Collapse in Chicago – Falcons Play Wretched Football

Bad, Bad Football

No Caption Needed (AP)

Not even going to pretend to be objective in this one because it was so truly horrific. Many of us may be labeled “fatalists” or “negative nellies” and frankly, that’s fine. The Falcons played one of their worst games of football under the new regime. No point in going over the general details because the score speaks for itself……….

1) Where Does This Rank?

Where does this embarrassing excuse for football game rank in your Falcons memory? It may not be the worst performance in history, but coming on the heels of the Debacle in the Dome, this Collapse in Chicago could be a bad omen for the season. There’s a difference between blind loyalty and not calling it like you see it. Frankly put, this one of the worst games this team has played under the Coach Smith regime. A team and coaching staff that prides itself on staying calm and collected completely unraveled and seemed sophomoric and absolutely outclassed. Kind of like the last game they played in the playoffs.

2) Anomaly or Trend?

Fix it Fast (AP)

Even the most hardcore loyalists were probably shaken by the debauchery that took place in Chicago. Every team has bad games, but sometimes trends start to emerge. The overall track record for Smith is outstanding, but the last two games that have been played the Falcons have been absolutely dominated. Anyone looking for any solace won’t find any with the Eagles and Packers coming to town in the next month. Sure its just one game, but the magnitude of awfulness that was on display was staggering. Maybe it was just another bad game on top of the other bad game, but the Eagles coming to town may strike a trend.

3) Has Ryan Regressed?

The rookie phenom burst onto the scene in 2008 and one thing that made him so good was his lack of fear to try and throw the ball. Maybe it is mostly offensive coordinators fault, but Ryan also has to deserve some of the blame as well. He looked like a rookie against the Bears and gave the deer-in-headlights look. He was beaten to a pulp by the Bears defense, but he seemed scared to even take a shot and appeared obsessed with checking down. We won’t truly know what Ryan holds until you see him with another coordinator, but it appears judging from game 1 that he has regressed in this offense. That fumble he had that essentially ended the game was one of his worst plays of his career.

4) Bad, Bad Offensive Line

Did Harvey Dahl and Todd McClure make that much of a difference on the Falcons offensive line? It certainly appears that way. Matt Ryan had a really bad day all on his own, but the offensive line surely didn’t help him out either. Ryan was hit 14 times, sacked 5, and hurried 8 times. Granted, the Bears will be one of the toughest defenses they’ll face all year, but they looked outright pathetic against them today. Better regroup in a hurry because the Eagles defensive line is coming to town, the Bucs new talented line, and the Packers soon after that. Ryan won’t make it through the end of the season if they play like they did today.

5) Pathetic Defensive Showing

"Was this supposed to be hard?" (AP)

Was this the Green Bay playoff blowout or our 2011 season opener? Couldn’t tell the difference. Tackling was atrocious, players took bad angles, 3rd down conversions were as easy as baking cakes, multiple interceptions were dropped, several sacks were missed, and the defense made Cutler look like an All-Pro and even the backup running back looked like a stud, much less Matt Forte. Even the Falcons usually stout run defense was awful. If Brian Van Gorder wasn’t on the hot seat, you would have to think he is now. Just a really terrible defensive showing against a team not supposed to have a good offense. Mularkey has seen the vast majority of the ire from fans in terms of coordinators, but that would probably be shifting here very soon. The Sean Weatherspoon arm shove on Matt Forte, essentially helping him into the end zone, will go down as one of the worst missed tackles by any player on any team in the 2011 NFL season.

6) Offensive Explosion by……Kroy Biermann

If Mike Smith and his coaching staff were in the marketing business, they would be firmly bankrupt by now. They chose the word “explosive” as their off-season improvement slogan. The only thing explosive today were the two sacks by John Abraham, the awesome interception and touchdown return by Kroy Biermann, and the multiple explosions on Matt Ryan’s helmet. Roddy White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez, Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Harry Douglas = Zero Offensive Touchdowns. Same old, same old from Mularkey: dink, dunk, checkdown, and a staggering inability to counter an aggressive defense. Did they mean “implosion” instead of “explosion?”

