, but is surely not there just yet. This is an enormous game for many reasons. For many years, the Philadelphia Eagles were the class of the NFC. They are consistent, play hard, have a smart front office, and will always be mentioned in postseason conversations. The Falcons lost a close one back in 2008 in Philadelphia and had a nightmare destruction in the Georgia Dome at the hands of the Eagles. Can the Falcons put the doubts of lower competition, inconsistency, and 2009 similarities to rest when they travel to Philly to take on the Eagles? Or will the whispers begin once again about being able to truly match the best of the best. The Eagles may not have the best team in the NFL to date, but they certainly have one of the most talented and consistent. Will the Birds make another statement in Philly?

Your Turn

Browns Recap

-Is Biermann the real deal?

-Give your overall impressions of the Browns victory.

-Is the defensive line rotation paying off?

-The Falcons a legit top 10 D or just lower competition?

-Turner all the way back or just one good game?

-Concerned about special teams yet?

-Can you unlock the offensive enigma?

-Why does the offense slip into a coma?

-Who’s most at fault for the offensive inconsistency?

Eagles Preview

-Can the Birds contain the Eagles weapons?

-Overall happy, not, or somewhere in between with D-Rob’s play?

-Will the Falcons stop their obligatory offensive coma?

-Can Jenkins return spur consistency in the offense?

-Is this Eagles game another statement game or just another NFC game?

-Simply put, are Falcons one of the NFC’s best or WAY too early?

-What do the Falcons need to improve on as the real schedule hits?

-Any worries about 2009 similarities (same record, etc)?

711 comments Add your comment

Unca' Bob

October 13th, 2010
8:40 pm

Enter your comments here

JJ

October 13th, 2010
8:48 pm

Great post D3!!!

BT

October 13th, 2010
8:52 pm

Just me but I feel much better about this years Falcon edition than last years one.
I `m I ready to pencil this team in as the best team in the NFC?
Nope, they are not there yet but I am happy with the four game win streak and have enjoyed watching this team grow and progress as the season unfolds.

Can they win in Philly, you bet.
IMO, they have the better team on paper.

The Dogkiller Returns

October 13th, 2010
8:54 pm

This game will be a bonafide war. Count on it.

LRD

October 13th, 2010
9:03 pm

I harp on this alot, but this time last year, Turner was beat up and ready to leave for multiple games. Our O line was beat up and our D was experiencing injuries too. Granted Jenkins is still a bit knocked up, Spoon is listed day to day.. and Abe had limited practice due to back…. injuries yes, but nothing like the amounts we had last year. IF this continues, and then w/bye week coming up, we heal up the small injuries, and get ready for the 2nd half push.
Team overall…we are progressing on D, the O is going to catch up (faith tells me so)… on O I still would prefer more of the no huddle/hurry up. Jenkins coming back could more than anything give us a mental edge. I am looking forward to him back in the line up.
Special teams coverage is going to cost us a game.
It seems we wont see you know who starting this sunday, if Ried’s transcript is to read between the lines (ie Folks who dont practice wont start). But we will see him at some point of this game. Especially when the Falcons go up by 10 pts and the Eagle realize something drastic must be done to get a win.

FrontRow

October 13th, 2010
9:07 pm

Nice post D3 alot of information. Nice to remind everyone that last year started the same as far as the record is concerned.

The entire d-line is real. They’re still being referred to as smallish but they absolutely dominated a decent – and large – Cleveland o-line. I expect more disruption Sunday as teams try to figure out a rotation that has a legitimate starter on the inactive list weekly.

The Eagles weapons are smallish and a little beaten up. The Falcons are willing to give a little in exchange for the big hit or occasional mistake but I am uncertain as to whether this opponent has the tools to use the aggressiveness against the Falcons D. If the Eagles O folds a little, look for the Philly boo birds to rain down on Kolb.

IMO the Falcons O has been consistent – consistently holding their cards for use in November and December. Jenkins return will have a big impact despite his history of dropping the deep ball. If he learns to catch them with #84s consistency then the “coma” will be gone otherwise just going deep once or twice (drops or not) will still help and Jenkins has shown he can stretch like no other Falcons WR.

