Falcons Embarrassed by Saints

An Indefensible Effort

Was this the 3rd and 18 conversion? (AP)

Pulverized, crushed, ripped to shreds, smashed, blown out. Choose any word you like to describe the pathetic display by the Falcons in New Orleans last night, but we’ll just go with completely embarrassed. Making the playoffs is mostly an afterthought for most fans after getting absolutely destroyed by the bitter rival Saints. Some will point to the poor refereeing; others may say that Payton, Brees, and Co. poured it on. The fact is that an effort that poor should be get piled on.

Yes, this organization as a whole has made great strides during the Smith/Dimitroff Era, but anyone who believes this teams is “really close” or “right on the edge” of being great or elite is certifiably delusional. Some readers may think this too harsh a critique and that’s fine. But this anger, disappointment, and hollow feeling inside is pretty representative of most fans. If they wanted a mantra of “us against the world,” than they certainly succeeded in getting that last night.

1) Not Even Close

No, we’re not talking about the score of the actual game, we’re talking about how far away this team is from being considered great, elite, or worthy respect when it comes to postseason play. This team hasn’t earned it. The Falcons are 2-8 in games against the Saints in the Smith Era. Getting close or obtaining moral victories matters for jack squat. The brutal truth is that this team is not anywhere close to being great teams like the Saints, Packers, Steelers, or Patriots. They just aren’t, no matter how you slice it.

Great teams don’t get blown out and embarrassed twice in a calendar year. Great teams don’t play scared. Great teams don’t have coaching staffs who play not to lose as opposed to playing to win. Great teams don’t just gobble up average and poor teams, while folding like cheap tents against good-to-great teams. Thomas Dimitroff and Arthur Blank have some serious soul-searching to do this off-season because if they think they are only a few tweaks away from greatness, they’re dead wrong.

2) Two Huge Games, Aggregate Score = 93 – 37

Just Pitiful (AP)

The two biggest games of 2011 involved playing the Packers in the playoffs AT HOME AS THE #1 NFC SEED and the other was last night’s game against the Saints with a shot at still winning the division title. The aggregate score of those two games is 93 – 37. That’s almost a tripling of the opponents score compared to ours. Despite Coach Smith once again ripping off more excuses about another dreadful and humiliating performance, it is not an aberration when it happens twice in a year on the biggest stages of the NFL.

3) Dimitroff’s Missing Link Strategy a Failed One

Some think that it was Arthur Blank pulling the trigger on drafting Julio Jones, but we’ll just have to go with what was said and done publicly about the trade, which is that Dimitroff was the one behind the deal. This is not a criticism of Jones (even though that fumble was pretty bad), but rather the idea that Dimitroff took on during the off-season. His thought was that the Falcons were oh so close and that all they needed was another player or two to get over the hump…..wrong.

When have you seen teams be successful with that strategy? Another hint that it was the wrong gameplan was the fact that the Falcons didn’t just lose by a field goal or a touchdown, but rather were absolutely destroyed in all facets of the game. If Dimitroff wants to keep much of the goodwill he’s built up, he better consider making some big changes in the off-season, because we know exactly what to look forward to if no changes are made.

Two perfect examples are none other than the Saints and the Packers. The Saints have been without their first round draft pick Mark Ingram most of the season and just obliterated us (a supposedly great team against the run) with running backs that were undrafted (Pierre Thomas, Chris Ivory) and a fourth round pick who was signed as a free agent (Darren Sproles). The Packers were able to go on a run and win a Super Bowl after having something like 13 players injured last year and they locked up the NFC #1 seed while having injuries to both starting tackles and losing their best wide receiver (Greg Jennings). The point is that truly elite teams don’t rely on high draft talent or “missing links” to get over an imaginary hump.

4) Blank Needs to Identify What He Really Wants

Arthur Blank has said that he wants a championship caliber team in Atlanta and he has put his money and resources into the Falcons accordingly. This off-season will really tell us fans what he wants. If he is happy with winning seasons and just making the playoffs, than the status quo will do just fine and they only need a few tweaks or maybe a few more “missing links.”

However, if he truly wants to give this city a chance at a Lombardi trophy, he’s going to have to make or force some big changes, namely in terms of both coordinators and do a complete audit of all coaches currently on this staff. This doesn’t mean that Smith’s seat should be warm, but expectations should be given that getting embarrassed and blown out is not acceptable. And neither is never being able to beat quality opponents.

5) Bad Calls, But…………

Yuck (AP)

Yes, the refereeing was particularly bad last night in some parts, but that does not excuse the fact that the Falcons were completely demolished on all fronts. Some of the calls against the Falcons were legit, and some were not. They seemed to never throw flags on the Saints, namely for holding, or doing the exact same thing in terms of hitting that the Falcons did (Curtis Lofton personal foul, but not the spear to the back). Regardless, refereeing had nothing to do with pitiful and pathetic effort on both sides of the ball, but especially from the coaching staff.