7) Tackling Was Wretched

Still and issue and boy did it look real bad today. Would love to have a stat on the amount of tackles that were missed today. The players are to blame, but when it happens with that many players that often, there’s no other conclusion to reach other than they were severely under prepared. This has been an issue since Smith took over this team and it was put on display in a ferocious way in Chicago.

8.) 3rd, Long, and STILL Atrocious

Teams Can Just Wait Until 3rd Down to Try(AP)

This was the exact tagline from the post after the Jaguars game. This has been one of the absolute biggest problems since Mike Smith and Brian Van Gorder took over this defense. There’s simply no more excuses for the level of ineptness on this. On one of the big 1st down conversions on 3rd down in the 1st quarter, John Abraham was literally dropped 15 yards downfield in coverage. On another 3rd and long, there were 3 rushers, 8 in coverage and Johnny Knox easily slipped in to that soft cheese, insanely weak zone. Just inexcusable any way you look at it. No one expects the Falcons to win every 3rd down battle, but improving over the current 10% success rate would be a good start.

9) Very Sloppy Game

Penalties, dropped passes, dropped interceptions, missed tackles, missed sacks, personal fouls, failure to fair catch near the end zone, fumbles, and the list goes on and on. You can’t expect to win many games when you have 3 turnovers, regardless of how much talent you have. For a team and coaching staff that prides itself on limiting turnovers, they pulled a 180 today.

10) Are DeCoud’s Days Numbered?

For a player on the hotseat, Thomas DeCoud did himself absolutely no favors today. He dropped two easy interceptions that hit him directly in the hands and may have helped change the game, missed tackles, and was yet again a step behind way too many plays. James Sanders started a lot of games for the New England Patriots and could be getting a call if DeCoud continues his current level of play.

11) Just a Bad Game or Cracks in Foundation?

Soft Cheese Zone (AP)

Even the eternal optimists get a little nervous after games like this. It would be easy to chalk this one up to “just a bad game” if the Falcons weren’t coming off the “Debacle in the Dome” and the future doesn’t get any easier. Mike Smith just got a much-deserved new contract and will be safe for a while, but games like this sure do take up a lot of that goodwill he’s built up. The great thing about a Smith coached Falcons team is that they so rarely have games like this, but today you never got the feeling the Birds would mount a serious comeback. The old cliché is that NFL stands for Not-For-Long. Are the problems against the Bears just a bad game or are serious cracks in the foundation beginning to appear? The next 4 games will really define that. Most fans surely didn’t predict a loss in Chicago, and definitely not a blowout that occurred. Coach Smith better get it together in a hurry.

Your Turn

Analyze the Collapse in Chicago if you dare………..

650 comments Add your comment

waynester

September 11th, 2011
5:41 pm

Didn’t think we could stink as badly as the Dawgs did yesterday (hurls) but we looked U G L Y. If there’s any consolation, it’s that the rest of the NFCSouth looked awful. The way it’s going, CAR may be the only team with a win when the day is done…..

BD

September 11th, 2011
5:42 pm

First? And yes, terrible

JB FALCON

September 11th, 2011
5:44 pm

Had to carry this over from the last post.
D3, I have always tried to be the eternal optimist but I, also have to agree with JJ. Enough is enough. There is no excuse for the sorry sloppy kind of football we witnessed today. There is going to be sh#t all over the meeting room after this game and the fan will be running on high, as it should be. I guess all of the other teams figured that the GB beatdown last year was a true sampling of what the Falcons really are made of and we did not prove them wrong with the way we played this game

waynester

September 11th, 2011
5:47 pm

Every adversity presents an opportunity and I hope Coach Smith uses this opportunity to kick some ass on his coaching staff, including his own for putting up with lackluster game called today by MM and BVG. The fact that our guys couldn’t execute the “gameplan” is secondary to the inflexibility shown by our “braintrust” today…..

Fal-Clown Fan

September 11th, 2011
5:47 pm

Reminds me of their first few years in the league – ohhhh noooo!

