Falcons Decimate Jaguars

Are Falcons Peaking?

JJ's Big Day (C.Compton/AJC)

Will be back soon with an in-depth post about the big game from the destruction of the Jaguars on Thursday Night. But for now let’s hear from the Bird Cage Faithful on the blowout from Thursday, as well as the game of they year in New Orleans a week from Monday Night.  A few questions to get you going…..

1) Are the Falcons peaking at the perfect time? Or is it merely 6 great quarters against inferior opponents?


2) Did the offense finally turn some kind of mythical corner?


3) Are the Birds moving a little bit away from the run-heavy philosophy?


4) Will the Falcons pull off the big upset in New Orleans in a week?


5) Are any Birds headed for the Pro Bowl? If not, should any of them be?


Be back with a new post soon……….

351 comments Add your comment

D3

December 18th, 2011
8:41 pm

And for those of you Dawg fans, I predicted that TE Orson Charles will make the jump this year to the NFL (even though I think he should wait), but we may actually have a shot at him in the 2nd round. Hard to believe he’ll go in the 1st round.

http://www.ajc.com/sports/uga/charles-tops-list-of-1262334.html

falcon21

December 18th, 2011
8:47 pm

D3, I would love to get Charles , but if a good o-lineman is available with that pick, gotta get him!

af fan

December 18th, 2011
8:54 pm

Enter your comments here
Spoon should be at the Pro Bowl.

JB FALCON

December 18th, 2011
8:57 pm

D3, see last post for answers to all of your questions.

D3

December 18th, 2011
9:08 pm

Thought this was a little interesting. It appears we’re not the only ones who feel that our team doesn’t get picked up by the media……..

When we beat the Steelers, were we on TV? No. I couldn’t even find a Baltimore Ravens highlight. I think that’s kinda the way it is around Baltimore. We don’t always get our respect but you gotta deal with it and go out there every week and just win football games.”

Flacco believes the Ravens are “disrespected” by the national media. “The bottom line is we don’t need a lot of help because we have a great fan base every week and we win football games,” Flacco said. “We’re not a losing football team that needs to be out there in the media and be talked up like we are all-world.

af fan

December 18th, 2011
9:09 pm

1. Maybe.
2. Would be nice, but I don’t see it yet.
3. Maybe a little, it helps set up the run. Still need to pound defenses in the 4th qtr.
4. Oh, heck yes. But I wouldn’t call it an upset.
5. Again, Spoon has earned it.

falcon21

December 18th, 2011
9:15 pm

#1, yes. #2 and 3, just doing what they have to do and it is about time. #4, think so and hope so, no better time for it. #5, Spoon, Curtis, TG and possibly Ryan.

WR

December 18th, 2011
9:20 pm

D3, I know its got to be hard juggling family, a career and this post, so first off, thanks, no matter what we appreciate what you do.

On to the Falcons, not to toot my own horn but I said before the season started you want your team keeping you in it into the latter part of the season, you want them peaking going into the big dance. Where as I could take credit for that post a long time ago, and that belief a long time ago, I won’t, because I like many jumped ship after the Houston game. Not as in jumped ship as far as being a Falcons fan, I will always be that, but hope had faded.

Then came the Carolina debacle, after the 1st half I thought same old Falcons, then Mike Smith and the coaching staff in my opinion did their best job to date, the 2nd half started. All of a sudden these weren’t not only the Falcons of old, they weren’t even the 13-3 Falcons of last year, as boring as it may sound, these were the Falcons of the 2011 commercials, these were Falcons that took the slogan of “Rise Up” to heart. Now I know losing to NO could make off of this a moot point, but something about this team is finally starting to click, a birdcage member argued against this comment earlier but, even as a team that wants to establish the run, the Falcons are starting to become Matt Ryan’s team, along the way the D is starting to become Spoon’s team, as for transitions, enough said, the Falcons are definitely headed in the right direction.

E43

December 18th, 2011
9:25 pm

I want to be the first to give my 100 percent approval to Mularkey, BVG, Mike Smith and all other members of the coaching staff. Yeah I said it… Deal with it…

Kurtis

December 18th, 2011
10:05 pm

D3, you are definitely “the man”. I really enjoy reading your posts and appreciate your dedication to our Falcons.

snacktastic

December 18th, 2011
10:34 pm

Great win on Thursday. About time we had a blowout win…not that it convinced any of the haters. Still, it was a lot of fun to watch and bolstered my optimism after that comeback against the Panthers.