6) The Process has Hit the Wall

OK, so maybe that’s a little too harsh, but after four years of asking for patience in “the process,” and you play worse now than in 2008 and get scorched by an aggregate score of 93 – 37 in your two biggest games of 2011, than there’s a problem. Perhaps Dimitroff hasn’t hit on every single draft pick or free agent out there, but in general, he has fielded a pretty talented team. But he’s not a coach. Coach Smith has done great things for this franchise, but he also is one of the main reasons this team seems scared of the great teams and really don’t believe they should even be on the same field. Deciding to kick a field goal when losing by 18 points not once but twice, knowing you have one of the best quarterbacks in the league on the opposing sidelines isn’t just conservative, it’s illogical.

The stale, predictable, hyper-conservative offensive philosophy has finally come to the end of the road. If the Falcons can’t run the ball or Matt Ryan doesn’t have to call his own plays and win the game himself, than they lose. There is no plan B, C, or D. Good and great teams have no problem shutting down Turner and the run game, and they know what’s coming. Several opposing players throughout the years have even come out and said they knew exactly what was coming next. Do they have to become an all-out passing attack? Not necessarily, but they also don’t need to provide a slow and methodical running game to handcuff Matt Ryan.

7) An Indefensible Defense

So they got no help from their offense, but what else is new. But getting 45 points hung on you from your biggest rival only 11 months after getting 48 points hung on you is not an aberration or an exception to the rule….it is the rule. This defense has played like all-stars against inferior opponents, but when they run into a really good team they simply melt. They didn’t even lay so much as a finger on Brees all night and the one time that Vance Walker did sack him, Brees about had a conniption fit. They can’t pressure, they can’t tackle, they sure as the heck can’t cover anyone.

It looked like a practice session for Drew Brees last night. At one point they were 100% on third downs. Conversely, that means that the Falcons were 0% on stopping third downs. It didn’t matter if it was 3rd and 5 or 3rd and 18, they had no problem converting 3rd downs, driving down the field with ease, and putting up touchdowns. Drew Brees had nearly 300 years in THE FIRST HALF ALONE. Many will say that the defense has made enough progress for Van Gorder to get another year, but that’s becoming a more and more challenging, bordering on impossible, point to defend.

8.) Crisis in Confidence for Fanbase

We Can Kick Some Field Goals Now! (AP)

Fans have done their best to rationalize, justify, and defend this 2011 Atlanta Falcons team, but last night’s humiliating destruction likely dried up any remaining goodwill or warm and fuzzy feelings the team built up last year and backing into the playoffs this year. The majority of fans no longer believe this team is capable of beating good to great teams and have any legitimate shot at making waves in the postseason, without some pretty major changes in order.

You can talk all day long about how “talented this team is, how they’re just about to turn the corner, finally hitting their stride, or how it’s just a part of the process,” but when fans witness humiliating defeat after humiliating defeat, feel the team is underachieving, and the fact that you can no longer beat teams with winning records, than how is it the fan’s fault if they no longer believe this team is capable of greatness?

If you can fight back the sick feeling in your gut, than have fun analyzing this one………….

860 comments Add your comment

Screen Pass

December 27th, 2011
9:40 pm

“en fuego huh? Don’t know what that means but I’ll take your word for it” – JB

It means “on fire”. En espanol.

DePlane

December 27th, 2011
9:46 pm

D3…yes that same old garbage rollout play that eliminates half the field…I hate that freakin’ play!

DePlane

December 27th, 2011
9:49 pm

JB…funny as hell!

JB FALCON

December 27th, 2011
9:53 pm

SP, I looked it up, Thanks! You should have been in my den last night.
As far as my optimistic post I’m supposed to be thinking up, the only thing I can say it this team did not play up to their capabilities. My ex used to think she could “reason” with a three year old,she did not believe in making kids do what they were told. Ergo, the kids should grow up to be “free thinkers.” So I guess we have the most “free thinking” team in the NFL.
I’m not directly blaming the CS but if I’m paying you a gazillion dollars a year I would sure as heck impress upon you what your duties were and I would not take any excuses whatsoever if you did not do it. The Falcons didn’t do it, but they can.

David

December 27th, 2011
9:53 pm

D3: I’ll give you that 2nd interception. The Falcons had been running that same play all year.

