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

Unca' Bob

December 27th, 2011
2:02 pm

Enter your comments here

Atlanta Native

December 27th, 2011
2:03 pm

BobbyDawg

December 27th, 2011
2:04 pm

The worse part for me is how it seems that we just give up when our opponent starts scoring and playing hard nose football. We looked great at the start of the game and on our second drive, then when the aints struck back with authority it seemed like the whole team just went slack and let them have their way with us. And to think we will probably have to go back to NO for the playoffs.

Screen Pass

December 27th, 2011
2:04 pm

Are you crazy? How can you bad mouth the coaches and the team after that display last night. What do you want the coaches to do? Actually make the players practice before big games and even insert schemes tailored to strike their weaknesses and play to our strengths? Thats crazy talk. :)

Sav Fan

December 27th, 2011
2:05 pm

Well said -I agree in toto

honest_abe

December 27th, 2011
2:10 pm

fair synopsis.

if anyone is looking for something positive to get you through the week it is that there is a slight chance the saints will overlook the falcons when/if they meet in the 1st round of the playoffs.

this falcons d needs pass rushers in order to be effective. it’s safe to say ray edwards is just not that good with a limited ceiling. if he could only get 8 sacks playing opposite jared allen 4 sacks sounds about right while he’s in atlanta.

we saw last night how much of a difference a talented offensive line makes. the falcons need major upgrades at both tackle spots and right guard.

falcons need a new tb and a te they can groom.

the secondary remains a mess.

the passing game shows signs of life but still has problems incorporating everyone into the scheme (no HD sighting last night)

all in all a depressing december day in atlanta.

Atlanta Native

December 27th, 2011
2:14 pm

My mantra this season has been that the only constants on the team in the last 4 years are the coaches. The roster has been rebuilt and does have good athletes.

On defense, the even the announcers were talking about soft zones and predictable schemes that BVG runs. Yet another national TV embarrassment of no pass rush, broken down cover and wide open receivers. The reason why the defense can’t get off the field on third down rests solely on BVG’s shoulder’s. The Birds will not get any better under his “tutelage”.

On offense, 3 field goals and 4 punts (before I turned the game off in disgust) proves the ineptness of MM. There appears to be no direction to the game plan except for “hey, let’s try this play now.” Stats do not win ball games and those seem to be what MM hangs his hat on.

I’ll say this again, the Falcons will not progress any further in the “process” with BVG and MM in their current roles.

Michael

December 27th, 2011
2:15 pm

I almost had a stroke watching this game last night. It would be one thing if our defense was giving up big plays on 1st and 2nd down and not even making them convert a 3rd down. To let an offense consistently convert 3rd and long the way we did last night is unacceptable. Meanwhile, our offense consistently stalled on 3rd and short. Combine that with our inability to finish drives with TDs and you have the recipe for 45-16. I can only hope that our wildcard game against them in two weeks is a day game. Our only hope would be the Saints coming out flat and falling behind. If not, it will be another long offseason in Flowery Branch.

tdawg

December 27th, 2011
2:19 pm

What a horrible display last night from the Falcons! As a season ticket holder, I have no desire to go to the last game or even watch them in the playoffs. What a joke. I will of course watch them, but they really don’t even deserve to be there. All that talent and the coaching staff can’t figure out what to do with it! And Smitty says he was blindsided by their performance? Well, there you go. It just made me feel sick watching that game last night.

falCANS fan

December 27th, 2011
2:21 pm

daunte robinson blew like 12 coverages!!!! Gota get rid of him ASAP!!!! everybody on defense must be replaced except: Babs and Peters on the line, grimes (shut down) and Moore in the secondary, lofton and spoon in the linebacking core!!! TRADE EVERYBODY ON OFFENSE!!!! SMH
but i’ll settle for the OC’s head

E

December 27th, 2011
2:27 pm

Same ole SH*T…. Their an average team that the fans hope win games against the better teams of the league but they cannot. I have learned not to look for too much from them so I want be disappointed.. I have also learned long time ago that all Atlanta’s sport teams SUCKS!!!!!

Peter

December 27th, 2011
2:32 pm

Well all about the coaching…. Yes the Saints are a better team then the Falcon’s……..But the coaching staffs don’t compare.

Mike Smith going for it on 4th and 1 here in the Dome told me all….. Not much common sense.

Plus he can’t see they are getting out schemed each week ?

Turner has lost two steps and looks like Duckett hitting a hole. The lines on both side are not very good.

Peter

December 27th, 2011
2:34 pm

Hey Screen pass….. how many screen passes did Atlanta run compared the the Saints ? How effective were they ?

David

December 27th, 2011
2:43 pm

The coaches are not at fault. What is BVG supposed to do, get on the field and drag Dunta Robinson to the deep part of his zone. When BVG sends a blitz, is it his fault that the blitzers act as if the quarterback isn’t going to move out of the way.

Mike Smith can do many things, but he cannot control penalties. How many 3rd down conversions in the Red Zone were turned into 3rd and longs by stupid penalties.

The Falcons played poorly, but most of their errors are correctible. The players are who we need to look at (Brent Grimes vs. Dunta Robinson), not BVG or Mike Smith.

D3

December 27th, 2011
2:44 pm

I know the easiest and most common thing to do is to say our talent is inferior, particularly the offensive line, but I’ll just have to disagree with that statement. All the responsibility lies at the feet of the coaching staff and their inability to scheme and develop their players. A look at vaunted Saints OL that just hung 45 on us…………

LT — Jermon Bushrod – 4th rd
LG — Carl Nicks – 5th rd
C — Brian de la Puente – Undrafted
RG — Jahri Evans – 4th rd
RT — Zach Strief – 7th rd

Having great lines or superior talent doesn’t mean you have to have 1st and 2nd rounders everywhere, it’s more about how they’re developed and, more importantly, how their talents are analyzed, schemed for, and used.

Chop Buster

December 27th, 2011
2:47 pm

What sums up TD, the coaching staff and this team is incompetence and a lack of accountablity. Dimitroff because he lacked experience to be in the position to begin with and name one draft pick or FA he signed that dominates in any facet of the game. The coachinging staff does NOT know how to gsmeplan to attack a team’s weakness and have no clue how to make an in game adjustment. The players are absolutely atrocious on defense and a few offensive players shouldn’t be on this team. Special teams has been the worst in Falcons history

D3

December 27th, 2011
2:48 pm

David — Welcome to the Cage. We’ll have to agree to disagree because the players are making the same mistakes BECAUSE of the terrible coordinators, not in lieu of them. Not knowing how to tackle, not knowing how to cover, gaping holes in the secondary, not knowing how to blitz, etc. are a direct reflection of coaching. They’ve been running that same ridiculous soft-zone, bend-but-don’t-break scheme for ages now and the true colors have finally shown through this season.

Chop Buster

December 27th, 2011
2:49 pm

Everything D3 said is on spot. This team is mediocre and will never win a championship with this staff or group of players.

David

December 27th, 2011
2:52 pm

I think most of our talent is pretty good. My problem when it comes to our players is execution. Stupid penalties, not sacking the quarterback, not covering your zone properly. Those are things that when it comes down to the game, the players have to execute. The coaches can scheme all night, but the players have to execute (the Falcons had 400 yards of total offense, but they had to settle for field goals because of dumb panalties).

Screen Pass

December 27th, 2011
2:54 pm

“Hey Screen pass….. how many screen passes did Atlanta run compared the the Saints ? How effective were they ?” – Peter

Hey Peter, not enough. I remember the 1st one went to Turner for a first down 8-12 yard gain. The Saints put on a clinic using the RB core and not just in the screen game. For a “rushing” coordinator like MM to be completely outclassed at his own game by a “passing” coordinator tells me what I need to know. If your actually interested in knowing the “official” stats may have been released but I haven’t checked yet. There was lots of poor officiating last night and the league might change some stats..hard to say.

David

December 27th, 2011
2:55 pm

Sorry, I wrote before I saw the last post, so I’m a little off. Thanks for an excellent place to discuss the Falcons.

darrell starks

December 27th, 2011
2:56 pm

Falcans fan I disagree with you about Dunta, how many times have i said Dunta is not good at zone coverage, he is a man – man cover guy that’s his strenght and this what made him a pro bowler cover type CB, the problem is BVG not playing the players according to there strenght, FOR EXAMPLE SPOON SHOULD BE BLITZING MORE, but BVG for some reason continue play this sorry A$$ bend don’t break defense.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kr

December 27th, 2011
2:57 pm

No guts or pride along with bad coaching!!!! Who wants to keep paying for this?

Chop Buster

December 27th, 2011
2:58 pm

Someone needs to get Jeff Fisher on speed dial in a hurry!

honest_abe

December 27th, 2011
2:59 pm

d3: i agree that you don’t need 1st rounder to fill up the o-line and that alot of the responsiblity lies with the coaches to develop the talent. but the falcons have a very good o-line coach so that isn’t the problem but rather a lack of talent. the talent on the o-line just isn’t that good. period.

honest_abe

December 27th, 2011
3:00 pm

yes how about jeff fisher as head coach, steve spagnuolo as your new d-coordinator and josh mcdaniels as new o-coordinator.

Screen Pass

December 27th, 2011
3:07 pm

“steve spagnuolo as your new d-coordinator ” – HA

Reports surfacing that he will be announced the Eagles new DC very soon. Seems we missed the bus yet again.

darrell starks

December 27th, 2011
3:07 pm

The Falcons have won 9 games this yea.
The Falcons have beat Only 1 team have winning record wow!!!!!!!!!! now thats crazy.
Detroit is the only team with a winning record Falcons have won against this year.
How fraud is that.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!

Chop Buster

December 27th, 2011
3:08 pm

How many of these articles has D3 written this year? At least two or three I’ve read. This is no aberration for this team–this is becoming the norm whenever we play a winning team.

Wabe

December 27th, 2011
3:12 pm

I’ve been sayin’ for 3 seasons that Van Gorder needed to go…

You guys called it on Mularkey though.

I’ll reserve my ‘offseason analysis’ for the offseason though. Only a couple of weeks away.

Mr Charlie

December 27th, 2011
3:14 pm

1. 2-6 against Payton, not 2-8.

2. Agreed.

3. I was calling JJ a bust, but that is not really fair. However, the “one play away” philosophy never works. As I said on draft day, name one “blockbuster” all for trade that has ever worked out.

4. As it stands now, I would agree, however, as I said last night, in the grand scheme of things, the game was somewhat meaningless. So, before we decide that coaches need to be fired, I believe they should be evaluated after the playoffs. It we make noise in the playoffs, this game is a footnote if not, this game is a catalyst for change.

5. Bad calls for sure, untimely penalties.

6. That is what they said about Leeman Bennett, and that exact philosophy led us directly to here.

7. Really the crux of our problems.

8. As I said, this win was more needed more for us than anything. But all pretty much gets forgivin and forgotten with a few playoff wins.

In summary, you are never as bad, or as good, as you think you are. However great teams show up for big games, and we have not to date. Fortunately, unlike last year, we do need to wait 9 months to take the field again, hopefully, we will get this taste out of our mouth much sooner. Time to move on, and like everything in life, is it now what happens, but how you respond.

falcon21

December 27th, 2011
3:15 pm

Sure the coaching staff could and should be doing a better job, I agree with that but the o and d-line is what it is, not very good. No coach will beat a good team with that kind of weakness. They may keep it close for a while but with poor talent on both of our lines the more talented team will win more times than not.

D3

December 27th, 2011
3:15 pm

Immediate, knee-jerk changes as soon as we get blown out of the playoffs again……..

1) Cut Ovie Mughelli and Sam Baker (immediately clearing roughly 3 mill in cap space)

2) Cut Kevlin Hayden (good, but injured all year)

3) Fire Van Gorder, Mularkey, Tim Lewis, and Keith Armstrong

4) Hire a DC that will bring an intense 4-3 aggressive scheme

5) Hire an OC that will employ a West Coast Style offense to emphasize and cultivate Ryan’s strengths

6) Hire a special teams coach worth his weight in salt.

7) Cut Eric Weems (freeing 1 million salary)

8) Put Turner on notice that he must catch the ball out of the backfield and be multi-purpose or he will be cut or traded before season starts (last year of his contract anyway).

9) All D players get a mulligan for a year to see what new DC can do with them

10) Use money to re-sign Lofton, HD, Snelling, DeCoud (see point #9), and Biermann

11) Offer Abraham around 6-7 million or let him walk (yes, I said it. He’s no longer worth 8+ million a year. 8.5 sacks on year, where 3.5 came against pitiful Jaguars).

12) If you want to cut DeCoud, than re-sign James Sanders to be starting FS, while they draft and develop new FS.

13) Draft OL, FS, TE in that order (2nd rounder, and two 3rd rounders with compensatory pick).

There you go. I’m sure it’ll change a million times between now and April, but getting rid of BOTH coordinators is a must.

FAN

December 27th, 2011
3:15 pm

We need to switch to the 34 defense. BVG needs to go. So does Dunta, he is very overrated.

Mr Charlie

December 27th, 2011
3:17 pm

Josh McDanials? LOL, you guys smoking something?

Michael

December 27th, 2011
3:18 pm

Mularkey calls plays the way someone does when they are trying to play Madden football for the first time, he just picks whatever looks neat. It seems like everytime I watch this team in a big game I never have the confidence that our offense will score when it needs to and that our defense will get stops when it needs to.

Screen Pass

December 27th, 2011
3:20 pm

“but getting rid of BOTH coordinators is a must” – D3

Why is the smartest blogger regarding the Falcons the least paid? :) Thanks for the board and congrats.

Screen Pass

December 27th, 2011
3:22 pm

“We need to switch to the 34 defense” – FAN

I think this needs to be strongly considered this off-season.

stendek

December 27th, 2011
3:22 pm

Bravo Dawson. Well typed my friend. Know what disgusted me more than the final score? Apathy? Unexplainable penalties? Blown coverages? Missed tackles? Inept playcalling? It was the damn carefree I just do not give a F- attitude by the Falcons following the embarrassment. Matty Lice was the first to run over to hug and kiss Drew Brees. Thanks for team loyalty loser! Hell. Midget Bob Berry would have punched the Cajun SOB in the mouth after he ran the score up against the Falcon D. Of course Bob Berry had heart. No height to speak of and marginal talent but plenty of heart. Something the present Falcon QB does not nor will ever possess. Know something else? Teams used to fear the Falcons even though they knew they could beat them. Why? Falcon players had pride and would knock the Hell out of opponents. Teams exited game with W but also black and blue bruises galore. These Falcons are soft. Arm tacklers when they do tackle. Marshmallows. The whole damn D would lose in a brawl against Claude Humphrey and John Zook. Arthur Blank cannot buy heart and desire. Something every Falcon lacks. Except Tony Gonzalez and maybe that FG kicker. A 9-8 finish would be more befitting of these quitters than anything higher. That is the truth my friend. That embarrassed me! Wish it had embarrassed the players too. Oh well. Best. :)

FAN

December 27th, 2011
3:25 pm

All the top defenses in the league are 34 Ds(no pun intended).

LRD

December 27th, 2011
3:27 pm

D3: Cut Ovie or restructure contract? It seems ever since Ovie went down, so did Turners production. So I would say you can’t have one without the other ……(que the Married with children theme)

DeCoud.. dance after making a play then get torched. Let him go
Resign Mr Grimes
Find someone to take Dunta off our hands. I have tried to defend him, and cant any more.
Weems will be gone. Gut feeling.
Mularkey will be gone.

FFL: JJ Again.. congrats man. I owe you a few beers

WR

December 27th, 2011
3:31 pm

Evening cage, shame on you D3 for telling the truth, what awful things to say about the Falcons, if it weren’t for you telling the truth I can’t see how you could live with yourself, LOL.

First off I’m glad D3 jumped right on the potential excuses, OL, DL, DB, or whatever else, no, the units aren’t particularly great and sometimes they may fail to be good, but elite teams get by with fair, and these units have at least been fair. Case in point, Dunta, Dunta, Dunta, no he hasn’t been worth the price tag, but the guy he replaced Chris Houston probably is on his way to the Pro Bowl, what changed, he got away from this coaching staff. Sorry but Dunta doesn’t line up ten yards off the ball against Drew Brees because of his own free will, its a design of his coaches will and that design has failed miserably. Seen or heard of an Atlanta blitz package.

That was only one aspect of the problems the D faces, but know one has all day to discuss it so let’s move on to the O. Jordy Nelson, Greg Jennings, James Jones, and Micheal Finley, then there’s Marcus Colston, Lance Moore, Robert Meacheam, and Jimmy Graham, or how about Wes Walker, Deion Branch, Aaron Hernandez and Gronkowski, are the Falcons consisting of Roddy White, Julio Jones, Harry Douglas, and Tony Gonzalez, really that inferior to these guys. But the Falcons are more of a running team, okay with the weapons I just compared in your arsenal who would you whether have at running back, James Starks, Pierre Thomas, Ben Jarvis Green-Ellis or Micheal Turner. I mean really come on, well Matt Ryan is no Brees, Brady, or Rodgers, nice excuse, but outside of Calvin Johnson, who does Stafford have at his disposal in a high-octane offense, and who’s blocking for him, please stop the excuses. Whether you like it or not sometimes its not the players, sometimes it is the coaches, even when your now consistently winning as opposed to consistently losing, but know one cares about the regular season except Falcons fans because the Falcons are no longer doormats their now coat hangars, whoa the excitement.

On a good note: Congrats to JJ whom just won the first annual Sarah B. FFL trophy, anyone ever seen “Friday” thats my dogg, thats my dogg.

David

December 27th, 2011
3:34 pm

D3: I think Decoud and Baker should go. I wouldn’t threaten to cut Turner (always in the top 5 for rushing). What would you do about cornerback (before cutting Haden)? Robinson has been a weak link. Not as bad as Chris Houston, but not by much.

D3

December 27th, 2011
3:35 pm

Chop Buster — That got me thinking. Not including last year’s Debacle in the Dome, here we go……………

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-fans/2011/09/11/collapse-in-chicago-%E2%80%93-falcons-play-wretched-football/

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-fans/2011/09/25/falcons-reel-in-sloppy-loss-to-bucs/

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-fans/2011/10/10/falcons-meltdown-to-packers-again/

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-fans/2011/11/14/falcons-choke-to-saints/

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-fans/2011/11/18/what%E2%80%99s-wrong-with-the-2011-atlanta-falcons/

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-fans/2011/12/04/falcons-fall-apart-against-texans/

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-fans/2011/12/27/falcons-embarrassed-by-saints/

And here’s a few where it took everything we could to beat crappy teams………….

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-fans/2011/10/02/less-than-stellar-in-seattle-%E2%80%93-falcons-barely-hang-on/

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-fans/2011/11/22/falcons-outlast-titans/

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-fans/2011/11/27/falcons-edge-past-vikings/

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-fans/2011/12/11/falcons-show-guts-in-win-over-panthers/

So here’s our wordplay from the titles of the posts of our losses to good teams:

Collapse, Wretched, Reel, Sloppy, Meltdown, Choke, Fall Apart, Embarrassed

And wordplay from out wins against inferior opponents…..

Edge, Outlast, Guts in a Comeback, Less than Stellar.

Sorry, but for a coaching staff that has no changes in 4 years of the (broken) “process,” these aren’t words, adjectives, and verbs used to describe teams that are legit.

Wabe

December 27th, 2011
3:39 pm

What the heck…

I’ll take a quick knee-jerk stab at it.

I wanna see 2 new coordinators at a minimum, and I don’t want anybody from within the regime. I wanna see an outsider come in and get a shot at this. Why? I wanna be able to see without a shadow of a doubt whether what we’re seeing is 100% on the coordinators or whether Smitty sticks his hand in the cookie jar or not. If we get a pair of new coordinators and we see the same results, you’d have to point the finger at Smitty.

With that said, I’m not ready to do what the Chargers did and prematurely fire Smitty. I’d give him another shot with new guys around him. I’d give him a couple of seasons to make it work. Couple meaning 2. If we don’t see improvement over the course of 2 seasons, he just might not be the guy.

Personnel wise, you gotta re-sign Lofton and Grimes. I’d hold onto HD and Sanders. Decoud, ehhh. He’s decent, haven’t really seen much progression out of him, but I wouldn’t mind seeing him back with anew coordinator. Let Hayden walk, Franks looks like he can man that nickel job. Have no objection to the moves D3’s cited. That’s pretty much where I see it too. I think Weems should go. Let someone else stand back there to watch balls fly out of the endzone. He’s a good special teams player, but that’s all he is. More than replaceable.

Regarding Abe, I don’t even know. I certainly wouldn’t break the bank to bring him back. But, I’m wondering exactly what our line’s gonna look like in the coming years if we’re in a 4-3. All the more reason I think it’d be best for us to look for a BIG NT and try to switch to a 3-4. We’ve got the necessary peices minus the NT. But, I’ll see what TD does on this one.

Screen Pass

December 27th, 2011
3:39 pm

“All the top defenses in the league are 34 Ds(no pun intended).” – FAN

That could be argued altho I won’t. There are good 4-3 schemes and a few DCs that can run them…the right player talent is getting rarer tho. The big onus for us going 3-4 is the diversity of defensive options especially in regards to blitzing that are possible. We are in a division with Cam, Brees, and that Bucs guy which isnt a QB yet but could be with a new coach (the free-one is not worthy of a name mention sorry :) ). Passing defense is a priorty we can no longer put off. The fact certain positions which are not as hard/ expensive to fill as DE are featured means that we might actually be able to get the proper personnel to run a 3-4 alot easier/cheaper has to be factored in as well. I hope the brass in Suwanee are smart enough to consider the options well.

SavDawg

December 27th, 2011
3:42 pm

The idea of a 3-4 defense makes a lot of sense to me. It seems that smart fast LB are easier to find than DE’s or DT’s

WR

December 27th, 2011
3:44 pm

David, like D3 welcome, but pointing the finger at players is useless. For four years now the finger has been pointed at the players, why. Because the Falcons are now showing winning regular seasons their failures as far as sniffing championships has to be the players fault. Can’t be the fault of a coaching staff and front office that has failed to completely grasp the idea of being real contenders in today’s NFL. The Falcons now have at least a chance of making the playoffs every year and thats supposedly is okay. Sorry, not for me, when I see the Falcons play I see a team that appears to be playing 15 on 11 ball, both offensively and defensively, I’m not an NFL coach but I do know that its the job of coaches to put their players in the best position to succeed. Again I’m sorry but Deion Sanders couldn’t cover a receiver when the QB could have coffee and a donut before passing.

DJ Sniper

December 27th, 2011
3:45 pm

We don’t really have the personnel to switch to the 3-4. Our biggest DT is only around 305 or so; not nearly large enough to occupy the necessary gaps. Spoon is probably our best pass rushing LB; outside of that, not too much. The 4-3 can be effective for us; we just need a different, more aggressive scheme.

D3

December 27th, 2011
3:46 pm

My point on Turner is predicated on the move to a West Coast Offensive scheme where the backs must be able to catch the ball out of the backfield. When Turner is in the game, the defense knows what’s NOT coming and that’s a threat of a pass to the running back. I said knee-jerk, but we’re going to be severely limited according to cap space. We’re going to need money to re-sign some of our core guys and right now we have none.

Same goes for Ovie. Love the guy, but moving towards a a WCO scheme gets rid of the need for such a high-priced FB. As Screen Pass said earlier, we (a supposedly heavy running team) just got schooled on the ground by a high-flying passing team. The hyper-conservative, run-heavy philosophy is over…kaput. We can’t beat good teams with it anymore, plain and simple.

Franks has more than proven he’s good enough to play nickel back and Darrin Walls has shown he’s got more than enough talent to take over the 4th spot. Toss-up on Chris Owens. Again, I would be willing to give almost every defensive player a gimme after being in such a piss-poor, conservative, and passive defensive scheme.

Wabe

December 27th, 2011
3:47 pm

Problem with Turner is, he’s a one-dimensional back. He doesn’t provide you the homerun threat that other backs provide. And thus, IMO, he doesn’t really scare defenses. He’s the kinda guy that’ll slowly wear on you, and then after 45 minutes or so of pounding, will go for the kill with some more pounding.

doug

December 27th, 2011
3:47 pm

Falcons need speed on their team,alot of speed.

Michelle Woods

December 27th, 2011
3:48 pm

We must learn to stand by the team not matter what. You can call the Saint’s the Aint’s if you like, but one thing iI admire most about them is that they have die hard fans. Fans support them even when they loose. The Saints ran over us like a train last night. Perhaps we can do better next time. Lets not be sore loosers because they tore our wings off. Hopefully they will grow back by the next game.

SavDawg

December 27th, 2011
3:48 pm

Hey I remmber Sara B. Bless her soul, but haven’t heard of Sara B FFL trophy whats up?

D3

December 27th, 2011
3:52 pm

Wabe
December 27th, 2011
3:39 pm…. I wanna see 2 new coordinators at a minimum, and I don’t want anybody from within the regime. I wanna see an outsider come in and get a shot at this. Why? I wanna be able to see without a shadow of a doubt whether what we’re seeing is 100% on the coordinators or whether Smitty sticks his hand in the cookie jar or not. If we get a pair of new coordinators and we see the same results, you’d have to point the finger at Smitty.

With that said, I’m not ready to do what the Chargers did and prematurely fire Smitty. I’d give him another shot with new guys around him. I’d give him a couple of seasons to make it work. Couple meaning 2. If we don’t see improvement over the course of 2 seasons, he just might not be the guy.

Spot on post!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

December 27th, 2011
3:52 pm

Me i would change the scem on defense call the NEW AGE DEFENSE” LOL!!!!!!!!!! but im serious.

I would call it 5- 2 defense with 3 DT and 2 DE with only 2 LB with 3 CB and 1 SAFETY, this defense would become so dominating nobody would want face my team.

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

Wabe

December 27th, 2011
3:54 pm

I’ll even take an more aggressive 4-3 at this point. But exactly who are we gonna find that’ll provide us that?

How would you guys feel about a guy like Norv Turner if the Chargers let him go as an OC?

What are some names at the top of yalls heads?

SavDawg

December 27th, 2011
3:58 pm

Seem all we need to switch to 3-4 is a couple of 350 lb’ers for nose tackle. Lot’s of them in collrge. Shucks GA has two.

Wabe

December 27th, 2011
3:59 pm

Maybe a guy like Todd Haley?

He made it work with a similar looking offense in Arizona with Fitz and Boldin.

D3

December 27th, 2011
4:00 pm

Norv Turner, Marty Morningwheg (assuming they are let go, which many think they’ll be back), or Brian Billick. I wouldn’t be 100% completely upset if Bratkowski took over, but only under the assumption that we get a new DC as well.

I wouldn’t be necessarily opposed to a 3-4 move, but their would have to be a good bit of changes needed for that to happen.

sl3_007

December 27th, 2011
4:00 pm

Turner looked liked he was running in slow-motion compared to the Saints explosive backs.Is our defense that weak or the Saints that good?

