Falcons Earn Tough Win in Detroit

Birds Get Much Needed Boost Heading Into Bye

On a Roll? (AP)

The Falcons didn’t play the prettiest game in the world, but they did what had to be done to win the game. It was a hard-fought and very much earned win against a quality opponent in a hostile environment. The defense played as good as it ever has under Coach Mike Smith and DC Brian Van Gorder against a very potent offense. The offense was fairly sporadic, but did what had to be done when it counted and did some good things against a pretty tough defense. Will be back with another post very soon with more in-depth analysis, but for now let’s hear from The Bird Cage Faithful on your thoughts of the big win…………

1) Fantastic Defensive Effort

We here in The Bird Cage have given plenty of criticism directed towards the defense for some time, but its also fair to say that we also give credit where it’s deservedly due. The Atlanta Falcons defense was absolutely fantastic yesterday. It was one of the best defensive performances since Coach Smith and DC Van Gorder took over the defense. They responded by being called out as the worst team in the NFL on 3rd down conversions with an astonishing 1-10 conversion rate for Detroit. The Falcons were aggressive, hit hard, and help one of the hottest offensive teams in absolute check. The defense has gotten better each week and it appears that the Falcon Faithful may finally be seeing what we’ve been waiting on with this D for so long.

2) Tough Leader, Tough Team

Matt Ryan still has his share of improving to do, especially on his deep pass touch, but anyone questioning this guy’s fortitude or commitment to this team as the Falcons unquestioned leader got their answer on Sunday. The slow-motion replay showed a brutal looking injury and fans feared the worst. He was on the ground for some time, which is atypical for him. He went out of the game and headed to the locker room. He returned only a series later to fire a huge 3rd down conversion to Harry Douglas for a 49 yard pass. The team rallied around him and were quick to his defense after the game regarding a few Lions players. This team may not be the prettiest and Matt Ryan may not be elite yet, but they sure know how to fight.

3) Offense at Best in No-Huddle

Who knows the reason, but the simple fact is that the Falcons are just better on offense with Matt Ryan calling the plays and running the no-huddle offense. The offense always seems to have a better flow and rhythm when the quarterback is calling the plays. Perhaps it’s not necessarily OC Mularkey’s fault, but the truth is that the offense is just better. Not only do the passing plays appear better, but so do the running plays as well. It seems as though all the big Turner runs come after Ryan has changed the play. As with the 3rd and goal timeout, maybe Coach Smith is not letting Mularkey run his offense and interfering too much, but the results speak for themselves. Needing a jolt to the offense, Matt Ryan ran the no-huddle towards the end of the half  and went 5-5 for 61 yards that ended in a touchdown pass to Roddy White. Who knows what that means for Mularkey and his future with the Falcons.

 

591 comments Add your comment

JB FALCON

October 23rd, 2011
9:39 pm

D3, that’s what we been doing.

Coop

October 23rd, 2011
9:42 pm

D3 – Hope the kids get well soon. Great game. Best game in a while.

Big Ray

October 23rd, 2011
9:56 pm

Our defense really deserves some credit, as does BVG…

Lions are used to rolling up 368 yards and 30 points per game. Today, they only got 263 yards and 16 points.

falcon21

October 23rd, 2011
9:56 pm

From last blog, JB, I see your and waynesters point but depending on Redman is a no win. Anyway, our Birds did what they had to do today which also makes the next two weeks a little more positive for the blog. And if my Dawgs can beat the Gators I will be in hog heaven.

JB FALCON

October 23rd, 2011
9:58 pm

Getting towards bedtime and I am looking forward to a good nights sleep. The Falcons played the way I have always known they could play. MS proved tonight that we, the players, are playing against some pretty crappy play calling, but we won in spite of them. There must be a lot of animosity going on with our coaching staff and it needs to get straightened out, NOW. I’m talking to you TD. This is your team and you are letting your head coach over ride your OC and it turns out the head coach is the chicken sh!t in the bunch. We have the players and they proved that tonight. I’m sure there are a lot of HC’s out there that would love to get a hold of this team. Earn your money TD!

Big Ray

October 23rd, 2011
9:59 pm

Detroit was classless…fans and players alike. But we went into THEIR house and stomped that ass. Would have been a blowout sans the turnovers and penalties.

Controlled the clock….we had the ball for 34+ minutes. They had it for 25. Controlled it. IN THEIR HOUSE.

That will shut anybody up…fans, players, commentators.