I guess I’ll take a shot at those questions…

1. The sudden change in this team’s on-field performance certainly suggests we’re clicking at a good time. But clicking does not equal peaking, and we still have two games to determine whether we’re at our best. A loss (or even a very close win) next week would indicate that the Falcons still haven’t reached their peak.

2. It seems like we’ve been asking this “turned the corner” question for the past several weeks. Again, the sudden ability of the Falcons to win in a one-sided fashion makes it seem like we’ve turned a corner, but that remains to be seen.

3. It looks that way. Turner has had fewer big games recently and not quite as many carries, and Quizz and Snelling still don’t show up as much, but Ryan is hitting several different targets through the air and putting up impressive numbers.

4. Saints/Falcons games the past couple of seasons have all been decided by three points. Whatever differences between these teams show up in most games, they seem to disappear when they face each other. Still, they appear to be somewhat evenly matched at this point: their most recent games (Saints/Vikings, Falcons/Jags) indicate that they are both able to put away weaker opponents with ease, and Ryan and Brees have both had zero interceptions and high passer ratings their past two games.

5. Spoon and Julio?

JB FALCON

December 18th, 2011
10:39 pm

“but hope had faded.” – WR

Shame on you.

Arno

December 18th, 2011
11:09 pm

Saints will come out in their all-black unis and try to beat up our receivers. That will be their main deal. It worked well against the Giants who looked intimidated. Watch Julio blow them up.

E43

December 18th, 2011
11:41 pm

JB FALCON- said like a king. lol

trademark

December 19th, 2011
3:55 am

I like “Rise Up”, I do…but I think it implies a process, a journey, not the immediate….what I was thinking last night is what I would love to hear the Falcons as a team say before the kickoff of games this year in a group huddle….

“My turn”

“Our turn” sounded like it didn’t fit for some reason….and it’s because it’s been lately when the Falcons are FOCUSED on the game, on making play after play, that’s when they’re the most deadly. “My Turn” focuses on bringing out the individual power and talent that is there, execution and sounding off on that together is what brings the team aspect into it. At it’s heart, it does mean “Our Turn”, but that’s the deeper meaning. People that don’t know any better can think what they want about it. Doesn’t matter, it’s our team, not theirs.

And it is our turn. Right now, the opportunity is RIGHT THERE, closer than it was even than last year. We can all feel it, it’s a different feeling around here. A feeling that we don’t worry about who did what and when, but rather, we have WORKED AND SUFFERED OUR A$$ES OFF FOR THIS, and it’s our turn now.

So, if there are any players or coaches or media people that can pass this on reading this, while I’m aware it’s corny, I want them to think about “My Turn”, and what that means. Time for the others to sit back and watch what I do, because I’m going to give it full gas, and show why I am one of the best in the world, and I know my teammates are all thinking the exact same thing. And when that happens, no one, or NO TEAM can stop us.

Go Falcons!

trademark

December 19th, 2011
4:04 am

@ D3, basically, I like to read the bios of the “big” sports writers and editors of sites like espn, si and nfl.com. A TON of them come from cities like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, or some other East Coast state. We can scream to the high heavens about the “east-coast-biased” media, it is what it is. They pick a story or stories that they think will appeal to the most people, and focus on it the whole damned year until we’re sick to our stomachs of it. Granted, that takes me all of three weeks most of the time, but hey, I can be impatient sometimes….

Smaller markets are unfortunately not headlined by the national media. And when they are (example; last year’s Falcons were the #1 seed) they largely have a giant (?) handed to them whenever anyone analyzes them. There’s a sense of not knowing, because, well, quite frankly, they don’t know us. See for example the re-treaded media lately for the Falcons that was basically copied and pasted from last year. They weren’t paying attention, and now don’t know WHAT to think.

It’s all the same. WE know. And it’s a damned good time to be Falcons fan.

Saints R.E.A.M.

December 19th, 2011
7:03 am

Ok…lets answer these questions:

1. I usually would bite on the inferior opponents….but I think some of the things (1 thing in particular, see #2) I’ve seen from the Falcons means they are playing better….perhaps peaking.

2. I think they offense may have turned the corner. If they are focusing on short passes (which Ryan is good at) and letting the receivers run after the catch then Yes, they have turned the corner. If defenses can take that away I want to see what they do next. But I think the decision to do that instead of have Ryan throw it 30+ yards downfield is good.