Too early to say how the Falcons stack up; it seems we are much deeper and consistent than the other top teams in the NFC but now we have to play some of those teams. The team has much more depth and speed – especially on D – than last year and it seems the only thing that can stop a big run is the injury bug that has already plagued the better teams.

I guess that means keep your fingers crossed and hope the Falcons ultra-conservation of the roster pays off.

Sporkdevil

October 13th, 2010
9:11 pm

-Is Biermann the real deal?
Hell yes. He hasn’t been racking up the sacks, but he has been making a very real impact.

-Give your overall impressions of the Browns victory.
Messy but great. Browns have a good defense, nice run game, and solid special teams.

-Is the defensive line rotation paying off?
Finally, yes, we have the depth needed to be able to effectively run a rotation. Still would like to see more Sidbury though.

-The Falcons a legit top 10 D or just lower competition?
Top 10. Many fans called a top 10 D if a few pieces could fall into place. Robinson may not be up to speed as of yet, but everyone else is playing well enough it doesn’t matter.

-Turner all the way back or just one good game?
Turner has looked really good this season. I think there are points when the OL has trouble, but it’s clear he can that 1200+ yard RB.

-Concerned about special teams yet?
Yes. WTF? That was our strength in 08.

-Can you unlock the offensive enigma?
This is still a young offense, and it usually takes Ryan some time to get into his groove. Wasn’t there some stat from the Browns game that Ryan completed 1 out of his first 7 passes, but completed all (or something crazy, like 80%) of his passes after the half?

-Why does the offense slip into a coma?
Youth.

-Who’s most at fault for the offensive inconsistency?
Mularkey and the offensive line. Neither have been consistent, but we still have one of the highest scoring offenses. Not sure if it’s really our team or if it’s the “grass is greener on the other side”.

Eagles Preview

-Can the Birds contain the Eagles weapons?
The Iggles will contain their own weapons just fine with Captain Checkdown at QB. DeSean Jackson is not utilized with Kolb in at QB. Removes loads of their explosiveness.

-Overall happy, not, or somewhere in between with D-Rob’s play?
TBD.

-Will the Falcons stop their obligatory offensive coma?
Hopefully consistency improves.

-Can Jenkins return spur consistency in the offense?
He can’t hurt it. He got moved immediately back to the starting offense. No one has outperformed him.

-Is this Eagles game another statement game or just another NFC game?
Statement. We beat the Saints, and now the Eagles are one of the few “quality” teams left on our schedule.

-Simply put, are Falcons one of the NFC’s best or WAY too early?
Can’t think of who is better. No undefeated teams right now, like usual.

-What do the Falcons need to improve on as the real schedule hits?
Offensive consistency, and maybe we can tackle on special teams.

-Any worries about 2009 similarities (same record, etc)?
Nope, this is a different team, better in all aspects.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Bill Tiller, Bill Tiller, Dawson Devitt, Dawson Devitt, Dawson Devitt and others. Dawson Devitt said: http://bit.ly/axR31Z – New Bird Cage post up. What's your thoughts on the #browns victory:good win or underperformed? #ajc #falcons #atlanta [...]

Sportaree

October 13th, 2010
9:23 pm

Non football.
Thank God for the rescue of the miners in Chile.

Screen Pass/ Fire Mularkey NOW!!

October 13th, 2010
9:27 pm

Maybe the blog monster won’t get this one, it is a nice, shiny new thread after all. OK, I can’t believe someone pulled the “Mularkey is hiding his cards until December” excuse out. Seriously, drink, sniff, smoke either more or less of whatever it is that is causing your melon to malfunction. Mularkey isn’t “hiding” anything…he has NOTHING to hide. This is it with him. This is pretty much his ceiling and pretty much what to expect until someone shows a brain and shows him the door. I can’t believe that our defense is responsible for our winning but there it is. Until Mularkey is gone it we will not beat the top tier teams.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by NFL Players Union, KIRA and Philadelphia Eagles, D. Orlando Ledbetter. D. Orlando Ledbetter said: AJC's fan blog: Good Win in Cleveland and Huge Game in Philly http://bit.ly/bbKpI5 [...]

cheshire

October 13th, 2010
9:47 pm

I’m not sure i’d call the Philly game “huge”. Obviously all Falcons fans want to win it (as we do every game), but in terms of what we’ve done and what we’ve got coming up, this is far from a must win game, especially considering that it’s on the road.