Geo

December 27th, 2011
9:58 pm

Is it the coaching? Or is it the players? I guess the answer is, as usual, it’s not that black and white. But damn, can you name a player on the Saints that is as obviously bad as Dunta Robinson? And for the other side of the argument, have you ever seen a team look so lost and overmatched against a team they have only weeks before proven they have the ability to compete with? (GB last year, the Saints this year)

So what’s my point? I guess it is that Dunta is a horrible player that I would bench in a heartbeat, and that our coaching staff seems to be nice enough, but they just don’t know how to get the best out of their players. Although Mularkey certainly comes off as an arrogant SOB with his constant replies or “that’s irrelevant” when he is asked an actual decent question.

Not all players are great on any team, there are always weak links (cough, Dunta, cough), but c’mon man! It was so obvious one team had the other’s number, and it wasn’t just the skill of the players, although that is also a big part of it.

I mean, this pointing to the pro bowlers, as if that is the ultimate arbiter of ability. Ryan was a pro bowl QB last year and Aaron Rodgers was not. That tells you all you need to know about what “pro bowler” means.

The Saints *play* the game. The Falcons go through scripted motions. When it works, it’s impressive, but when they make the transition to the former, they will be an elite team. An example from the first half, on one of those third and longs that the Saints kept converting, we put pressure on Brees, but he avoided it, and his receiver adjusted his route, came back to Brees, got in his line of site and in an open part of the field, and Brees connected for the first down. Now try imagining a Falcons receiver doing that. It doesn’t happen. Their routes are stops. If Matt doesn’t throw to them, they stand around.

I also noticed that in one series is the first half, we tried a screen and it was pathetic. Once we gave the ball back to the Saints, they immediately ran a screen for a nice gain. Are the players really so bad that they cannot execute screens? Or is our coaching staff completely inept? I’m back to where I started from. But I have to agree with many others, coaching is the major problem.

falcon21

December 27th, 2011
10:00 pm

SP, I do agree this offence can be potent but you have to admit that this O-Line is holding us back and yes I do agree that the OC is holding us back also!

Big Ray

December 27th, 2011
10:15 pm

We are 9-6, the fact that we think the 6 are more “who we are” than the 9 is not clear thinking.

So very true.

tfalcon

December 27th, 2011
10:18 pm

this really sums up my feeling bout this team this year everything that was said was on point!.maybe im wrong but i think bvg is lost against a elite offence we looked like jaggs last night,saints offencive line not even a player higher than a third rd pick, i think its that way with there WR as well,i really believe that the whole coaching staff
needs looking at cause when people we play say that they knew what was coming next that6 is a big problem, hope im wrong but we r one an done again guys

darrell starks

December 27th, 2011
10:20 pm

This sunday should be practice game, i would like to see BVG play man to man on defense to prepare them for the playoffs, hopefully Nicholas, Kelvin be ready to play.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

December 27th, 2011
10:23 pm

Will Kelvin and Nicholas be ready to play sunday ?

GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!

falcon21

December 27th, 2011
10:35 pm

I hope so Darrell, they need to knock the rust off!

snacktastic

December 27th, 2011
10:53 pm

darrell: Interesting idea about Sunday being a practice game. It’s virtually meaningless, it’s against an inferior team, and could be a confidence-building opportunity. I doubt our stubborn coaches would actually take this chance to try something new and see how it works, but if there’s anytime the Falcons needed to pull an Apple and “think different”, it’s right before the playoffs.

Jeff

December 27th, 2011
10:54 pm

Pathetic and that is coming from a Falcon fan. That defense cannot stop the Saints offense but can only hope the Saints offense shoots itself in the foot with a penalty or turnover. The Falcon secondary is about as bad as it gets and still call yourself a professional. You can count the times on one hand that the DL pressured Brees and then they miss the tackle just like when they played the Packers and Roges made them look silly. Don’t even say you want to play the Saints or the Packers again. It is a sad to say that the Falcons are not in the same league with those teams.

Midtown

December 27th, 2011
11:08 pm

Pretty much looks like the same team that lost in similar fashion to the Packers in the playoffs. Did the Saints have to punt? But, the one last missing piece of the puzzle, the “playmaker” worth five draft choices, did lay the ball on the carpet at a most inopportune time last night.

E43

December 27th, 2011
11:10 pm

People need to stop spraying perfume on sh*t. Its still sh*t. Matt Ryan gets hit in the no huddle, out the no huddle, maybe even on running plays. Dimitroff should be praised for the success that has come out of the run game but I’m not even going to empty my pockets because of that success.

We watched the Redskins and Eagles try to buy their way into a championship. Stop sugarcoating it and accept that Dimitroff tried to do the exact same thing but over a longer period. He knew this team was going to be a running team. You must control the line of scrimmage to be successful in the NFL and it doesn’t matter whether or not you run or pass. Its not a new trick. If you try to defy those tricks then you have to be focused and on top of everything with minimal room for error. TD has made acquisitions and most have made fans happy. But more of his acquisitions have been unable to become dominant forces.