3. Maybe a little. But I wouldn’t as I think Turner is still a huge weapon for the Birds.

4. I sure as H3ll hope not. I doubt it since the Saints appear to be playing well and Drew has been insane lately. It would be a great record setting night for him…Break Marino’s passing yards record, win the division against your rivals, try to get the #2 seed in the NFC, at the Superdome….too much to lose…..Nope… Nothing but coal in the stockings of Falcons fans on this one.

5. ProBowl year for ….maybe Weatherspoon???? I don’t know, because SF 49ers have two great LB’s, Chicago does too…we’ll see.

trademark

December 19th, 2011
8:05 am

On to the points:

1) Yup, they are peaking. They faced so-called “inferior” opponents earlier this year, and in better situations (i.e. Minnesota at home minus Peterson) and were pretty lackluster. They are demolishing people now, not a mark of a team that isn’t doing LOTS of things right.

2) I think they woke the hell up and are focusing on making plays and plying HUNGRY and with FIRE. (Like Turner throwing Weems into defenders, classic). This is the only way to actually get the production out of the level of talent that is there. Same holds true for any team, even some without so much talent, just ask KC. Play with fire and hunger, and it’s an even playing field. Out-fire and out-Hunger the other team, and you win. Period.

3) Teams are scheming to take the run away,. It started in the Houston game, stacking eight or nine in the box. Carolina cheated LBs towards the line in the whole game, Jacksonville likewise, sometimes dropping them a couple of steps back to take away the short pass as well. It works to some degree, the holes that Turner likes are blocked, so he ends up running up the O-lines’ backs most of the time. However, Ryan is now responding to the pressure and getting pretty damned scary in there. It will be interesting to see if the “pick your poison” mentality starts to shift towards allowing Atlanta to run a tad more in the next few weeks.

4) No. Because of the wording. It is NOT a “Big Upset”. These teams split season series or at least play it close as hell for basically their entire history. Vegas put the line at 8 for New Orleans. Sucker bet. This one ends up like they ALL do in this ultra-heated rivalry. Close and nasty. I’d like to think that Atlanta is very aware that more than a little “team-mentality and identity” is on the line here, and I do believe that the Jacksonville game on a national stage was just a tune-up. Falcons are coming, not just to play, but to win. Tough to call, but I think the Falcons are due a bit of payback by the Football Gods.

5) Weatherspoon, sure, but PEOPLE, DO NOT MAKE ME COPY AND PASTE THE NAME “SVITEK” HERE 10,000 TIMES!!!! Because I will if you keep leaving him off this list. Also, I would argue for Lofton (5th in tackles in the NFL) and Turner (3rd in rushing in the NFL, isn’t shabby, you know?)

Big Crimson 75

December 19th, 2011
8:48 am

How did Green Bay handle their inferior opponent Sunday?

DHunt

December 19th, 2011
9:23 am

1) Are the Falcons peaking at the perfect time? Or is it merely 6 great quarters against inferior opponents?
Falcons playoffs started 2 weeks ago after the loss to Houston. And while many looked at that Houston game as a sign that the wheels were falling off, I saw a team whose defense was undermanned by injuries but still played a very consistent game, more than good enough to win. And I saw an offense that was only a couple of plays away from hitting on all cylinders. But that loss came with the unexpected gift of focus. This Falcons team now has a win or go home mentality. They will play at a high level for 60 minutes every game. I can’t say if their “peaking” because at this point, I wonder how high the ceiling really is. Like Matt Ryan said, I think the offense can actually be much much better. I’m certainly not worried if we get down by 2 or 3 scores against any team, because I think this defense can stop anyone, and this offense can score on anyone; any time they really want to.

2) Did the offense finally turn some kind of mythical corner?
I don’t think they turned a corner as much as they stopped beating themselves. Our QB is going to have a career year, while many (myself included at times) still feel like he hasn’t played particularly well this year. We’ve got the #3 rusher, and potentially 2 100 yard receivers (Julio is going to go off these next two weeks to the tune of 150 yards a game, so he’ll get close and if you include the playoffs, he should go over 1000). These are all signs of a pretty good offense. Here again, I think the main thing is focus.