Coop

October 23rd, 2011
10:03 pm

Big Ray – Concur. Best defensive day in a long time.

Big Ray

October 23rd, 2011
10:05 pm

Geez….you’d think the Cleveland vs. Seattle game was a baseball game by the score..6-3.

LOL…I love to watch Pete Carroll lose.

Meanwhile Tebow and the Broncos eke it out against possibly the League’s worst team.

Now those nutty Broncos fans will proclaim him as the second coming of…who knows what. Whatever. The kid won a game….and nearly hit 50% of his passes. Maybe he’ll help them win more games.

Coop

October 23rd, 2011
10:08 pm

Big Ray – Concur again. I knew Fairley and Suh were punk @ss thugs, but i was surprised at their classless fans. I guess being out of work, “entitled”, crappy auto makers will do that to them. Wonder how they made it to the game, since they don’t have jobs.

Coop

October 23rd, 2011
10:10 pm

Ray – Not a Tebow fan, but they were down 15-0 in the 4th and he lead them to OT and the win. I hated playing him in college and the media just loves him. But he’s a good kid and plays his @ss off. I wouldn’t want him as my QB, but I’d take him on my team.

Coop

October 23rd, 2011
10:11 pm

On a FFL note, look slike I’m gonna lose to the Makers. Good game and win. Got zero production from my WRs today. Oh well. Next week is another day.

falcon21

October 23rd, 2011
10:14 pm

Yeah Big Ray, maybe Tebow is the next Elway, not. At best he may be the next Redman!

Big Ray

October 23rd, 2011
10:16 pm

I see Cam and his kitties got a win against the dysfunctional Redskins.

Oakland didn’t even score against Kansas City. Insane.

Like I said on the last blog….I think the “real” football is just now being played. Good teams are doing their thing. Fakers are being exposed. I’m glad we’re proving ourselves not to be in the latter group.

Coop

October 23rd, 2011
10:20 pm

Check that on FFL. With ONLY a kicker left, I’ve managed to tie the game. Still unlikely with the Makers rolling a WR and DT tomorrow night.

NO laying the smack down on Indy. Any word whether Peyton will play?

Big Ray

October 23rd, 2011
10:21 pm

Coop ,

Agreed on all counts. Tebow IS a good kid, and plays some inspired ball. He can damn sure run the ball. It’s amazing, however, that some guys can come into the League not knowing how to pass, and knowing how to run…but get bashed to death. Of course, many of them don’t turn out.

Question is whether Tebow will get the proper instructor and learn how to throw like an NFL QB. He led them back. He’ll get a “real” test in the next game or two. But I’m not a Broncos fan, so no horse in that race…

As for the Detroit fans…they got what was comin’ to ‘em. Fairley and Suh are talented, and they have a chance to grow and mature. In the meantime, this would have been a great game for Harvey Dahl to be in a Falcons uni…he would have busted one of them for SURE.

Big Ray

October 23rd, 2011
10:22 pm

Falcon 21 ,

He’ll never be close to Elway…I just don’t see it. But all he has to do is win…

Coop

October 23rd, 2011
10:24 pm

Don’t we get to see JA98 in two weeks?

uga_b

October 23rd, 2011
10:34 pm

I personally am happy the Mike Jenkins has been very productive this year and looked good with better QB play. He gave us great service and although he may not be elite, he was better than every WR drafted after him and a few ahead of them.

We are also doing our own thing and got a great win today. We limited a potent passing attack and didn’t let them establish the run. On the other hand, we got Turner going and even got an explosive play out of HD. Best wishes to Ovie on his recovery.

Coop

October 23rd, 2011
10:35 pm

Oh, he’s JA90 now. Still no sacks…

painter

October 23rd, 2011
10:37 pm

Really excited, but not surprised. The defense has been leading this team the last couple weeks. Especially excited to see Peters the Playmaker. The sack, tipped ball, and the INT last week.

uga_b

October 23rd, 2011
10:42 pm

A big congratulations to Tony Gonzalez on his huge milestone. We may never see another like him.

waynester

October 23rd, 2011
10:44 pm

Big Ray
If Dahl had played in this one, we’d have at least a couple of personal foul rags thrown our way since I don’t believe he could have restrained himself after the BS actions of the Lions’ Defense….