WR

December 27th, 2011
4:01 pm

Now more excuses, the 3-4 sounds good because its the popular new wave of today’s NFL. But the 3-4 is not a new defense, the Falcons could run a 3-4, 4-3, 4-2-5, or whatever else and the results wouldn’t change. Defense needs to be about aggression and taking away your opponents strengths, that’s actually the same principle an offense needs to have, the Falcons have neither, thats the problem. The Falcons are okay with dictating nothing, they want to eat up clock offensively and just get by if the O can’t do so defensively, that’s not today’s NFL, and its not of today’s NFL’s design. Today’s NFL is about points, the leaders of the NFL decided the fans love points so they have made the NFL more point friendly, the new rules suck, but their out there to be taken advantage of, if our team as fans is not doing so its on them and ultimately us, a change in defense doesn’t change that, a change in philosophy will.

darrell starks

December 27th, 2011
4:05 pm

Wabe if Chargers let him go, i would text him ASAP and tell him be here before season starte, MR. BLANK IS WAITING.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!

Screen Pass

December 27th, 2011
4:08 pm

“Defense needs to be about aggression and taking away your opponents strengths, that’s actually the same principle an offense needs to have, the Falcons have neither, thats the problem. The Falcons are okay with dictating nothing, they want to eat up clock offensively and just get by if the O can’t do so defensively, that’s not today’s NFL, and its not of today’s NFL’s design. Today’s NFL is about points, the leaders of the NFL decided the fans love points so they have made the NFL more point friendly, the new rules suck, but their out there to be taken advantage of, if our team as fans is not doing so its on them and ultimately us, a change in defense doesn’t change that, a change in philosophy will” – WR

Well said. Fully agree.

Screen Pass

December 27th, 2011
4:13 pm

“What are some names at the top of yalls heads?” – Wabe

If I was TD and what I read about the Eagles trying to lock up Spags…I would have a full tilt every option Winnebago stocked with blow, hookers, and pen plus contract sitting outside his house NOW.

Big Wally

December 27th, 2011
4:13 pm

Dimitroff has been getting a pass in the media. He is the culprit for this failed team. Need to get rid of the “boy wonder” and hire the Assistant GM in Green Bay or Pittsburgh. Those are two organizations who know how to evaluate college talent.

BillyBob

December 27th, 2011
4:17 pm

I live in Dallas but still Falcon fan. Cowboy fans are also delusional, thinking that they are going to turn it around in the “near” future. The feelings most of us had first half of Carolina game were confirmed last night. I’ve enjoyed Turner’s career here but it is over. Man is he ever slow. Tony G has been great but you know he’ll hang it up after this season. Falcon football is just a side show for me, I don’t get too bent out of shape after being a 30 year fan but this team is one and done in the playoffs. Mr. Brees, you are the real deal! I pray we don’t see you again this year!

D3

December 27th, 2011
4:18 pm

Screen Pass

December 27th, 2011
4:20 pm

“Norv Turner, Marty Morningwheg (assuming they are let go, which many think they’ll be back), or Brian Billick. I wouldn’t be 100% completely upset if Bratkowski took over, but only under the assumption that we get a new DC as well” – D3

Morningwheg can install the WCO here…that puts him ahead for now outta those 3. Billick could possibly make a better hybrid offense but could bring baggage…assuming he would take a job here in the first place.Maybe we let MM fail on national tv last night and Brat will get a chance with the 3WRTERB sets in the playoffs. If this “dream” scenario occurred and we made big hay in the playoffs, then maybe Brat gets serious consideration.

Big Wally

December 27th, 2011
4:22 pm

Don’t forget in the 2009 Draft the boy wonder took Peria Jerry OVER Clay Matthews. Talk about a whiff.

Wabe

December 27th, 2011
4:23 pm

I know this may not be the best time to bring up any ‘positives’…

But.

Outside of Brent Grimes, which of our DB’s plays the ball better than Dominique Franks?

Franks plays the ball better than any of our other DB’s, IMO. 3 games he’s played, and in all 3 he should’ve walked away with an INT. Especially last night. He doesn’t get caught facegaurding. I don’t think I’ve seen him get caught facegaurding yet.

I think this kid will be a stud. I said it…maybe premature…but I’m really liking what I’m seeing out of this kid.

Chop Buster

December 27th, 2011
4:27 pm

D3 wow! There are way more of these articles that stemmed from poor performances than I remembered. This just proves that this is not the coaching staff to take this team where Arthur wants it to go–Smitty included. The HC sets the tone and what he has been setting is not good. We need someone that actually knows how to attack offenses and defenses and come from Championship winning franchise.

darrell starks

December 27th, 2011
4:32 pm

D3 my biggest concern from this organization have always been on defense. The Falcons have been in the NFL since 1966 but has never been dominating on defense, 45 years with no defense until then this team will struggle for ever.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

December 27th, 2011
4:33 pm

Do any one have in mind for DC ?

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

Screen Pass

December 27th, 2011
4:34 pm

“The Falcons have been in the NFL since 1966 but has never been dominating on defense, 45 years with no defense until then this team will struggle for ever” – DS

*COUGHS* …do a lil more homework and come back and tell us why you are wrong :)

honest_abe

December 27th, 2011
4:35 pm

mr charlie: what do you have against josh MC-d? other than the fact that he’s an offensive mastermind.

don’t care of haley. he’s borderline pyscho.

norv turner would be an interesting choice as a coordinator, but def not as a head coach.

count me in on the spags bandwagon.

i’d love to bring jeff fisher in as head coach.

wabe: i like franks too.

D3

December 27th, 2011
4:38 pm

I am to a point where I will no longer apologize or excuse-make for this coaching staff any longer. Coach Smith absolutely should be given time to correct his mistakes, get some new guys in here, and get back to beating quality opponents.

I will no longer feel guilty, bad, or apologize for calling for MM and BVG to be gone. They have had 4 years with improved talent only to see their respective products (offenses and defenses) get worse since they took over. And I used to only think that MM should be gone and rationalize that the defense was “good enough.” Nope. No longer. This was the final straw with me for BVG. Good defenses don’t get 48 and 45 points hung on them in the two biggest games of the year. Absolutely unacceptable.

Big Wally

December 27th, 2011
4:44 pm

Ray Edwards, now there is a shrewd off season pick up. Can’t believe I am saying this, but that bust Jamaal Anderson (the Def. End) was better than Ray Edwards – at least he tried.

D3

December 27th, 2011
4:47 pm

From Pat Y. @ ESPN NFC South…………..

Falling

2. Atlanta’s defense. I’m sure some members of the Falcons’ organization aren’t happy the Saints were still throwing the ball late in Monday night’s game. Understandable because the Saints did push the limits of decorum a little bit. But there’s an easy way for a defense to prevent that. Play better earlier in the game and you won’t put yourself in a situation where a team is blowing you out.

3. Michael Turner, Falcons running back. He carried 11 times for 39 yards Monday night. I know the Falcons had to go away from the running game after they fell behind. But this was the fifth straight game in which Turner has failed to rush for 100 yards. He has been on the injury report with a groin problem in recent weeks. Makes you wonder if the injury might be holding him back.

Sean

December 27th, 2011
4:50 pm

This article sums up perfectly how I feel about the “Falcants”, who are living up to that name very well. Couldnt have put it any better. Watching this team is very frustrating.

BillyBob

December 27th, 2011
4:52 pm

Hey Mr. Charlie, you said, “It we make noise in the playoffs, this game is a footnote if not, this game is a catalyst for change.”
What you saw last night is what you are going to see in the playoffs, one and done. This is who this team is. Only delusional fans think that somehow things are going to change this time of the year. It ain’t gonna happen! The only “noise” you are gonna hear is a squawk of a dying bird.

monty

December 27th, 2011
4:57 pm

Falcons have to play “bend but don’t break defense” instead of attack because they simply don’t have the right personel. You cannot play man to man if you don’t get a pass rush, (or soft zone) for that matter), the game would be over at the half. We are a couple of OL and DL, 1 DB, 1 safety, 1 RB away from being able to go toe to toe with the big boys. THat’s a tall order to fill over the offseason, so I guess you could say we’re not going to challenge next year.

Big Wally

December 27th, 2011
5:02 pm

Falcons secondary = helpless. Falcons linebackers = clueless, Falcons defensive line = worthless.

JJ

December 27th, 2011
5:06 pm

Unca’ Bob, WR and LRD: tks, been a fun season but hate to win it on one of the worst losses in falcons history. To some of us, getting embarrassed by the Aints is as low as it gets. Doing it on MNF means nothing, I’m used to that!

D3, tks for dedicating our FFL to Sarah B., she must have helped me, RIP Sarah, this is for you girl.

Mr Charlie

December 27th, 2011
5:11 pm

Maybe Billy Bob, I saw nothing last night to dispute you. However, there is a reason they play the game. But have you seen the Giants play lately? The Cowboys? The season is not over.

Arthur...are you listening

December 27th, 2011
5:11 pm

Dear Mr. Blank:

You always make a trip down to the sidelines at the end of games. I missed you last night though. If you were there, all you had to do was look across the field at the Saints and you will see what us fans are talking about. That is a team that is extremely well coached. We, unfortunately, are not. The Saints, despite all their talent, are a team that routinely out-prepares and out-schemes their opponents. They are adept at masking their deficiencies and playing to their strengths. The Falcons do none of the above. Instead when we run up against a really good team, we always get exposed. The Saints run an up tempo on offense and are very, very aggressive on defense. That is crowd pleasing football. It’s addictive as much as winning is. Even when they lose (and that is rare) their fans go home feeling like champs. We need that here. Lately, even when we win our fans are leaving the Dome shaking their heads and longing for more. We need to get to the next level. What kills me is that we have the players to do that right now but they are put in schemes by the coaching staff that wont allow them to maximize their talents. It is our coaching that is holding us back. The offense we run is prehistoric, a relic from days past. Look at the Patriots, Saints and Green Bay. They have proved you no longer have to control clock and be committed to the run. None of those teams have stellar defenses from a statistical standpoint either. Their defenses are big play defenses. Simply, put you have to have good coaching and make plays. You need coaches that maximize players talents and put them in position to make those 5 or 6 plays that turn every game. Our coaches don’t do that. They are not adapting. We are predictable and vanilla on both offense and defense. We are routinely out-schemed and out-coached and lately it seems we are getting by on talent alone. Starting with the Green Bay game last year, many fans began to realize that we may not be as close to winning a Super Bowl as you are telling us. The moves for Julio and Edwards were bold, but their effect gets cancelled out when you put them in our vanilla boring schemes. Coach Smith and the coordinators are good football men and they brought us a consistent winner. We are, however, a perennial playoff team with no shot at the Super Bowl. Like the Braves of the late 90’s. That is the perception out there in the media and sadly it is the perception of your fanbase. Despite the announced sellouts, the Dome is never full anymore and lacks the energy it had in the Vick era. There are tons of club seats and suites available and if not for opposing teams fans there would be tons of empty seats each week in the upper and lower decks. Things are not trending very well despite the fact that you will have a 10 win team. If you want to become truly elite, you need better coaching. Coaching that maximizes talent and adapts. Coaching that plays an exiting and aggressive brand of football. The window is closing, just like it did on the Braves. Be decisive. Make some coaching changes. Minimally, we need new coordinators with a fresh approach and if Coach Smith isn’t on board, he needs to go too. Make it happen.

D3

December 27th, 2011
5:13 pm

Big Wally — First of all, Welcome to the Cage! While I will concede that TD has missed on some draft picks, overall his good picks and FA signings far outweigh his bad ones.

Good
Matt Ryan, Curtis Lofton, Harry Douglas, Kroy Biermann, William Moore, Lawrence Sidbury, Sean Weatherspoon, Dominique Franks, Corey Peters, Joe Hawley, Vance Walker, Jacquizz Rodgers, Michael Palmer

Bad
Sam Baker, Peria Jerry, Gave up a lot for Julio Jones (probably not the safest idea), Chris Owens, William Middleton, Thomas DeCoud (showed some potential in ‘09), Shann Schillinger (6th rd pick), Chevis Jackson

Undecided
Garrett Reynolds (haven’t seen him at his natural position of RT), Darrin Walls (high potential), Joe Hawley, Mike Johnson, Andrew Jackson, Cliff Matthews, Akeem Dent

Free Agents

Good
Michael Turner (although is slowing down), Tony Gonzalez, James Sanders, Kelvin Hayden

Bad
Dunta Robinson

Undecided
Ray Edwards (I know you think he’s bad, but its early)

Let’s also look at the players drafted or signed as free agents that are bad or undecided. The vast majority of them are defensive players. Even though the Dunta signing is looking bad right now, he was roundly considered the very best FA CB available that off-season. I truly believe that most players underachieve in this terrible defensive system of playing bend-but-don’t-break and allowing the offense, any offense and QB regardless of how young or untalented they are, to dictate their will to us.

As I mentioned in point #3, I will absolutely concede that it was a dumb decision to give away 4 draft picks for Julio Jones as it stands right now. I love that we have Julio now, but I do think that was a poor decision. Mainly, it was a erroneous decision to believe we were only a player or two away from greatness after being blown out 48-21 in the playoffs and now being blown out yet again 45-16.

falcon21

December 27th, 2011
5:13 pm

Well said monty, and agree. If we hire Jeff Fisher it would not matter until we improve the talent on this team. You have to have talent in the trenches, if not you don’t win a Super Bowl. Hell let’s hire Andy Reid, look what he did with talent!

terry lee

December 27th, 2011
5:17 pm

Its posters like me that leave a smell on this blog. Time to buy a paper because I’m illiterate.

When Do We Get Serious

December 27th, 2011
5:32 pm

As the saying goes, the Falcons was not as bad as they looked and the Saints were not as good. They did look dominating but they can be beat if you bring your A game. I have to admit to being Sunny Day with the Falcons. Living in Atlanta has made me cautious. This team is good but lack the confidence needed to take them to the next level.

There is not that much separation in talent. The Saints are better warriors than we are. They have been blood tested and passed on several occasions. Falcons on the other hand is waiting for the other shoe to fall. When Ryan understands that he is the caption and it all starts and finish with him we will get over the hump. When the defense understands they can not give up the big play we will be better. The most important factor is each Falcon has to learn to play as a team. We do not have that, we do not teach that and we do not own a team spirit. Just one game I would love to see each player sacrifice themselves to make the man in front, behind or next to you look good, then the shoe stays on the shelf.

We are not far away from where we need to me. Unfortunately what we need you can not coach. You must have it in you. I do feel we see a different team Sunday. The Saints game can help us.

Mr Charlie

December 27th, 2011
5:32 pm

I was did not like the JJ trade, and I was going as far to call him a bust on this board. However, after I thought about it, I said we have to see what happens in the playoffs. This seasons has been a mixed back of good Julio-bad Julio. It Good Julio shows up and helps is win a playoff game, his choice will be justified, somewhat anyway.

D3

December 27th, 2011
5:33 pm

monty — Also Welcome to the Cage. But I’ll have to disagree that we are that many players away and that we can’t play aggressive defense because we don’t have the personnel. No team is going to have a pro bowler at every single position on defense. It’s the coaches responsibilities to figure out schemes, cultivate strengths, hide weaknesses, and put pressure on the offense. Our coaching staff did none of that. Abraham, Babineaux, Peters, Lofton, Spoon, Nicholas, Grimes, Moore, and I believe Edwards are all capable of doing very well on defense. The only weak spots we have are at FS and CB, but I absolutely will say that not many players look good whatsoever in this pitiful and predictable defense. Just a difference of opinion.

Here’s a look at who we could have had in the 1st round and would they have made much of a difference?

7th – Aldon Smith – DE/OLB — 14 sacks (I’ll concede on this one, but he plays in an aggressive 3-4)
11th – JJ Watt – 5 technique DE — 1/5 sacks more than Edwards
13th – Nick Fairley – DT — 1 sack
14th – Robert Quinn – 5 sacks
16th – Ryan Kerrigan – 5 technique DE — 7 sacks, 4 FF, 1 Int
18th – Corey Liuget – DT — 1 sack
19th – Prince Akumara – CB — 1 int
20th – Adrian Clayborn – DE — 7.5 sacks, 3 FF
21st – Phil Taylor – DT — 4 sacks, 1 FF
24th – Cameron Jordan – DE — 0 sacks
27th – Jimmy Smith – CB — 2 ints
30th – Muhammed Wilkerson – DT — 3 sacks, 1 FF
31st – Cameron Heyward – 5 tech DE — 1 sack, 1 FF

So out of 13 defensive players we could have drafted, only a handful could conceivably made any more of an impact this year. The two that had the best years (Smith, Kerrigan, Watt) all play in an aggressive 3-4 defense that put them in position to be successful.

Mr Charlie

December 27th, 2011
5:34 pm

Serious, you are correct, although Ryan played pretty well last night. But you are never as bad, or as good as you look.

Bill

December 27th, 2011
5:35 pm

John Gruden said it best when he asked why the Falcons play basically the same zone screens. He thinks the Falcons defense is too predictable.
The Falcons should consider Norv Turner (offense) and Spagnola or Mike Nolan for the defense.if they are available

Mr Charlie

December 27th, 2011
5:36 pm

I do have to admit I would like to see Spoon play a 3-4.

D3

December 27th, 2011
5:37 pm

Arthur…are you listening
December 27th, 2011
5:11 pm post…………….

Excellent post!!!!!!!!!! As a season-ticket holder, the crowds have been dwindling more and more each game. That is what will make a change…………..empty seats.

Wow

December 27th, 2011
5:39 pm

As a saints fan, I see you guys are taking this loss hard. Just think, back in the days, both teams were awful. Now, they both are making the playoffs on a consistent basis, and we want more. I understand, we won super bowl 44, and we as saints fans, long for another one. The only difference I see in both teams, besides the coaching aspect, is that the saints players have been together for about 6 years. Give your team a chance, they just might make it to the promise land, one day.

Falcons4Eva

December 27th, 2011
5:41 pm

Here’s one of several problems the Falcons face:

If the offensive line opened up a big hole for Turner to run through, it will take Turner 3 weeks just to get to the hole and another day and a half to go through it. Pathetic.

Screen Pass

December 27th, 2011
5:41 pm

“although Ryan played pretty well last night” – The Tuna

If PFF numbers are correct than it appears M. Ryan actually outplayed Brees and broke his own “most passing yards in a game” record. Given the number of sick gas bags suckling on Brees nuts like barnacles, I might rate M. Ryans better than Brees sack performance a better grade than “pretty well”.

D3

December 27th, 2011
5:46 pm

Charlie — Initially opposed myself to it, after seeing the dramatic turnarounds of the Packers and Texans in only one year, I could see it. Would Spoon play ILB or OLB? A necessary move to make that happen would be to let Abraham walk. Guess I could see it……

NT – Corey Peters/Vance Walker/FA Big Boy DT
DE – Edwards/Biermann
DE – Babineaux/Cliff Matthews
OLB – Spoon/Sidbury
OLB – Nicholas/Adkins
ILB – Lofton/?
ILB – Peterson/Dent

I could see it, but I still think that’s a pretty major change.

Mr Charlie

December 27th, 2011
5:46 pm

Say we play the Giants in round 1. I don’t know if you are watching, but they look worse than we do. At lest our beat downs are coming at the hand of the best teams.

Then, what if we play the Niners? Sure, they have a good Defense, but I am pretty sure we would put up a some points, and I am not sold on Alex Smith. The game in winnable.

Then? we are playing for the NFC championship….And get beat 48-17…..When what?

Yo Vince

December 27th, 2011
5:49 pm

I was sickened by the Defense last night. I could have beat them at QB. 8 for 8 on third down was a joke. Lance Moore was behind 3 defenders on the 1st play for a huge gain. Colston was open all night. Noboby got close to hitting Brees all night. I was so pissed. I’m losing hope for these boys. Matt was as good as he can be, and Roddy and Julio were all world for the most part, but Turner looks like a slow fat boy. Dunta is horrrrrrible. YUCK

Michael

December 27th, 2011
5:51 pm

D3, Good post on the defensive players who were available in the 1st Round. I acknowledge that we gave up a lot for Julio, but only because he is a WR and that is not typically a “franchise” type position worth trading up for. However, I don’t think we’d be any better off with any of the players we would have drafted had we kept our picks. I am furious like every fan on this post about our performances against the elite teams this year, and if we are one and done in the playoffs I do believe that one or both coordinators should fall. I follow the team from New York, and I can only hope that our team learns from last year’s Jets team. They lost 45-3 at NE on MNF and the fans up here were reacting the way we are now. They went to NE and won in the playoffs. Be nice to have a legit gameplan next time we go into NO though.

Mr Charlie

December 27th, 2011
5:51 pm

I would think Spoon might be good coming around the edge, a little small, but I could see that LT type quickness/athletic ability. We have to generate pressure, if you give Brees and Rogers time, your gonna lose, it is just that simple.

Falcons4Eva

December 27th, 2011
5:51 pm

Trust me on this prediction: The Falcons are quickly falling back into an era of mediocrity. Not very good, but not very bad. (8-8, 9-7) just missing the playoffs for the next few years. Carolina Panthers will replace us as the 2nd best team in the division, Saints remaining dominate for the next 3-4 years.

The fan base here will stop going to the games. There will be blackouts and only then will Blank see the light. Only then will he respond accordingly.

Big Ray

December 27th, 2011
5:52 pm

1) Saying that we’re not even close is saying we have problems literally EVERYWHERE. I don’t tend to believe that. Want a key example? The 49ers were “not even close” a season ago. And everybody just knew it. Enter a few draft picks and a different head coach (one without NFL head coach experience, no less) and suddenly you have a team fighting for the 2nd overall seed in the NFC….a mere, single season later. So let’s be realistic about “not even close”….we don’t really know how close or how far. We could be a lot closer than we imagine. It’s a matter of which parts need to be replaced, and with what.

2) Again….emotion is trumping reality, though Lord knows I completely understand. Look at the Ravens and some of their losses. What do they say about the team? Is the team which beat Pittsburgh to death TWICE going to show up, or will it be the team that lost 9-3 to the Jags…a team we blew out without mercy? Yeah, we just showed how badly we can be beaten by two of the top 3 NFL offenses in the League. I’m not making any excuses about it. It is what it is. We are lacking. But finding the worst stats against our team does what? Do we think our CS doesn’t know this?

3) Okay,a couple of thoughts on this. First, since when has Dimitroff revealed his strategy to the general public (or the media)? Dude merely answers questions about what he did, after he did it. His job is to think both short and long term. I’d like to see the link where Dimitroff said they made the trade for Julio because they felt he was the missing link to winning a championship? All I remember him saying is that he felt Julio was the piece that would really help this offense become more explosive….and then he went and drafted Rodgers right behind that. Again…when did he say this was his endgame strategy? Do we really think the man is that dumb? No, we have expectations and such based on things we read, what we THINK we read, and what we THINK should happen.

Something tells me the strategy is more about being a playoff team every year, and all the while…building towards that championship moment.

Teams like the Packers and Saints win without all their starters because of their CS. You have to have the system, the scheme, the players, and the will/determination to use those players. Look at the CS of the Packers and Saints, and ask me what they would do with the players we have. Do you see our CS utilizing our players like that? No. What would the Saints do with Quizz and Snelling, hmmm?

4) I honestly think Blank already told us what he wanted in a very veiled way. If he gave such indications to US, imagine what has been said behind closed doors? I have no doubts that Blank will reiterate this after the season is over. But let’s play the playoff game(s) first, shall we?

5) Yes, the play calls were awful. They just were. The Falcons did NOT play that undisciplined. Now the holding and false starts? Can’t say anything about that. It was what it was.

to be continued….

D3

December 27th, 2011
5:57 pm

Falcons4Eva — I wouldn’t necessarily go that far and say that Blank will wait and only make changes after several years. He knows that a first window is quickly closing with Roddy, Turner, Gonzalez, Abraham, McClure nearing retirement or going over the hill. Let’s also hold off on crowning the Panthers the next great team. They said the same about the Bucs and Josh Freeman and look where they are now.

Mr Charlie
December 27th, 2011
5:51 pm

We have to generate pressure, if you give Brees and Rogers time, your gonna lose, it is just that simple

One of the best and most simple quotes I’ve heard in a long time. Why DC’s (like ours) just don’t believe this. Guess they are in awe/scared of Rodgers and Brees.

darrell starks

December 27th, 2011
5:58 pm

Kelvin Hayden is needed bad. Get better soon bro so we can go back MAN – MAN cover, get ready to go Kelvin.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!

D3

December 27th, 2011
6:00 pm

Michael — Thanks. I like looking at who we could have had and looking at tangible statistics instead of just saying “we need better players on the OL, DL, etc., etc.” If you’re going to make that argument, than give me names on who we should have taken/signed instead.

bronkelliott

December 27th, 2011
6:01 pm

totally agree, what a horror show last night. This is a team with no punch or kick. Embarrassing last night.The coach looked lost all night and Ryan looked he wanted to hide under the bench. All the preparation for what? Can Arthur Blank convince Bill Cowher to come to the Falcons. We need a defensive overhaul, If not get ready for the paper bags in the dome!

D3

December 27th, 2011
6:02 pm

darrell — Totally agree. While I won’t totally absolve Dunta and DeCoud, we need to see what they could do in another, better system that doesn’t play marshmallow, powder-puff, wuss football. Why is it that all of Dimitroff’s bad picks are defensive? Coincidence…….I think not. Case in point: Chris Houston goes to Detroit and plays lights out.

Arno

December 27th, 2011
6:02 pm

Compare offense to offense, and I can swallow how well the Saints did. But how could their 24th ranked defense out hit, out tackle, out harass, out focus, out will our D? That wasn’t a talent or scheme issue. Something was utterly lacking in the mindset of out D last night. Very frustrating.

Big Ray

December 27th, 2011
6:03 pm

6) Yes, the Process may have hit the wall. Guess what? NFL life is a maze. You hit the wall, you gotta turn left or right. You thik the Saints made it to the SB in 2009 because their Process went straight through in 3 or 4 years, the way it was scripted? Wrong. They were 8-8 the year before. Life goes on. It’s not always the mistakes you make (though some can really hurt), it’s how you recover, refocus, and get back in the fight. Last I looked, we had another game to play, and a playoff berth. Let that ride out before the Process continues on.

Seminole Warrior warned us of this. Did we not listen?

Sometimes you have to make SURE that you cannot achieve success with certain pieces before you trim them off of your organization.

7) Yes, the defense needs help. I maintain the stance that this is not just a personnel problem. We have a coaching problem as well. And for those who think a handful of rookies would have been the difference this year between stopping Brees or Rodgers and NOT doing so….I have some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you. Get your head out of your arse and realize that there is more going on here than just personnel issues. There are scheme issues, veteran player issues, etc.

For one thing, I think Dunta Robinson needs to go, and Thomas Decoud is on the bubble. I think we need more talent on our defensive line. I think we need a different defensive scheme or at least some tweaks. There is a lot to look at here, including coaches on the defensive side of the staff.

There is work to do.