Like Coach Smith always talks about, it’s always helpful to look at the season in quarters. We just finished the first quarter successfully and started the second quarter off great… the Eagles game is probably our toughest game in this quarter (I think we’re a better team than they are, but the fact that it’s in Philly changes everything), so you can still lose this game and get to the midpoint of the season at 6-2, which is a great record by any definition.

The only reason I would love to win this game is because (a.) I think Philly has the most repugnant fanbase in the country and (b.) it would be glorious to watch our defense slam Mike Vick into the ground all day (which won’t matter since he likely won’t even play). But in terms of the entire season, i don’t view this as a must win game at all – a “nice to win”, but not a must win.

In terms of the game itself, i think this is one our offense needs to take control of. Philly’s D isn’t that great, especially against the run, and there is no reason we shouldn’t just grind them down to the point of exhaustion then tear them apart with the passing game. I expect them to score on us some (especially if Weatherspoon and Lofton are ailing), but our offense needs to take some of the pressure off our defense this week, which they should be able to do.

Sports Review

October 13th, 2010
9:50 pm

[...] Good Win in Cleveland and Huge Game in PhillyAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)The Browns game was a win in the NFL on the road and that's enough said. No, it wasn't the prettiest or a big blowout that many fans wanted, …NFL Picks Week 6: Will Aaron Rodgers Play and Lead Green Bay over Miami?Bleacher Report [...]

waynester

October 13th, 2010
9:50 pm

These are the teams that we must overcome if we want to be among the league’s elite. As others have noted, last year we had an awful losing streak in mid-season–got to avoid those kinds of letdowns this time around and get several year’s worth of revenge this weekend in Philly!

Cyn

October 13th, 2010
9:59 pm

I live in Philly and am proud to be an Eagles fan! We do not have the most repugnant fan base in the country! I’m so tired of folks painting us in such broad strokes because of the behavior of a few! We’re loyal and compassionate and love all of our teams (Go Phillies!) The Eagles’ games are always sold out and there are 70,000 people on the season ticket waiting list! I don’t think the Falcons can say that! Win or lose, we love our Eagles!

BT

October 13th, 2010
10:02 pm

Cheshire, nice 9:47 post.
I concur but it could be a huge win depending on how things shake out in the balance of the season?
My mindset is keep doing what were doing (in winning) and be in position to play for home field advantage and a bye down the stretch.
With the parity seen in the NFC to this point, there is mo reason for the goal to be anything less.

Eric C.

October 13th, 2010
10:08 pm

This game will be huge if the Falcons get blown out or if they blow the eagles out, otherwise…a close win or loss is just another game. I look for the Falcons to beat Cincy next week and go into the bye at no worse than 5-2…whether it’s 5-2 or 6-1 isn’t a big deal, relatively speaking. However…a blowout loss or win WILL be a statement.

Eric C.

October 13th, 2010
10:09 pm

Cyn, was enjoying your post until you mentioned the Phillies…trying to forget about baseball.

FrontRow

October 13th, 2010
10:16 pm

Perhaps we should be glad the game is in Philly. Iggles are 0-2 at home and have only beaten Detroit, SF, and Jacksonville (on the road).

They were CRUSHED at home by the Packers and beaten to a pulp by the Redskins.

SuperBird

October 13th, 2010
10:23 pm

IMHO,with all things equal, the quarterback play on Sunday will determine who wins the game. Our rising star, Matt, 3rd year in the league, 35 games started to date, 24-11 record. Kolb 4th year in the league, 4 games started to date 2-2 record. With Matt having overwhelming experience at quarterback, with adequate protection,on paper this shouldn’t even be close.

The defense cannot allow Kolb to settle in and become relaxed in the pocket,although Kolb has one year on Matt, as far as years in the league,he’s still a rookie in comparison.Getting Jenkins back this week will help open up the passing attack,I hope.Jenkins presence will keep the eagles secondary honest and eliminate the double coverage on Roddy ie… safety over the top coverage.

We must come out blazing and sharp on offense Sunday,I have know doubt that we will run the football on the eagles,I would like to see a little more playaction, screens and draw plays.The eagles defense will mirror the same blitz happy game plan we’ve gotten the last couple of weeks, from the likes of the 9ers and the browns,this shoudn’t come as a surprise to Mad Mike,or will it?