EL

September 11th, 2011
5:52 pm

As long as we continue to play this soft zone defensive scheme, we’ll continue to make lousy QBs like Cutler look like Tom Brady. I’d rather see our DBs take chances and play man to man rather than leave receivers wide open all over the field!!!!! You can’t put all the blame on BVG because Smith has to be approving of this worthless scheme. I guess they learned nothing from the Green Bay playoff loss.

DJ Sniper

September 11th, 2011
5:53 pm

First off, let’s talk about the offensive line. Matt Ryan deserves his share of the blame, but still, it’s hard to establish any type of rhythm when you’re running for your life all game long. I saw one play in particular where Garrett Reynolds was blocking his man, and for some reason, he steps out to his right like he was trying to help Tyson Clabo block his man. That left his guy free to chase down Ryan. Also, I know Julius Peppers is very hard to block 1-on-1, but he straight up abused Sam Baker all game long. LT is definitely an issue to address and soon

Next, there’s everybody’s favorite whipping boy, Mike Mularkey. I will give credit to the Bears defense; they were able to get pressure with only their front 4, which allowed them to drop 7 in coverage for most of the game. Still. it was very telling that Mularkey made aboslutely no adjustments to try an display that “explosiveness” that they talked about all offseason. IMHO, Mularkey has this season to get it together, and if he doesn’t he needs to go.

Speaking of the hot seat, can it get any hotter for Brian Van Gorder??? This fool is another one who doesn’t know how to make in-game adjustments. Once again, I saw Bears receivers wide open, picking up huge chunks of yards with none of our defenders anywhere to be found. At this point, we might be better off having Smitty call the defensive plays.

I’m not going to completely write off this team. Last season, our offense looked wretched in the season opener and we went on to have a good season. Still, there is work to be done.

waynester

September 11th, 2011
5:54 pm

Not trying to slight da Bears– they played like pros–but we gave this one away. CHI always excels in takeaways and today was no exception. Lose the turnover game and lose the game, period.
D3 I don’t believe this is a trend (and I pray it’s not) but our tendency to go totally panty-waisted on 3rd down isn’t just a trend–it’s a TRAIT…..

Savannah Fan

September 11th, 2011
5:55 pm

What happened to the much celebrated pass rush that Edwards would bring?-even the Jaguars played a much better game

Rick

September 11th, 2011
5:58 pm

Matt Ryan has become too reliant on the past success of Mularkey’s dink and dunk offense, and it could mean what was once a promising career is now a mediocre QB…..he has to learn to take a chance. Throwing the ball over the top to the running back on 3rd and long is ridiculous .

I don’t know where to start on Van gruden …..he is clearly over his head and has been his entire NFL career……

JB FALCON

September 11th, 2011
6:02 pm

D3, looking for answers? That is tougher than the worst Trigometry question I ever had to figure out. I’m sure the only response we will hear will be excuses and there just aren’t any. The only thing that I can conjure up is that the Falcons believed, after their 13=3 season, that they were actually that good. We squeeked by some wins last year because we has some determination but we seemed to have lost that will to win because of a thing called the Big Head, for lack of a better word. I’m anxious to read what others have to offer.

Wabe

September 11th, 2011
6:04 pm

D3, you summed it up pretty well.

I’m glad somebody noticed the 3rd and longs. I know the abysmal performance by the offense might overshadow some of the defensive flaws, but, we saw some of the same red flags that folks have been mentioning for quite some time. Again, 3 man rushes, I’ll never understand it, because it just results in 1st downs. 3rd and long, and I saw 3 man rushes multiple times, which resulted in 1st downs.

Offensive line play was inexcusable. Towards the end of that game, they were just teeing off on Ryan. It was obvious he was uncomfortable because he developed his usual case of the happy feet which he tends to do when he’s being rattled. The O-Line is a serious concern for me at this point.

I’m not worried about things like turnovers and penalties. Smitty’s someone who pays attention to detail, and he’ll get that corrected. The defense needs to run a whole lot of tip drills and tackling drills in practice this week.