8) Fan Confidence – look…to get that confidence, you have to get to the upper levels and win. It’s that simple. We should still support this team. We are not on the verge of having to rebuild or anything like that. 3 playoff berths in 4 years is an upward trend. Yes, we need more, yes we want more. And we shall have it, I do believe. But I don’t believe it will be this year, and never did from the start of the season. Too many questions, too much missing. We look at other teams that have issues, that are still succeeding. I say look at all the issues we’ve pointed out, yet we’re still a playoff team staring another double digit win season in the face (provided we stomp Tampa Bay). So SOMETHING is going right. It’s different when you look around like Tampa has, and you’re hard-pressed to find things that are going right.

Confidence is wedded to reality.

Flame on….

D3

December 27th, 2011
6:12 pm

Big Ray — Always respect my brother. Nice reality check on my bullet points. Regarding the “Not even close,” I am speaking about this year as evidenced in what we’ve done this year against the best teams. Sure, I know we could be a lot closer with different coordinators, but based on pure evidence (not beating one good team other than Detroit), this team isn’t close and they won’t be this year until we beat a good team or win a playoff game.

2) The point I was trying to make there was that the elite teams we talk about (Packers, Saints, Patriots, Steelers, Ravens, etc) rarely to ever get absolutely blown out. They don’t get embarrassed in other words. It has happened to us on a huge stage twice in one calendar year.

3) I agree with you that we couldn’t have drafted anyone else that would have made any more difference than Julio and Edwards this off-season. However, as a Torrey Smith advocate through and through, we could have gotten explosive without giving up a lot. If nothing else, than drafted some OL for our fellow bloggers because they’ve been wanting some for awhile. Perhaps I overstated TD’s idea of the “missing link,” but actions speak louder than words and his actions spoke that he felt that was, at least in some part, intrinsic into get “more explosive,” More or less its just another way that these coaches just aren’t utilizing the potential we have. You and I whole-heartedly agree on that.

darrell starks

December 27th, 2011
6:13 pm

Teams like Saints, Packers that play wide open offensive, must be man up with CB pressuring WR on line of scrimmage with over top help from safeties, Chiefs gave teams the blue print on how defend them type teams, BVG go check out the film maybe you learn something.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!

Wabe

December 27th, 2011
6:14 pm

Big Ray, very sensible posts.

Probably the best posts thus far in terms of perspective.

Great Falconi

December 27th, 2011
6:20 pm

Why don’t we have multiple looks on defense? That’s the key when you play guys like Brees and Rodgers. If you keep giving them stuff they’ve seen on film without keeping the wrinkles coming throughout the game, you will fail against them. Dimitroff should understand this. He worked for the master of improv in New England. It’s time to go get an imaginative defensive coordinator who can utilize his personnel effectively.

That being said, the Falcons are not going to fire their defensive, offensive, and special teams coordinators all in one season. It will not happen. Not a chance in hell. No chance. It’s like Vince McMahon walked in or something. I want Mularkey out, too. However, if I’m given a choice, I’d rather see VanGorder go. The defense has been so inept against top-flight teams that this state of affairs can no longer be countenanced.

Lastly, I don’t give a damn about fan confidence. Fans will complain about any and every win or loss. I give a damn about whether the team actually goes out there with a solid plan and a discernible pulse. This did not happen against the Saints. The plan was terrible and the pulse was flat-lining after the first quarter.

(Note: If I hear or read any more lies from Mike Smith about how we are a “physical football team,” I will punch a hole in a wall. A physical football team does not get pushed around like we were last night. A physical football team does not turtle on the road as much as ours does. A physical football team beats up opponents and doesn’t let a QB punk the hell out of it on a regular basis.)

Wabe

December 27th, 2011
6:22 pm

I’d be confident in saying though that we aren’t very good when it comes to developing players…

We’ve had our share of raw young talent. Even guys that showed flashes very early in their careers, only to watch them faceplant from those moments.

Guys like Chevis Jackson, Chris Owens, and Thomas DeCoud all showed promise in the secondary very early in their careers. Why haven’t/didn’t they progress? They haven’t taken any steps to become better players. It’s almost as if we’re banking on these guys raw talent to be good enough.

Same issue on the D-Line. Biermann and Sidbury have just been sitting there. Both have shown potential. Why aren’t we seeing any improvement? Year after year, they look the same.

It might just be me. Who knows? But honestly, it just makes me wonder.

Mitch (the one in Rome)

December 27th, 2011
6:23 pm

D3, always love the honest and truthful way you evaluate the Birds.

I still believe our secondary is not bad. It’s scheme. No one, and I mean no one can cover for 4-6 seconds in this league. We have zero pass rush and no real blitzing. I’m convinced we could man the corner position and blitz and stop most of this junk. It’s that zone stuff that gets us killed.

Offense could have been better, but they definitely got no help from the D. Really disappointed in the defensive staff’s unwillingness to at least attempt to attack. D spent the night on their heals. I’d at least feel better had we tried to attack rather than taking a beating and never adjusting.

Just plain poor. However, I’ve been a fan too long to abandon. I’ll critique the heck out of my team, but they are still my team. Go Birds!

Wabe

December 27th, 2011
6:26 pm

Also, TD’s had a rough go-around in FA.

Again, I think we were looking at the wrong areas at the wrong times. We got caught running after DB’s when we should’ve been shoring up the front, and then we came around later to shore up the front when there was a deep DB market in FA.

Bottom line, at this point, I think the secondary is good enough. We could use some depth, but we’re good enough. We have weak links (Dunta and DeCoud). But the reason why Chris Houston is looking better in Detroit is partially because they have a much better front 4 than what we have here. They can apply pressure. We don’t as much as we need to.

Jim

December 27th, 2011
6:30 pm

These bloggers are obviously young folks. We older guys are desensitized to the pain of blowouts, whippings, embarrassments, etc. Being a true Falcon fan means living a lifetime of such discussions and rants. You’ve gotta earn the right to feel the pain the Falcon organization inflicts on a regular basis decade after decade. I’ve earned it, but I am older now and frankly my dear, I just don’t give a damn anymore. Who cares…the mess the Falcons spread is forever present, and it aint’ gonna change in my lifetime or probably yours.

DePlane

December 27th, 2011
6:32 pm

Big Ray, true we have another game and a playoff berth. While the words of wisdom and calm are much appreciated, I have chosen one word to desribe what I witnessed last night.

Putrid.

This team was not prepared…at all. All three phases stunk to high heavens. I’m not going to try to fool myself into believing that we are better than the record shows. Great teams rise to the ocassion and this is most definitely NOT a great team. Last night they were worse than mediocre.

I’m not knocking four years of winning. But it is not enough. I realize CMS and the team want to win badly. But to show up and play like like a high school football team that is a perrenial loser to its rival and take the beatdown is inexcusable. I agree our coordinators are not getting the job done. But CMS has the ability to change that and he hasn’t. No doubt this off season his hand will be forced and change will come. BVG has to go…I can’t stand to watch another college defensive scheme put out on the field by him.

OldTimer

December 27th, 2011
6:35 pm

The Falcons problem boils down to one word. Attitude. You don’t hug the other team after they humilated you and your mother. Either man up or get out of the game.

DePlane

December 27th, 2011
6:37 pm

Wabe…yes, and Sidbury and Walker too. Potential unrealized.

darrell starks

December 27th, 2011
6:39 pm

D3 on a serious note, Mike Smith seen a little sick he has no energy, have any one notice that ?

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

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 27th, 2011
6:42 pm

Wabe – I’d be confident in saying though that we aren’t very good when it comes to developing players…

I thought the same thing last night when I saw Chris Owens catch his second opponent this year heading toward the goal line. It is rare when a player is able to do it once but twice. What has been done to take advantage of his speed?

DePlane

December 27th, 2011
6:43 pm

Oh yeah….and so much for the “walkthrough” in the ballroom. CMS your a nice guy for allowing your players extra time to spend Christmas with their families. However, last time I checked these are full grown men earning millions of dollars to play a game. You had a game you knew was going to be a deciding factor in your chance to repeat. And instead of error to the side of taking every precaution to make sure they were ready, you let them act like it was a bye week. It WASN’T a bye week!!

Nice guys finish last. Hmmm, wonder where that saying came from….

Falcons4Eva

December 27th, 2011
6:44 pm

Who among us do not believe that if the coaching staff were reversed: In other words, if Sean Payton and his staff were coaching the current Falcon players and Mike Smith and his clowns were coaching the Saints, last night score would be reversed. In other words the Falcons would have beaten the Saints by probably the same margins.

I say that to say this: Great coaches find a way to put their players in the best position to maximize their abilities. Mediocre coaches put there players in positions to “try not to lose” by implementing game plans that “control the clock”.

No one will ever accuse Sean Payton of worrying about clock management. Nor bill Bilcheck. Every possession is an opportunity to add as many TOUCHDOWNS as possible – not freakin’ field goals.

OldTimer

December 27th, 2011
6:45 pm

Drew Brees made the Atlanta Falcons look like a bunch of candy asses. He followed that with a photo shoot on the sidelines before the game was over. After which the Falcons tipped their hat to him. Is that what it means to be a Falcon? Is that how we “Rise Up” ?
Somebody needs to do something, because this is complete crap.

DePlane

December 27th, 2011
6:46 pm

OC/DC, thats easy…nothing.

Reality Check

December 27th, 2011
6:51 pm

Remove Matt Ryan and insert Drew Bress and the Falcon would have been the team with 45pts. It’s really that simple. Our QB is the king of check-down and Drew Brees is a playmaker. Matt Ryan throwing for 370 yards means nothing when he threw the ball 55 freaking times. Drew Brees had 15 less attempts and still had a higher yard-per-attempt average.

OldTimer

December 27th, 2011
6:52 pm

All you have to do is stop playing like a p—-!

DePlane

December 27th, 2011
6:53 pm

@Falcons4Eva Re:

“No one will ever accuse Sean Payton of worrying about clock management. Nor bill Bilcheck. Every possession is an opportunity to add as many TOUCHDOWNS as possible – not freakin’ field goals.”

Amen Brother…

DePlane

December 27th, 2011
6:55 pm

@Reality Check…yep, and J.VIlma had Ryans number with his counter audibles. Sometimes getting too comfortable is not a good thing.

DePlane

December 27th, 2011
6:57 pm

Oh well, I feel the exasperation from the cage and it mirrors my own.

Time to go have dinner with the fam…always the highlight of my day.

D3

December 27th, 2011
6:57 pm

Really, we’re seriously going back to Matt Ryan bashing as the reason we lost? Jeezus Christ, that’s rich. Just the QB’s by themselves. Has nothing to do with coaching, personnel, scheme, etc., just the QB and the QB alone.

OldTimer

December 27th, 2011
7:00 pm

Somebody needs to light a fire under the Falcons asses.
I don’t accept this.

DePlane

December 27th, 2011
7:01 pm

D3, I’m not bashing Ryan. IMHO he is a victim of the rest of the list you put up. I’m just saying when they realized Vilma was counter checking and he was getting it right, shouldn’t there have been some kind of adjustment made?

I love Ryan. For that matter I love CMS too. Just can’t see this coaching staff getting us over the hump.

D3

December 27th, 2011
7:03 pm

DePlane — No, I wasn’t talking about you. Reality check did a masterful job of going out of their way to blame Ryan for this one. Ryan has had his pitiful moments for sure, but last night was not on him.

OldTimer

December 27th, 2011
7:05 pm

A photo shoot. Before the game was over.
Is their a man in the Falcon’s house?

BigLou

December 27th, 2011
7:07 pm

How is throwing for 375 yards on Vilma’s audibles make him have Ryan’s number?

DePlane

December 27th, 2011
7:07 pm

D3, 10-4 thanks. Agreed…to me last night was on the coaching staff.

OldTimer

December 27th, 2011
7:09 pm

Last night was on men playing boys.

DePlane

December 27th, 2011
7:10 pm

BigLou, he was clearly changing the defensive alignments when Ryan was checking down. 375 yards is great. But what about scoring?

Great Falconi

December 27th, 2011
7:11 pm

Ryan has averaged 37 passing attempts per game this season. He averaged a little under 36 last season. Teams take away the run and then Ryan throws the ball most of the game. We are not a running football team because we can’t run the ball when teams load up to stop it. Ryan has done quite well facing this set of circumstances, but until the front office and head coach decide that we cannot continue the facade of “power football,” our offense will be hamstrung because its emphasis is on what it does not do best.

BigLou

December 27th, 2011
7:15 pm

If you watched the game, scoring was hindered by our penalties, not the changes in their defense.

3 1/2 quarters

December 27th, 2011
7:17 pm

3 1/2 quarters without scoring a TD and people want to blame the defense.

Big Ray

December 27th, 2011
7:35 pm

D3 ,

Actually, I was glad you put the bullet points up the way you did. It gave us a chance to look at things and see if we are being realistic with our expectations, or if things are as bad as they seem (from a “win this year” standpoint).

I agree with you on Torrey Smith. My only real point there is if we can’t get Julio Jones as involved consistently….what would happen with Smith?

Here’s my thought on Thomas Dimitroff’s actions/words regarding that move: what if his plan was this – “How can I get the biggest bang for my buck – this season – and still have a big bang for that buck years from now?”

I think Dimitroff did about as good as he could have done (except maybe getting AJ Green) with that deal. Yes, he could have gotten Torrey Smith and then maybe Demarco Murray. But how can we say that without acting as if we have working crystal balls? Dimitroff wanted a WR that could do things that no WR on our roster could do – a talented beast of a player that is rare and has unlimited potential. A guy who has the temperament to be a #2 this year, and be a #1 next year…and for another 8+ years. Julio is that guy, AJ Green would have been that guy. Torrey Smith, as good as he is…is another Roddy White…if he’s lucky.

I’m not defending Dimitroff’s move. I’m attempting to find alternate explanations for it.

Remember, Dimitroff didn’t stop with JJ. He also brought in Quizz. I think Dimitroff decided to go with the biggest, boldest move he could for this year…but didn’t want it to be a one year window move. With Julio, he has a beast of a player that he can go forward with. Julio can become a #1 target. He’s already our best yards-per-catch guy. When does another guy with this level of talent come along? Does it happen before Roddy starts going off the deep end?

And didn’t Ryan wax eloquent about the big/fast WRs he worked with in the Pro Bowl?

falcon21

December 27th, 2011
7:38 pm

Does anyone on this o-line or d-line deserve to go to the probowl this season? How about anyone of the db’s? Curtis, Spoon and TG and maybe Ryan or Roddy is possible but other than that this team is not made up of star guality players. I’m still not happy with the coaching but they are doing alot without an over talented team. I’m sure I left out some names that could go and I know it will be pointed out but the overall makeup of this team is not as good as most think.

falcon21

December 27th, 2011
7:39 pm

“quality”

Big Ray

December 27th, 2011
7:40 pm

Remove Matt Ryan and insert Drew Bress and the Falcon would have been the team with 45pts. It’s really that simple. Our QB is the king of check-down and Drew Brees is a playmaker. Matt Ryan throwing for 370 yards means nothing when he threw the ball 55 freaking times. Drew Brees had 15 less attempts and still had a higher yard-per-attempt average.

I’ll try to do this as calmly as possible, because these statements are ignorant on an incredible number of levels:

1) Look at the plays the Saints run. Look at the plays the Falcons run. If you can’t tell the massive differences, then stop blogging now.

2) Brees behind HIS line is a playmaker. Is our O-line as good as his? No. And that’s not bashing our O-line. The Saints have more continuity, more cohesion, and better overall talent. That’s the reality of the situation. If you don’t think so, try comparing their O-line to those of other NFL teams. ESPN reported that they were in line for an award as the NFL’s best O-line. ‘Nuff said.

3) Drew Brees threw for over 400 yards in the first round of the playoffs last season, against the Seattle Seahawks. The Saints lost. What do you make of that? What happened to Mr. Play Maker? There is more to the game than you state, and thank God nobody is dumb enough to go for your assertions….except Saints fans.

Big Ray

December 27th, 2011
7:44 pm

Wabe ,

Thanks, bro.

DePlane ,

I agree. Last night was indeed putrid. I felt so bad about it that I realized I was just too emotionally involved. Had to back off of it.

My thing is this – we still have a game left and we have the playoffs. I’m ALL FOR bringing out the guillotine if we get embarrassed in the playoffs again and/or end the season with a loss to Tampa.

Everything in good time.

eatingbuzzard

December 27th, 2011
7:46 pm

This had to be the most sickning,gutwrenching loss of the year..maybe that 10 day lay off had something to do with it! Folk’s, let’s face it..the birds can NOT compete with the better teams in the league. We ,the falcons, are nothing more than a mediocre team at this point in time..We are at least 6 players away from a competitive team..This team has been a “bottom feeder” for most of its 46 year history..Now, all of a sudden, we have 4 years of wining and the question remains to be seen..How long must we dwell with the mediocre teams BEFORE we can reach for the stars and play with the elite teams on a regular basis? 10-12-14 years?? Is this coaching staff the one to lead us to the upper level? I think not..and that includes M.Smith! Is T.D. the correct G.M. for this franchise? Probably not! Is A.B. the right owner for this franchise? Maybe..without that baggage he is carrying around by the name of R.McCay..
The bad thing is..there’s not much hope in next year..seeing that T.D.traded away our future with the selection of 1 questionable draft pick..that EVERYONE told him not to select!! That’s why he is not the right man for G.M.!! We got our ARSES kicked in every phase of the game last night..But I have 1 lingering question..How did we stop the run game 6 weeks ago..AND..last night we did not have a clue!!!!!
Once again S.Payton out foxes the entire Falcon complex..He must have some secret “voodoo” spell he cast on M.Smith and the birds!

DePlane

December 27th, 2011
7:46 pm

To give no credit to the Saints D is ignorant.

Larry

December 27th, 2011
7:48 pm

Spot on, D3!

DePlane

December 27th, 2011
7:49 pm

Big Ray, you’re right…I’ll admit the hangover from the loss hasn’t worn off for me yet. I’m not giving up on them….just going to take me another day to get over this one.

Big Ray

December 27th, 2011
7:56 pm

DePlane ,

That’s normal, bro. I was literally sick to my stomach last night. I had to shut up, turn the computer off….and indulge myself in something as juvenile as modern warfare 3 for a couple of hours….lol…nothing like virtual violence to calm a person down. Especially since no range was open, and it wouldn’t be good if I went around the neighborhood with my noisy toys, burning off 30 round magazines…if ya know what I mean…

LRD

December 27th, 2011
7:58 pm

Congrats to Gonzo.. THE ONLY falcon in the pro bowl…
Awesome for him, kinda pathetic after we sent so many last year.

DePlane

December 27th, 2011
7:59 pm

Big Ray…lol…yeah, that would not be met with joy from the neighbors! But it does sound like it would help a lot after a Sunday day game….

DePlane

December 27th, 2011
8:00 pm

To go to the range that is…

DePlane

December 27th, 2011
8:03 pm

I too was sick to my stomach…the wife had to leave the room…said she couldn’t take the way I was taking the beating, haha!

Mr Charlie

December 27th, 2011
8:08 pm

Ray, my point exactly. Season need to be evaluated once it is finished. It all depends on how they respond. Is this the low point? Or is it indeed the dreaded wall. only time will tell. We qualified for back to back playoffs in the first time in team history, and D3 is calling to replace every member of the coaching staff BEFORE our first playoff game. geez,

Mr Charlie

December 27th, 2011
8:10 pm

Think about it, for the 1st time in 40 years we are going to the playoffs in back to back seasons, and you guys are calling for coaching changes before we even play our first game.

Granted, if we play in the playoffs like we did last night, I am with ya, but I don’t assume that is going to happen.

Unca' Bob

December 27th, 2011
8:11 pm

Seminole Warrior,

Congrats on your new addition. And as always, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your Family.

Mr Charlie

December 27th, 2011
8:13 pm

You know, at of about 75% of the falcon seasons end everyone is calling for coaching changes, and more times that not, we got them, and can you tell me exactly how that worked out? Where are all our trophies?

Now we are going to the playoffs, and here we are, calling for coaching changes. Is it just a habit?

Mr Charlie

December 27th, 2011
8:16 pm

Yes, the only thing standing between us and the Lombardi Trophy is Marty Morningweg and Steve Spagnalo. RIIIGHT.

Reality Check

December 27th, 2011
8:16 pm

“Brees behind HIS line is a playmaker. Is our O-line as good as his? No. And that’s not bashing our O-line. The Saints have more continuity, more cohesion, and better overall talent. That’s the reality of the situation. If you don’t think so, try comparing their O-line to those of other NFL teams”

————————————————————-

Please explain how you measure continuity and cohesion Mr. NFL GM? Please show me where the cohesion and continuity stat is listed. Now if you want to talk about sacks, Drew Brees has been sacked 1 more time than Matt Ryan. Aaron Rodgers has been sacked 10 more times than Ryan, and Ryan has 50 more pass attempts. Ryan is WELL protected, he just doesn’t have the big play ability like the elite QB’s. It’s not his fault, but it’s the reality of the situation.

D3

December 27th, 2011
8:27 pm

Charlie — Ok, while I readily admit that sometimes my emotions gets the best of me, I also do not have any statistical or factual evidence to think we will do much in the playoffs. Alright, sure, if happen to beat the Cowboys or Giants, that will definitely be a step in the right direction, and I’ll readily eat crow. However, please don’t misstate what I was saying regarding the coaching staff.

I have never and will never say that Smith should go this year or in the near future. I do however stand my belief that I personally have seen enough from MM and BVG to know that we are not a legitimate threat to win anything of significance because the facts state that we have lost to every single good opponent this year except Detroit. I know your fetish is one “every game is completely independent and just because we win, lose, or get humiliated one week has no bearing on the next week,” etc., etc. I get it. I don’t agree with it, but I respect your opinion. I also know that we won’t be getting rid of both coordinators. It’s a blog and if you go back re-read my post, I said “knee-jerk” reaction, thus inferring that my rationale as a fan is a little over the top. Yes, the season hasn’t played out yet, but what evidence do I have to go on saying that we will do jacksh!t in the playoffs, other than your individual game in a vacuum universe theory? I get that you go out of your way to never be over critical, even when we are humiliated and embarrassed. I get it, but I function differently.

soon to be 0-3 in the playoffs

December 27th, 2011
8:31 pm

The Falcons will lose in the playoffs. Guaranteed. The delusional fans like Mr. Charlie are just that–delusional. In 4 season the Falcons have not beat one SB contender on the road. What makes you think it’s going to happen now, especially after their performance last night.

D3

December 27th, 2011
8:33 pm

And to add one more thing, I have no problem losing to good and great teams, but getting humiliated and embarrassed with this much talent is unacceptable after four years of “the process.” I know you along with many love using the “we were so very terrible for so long, that any sniff of mediocre success is wonderful.” I appreciate and praise what this organization has done the past four years, but I will not condone getting pulverized to smithereens and humiliated on the biggest stages in the NFL not once, but twice in a calendar year.

Screen Pass

December 27th, 2011
8:40 pm

“I get that you go out of your way to never be over critical, even when we are humiliated and embarrassed. I get it, but I function differently.” – D3

The Tuna is always fishing.

“I have never and will never say that Smith should go this year or in the near future. ” – D3

““I didn’t see that coming,” – Smitty

Respect your opinion D3 but if Smitty is doing indefensable things are you really saying you put Smitty before the better interests of the team? If a more aggressive and better qualified candidate is available, you wouldn’t even consider the possibilty of trying to upgrade? No offense, but that reeks of the same foul smelling conservative mantra that is paralyzing this team.

Noneya

December 27th, 2011
8:41 pm

We are discussing Falcons football at 9:00 PM EST. Log on and listen and then call in and vent.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/cpstylin/2011/12/28/falconsnfl-wrap-up-week-16

Reggie

December 27th, 2011
8:42 pm

Predictable offense (i.e., Michael Turner lumbers for a few yards here and there, Matt Ryan bobbing and pointing like a trained horse, Roddy White trying to be cool, @ least catch the ball)
Plus a baffling defense ( They’re obviously being overloaded mentally with razzmatazz defensive setups which only work on Madden NFL)
Add in half hearted efforts from a not to be named def.end (who gets paid $$$$) but leaves a $ taste in my mouth.
Mix well with teams with winning records, allow to bake (or should I say half-bake?) for 16 weeks.
Let the bird cool before serving.

D3

December 27th, 2011
8:47 pm

Screen — Agreed. My point is similar to Wabe said earlier in that Smith has accomplished a lot in the short amount of time that he’s been our HC. He deserves a chance to correct his mistakes, but mainly that means there should be a minimum of new coordinators coming in. I realize that even though I think BOTH coordinators should be gone, it’s unlikely that will happen. Given a gun to my head, I would have to choose for Mularkey to be gone, but that doesn’t excuse for the ineptness on defense that I’ve screaming about for years, namely the disgustingly awfulness of getting off the field on 3rd down. We started in Arizona in playoffs and gave up a 3rd and 16 to lose and now we’ve progressed 4 years later to giving up a 3rd and 18. What’s next 3rd and 25?

Screen Pass

December 27th, 2011
8:48 pm

“I appreciate and praise what this organization has done the past four years, but I will not condone getting pulverized to smithereens and humiliated on the biggest stages in the NFL not once, but twice in a calendar year” – D3

One last point then I’ll leave ya be D3:). It is not the fact we were blownout and humilated twice, sometimes that happens. It is the fact that it happened the EXACT same way and NOT ONE ADJUSTMENT has been made by this CS to even try to change the outcome. They don’t even appear that concerned.

soon to be 0-3 in the playoffs

December 27th, 2011
8:51 pm

I get it now. Some Falcon fans don’t care about having a SB contendert. All they care about is having a mediocre playoff team with Matt Ryan as the QB. I got news for you, in a couple years Carolina will pass us as the second best team in the south division. Call me crazy all you want, but I’m not the one who keeps believing the Falcons are “almost there”, even when they get blown out every time they play a big game against a good team on the road.

D3

December 27th, 2011
8:52 pm

“I hope it’s an aberration in terms of the way that we’ve been playing defense,” Smith said. “It was just not the type of effort that you want to have when so much was on the line in terms of what the outcome could have meant to our football team.”

Coach, it’s not an aberration when it happens twice in one calendar year on the biggest stages of the NFL.

Screen Pass

December 27th, 2011
8:57 pm

“He deserves a chance to correct his mistakes, but mainly that means there should be a minimum of new coordinators coming in” – D3

I don’t disagree. I am aware the playoffs haven’t been played yet. If Smitty lets whoever is dabbling in WCO sets to continue, we can win in the playoffs. This is still a very dangerous team. MM and BVG don’t know how to take the safties off their weapons, that much is evident. It is up to Smitty to show them or replace them…mid game if need be. I will sanction his removal IF…and ONLY IF… there is a more aggresive, competant HC candidate available for immediate transition.

Mr Charlie

December 27th, 2011
8:58 pm

D3, like I said, I am leaning toward agreeing with you, and although I do subscribe to the one game at a time, but evaluate the entire body of work. And right now, our body of work is incomplete. We are 9-6, the fact that we think the 6 are more “who we are” than the 9 is not clear thinking.

I do agree getting hammered on national TV is a unique circumstance that does add more the the argument for pushing issues to the front burner, but again, I just want to see how it all plays out.