Our fast defense will have to be relentless on quarterback sacks and pressures,if this happens, in addition to stellar quarterback play, we should be fine.

BT

October 13th, 2010
10:24 pm

Eric,
This Falcons edition does not appear to be one that lends itself to being blown out by anyone.
They play good, opportunistic defense and relative mistake free on offense, with a good running game.
That formula indicates they will be in every game they play, unless something totally falls apart.

SuperBird

October 13th, 2010
10:30 pm

Sportaree, I concur.

BT

October 13th, 2010
10:46 pm

Make no mistake about how big the Falcons Org. thinks this game is.
As waynester alluded to.
There is a revenge factor involved.
Yes, it`s serious and yes, it runs throughout the entire Org and fan base.
Eye for an eye, tooth for tooth and blood for blood!
Coach Reed crossed the line and he and his team will pay the price if, the Falcons have their way.

Box

October 13th, 2010
10:48 pm

Sportaree,
Agreed wholeheartedly. It is a totally blessed event that there was no loss of life during that ordeal. And Go Falcons.

falconden

October 13th, 2010
11:06 pm

With jason peters out and dunlap playing LT for eagles, that should be good news for Abe to pressure the qb. Fill me in on more mismatches that we should be able to exploit. Hello to all in here, just starting to blog in here.

Sarah B

October 13th, 2010
11:10 pm

Not really a must win game per say, however, our record IN Philly is awful. Time to change that permanently!!

Sarah B

October 13th, 2010
11:12 pm

Welcome falconden and stick around. This is a great group.

falconden

October 13th, 2010
11:18 pm

Thanks Sarah B, I like to be able to talk falcons with fans that get football, instead of people that just trade insults.

Eric C.

October 13th, 2010
11:20 pm

BT…I agree that the Falcons will rarely ever get blown out. This version is similar to the 2008 team that didn’t give up more than 29 pts in a game during the regular season. However, if they blow out the eagles or vice versa, this game will be a statement game…otherwise, no.

falconden

October 13th, 2010
11:21 pm

eagles got rb harrison for bell from browns. he has just seen this defense and may help eagles with adjustments.

SuperBird

October 13th, 2010
11:29 pm

With JA55 a little nicked up, we may see Sidbury get a snap or 2.

falconden

October 13th, 2010
11:37 pm

a lot of pressure on their qb. I can see us focusing on that. Vick or Kolb? changes game plan.

SuperBird

October 13th, 2010
11:53 pm

falconden, good to have you in the cage,If I can speak for D3, he would say, pull up a chair and stay for a while. tonight the traffic in here is a little slow, but I guarantee you, this is the most knowledgeable blog by far.Your opinions and football knowledge will be appreciated.

falconden

October 13th, 2010
11:57 pm

thanks superbird. I come on here regularly. I just usually read, but decided that I might chime in occasionally.

BigLou

October 14th, 2010
12:14 am

Loving all the posts on this blog. A lot of knowledgable fans here, I am sure to learn a great deal. As far as the Browns game goes… What stands out to me is our rushing defense. Shoot, the whole defense is a great improvement from last year! I agree with the majority when it comes to our offense… But hopefully Jenkins spreads out the attack more.

Eagles huh? This is an important game. Not for the season, but for the pride… For the team. This leads me to believe we will make a statement, hold their offense, and play really tough. This is going to be a good game.

Ed

October 14th, 2010
1:59 am

Terrific breakdown D3. First of all, let’s face it, it is a huge break for the Falcons that Vick (apparently) won’t play Sunday. If he hadn’t gotten injured, I’d place the Falcons as a pretty hefty underdog as the Eagles were really rolling. MV was playing the best QB in the league till that point. Second, we all should know the Falcons are not the force many analysts have portrayed. Our offense has been average at best, and just plain awful at times if the truth be told. Our defense is rounding into Super Bowl form while the offense continues sputter. MM must take responsiblilty as he’s the head man. To me he’s the biggest problem the Falcons have period!

John Waynesworld

October 14th, 2010
5:34 am

Thanks D3, super post!