Big Ray

October 23rd, 2011
10:48 pm

LOL…waynester, you’re probably right…

Big Ray

October 23rd, 2011
10:48 pm

But I bet there wouldn’t have been 3 sacks, either.

waynester

October 23rd, 2011
10:50 pm

…give that man a cigar….

NFL Stats

October 23rd, 2011
10:54 pm

What’s going on with DT P. Jerry?

waynester

October 23rd, 2011
10:56 pm

I’m with uga_b on wishing our former players well, but they’re FORMER players for a reason. It’s too bad they couldn’t (except for Dahl and Koenen) live up to our original hopes for them while they were here!!

Coop

October 23rd, 2011
10:59 pm

NO 62-7 over INDY. Golly!

waynester

October 23rd, 2011
11:06 pm

What would you give to see us dominate NO the way they’re doing to the Colts? Or dominate ANYBODY for that matter…..

Wabe

October 23rd, 2011
11:10 pm

Thrilled with the win. Exactly what we needed to do going into the bye.

The schedule gets much softer moving forward. We have Indy, and after watching them tonight, there’s no excuse for losing that.

My guess is the Falcons will spend a bit of time in this bye week preparing for the Saints in 2 weeks. Just my feeling.

If we can get past Indy and then hold serve at home against the Saints…this team would be in *great* shape.

6-3 with two winnable games after the Saints games sounds good to me.

But, one week at a time.

Coop

October 23rd, 2011
11:19 pm

Sun, Nov 6 @Indianapolis 1:00 PM Must win. They are so bad without Peyton. 5-3

Sun, Nov 13 vsNew Orleans 1:00 PM Tough game, but we gotta beat them at least once. But it won’t happen here. 5-4

Sun, Nov 20 vsTennessee 1:00 PM Must win. At home against a failing team. 6-4

Sun, Nov 27 vsMinnesota 1:00 PM Must win against a bad team. 7-4

Sun, Dec 4 @Houston 1:00 PM This could be tough. It could also be the difference between playoffs or not. We have to grab a win from a team we might should lose to. I think this is it. Kubiak has lost team by now. They may be desperate, but I think they’ll see the same ol same ol and give up this week. 8-4

Sun, Dec 11 @Carolina 1:00 PM Big chance to have a let down, but this is a must win. 9-4

Thu, Dec 15 vsJacksonville 8:20 PM Finally roll on prime time. 10-4

Mon, Dec 26 @New Orleans 8:30 Wake up call as we find that NO and GB are destined. We’ll have to wait to see them again in the Superdome… cause we lose this one. 10-5

Sun, Jan 1 vsTampa Bay 1:00 PM Must win to make playoffs. Early losses to TB and CHI and inability to beat NO makes this a do or die. It’s in the dome and Turner and Ryan go crazy. Falcons win a two score victory. 11-5.

Wild Card.
Falcons NEWS FEED

Coop

October 23rd, 2011
11:21 pm

Wabe – S;ightly concerned about the bye. Apparently, the players can’t do anything. They can’t even watch film. I bet Ryan has stacks of DVDs at home though.

If we grab 3 of nxt 4, we’ll be OK. I posted the schedule. I think the HOU game might be the key.

Wabe

October 24th, 2011
12:35 am

I think we’ll snag one of those games against the Saints Coop. I honestly think we take the one here at home. Don’t let their beatdown of the Colts fool you. Saints fans have been questioning the play of their defense all season long, and there are holes there to be exploited.

But I agree with your outlook for the rest of the season. I honestly do think we can put a serious run together if we leave some of the mistakes behind us coming out of this bye. Remember, just a few weeks ago, no game on this schedule seemed like a gaurantee. But, it’s funny how a couple of W’s can have us (myself included) assuming “we’re back” and “we should take care of business against so and so”.

Bottom line, I like our chances moving forward. I think it’d be wise to take note of what we’ve done the past couple of weeks here with the offense. Work Julio into the fold without force feeding him the ball or becoming to pass-heavy. Hopefully get some more guys involved – Harry Douglas and Quizz – and clean up the mistakes. Hopefully Ryan will pick his play up moving into the 2nd half of the season as well. As a team, after the way we started, I’m satisified with where we’re at. I seriously think because of this win today, we’ll be there when it’s all said and done.