He walked onto a team not known for having a dominant Oline. Signing Matt Ryan for 72 mil was an A because it worked out. Signing Turner to 34 mil could have been an A only if he had the Oline in front of him. I can stomach that because it would mean that he hit on other acquisitions. There was no need to get fancy with Baker. Baker seems to be another because we must move. To make the difference he paid Ovie a record breaking contract and that’s fine but that basically handicapped the team because it was decided that this team was going to be dominant by virtue of pretty moving parts

I try to give TD benefit of the doubt. I can say he tried with Baker but Baker is playing out of position. I can give him credit for Ovie and Turner because they both put up pro bowl performances but at what cost? You want to be a running team? Where are your acquisitions on the Oline? He paid all that money to Ovie to play 2 downs? Those are the downs the Falcons have made most of their living but still… You take away those 2 downs and the Falcons dominance has vanished. You’re reduced to Matt Ryan bailing the team out constantly and he’s doing it painfully.

I’m still not going to be happy with loosing a coach. TD needs to pay every penny to guy that makes this team successful the most. I’m not hacking away at TD. This is a good team that he has built. But this team is not dominant and I blame 100% on TD. TD simply is going to have to sacrifice the D for the betterment the Oline and do some drafting to fix the D. Free agency might be TD’s strength but at some point people are going to have to realize that giving away some of the numbers TD has guaranteed can make anyone look like a free agency guru.

tfalcon

December 27th, 2011
11:14 pm

man some u guys really think we can get by in the play offs man u really need to come to grips with what we bring to the field mr jeff sounds like he knows what time it is, let me help some of u guys out when u loose the way we lost last night good teams DONT DO THAT u need to wake the f*** up sure i want us to make the cut but it aint happening

E43

December 27th, 2011
11:25 pm

Shout out to Justin Blalock. That cats name probably has never been mentioned on this blog.

E43

December 27th, 2011
11:25 pm

I sure hope those are his names. LOL

falcon21

December 27th, 2011
11:27 pm

I hope you had a good Christmas tfalcon, middle school will begin again next week.

OPEN YOUR EYES

December 28th, 2011
12:49 am

FIRE MULARKEY!!!!!!!!
FIRE MULARKEY!!!!!!!!
FIRE MULARKEY!!!!!!!!
FIRE MULARKEY!!!!!!!!
FIRE MULARKEY!!!!!!!!
FIRE MULARKEY!!!!!!!!
FIRE MULARKEY!!!!!!!!
FIRE MULARKEY!!!!!!!!
FIRE MULARKEY!!!!!!!!
FIRE MULARKEY!!!!!!!!
FIRE MULARKEY!!!!!!!!
FIRE MULARKEY!!!!!!!!
FIRE MULARKEY!!!!!!!!
FIRE MULARKEY!!!!!!!!

trademark

December 28th, 2011
5:09 am

Wow, it is really being piled on. And yeah, after that stink fest, I agree. Of course….there IS the small matter of the upcoming playoff game….

I’m gonna keep this REALLY simple.

We win one in the playoffs, that kind of fits this whole slow-a$§ “process” stuff coming from this team, ala Winning seasons back-to-back, making the playoffs consistently, winning a playoff game, getting “elite”….it seems like it is progressing, just s-l-o-w-l-y as hell.

We lose the first one in the playoffs, I start ripping this “process” into tiny little pieces that even Brent Grimes will think are small.

We win lots in the playoffs, I will feel good that I didn’t get any more worked up about this §§$§%§$§ game..*ahem….breathe…breathe…..*, then I already have the last few days.

Still want them to find that Fire.

Go Falcons!

John Waynesworld

December 28th, 2011
5:36 am

Breathing fire, D3. You write how I feel,Kimosabe. In fact after the debacle last night I wondered if it wasn’t a bad idea that we will play our playoff game AWAY, which would save us another embarrassment of showing off a half-empty stadium of the opposing team’s fans to a national audience. In fact I don’t expect this Sunday’s game against the Bucs will even match that many seated butts (and you know their fans don’t travel). Atlanta “fans” always voice their displeasure with their feet, or their butts in this case. Plus, there is my 50″ HDTV theory.

Totally agree Wabe. There is a long list of players, mostly defensive, that have fizzled or went stagnant when they should be ascending. Jerry comes to mind right away, and this year the proof of a rushed pick in Sam Baker comes to light (and almost got Ryan killed). But Chevis Jackson, Robert James, DeCoud (an able backup safety but doesn’t have enough tools to be a ball hawking safety), Owens and even Sidbury (who has had a slow development as well) could all be classified as misfires. I will credit TD for the Lofton pick and snatching Biermann late in ‘08, but ‘09 has been a huge disappointment. 2010 was a much better haul but there are still some question marks, and TD’s 2011 picks will be scrutinized for years, or until Julio turns into Larry Fitzgerald. Right now I would give TD a “C+” in his draft picks, considering most of his defensive picks have fallen flat and that is where this team’s REAL problem lies.