And Playoffs, there is a reason they play the game, and there is a reason you will watch. Again, was last night the low point? or the Wall? Only time will tell.

Eric C.

December 27th, 2011
8:59 pm

D3, a transition to a west coast style of offense is something I’ve talked about before – agree with you that the Falcons have the right personnel for it and it would work in the favor of Quizz.

I’m tired of the plodding effort Turner gives when the big holes are not open at the line of scrimmage…he has no chance when he gets indecisive.

D3

December 27th, 2011
9:05 pm

Charlie — Agreed. Well put.

Eric — Absolutely. Would it be a major risk with having Turner or possibly shipping him out or re-signing Snelling? Yes, it would. But, Ryan was at his best in the WCO scheme at Boston College. The thing that people always say about Brees is that he has a great deep game, but they never mention that his receivers are WIDE OPEN because of the scheme and excellent play-calling. And Brees is 6 years the elder of Ryan playing for arguably the best offensive play-caller in the NFL. Meanwhile, Ryan basically has to run his own offense and call his own plays to be successful.

David

December 27th, 2011
9:06 pm

I don’t know if aberration is the right word, but I get what Mike Smith is saying. When your same defense held Drew Brees to 23 points ealier this season (we won’t even mention that we could have won that game but for a Roddy White missed touch dwn catch), it seems like an aberration. Go back to last season. How does a defense that held Aaron Rodgers to 17 points, then get blown out by the same team 5 weeks later. If a defense has shown themselves capable of matching up against top talent, as a coach I’m asking myself why are they not consistently executing on the field.

David

December 27th, 2011
9:08 pm

Sorry, “touch dwn” should be “touchdown”.

[...] to Original Content From Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog): read moreSee more stories on Google: read more Related Articles Share About Author [...]

soon to be 0-3 in the playoffs

December 27th, 2011
9:10 pm

Matt Ryan is 16th in the league in yards per attempt, one slot ahead of the great gunslinger Alex Smith. That’s all I need to know about our QB. You can try and blame the OC all you want but Ryan is the check-down king, and the reality is he doesn’t take chances down the field as often as the elite QB’s. Maybe it’s his arm. Maybe he can’t read defenses fast enough down field. Either way, we’ll never be explosive with him at the helm.

DePlane

December 27th, 2011
9:10 pm

“I hope it was an aberration” CMS.

Does that mean nothing changes because it was an aberration? Or does something get done about it because it might not have been an aberration?

D3

December 27th, 2011
9:11 pm

David — This will have to be last point for a bit, but that’s a very good point you make. I think the problem is not when this staff runs up against a team the first time, but its when they play them a second time and evidently make NO ADJUSTMENTS whatsoever, either on offense or defense. That is the main core of the argument I have that another coordinator (or two) should get a shot with the talent on this team.

JB FALCON

December 27th, 2011
9:11 pm

My last post was right after the massacre ended and I said I would come back with something optimistic to say. I don’t think “At least no one got killed for real!” is gonna do it for optimism. I’ll go do some more thinking. This is just so hard to swallow I don’t think I have fully digested it yet. Ya’ll keep on, I enjoy reading.

Screen Pass

December 27th, 2011
9:12 pm

“How does a defense that held Aaron Rodgers to 17 points, then get blown out by the same team 5 weeks later” – David

They are called adjustments. REAL coaches make them. They don’t play the same song over and over hoping it will be a top twenty hit. They look what was done to them and make ADJUSTMENTS. They adapt and overcome while we lie in a freaking coma.

Screen Pass

December 27th, 2011
9:16 pm

“This is just so hard to swallow I don’t think I have fully digested it yet” – JB Falcon

Your lucky I like you, otherwise one could run with this awhile:).

David

December 27th, 2011
9:19 pm

Screen Pass: My question would be this. Is it the lack of coaching adjustments that cost us last year against the Packers, or was it two bad interceptions in the first half, bad penalties, and blitzers who had Rodgers dead on and never adjusted to the fact that he might try and move to get out of the way?

David

December 27th, 2011
9:20 pm

Chris Owens was also the fill in nickle corner for that game too.

JB FALCON

December 27th, 2011
9:25 pm

SP, my post was funny/stupid now that I re-read it. Never proclaimed to be a wordsmith. If you got the point, it worked! :) I got so upset during that game I could have eat sawdust and crapped out a 2X4. My optimism is a littly dulled still but I’m still looking on the bright side.It would be easier to feel good about the playoffs if I believed in miracles.

falcon21

December 27th, 2011
9:27 pm

D3, I don’t disagree with what you are saying and no hard feelings. My point IMHO is that this team is not as talented as most think. Again it is just my opinion and I may be wrong but it is what I believe.

Jawbreaker

December 27th, 2011
9:27 pm

I’m beginning to see more and more that no Atlanta team will ever win anything, sad as that may be, at least not during my lifetime. 95 and the Olympic victory will stand as the only ticker tape parades Atlanta will ever have.

Screen Pass

December 27th, 2011
9:29 pm

“I got so upset during that game I could have eat sawdust and crapped out a 2X4″ – JB Falcon

Theres your second funny post. You are en fuego! :)

[...] Falcons Embarrassed by Saints – Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) December 27, 2011 under ATLANTA NEWS, Feeds ATLANTA NEWS EXCERPT FROM http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&usg=AFQjCNF6KwWRlCwSwaQuXgzt6i7LTgizHw&url=htt…h153(); [...]

JB FALCON

December 27th, 2011
9:35 pm

en fuego huh? Don’t know what that means but I’ll take your word for it.

Screen Pass

December 27th, 2011
9:38 pm

My point IMHO is that this team is not as talented as most think. Again it is just my opinion and I may be wrong but it is what I believe.” – Falcon21

Your are right. This team is way more talented than most are willing to give credit for. Make no mistake, this last game was us being bent like prison fish and served as a po’ boy. However, don’t make a similar mistake and assume that we don’t have a alot of talent and ways to hurt people on offense. We do. I posted the videos of the “big plays” we pulled off out of the 3WRTERB set…they don’t lie like people do. We have the talent to be a team that not only no one wants to play, but they will learn to fear and respect if they are capable. The amount of offensive firepower this team could generate in the right schemes will seem downright beastly because that’s EXACTLY what it is.

D3

December 27th, 2011
9:39 pm

falcon21 — Oh, you know its all good my friend. Just frustrated that I have the exact same feeling I did after leaving the Georgia Dome after being annihilated by the Packers. I don’t have a problem getting beat, but I cannot take getting embarrassed.

David — Funny you bring that up, because Ryan’s second interception was due to the fact that Mularkey has been running that same roll-out, garbage play forever where he only has one option and the defense played it like a fiddle. They did the same thing earlier in the year where they were just trying to get more yardage to get into field goal range. They read it like a book and the rest was history. This one last night was more painful to me, because I never got the feeling that we would win the game. The GB playoff game, we were absolutely in the game until those interceptions.

Really gone this time. Have a great night Cage Family. Being in here is truly cathartic after witnessing beatdowns like last night and feeling the anger, rage, disappointment, hollowness, etc, etc. But as Mr. Charlie said, we are in the playoffs and you just never know. The book hasn’t closed on this season just yet and I have to keep reminding myself of that.

Cheers and G’Nite all!!!!

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”.

honest_abe

December 28th, 2011
1:48 pm

bvg – is not a nfl defensive coordinator. i can guarantee everyone that this will be the last nfl d-coordinator job he ever has. he’s a linebackers coach at best. he can possibly be a d-coordinator for a division 1 school. his basic 4-3 d is exactly what he deployed while at uga. i still remember auburn completing 4th and 20’s on us. bvg’s defensive scheme is better against 3rd and short than it is against 3rd and long. think about that.

Paddy O

December 28th, 2011
1:54 pm

Pesonally, the level of total UNPREPARATION by the defense for that game appeared to me to be INTENTIONAL. We knew we were going into the playoffs, and did not wish to tip our hand about how we would REALLY play against the Saints. OR, just as last year in the 2nd GB game, our opponents do a FAR BETTER job of game planning. I prefer the intentional vanilla defensive scheme, and piss poor offensive calls. How many times will Mike Smith get embarassed on the national stage?

Screen Pass

December 28th, 2011
2:09 pm

“We knew we were going into the playoffs, and did not wish to tip our hand about how we would REALLY play against the Saints” – Paddy O

Do you really think the Saints CS will rest on their laurels and bring out the exact same gameplan next time we meet? I know you are trying to rationalize that pile of turd we dug on Monday but come now. If our CS cannot come up with more than one “big game” plan then maybe there is a big problem with our CS. You really think these people said lets get our asses kicked and embarrassed for a brief tactical advantage in our next meeting? If they did then they need to fired IMMEDIATELY and prosecuted by the appropriate avenues for “fixing” the game.

warfalcon

December 28th, 2011
2:15 pm

Us over 30 years fans always know that this type of team will show up on big games.We just know,it has happened to many times,and for it to be the aints makes it all the worse.The player DO NOT KNOW THE HISTORY AND THERE IS NO ONE TO TELL THEM.T—- O- T— S—

Chop Buster

December 28th, 2011
2:36 pm

D3 said, “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.”

Actually, my preference would be to build a stout top 5 defense first. I’m actually shocked that I’m saying this, but we could probably win with the current offense (with some minor personnel tweaks, i.e, Turner replaced) if we had a top defense. We need a running back with great feet, change of direction, speed and runs with power. Turner is none of these–neither is Snelling. We need our own Marshawn Lynch or a similar RB.

Chop Buster

December 28th, 2011
2:40 pm

D3, plus you just proved my point in your stats that those teams made DC changes and were better teams for doing so. BVG has to go!

stendek

December 28th, 2011
2:56 pm

Hi Dawson. Was going to write how Falcons rightly ignored by national media because they have not EARNED an respect. The following is much more timely as no other Falcons DESERVE Pro Bowl consideration. Best my friend.

There is some justice left in sports world after all. Congratulations Mr Tony Gonzalez! You are certainly more than well deserving of Pro Bowl recognition. As far as I am concerned you are the only Falcon with any heart or pride at all. Except for maybe that FG kicker. You still play the game with the youthful enthusiasm of a boy. It is exciting just to watch you compete. I applaud your efforts to catch every pass then muscle for extra yardage. I just wish you had a quality thrower to get the ball to you more often. I regret you are a winner on a team of losers. I wish you could be traded to a Super Bowl contender before you hang up your cleats. Oh well. Congratulations again Mr Gonzalez. You are a joy to watch. Best always. Rest of Falcons can drop dead. Except for that FG kicker. Blessed be. :)

stendek

December 28th, 2011
2:59 pm

I feel your agony Warfalcon. Been with these quitters since 1966. Seems like a helluva lot longer! :(

stendek

December 28th, 2011
3:01 pm

Is Paddy O on medication? :(

stendek

December 28th, 2011
3:04 pm

Hey Paddy: How many times will (Falcons) get embarrassed on national stage. As many times as they reach it. Why do you think they were banned from MNF for decades? Not because of sterling exciting play I assure you! This ain’t LaLa Land. I do not see Sori Letemin Sheesh. :(

coleski

December 28th, 2011
3:13 pm

The only big problem I see with the Falcons is that they can’t play the game of football. Maybe they should
take up knitting or number painting pictures. Anything where they would’nt have to face those old big
ruffian football players. Why they could get hurt trying to get out of the way of those big guys. Why a fellow
might run into them by accident and get skinned up. Then their mommy would have to put one of those
spiderman bands on it. Just think how they would cry when mommy pulled it off.

mackdad

December 28th, 2011
3:33 pm

norv turner will be our next OC and Spagnaulo will be the DC….

stendek

December 28th, 2011
3:35 pm

Paddy O

December 28th, 2011
4:23 pm

I also have doubt about the efficacy of our apprenticeship program. Looks to me like Franks can play. I’d move him to Dunta’s spot, and slide Dunta to DeCouds spot – although DeCoud did make a couple nice tackles.

JB FALCON

December 28th, 2011
4:25 pm

There’s a rumor/question that TD put M Pete and Hayden on IR in order to make room, but for who/what??

Paddy O

December 28th, 2011
4:28 pm

Sadly, if we were not INTENTIONALLY bad, then our entire team got outclassed. Which is a possibility. Where are those folks who were arguing we are a good team because we defeat handily the lower 75% of the league, and struggle mightily against the upper 75%? I have a problem not playing these types of games competitively. Our coaching staff may not be up to the task.

Paddy O

December 28th, 2011
4:29 pm

Shades of the 2nd GB game. Remarkably similar. IF we play the Saints a 3rd time, do they score even more?

Screen Pass

December 28th, 2011
4:44 pm

4.3 speedster Cone added to 53 man roster. I think the beast will be unleashed soon :) .

DHunt

December 28th, 2011
4:56 pm

Thought I could stay away longer, but hey, I’m addicted.

So Big Ray get the perspective award. And Mr. Charlie still level as ever. I kinda don’t know how to feel about this game. The body of work of both the players and the coaching staff (even considering the litany of negative blog posts they generated this year) still far outweighs one horrible 60 minutes. So what happened then? Well… we played a bad game.

So that means the goal now is win 5 straight games. I know a little bit about getting off course and having to re-orient and get back on the right path. I think we can still achieve the ultimate goal from where we stand. I think we can beat any team we might face over these five games. I’m 100% behind the players, even Dunta, who I think is absolutely hopeless in any zone defense, and who holds the dubious distinction of being my official worst player of the year.

But they have to do some things differently. And I don’t think these are things that should take a whole offseason and cleaning house to fix. Like Ryan said, they practice screens all the time, but we never see them in the game. The players are capable of doing more than we’ve seen so far.

I’m holding out hope for a five game winning streak. Schultzy says that would be an unmitigated and undeniable (however unlikely) success. Should we fall short of that, I’m willing to consider any good ideas for substantive change.

RobbE33

December 28th, 2011
5:29 pm

It would’ve been suicidal to replace coordinators in a lock-out shortened year. It’s coming, though.

denverfalcon

December 28th, 2011
5:54 pm

One thing I’m curious about. Is BVG running BVG’s defense or is or is BVG running Mike Smith’s defense. I ask because BVG’s defenses were pretty smothering in college. I know there’s a huge difference between college and the NFL, but it seems that he should be able to adjust to the pros, unless Mr. Conservative Mike Smith insists that we use the ridiculous bend don’t break cover 2 zone D. Just a thought

Kevin O'Hara

December 28th, 2011
6:06 pm

#6 The process has hit a wall is correct. I think this is the best this coaching staff can do.

Screen Pass

December 28th, 2011
6:08 pm

“Like Ryan said, they practice screens all the time, but we never see them in the game” – DHunt

You obviously missed the Turner qoute the next day showing he didn’t get the memo to lie and shield MM. He DIRECTLY said comments to the contrary about our screen plays lol.

Joe

December 28th, 2011
6:16 pm

Falcons players felt dis-respected and want another shot at the Saints in the playoffs? Are you serious? Can you say 1 AND DONE! The offense is predictable, the defense is terrible. You need new coordinators, this team will NEVER reach the promise land, better yet, yes, I want the Falcons in the first round, that would be a easier game, than playing the Lions!

Signed, from New Orleans!

Wink

December 28th, 2011
7:08 pm

Fan Suggestion to Smith/Dimitroff/Blank

Your team was EMBARRASSED as stated in the points below…here a few suggestions on the house:

1) Not Even Close
Stop living in fantasy land. Elite team dare to be great. They are not overly impressed with their historical stats. They want to do what needs to be done today to win games. Just because writers & coaches say you have a Pro Bowl Back and leader in NFL yardage, does not mean he (Turner) can get one yard. He stops alot and restarts too much. Especially when you call a time out before you run your 4 & 1 play. I personally have come to expect that a Turner run on 3 down and two, usually end up 4th down and four. Elite team make plays without a whole lot of trepidation and wrong plays for the situation. In the New Orleans game you Dared on that play, but you were not Bold enough….line up & sneak it or snap throw to wide out.

2) Two Huge Games, Aggregate Score = 93 – 37
You can not BALL CONTROL a good team & wastes the clock for FG’s.
This pass game with Saints you spent 6 plus minutes to get a FG and the Saints scored a TouchDown in under 2 minutes. You must ATTACK for 60 minutes on both sides of the ball.

3) Dimitroff’s Missing Link Strategy a Failed One
Nothing against Julio Jones, really don’t mind the drafts picks given up for him…whats done is done. In the Future, first get out of your fantasy that you have a game plan for explosive plays, you have the players, but they are being deployed wrong. First one player can make a difference for explosive plays, with Cam Newton, the Panthers lead the league in explosive plays. Second, fix the D-line & O-line via draft & trade. Then find a game changer back, Turner not the answer.

4) Blank Needs to Identify What He Really Wants
No doubt Blank wants to win…but he is a little shell shock still and does not want to ROCK THE BOAT! He really needs to get a little George Steinbrenner in him…and release the OC & DC…it’s not working. They release Brooking can’t cover, fired & hire new QB coach, fired defensive back/assistant HC Thomas, brought in breakaway speed (Julio & Jacquiz)…it’s the schemes…who in charge of that…OC & DC.

5) Bad Calls, But…………
They were terrible calls. Refs were inconsistent on same types of plays. If they are early calls you have to be able to play thru them, some calls can cost you the game, just was not the case on this night…really they have to get over the fear of the SPOT LIGHT, generally on National Televised Games they stink the joint up anyway…they need tunnel vision…c’mon man you playing for rights for division title!

6) The Process has Hit the Wall
Yes the process seems to have come to a halt, the league has figured you out. Now you need to figure you out…look at your record…Your Chunk & Duck offense effective against inferior teams & the FG’s strategy works, but the record show it does not work against quality teams. Example you played good football against Green Bay thru halftime this year (halftime score: Falcons 16 Packer 0), but when the lights went back on (Monday Night) they cleaned your clock.

7) An Indefensible Defense
The Soft Zone Defense is like the 2 minute Prevent Defense all the time; as we know the that defense has prevented nothing. The defense just needs to Man Up for 60 minutes. Van Goder just try it against Tampa Bay, you have nothing to lose, you’re already in the playoffs and headed to NO again…just try it…MAN UP, PRESS COVER, STACK THE B0X…I DON’T KNOW, MAYBE ON 3RD DOWN & 12,15, YOU BLITZ & FORCE QB TO CHECK DOWN TO LESSER ROUTE…MAN I DON’T KNOW, BUT TRY SOMETHING OR SEE POINT 4 ABOVE!!!!

8.) Crisis in Confidence for Fanbase
It hard to have confidence, when the same story plays out in front of you season upon season. First our major goal was to have back to back winning seasons, then make the playoffs, okay we have done that, but understand that was an organizational goal…NOT A FAN GOAL. Dollars invested in this product has not given us a CONFIDENCIAL RETURN…definition of insanitiy is to keep doing what you been doing, but expecting a different result….FANS are just smart enough to recognize INSANITY!

D3

December 28th, 2011
8:09 pm

Wink — Welcome to the Cage! And d@mn fine post I must say.

JB FALCON

December 28th, 2011
8:14 pm

If the fish ain’t bitin’ you move the boat, it’s called trolling.

JB FALCON

December 28th, 2011
8:17 pm

Wink, the fish post was not for you, good thinking.

Paddy O

December 28th, 2011
8:30 pm

You know, and I know, that both HC MS, AB & TD have a about a 30-1 odd that our 1st playoff opponent will be? So, do you go all out and defeat them in the regular season, or the playoff, where it really counts? Our D had NO scheme, played with NO fire, and at least 25% of offensive calls were horrible, and again, we were terrible in the red zone ( a newly developed problem). I don’t think we are this bad (except for that 2nd game of the year with very little adjustments, ala the playoff loss to GB). Most old timers here have griped about our absent= horrible in game adjustments. I suspect we don’t do much “NEW” or innovative during the 2nd meeting. What if we lose a 2nd time to TB? Do we even play Ryan more than a half? We should still be considered a VERY dangerous team. Anybody upset about “running” up the score? Brees wanted the record this week, I don’t seee a problem under that circumstance, and it is the Saints system.

JB FALCON

December 28th, 2011
8:48 pm

“We should still be considered a VERY dangerous team.” PO

“Should” being the key word. “Could” would do. Thing is, so far, we “ain’t”. As far as running up the score, no can do to you what you don’t let them do. I just haven’t gotten over my disgust yet. Why are we worrying about which team we get in the playoffs. A playoff team should be able, capable, and ready to take on all comers. We’ll see how this plays out but, truthfully, my confidence level is about as low as a p— ants knees.

Mr Charlie

December 28th, 2011
9:44 pm

Where are those folks who were arguing we are a good team because we defeat handily the lower 75% of the league, and struggle mightily against the upper 75%?

Huh?

We are 9-6, going to the playoff, that is EXACTLY how good we are, and, for the 1st time in the history of the franchise. We got blown out AFTER we clinched a playoff spot, and you guys are acting like we finishing up a 4-12 season.

Norv Turner? HAHAHAHA. You mean the guy who sat on the ball with 2 minutes left in the game to play for OT? What kinda glue are you guys sniffing?

Mr Charlie

December 28th, 2011
9:49 pm

Sure, Norv would be a real hit on the cage, I can hear Sean Payton quaking in his boots…..How about Josh McDanials, seein’ that he has has such fantastic success on that “elite” level. No, no, how about the loser in Philly OC, that is who we need.

Mr Charlie

December 28th, 2011
9:51 pm

We are going to the playoffs for the 2nd year in a row for the 1st time in team history, yet, now that is not good enough, even BEFORE we even play a game. You guys don’t deserve a good team.

Mike

December 28th, 2011
10:58 pm

It is nice to be going to the playoffs for the second year in a row,however looking at the pieces this team has and it is understandable the expectations of this fanbase. First on defense. 1st round picks Jerry, and Weatherspoon. Second round picks of Moore and Lofton. Free agent aquisitions D Robinson and R Edwards. Then you see how well Peters, Grimes, Babineaux, and V Walker have played. As well as one of the best defensive ends in the game over the last decade. So you look at yeah…DeCoud has had some mental lapses, Owens has struggled when he has had to play the nickle…and Nicholas is pretty average…but still who has studs at all 11 positions on defense. In my mind it is all scheme. I remember watching the other night where the saints had a 3rd and 12….l looked at my brohter-n-law… said ok here we rush three, and everyone else covers an area, while we have a safety roving…giving Brees all day to find someone for the first down….then after that happened Gruden brings up how “predictable” Atlanta’s defense is on 3rd and long. We are all fans talking about this on a blog…so if we are calling it on our couches, or in our seats inside the Dome…then you can bet that coaches and QB’s know what is coming.

Now to the Offense…we have some of the most gifted recievers as far as physical talent in the game. However 90% of the designed routes or outs, curls, hooks, and back shoulder fades..which are great for moving the chains…but does very little to get YAC. We have seen a couple of times what Julio and HD83 can do with a slant. And after 15 games we are still screaming get Quiz more involved. Talent wise I would put our receiving group up against any in the game…but the results speak for themselves. I do not consider Matt Ryan elite, however I have him in the class with Eli, P Rivers, Romo, and Schaub. Turner I think is a good situational guy..it is apparent that overusing him is wearing him down and it is shows at the end of the year and entering the playoffs…however I feel that Snelling is a very capable RB. I would have to conced that our O line is the one glaring weakness right now as far as personel. McClure is near the ned of his career..Hawley is ok at best, Clabo is slow, and Baker is a total bust. Svitek is a very good back up, but now a starter. Blalock is the one decent o-linemen we have now. I think this is where we have missed more that anything. Ypu do not have to draft a guy early in the first round, there are the Doug Free’s and Carl Nick’s that are found in the mid rounds…just have to do your homework.

I am hoping that Mularkey will be coaching the Jags next year and BVG will be on a colledge sideline somewhere. Just being a tweener (the ones between the elite and mediocre to sorry teams) is not where I want to be. I want me team to be talked about in the same context as Green Bay, New Orleans, Pitt, and New England. I want to see us do more than occupy a playoff slot.

E43

December 28th, 2011
11:00 pm

Bratkowski and maybe Terry Robiskie are the future beyond Mularkey specifically because this team has a no huddle to run. The no huddle that shortens your list of candidates and Mike Smith is the one to pull the trigger and he did so with Bratkowki knowing MM wanted to be a HC again in the first place. Frankly, no coach out there can run an offense at an elite level with the Oline we have. The line is just going to have to be more dominant in any way they can.

Midtown

December 29th, 2011
12:14 am

Saints leading WR, Marques Colston….7th round draft pick. Packers leading WR, Jordy Nelson….2nd round draft pick. Patriots leading WR, Wes Welker…..undrafted and cut by his first team. So tell me again why it was so important to give up five draft picks to get Julio Jones who does not play on the same level? We’ve proven we can’t stop the Saints and Packers…..I’m gonna assume that everybody knows we wouldn’t stop the Patriots…..maybe we use those five draft picks on defense.

Sandy Springs

December 29th, 2011
1:04 am

GET A PASS RUSH! If Abraham and Co. can’t get a finger on Brees every time we play them stop paying him millions and invest in someone who can.

Tripp Bowden

December 29th, 2011
2:16 am

Dawson, not to say this wrongly, if that is a word, but how can you possibly be a true fan and say such things. Yes it was a butt ass ugly game, and when things get out of hand in the NFL the score skyrockets. Were we schooled by Breese, yes we were. I think he might have schooled just about anybody that night. It reminded me of the Monday Night Football game against them right after Katrina–we were destined to lose–the whole country was behind them.
I have been a Falcons fan since I was a kid–and man did we suck for so many years. I even have an autographed football by the entire team the year that Dallas took us down in the last seconds in the playoffs. Sure feels a lot better to have a chance to grab the ring than to have no chance at all. I bet a dollar to a doughnut Indy fans would love to be us.

You need to lighten up– I am guessing you have never played professional football. I do enjoy your blogs though–you write very well–but this one was a bit too much. Will Coach Smith win a handful of Superbowls? No–But if he wins us one it wont surprise me one bit. Happy New Year and keep up the good blogs–I do enjoy them. And I admire your honesty. That is the sign of a good writer…

Still, when the Falcs beat NO in the playoffs offer the team an apology–if they school us I shall offer you one . :-)

Tripp Bowden

December 29th, 2011
2:19 am

That stupid smiley made me look as if i wasnt sincere–I am.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 29th, 2011
7:16 am

Tripp the key word there is “stupid”.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 29th, 2011
7:20 am

Mr. Charlie – we see your true colors from your post in the Jeff Schultz blog.

Mr. Charlie
December 29th, 2011
6:54 am

Good luck Saints! Hope you win it all!

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 29th, 2011
7:32 am

JB FALCON – A+++++++ as Screen Pass said you are on fire!!

Usually it’s Big Ray who enlightens my mornings. Let it all out because we need to experience clever statements in contrast to the Falcons’ bland offense and defense designed by the OC and DC.

trademark

December 29th, 2011
8:01 am

…on a totally different subject. IF the Falcons don’t at least win one playoff game, the thought that comes to my mind of blowing up the Coaching Staff also turns towards the current line-up, that somehow is not playing up to expected standards based on a) Talent level, and b) Effort and c) Veteran know-how (Dunta, I’m pointing at you….)