Overall, I liked the way we came out no huddling, and really thought we were having success against that Bears defense. But, we just kept shooting ourselves in the foot with the turnovers. Ryan’s turnover seemed like a rookie mistake. You don’t force something when you’ve got 2nd and 1 in Bears territory. You just throw that away and live to play another down. We were near the top of the league last season in respects to turnover ratio, so I’m confident this will be addressed. Same with the penalties. And who knows, if those things are cleaned up, maybe this game isn’t as lopsided as it was. What made the Bears click was their ability to put their offense in short fields, while we were pretty much driving down the length of the field all game. Do you honestly expect a W against a formidable opponent when you commit 3 turnovers to their 0?

Step away from the ledge. We’ll be alright, so long as our O-Line holds up better than they did today. I know it’ll take a little while for them to get on the same page with one another, especially with a rookie or two in the lineup. But, that’s really what I’m watching at this point. If the O-Line starts to excel and we still see the dink and dunk garbaaaaaaage, I’ll turn to Mike Mularkey. Until that gets squared away though, you’ve gotta start up front.

Eagles will be tough next week. But, I’m 10000000% confident you’ll see a much better performance, regardless of what the outcome of the game is. I’m hoping for the W, but realistically, the Eagles have our number, so it’s tough to say that we’ll win just because we’re not accustomed to seeing our Falcons lose back to back games under Smitty. Lets hope they right the ship.

HJones

September 11th, 2011
6:06 pm

I have decided to not say anything because we have all said it previously. D3, all of your points are correct but number 1 is Mike Mularkey must GO!!!!

Mike

September 11th, 2011
6:06 pm

My fear is that witth the kind of approach we take on offense and defense…will these issues get fixed? I dont know. It feels like people need to be gotten rid of. If BVG or MM just coach a certain way that is not working then the only answer is for them to be fired. And then the other question becomes does Smith agree with their approaches. It seems like he would…he hired them? Right? I am just so frustrated because I saw NOTHING different from this team and last years team from the GB game. We just seem plain and boring in every aspect.

Box

September 11th, 2011
6:10 pm

No Touchdowns = No Wins!! Our Red Zone performance is atrocious. This is a carried over from last year, where we also were terrible inside the 20 yard line. There should never be a reason for your best pass rusher to in coverage instead of doing what he is paid to do, rush the passer. That is a seriously flawed defensive scheme. We hear about how difficult all of our defensive schemes are, why not line up and try some smash mouth football? These intricate schemes may have befuddled college QB’s, but as we have seen too many times, even an average NFL QB can dissect them.Back to homework.

waynester

September 11th, 2011
6:12 pm

Wabe
I understand what you’re saying, but I, for one, am Seriously concerned with the turnovers. They just kill you. If we can’t control the ball the Eagles will control US.
Maybe JBFalcon has it right–that we started to believe our own press releases and got the “BIG HEAD”. There’s no need to say “I told you so”about our O-Line since virtually everyone on this board recognizes it as a major problem, despite good coaching from Boudreau, TD has got to upgrade the tools we’re giving coach B to work with–starting at LT…..

HJones

September 11th, 2011
6:12 pm

I will say one thing. Fix one crack at a time. Winning a football game requires an offense that can score a touchdown!! That was the most pathetic effort of today’s game.

SOMEBODY NEED TOO TELL THE TRUTH

September 11th, 2011
6:16 pm

Plain and simple…Most of you wont say it, but I will! We need to access the coaching staff, starting with Smith. Even if we clean house, get rid of MM and BVG we’re still stuck with Smith and his uninspiring football philosophy… hearing him do post game interviews, I never hear a tone of fire in the belly, or urgency. I will give him credit, he’s made a difference, but he may not have it in him to take us to the next level… We need a culture change…

Runner-

September 11th, 2011
6:17 pm

Matt Ryan was awful. Too many screen passes to the running back that were completely innefective against this Bears defense. The O-line was awful, forcing Matt to run away and throw on the run too many times. Turner was decent, he had several holes open up for him. The fumble was inexcusible, however, and Rodgers was pathetic. Bosher is awful at kickoffs and gave the Bears decent position each drive. Our Special Teams is awful, or maybe it was simply Devin Hester. Roddy was decent as well, and Tony showed he could still play. Absolutely no explosive attempts whatsoever, which was probably the biggest let down of all. In all honesty, these are the main bad things from this game:

1. Awful defense, secondary was atrocious, ESPECIALLY Dunta Robinson, missing tackles and leaving players wide open, waiting for them to catch the ball before they make a play at them.
2. O-Line was terrible in pass protection, decent in the run.
3. Lack of explosive plays, period.

waynester

September 11th, 2011
6:18 pm

HJones & Box
Great minds think alike….I was shocked that coach Smith didn’t go for it on our 1st trip into the “zone” on that 4th and a short 3. We were like a teenage guy trying to “get some” for the 1st time and coming up “lame at the post”…..

[...] Collapse in Chicago – Falcons Play Wretched FootballAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Dimitroff started a lot of games for the New England Patriots and could be getting a call if DeCoud continues his current level of play. 11) Just a Bad Game or Cracks in Foundation? Even the eternal optimists get a little nervous after games like this. …NFL Week 1: Chris J. Nelson's Weekly Game PredictionsBleacher ReportWatch Atlanta Falcons vs Chicago Bears Live Streaming Online Regular Season …PR Web (press release)all 807 news articles » [...]

Runner-

September 11th, 2011
6:19 pm

Surprised no one has criticized Dunta so far. He was at fault for about half their passing yards and that one play by Forte that got him to the 1 yard line.

GA ALL DA WAY

September 11th, 2011
6:20 pm

Today, the game was horrible!! My issues are on the defensive side of the ball because no matter if we kick field goals at least make sure the that the other team is doing the same!!! BVG is my problem, and I feel that he has gotten a lot of chances to shore up this defense. I see Dbacks playing 10 yards off the ball, this drives me nuts!!! Yes, I am a fan. No I don’t know what its like to coach in the NFL but I know what quality looks like and there was no cohesiveness on the back end. Dunta got shook out of his shoes, DeCoud was missing tackeles, the one thing that was a delight was that the front was collapsing the pocket at times so that ’s a bit of a relief. I will say this, if the Eagles, who are coming to town next week put a smack down like Chicago did today then I’m sure that somebody A$$ Is going to be in TROUBLE!!! Play like that when Green Bay comes back into town and HEADS SHOULD ROLL!! Enough with the cute stuff!!!!

JJ

September 11th, 2011
6:20 pm

D3, great post as usuall buddy.

We all bash MM and BVG for very good reasons, but who’s really in charge?
I love coach smitty but here me out. I run my small contractor co with other contractors. I tell them how I want the job done if they want to get paid and have any future business with me. No problem.
If they fail to go along MY GUIDELINESS, theyre terminated as contractors.

We bitch at MM/BVG but who is running or not running the show?

Whose offense and defense plan is approved each week?

I’m a huge MS fan, but D3,
THEIRS CRACKS IN THE FOUNDATION.

The king may not be wearing pants, calm down BT its a metaphor, lol.

waynester

September 11th, 2011
6:22 pm

runner-
I’ll give you a 2nd on Dunta–he’s been singularly unimpressive since he got here….

NYC Falcon

September 11th, 2011
6:22 pm

We need to give it a couple more games before we make ourselves too sick over the Falcons, but I’m getting nervous. We keep hearing about how poised and talented Matty Ice is, but the reality is that he hasn’t gotten any better since his rookie season. On TV they said only 3 of his forty-something passes went even 15 yards downfield. We’ve been waiting for him to throw the deep ball for 4 yrs now. Maybe he can’t do it.