Nick

December 28th, 2011
7:47 am

The defense needs a new coach that will install a defensive scheme that will fit our talent and possibly stop somebody. There is to many talented guys on the defensive side of the ball to be giving up 45 points in a game. BVG soft zone defensive scheme sucks. Its been four years, and guys still allow receivers to run wide open all over the field every game. Drop the zone crap and man up and play more man coverage. We have one solid corner, roll the help over for Robinson. It is clear that Robinson cannot play zone coverage defense.. He played bump an run in Houston. Let him play more of that to see if this guy is worth keeping on the roster. Hopefully they play the saints again because if they roll out that same soft zone defense crap and get lit up, Blank will see that we need to go in a new direction in regards to the defense.

john

December 28th, 2011
7:49 am

look at saints and falcons over the last two years. Both very good teams. I am expecting
a great game if they play again in the playoffs. Either team could win the super bowl.
Saints fan.

John Waynesworld

December 28th, 2011
8:14 am

I hope so, John, but this last game gives no joy to the prospect of playing them again. If we do, I suspect the offensive game plan will be:

1) NO FIELD GOALS
2) 4TH DOWN IS JUST ANOTHER DOWN

Nativebird

December 28th, 2011
8:45 am

This coaching staff cannot get this franchise to the next level. The future is Sean Payton, Mike Mcarthy. The past is Mularkey, Lovie, Norv. etc. Its not just a passing attack…its a passing attack on steriods with lazerlike accuracy, incrediblly complicated route running, speed, and acrobatic receiver play. think Arena football, but with NFL calibur arms, speed and hands on a bigger stage. its obvious to anyone paying attention: Patriots, Saints, Packers. and soon to be Panthers watch out Falcons sorry…but Carolina gets it and is building it.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 28th, 2011
8:46 am

Geo – “The Saints *play* the game. The Falcons go through scripted motions. When it works, it’s impressive, but when they make the transition to the former, they will be an elite team.”
_________________________________________________________

I have said the same many times Geo. It’s why the screen passes don’t work; the plays appeared contrived. Look at the SCRIPTED first play of the game with Roddy White and Julio Jones in the backfield as running backs. It was a failure and accomplished nothing.

The current coaching staff especially Mike Mularkey will never lead the offense to the “playing” state.

E43

December 28th, 2011
9:14 am

I want the Saints in the playoffs.

Richt’s Tanning Salon

December 28th, 2011
9:32 am

They really did get embarrassed out there, I don’t know what to say.

Richt’s Tanning Salon

December 28th, 2011
9:33 am

Other than I can’t stand the Saints. I think we just weren’t playing up to par in this past game.

joe white

December 28th, 2011
9:52 am

We look like step kids out there with our big brother. We need a new offensvie and defensive coorindators

Falcons embarrassed by Saints

December 28th, 2011
9:52 am

[...] Falcons embarrassed by Saints Which is why I really don't want to see them again !! Hopefully the Saints would duplicate Monday Night's game if we do see them a 3rd time. Falcons Embarrassed by Saints | Atlanta Falcons: Bird Cage [...]

Geo

December 28th, 2011
9:52 am

If I were Mike Smith, I would sit Turner and tell Mularkey to use Snelling and Quizz in a more dynamic, pass-first-to-set-up-the-run style offense NOW. It seems like the whole offense plays at Turner speed, and that is too damn slow. It’s a script both we and the opposing teams have seen too many times.

There have been glimpses of what kind of team we could be without Turner, particularly the tempo and the style of the second half of the Carolina game (ala the drive with the TD pass to Quizz).

I appreciate what Turner has done over the past several years, but he is now a millstone around our neck. Whether it’s injury or late season wear, I don’t care. It’s time to shed this guy, and (please) Mularkey along with him.

Also, has anyone asked Smith why his team went into a shell after the first TD drive and showed no interest in attacking the end zone once they were within 20 yards and instead seemed happy with field goals? There were a few creative plays to start the game, but where it counts in the red zone, nothing. WTF? I can’t figure out Smitty’s thought process. As a day to day manager type of guy, he’s been great, but he doesn’t seem to know how to lead his team into battle. It’s schizophrenic. Super agressive at times and super conservative at others, without any rhyme or reason.