Sooooooo, that brings me to the unsigned players list…

Tony Gonzalez, Reggie Kelly, Todd McClure, Mike Peterson, John Abraham, Joe Zelenka, Chris Redman, Kirk Chambers, Kelvin Hayden, Brett Romberg, James Sanders, Jason Snelling, Kroy Biermann, Thomas DeCoud, Harry Douglas, Brent Grimes, Curtis Lofton, and Eric Weems

Some names stick out as I want to stay. TG, McClure, Hayden, Sanders, Snelling (IF THEY DECIDE THEY EVER WANT TO USE HIM), Douglas (see above shout), Grimes and Lofton. They all offer the realized potential and playing level, WHEN they are playing, that we want on this team.

As for the others….Abraham is good ever 4th game or so, we need more consistency. Plus, his “lower gear” is easily reached if he isn’t properly motivated. Seen it for years, heard it from his own mouth when he’s been miked-up. Reggie Kelly-OK player, not great, a good back up tight end, but they don’t necessarily have to spend a ton of money on a back up tight end, you know? Peterson-I like him, but again, price tag, and we have to rebuild, well, it seems like a place where we can afford to find a replacement. Zelenka…almost a million dollar a season LONG SNAPPER. WTH??!! Redman, years catching up, he was brought in for the Petrino system anyway, and due to Matt Ryan’s ability to stay in games, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to keep him with JPW in reserve. Chambers, Romberg, back up players with not a lot of success on an already weak O-Line. Not impressed. Bring in some players that can solidify the line. Somehow. Anyway. I don’t care how. But these guys are not that answer. Biermann, disappeared somehow this season. I can’t figure it. IF he was playing like he was in the previous 2 seasons, it’s a no-brainer to keep him, he WAS a terror. DeCoup, secondary has issues as well, he’s not the answer to fixing it. But actually, in his defense, no one looks good in soft-zones with no pass rush. No one. Weems, Mistake prone, and not as “explosive” (there’s that word again….) a threat as he used to be.

That’s my 2 cents, anyway. Feel free to chime in Cage, if you are so inclined.

honest_abe

December 29th, 2011
8:46 am

mr charlie: i don’t get it. what’s wrong with high expectations? atl fans loved the improvement and this year they were expecting big things. there’s no other justification for trading all those draft picks for 1 wr. now the birds are sitting here with one game left in the reg season and they haven’t won a single game against an elite opponent. if you think 9-6 with those wins coming mainly against teams with under .500 records is something to cheer up about then kudos to you. other like to think this team should be doing better. get new talent, a new cs whatever but high expectations only to see them unrealized is like a punch in the gut.

if the falcons lose in the 1st round of the playoffs are you going to come in here and tell everyone to shut up and be glad the birds have 4 straight winning seasons?

oh ya josh mcdaniels wasn’t successful at an elite level? huh? did you skip over that part in his resume that said …. um what was it. i believe it was new england. go check those numbers big boy.

Geo

December 29th, 2011
9:32 am

There’s a good discussion going on on Shultz’s page:

Poll time: How should we define success for Falcons?

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
9:33 am

OC/DC @ 7:20. I am not well endeared by the Vick fans on the open boards, but since I have so thoroughly defeated them in debate, they have taken to borrowing my screen name in attempts to discredit me.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
9:33 am

OC/DC @ 7:20. I am not well endeared by the Vick fans on the open boards, but since I have so thoroughly defeated them in debate, they have taken to borrowing my screen name in attempts to discredit me.

John Waynesworld

December 29th, 2011
9:37 am

Honest abe, I agree that perhaps Van Gorder is not an NFL DC. He is at the least, as you say, a LB coach and at the most as an assistant DC down on the sidelines to fire the guys up (which apparently is his talent). DC in college…to be sure. Coordinating on the NFL level…maybe not.

Agree, agree, agree with alot of you. I want to make one thing straight. I didn’t defend BVG over the years because he was a former UGA coach and I am a homer, Wrong. I defended him because I thought he was making strides with this team and all we needed was to give the younger players some seasoning and add a few more veteran players. Now where I stand it is only one of two things that is causing this defense to fold like a lawnchair against quality offenses…1)That TD (with Coach Smith and BVG evaluating) has made a 3-year run of poor defensive draft and free agent choices, or 2) That BVG’s scheme, strategy, coordination, whatever makes up the entire defensive philosophy, planning and execution, is just not working. Personally, I wouldn’t have objected if BVG was let go last offseason, but they probably made the correct decision by holding onto Brian because of the lockout. Now, if this season doesn’t pan out, and it doesn’t look like it will especially if we have to go back to the SumpPump Dome to play the white-hot Saints, (sorry D3, but I am not puking up any more koolaid than I have to), then the coaching carousel should begin in earnest here.

Predictions:

If we play either the Giants or the Cowpies…WINNER and hope the Lions beat the Saints.

If we play the Saints in their house again…..DONE by halftime and I’m off to Home Depot.

This is not pessimism. I saw the Saints on Monday. You all saw the Saints on Monday. We all saw how our team played with 10 days rest. I would imagine the best oddsmakers in Vegas wouldn’t give us a 10% chance of winning outright in a do-over.

Geo

December 29th, 2011
9:46 am

I gave you the link for page two, here’s page one if you want to start at the beginning:

Schultzie page one

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 29th, 2011
9:47 am

Mr. Charlie – I hear you and I take my words back. By the way, do you post under any other screen names? I saw that mentioned too by someone on the Schultz page.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
9:53 am

Abe; “if the falcons lose in the 1st round of the playoffs are you going to come in here and tell everyone to shut up and be glad the birds have 4 straight winning seasons?”

Again, we have qualified for the playoffs back to back for the first time in team history, and you are treating it like it is a curse. OH NOOO WHAT IF WE LOSE. All I say is, lets freaking enjoy it, lets watch the game and support our team when they need it.

Josh’s elite experience? Sure, he did a great job making sure Bill Belechecks microphone game did not get snagged during games. But all he had done is gone to 2 different franchises in a real leadership role taken them straight down. Ask the Broncos and Rams if any of that Elite Bellechek Pixie dust brushed off on him. My guess is Josh McDanial gets us back to the true Falcons of old, unless Smitty strangles him.

The reality is, we lose to the Saints and Green Bay. However, as mush as I like Ice, he just is not Brees and Rogers. He just is not that good. So, our only hope is to get into the big dance and make some noise. Phase one mission is accomplished, all we can do not is wait and see what happens.

Finally, JJ played like a Rookie. If the justification for trading the draft picks was to get us to another level, we cannot evaluate just yet. We went 13-3 last season, we did not get JJ to improve on our regular season. “Another Level” meant playoffs, and they have not begun. We will find out a lot about this team real soon, but no reason to panic and hang your heads now. If you truly are fans, believe.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
9:58 am

No, I post under Mr Charlie only. Again, I called the eagles not making the playoffs in August, and I was spot on right, so there are those on Bradly and Shultz who cannot handle it …..I take it as a compliment to be honest.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
10:05 am

John W….Did you see the beating the Cards took in week 17 of 08? Yet, they ran to the superbowl. Or how about last year when the Jets got killed by the Pats, then beat them in the playoffs.

Fact is, I do have high expectation for the Falcons, I expect them to at least get to the championship game. It is all you guys who say you have “high expectation” who are concerned about them losing in the 1st round.

One thing the NO game had in common with the GB game is we had a big break before the game. Although that is a “good’ think, maybe haveing too much time to think, getting out of our normal schedule, does us more harm than good. just a thought.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 29th, 2011
10:18 am

Mr. Charlie, are you JSS?

Big Ray

December 29th, 2011
10:24 am

Paddy O ,

Sorry, but Mike Smith tipped his hand with a single post game quote- “Didn’t see that coming.”

In other words, the loss was not intentional. It was also the worst post game quote from him, and I wish I hadn’t read it.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
10:24 am

Haha, nope. JSS is a Vick guy. I believe he may be Choke. Whenever I see a guy called CGD posts using my name show up.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
10:25 am

Yea, the did not see that coming was pretty bad, I was expecting a Homer Simpson DOH after he said that.

Big Ray

December 29th, 2011
10:32 am

On the subject of replacement coaches (which I still think is premature for us fans, but not for the front office) –

I don’t think it’s smart to judge guys for Coordinator spots, by their performance as head coaches. I really don’t.

For example, look at Wade Phillips. Couldn’t get jack done as a head coach in Dallas, but you also have to consider a wide range of factors affecting that situation.

But you can’t tell me that Wade hasn’t been a damn good DC for the Houston Texans. I thought their defense was less than it was…then we played them and I found out differently. Wade the HC? A no-no. Wade the DC? A success.

Here we are at the end of the season, and Houston has the #2 overall ranked defense in the NFL, according to ESPN. I checked – they are top 4 in every single defensive category …..’Nuff said….

So while our CS still has a regular season game left and a postseason to explore….I wouldn’t be too quick to pooh-pooh some of the names floating around out there.

Some guys just can’t handle being at the wheel of a big ship….but they may be damn excellent in the boiler room.

Big Ray

December 29th, 2011
10:33 am

LOL @ Mr. Charlie….

Big Ray

December 29th, 2011
10:35 am

And yes, coaching DOES make a difference. Witness the 49ers….

Witness the Broncos…because believe it or not, that turnaround wasn’t all Tebow…. :roll:

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
10:40 am

Also, if you want to evaluate our wins, you really have to throw out your head to head games. Here are the teams we beat, and their current records without our head to head games:

Eagles 7-7
Tennessee 8-6
Detroit 10-4
Seahawks 7-7
Panthers 6-7

So, it is possible we will have won 6 games against with winning or .500 records. It just comes down to Green Bay and New Orleans, and they have the two guys playing the best QB in the game today, hell, maybe in the history of the game. No offensive, or defensive coordinator is going to change that. But the fact that we have beaten both of these teams in some games, just speaks volumes for our coaching staff.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
10:44 am

Big Ray, that is very true regarding the head coach washouts. but Josh Mcdanial has shown me nothing. Everything that happens in New England is the result of Tom Brady and Bill Belecheck. Look at Charlie Weis. Like I said, I think a JM-Smitty marriage would last about 3 games, and Smitty would choke the live outta that punk.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
10:45 am

Coaching makes a huge difference, witness the FALCONS….

Big Ray

December 29th, 2011
10:46 am

Looking at some rookie WR stats out of pure boredom (it’s not lunchtime yet, and I’m already hungry).

A.J. Green played in 14 games, has one more TD, 13 more catches, and 148 more total yards than Julio Jones.

Torrey Smith has played in 15 games, has 5 fewer catches, and 75 fewer yards than Julio Jones.

I wonder what these numbers would look like if Julio had played in 15 games, instead of having only played in 12?

All three rookie WRs looked pretty good. Noted – Smith’s yards per game (53.9) aren’t impressive compared to Jones and Green (both 73.6).

Big Ray

December 29th, 2011
10:49 am

Mr. Charlie,

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I have no interest in Josh McDaniels purely because of the ruckus he seems to start no matter where he is. We don’t need attitude problems, we need professionals. And if someone on our CS can’t control himself, then expecting self-control from your players is the joke of the day….

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
10:49 am

Now throw out the head to head to the teams that beat us:

GB 13-1
NO 11-3
Texans 9-6
Bucs 3-11
Bears 5-8

Again, that Green Bay/New Orleans just stands out, and they have Rogers and Brees.

Big Ray

December 29th, 2011
10:51 am

Coaching makes a huge difference, witness the FALCONS….

True. But a broader perspective reveals that the changes started at the front office/executive level, and went from there.

The 49ers didn’t change out their front office. Just the CS. Same thing in Denver. Conversely, that is why the Chargers, who have a LOT of talent, are imploding. Get Norv Turner out of there, he’s sinking the ship as a HC…

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
10:51 am

Norv (lets play for a tie) Turner, and Josh McDanials are not guys I want on my teams. And again, I have high expectation for the Falcons, I expect some playoff wins. As I said going into the New Orleans game, W or L, just gotta put it behind and get ready for the playoffs.

Big Ray

December 29th, 2011
10:53 am

Ok, I’m hungry dammit. Gotta go.

Next plan for the Falcons – embarrass the Bucs in a season ender, get some measure of revenge.

Prepare for the playoffs. “We didn’t see that coming” goes down as a death knell if we hear it again….

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
10:57 am

So, if you throw out the head to head matchups, there are only 2 teams we beat that are assured of losing records. The Vikes and Jags. So to say we “only” beat teams with losing records is a false statement.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
10:58 am

Ray, Agreed.

Mr. Jerry

December 29th, 2011
11:17 am

I know the offense can put up the points and are better than they showed against NO and will play better. As for the defense, we have no pass rush. The linebackers and cornerbacks actually did a great job considering Brees had all day to throw with no one in his face and wore out our secondary. If we can’t find a pass rush then we can’t beat the Saints and Packers of the NFL.

honest_abe

December 29th, 2011
11:20 am

“Now throw out the head to head to the teams that beat us:

GB 13-1
NO 11-3
Texans 9-6
Bucs 3-11
Bears 5-8

Again, that Green Bay/New Orleans just stands out, and they have Rogers and Brees.”

got killed by chicago. lost to a pathetic tb team. lost to a houston team with a rookie qb. lost twice to the saints. lost to gb at home. again.

yes they have rodgers and brees. so are you admitting this franchise isn’t as good as those teams? that’s what i think most on here are complaining about. after 4 years of this “process” a fan would hope to be on the same level as the saints and packers. the true question is why aren’t we? most blame the coordinators. some blame the front office. all in all it’s a combination of both. there’s been a level of incompetence from this franchise that in their 4th year there are clear signs of regression. if you think the future looks rosy, just realize major offensive pieces are on their last legs and with limited draft picks and cap maneuverability the future looks bleak.

yes arizona made a run in 2008 which started with a playoff home game. a potential hof qb along with arguably the best wr in the game went on a torrid run. when if ever have you seen this team operate at that kind of level? not saying everything is lost but there sure is little to be excited about going into the playoffs.

honest_abe

December 29th, 2011
11:23 am

as for mcdaniels his resume speaks for itself as a coordinator. if you want to count his 1st yr in st louis go ahead. but that team had no wr’s and their qb was injured for most of the year. bradford also had a sophomore slump. the rams o-line was worse than the falcons.

other than that he’s a known commidity around the league as an innovative offensive mind. and you mockingly joke about morningweig but yes he’s a sharp offensive guru as well.

Mr. Jerry

December 29th, 2011
11:23 am

True. The Falcons will need to put up some numbers offensively with touchdowns (can’t settle for field goals) because without an effective defensive line the Falcons will have to put 28 to 35 points to have a chance.

Mr. Jerry

December 29th, 2011
11:38 am

If the Falcons get to play NO again in two weeks they should take a 15 yard penalty on Brees first pass and pay him back by getting a couple of big D lineman to rip his helment off and bust his nose. Subsequent tackles of Brees would then be a lot of fun.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
11:40 am

Abe, I am not saying our “Franchise” is any worse than New Orleans or Green Bay, but our QBs is not as good as theirs, and in the NFL, QBs matter.

Actually, if you go back, nobody has been as consistently as competitive against both Green Bay and New Orleans than Smitty and company. Sure, we are not quite there, and we have had our stinkers, but overall, we can and have beat them.

Why do we want some other OC who has failed, to come replace our guy who has had more success? Again, Josh worked under Belechek, and since he left, he has been a joke. Morningwig? LOL, lets just say I am not impressed with is job with all the Dream Team talent.

You just have Daniel Snyder Disease , you think next guy, the new guy, is automatically going to transform us into the next world beater, but in reality, if you don’t have a little success, you have nothing to build on.

And again, why assume we are not going to play well in the playoffs? Why do you have such low expectations?

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
11:43 am

The 1st step to winning a superbowl is getting to the playoffs. Step one complete. Why all the negativity?

Gman

December 29th, 2011
11:46 am

Last week we heard all the comparisons to Green Bay and how the Falcons looked like they could be ready for a similar breakout. This week we hear about possible parallels to the ‘08 Cards.

The common denominator in both examples is that beating the Falcons was the springboard for both. It is more likely that we play a similar role this year-lying down in the playoffs and helping another team get to the Super Bowl. The Falcons can’t play with the elite.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
11:47 am

Gman, but how about the Jets last year?

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
11:54 am

Or, when the Cards beat Green Bay in 09? Again, you guys are just turning over every rock to find a reason to be negative. All I have to say is if the Falcons do have success in the playoffs, you guys really have no right to celebrate, but I am sure you will all jump on the bandwagon.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 29th, 2011
12:08 pm

Mr. Charlie — Yea, the did not see that coming was pretty bad, I was expecting a Homer Simpson DOH after he said that.

That was really funny.

We are already on the bandwagon, but we also want the bandwagon to have more bells and whistles that the current coaching staff doesn’t want to SEE.

honest_abe

December 29th, 2011
12:15 pm

“And again, why assume we are not going to play well in the playoffs? Why do you have such low expectations? – mr. charlie brown

um, did you watch the mnf game which was played in front of a national tv audience? were you lucky enough to see green bay demolish us at home last year in the playoffs? now what has changed in one year that makes you think that this year will be any different?

if the falcons do make a run in the playoffs of course we’ll jump on the bandwagon. we spend enough time throughout our day whining about them…. i sure do hope you let us onboard mr. charlie.

as for MM – he’s good as gone. the fans all hate him whether that’s right or not is a diff discussion and besides he wants to be a head coach. mcdaniels did wonders with matt cassell. and got him paid. he’s real good. and to think that philly’s lackluster play is somehow on morningweig is quite silly. did you even follow that team this year. ya didn’t think so. their starting qb missed alot of games. their o-line was starting two rookies. their wr’s got injured. now if atl lost matt ryan how well do you think we’d fare?

Screen Pass

December 29th, 2011
12:33 pm

“However, as mush as I like Ice, he just is not Brees and Rogers. He just is not that good” – The Tuna

Even more troll proof it seems…or the ramblings of a blind fool. Funny how you are always poking at us that we should be worshipping this team for their above 500 record but apparently you think M. Ryan sucks and is not a factor in that record…

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
12:44 pm

I believe, Brees and Ryan are playing the QB position better than any QB had ever played the QB position in the history of the NFL. Thats all. Ryan, no so much, but he has be pretty darn good. Again, NO was a somewhat meaningless game. The real games start in 2 weeks, and like it or not, we earned a spot.

And Abe, Excuses Excuses Excuses. Face it, Marty Morningwig did not get it done, he did not even make the playoffs.

falcon21

December 29th, 2011
12:48 pm

Give Matt Ryan a good O-line and he would be as good as and better than most of all NFL QBs. He is doing pretty well behind this 2nd rate line.

honest_abe

December 29th, 2011
12:51 pm

seriously chuck you got me all confused. so the only reason why green bay and new orleans are better is because of their qb’s? but we should stop complaining that they’re better because we made the playoffs? so we’re medicore and we should happy about it. ok i think i’m starting to understand your reasoning.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
12:55 pm

I absolutely agree that Ryan is among the top QBs, and is good enough to win a SB. But, Brees and Rogers are just on a historic roll, and until they cool, their teams are going to be hard to beat. I mean, if they go 27 for 34 for 390 yards and 5 TDs, it is just dam hard to compete. And I could agree that the problem is our secondary, but Brees and Rogers seem to do it to everyone, and nobody else seems to light us up like that…..

But yea, Marty Morningwig will change everything. He really took the Eagles to the “next level” after getting to the NFC championship game year in, year out.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
12:58 pm

Yes Abe, Rogers and Brees are a pretty big reason why the Saints and Packers are terrorizing everyone they play. Do you think they are not a factor?

But, we are in the playoffs, and we have beaten both teams, so, we got a chance, as good as anyone, but yes, they are on a different level, and it is due to the QB play.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
1:02 pm

Brees just broke about ever record in the book this year, Rogers won 19 straight games. But we have beaten both of them, so I believe we can do it again, but step one is entering the playoffs. We did that, now we sit back and watch. When it is over, we evaluate….To be honest, I don’t know how you guys get out of bed in the morning. Chicken freaking little.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
1:02 pm

Name 1 team that has beaten both the Saints and Green Bay in the past 2 years. I can.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
1:08 pm

The Eagles were perennial contenders, going to the NFC championship game every year, and even a superbowl. Then they bring in Marty Morningwig, and have not sniffed success since.

Man, you do have Danial Snyder disease.

honest_abe

December 29th, 2011
1:16 pm

it’s not so much a loss as how we lost. i think d3 has brought this up several times. when a team has 10 days off and they go on the road against a division rival and deploy the same crappy defense on 3rd down it shows a level of incompetence. that’s what people are tired of.

i’ll type slowly in the hopes of you understanding me. most on this blog realize this is a good team. are they great? no. through a combination of mediocre drafts and FA signings plus an overmatched coaching staff this team isn’t able to compete at the highest levels. you can’t keep doing the same thing over and expect a different result. as i mentioned the falcons are on year 4 of this “process” to get blown out on national tv for an outside shot at the division is unacceptable. period.

if you think everything is fine and dandy be my guest but alot of other people see major flaws in how things are being run at flowery branch and the results as of late only confirm those beliefs. falcons are good but i don’t believe the front office along with this coaching staff can take this org over the hump.

you keep pointing to the eagle’s win/loss record as some kind of indictment on the coordinator. you seem to forget there are 3 phases to a football game. the eagle’s d mind you has stunk up the joint the last two years. which offense when healthy do you think teams around the league fear the eagles or the falcons? just answer that please. never mind i already know the answer.

JJ

December 29th, 2011
1:18 pm

f21, agree, coop has been hammering that point for the last 2yrs. Have to agree with him after this yr’s OL performance. Add in a 21st century OC who knows how to utilize our weapons and playcalling, MR would be a top 5 QB.

MM is as good as gone and BVG stays ONLY if he dumps this soft zone crappppp!

Gman

December 29th, 2011
1:29 pm

Mr.C: I admire your optimism-truly I do. Like many I’ve been a fan since the 70s and while the Smith regime started out promising, it seems to be headed in a familiar direction-the offense is easily stopped (take away the run and give Ryan the short stuff-no real deep threat). The defense is awful. TDs draft-day trade for Julio was something a fantasy GM would do. Couple the lack of picks from the trade with busts like Jerry and failed free agent signings of Robinson and Edwards and the roster gets hollowed out.

I respect your opinion but for me the MNF debacle was revealing and frankly, it was vintage Falcon football. I wish it were otherwise. I will hope for the best in the playoffs but have zero expectations that this franchise is embarking on some championship run anytime soon.

John Waynesworld

December 29th, 2011
1:33 pm

F21, exactly. We have been fed the same propaganda for weeks about how this offensive line is not much different in how they are playing in their 13-3 season. Well, if that is the case, then EVERYBODY (except the Colts and the Jags) just suddenly got better on their defense this year (except us of course). What this O line is telling me this season is that Ovie Mughelli needs a raise.

TD needs to start looking at this list…

http://www.kffl.com/static/nfl/features/freeagents/fa.php?option=OL&y=2012

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 29th, 2011
1:35 pm

honest_abe you certainly got the patience of Job with Mr. C. He comes from sides of an issue.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 29th, 2011
1:35 pm

“both sides”

JB FALCON

December 29th, 2011
1:51 pm

JW, TD not only needs to look at that list, he’s going to have pull off some major miracles and will need to use every available resource. We’ve got a big job ahead keeping what players we have and losing some of them may be a plus if they are properly replaced.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 29th, 2011
1:53 pm

JWW I don’t think Ovie Mughelli is the key to better running or offensive line blocking. Here are the running stats for the four games we lost in 2010 and he was there in all of the games. Harvey Dahl was also there. It looks to me the offensive line plays exactly the same in critical games. Maybe these four games (not the 13 wins) are really indicative of the real quality of the Falcons. I have said before we don’t have an effective running game especially when we play the better teams. Note that Matt Ryan’s passing number is similar in all games too. I looked at 2009 and the losses in all those games show similar running yardage. The same is true in 2011. The reality is not much has changed and that seems to be the problem for HC Smith.

Steelers sept 12, 2010 15-9 OT
MT CAR-19 YDS-42 LG-7
TEAM CAR-25 YDS-58 AVG-2.3
MR 27/44 252 67.6

Eagles October 17, 2010 31-17
MT CAR-15 YDS-45 LG-9
TEAM CAR-19 YDS-65 AVG-3.4
MR 23/42 250 78.5

Saints December 27, 2010 17-14
MT CAR-17 YDS-48 LG-27
TEAM CAR-22 YDS-75 AVG-3.4
MR 15/29 148 77.9

Packers January 15, 2011 48-21
MT CAR-10 YDS-39 LG-12
TEAM CAR-14 YDS-45 AVG-3.2
MR 20/29 186 69.0

honest_abe

December 29th, 2011
1:56 pm

oc: those stats are dead on.

Tom

December 29th, 2011
2:11 pm

Sick of it. Seems to me that Smith has become a players coach like Mora was. Players are congratulated off field when they screw up. I know this because I’ve seen it. The whole team needs an enema from coaches to non performing players. Turner needs to go unless they will allow mack trucks to block for him. Hits the line like a crippled turtle. Mularkey is a joke but then again the whole team is a joke. 50 years committed to losing and/or playing not to lose is about it for me. Dont really care to watch them anymore

darrell starks

December 29th, 2011
2:25 pm

Tom i agree with you except 1 thing, BVG is also joke.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

December 29th, 2011
2:30 pm

Tom any time your defense give up 80 yards the first 4 drive of the game, then your DC IS A JOKE.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ron fort

December 29th, 2011
2:38 pm

No Heart- No Urgency-No Leadership-No FIRE. This team needs its ass kicked by somebody besides other than pretty good teams. Everybody wrote”the team is such a good team” and the players thought they were right- but you can see they don’t Believe it ! They just can’t get it done if someone hits them in the mouth and they really have to play.
Just look at the body language of the team when they need to rise to the occasion.An Excuse waiting to happen- they look for it. Smith is way too soft on them

LRD

December 29th, 2011
2:40 pm

We got killed by GB and embarrassed on Nat TV. Especially as the #1 ranked team in the divsion
We were just killed and embarrassed again on Nat Tv ( eerily similiar).
So maybe that adds up to us coming back with vengeance for play offs?
Silver lining…

John Waynesworld

December 29th, 2011
2:48 pm

Thanks for those stats, OC. Still, I just think given time I could find stats in games that we won against good teams where there was little rushing success, like the Ravens in 2010. We won the game, yet Turner ran for 39 yards and Ryan had 50 pass attempts, 300+ yards and 3 TDs. Granted, looking back on the highlights we should have lost that game (the non-calls were ridiculous), but the games you displayed showed to me that we ran into defenses that either 1) Proved that they have a defense good enough to stop both the run and the pass, or 2) Proved that stopping Turner and making Ryan pass is the key to stopping the Falcons (because he wasn’t successful in those games), or 3) That those teams’ opposing defensive game plans were good enough to beat us where others failed, or finally, 4) The Falcons Offensive line can run block better than they pass block and then refer to #2.