Trademark

October 24th, 2011
4:22 am

*gulpgulpgulp….ahhhh!* Sorry, some Troll accused me last week of “drinking the Kool-Aid”…just had to get another glass! Mmmmmmm! Falcons looked GREAT! And see what a difference stopping a team on third down makes? It affects the entire tempo of a game. Gets your offense more chances and demoralizes the other teams’ O. Love it. Thanks for the appropriate action coaches, now DON’T REVERT to business as usual! This teams got guts, let them use it like on Sunday and we’re rolling. A note on the schedule…some jerk at the N eeFin L scheduling office has a real mean-on for the Falcons….nothing, and I mean NOTHING affects a team like a tougher than normal schedule…and damn…Falcons have 5 of the first 8 on the road, no problem, it balances out later…but some of the so-called “great” teams this year don’t have the following on their first 8 resume…games against two of the final 4 NFC playoff teams on the road, including a home opener…and then look at the “home” schedule for us…the jerks scheduled the defending Super Bowl Champs Green Bay and Philadelphia (the “dream” team). Read some schedules…a lot, and I mean a LOT of the “top” teams get their “hard” teams on the road (because it’s expected not to win too much there) and their “easier” ones at home, making it a bit more solid to pick up the win. Not Atlanta. Carolina was there because, yeah, well, they have to play here eventually. Schedulers have no choice. But damn, the week 8 game in Indy on the road again? Tell me the scheduling office didn’t think Atlanta was going down on that one? Luckily, Manning’s out, because then we get to go home against…New Orleans. Geeeez. Thanks a heap. Looks like they were trying to bury Atlanta early. Gotta borrow a line from James Storm here (Pro-Wrestler) NFl head Office, Scheduling Department……”SORRY, ’bout your damn LUCK!”

R Brown

October 24th, 2011
6:11 am

As good or bad as Ryan plays sometimes, there wasn’t a Falcons fan like me that didn’t say “there goes the season” when MR’s ankle turned every which way but loose. How he avoided a potential season ending broken ankle there is beyond me but the thought of Redmond finishing the season much less the game was a sickening feeling albeit shortlived.

Then MR comes back and on his first pass back, he throws a strike. WOW. He’s probably in a boot this morning but with the bye, he can heal. If the Falcons braintrust didn’t know it before, I bet they know it now. Draft a QB or bring in a suitable vet to back up Ryan.

As for Suh taunting MR if it’s true. So what!!!, grow up people. This is football and there is no crying in football. THIS IS NOT GOLF. 99% of you applauded Harvey Dahl for his questionable antics when he played in Atlanta (including me). Many of you even want him back (including me) because of his swagger, mojo, nastiness and dirty play tactics like spitting in another players face. Everyone of you “secretly” hopes the opposing team’s studs can’t go so our team has an easier chance to win(including me). I hope we don’t have to endure 2 weeks of stories about Suh not crying for Matt Ryan. Stafford’s definitely in a boot this morning. How many of you are crying for him or Detroit. Be honest with yourself. What Falcons fan isn’t at least a little happy Peyton Manning won’t be playing our next game.

One fans classless player is another fans stud.

Big Ray

October 24th, 2011
7:16 am

Ditto on Ryan’s injury. Hearts were in Falcon Nation throats everywhere…we were not very supportive of Redman, lol. BUt, what can be said?

OC/DC Dinosaurs

October 24th, 2011
7:45 am

Matt Ryan looked like a gladiator as he was running back from the dressing room to the sidelines. He was determined and had fire in his belly.

waynester

October 24th, 2011
8:08 am

RBrown
Nobody’s complaining about Suh playing hard–just the extracurricular Bullcrap. He’s just a total dikk–and payback’s hellll!!!!
PS
enjoy the “L”

uga_b

October 24th, 2011
8:16 am

UGA last year showed how to handle a mouthy Fairley. I have no problem with them talking trash or the our OL standing up for our guy and self-policing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL96AieSFx4

R Brown

October 24th, 2011
8:22 am

Waynester – Suh, Dalh, James Harrison or Fairley. Just a few of the leagues “dirtiest” players. There’s not a single player on the Falcons (except Ryan) I wouldn’t trade to get either one. Warts and all.

R Brown

October 24th, 2011
8:25 am

Oh and by the way, payback for Detroit is the loss AND their quarterback could be out.