bucko

December 28th, 2011
9:59 am

Drew Brees and anyother QB has a field day against the Falcons with soft cover and people out of position. If the Falcons don’t have the balls to get rid of Dunta Robinson,Bum Gardner and get a pass rush we will never be a team to be recognize with point Blank (Arthur)

donsasser

December 28th, 2011
10:23 am

The current offense reminds me of the run and shoot garbage of the June Jones era where everybody sees from the first play on what is going to happen. Hey, Falcons, you suck. Why waste more time than what I did Monday night. Gawd awful jokes. Another national meltdown. Look at it this way. Only one more national meltdown to go — playoff loss — and this friggin season is behind us and hopefully so is Mularky, BVG, Done-ta, Beerman, Baker, Reynolds, Jerry (what an absolute douche), Joe Hawley — are you kidding? My 60 year old elementary teacher had more definitiion in her arms. Where do these lackluster players come from? Check out Hawley’s arms this Sunday. Flacid. There’s not a triceps in there and yet we march out another loser. Kroy Bierman? Hey, he was kind of fun at first, but he sucks. Peria Jerry? Where is this guy? Great draft choice TD. Done-ta — will never call himd Don-tay because that infers I respect his play despite the fact his mother can’t spell — aren’t we tired of seeing his jersey number and those gd dreadlocks flowing from the back of his helmet? No more excuses. Please fro once just admit you suck after the playoff loss coming up. To Smitty: Dude, how can you say that “just wasn’t Falcons play” when it was clearly the finest example of Falcons play. Another article I ready to day says “Falcons want Saints in Playoffs.” Oh, really! That such a good idea or are the coaches ready to jump on the Obama unemployment wagon. We all see through your BS bravado. You suck. You suck. You suck

BillyBob

December 28th, 2011
11:10 am

When you play Saints in their house I don’t understand, when in the red zone, not going for score on 4th down. Especially down by two scores. Even if you only convert half of the time you still get more points. Looks like a 10 win season this year which is a positive but in the playoffs we are one and done, unless we play dallas.

honest_abe

December 28th, 2011
11:10 am

what people seem to miss on the julio trade is that if they had drafted a d-end. maybe his stats wouldn’t be so much greater than ray edwards this year but at least there’s the possibility the player could be much better in the future. unfortunately we know what we’re going to get with ray. not to mention that the money used to sign ray could’ve been used to resign dahl. the trade was so bad on so many different levels. this team has so many holes and it’ll only get worse after this year. with limited draft picks and cap flexibility that falcons will keep this same team for the next several years. good enough to win 9-10 games a year and lose in the first round of playoffs. rise up! yay.

SeminoleWarrior

December 28th, 2011
11:53 am

Quick Hits from the Tar Heel State….

First, OUTSTANDING post, D3. Wish I was at the TeePee so that I really could get down into the mix as far as response.

Second, congrats to JJ. I will contact you next week when I return to the Peach State for info on where to send the championship trophy too.

Third, as Big Ray stated, I warned you all that the Process was going to have to undergo a major overhaul and a second phase.

Fourth, told you the Dunta Robinson move was a bad one and now every one sees it.

Fifth, if you want to throw punches at TD, you have to also hit Smitty. They are married at the hip. Smitty can win the game against the weak but he has YET, YET to win one against the heavyweights of the NFC or AFC when we play them. For a man with a defensive background, his product has been GARBAGE more often than it has been golden. We knew BVG was a first time coordinator. We waited for him to get his guys…..same old results; a soft damned zone that I am sick and tired of. Changes are needed.

Fifth, the JJ move was bold and it will hold up well long term. We have TWO quality WRs that are ready to be major elements in the WCO that I have been advocating for months now.

This team is one and done in the playoffs. When you look at the wild card round, it will be a serious test to return to New Orleans and win. Mentally, I do not think we are prepared for it. Schematically, I know we are not BECAUSE we have ABANDONED our true identity, the RUN. If we have to go to Dallas or the Giants, I do not think our pass defense is ready for either Romo or Eli. So, as much as it pains me to say it, we are once again, ONE AND DONE.

Will hit again when I can..but look for a heck of a lot more from me when I return to the Peach State next week. I’m the Warrior, you are my posse, and I am out.

PS…Thanks for all the prayer and love for the little guy. He is doing amazingly well for a premature guy but I am confident that the Grace will prevail and that he is on his way to changing the world.

BRO

December 28th, 2011
12:09 pm

Got to have new DC and OC for starters and then Smith must decide if he just wants to win more than he loses or does he really want to win. Play calling would be better if done by any Pop Warner coach. GOT TO HAVE two really big strong tough and mean defensive tackles. Someone to take up more than space. Someone that can rush the passer and stop a run when they hit them at the line and not five yards down field after making contact. Hard to make a stop ot the line if you are standing up and being pushed down field. PS….bend and don’t break only works if you don’t break.