Hey, we are all searching for the magic answer to this teams underperformance in big games. Is it blocking, or rushing, or passing, or scheming, or what?? Replace the blocker, or the rusher, or the passer, or the coach, or what??

It is all unnerving, especially for those of us who have lived here since the 1966 season and seen so much overlapping “bad” with an occasional whack-a-mole of “good”. Now, in my mind when I hear “back-to-back winning seasons” or “back-to-back playoff appearances”, I think “Gee, you’re a great kisser, Sis!” In a manner of speech, of course lol.

John Waynesworld

December 29th, 2011
2:55 pm

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
3:13 pm

My point is, I have never seen a team make adjustments to a team to “compete” on the next level against a hand full of teams without it all falling apart. I see it in ever sport, every year.

Exhibit 1 Julio Jones. He was gotten to make us explosive, to get us to the next level, but I don’t know if you missed, it was his horrible fumble made me admit defeat on that night….Irony? Maybe.

So, whenever you make tweeks to “get to the next level” and, and just foresake the success you did have as assumed, you usually fail big time. My point, we just gotta see what happens, I am sure things are not to pleasant at Flowery Branch, and if they come out, win a few playoff games, it is all for naught. If they go one and done, I am sure we will see changes, But changes bring no assurances when you are on a competitive level, it is usually the opposite, and THAT IS MY POINT.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
3:15 pm

LRD, we are in the playoffs, so it is possible, unless our players are like you and do not believe, then we have no chance. Personally, as I said the last game, if JJ holds onto the freaking ball, we will be OK.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
3:17 pm

Nobody commented on the fact that if you remove our head to head records, we very well might have 6 wins against teams that finished .500 or better this season.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
3:21 pm

What do you guys thing of Julio? You think he has pride? You think he might use the playoffs as an opportunity to get redemption for his fumble? What if JJ catches a winning TD pass in the playoffs? Then what? Was he worth it?

LRD

December 29th, 2011
3:23 pm

Mr. C.. who is saying I dont believe… I would say I am more of the more optimistic people in regards to this years version.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
3:28 pm

Sorry, LRD, but I am under assult, lol. The silver lining is we are in the playoffs. If our team is coming apart at the threads, we will be one and done and it would be time to make changes.

But, if Smitty and company hold it together and get them refocused, and they win a game or two, then all the gnashing of teeth are for nothing. I have no control over what will happen, so I just chose to be happy that we still have an opportunity, I hope they make something out of it.

JB FALCON

December 29th, 2011
3:29 pm

JW, the blog monster works in mysterious ways :)

LRD

December 29th, 2011
3:33 pm

I am very happy we are in the play offs. I have not been a fan as long as some on this blog, but let me tell ya, winning seasons, making the play off in consecutive years, and having a chance of winning in our first round this time… I mean I would love to win every game, and I would really love beating the sAINTS,but we are in the play offs.. and there are many other teams that would really like to be in the position we are in.
Granted, this SUnday the dome is going to be rather quiet, but I will still be there, still yelling and still smiling cuz we are going to the play offs.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 29th, 2011
3:55 pm

Mr. Charlie – What do you guys thing of Julio? You think he has pride? You think he might use the playoffs as an opportunity to get redemption for his fumble? What if JJ catches a winning TD pass in the playoffs? Then what? Was he worth it?

It’s not about one man; it’s about the team.

Mr. Charlie – But, if Smitty and company hold it together and get them refocused, and they win a game or two, then all the gnashing of teeth are for nothing. I have no control over what will happen, so I just chose to be happy that we still have an opportunity, I hope they make something out of it.

You made the point why everyone posts to this blog Mr. Charlie. For 12 months since the Green Bay playoff game, Smitty and company has not held it together. In fact, based on the Saints game, it has gotten worse. I don’t recall that ANYONE has said they are not happy. We are all happy but as human beings, we know there are ways of improving things. THAT IS WHAT THIS BLOG IS TO SHARE OUR IDEAS. You need to take some time and reflect on what you are saying.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 29th, 2011
3:57 pm

“Smitty and company have not”

Screen Pass

December 29th, 2011
4:15 pm

“Sorry, LRD, but I am under assult, lol” – The Tuna

NO. You CAME here and assaulted others that don’t think like you. You didn’t offer alternatives, just stinky hippy love the team stuff, and proceeded to insult and belittle others that didn’t agree. I can be an a-hole and insult back, no doubt, but I always offer ideas and proof of what ever it is I’m driving at.
If in YOUR OPINION, everything is so rosy with this team and the CS are the biggest geniuses in the world, fine. You would not be considered a troll if you left it at that but instead you insult ideas thrown around here with nothing but straw-man and schmoozy “feeling” based arguments. I’m not big on the some of the ideas around here, I’m not high on Norm Turner or some of the other names being thrown around….BUT…I’m willing to listen and will make a case against based on the best evidence I can gather.

LRD

December 29th, 2011
4:24 pm

As an xSkins fan. I would rather have Zorn than Turner… especially if it comes to really working with Ryan to better himself and the team…

honest_abe

December 29th, 2011
4:32 pm

“DE Ray Edwards missed the second straight day of practice with a knee injury, and LB Stephen Nicholas was held out again as he recovers from a toe injury”

anyone else care for more positive news?

my grades for the front office and CS. happy new year everybody!

TD – gets a F
MS – gets a B+
BVG – gets a C-
MM – gets B-

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
5:16 pm

OC/DC- You made the point why everyone posts to this blog Mr. Charlie. For 12 months since the Green Bay playoff game, Smitty and company has not held it together. In fact, based on the Saints game, it has gotten worse. I don’t recall that ANYONE has said they are not happy. We are all happy but as human beings, we know there are ways of improving things. THAT IS WHAT THIS BLOG IS TO SHARE OUR IDEAS. You need to take some time and reflect on what you are saying.

What do you mean we have not held it together, we are heading to the playoff. Tony Sparano, he did not hold it together. Rex Ryan, he don’t look like he has held it together, Tom Caughlin, Jason Garrett, Andy Reid, and the list goes on and on.

Again, I don’t know how you guys get our of bed in the morning.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
5:17 pm

Old Norv, Mr. play of a tie. Again, are you guys smoking crack?

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
5:22 pm

I did ask the question. Who is the team that has beaten New Orleans AND Green bay in the past 2 years? Buhler? Bulher? Anyone?

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 29th, 2011
5:25 pm

Mr. Charlie – I have a different definition of “holding it together” and you just need to accept that and go on.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
5:26 pm

When teams lose in the superbowl, a lot of times they do not even make the playoffs the next year. Because after bad losses, people just like you guys, think they need to “change something” in order to “push to the next level”, and they stop doing the exact things that got them to the super bowl to begin with.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 29th, 2011
5:27 pm

Mr. Charlie – I did ask the question. Who is the team that has beaten New Orleans AND Green bay in the past 2 years? Buhler? Bulher? Anyone?

You have already explained to us that the past doesn’t matter so your question is contradicting your earlier belief. Reflect!!!

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
5:32 pm

Well, when the past is positive, reflecting on it can be good, especially when you might be suffering a little doubt in confidence, which apparently you guys are. But reflecting on the negative serves no purpose.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 29th, 2011
5:36 pm

I’m asking you to reflect on what you are asking. I don’t care who beat who when. I do know the Falcon team has been very inconsistent over very many games. The only thing that matters to me is PAST PERFORMANCE indicates FUTURE PERFORMANCE unless changes are made.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 29th, 2011
5:37 pm

OVER and OUT Mr. Charlie

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
5:42 pm

Later OC….But no changes will be made between now and the playoffs, and although we have been inconsistent, we have been more consistent than the lions share of the teams in the league. My entire point has always been, lets see what happens in two weeks, I think we are going to shine, and if not, then we move on, but not until then.

D3

December 29th, 2011
5:55 pm

Alright, so I appear to be in the ever-shrinking minority here, but I’m going to try and make a case one more time about the offensive line. First of all, I readily admit that we could have used a few more draft picks throughout the years, but to simply say that all we need is a better offensive line (which to me means spending 1st and 2nd rounders on OL), I just believe is missing the point that there are other problems and great linemen don’t always come from the 1st two rounds or high price free agency.

I also don’t subscribe to the belief that Harvey Dahl made THIS much of a difference in one season going from 13-3, getting #1 NFC seed, with Ryan, Turner, Ovie, Gonzo, Roddy, and Clabo being offensive Pro Bowlers to being absolutely the only reason for all our offensive woes. I believe that has more to do with every DC in the NFL has figured us out and our offensive staff never adjusts (putting Roddy and JJ in the backfield for the 1st play that nets a -1 yard gain doesn’t count).

Here we go once again………..

Top 5 Offenses

1) Saints
LT — Jermon Bushrod – 4th rd
LG — Carl Nicks – 5th rd
C — Brian de la Puente – Undrafted
RG — Jahri Evans – 4th rd
RT — Zach Strief – 7th rd

2) Patriots
LT — Matt Light – 2nd rd
LG — Carl Nicks – 1st rd
C — Dan Connolly – Undrafted
RG — Brian Waters – Undrafted
RT — Nate Solder – 1st rd

3) Eagles
LT — Jason Peters – Undrafted
LG — Evan Mathis – 3rd rd
C — Jason Kelce – 6th rd
RG — Danny Watkins – 1st rd
RT — Todd Herremans – 4th rd

4) Panthers
LT — Jordan Gross – 1st rd
LG — Travelle Wharton – 3rd rd
C — Ryan Kalil – 2nd rd
RG — Geoff Hangartner – 5th rd
RT — Byron Bell – Undrafted

5) Packers
LT — Marshall Newhouse – 5th rd
LG — Evan Dietrich-Smith – Undrafted
C — Brian de la Puente – Undrafted
RG — Scott Wells – 7th rd
RT — TJ Lang – 5th rd

Ravens
LT — Bryant McKinnie – 1st rd (cut by Vikings)
LG — Ben Grubbs – 1st rd
C — Matt Birk – 6th rd
RG — Marshal Yanda – 3rd rd
RT — Michael Oher – 1st rd

Steelers
LT — Max Starks – 3rd rd
LG — Doug Legursky – Undrafted
C — Maurkice Pouncey – 1st rd
RG — Ramon Foster – Undrafted
RT — Marcus Gilbert – 2nd rd

Let the stats digest and come back for a synopsis/conclusion…………..

Chop Buster

December 29th, 2011
6:01 pm

D3, the common denominator with all these teams is they draft very well. I really believe we have a problem in our Scouting department finding high quality, impact players. There is no dominant players on the Falcons team at any position.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 29th, 2011
6:11 pm

From Pete Prisco:
After Further Review: Disrupting receivers key to dealing with air elite (Rogers, Brees, Brady)
http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/story/16635373/after-further-review-disrupting-receivers-key-to-dealing-with-air-elite

There is some good info in this article. The Falcons and their zone defense is called out from the Saints game.

“You have to beat up their receivers,” one NFC personnel director said. “These quarterbacks are too good now. They will eat you alive if you play zone against them and let their receivers find the open spots. They are too smart. You have to mug their outside players, not let them get into their routes as easy as they can against zone.”

Mr. Charlie please read this article. These items are what a huge majority of the cage posters are saying. It should mean change for the Falcons defense if we play the Saints again, and that means some change in the next two weeks. Why doesn’t the Falcons coaching staff recognize this is what cage members have been asking.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 29th, 2011
6:14 pm

D3, stick to your guns; there are things beyond the offensive line wrong with this team and all involve the coaching staff.

D3

December 29th, 2011
6:18 pm

Now, once again, I will absolutely concede that we need to spend more picks on offensive lineman and develop them accordingly. I also should have said that regarding Harvey Dahl, that if he made that much of a difference here, than he should have made more of a difference in helping the Rams to win more than one game with a more dynamic RB and last year’s rookie of the year QB.

If you take a look at the two teams we talk about most, look at the Packers and the Saints. Yes, I also acknowledge that the Packers have invested high draft picks and they are currently hurt (Chad Clifton – 2nd rd; Bryan Bulaga – 1st rd; Derek Sherrod – 1st rd) that are currently hurt. That backs up my argument even more, that these coaches can take guys who are on the same level of talent as ours and produce dominating offenses. Also remember that the Packers had NEITHER starting tackle against us and beat us pretty solidly AT HOME.

Another point to make is that just because you draft high talent doesn’t guarantee you a dominant offense or a recipe for winning. On the surface, the Eagles and Panthers have spent higher draft picks on OL than us (Eagles got Peters with exchange of a 1st round pick) and neither team will break the .500 mark this year.

Also, look at the Ravens. They have 3 1st rounders and a 3rd rounder and they rank lower than us in both total offense and points. I will concede that the Patriots have drafted high on OL and it has payed off. However, they also have 2 guys on their OL who were undrafted.

Finally, to say that “all we need is a better offensive line,” just makes everything overly simplistic in my opinion. What does that mean? Does it mean higher draft picks? High price free agents? More lower round draft picks? Would Gabe Carimi or Nate Solder been the difference in us being dominant and underachieving as we currently are? I have a hard time believing that.

To close, we HAVE spent high draft picks on offensive linemen, and apparently they just aren’t good enough.

1st round – Sam Baker (OK, bad draft pick, perhaps TD’s biggest black eye, but he did start almost every game last year when we went 13-3 and Ryan went to the Pro Bowl).

2nd round – Justin Blalock (I think he was the better guard to keep over Dahl because he was younger, more versatile, and has more upside – despite getting ZERO notoriety).

3rd round – Mike Johnson (Holds the record for most games started by any player at any position at the University of Alabama. I know some of you don’t put any stock into those types of things, but Alabama is perhaps the most storied program in college football. He won a National Champ as a senior and Mark Ingram won the Heisman. He was hurt early in camp this year).

4th round – Joe Hawley (I know he’s had his ups and downs, but he was never meant to be used at right guard, but rather be groomed to take over for McClure. He’s everyone’s favorite whipping boy right now, but compare him to Baker and Reynolds at RG and there’s no contest. Yes, he’s looked bad many times, but to blame our entire offensive woes on him is fairly ridiculous in my opinion).

5th round – Garrett Reynolds (Got schooled early and often at RG, but that was never his position either. In college and HS, he never player anything other than RT and that was the only place he was meant to do well, despite Smith and Boudreau’s cross-training theory).

Tyson Clabo – resigned as a free agent and got a pretty good deal on him considering he just turned 30 and made the Pro Bowl last year. What would many of you said had we NOT resigned him?

I know our OL needs to get better and TD needs to do a better job of drafting offensive lineman, but to say that “all of our offensive woes are because our offensive line,” just cherry-picks one problem in an extremely complex system with many varying factors at play. Does the OL need to get better? Absolutely. Is the only reason our offense isn’t very good due to our OL? Hell No, in my opinion.

OK, time to go get dinner. Back later…………..

D3

December 29th, 2011
6:22 pm

Last thing, (and I won’t you to know that this all in absolute respect, just been awhile since I did some stat research/digging), if you don’t agree with my belief than fine, but tell me who we should have drafted instead that would have made THAT much of a difference……

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2008_NFL_Draft

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_NFL_Draft

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_NFL_Draft

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_NFL_Draft

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
6:29 pm

When you consider that 60% of our o-line was inherited, I am apt to agree that enough attention to upgrading was probably not been properly attended to. But, we were good enough to go 13-3 last year with Baker manning the LT position, so go figure.

One think about the list above is, with the exception of Brady, all the QBs came move around in the pocket pretty good, and that helps too.

Mr Charlie

December 29th, 2011
6:32 pm

And unless Gabe and Nate can either rush the passer, or play in CB, they really would not have made a difference Monday night….

JB FALCON

December 29th, 2011
6:38 pm

If our offensive line is so bad and is the excuse for our problems, how is it that Rogers has been sacked 36 times this year compared to MR’s 26? Brady has 28 and Brees 24. Take a look at this chart and figure it out for yourself. I think we have a whole lot more problems than the OL.
Take a look at the TD’s compared to the passes and form your opinion.
http://espn.go.com/nfl/statistics/player/_/stat/passing/sort/quarterbackRating

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 29th, 2011
7:04 pm

JB FALCON
I looked at that chart earlier, and my conclusion was the Falcons are moving the ball up and down the middle of the field but not scoring touchdowns. So why? I don’t think it is the OL.

I looked at the running stats and we are down the list at 20 team overall but have a back in the 6th position. Only one of the backs in the top 5 are with playoff teams. Other teams depend upon multiple running backs. Only two playoff teams are below the 20th position and that is GB and Detroit.

That is why I believe it is coaching and related stuff. Our offense is disjointed. The defense is a complete different story.

Screen Pass

December 29th, 2011
7:05 pm

A great to good O-line can be employed in more and more complicated offensives. A bad to mediocre O-line can be “good enough” in certain schemes that use methods to minimize or actually “attack” and punish rushing …*cough* screen passes as an example. GB’s current spread attack relys heavily on Rodgers buying time and then throwing an accurate dart. The injuries to their O-line is what have made them seem mortal lately…Rodgers might have alot people suckling his sack and calling him god but he loses when he gets rocked and disrupted too. NO QB is “elite” when on the ground crushed or running for his life. In the end, our O-line simply needs an OC that is able to react to personnel instead of just running his scheme, talent be damned.

Screen Pass

December 29th, 2011
7:12 pm

“If our offensive line is so bad and is the excuse for our problems, how is it that Rogers has been sacked 36 times this year compared to MR’s 26? Brady has 28 and Brees 24″ – JB

Pure sack count doesn’t take into account hurries, hits, and pressure. You could look at PFF stats to try to determine the difference. I know we have had a ton of hits and hurries on M, Ryan even tho they got no sack.

Paddy O

December 29th, 2011
7:18 pm

Only the future will bear out my previous comments regarding our flaccid defense being intentionally pathetic. IF HC MS instructed BVG to remove all game planning, which he would of had to do, then his comments after the game are . . . intentional misdirection. If we get to the Conf. Champ. game, then this conclusion has some very good merit. We should defeat TB by 2 TD’s. But, we also need to protect MR2, Roddy & Tony G. Mr. Charlie likes is attacks on the team, but does NOT like your observations. It is typical L BS, circular reasoning. Keep arguing with him if you desire. Ironic that honest abe is now playing the foil role. quite jocular, actually. anyway, we did NOTHING remarkable on the D or O side of the ball – does that not seem somewhat odd to you? The 2nd NO game last year, we were hell on wheels. This time, with NOTHING of genuine value to prove, we were mediocre. But, it pumps up the saints while simultaneously reducing their motivation to prove a shortcoming (hopefully, they come into our next game a bit overconfident). We shall see. I still have a problem with us easily defeating the lower 75% of teams, losing consistently to the top 25% (not the straw man argument Mr. Charlie regurgitates to maximize his point & ego). I remember all the great come backs and pin point precision Ryan demonstrated last year, and at many points this year. But, we have run some downright STUPID plays in the red zone this year, which is why it now appears we have red zone problems. If we DO LOSE in the first round of playoffs, I hope fervently that we fire both MM & BVG. If the NO loss was not intentional, then BVG is grossly inept – and 2 consecutive EMBARASSINGLY high scoring losses to elite opponents should get his apparently inept butt kicked to the curb. MM just sucks, and has sucked for almost 3 years now.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 29th, 2011
7:22 pm

JB FALCON,
I have posted a lot of 1st down stats in many of the games, and we are not very good on first down running or passing. We are worse in running. In the Saints game, Brees had first down after first down in his first drive. The Falcons have 4-6 negative runs per game, and there are too many runs that gain less than 2-4 yards. There are quite a few short passes on first down too. There are only so many play opportunities per game and the Falcons are not taking advantage of them. Matt Ryan has to overcome a lot of the yardage situations with the passing game which is dedicated to “fixing” the situation instead of projecting down the field. I am just thinking out loud.

If the defense was getting off the field on third down in a reasonable number of times, the offense would have more opportunities but would we take advantage of the opportunities. We seem to never take advantage of good field position in many situations. Do we KNOW how to score from the coaching standpoint?

Paddy O

December 29th, 2011
7:29 pm

That chart adequately shows that MR2 is very close to elite. If you factor out the interceptions off of catchable balls, and eliminate the high number of drops we have suffered, I suspect MR2 comes in at very close to top 5. Also, of those above Ryan: Never would I want Romo on my team, if you wanted to see Keanu Reeves play QB, there you go. Schaub is hurt, and Stafford is too young at this point. The others are better than Matty Ice. I notice we don’t seem to be funneling a consist offensive attack. Has Ken strickland had enough, and just writing off the season until we get new coordinators?

Paddy O

December 29th, 2011
7:32 pm

I asked this in the last D3 post: How has MS & BVG adequately addressed our horrendous 3rd down conversion rate? One good game against Detroit? Does that make the problem solved? We don’t get good QB pressure on this down, and our zone coverage is swiss cheese. What do you change? (I’d suggest the zone coverage, and possibly design some unique blitzes.)

FalconFan on da Ledge

December 29th, 2011
7:32 pm

My..my…my, what a great article..cut & dry, to the point, and blatantly true…however we as falcon fans all know that this regime will trot out the same philosophy towards the end of this season and into the next one. P*ss Poor coaching on the defense…predictable, boring, unaggressive play-calling on both sides of the ball and we are left with the hope that we will become one of the elite’s if we draft well or make moves in free agency. Blatant truth!!!! get rid of all the homerism that perpetuates this teamand love for former coaches who supposedly have succeeded in other places, i.e.(BVG). It’s time to tell MM & BVG to kick rocks and get another OC & DC in here with some balls who know how to coach this new era of NFL football.

Paddy O

December 29th, 2011
7:34 pm

Heck, our D got turnovers – what did we do with that interception in the endzone? We just stunk, and failed to take advantage of our opportunities on offense. That, and the JJ strip, and we were done. JJ has played a lot like a rookie. I hope he gets better next year. But, he has also shown the ability to stretch the field. We just don’t run very sophisticated underneath routes to take advantage of our talents. As stated, MM sucks donkey.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 29th, 2011
7:36 pm

Paddy O – I like your theory about being intentionally pathetic on defense but after reading all of your posts for a year and a half, it doesn’t sound like you. Are you sure Mr. Charlie isn’t using your name?

Will we know if the theory is true? If the Falcons come out in the first playoff game playing man-to-man and win the game, does HC Smith tell us that it was the plan? My belief is the defense must come out out in the first game with some drastic changes for the team to have a chance. It is the only option to improve something in a short time frame. I think we have some young players who might step up such as D. Franks and surely Grimes will excel. William Moore had the best game against the Saints and he would be a key part. I’m not sure the offense will be much different. I really want MM gone.

D3

December 29th, 2011
7:43 pm

Paddy O — Agreed. On 3rd down conversion rate failure alone after 4 years, BVG’s @ss should be gone. If it’s the case of BVG is just a puppet of Smitty’s defense, than Smith will have to live with that in his own conscience because someone has to be a fall guy when you’re that terrible on 3rd down conversion stoppage.

JB FALCON

December 29th, 2011
7:58 pm

My dull point was that the OL could be better but they don’t constitute the bulk of our problems. MR stacks up well against the rest for sure. We have the weapons and simply not using them properly.
Compare our basic team makeup with the rest of the league, and as D3 pointed out, we should be as good as, or better than any team out there. I know we have beat the Porsche idea to death but the Falcons have good enough personnel to win on a regular basis IF the driver could drive and the mechanics knew their azz from a hole in the ground. The driver and mechanics, imo, would be the entire CS. I just sold a 1967 vehicle that was twice the car it was in 1967. It took a lot of trail and error, fixing the weak links, adding new and better parts, and a crap load of fine tuning. I’ve seen two identical vehicles from the factory race and there be a 2.5 second difference in the 1/4 mile times. Each car was perfoming as it was tuned to do. Another good saying of mine is “A good mechanic doesn’t blame his car’s poor performance on his tools.”
We have had four years of the process and something ain’t working. If you personally paid $95K for a high performance vehicle, and it would start and run when it decided to, and you weren’t able to fix it, would you keep it and HOPE it starts every time you need it?
Hopefully, after this diatribe, you can understand how I feel sometime.

D3

December 29th, 2011
8:13 pm

Here’s what he had to say about the Falcons’ offense after the game.

Q: What was the key to shutting down the Falcons passing attack?
A: The main thing is that we knew who they were going to try to get the ball to. We keyed on certain players. .But I think the main thing overall was that we had good coverage overall as a secondary. We have guys that can cover. That’s our strength as a team. They kind of played into our hands.

Q: How did you all stop the run after giving up 208 yards last week?

A: “That was one of our goals. We knew if we didn’t tackle well. It was our goal this week to not allow them to rush the ball. We knew with Michael Turner that was going to be a tough challenge. Our guys up front did a heck of a job and our linebackers did even better by not allowing him to get going.”

Would you think this was a quote from the loss on Monday night? Nope, that would be Darren Sharper on the loss from LAST YEAR’s LOSS a few days after Xmas. Looks like some things don’t change, huh?

Screen Pass

December 29th, 2011
8:15 pm

Paddy O, one the main reasons I think the “not tipping the hand” theory is complete bunk is we have already shown the few other looks we run already. It is not like the Saints couldn’t watch a copy of the Jax game to see our dabbling in WCO offense looks. I do agree we didn’t use a few looks on offense and defense that we have proven to be capable of. Not showing them makes no sense as they have already been shown and film exists. Heck, I use it to prove my points. The other reason would be the CS has no confidence in big games except to do their old tired but comfortable schemes. The WCO looks aren’t coming from Smitty or MM which means they may not be used in the playoffs.

D3

December 29th, 2011
8:16 pm

Another gem from Mike Smith…………

“We coached a very poor football game,” Smith said.

Was that from Monday night? Nope, wrong again. From the Debacle in the Dome in playoffs.

Packers Playoffs: Debacle in the Dome
Saints on MNF: Destruction in the Dome

Hell, they’re getting embarrassed in Dome’s so much, I’m running out of wordplay.

D3

December 29th, 2011
8:19 pm

Regarding the idea that that embarrassment/@ss whipping/destruction/humiliation/decimation was even slightly intentional, this coaching staff hasn’t earned enough credit for being good enough to even concoct, much less carry out a scheme like that. Hell, they can’t even stop a 3rd and 16 over a 4 year period with serious upgrades on defense. They converted a 3rd and 18 on Monday night and were like 10 for 10 on 3rd down conversion at one point………..pathetic.

JB FALCON

December 29th, 2011
8:26 pm

If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck. I sure ain’t no professional football team.

JB FALCON

December 29th, 2011
8:36 pm

D3, my point exactly. You’ve have so much invested in the car/team that selling it is not an option, so you have to keep it, like we’re stuck with the Falcons. You have to get a new driver and mechanic or keep on pizzing on your shoes and calling it a rainstorm.

Coop

December 29th, 2011
8:38 pm

D3 – I’ve been thinking about the OC/DC vs. the head coach. I really like Smitty and really want him to succeed, but I just can’t absolve him. Even if it’s MM or BVG who are at fault, Smitty hasn’t seemed to demand a change for 4 years. I’m convinced it is Smitty who is the conservative one on both sides of the ball. It is Smitty who plays not to lose. I have begged and wiated and hped he’d change. I thought surely after the debacle in the dome he would. But I have seen zero this year to make me think he ever will. In fact, I’m convinced now that he never will.