It’s interesting we get to see RB Jerome Harrison in back to back weeks after his trade from Cleveland for Bell. This game will be decided by Atlanta’s time of possession. Kolb may not be all that but he does have some very fast weapons and a good tight end, so generally, as is how we roll, we dominate with ball control and on the other side stopping the run (AND YES play that soft shell zone defense we all love so much lol and we should get out with a big “W”.

Samuel

October 14th, 2010
6:38 am

Let’s give D Rob a pass and say he’s only five games into the system not to mention he missed all of training camp. The Falcons can turn the Eages fans into booing their own team, If we start shutting them down. I’d pound Turner and Snelling and setup the play action pass. I think the rotation of the defensive line has payed off huge. It would appear that we have the better conditioned athlete in the fourth quarter. I look for HD to be very productive with Jenkins in the line up. If we hit Kevin Kolb hard you can get him to throw Interceptions. By all means we need to be mindful of the screen play.

Cane Pole

October 14th, 2010
7:33 am

Great reads cagers Time to go to Sumerville ,I’ll post when I get home tonight.
Good to see a Philly fan here who respects our place and does not put us down.
D3 Great post ….Thanks for the hard work for us fans

GO FALCONS !!!!!!

Chop Buster

October 14th, 2010
8:52 am

-Is Biermann the real deal?
Sure he is. He has consistently gotten better every year. I continue to look for more things out of him.

-Give your overall impressions of the Browns victory.
Usual Falcon offensive slow start and then came on in the second half. The Browns DL got worn down by an early dose of Turner. I would like to see a game where we go at a team with alternating Turner and Snelling for the majority of the game. The defense stepped up and won this game.

-Is the defensive line rotation paying off?
Yes. The philosophy is working and paying off by keeping our DL fresh where they can continue to get after the QB in the fourth quarter.

-The Falcons a legit top 10 D or just lower competition?
I believe they are a legit top 10 D and will only get better as the season goes on. Just continue to play sound fundamental ball and be discipline. No more lapses of big plays late in games and we should be fine.

-Turner all the way back or just one good game?
I’m not convinced after one game. He needs to show me he can come out every week and run like a beast. The Eagles would be a good game to get back to back 100+ yard performances.

-Concerned about special teams yet?
I’ve been from day one. The coverage still concerns me because of all the youth. Weems still running right into the crowd instead of running to day light. He did it once last week around the end and that was his best return all game. He definitely needs someone to challenge him for the spot.

-Can you unlock the offensive enigma?
No because it’s a mixture of things: OL inconsistent, Ryan passes off target or he leaves the pocket early (back pedaling), and Mularkey’s play calling has been inconsistent.

-Why does the offense slip into a coma?
Lack of weapons or creativity.

-Who’s most at fault for the offensive inconsistency?
OL inconsistency, Mularkey play calling inconsistent, and Ryan passes off target or he leaves the pocket too early. Also instead of stepping up in the pocket, he back pedals out of the pocket–which loses yards if he’s sacked and difficult to pass going backwards.

-Can the Birds contain the Eagles weapons?
We have the talent to. We need to be more aggressive with knocking guys off of their routes and allow for safety help over top. Stop with all of the soft coverages by our DBs.

-Overall happy, not, or somewhere in between with D-Rob’s play?
I’m 50/50 with his play. He hasn’t given up the big play–yet. But he is playing like he may not be fully healed or he doesn’t know the schemes. He looks lost at times. I do like his physical hitting ability though.

-Will the Falcons stop their obligatory offensive coma?
Maybe with Jenkins coming back it gives the opponent’s defense someone else to worry about. He has speed and can stretch the field. I’d just like to see him attack the ball in the air instead of always waiting for it to drop in his hands. We need to take a few deep shots with Roddy and Jenkins early in the game to check Philly’s secondary coverage. Attack, attack, attack and open this offense up is the only way we get out of this coma.

-Can Jenkins return spur consistency in the offense?
We shall see. If he can consistently get open for some deep balls and actually catch everything thrown his way, that would open up a lot for others on the offense.

-Is this Eagles game another statement game or just another NFC game?
Statement game. We owe them from last year and we need to show we can be the other “so-called” contenders in the NFC.