BRO

December 28th, 2011
12:17 pm

Turner is a fullback–not a true running back with size, speed and power. Not a real threat. He goes down way too easy on most plays. He can not gain the one yard needed for a first down when everyone knows who will carry the ball. And what was that last fourth down cal with Ryan running naked. He is slower than the other teams D-line. At least it was not Turner up the middle.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 28th, 2011
12:22 pm

Geo – you certainly struck a nerve with me when you said:
“If I were Mike Smith, I would sit Turner and tell Mularkey to use Snelling and Quizz in a more dynamic, pass-first-to-set-up-the-run style offense NOW. It seems like the whole offense plays at Turner speed, and that is too damn slow. It’s a script both we and the opposing teams have seen too many times.”
______________________________________

Repeat: It is obvious a running game is needed to balance the offensive attack. Let’s face it, the Falcons don’t have a running game. An acceptable running game uses more than one player and uses many different types of plays to move the ball. I will repeat what I said a week or two ago, the running game needs to be opened up by putting Michael Turner on the bench. The higher YAC that he has registered is usually because of one long run that skews the average. He is the league leader for three years in negative runs.

The Atlanta Falcons use one back who is given the ball to gain yards. There is no mystery to the purpose of the offense when Turner is in the game. The “running game” of the Atlanta Falcons is not intergrated with the passing game. Michael Turner is a crutch for the HC and OC not to change. For some reason, they cannot break themselves from this aberation of a running game. The other specific question I have about the running game, “Why is Turner given so many carries with a groin injury that has affected his running for four games?”

Falcons’ Running Game on Sunday:
M.Turner….CAR-11 YDS-39
J.Rogers….CAR-1 YDS-(-1)
M.Ryan……CAR-2 YDS-(-3)
TEAM……..CAR-14 YDS-35 AVG-2.5 LG-7

Saints’ Running Game on Sunday:
D.Sproles CAR-5 YDS-67
P.Thomas CAR-9 YDS-53
C.Ivory CAR-8 YDS-35
D.Brees CAR-1 YDS-9
TEAM CAR-23 YDS-164 AVG-7.1 LG-36

D3

December 28th, 2011
12:30 pm

G’Mornin’ Cage Fam! — I have walked down from the ledge some after the Destruction in the Dome from Monday Night. Thanks to some fellow posters, namely Big Ray and Mr. Charlie, I remembered that this season is not done just yet and we still have some games to play. However, I still stand behind my belief that at a bare minimum Mularkey needs to go. Simply too much talent to be that poor…..period. I’ll also still claim that BVG really needs to go as well, but knowing reality says that both won’t be gone, I’ll take a new OC. The only way I would think that could happen is if Mularkey takes the Jax job (good luck with that), move Bratkowski up to OC, and get a new DC. Still, I completely concede that they absolutely will not get a two new coordinators in one off-season.

One of the last things I said last night was that I don’t mind losing, but I cannot stand getting blown out and embarrassed, whether it be my Dawgs or Falcons. That got me thinking about how other “elite” teams have fared in their losses, so I did a little research.

Disclaimer: Before any of you purists jump down my throat about this research, I will readily admit that this is completely unscientific and really is more to whet my curiosity on losses. Yes, a loss is still a loss, but getting blown out is different to me than losing by a FG

Chose 4 “elite” teams that are known as perennial excellent teams and have won the Super Bowl (or several) recently, their worst losses over last 4 years, and margin of loss……….

Packers
2010 – lost six games by a combined total of 20 points, including 2 overtime losses.
2009 – lost to Vikings by 12
2008 – lost to Saints by 22 (changed defensive coordinators in subsequent off-season)

Saints
2011 – lost by 10 to Rams
2010 – lost by 10 to Cardinals, 13 to Browns, 10 to Bucs
2009 – lost by 13 to Panthers ( last game of season, starters rested)
2008 – lost by 23 to Chargers, 14 to Falcons (changed defensive coordinator in off-season)

Steelers
2011 – lost by 28 to Ravens, 17 to 49ers (Roethlisberger hurt)
2008 – lost by 17 to Titans (won Super Bowl that year)

Patriots
2010 – lost by 20 to Browns
2009 – lost by 21 to Saints, 19 Ravens
2008 – Brady out for year
2007 – 18-1 record

Colts
2011 – Peyton Manning out for year
2010 – 22 to Chargers
2009 – 14 to Jets, 23 to Bills (rested starters on both after being 14-0)
2008 – 16 to Bears, 20 to Packers (12-4)
2006 – 27 to Jaguars (won Super Bowl)

Falcons
2011 – lost to Bears by 18, Saints by 29
2010 – Eagles by 14 (game was over by halftime), Packers in playoffs by 27
2009 – lost to Eagles by 27, 16 to Patriots, 16 to Cowboys

Alright, once again, I’ll say that this is not scientific in the least and a loss is a loss. But this is somewhat telling here. Some of the teams above have not lost by 20+ points in the last 3 years (Packers, Saints) and when they did in 2008, they both changed their defensive coordinators that off-season. Both, as we well know, have also won a Lombardi Trophy.