Bottom line, changing coordinators likely won’t help. I truly hate to say it, but we are doomed to this high level of mediocroty until we get a new philosophy. I’m afraid that will require a new HC.

JB FALCON

December 29th, 2011
8:43 pm

Coop, if not a new GM.

Screen Pass

December 29th, 2011
9:03 pm

There are some that love to point out that changing OC/DC, HC doesn’t guarentee success and we could end up with someone worse, This is true but that doesn’t mean keeping a coach is a guarantee either. Look at the Tampa Bay situation…a complete implosion by keeping the coach. That fiasco is just getting good too, lol. We have little to lose and everything to gain by making the neccessary changes.

Coop

December 29th, 2011
9:08 pm

JB – I shutter tho agree, but you may be right. I would tend to give TD some lattitude since I beleive the HC sets the tone for play. But your suggestion has merit using the same logic I used above. I’m not ready to blow this up yet. I guess getting a new DC or OC is a tweak. Arthur, TD, and Smitty gotta discuss philosophy though.

JB FALCON

December 29th, 2011
9:09 pm

Coop, hate to lose MS but the saying is TD and him are attached at the hip, so, whoever said TD was all that and a bag of chips?
SP, I agree, I think the point is, we’ve been doing the same thing and offering the same excuses for four years. You know the definition of an idiot, right?

BigLou

December 29th, 2011
9:22 pm

@JB Falcon

I believe you meant the definition of insanity.

Anywho, I think changing the coordinators first would be a good start. Let’s have an offseason with that option and see how it pans out, before we chop off MS. Regaurdless, we’ll be in the playoffs again next year.

Coop

December 29th, 2011
9:36 pm

Lou – We’ll be looking at a pretty difficult sched:

DAL, PHI, NYG, WAS
OAK, KC, SD, DEN
CAR, CAR, NO, NO, TB, TB
And probably a DET and NYJ or similar.

Figure we split with CAR, swep TB, hopefully split with NO that’s 4-2.
WAS and KC should be gimmes, that’s 6-2. DAL, NYG, PHI, NYJ, DET, OAK, DEN, and SD are ALL toss ups. Go 4 and 4 and you’re right, playoffs.

But if this team doesn’t make some changes, everyone will start beating us. Bad teams were giving us trouble this year. The blue print to beat us is there. The only question is whether teams have the skills to execute.

Only way we get better next year is through player development. Hasn’t been our strong suit (Sidbury, Jerry, Adkins, Reynolds, Franks, Walls, Meier, Weems, Palmer, and more, and more).

JB FALCON

December 29th, 2011
9:52 pm

Big Lou, thanks! Could not think of the word but an insane idiot works for me.

phil

December 29th, 2011
9:56 pm

Best article I’ve EVER read on this site! Brutal candor and so refreshing. We were absolutely pathetic the other night in every facet of the game except passing.

It’s so depressing trying to support Atlanta teams. 35 years of abysmal failure, but for the great Braves run of 15 seasons. And even it was filled with bitter disappointment most every season.

Sadly, we still have to suffer through the impending playoff defeat, the Hawks guaranteed miserable collapse come round 2 of the playoffs, and the shadow of its former glory Braves before the Falcons begin another failed season next yr.

Can’t wait!

phil

December 29th, 2011
9:57 pm

Big Ray

December 29th, 2011
9:59 pm

I’m not inclined to think that we need to change GMs yet. You have to let management manage. It would be different if several years had gone by and the same CS was there. Then you could say that the GM was ineffective. But I do not see that as the case. I think Dimitroff knows that unless you have an obvious, unchangeable, philosophically incompatible issue – you have to let things go for a minute (as long as you are winning).

Having said that, there seems to be an incompatability between what we have on the roster, and some members of the CS. I think that was proven on both sides of the ball, but it took this season to prove (or disprove) such a notion.

phil

December 29th, 2011
9:59 pm

Release Sam Baker!

Fire Van Gorder!

D3

December 29th, 2011
10:00 pm

Coop — Well put. Maybe it’s because I can’t bear the thought of getting it wrong yet again in terms of a HC, but I’m not ready to fold up shop on MS just yet. I know it’s not saying much, but he is arguably the best Falcons coach (at least in terms of winning %) in franchise history.

Now, that being said, if he does the same thing next off-season and season that he did this year (making not one schematic, personnel, or attitude change), than he might as well start getting ready for the open market, because you’re right, those crappy teams will figure out ways to beat us this year. Not playing the coulda, woulda, shoulda deal, but Seahawks, Panthers both times, Vikings, Titans, and Eagles could have beaten us, especially the Seahawks, Eagles, and 2nd Panthers games.

In terms of Dimitroff, perhaps I’m having rose-colored glasses where he’s concerned, but I think he’s done a pretty outstanding job overall considering where this roster was and where it is now. His hits (Ryan, Lofton, Moore, Spoon, Turner, Peters, HD, JJ, Quizz, Gonzalez, Franks, Sidbury, James Sanders, etc), have far outweighed his busts (Baker, Jerry, D-Rob, Owens). I also refuse to throw the defensive players under the bus until I see them under a new DC. D-Rob was considered the best CB on the market at the time, hands down, and Chris Houston leaves our coaching staff and has a Pro Bowl worthy year. Same goes for DeCoud, Jerry, and Ray Edwards. Hell, DeCoud and Owens have gotten worse the longer they’ve played in this system. They both showed promise in the first years they played. I waiver on who I want gone if given the choice between MM or BVG, and I just can’t choose anymore, because they both deserve to be gone an equal amount.

Conservative, Stale, and Predictable Coaching: I guess we can call it the Falcons Dawg curse.

phil

December 29th, 2011
10:02 pm

The Green Bay game last January told us all we needed to know. We were exposed then for the defensive fraud that we are. So what do we do? Nothing. Bring in Edwards, yes, but he’s worse than Jamaal Anderson….

phil

December 29th, 2011
10:04 pm

Dump Van Gorder before canning MM…can’t win a thing with the sieve defense reminiscent of Swamp Fox days!

GameChanger

December 29th, 2011
10:06 pm

This Falcon fish is rotten from the HEAD DOWN. The head coach is a laughable bumpkin that has NO CLUE how to inspire a football team. Ever watch one of his locker room speeches? Most of the players weren’t even listening because he was so BORING and has NO HEART. As you could see from the Monday night debacle, the team has NO HEART. When they play good teams they just give up.

Also, let’s throw some blame on the OC and DC. The defense stayed in zone coverage all night. It was getting destroyed, but did they change it? Nope. Just keep on doing the same thing over and over hoping for a different outcome… the very definition of insanity.

The offense is exactly the same way. I just don’t get it. Matt Ryan AKA (Mr. Audible) constantly changes the play when there is no real change in the defense, but when they stack the box with nine guys, he keeps the running play on to Michael (Stumblefoot) Turner. Of course the result was as expected, a 3 yard loss. Where are the screen passes, the play action, the reverses to keep the defense off balance? Mike Malarkey needs to be handed his pink slip and shown the door.

As a matter of fact, all three of these coaches need to be shown the door.

Big Ray

December 29th, 2011
10:07 pm

Coop makes a strong point about Smitty that probably makes us all feel uncomfortable (expect for the “fire everybody” crowd).

D3 has made strong points as well, drawing parallels to how teams have drawn up strategy on how to beat us a couple of years ago, and how they are doing the same thing now. There are other parallels, such as the third down conversions that the better teams (and sometimes the not so good ones) have against us.

But there’s more.

Remember Jerious Norwood? His biggest problem was that he couldn’t stay healthy. But what about the games he DID play in? How many times did we see him get in the game, make a heck of a play, and then never get into the game again?

Why in the devil are we seeing the exact same thing with Jason Snelling and more importantly….JaQuizz Rodgers? We have a guy who is not only healthy, but hard to take down (unlike Norwood) in Rodgers. But we almost never use him, and even then, not all the plays designed for him are well scripted (seriously, why run Turner up the middle or off tackle five times in a row, then do the exact same play with Rodgers, and expect a different result?).

What bugs me about this is Smitty saying that he thinks Rodgers is a three down back. Really? Then how come he can only get about 7 snaps a game (and I might be generous with that figure)? What’s he doing that holds you back, Smitty?

Again, the plays don’t seem to match the players at times. It’s difficult to tell who is more at fault – Smitty or Mularkey.

Coop may be onto something, however…

phil

December 29th, 2011
10:10 pm

Big Ray – well said and damn accurate observation.

Norwood would gallop for 40 and never see the field again…..never made sense but then, this IS Atlanta.

Coop

December 29th, 2011
10:14 pm

D3 – I agree with Phil. If you can only lose one coordinator, dump BVG. The offense isn’t perfect, but it can certainly get the job done. The D is fing atrocious. I want to see these studs we think we have (Lofton, Decoud, Moore, Franks, Owens, DRob, Adkins, James, Dent, Sidbury, Jerry, Peters, etc.) with a real d!mn coach.

That said, Smitty has to let them play a more agressive D. Otherwise, fire him and keep the coordinators!!! Wow, could you imagine?

I’m like everyone else. Getting rid of Smitty makes me nervous, cause it could get worse. But think of this… if Ryana has a really good career, he’ll play 15 years (that’s HOF long). Four of those years are gone. How close are we to winning a Superbowl. The windows for these runs are small. Does anyone think the Pats will win another one soon? What about Peyton Manning?

My point is, Arthur has to put it together and strike quick. You can’t change a coordinator, then wait 2 years to let him install his system only to find that it was the HC all along. Replace him, then wait 3 years… before you know it, Ryan is 10 years in the league and WTH?!?!?!?

D3

December 29th, 2011
10:16 pm

phil — Welcome to the Cage. But c’mon man, you’re saying that Ray Edwards is worse than Jamaal Anderson after already quadrupling his sack total in all his years here? I may be stupid, but I fault the vast majority of woes on this inept defensive coaching staff, particularly BVG. Remember, JA#98 got chances under 3 different coaching staffs and not one got anything out of him. I recall Edwards saying how they just “played hard and kept the stuff simple as DE’s in Minnesota” and how it “was very complicated down here.” To this day, I can’t fathom how a defensive scheme so GD awful and so basic can be so hard and complex.

Big Ray

December 29th, 2011
10:17 pm

I still think it’s less than wise to judge Ray Edwards completely yet. I see he’s still having knee issues, and this is an indication that he was never fully healthy this season. The guy had knee surgery prior to the season, never quite got going.

Following that, John Abraham wasn’t himself this season either, but I’ve been saying for about a year and a half that this was coming. With Peria Jerry never fulfilling the form we needed due to injury and simply getting behind, then losing Babineaux for a few games, our defensive line has had issues. Kroy Biermann seems a shadow of last year’s version, and that’s not good in any way, shape, or form.

Still, with Corey Peters’ emergence and Vance Walker’s effectiveness, and Sidbury nearly equaling the team leaders in sacks despite getting the fewest snaps of any DE, you have to wonder why the line was still that bad.

Part of it was ineffectiveness due to health. But part of it was some guys not playing enough, and scheme. We need upgrades, but after hearing some of the stuff Ray Edwards said, I’m again questioning the scheme.

Big Ray

December 29th, 2011
10:24 pm

I will say this – next season the gloves are off for Edwards. He should be fully healthy, we get to see what he’s made of.

Coop ,

No doubt, it’s a tightrope. But lets maintain focus – It’s not Blank who should be making these decisions. It has to be Dimitroff. Blank is an owner who understands management. If he becomes overinvolved, he will end up pulling a Jerry Jones and screwing the pooch in ways that would make us all scream. Dimitroff surely understands the window thing – surely. I don’t envy him.

Here’s where Blank can help – if it is determined that Smitty should go, it must also be determined that a proven veteran NFL HC should be brought in. And I’m thinking this must be a big name, like Bill Cowher (though not necessarily him). That’s where Blank can come in – offering the type of money and possibly the type of control that such a person would want or require. He can sell the guy on the job, so to speak.

Otherwise, Blanks needs to stay out of it other than to say “Bring me a winner. Now. Spare no expense.”

Big Ray

December 29th, 2011
10:27 pm

D3 ,

It really makes no sense. Is a complicated scheme something you run based on the evaluation of your talent? I mean, I know BVG had some aggressive defenses at UGA, but I don’t see that level of aggression with this unit all the time. I also realize that Smitty’s defense in Jax was based on some big DTs….but I’m having a hard time reconciling these ideas with the results.

Coop

December 29th, 2011
10:28 pm

I’m with D3. How can such an ineffective, AWFUL, and ridculous scheme be so hard to grasp? Let’s see… OK, you 3 or 4 rush the QB, but with no real desire or scheme to get to the QB (like a twist or stunt). You other 7 or 8, spread way out to give all the receivers plenty of room in between. Once they catch it, the first two of you take horrible angles so you miss the WR altogether. Next two, just throw your body at him in case you hit him. For God’s sake, don’t try to wrap up. Then unless Willy Mo makes the stop, Owens you chase them to the 3 yard line and knock them out of bounds so they can burn more clock our Offense could use for a comeback before they score a TD.

Seems pretty Fing simple to me.

D3

December 29th, 2011
10:30 pm

Big Ray — Uncomfortable is right. Smith at least deserves a year minimum to prove he can change. It was said perfectly by Wabe the other day. If you get rid of both coordinators, bring them in, and still nothing changes, than you have your culprit front and center.

Coop — D@mn fine point about those windows. They close in a d@mn hurry. We have a major window closing ourselves with many of our players: Gonzo, Abe, McClure, Roddy, Turner (even though I think we should cut ties w/ him and move to a WCO). But you’re right, windows are closing fast and I would say get two new coordinators, give him a year and if things have changed for the better, edging towards dominating and competing with the big boys, than have another, but if nothing whatsoever changes, than peace. The myth has been dispelled that it takes more than a year to install systems in the pro’s, especially on defense. Hell, look no further than the Packers, Saints, Texans, and 49ers. They didn’t just make improvements over a “four year process,” they totally turned around their defense from meek and mild into dominating in only a years time with basically the same players. Carlos Rodgers leaves the Deadskins as an also ran #2 CB, goes to SF, and now he’s in the Pro Bowl.

I think that the best we can hope for in terms of coordinators is this: they dump BVG altogether, Mularkey takes a job in Jax (yeah, right), and we promote Bratkowski to OC. I don’t think that’s unimaginable. Mularkey will probably just leave anyway, even if he doesn’t get a HC job. Some teams really could benefit from him with young QB’s who need a heavy-run game to protect and progress a young QB. We just don’t need him anymore.

Coop

December 29th, 2011
10:34 pm

D3 – I think I lost a comment to the monster.

Coop

December 29th, 2011
10:36 pm

You know, for those who say we’re short on talent vs. coaches, I point to the JJ pick. That trade was a comment by TD and Smitty that we have all the players we need. So much that we’ll trade a boat load of picks.

So, that leads me back to the coaches NOT utilizing our strengths.

D3

December 29th, 2011
10:38 pm

One more very important thing to consider. Who was TD’s mentor in New England? Yes, to a certain extent it was Bill Belichik, but more importantly it was GM Scott Pioli. Take a glance at what he did in Kansas City. He hires Todd Haley as HC. They have an understandably weak 1st season, but then they win the division and go to the playoffs. They lose to the Ravens, but it was a pretty competitive game. Hell, midway through year 3, he fires his d@mn head coach in MIDSEASON!.

We won’t know anything until the off-season, but those of us that assume that TD won’t do anything dramatic in the off-season, may be surprised when the off-season rolls around.

D3

December 29th, 2011
10:38 pm

Coop — Comment released.

GameChanger

December 29th, 2011
10:41 pm

Ole Stumblefoot Michael Turner needs to go NOW! The coaches keep handing him the ball and he keeps tripping and falling into the line. The ONLY time he gets any yards is when there is a huge hole you could drive a truck thru.

D3

December 29th, 2011
10:41 pm

Alright Coop, Big Ray, JB, & phil — It’s been fun. Time to hit the sack. Have a great one and see you on the flipside.

Coop

December 29th, 2011
10:42 pm

Take care D3 – Good discussion… depressing, but enligthened.

D3

December 29th, 2011
10:46 pm

Last one I swear………..

from DOL………

Falcons’ ground-and-pound attack missing

Five games have passed since Turner rushed for 100 yards in a game. He had 100 yards on 21 carries against Tennessee and was vintage Turner, bowling over Titans safety Michael Griffin twice on powerful runs into the secondary.

ITS…………..BECAUSE………….TEAMS………………HAVE………….FIGURED…………OUT……………HOW…………….TO………….STOP………….OUR………………PATHETIC……………..EXCUSE………….OF………….AN…………..OFFENSIVE…………..SCHEME!!!!!!!!!

http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-falcons/falcons-ground-and-pound-1280579.html

Night ‘All!

Big Ray

December 29th, 2011
10:46 pm

D3 ,

True. Dimitroff may strike hard and fast in the offseason. He’s not going to sit on his laurels one way or another.

Big Ray

December 29th, 2011
10:46 pm

LOL….get some rest, D3.

Screen Pass

December 29th, 2011
11:55 pm

This is a good article discussing this years coming coaching changes – ( http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2011/writers/don_banks/12/29/black.monday.primer/2.html )

Tom Clements, Jay Gruden, and Steve Spagnuolo are names that we should keep an eye on. Seems Spags has a home in Philly already…might be hard to get him here but it should be an option the brass looks into. If Philly gets a defense and a real QB they will be even more of a nightmare in the future.

Geo

December 29th, 2011
11:55 pm

FalconFan on da Ledge ” : “It’s time to tell MM & BVG to kick rocks and get another OC & DC in here with some balls who know how to coach this new era of NFL football.”

Brother, you said it all.

I think you have to add Mike Smith in there too. Or maybe not. He’s obviously shown potential.

Geo

December 30th, 2011
12:03 am

@GameChanger

December 29th, 2011
10:06 pm

Spot on.

E43

December 30th, 2011
1:21 am

Matt Ryan will break the franchise record for passing yards in a season this Sunday.

A.K.A. (COWARD) :)

December 30th, 2011
1:22 am

Mr Charlie

December 27th, 2011
3:14 pm

1. 2-6 against Payton, not 2-8.

2. Agreed.

3. I was calling JJ a bust, but that is not really fair. However, the “one play away” philosophy never works. As I said on draft day, name one “blockbuster” all for trade that has ever worked out.

4. As it stands now, I would agree, however, as I said last night, in the grand scheme of things, the game was somewhat meaningless. So, before we decide that coaches need to be fired, I believe they should be evaluated after the playoffs. It we make noise in the playoffs, this game is a footnote if not, this game is a catalyst for change.

5. Bad calls for sure, untimely penalties.

6. That is what they said about Leeman Bennett, and that exact philosophy led us directly to here.

7. Really the crux of our problems.

8. As I said, this win was more needed more for us than anything. But all pretty much gets forgivin and forgotten with a few playoff wins.

In summary, you are never as bad, or as good, as you think you are. However great teams show up for big games, and we have not to date. Fortunately, unlike last year, we do need to wait 9 months to take the field again, hopefully, we will get this taste out of our mouth much sooner. Time to move on, and like everything in life, is it now what happens, but how you respond.

__________________________________________________________

Had something to do huh?

HA HA HA :)

E43

December 30th, 2011
1:24 am

Ive evaluated the Falcons again and think that Mularkey will be back as OC if he doesn’t find a job elsewhere.

Birdman

December 30th, 2011
7:15 am

Enter your comments here

Birdman

December 30th, 2011
7:36 am

We all love this team . I thought that after a come back in Carolina and the beating they gave the Jags that this team was coming out of the woodwork and was going to be a team to contend with in the playoffs. And then there was Monday night. Reminds me of JECKLE AND HYDE.

When the pressure is on this team chokes. and has been that way now for a while. They have been good enough to win a Div and have winning seasons the last 3 years . BUT THAT NEXT STEP . They just can;t seem to take it.

Gotta be coaching that can’t get them over that hurdle . 3 years in a row with all the talent they have can really be nothing else.

Birdman

December 30th, 2011
7:51 am

But the upside is that they are a dam good team and has given us as fans something to look forward to each year now .

We as fans want more now tho . This just a winning season is now getting old.

COME ….ON …..FALCONS … RISE .UP…!!!!!

Red-Helmets swarm

December 30th, 2011
9:25 am

Birdman;Down with that;Man I was charged up for a huge rivalry battle, but the saints we’re hungrier than we were;Everything rises & falls on Leadership, I know Mr.Arthur gotta be choppin’at the bit. He’s got passion to win & bring a championship but just aint found the right mold yet.

D3

December 30th, 2011
10:43 am

Screen — Interesting read on coaching candidates. That basically assures that Billick will not be coming here as an OC, which I always thought was a long-shot anyway. In terms of Jay Gruden, he won’t be making a lateral move as OC after already being established in Cincy. I like the idea of Tom Clements for sure.

Regarding the defensive side of the ball, I’m ready to say that anyone can be better and I’m ready to take a leap for it because that means that DC will have PRO experience and at least be qualified for a job, unlike BVG. Of course Jack Del Rio makes a lot of sense coming back and working for his ol’ buddy Smitty, but I’m going to throw out a name that’s going to sound crazy, and I can’t believe I’m saying it……………Raheem Morris.

Sounds completely insane since I’ve been calling him a head case for the longest time now and he’s proven not to be up to the HC gig as many coordinators have, but you have to give the man some credit. When he took over the defensive play-calling, their defense did a pretty good job against some of the league’s best offenses with very young talent, including the Saints, who they beat this year. Just throwing names out there, and this is TD’s chance to make up for some of his errors.

As currently constructed, I can’t fathom going into the 2012 season with the exact same coordinator crew. Much rather have Bratkowski take over for Mularkey and please, please, please, get rid of BVG. The decision should be taken OUT OF Smitty’s hand on this one. As someone said earlier, TD and Smitty thought they were only a few players away from elite, and it turns out that’s not even close. Perhaps, TD had to let this year play out, but I agree with many of you that if he sits on his hands and demands no changes on the coaching staff, than his @ss will be on the block soon himself. Do you want to win, compete for championships, or be a “nice guy?”

Big and tough decisions await this off-season including coordinators, Turner, Abraham, etc., etc.

IceFan

December 30th, 2011
10:52 am

Seems pretty obvious to me. Dunta Robinson is HORRIBLE and we need a major upgrade in the Secondary. Offensive line is very mediocre and if Matt Ryan had more time in the pocket we would be talking about him in the conversation as a top 5 QB for sure. Both coordinators need to be replaced

Big Lou

December 30th, 2011
11:47 am

@Coop

Yeah, I actually prefer a harder schedule, because it would better gauge our team next year. Yet, all of those teams that are toss ups are beatable. We could go 4-4, or maybe even 8-0. Who knows?

All I know now is that the Falcons will most likely be playing the Saints in the first round of the playoffs. This can either mean two things:

1. We change things up on defense and offense and get revenge, making this Monday’s loss not sting as much.

2. We do the same thing and get annihilated again, which would lead to the possible fires of the coordinators.

Either way, it sounds win-win to me. So, let’s see what this coaching staff is made of. All of this… ‘well, at least we have winning seasons’ is for nothing, if we cannot get a playoff win this year. DO IT FOR GONZALEZ! I just hope the refs stay out of this one. I would hate to watch our team beat by the zebras in the playoffs.

trademark

December 30th, 2011
12:22 pm

Look, OC and DC aside, the only “heat” that seems to be generated around the press about Mike Smith’s job seems to come from….well….here. I don’t want to point fingers here, but I kinda like having a winning franchise. I would LOVE them to take the next step, and with what I perceive as the talent level, I agree with all of the very salient questions above regarding why we do some things. It’s ‘effin frustrating.

But I keep coming back to whether or not I think MS should be replaced because of it. And the answer comes clearly and swiftly-no way in hell. Like I said, questions about the method. Fine. Andy Reid has dealt with that for years in Philly. Still the best coach they ever had. No Championship, though….Hmmmph. Hard question. Hard league. Only one team gets to celebrate every year, and look, with our talent level right now, it could very EASILY be us. BUT (there’s always one of those…)it isn’t. Same can be said for lots of teams. I think sometimes it gels perfectly, and sometimes it doesn’t. And sometimes, it’s a year-long war. See Green Bay last year or Arizona before that. I think the formula is a complicated blend of several things happening right all at the same time. That being said-while MS has mis-fired a lot this season, so have the players. And yet we are still managing to hit the playoffs. Call me a rebel, but I don’t think I want to see him gone anytime soon for a so-called “upgrade”. Cause they are most likely going to have the same exact problems at some point. Changing coaches is no magical cure. VERY often in the NFL the team gets worse for it, after a brief period of adjustment. I really don’t think MS has done all he can here yet. I think he has a vision and a clear method of getting there that will function when all the cylinders are firing. Now, ask me about MM and BVG, and that’s another story entirely. But I just can’t jump on that fire MS bandwagon around here, Cage, sorry.

Happy New Year Cage, and GO FALCONS!

Screen Pass

December 30th, 2011
12:34 pm

“Interesting read on coaching candidates. That basically assures that Billick will not be coming here as an OC, which I always thought was a long-shot anyway. In terms of Jay Gruden, he won’t be making a lateral move as OC after already being established in Cincy. I like the idea of Tom Clements for sure” – D3

I couldn’t believe that was in SI lol, it was pretty well written and informative. Jay Gruden might be interesting to consider given his experience with QB’s and offense. It doesn’t look like a huge upgrade over Smitty will be available and that might not be a bad thing. I don’t have a problem giving him a year with new coordinators to be finally certain about him. I will be honest however in stating that I like the idea of an offensive minded HC to go with a new OC, it just doesn’t look like the year to pull that off unless something changes in the candidate pool. Oh well, there is still time and maybe Smitty will actually learn from this latest embarrassment to never trust MM or BVG to come up with gameplans against real teams.

DePlane

December 30th, 2011
1:13 pm

It would be nice to see Sidbury get significant playing time against the Bucs. Edwards has been a disappointment, injury notwithstanding TD knew what he was getting. It’s not paying dividends this season. Sidbury has shown flashes of brilliance but has never had the playing time to show if he can be consistent. Let’s finally see what he can do over the course of a game.

I’d also like to see some DB man coverage and some blitzing for a change. The entire nation of journalists and Jon Gruden have pointed out the folly of the Falcons sorry a$$ soft like a jelly donut zone defensive scheme and I’m sick of it. The coaches need to get their head out of their keesters and trust the players for a change. Did I say “change”? Sorry…must be dreaming again.

DePlane

December 30th, 2011
1:22 pm

“I didn’t see that coming” -CMS comment on the Saints buttwhooping of the Falcons.

Perhaps NOW the apparently stubborn coaching staff will come together and address the teams shortcomings in earnest? And make some tough decisions on scheme and personnel changes?