3) Are the Birds moving a little bit away from the run-heavy philosophy?
The Falcons healthy balance for a 65 play game is 25-30 runs, and 35-40 passes. In a lot of offenses you would definitely say that was run heavy, but it works for us. What we have done is inch away from running into the middle of a stacked defense so much. In spite of alarming stats from OC earlier, we’ve got a pretty good run game, and we need one to eat clock, wear down the opposing defense, take some of the pressure of MR2.

4) Will the Falcons pull off the big upset in New Orleans in a week?
I second the emotion that this is in no way a big upset WHEN the Falcons win. When this team is focused, theY can beat anyone, and they won in N.O. last year (almost exactly like theY lost at home this year). I don’t agree with the people who seem to think the Falcons haven’t won a quality NFL game in 3 years. Every week you are playing a quality opponent, and every week you have a chance to get beat. I’ve heard some say this next game with N.O. is a barometer of what the Falcons are capable of doing, against a good team on the road. I think we all know they are capable of winning this next game and every one after that.

5) Are any Birds headed for the Pro Bowl? If not, should any of them be?
Probably not because we’ve been flying under the radar a bit this year. Roddy and Turner are still big names and at the top of their position stat charts so they could likely get back, as could Tony G. Lofton and Spoon definitely deserve it, but the competition is fierce at LB this year, and some guys are going to get the benefit of being on teams with better records. In a season where the defense has out performed the offense (by a pretty decent margin) we will have more Pro Bowler from the offensive side of the ball, and possibly none from the defensive side. I heard Steve Wyche say that this is Spoons last year under the radar, and that next year everyone will be saying he is the guy you have to account for on the Falcons defense. Svitek has been an extremely solid addition this year, but his name isn’t even on the ballot. McClure should get in as a lifetime achievement award. Matt Ryan doesn’t have much chance this year as he would have to leapfrong Cam, Brees, and Rodgers, and even Eli would probably get some consideration with the year he’s having (before yesterday’s implosion).

But who cares about the Pro Bowl, because there won’t be any Falcons players there anyway. They will be playing in the Super Bowl the following week.

IceFan

December 19th, 2011
9:24 am

The Saints game will be the true test of whether the Falcons have arrived. Falcons are all but in the playoffs but the next two games will give us an idea of whether we can do anything when we get there.

Defense is definitely showing improvement, but again, the true test will come next Monday night. Offense looks good finally. Ryan looks good, receivers are catching balls. I’m glad we are spreading the run game around so Turner is ready to rock in the playoffs.

As for the Pro Bowl, Tony G should be in for sure. Either Spoon or Lofton have earned it and I think one of them gets in. If Ryan and/or Roddy have big showings against the Saints they could sneak in. Turner is probably worthy as well.

Guts over glamor

December 19th, 2011
9:39 am

1) Are the Falcons peaking at the perfect time? Or is it merely 6 great quarters against inferior opponents?

Fewer Turnovers and mental mistakes. They are “peaking” against inferior opponents, but consider the injuries that they are absorbing, and one of the inferior opponents just beat the “former” #1 seed in the AFC.

2) Did the offense finally turn some kind of mythical corner?
No, JJ STILL had way too many drops (Jenkins haunting him??), but some nice plays in the 2nd half helped folks forget. Inferior opponents again allowing mistakes that would be fatal against NO, GB, NE, etc.

3) Are the Birds moving a little bit away from the run-heavy philosophy?
Yes, possibly a result of lowered capacity with the loss of the FB, injuries on the OL, Turners groin injury, AND increased use of the pass friendly no huddle.

4) Will the Falcons pull off the big upset in New Orleans in a week?
I give them 50-50, it will be a pretty good game. It depends on the health of the defensive backfield I think.

5) Are any Birds headed for the Pro Bowl? If not, should any of them be?
3 or 4 I think.

Chop Buster

December 19th, 2011
9:40 am

1) Are the Falcons peaking at the perfect time? Or is it merely 6 great quarters against inferior opponents? Playing inferior opponents IMO.

2) Did the offense finally turn some kind of mythical corner? I can’t tell until the beat one of the NFC leaders. New Orleans would be a good start at their home.

3) Are the Birds moving a little bit away from the run-heavy philosophy? It appears that way.