-Simply put, are Falcons one of the NFC’s best or WAY too early?
They’re one of the best because our records says so. Last year’s record has nothing to do with this year’s because all of the circumstances (injuries, etc.) were different to cause our 2-6 lapse in the second half. We have more guys with experience, the majority of folks are healthy, and we don’t have the same secondary coverage issues as last year.

-What do the Falcons need to improve on as the real schedule hits?
Consistently throwing the deep ball to keep the running game going. OL consistent blocking whether pass or run, no bone-headed offensive play calling, Ryan needs to settle down in the pocket when he gets blitzed, go to no-huddle early to get the offense in a rhythm. Defense continue playing the run hard, blitzing with different players so they don’t know who’s coming (but not all at once), play sound, discipline ball and knock some heads off when the opportunity presents itself.

-Any worries about 2009 similarities (same record, etc)?
No. As mentioned above it was a different set of circumstances last year. On top of it, the NFL did make it easy on us with the schedule.

LRD

October 14th, 2010
9:31 am

Maybe I am overstepping , maybe not.. but this Falcons team reminds me of 2 previous teams:
Ravens 97. Led by the D. They were 2nd ranked D in the league. The O was only 13th.
Chicago Bears circa 2006. I quote ” The team excelled on defense, ranking third in fewest points allowed (255) and second in fewest points allowed per drive.[11] They also ranked second in scoring (427 points), although only tenth in points per offensive drive[11] thanks to a league leading 65 points scored on defensive or special teams plays.”

Now, I use those 2 examples as they always stick out in my mind of teams lead by their D.
BUT I would say that our O is better than the 2 examples above….. But like both teams too, we have good running attack which drives the O.

If our O starts clicking, we could/can be very dangerous….

Bangkapi Ajarn

October 14th, 2010
10:03 am

Here’s hoping the blog monster lets this one thru—
Two sets of questions here, so I will address each set separately –
Browns Recap
-Is Biermann the real deal?
So far, so good. He could be the reason Abe is doing so good, remember Ga. Tech Basketball from a few years back? Lethal Weapon 3? Teams just couldn’t find a way to play a triangle and 3, so there seemed to be someone open time and time again. Perhaps this is what happen with Abe, Bierman, Babs, and Peters backed by speedy LB’s– with a nice rotation to keep them fresh (along with a ball control O).
-Give your overall impressions of the Browns victory.
Offensively, sloppy play punctuated with moments of brilliance. That game was won by the D (what a difference a year makes). Defensively, very impressive.
-Is the defensive line rotation paying off?
Yes, big time
-The Falcons a legit top 10 D or just lower competition?
They are growing into a top 10 D.
-Turner all the way back or just one good game?
Neither, he is improving each week (if he can stay healthy). He will benefit from Jenkins return.
-Concerned about special teams yet?
Never stopped being concerned about special teams, even before the draft.
-Can you unlock the offensive enigma?
If I was THAT smart I would be rich.
-Why does the offense slip into a coma?
Perhaps the other team knows what is coming? Lets not totally ignore Finn, Palmer, and the other receivers. And, we DO seem to get smarter when we go to the no huddle, hmmmm.
-Who’s most at fault for the offensive inconsistency?
The Offence doesn’t operate in a vacuum; it is a system of interwoven parts, all of which must perform to a certain level for the offensive machine to hum. You may have a brand new, off the factory line Lamborghini, but it will underperform if you mount bicycle tires – or if the GPS isn’t understandable so there is no where to go, or if you put in water for fuel instead of the explosive gas that it needs to fly, of if the driver is afraid to push the machine to perform like it should, etc..
To continue my poor analogy, consider our O-line to be the tires, the constantly rolling, hitting the asphalt every rev base that supports the entire system (Baker could keep going flat??). Water for fuel could be the game plan from the coaches (starting with Smitty who may be less interested in peak performance than avoiding mistakes), GPS issues could be WR’s that can’t get separation so the QB has somewhere to throw, for the driver think of MM or even Ryan when the pressure becomes too intense (because of O-line issues).
Lots of synergistic parts to the puzzle, and I didn’t even address the long game that is needed to open up the running game, 4-3 D’s vs. 3-4 D’s and our troubles in preparation, etc.
Enough blame to go around, enough talent to overcome the open issues.