cal

September 11th, 2011
6:24 pm

Let’s first be clear, it’s a fact MM is the worst O coordinator in the NFL (the game has changed since 99) I will not waist letters on how bad Mike M offence calls are. Where are the screen plays when your QB is getting beat like a rug.
Who are we fooling, the defensive schemes are junior college at best, every time we play a top tier team the D gets slaughtered….period.
Ok let’s get down to business; LT is trash, C is not ready, Ryan is not elite (average arm strength), struggle against all top tier defenses, D Robbinson (CB) is average at best, can think of a lot of comers on his level for lest, Decoud is not good period, should be a cheap 2nd string F’S, Turner replacement should already be on deck.
Bottom line, Mike Smith is a good guy and coach, but loyalty at the exspence of the peoples team is not cool. He need better Coordinators working for him that areare more inovatie and open to new schemes.
Last but not least, don’t try to sale us on y’all will work on it and correct the issues through the week. HELLO we play the Eagles (who I really dis like) next. They are going to man handle our defense like always, and make Vick look like Brady.
Oh the bad thing is we’ll be 0-2, but wait……. with NFC lists, can you say wild card at best. Mr Blank please do the right thing for the Falcon fans, because deep inside you know it week one but nothing has changed. Still a fan, but suffering badly with this one; just changed my mind on a ticket offer sent to me. I’ll observe our team from TV, to keep from loosing my mind over public humiliation.

JB

September 11th, 2011
6:25 pm

Keep in mind that the bears played the packers 3 times and held the most talented offense in the NFL to 17,14 and 10 points!!!! Bears are going to play good d period. The issue was that the bears are not an offensive superior team and they did everything with ease on offense and cutler looked like joe montana. The defense was just terrible! How pathetic was the spoon and decoud in coverage?? Decoud may be be the worst cover safety in the NFL and he has showed that he has NO HANDS! Spoon is not worth the TP i wipe with either. He can’t cover and too many missed tackles by him overall. Looks like a bust there. Also, why drat j jones who is a burner and not throw the ball downfield? I see little hope this team beats the eagles. The bad news is if we suck and get a high pick, there is no pick in the 1st round!!! We traded for speed but still dink and dunk the damn ball. stupid

JJ

September 11th, 2011
6:25 pm

The 1st string offense never got started in preseason. Ryan and the entire offense looked weak today, unorganzied and lacking fire. Defense was not great, however they seemed to have the desire.

Carolina had the miracle season and then fell off a cliff. Everyone was calling for them to be “the team” after the super bowl appearacne and we know what happened. It is early, however the Falcons are showing similar signs.

Coaching was pathetic. Inability to adjust.

mj

September 11th, 2011
6:28 pm

Hey, there is two seconds left in the half and we want to argue so we can throw a 6 yard curl on our own 40. Give me a freakin break!!! Mularkey needs to get some mojo soon and start using our talent. Van Gorder needs to resign and take the DCord position at UGA and our so call great GM needs to get some talent for our mongrels defensive backs that couldn’t cover a retired receiver.

Kurtis

September 11th, 2011
6:29 pm

Pitiful. D3 i couldn’t agree with you more. I am a believer, BUT, today’s showing was terrible and I think you may be on to something, talking about the trend that seems to have developed. It’s one thing to lose, but today was an embarassment. People may try to say that we lost our first game last year too, but that game was competetive. Today, the Bears took our lunch money and B!tch slapped us. Check down after check down after check down. Pathetic.

Runner-

September 11th, 2011
6:31 pm

To be honest, I liked the offense from last year better than the one in this first game. It wasn’t the offense that blew us out of the playoffs, that was perfectly fine. It was the defense that was at fault, and Ray showed nothing to help us out this 1st game. The balanced offense of run and passing for 5 yard gains is better than this 3 and out show we saw today. Either that or completely hand over the keys to Matt Ryan in the no huddle.

JJ

September 11th, 2011
6:34 pm

6:25pm JJ

Ive been on here a few yrs, can you change your name?
One idiot (myself) is enough for using JJ.

bill perry

September 11th, 2011
6:34 pm

has anything changed since last years Green Bay game ? lip servive to explosive play .same pourious Prevent 2 pass defense, they could not do any worse in mam to man, at least everyone would see who was not accountable. Mike Mularkeys play calling was predictable last year to a degree and even more so today, is he being told by some above what to or not to call ? Matt Ryan will miss some games due to injuries if offensive line can not protect him better than they did in the second half , he needs to play only in a West Coast offense.

captanimal

September 11th, 2011
6:34 pm

high power offense my azzzz,brees will hang 40pt.’s easy! rumbleing, stumbleing,fumbleing Turner. Jacwuizz 5th rt. BUST. Matty cold as Ice Ryan, INT, Fumble for six? N0 TOUCHDOWNS!! NEXT Sunday nite big stage for world to see.. CAN’T WAIT !!!! LOLLLL LOLLLLLLLLL AHA HA HA

Wabe

September 11th, 2011
6:36 pm

Was Mike Smith on the hot seat prior to this game? So, why are we starting to call for his head after an opening day loss?