4) Will the Falcons pull off the big upset in New Orleans in a week? I’m hopeful

5) Are any Birds headed for the Pro Bowl? If not, should any of them be? I don’t think any of the deserve to be in the probowl the way this team has underachieved

trademark

December 19th, 2011
10:32 am

Coolest quote of the year:

“But who cares about the Pro Bowl, because there won’t be any Falcons players there anyway. They will be playing in the Super Bowl the following week.”-DHunt

L-O-V-I-N-G IT!

welikebaseball2

December 19th, 2011
10:38 am

1) Hate to say it, but they always seem to “peak” or show signs of “peaking” against inferior opponents. Ask me after the N.O. game.

2) Though the N.O. defense is nothing near imposing, I’ll hold the “the offense turned a mythical corner” assertion for after the N.O. game also. Even when not facing top 10 defenses, the Falcons tend to self implode against teams with winning records. Again, ask me after the N.O. game.

3) It seems so. I’m a Turner fan, but sometimes you have to pass to set up the run…especially when teams are stacking your run down & daring you to throw.

4) I believe so. It’s up to the offense. The defense did their part in the first meeting. The offense played well for all of one quarter. We’re going to need the offense to come out firing. No time for conservativeness…even if we take a lead!

5) This may cause a stir, but I think Roddy is deserving. I know he’s had some drops, but looking at the numbers he’s 6th among WR’s in receiving yards & 3rd in receptions. I’m not saying that alone should get him there, but he’s hitting his stride & will certainly climb in those rankings over the final two games. Curtis Lofton should be there…period. A case could be made for Weatherspoon. I’m not sure he has the numbers to back it, but he’s had some season.

LRD

December 19th, 2011
10:44 am

NIce to see a blow out
1) Are we peaking, or due to lack of injuries, and then injuries where we have depth at the position, have lead to us being more “fresh” at the end of the season than our opponents?
Moore is back and healthy. Ole Man Peterson has been playing like a mad man. Julio was injured, back and “healthy” and tearing it up. Grimes coming back against Brees when we may need grimes the most.
However I do worry about Peters and Babs being a bit beat up, but did have Jerry spottings in the JAX game.

Our O didnt turn the corner, but this is the road we should have been on all along

Probowlers;.. SPOON..Curtis.. those 2 should be on there. Heck Peters should be an honorable mention.

FFL Alert.. Owls are going for the the worst to first…Coming for you JJ>. the claws are out… HAHAHA

John Waynesworld

December 19th, 2011
10:46 am

1) Are the Falcons peaking at the perfect time? As long as the team thinks they are peaking that is good enough for me. We shall see this Sunday.

2) Did the offense turn the corner? I think they made some improvements with timing in the passing game but the lack of their Pro Bowl Fullback is affecting some of our short yardage rushing game.

3) Are the Falcons moving away from the run-heavy philosophy? See answer 2. We miss Ovie.

4) Will the Falcons upset the Ain’ts? Hell Yellish! Just like Roddy said, beat down is a waiting!

5) Are any Birds heading to the Pro Bowl? Not this time around because the Pro Bowlers from last year have had an unspectacular or down season in 2011 and Julio was hurt too much. Spoon may get a replacement nod if one of the usuals can’t make it to Hawaii. Maybe in 2012 we will get more guys over there.

GO FALCONS!

Ken Strickland

December 19th, 2011
10:49 am

One interesting fact about both the Falcons and the Saints.
1-The Falcons’ OFF has been steadily improving,
2-The Saints DEF has been steadily improving.
These 2 factors are going to make for an exciting showdown in New Orleans this Sunday. Smitty has done a good job of letting the OFF do its thing. I just hope he has finally realized that the Saint WRs and QB DBrees are premier zone killers, and it would be a waste of time, as well as disasterous for us to continue relying on his beloved soft prevent zone DEF.

Their WRs and TEs are big and strong, but not very quick or fast, and our CBs and safeties can definitely stay with them in man to man. We need to get to QB DBrees, and playing man DEF gives us more pass rushers, and gives them more time, to get to Brees. They rely heavily on timing routes and quick outs.

Playing our CBs tight, and jamming their WRs coming off the line, will definitely disrupt their timing routes and quick outs. Also, playing our CBs this way puts them in better position to react the screens the Saints love to run, as well as their outside rushes. If Smitty will just make a few simple DEF adjustments, we can turn the Saints back into the AINTS.

CBrass

December 19th, 2011
11:25 am

Will Grimes back back? We will surely need him.

John Waynesworld

December 19th, 2011
11:32 am

We sure do, CBrass. We need him against Brees like a dog needs a nose.