The Steelers have lost one huge game this year getting beat by the Steelers 35-7, and that’s the only other big loss they’ve had in 4 years. They’ve won 2 Lombardi Trophies since 2005, and played in a 3rd.

The Patriots are surely less dominant in the postseason as they were, but they are generally still considered elite due to their success in the early part of the decade (3 Lombardi Trophies). They lost 3 games by 20 points (19, 20, 21), but never more than that. They also went 18-1 in a regular season losing their only game in the Super Bowl.

The Colts lost big a twice in the last few years (sorry, not including this year without Peyton Manning), but have also won one Lombardi, played in another Super Bowl, have tons of postseason victories and were 14-0 and decided to rest their starters for last two games of the season.

Our Falcons have been beaten to a pulp many times over the last four years, including two of the worst in a single calendar year (27 in playoffs at home, 29 a few nights ago). We were also embarrassed and outcoached by the Eagles several times, including the gut punch of the decade with the “Vick Episode” in 2009 where we seemed to quit. The game against the Bears was essentially over by the 3rd quarter and same goes for us playing the Eagles last year, the Cowboys and Patriots in 2009. We didn’t lose a single game by more than 15 points in 2008, Smith’s first year with lesser talent.

Again, I know it’s not scientific, but elite teams don’t get embarrassed on a regular basis and if they do they make up for it. There is at least one or two games you can count on where our coaching staff gets completely outclassed and outcoached and that’s just the facts. There’s no shame in losing, but getting your @sses absolutely torched on a regular basis is a sign of coaching, not players.

Horace Williams

December 28th, 2011
12:54 pm

I have to admit, the Saints are a great team. Drew Brees is untouchable….Classy and 1st class athletes at its finest. I just dont see that with our team.

lilnunie

December 28th, 2011
12:56 pm

The Falcons should stop worrying about someone running up the score and start making stops. Exactly what was that against the Jags a couple of weeks ago, and it’s been a few years but the they beat the Saints 62-7 and was still calling time outs trying to score more points at the end of that game. I appreciate the rivalry between the two teams and the only thing better than beating the Falcons twice in a season is beating them three times in the same season. Do Dat……..

Sheffield

December 28th, 2011
1:01 pm

Yeah…I took the trip to New Orleans…quick point…they cheer EVERY DOWN not just 3rd…

Ok
1. Turner is too slow
2. Defense needs break down drills…Dont run full speed…get there break down…make the sack
3. Turner is too slow
4. We need a consistent pass rush
5. Turner is too slow
6. Yes. Unleash Spoon
7. Turner is too slow!

Colonel Ditka

December 28th, 2011
1:01 pm

To Smitty: Dude, how can you say that “just wasn’t Falcons play” when it was clearly the finest example of Falcons play… You suck. You suck. You suck.

Yep.

The Falcons will never fail in their quest to outdo their last disappointment.

Hamad Meander

December 28th, 2011
1:04 pm

D3 – It’s like you are in my mind dude. You are right on with all of your points. I was amazed to see your breakdown of the Saints offensive line, were they were drafted vs. how dang well they played against us. Those guys were perfect in their execution, never missed blocks, and played to the whistle on every play. And I thought our defense looked ok as far as pressure goes and creating turnovers, but on third down, it was like we gave up.

The only thing I would disagree with you on is cutting Ovie Mughelli. I like the dude and what he brings on the field. Offensive line needs a major overhaul or at least a better conditioning program. They have been mauled all year. Baker needs to go, Hawley needs to go, Clabo needs to play up to his pay (wow has he been awful lately), and we need a beefier center. False starts should be charged $5,000 a pop.

This Falcon team has talent but it’s not being coached well. It’s time for a new direction on defense which is more risk oriented. If you don’t line up on third down and go after the QB, you aren’t going to stop anyone in this league.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 28th, 2011
1:40 pm

Hamad Meander – I don’t think you can keep someone on the team because you like them. I’m afraid that is why HC Smith is reluctant to make needed changes to the team.

Ovie was/is Michael Turner’s personal blocking back. We need running backs who can offer more than blocking. We also have blocking tight ends. Did you see any of New Orleans’ running backs who are used as merely blocking backs? Did you see any of New Orleans’ tight ends who are used as merely blocking tight ends? If a team has to use a SCORING POSITION position to provide blocking, something is wrong. In the Falcon’s case, it probably means the offensive line is very weak and the offensive philosophy is dated. In today’s offensive NFL it is certainly not what the winning teams are doing. I don’t read about any team that says, “We need to find a blocking fullback”.