Common guys, I know football is an emotional rollercoaster. If we win, we’re all feeling pretty high. If we lose the next week, we have all kinds of problems from personnel to scheme. But, we’ve gotta keep things in perspective. This is a good team. Superbowl caliber? That’s debatable. I know this loss stung. A super long offseason playing the wait game, and then when we finally get our first shot to get the taste of that Packers thumping out of our mouths, we’re left to chew on this for a week. But, deeming this team to be a failure after an opening day loss is like crowning them to be Superbowl champs after a opening week win.

Plain and simple, mistakes were made that must be cleaned up. Turnovers, tackling, and penalties. Had we done some of these things better, the game would’ve been much tighter – - and we wouldn’t be left feeling as sour as we do now. There’s no reason to believe these things won’t be cleaned up, because our track record shows us being a team that protects the ball, that doesn’t commit penalties, etc.

The two offensive Bears TD’s? Two screen passes, both of which could’ve been prevented had we made a tackle at some point. Unfortunately, both Weatherspoon (Forte screen pass) and Dunta Robinson (slipped in the open field with Hester in his vicinity) flopped on those plays. Who knows, if they make those tackles, we could keep them out of the endzone?

As for our turnovers, again, just go look up our turnover ratio last season. Near the top of the league. And then go back and look at the silly turnovers we commited. Matt Ryan’s first pass, boneheaded. 2nd turnover, Turner fumbled. 3rd turnover, I don’t know what Ryan was thinking trying to keep his balance with the hand he’s holding the ball in. Those things are things that can be fixed, and will be fixed.

4th and give up

September 11th, 2011
6:43 pm

it also would have been nice if we had not have punted with 6 minutes left on the clock down by 3 scores….MS trying to keep it from being a blowout? who cares? plus you can blame the offensive line all you want but the fact is that the decision time in the nfl for a QB is microseconds and if you look at Brees and Rodgers they made plays all night long under pressue while MR seems to have an innate sense on how to take the one step necessary to get himself into trouble….and the one time he roles out of the pressure he stumbles and lays the ball on teh ground….if you go back and look at the pressure and hits he took, many of them you will see he pumped the ball with no real idea of where he wanted to go with it. compare that with the elites

Great Falconi

September 11th, 2011
6:43 pm

To Mularkey:

Hey. How about some screens? The Bears were begging for it today. We didn’t give it to them.

Hey. Throw deep? Take a shot? Why not?

To Van Gorder:

Quit, please. I’m sick of your garbage. We’re a pursuit defense that is too passive. You can’t be both and succeed.

Nevertheless, we’ll be alright. Hard to believe when you don’t care for either coordinator, but that’s how the Falcons are. When they look bad, they look really, really bad.

JB FALCON

September 11th, 2011
6:46 pm

JJ @ 6:25, we already have a JJ.

Wabe

September 11th, 2011
6:46 pm

Just take a look at the Pittsburgh Steelers…

35-7. Committed 7 turnovers. 7 freakin turnovers. They got thumped, and even worse, they got thumped by their divisional rival, the Baltimore Ravens.

But I doubt they’re pushing the panic button down there. You move onto the next week.