Birdman

December 19th, 2011
1:10 pm

We need him but if he ant ready its better to save him for the playoffs. Even if we lose to the Saints Grimes needs to be healthy for the playoffs . That is when it really matters because we will beat the Bucs with are without him and be in the playoffs

Barry

December 19th, 2011
2:44 pm

Hey Y’all:

GIVE US ANYBODY!!! As long as we are “IN THE HUNT” towards and in the playoffs, we will and have to be on our “A” game. I KNOW OUR FALCONS ARE HUNGRY. AND WE ARE STARTING TO PEAK AT THE RIGHT TIME. WE just have to play “ONE GAME AT A TIME” and “PLAY IT TO WIN IT!!” There is “NO SLACKING” time of the season. This is on the doorsteps on the march to the SUPER BOWl. THIS IS THE HOLIDAY SEASON TO BE JOLLY EVERY WEEKEND WACTHING OUR FALCONS PUSH TO THE SUPER BOWL. THIS IS WHERE THE FUN STARTS FOR OUR FALCONS. NOW WHATCH THEM FLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

GO FALCONS!!! LET’S DO THIS!! LET’S DO THIS. IT IS ON!!! WE OWE EVERYBODY A “BUTT KICKIN”!!

WHAT DO FALCONS DO!!!!!!!!!??????

“FALCONS RISE UP” IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!!” THUMP!!! CAN YOU HEAR IT???? THUMP! IT’S GETTING LOUDER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is a SECRET froma FALCON FAN. TELL EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

…………………………….ONE HEARTBEAT, BABY………………………..

Wabe

December 19th, 2011
3:08 pm

So the twitter feed on the falcons ajc.com page says that Smitty expects Grimes to be back at practice Tuesday.

That’s a very good sign for his status for Mondays game.

Wabe

December 19th, 2011
3:12 pm

Regarding the game itself, again, I can’t emphasize how huge it would be for the Falcons to go to NOLA and get a W this late into the season.

The Falcons have built a bit of momentum here. They’ve put together a solid 5-6 quarters of football and are pretty confident that they’ve finally turned the corner. So here it is, the ultimate test. Your divisional nemesis in their building. Nothing would convince me more that these guys are ready to make some noise in the playoffs than a W this Monday.

JJ

December 19th, 2011
3:24 pm

Big Ray, bet that made your day ;)

FFL – skip-
LRD, congrats on getting to the final. Although I like my odds, cannot claim a victory until the stat corrections come out on tues. 2 yrs ago I was in the exact position after wk 15 with a 5pt victory. Was ecstatic about playing WR in the finals. State corrections came out and changed Kurt Warners TD pass to a lateral, -6 pts. Lost by 1 and atill peeved about, lol. However, this time I have 1 more player to go so I’m hopefull. If I make it, count on some smack coming your way buddy!!!

bobwhite

December 19th, 2011
3:48 pm

I’m not ready to crown them just yet! I think we would have been better off to play the NO game on short rest..Instead of the 9 day lull..too much time for these birds too think about the game!
Lets no forget the BLOCKED punt!! Evidently Jax. saw something that S.Payton will exploit..count on it!..It will be another nail biter for sure..Birds by 7..

Hamad Meander

December 19th, 2011
4:49 pm

I was at the game Thursday night (fantastic seats!) and really enjoyed watching an NFL blowout – you don’t see those too often, and the score could have been worse for Jax. Quick thoughts: our offensive line was being thrown around by Jacksonville. If this isn’t addressed next season, the Falcons will continue to be a winning program, but one without a Superbowl berth. The offense looked better and I like what I see from the young guys (Jones & Rodgers). The defense played well again and got a lot of pressure on the QB.

It’s nice to have the mini-bye week before Monday Night with the Saints, but that team is still going to be hard to beat. Let’s go Falcons!

BIGDAVE

December 19th, 2011
6:10 pm

You can watch NFL TV and ESPN Sports all freakin day and you will not hear one word about the FALCONS!! NOT ONE! NOBODY gives a rip and NOBODY thinks you will even get beyond the first playoff game….except your FANS who say YOU ARE THE BEST TEAM IN THE NFL !!! ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS GO OUT THERE AND PROVE US RIGHT! THATS ALL!

Sportaree

December 19th, 2011
6:52 pm

The Falcons will get more attention from the media this week, at least from ESPN. They will promoting the Monday night game vs the Saints.