So yeah, paybacks hell.

waynester

October 24th, 2011
8:35 am

RB
You want your guys to play tough–to the whistle–but play smart. Suh is not smart…helluva player–but that’s where it ends. Just read the Lions blog and even their fans recognize the growing problems Suh’s actions are causing in terms of penalty yards. Many Lions are blaming it on the coach since (to quote one fan) “sht rolls downhill”. When you earn a rep as a “dirty” player the refs scrutinize you more closely and you get caught more often. Suh seems to care more about his persona as a tough guy than keeping himself under control–hurting his own team in the process……

SPS

October 24th, 2011
8:38 am

Was I seeing things, or was Mike Smith making the defensive calls yesterday? Looked like he had the play card over his mouth and was barking into the headset as the defense was lining up. Whatever they did differently, I’d like them to do it again.

R Brown

October 24th, 2011
8:46 am

Waynester – couldn’t agree more. Too many times, a player lets that stuff get in the way of doing their job. It would be great to see some of these players with so much talent just play the game but unrealistic. Getting penalties that keep an opponents drive going and the like. Suh’s somebody elses problem. You hit the nail on the head. Whether thru fate or karma, paybacks hell.

Vick, pointing at the scoreboard. Result: Concussion and Eagles loss.
Cam Newton doing the dirtybird in OUR house: Result Carolina loss
Suh taunting Ryan. Result: Stafford out and Lions loss.

Sometimes I long for the days of a player scoreing a touchdown and just handing the ball to the ref: .ala Barry Sanders.

R Brown

October 24th, 2011
8:56 am

Can somebody tell me why Jaquizz doesn’t get more touches? Most every time he does, he impresses.

waynester

October 24th, 2011
9:06 am

RB
Dadgum right. We were always coached to act like we’d made spectacular plays before and expected to do the same again. Not only is it classy, it doesn’t give the other team any “tackling fuel” (obvious Waterboy reference), avoids penalties, etc.
PS
I’m in your corner on giving Jaqizz a bigger role. If he continues to make plays, I trust that we’ll be calling his number more often–after all he is still a rookie–and his game will continue to improve. I believe he can put up DeMarco Murray-type numbers if given the chance…..

Ken Strickland

October 24th, 2011
9:13 am

Did you see that (S)aints/Colts route? I love the (S)aints killer instinct. They were up 31-7 and continued to pour it on, while we have adopted the policy of going ultra conservatvive in the 2nd half and sitting on whatever lead we have. I read where our OFF guru’s said their gm plan was to pound the ball up the middle and firmly establish the run.

I’m all for establishing the run, but there are other ways to do it other than consistently pounding the ball between the tackles on 1st down against a stacked 7-8 man front. That kind of unimaginative play selection and futility consistently puts MRyan and the OFF in less manageable 2nd and 3rd situations.

This was the 1st gm all season where I had confidence in our DEF’s ability to contain the oppositions OFF. We saw a coordinated effort, not just plays being made by individual players. This gm could and should have been a blowout, except for a bunch of mental errors and penalties, especially on that 104yd KO return, and some missed opportunities, like CB BGrimes’ dropped INT.

It really makes me feel confident when our DEF steps up like it did. I just don’t like Smitty’s habit of going ultra conservative with a lead and putting the gm in the DEFs hands for an entire half. That approach is going to bite us in the butt big time down the road, especially in the playoffs, if we manage to get that far.

Let’s hear from all of those who insisted on claiming that CB BGrimes lacked the height and/or man to man cover ability to defend taller WRs, especially WR CJohnson.

All in all, I still feel good about this win, especially the DEF contribution.

Zoomie

October 24th, 2011
9:20 am

Know you folks don’t agree with my controversial views about Matt Ryan, but after yesterday, needed to pop in and log yet another attribute:

I’ve lauded his football smarts, leadership skills, and heart. To this list of attributes, add “ironman.”

I can’t believe he came back in the game after getting his ankle twisted nearly 90 degrees sideways. when I saw the slo-mo replay, I thought, “There goes the Falcons’ season.”

Matt Ryan is one tough cookie! Or is blessed with extra-limber tendons and ligaments . . .

DePlane

October 24th, 2011
9:21 am

Thrilled with the win and the D performance. Agree, Quizz should get more touches ala Darren Sproles.

Samuel

October 24th, 2011
9:22 am

The defense played well and some of the players on the team are making plays game to game. Which bolds well for the Falcons defense. Being that said, I’m feeling uneasy about the offense and Matt Ryan’s up and down play. In order for the Falcon’s to be a good football team, he has to be more accurate with the long ball. You have to make the big play count when given the opportunity. But here’s what I do like about Ryan, when he makes a mistake he has amnesia. He can come back and make something happen positive. And that’s a good trait.