Wabe

September 11th, 2011
6:49 pm

I will say this though, Matt Bosher has a pretty weak leg, or so it seems to me. Every other kicker is booming kicks for touchbacks, but this kid had Hester running it out and had us holding our breath everytime Hester did run it out.

waynester

September 11th, 2011
6:49 pm

Wabe
Not writing off this team/coaching staff–everyone was a little bit (or in some cases, totally) off their game. The first indicator to me was when the normally reliable Brent Grimes dropped a sure pick in the 1st. If he makes that play, who knows? Like Smitty always says, there are usually 4 or 5 plays that make the difference between winning or losing…..

clockwork

September 11th, 2011
6:52 pm

D3, Don’t be pointing out that Kroy Bierman had more offense than our “explosive” offense. It gets Big Ray all upset. The good news is that this was an equal opportunity implosion. We sucked at every facet of the game. Maybe we got it out of our system and behind us all in one week. God help us when MV7 comes to town and the Dome is divided 50/50 with half of the Falcons fans rooting for the opposing QB. Could get nasty.

Von

September 11th, 2011
6:53 pm

I said it once and I’ll say it again. The Falcon’s tried to fix what wasn’t broke….the offense. You gave up too much for a wide receiver without putting an emphasis on defense. Defense will always..always have a bigger impact in games. What is Chicago’s focus? It ain’t offense. Stop trying to be like the Saints, Patriots and Packers. That’s what they do and they do it well. That’s NOT what the Falcons do. That’s why you saw what you saw today. If your secondary can’t cover the Bear’s receivers what will happen when Vick and the Eagles roll into town? What about Brees and the Saints let alone Green Bay? It won’t be pretty. Pray that your Falcons score on average 35 points because that’s how much your defense will on average give up. It will be a long disappointing season for you Falcon fans. This is only the beginning.

E43

September 11th, 2011
6:55 pm

Ive said this before but the only thing I see fixable are 1)Turnovers 2)The penalties 3)Dropped interceptions. I’m not surprised about anything else on this team. If they can contain all three then the Falcons will likely be good to go. Otherwise then look for more of the same.

a) What happened to Kerry Meier? You cant walk into a season with 5 receivers for the first time in years and not even put them out there. If the issue last year was not being able to be more explosive I don’t see how Kerry Meier and Weems weren’t utilized offensively. I mean at least put Weems in the backfield and run a screen pass to him. He’ll know what to do with the ball.
b) Is it really that hard to develop ways to communicate with Kelvin Hayden on the field?
c) I saw Dunta being moved around a little bit. I think the falcons should keep moving him and blitzing him every once in a while but they should also do the same with Grimes. I wonder how effective Grimes can be at safety every once in a while.
d) Dunta Robinson had a close to league worst 64% completion percentage against him in his last year in Houston. I hope its not the reason he is cemented at one CB spot

JJ

September 11th, 2011
6:58 pm

Sorry but it’s mine now.

JB FALCON

September 11th, 2011
6:59 pm

Wabe, I admire your optimism in the middle or a tornado. I’m glad someone else on here is not cutting their head off. Optimism is a mind controlling feeling and when we start thinking we suck, we will probably be right. I once asked my Grandpa how he dealt with the nuances of being old and he told me, it beats the alternative.
I’m not saying that we didn’t play a very sloppy game but this is where the AB plan kicks in. Analyze the situation, figure out why we lost, and correct it. We have the team to do it, it’s just a matter of executing.

Wabe

September 11th, 2011
7:00 pm

Von,

The lone Falcons TD was a defensive TD. The offense didn’t score a single TD.

So I don’t know how you can make the case that we didn’t need to make a move up the draft board to snag Julio Jones. Sure, it didn’t pay off to our liking today, but you can’t argue we’re good offensively after witnessing the game our offense put together today.

D3

September 11th, 2011
7:00 pm

We may have our hands full with (S)Cam Newton and Carolina. We may not be as bad as that collapse today, but we have a long ways to go if we want to reach our goals this year. Otherwise, we’ll be in for a long @ss year.

Wabe

September 11th, 2011
7:03 pm

E43,

1st – You’re thought of trying Grimes out at safety is something I’d be very curious to see.

Also completely agree with you on Meier, and I’ll also say Quizz. I’m not sure why Turner’s in the game as much as he is when we’re looking to pass. It’d make more sense for Ryan to be dumping some of those dumpoffs to Quizz. Of course, we don’t wanna tip our hand, but I wasn’t satisfied one bit with how we utilized our personnel offensively.