DHunt

December 19th, 2011
6:59 pm

And when we beat the sAints, all the chatter will be about what the sAints didn’t do, and how Brees is still headed for Marino’s record. Noboby talked about the Falcons at all in 98 either. Hope the guys at the Branch take this as the disrespect it is and use it to fuel the monster.

Also, I hope they aren’t rushing Grimey back. Franks and Owens have done a decent job so far, and Grimes strength is his athleticism, which an even slightly gimpy knee will hamper. Defense this Monday night game hinges on whether we can get pressure with 4 or 5 pass rushers, and not allow Breezy to step up throw.

Box

December 19th, 2011
11:34 pm

Greetings Late Night. A good win for the Falcons. I like the ten days of rest for those who are limping. I pray that all in the Cage are well, or are doing the best that they can. I believe that if we can use Valium cocktail in the water bottles then we can play and beat NO. We cannot panic and over-think this game. Play loose and with proper focus and we will beat this team. We were one bad coaching call from beating them in the first go round. Go Team!

trademark

December 20th, 2011
4:11 am

@DHunt – I don’t think they rushed Grimes back, I think the schedule helped immensely there as they saw that against the pass-poor Jaguars, they could hold him out, and that way buy him another 11 days to heal up properly. A lot of stars aligning for Atlanta lately in that regard. It will be great to have him in there, Brees HATES that guy. Grimes just has his number somehow. If you ask him why, he’d probably say that he has no idea why Brees and not some other QBs, but you see this ALL of the time in Pro Sports. Some players just have another player’s number.

@Ken Strickland – I agree with most of your post, I do think the Saints are “soft-zone killers” (but, then again, most teams are, just ask Tavaris Jackson…;) ) I would LOVE to see the Atlanta CBs disrupt some routes as well, but BE CAREFUL about it, this is a road game, and the Zebras’ wallets might be a bit stuffed, and they need to lose some weight there by throwing a bunch of illegal use of hands flags around. Pressure on Brees is KEY. Try to make him hate his entire life on Monday night and the Saints go down quickly and badly.
Only question I had was that you said the Saint’s D has been steadily improving…how so? They are ranked 24th in the league / 18th in points against per game (28th vs. pass, 13th vs. rush), where were they before? That’s the bottom 1/4th of the NFL, and that’s pretty damned bad. To put it in perspective, last year they were 4th….but then again, New Orleans has never relied on defense to win games, their Super Bowl year, they were 25th in D, 1st in O. Keep them in the mid-twenties point-wise, like the last game, and this time we score more.

trademark

December 20th, 2011
5:20 am

Adrian Peterson after the Saints game:

“MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson says he thinks the New Orleans Saints were purposely trying to injure his sprained left ankle in their game on Sunday.

Peterson had 10 carries for 60 yards against the Saints after missing the previous three weeks with a high ankle sprain. Peterson said after the game he expected the defensive players to target his ankle while trying to bring him down.

But he also says he took particular offense to one play when cornerback Jabari Greer twisted his ankle in a pile up.

Peterson says he confronted Greer because he thought that “it kind of got overboard.”

Peterson said he didn’t injure the ankle anymore in the 42-20 loss.”

Does that sound like an “elite” team to you? Or a bunch of scared little kids in grown men’s bodies trying desperately to cover up their weaknesses (I.e.- Defense), even at the expense of purposely trying to injure another player and possibly end his season (or worse).

I hope the Football Gods are paying attention. New Orleans has some BAD VOODOO payback that is long overdue coming to them.

Wabe

December 20th, 2011
7:46 am

A lot of Saints fans and media outlets are talking about Drew Brees passing Dan Marino’s single season record for passing yardage. Many of them have mentioned that there’s a good chance he’ll do it this upcoming week vs Atlanta.

Good motivational tactic to challenge the Falcons defense. Make it a point to these guys that he’s not getting that record. They’re not breaking any records this week, at least not any good ones. Not versus us. Make it a point to limit Brees and get after him.

I heard Justin Smith of the 49ers talk about how that Niners defense makes it point #1 to shut down the run. He even mentioned how guys will continuously look up at the scoreboard throughout the game to get a glimpse of how many rushing yards they’ve given up throughout the game. He said that they do that because their number one priority is to choke the run game and make offenses one dimensional. But, he says the amount of emphasis they’ve given it and the amount of attention they pay to it throughout the game helps them stay aggressive and turn up their defensive intensity throughout the game if necessary.