FrontRow

October 14th, 2010
10:10 am

Good morning cage. Screen Pass nobody is saying Mularkey is hiding anything; the Falcons are stashing players on the injury list and have been since preseason. The team was bitten hard last year and has been ultra-conservative concerning the roster.

But as long as you are calling out bloggers, what’s up with the name? A screen pass is a gimmick teams run when they don’t have weapons and/or the opposing team is pounding them into submission. If you want a team that relies on gimmicks and luck then this team is not the one.

Give me my smash mouth and put your draws and screens where they belong – at the bottom of the pile.

Bangkapi Ajarn

October 14th, 2010
10:17 am

Eagles Preview
-Can the Birds contain the Eagles weapons?
Bend but not break, the Eagles will get their yards, just hold them to FG’s and no more than one TD – THAT is doable and will give us a shot at another W on the road.
-Overall happy, not, or somewhere in between with D-Rob’s play?
Somewhere in between. He didn’t get any effective reps with the rest of the D unit under fire in preseason, and we are seeing the results. I think his main impact is encouraging teams to throw the other direction, giving the young lions shots at int’s. He deserves the benefit of the doubt at this stage, lets see if he can stay healthy.
-Will the Falcons stop their obligatory offensive coma?
Likely not, they are trying to impose the running game while passing to TG when everyone in the stadium knows it is coming. Perhaps Jenkins will help open it up, and provide some more downfield blocking. Stats wise, they are likely very pleased with the time of possession and running yards stats, and will continue same –same.
-Can Jenkins return spur consistency in the offense?
Not as much as we would like.
-Is this Eagles game another statement game or just another NFC game?
EVERY road game against playoff caliber teams is a statement game – at least I hope the team and coaches think so and bring the “A” game.
-Simply put, are Falcons one of the NFC’s best or WAY too early?
Yes to both. The Falcons are one of the best teams now, but it is early. Lets see how they measure up at the end of the season in Feb. .
-What do the Falcons need to improve on as the real schedule hits?
Special teams first, deep passes second, third downs third (of course).
-Any worries about 2009 similarities (same record, etc)?
Nope, different cast, different script, different schedule, more mature/knowledgeable QB and head coach.

stendek

October 14th, 2010
10:21 am

Michael Sick has caused enough sorrow and aggravation for long suffering Falcon fans like me. The corrupt legal system gave thug slap on wrist. What else is new? NFL commissioner kissed his a$$. Nothing new there either. If that lying sack of shet plays the Falcons should go after those injured ribs. Break em then serve em up to Fred Flintstone. I personally would cheer a season ending injury. Career stopper would be nice. Filth like this oxygen waste thug belong on street or in kennels as pimp not performing in front of impressionable young people. Falcons need to send clear message. If not then to Hell with them too. STENDEK

FrontRow

October 14th, 2010
10:30 am

stendek – 2 yrs in the fed pen for disposing of your property is not a slap on the wrist.

I love dogs but the my dogs are my property. I don’t need the goverment telling me how to treat my property.

waynester

October 14th, 2010
10:55 am

FrontRow
I agree with you about private property but that’s not the issue and you know it. MV was funding a gambling organization which should have resulted in a lifetime ban from professional sports–not just the NFL–and in that regard, Stendek is correct. From a League standpoint, they gave him an incredibly generous wristslap that allowed him to continue his pro career while others in similar circumstances in other pro sports are banned for life–their records stripped from the hall of fame, etc…..

Sarah B

October 14th, 2010
10:56 am

Uht oh… I hear a worm can opening…..

Sarah B

October 14th, 2010
10:58 am

Oh well, I’ll open another one… OJ is still in the HOF and Pete Rose gambled on his own sport/team.

Falcons73

October 14th, 2010
11:00 am

I’m certainly pleased with the way the Falcons have come out and taken care of business so far, but I am still concerned with the conservative play calling on offense. If the Birds are going to take their game to “elite” level, then they MUST open up the play book on offense and go off tendency (meaning throw the ball deep much earlier in each game). You don’t have to hit the “home run” to use the THREAT effectively, and it will go a long way to loosen what have/has been VERY AGGRESSIVE defenses.

Let’s hope that they come out aggressive early in Philly, cause it could be a long game if we get behind early (simply because we don’t match up well with them).