The Falcons need to have a similar mindset this coming Monday. Make it a point not to give anything to Brees. The guys should talk about it in the huddle and on the sidelines. Ultimately, the goal is to win the game, but shutting down Brees and getting after him is definitely a way to put the chokehold on the Saints.

Rise up.

Big Ray

December 20th, 2011
8:02 am

1) The Falcons are peaking. The way to tell is the difference in how they played this last game. Simply put, the Falcons dominated , even when making mistakes. Dominated on both sides of the ball. The defense got gashed by one very nice run by one of the NFL’s most talented RBs. No scores came until the game was so well in hand, there was absolutely no chance of any sort of comeback. Falcons weren’t capable of such domination earlier in the season. They are now.

2) In a way, yes. We’ve not scored like that all season without the aid of a Michael Turner 100+ yard game. This time we needed him, but not in that way. Our #1 WR did what we expect of him, our #2 guy provided the explosion we needed, etc. When was the last time that happened? Usually it’s either been Roddy who was on, or Julio…or both were off…

3) Not precisely. They still run Turner up the middle, but we’ve realized that we can reliably get yardage without churning the 3 yard back to back plays. Cross patterns and drag routes are getting the job done, and they are also getting TG open. Ryan has been able to dissect some defenses with these plays, and that’s how we are going to win.

4) We can do it. The defense has to get some pressure on Brees, who is on fire. It won’t be easy against one of the League’s most effective O-lines. But it can be done. However, so much more depends on the offense. Stay on the field and score, keep Brees off the field. Win the battle of possession and get TDs instead of limiting yourself to FGs, and we win the game. That means no dropped passes and no turnovers. The Saints defense is not as good as ours. So we have to keep pace or outpace them on offense.

5) Defense – I nominate Brent Grimes, despite the injury. Curtis Lofton and Sean Weatherspoon (it may not be his year, but you can bet on it next season). Offense – Matt Ryan (He’ll top 4,000 yards in the next game most likely, and has 26 TD vs. 12 INT), Mike Turner, Roddy White. Honorable mention for TG, who has 74 catches and 7 TDs.

Big Ray

December 20th, 2011
8:04 am

I don’t care about Brees getting Marino’s record. I just want to beat the Saints.

Arno

December 20th, 2011
10:55 am

@trademark– NO’s D did the intimidation thing on the Giants and it worked. Of course they would do the same stuff on Peterson. They will try the same stuff on the Falcons. Our guys are well familiar with their all-black costumes / “bat games” motivational techniques. Falcons will be prepared.

trademark

December 20th, 2011
11:56 am

Arno, I’ll tell you one thing; if the Falcons come out playing with HUNGER and FIRE and FOCUS, like they have been showing lately, no amount of gimmickey crap in the world is going to save the Saint’s collective a$%es.

donsasser

December 20th, 2011
12:04 pm

When I used to play poker I didn’t care how much I lost for the first few hours within reason. I always knew if I was going to get hot, I could win it all back and more in the last few hands. Seems like the Falcons are following my lead. Get hot at the end. Ask the St. Lewis Cards. Ask GB Packers. Worst of all ask the 2010 Braves about peaking at the wrong time. Imagine three years ago somebdoy writing a blog about Brent Grimes adding a boost to Falcons defense. I always liked him. If you can literally jump 4 feet with pads, it doesn’t matter what size you are. I bet he could slam dunk in full pads backwards with a 360. Lasly, please, oh, please keep Sam Baker out of this game. Look, I’m six 3 and 270 so hire me before i start Nutrisystem and I’ll be a better addition. Looks like those short arms really do count. Nice white trash beard though. Sam, I think there’s probably a spot for you on Moonshiners if the NFL doesn’t work out. Or any documentary about Vikings. I hope you can use a sword better than you block. Doubt any sel-respecting Viking or barbarian would want you in their shieldwall, however.

Big Ray

December 20th, 2011
12:46 pm

LOL @ donsasser …..dude that was funny.

trademark ,

Exactly. Saints may be bold and crafty with their gimpy coach, but they flat out escaped us last time. We match up well with them. We have what it takes. Time to get out there and get after them. I don’t want to see Brees completing 80% of his passes and having all kinds of time to throw.