Does anyone doubt it was “The Showdown at Flowery Branch” this week? I can’t sit here and believe for a second that there wasn’t some serious a$$ chewing going on up there.

DePlane

December 30th, 2011
1:34 pm

trademark..I agree with you. While I think change is needed at the OC/DC level, I believe CMS has earned the opportunity to stay. We don’t know everything that goes on behind the scenes and what kind of politics or power struggle is going on. It’s easy to blame MM for the offensive woes but we really don’t know how much of that is Smitty Ball and how much is MM ball. If the plan they’ve put in place for becoming more explosive is going slower than expected than MM may get another chance regardless if their belief is they just need more time. If on the other hand the lack of consistency is power struggle related or stubborness on the part of one of the coaches then somebody has to be held accountable for that.

On the defensive side who is responsible for the leaky zone defense and sticking with it no matter what? Smitty or BVG? Regardless I’m not a fan of BVG.

DePlane

December 30th, 2011
1:39 pm

@BigLou….would love to see TG get his playoff win. Nobody more deserving than Tony.

falcon21

December 30th, 2011
2:02 pm

I too would like to see more man to man coverage but until we can develop some kind of pass rush we are going to see the same results with man or zone.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 30th, 2011
3:25 pm

From an ESPN article:
If we’ve learned anything about Sean Payton and Mike Smith this season, it’s that neither coach likes to use the brakes.

Anything wrong with this statement?

DePlane

December 30th, 2011
3:28 pm

F21, that’s why I’d like to see Sidbury in there…anything but the same old…at least its worth a shot since it doesn’t work like it is.

DePlane

December 30th, 2011
3:29 pm

OC/DC lol! Yeah, the writer must not watch us much!

trademark

December 30th, 2011
3:53 pm

Rule for the National Sportswriters….if they don’t HAVE to pay attention to the Falcons…or any other team from Atlanta, they just don’t.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 30th, 2011
3:57 pm

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 30th, 2011
4:03 pm

Here is an interesting take on our offense on The Falcoholic by Caleb Rutherford.

Mike Mularkey’s Offense is Brilliant in Design, Not in Execution
http://www.thefalcoholic.com/2011/12/30/2669284/mike-mularkeys-offense-is-brilliant-in-design-not-in-execution

Be sure to read the comments too. They sound a lot like us but there are some different points.

falcon21

December 30th, 2011
4:18 pm

Nice link OC/DC, thanks man.

DePlane

December 30th, 2011
4:20 pm

Lots of truth in that article…thanks OC/DC.

NFL Stats

December 30th, 2011
4:27 pm

–Does anyone have an explanation what in the world happened to our rush defense against the Saints?
–Has anyone noticed just how much Curtis Lofton has improved in pass defense since the beginning of the year?
–Can there really be any other reason why we are so consistently bad on allowing 3rd down conversions on defense OTHER THAN COACHING?

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 30th, 2011
5:30 pm

NFL Stats, I read the Saints focused on blocking Curtis Lofton to open up the running lanes. Lofton usually leads in tackles by a good margin but DeCoud was the leader against the Saints. I can’t remember where I read it, probably on ESPN. Spoon was held in check too. I think the fact New Orleans created a weakness to use all of their backs is in direct contrast of what we see from our coaching staff.

DHunt

December 30th, 2011
5:34 pm

CMS thinks Ryan is elite. He’s going to break the Falcons franchise record for passing yards, and most 300 yard games. Yet he is only 2-4 in the six games he has thrown for over 300, and we didn’t score much in the 4 losses.

We have a 4000 yard passer, will have two 100 yard receivers, a 1200 yard rusher, a pro bowl TE, and yet we are still just barely above .500? That can only be a function of coaching. Some of the offensive woes are execution, but the majority of them are related to scheme and personnel. We simply have too many good players for the team’s results to be this off.

I’m convinced the defensive problems also stem from coaching and scheme. I never want to see Dunta more than 3 yds off a receiver again, but I’m sure that’s exactly what we will see for the rest of the year. I haven’t figured out who is responsible, especially since CMS is a supposed defensive guru, and there’s no way to figure out who is more at fault between the head coach and the coordinator.

Here’s hoping we make a deep run in the playoffs, but I still think we have been exposed enough for TD to want to make some changes in coaching philosophy. Pretty sure that can be done on the offensive side, but wonder how you change the defensive coaching philosophy without changing the head coach.

And I have to disagree slightly with Pat Y saying the Falcons should coast to end the season. The Tampa game is important to this club from a momentum standpoint, so taking a loss, especially after the last beat down will not serve to make this a better team headed to the playoffs. You simply cannot play the game of football with a scared eye on potential injury. Falcons need to be in play to win mode from here on out.

Wabe

December 30th, 2011
7:00 pm

Dhunt,

I’d agree with you regarding momentum. But, all that momentum we built up going into that Saints game did what for us?

IMO, beating a terrible Bucs team wouldn’t do squat for this team’s momentum. Only thing it’d do is inflate the team and the city with false hopes about how good this team really is.

Same deal happened in the Jaguars game. How many sacks did we have? Then we play Brees and it seems like we need to substantially upgrade this line.

That Saints game was the momentum builder, and that opportunity passed us by in a big way. Now, it’s time to just prep for the playoffs. Let the guys get a little burn, but rest em’. Our game has been flexed to 4:15 as well, so if that Packers/Lions game is at 1:00, we’ll already know ahead of time whether we have a shot at the 5 seed or not. If we have a shot at the 5 seed, go for it. Play the game tough. If not, just rest the players.

JB FALCON

December 30th, 2011
7:20 pm

Let me think out load to see if I got this straight. If GB beats NY then we have to beat TB to get the #5 seed, which means we our first game will be against Dallas or the Giants? If we lose the TB game, whether the Lions win or not, we get # 6 and play NO in our first game.
So, going on my lack of understanding, If we beat TB we get the Giants or Dallas and if we lose to TB we get NO.
Should we lose, like Pat U said, and face NO right away? Or try to win and possible try some new schemes and get the Giants or Dallas. I pick the latter, if someone gets hurt, as Pat said, they get hurt. If someone would please correct me if I am wrong on my playoff thinking, I might change my mind. It hard to make a decision when you don’t know the facts! (Story of my life)

falcon21

December 30th, 2011
7:25 pm

Detroit has to lose and Atlanta has to win for us to get the 5 seed!

DHunt

December 30th, 2011
7:33 pm

I feel ya Wabe. It’s just that I see momemtum as something that can come and go, and then come back again. I don’t think it’s in our best interest to go into the playoffs on a two game losing streak. Then again, a fair argument can be made that going in with two straight losses might help to get us that focus we need.

Hell, if the coaching staff was using the personnel right, there would be several guys getting more burn every game, so that rest thing wouldn’t be as much of a factor (i.e. HD, Quizz, Snell, Sid).

Oh well, time for the Hawks to bust NJ in the mouth again. Good to have a cream puff schedule to start the year.

Paddy O

December 30th, 2011
7:42 pm

honestly, if we decide this team has plateaued, or worse, with Mike Smith, the genuine article we should pursue would be Tony Dungy. I’m still sticking to my intentional vanilla D. No way was that the best we could play. Also, maybe OC/DC – we could analyze our recent play calling in the red zone. I am convinced it has been a collection of putridly stupid calls, considering our roster and the options available.

Paddy O

December 30th, 2011
7:46 pm

in an earnest evaluation of Smith, though – no way he gets canned. Both his coordinators, yes. Then if our wishy washy jekyll & hyde play continues another 2 years, then we consider a few HC. by then though, a whole lot of talent currently here will be gone. I still look at us as excessively dangerous, with NO expectations. However, I will state right here: Mike Smith DOES NOT know how to coach a team with a long layoff. His teams come out flat & distracted, like they were vacationing in Maui.

JB FALCON

December 30th, 2011
7:51 pm

Thanks 21. So, If the lions lose, I think we should go for the win against TB, unlike Pat Y’s suggestion. IF the lions should win, we should still go for the win in order to try some new schemes. I’m just not one to plan on losing. Call me dumb if you want.

phil

December 30th, 2011
8:21 pm

I was kidding last nite about Edwards being worse than Anderson this yr….but edwards has been pitiful, knee or not.

It’s not going to matter who we play. NO – we lose. Dallas – we lose. NY – we not only lose but get crushed like we will if it’s NO again. Dallas is our best shot but no way we win down there.

JB FALCON

December 30th, 2011
8:30 pm

phil, love your optimism!

falcon21

December 30th, 2011
8:37 pm

Agree JB, we should play to win no matter the outcome of the GB-Detroit game.

phil

December 30th, 2011
10:54 pm

Well…

We aren’t likely to win the playoff game. I wish we were but that’s being unrealistic.

And it’s time to let Turner go. I realize the line couldn’t block three grandmothers, but he’s getting old and is simply too immobile and slow.

phil

December 30th, 2011
10:55 pm

And fire FG!

E43

December 30th, 2011
11:15 pm

There’s alleged pressure being placed on the Falcons fueled by emotions.Arthur Blank does not work that way. I’m pretty sure all the coaches are returning unless they get hired elsewhere. I 100% absolutely bet that the pressure is on Dimitroff to fix issues cause by the trade, letting Dahl walk, or whichever comes first. Right now this team is just not a cost efficient team. I think this off season would be the right time to start losing insurance policies, build a team knowing Matt will make it better, and become a cost efficient team.

WR

December 31st, 2011
7:27 am

Morning cage, took forever to catch up with all the post which is a good thing, it says the fans are rising up even if at times it appears the Falcons are not. But 1st off, the Falcons have four consecutive winning seasons and someone asked what do we as fans want, let’s see, how about a team thats a serious contender for a championship. Sure winning beats losing, but no one strives to be a coat hanger rather then a doormat, but supposedly as Falcons fans we should.

Then there was the Josh McDaniel’s hasn’t shown anything, he’s just been coat tailing off of Belichick’s success, news flash, Cleveland said the same thing about Belichick, he was coat tailing Bill Parcell’s success, so what happened. Not to say I’m a Josh McDaniel for OC supporter but there’s definitely not enough info to down the guy either.

Which brings us to our own Falcons coordinators and coaches. Now this isn’t a fire sale of the coaches post but one based more on reality. The Colts had done jack sh!t sense the Johnny Unitas days when they hired Jim Mora Sr. as coach and drafted a certain QB out of Tennessee, they went on to have multiple winning seasons and playoff berths but Mora was still fired to make room for the HC that took them over the top.

Likewise, Drew Brees in SD was not the Drew Brees of today, to say the coaching staff is good, but Ryan isn’t quite as good as Brees is to overlook coaching, Brees with Sean Peyton equals enormous success, Brees in SD equaled drafting another QB in the top ten then replacing Brees.

But back to the coordinators, Norv Turner and Wade Phillips could be considered amongst the best coordinators in the history of the game, at the same time they both could also be considered amongst the worst head coaches ever. Sorry for both, but their indians not chiefs, in a world full of too many chiefs and not enough Indians these two are a perfect example of finding your place.

Now to tie it all in, the Falcons have a chance because their at least being invited to the Big Ball, but another quick exit does in fact signal something is quite wrong. Bashing fans for having higher expectations is wrong, sure, up until 2 seasons ago, as a Falcons fan having back to back winning seasons meant alot. It doesn’t quite mean the same today because Falcons fans now have higher expectations. Well such and such team would like to be the Falcons this year, in the NFL 12 teams go to the playoffs, meaning 18 stay at home, those 18 always want to be amongst the 12. But there’s only about 6 to 8 teams considered yearly contenders no matter what, the Saints are quickly striving to join the group, why shouldn’t the Falcons, and why is it a problem for Falcons fans to want that. Again, no one strives to become a coat hanger over being a doormat, just not considered the best lateral move.

JJ

December 31st, 2011
8:04 am

WR, good post and good luck to GT.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 31st, 2011
8:38 am

WR I like what Geo said earlier this week and I think it reflects on why the Falcons are not the contenders we want/think they can be. He said:

“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.”

_______________________

It seems to be the way the coaching staff “directs” the Falcons to play especially on offense.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 31st, 2011
9:08 am

Some good reading on the Falcons Bucs game and our players. They base stuff on player stats.
http://www.profootballfocus.com/blog/2011/12/30/three-to-focus-on-buccaneers-falcons-week-17/

Turner currently leads the league in the number of players that have missed tackles on him on runs with 53

Freeman should avoid Grimes if playing base on his coverage skills. DRobinson has allowed the most yards after catch of any corner back: Franks is second.

Owens has allowed 76.9% of passes thrown his way to be caught, which is the highest for a corner back not playing for the Colts

Lawrence Sidbury over the past six games, he has had 11 overall pressures on 62 pass rushes. That means he has gotten pressure on 17.7% of his pass rushes, which is typically close to what elite pass rushers have, but this is on a much smaller sample size.

WHY ISN’T LS PLAYING MORE?

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 31st, 2011
9:41 am

More reading:
From the Bleacher Report who is picking the Bucs in an upset.
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1002711-week-17-nfl-picks-bold-predictions-for-weeks-biggest-upsets/page/5
“No one bothers to really run against them as it’s much easier to throw, plus they lack a consistent pass rush which Josh Freeman will exploit. By game’s end the Falcons fall as a one-dimensional offense and Tampa remains in the driver’s seat from kickoff thanks to a solid ground game that sets up the pass.”

If the prediction is true, it means the coaching staff has made no changes on defense. It is just more stuff about how bad our defense is run.

Big Ray

December 31st, 2011
9:48 am

OC/DC ,

Good point on Sidbury. Very frustrating to not see him play, but I also understand going with the veterans. My only thing about that is why not let him play more of Ray Edwards’ snaps, since he’s still having knee troubles. Fewer snaps for Edwards would mean he could remain more fresh, probably more effective.

And it would give Sidbury more chances to create the pressure we’re needing.

Big Ray

December 31st, 2011
10:16 am

The Coaching situation:

Dimitroff isn’t going to let this ride. I just can’t see it. No way.

But….

You MUST be careful when changing out key members of your coaching staff when you are winning and going to the playoffs.

No, having a winning record and playoff berths should never be enough to guarantee everybody’s jobs, all by itself. At the same time, caution is advised, along with an aggressive behind-the-scenes plan.

Before letting a Coordinator or a HC go from a team like this you have to recognize and be reasonably certain of a few things:

1) The CS and system you have set up has 4 consecutive winning seasons in the 4 years it has been in place. It also has resulted in 3 playoff appearances in this time.

2) Same system has not shown itself to be effective or competitive in two playoff appearances, the third one is pending.

3) Must identify the coaching problem. Is it the HC, DC, or OC? Or a combination of any two, or all three? All three know there are problems. What are their views on what the problems are, and each person’s contribution to the problems? Next step is to hear what they feel are reasonable solutions that can be implemented immediately. The first one to lay it on talent or “I just need a couple more players to make my scheme work” should be fired on the spot. Good teams work with what they have because the system is sound. They also find free agents to get the job done. That means when they have to substitute guys in, there isn’t a unit failure on the field. For examples see the Saints and Packers on their offensive line issues, which from a personnel standpoint, were much more serious than ours. We lost a starter to injury for a few games, and another to free agency. Both teams experienced more issues and had less options to solve them.

Furthermore, those who would put the onus on Dimitroff – we have had secondary issues forever. Dimitroff went and signed James Sanders and Kelvin Hayden. Both guys can play, both guys were starters on the teams they left. Both guys are missed by their former teams. It ain’t Dimitroff’s fault that two guys out of the blue who have both talent and experience, are unable to change the issues we have in coverage. I don’t think we need much more evidence that the problem is schematic.

4) Any coaching change…again…requires being reasonably certain of the problem, and knowing that the problem will not go away via osmosis. In other words, the coach who is failing is not going to start succeeding anytime soon for you. The second half of this is that you must be reasonably certain of a solution.

Fact is, you need to be reasonably certain of more than one solution. A plan B or C to your plan A, to be more specific. You decide you need a new DC? You better have at least two workable options in mind. Three would be better. Same goes for OC and HC. Have solutions in mind, which I think Dimitroff already does, if he’s any good at his job (and he is).

We say that Dimitroff has some errors to make up for. Well, we’re also talking about a guy who was brought into an organization he hadn’t worked with or for prior to this. He brought in a head coach and entire staff, and then grabbed up a franchise QB and a RB who could take the pressure off that QB. That’s a classic move – get yourself a running workhorse that can do a lot of the work while your QB learns the ropes. Then turn that QB loose and let HIM be the guy that carries your franchise. That’s how it works.

Then, you let your CS do their thing. It takes a while to find out if they can go all the way or not. It just does. You don’t build a SB contender in 2 years. You don’t do it in 3. You don’t often do it in 4. Sorry, but it is very rare. Worse yet, if you’re lucky enough to do it in 4 years (Saints, 2009), good luck carrying that contender status into the next year (Saints, 2010). Often enough, you’ll find yourself with that down year, and then if you’re doing things right, you can contend again the following year (Saints, 2011).

Seriously. So these “errors”….call them that if you wish, and maybe you’re right to do so. But understand that you have to give people a chance to fail as much as you give them a chance to succeed, and vice versa. Again, we’re not talking like Dimitroff has been at the helm for 6 or more years. He’s just now finishing his 4th season up. You don’t continue to win and make it into the playoff scene by firing and hiring every year.

That said, look for some serious, if possibly subtle changes this offseason. I believe it’s inevitable. We just don’t know what they’ll be. And nothing short of a deep playoff run right to the SB is going to change that. Because only such a deep run would give the front office a reason to pause and reflect.

We know there are system problems that do not involve player personnel. If WE know that, then you better believe that a two-time Executive of the Year who snagged our “can’t have consecutive winning seasons” franchise from the ashes knows it.

Bank on it.

E43

December 31st, 2011
10:27 am

OC/DC Dinosaurs- That prediction is BS. The only way the Bucs win this game is if the Falcons shoot themselves in the foot. The only reason the Bucs won the first game was because the Falcons shot themselves in the foot. We faced Rodgers, Brees2x and Newton2x. The article suggest that these guys would all of a sudden just stop throwing the ball if they were all going against the Steelers. The defense will be fine. Just ask the offense to be efficient and all will be well.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 31st, 2011
10:29 am

Big Ray I agree with all you said. HC Smith should be able to orchestrate changes to the defense if the DC stays. I don’t think there is any hope for the OC.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 31st, 2011
10:31 am

E43 I have a hard time believing it too.

darrell starks

December 31st, 2011
10:36 am

Like i said the Falcons will never be good solid team until they get a dominating defense, trying to be a run first pound the ball football team will not work against team with a great passing game, when fall behind your putting a lot pressure on your offense and the Falcons are not build that way forcing them to play out of there eliment.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

December 31st, 2011
10:41 am

2 PLAYERS THE FALCONS NEED TO BE READY BY PLAYOFFS.
CB KELVIN HAYDEN
LB STEPHEN NICHOLAS
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Birdman

December 31st, 2011
10:43 am

My Prediction is if the Falcons beat the Bucs .. Witch they will , and the Lions lose . We will face the Giants and beat them . If the Lions win and they may possibly do so . We go back to the Super Dome and lose in a closer game but still we lose ,

I hope its the first of the 2 even if its Dallas they play . I just like there chances of moving on better if they don’t play the Saints to start . .Also giving the Birds a first round win might just lite some kind of fire up there A$$ . But who knows……GO FALCONS…!!!

darrell starks

December 31st, 2011
10:46 am

The same thing happen last year when Brian went down forcing the Falcons to play Owens the defense went from atttacking to playing this sorry cover 2 defense, BVG must bring back the Dirty Birds blitz, and stop playing so soft on defense.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!

WR

December 31st, 2011
11:02 am

Thanks JJ, GT probably will need it, their bowl games go much the same as the Falcons playoff games. Big Ray, nice post, my biggest concern with the Falcons coordinators is the same concern I have had during these last few seasons of winning, that is: Who are the Atlanta Falcons.

The consistent winning teams have some sort of identity their known for on at least one side of the ball, and they consistently get it done on at least that side of the ball. Now if you can do both all the better but you ought to be excelling in one area after 4 years. Again it all comes down to aggression in an aggressive sport, the aggression part seems to be lacking for the Falcons and whatever coordinator or HC is to blame there needs to be a long, thorough, strong, and intimidating offseason evaluation or firing to get the point across.

Offensively the Falcons want to play keep away, which works just fine against lesser opponents, at least the ones that can’t score quickly or the ones that don’t have a D that will get the Falcons off the field. But ultimately the problem is this is not an aggressive offense, it rarely goes for the jugular when the opportunity presents itself, and most importantly it doesn’t force the D to adjust to it, this O allows the D to dictate what it does, basically as they have constantly stated, “we try to take what the D gives”.

Defensively the Falcons are still playing the bend but don’t break D, which is why the secondary lines up 10 yards off the ball. Its a try to limit your errors D, force the opposition to put together error free drives. Problem is when the opposition is a good team, putting together error free drives come rather easy for them. Again the Falcons take what the opposing team gives, not trying to dictate anything, this is the current problem of the Falcons, its the past problem of the Falcons during this 4 year run, and it appears more and more teams are catching up to it.

While totally overhauling the coaching staff could lead to falling back into the pack, not making proper adjustments is leading to falling back into the pack. Sadly to say, its in Murlarkey to put out a better offense, so far he just hasn’t done so, its not in VanGorder but he has a defensive HC, this unit could and should be doing better, year one problems shouldn’t be year four problems, year one concerns shouldn’t be year 4 concerns, this is what has to be addressed during the offseason, and especially so if they make yet another short post season run.

Big Ray

December 31st, 2011
11:31 am

WR,

I agree, especially with the part about year one and year 4 problems.

As for the Falcons identity – long term perspective is what’s needed here, and Dimitroff has it, I am sure.

We were that team that pounded the running game at you. We passed short and ate up the clock. The question is what team are we becoming. My answer is a better version of what we were.

We can pass the ball more while still being a strong running team. But we need to know how to use the weapons we have. I’ll go through some points we went over prior to the season.

1) You simply don’t trade that high up to get a guy like Julio for the purposes of being a better running team. You do that because you want to be more dangerous. More explosive. Harder to defend. You do it because you want to pass more, and you want to be more effective from a yardage and scoring point with your air game.

2) You don’t draft a guy like Rodgers to be better at running Turner up the middle. You do that so you can pass out of the backfield, toss underneath while the blitz is coming, and so that you have a guy who is quick to the hole, can make cutbacks, and can make guys miss. The Jags do it all with Maurice Jones Drew. The Ravens can with Rice. Neither of these guys is head and shoulders above JaQuizz Rodgers in talent, I say.

3) Defensively, we are a “stop the run” team. However, the best schemes have defeated us at times, along with quick RBs. We have enough talent, however, to be a force against the pass.

Big Ray

December 31st, 2011
11:42 am

Mike Smith – I think Rodgers is a 3 down back.

Me – You must mean 3 downs per game, because you damn sure ain’t getting him in there for much more than that….

OC/DC Dinosaurs

December 31st, 2011
11:52 am

Big Ray it has been more like 3 downs per 3 games. Then JRogers is utilized the same way Turner is. It has to change. TOO MUCH LIMITED THINKING.

Big Ray

December 31st, 2011
12:18 pm

OC,

It does have to change. I realize the rookie needs seasoning, but you only get that in games ,and its not like he was out there getting penalties, losing yardage, and making the kind of mistakes that kills drives and loses games. About halfway throught the season, dude seemed to be in sync.

DePlane

December 31st, 2011
1:02 pm

Big Ray re: your 10:16 post. Right on the money my friend.

WR

December 31st, 2011
1:31 pm

Big Ray, strong points, and part of my problems with the coaching staff beyond the need to be more aggressive and playing to win not to lose, is player development. Good teams develop their players throughout the season. A player like Quizz who has shown his skill set would be utilized, players with skill sets like Sidbury would be on the field even if it calls for a different defensive alignment. Harry Douglas wouldn’t be spotted every blue moon, or because one receiver goes down, the team would know more about Franks and Owens before there confidence is shaken because they’ve been thrown to the wolves.

Matt Ryan may not be a Brees or Rodgers just yet, but there is still too much all around talent for this offense to be slowed down like it often is. Turner has loss a step or two, but he’s still effective and would be even more so if his fellow back field mates were being utilized more. Teams shouldn’t have the ability to cover White, Jones, Douglas, Gonzalez, and a RB while blitzing even with a piss poor OL, but they do, and have because there’s no creativity to the Falcons attack. For as much as people talk Brees, Brady, while downplaying Ryan’s arm how many times are either of these teams or QBs really going deep. Brees wasn’t throwing a bunch of 40 to 50 yard bombs against the Falcons, he was throwing the many routes of a route tree one that consist of post, corner, seam, and a variety of crossing routes. Watch Brady, Brees, and even Rodgers tomorrow and count the number of go routes you see thrown, won’t be many.

So as to not continue to go on to long, defensively, outside of Urlacher and Briggs name on player off hand on the Bears D. Outside of Willis in SF, name a player of the Niners D, the Texans lost supposedly their best defensive player early in the year, heard of anyone else on that top rated D. Philly has always had a dominate D up until this year of the dream team, more talent, minus a good DC equals failure.

Coaching can override talent, and coaching can prohibit talent. The 1st couple of years of the process, coaching was overriding talent, the last couple of years coaching has prohibited talent, when they catch up with each other watch this team take off, until they do its on the GM to remedy the situation.

Chop Buster

December 31st, 2011
1:44 pm

I hope we do play the Saints again just to see what kind of adjustment (different game plan) this coaching staff makes. If you play the same team (IN YOUR DIVISION) three times during the year and can’t win at least one of them, there is a major problem with the coaching staff.

JB FALCON

December 31st, 2011
3:06 pm

“Coaching can override talent, and coaching can prohibit talent. The 1st couple of years of the process, coaching was overriding talent, the last couple of years coaching has prohibited talent, when they catch up with each other watch this team take off, until they do its on the GM to remedy the situation.” WR
My sentiments exactly!! If the players are doing what they are told to do and still lose, maybe they are being told to do the wrong thing. If a player is not doing what you want him to do, why not CHANGE your scheme and let him do what he is good at.There’s not a player on this team,or any NFL team, that does not have some exceptional talent in doing something more perfect than the next guy. Assign that player to do what he does best, not what YOU want him to do. It’s the same old “lead a horse to water” thing. Let the players play! I think it was Geo that explained the difference.

noblegray

December 31st, 2011
6:30 pm

THE OFFICIATING had everything to do with why we lost that game. They killed TWO drives in which we were DEFINATELY going to the endzone. Bad calls all night. What did they throw, 2 flags on the saints? Give me a flippin break! EVERY time we started to gain momentum the s.o.b. officials killed it, and if you think momentum has nothing to do with winning games, then you don’t know as much as you think you do……Now….I absolutely agree we should fire BVG immediately. We need a Wade Phillips at the def. coordinator spot. Our secondary is the ONLY problem which is almost impossible to overcome. But for some reason this is with amazing players, which tells me they aren’t being coached correctly. I LOVE THE FALCONS WIN OR LOSE BABY!!!!!!! If not…heck, I’ll just wait to see who wins the Superbowl, and that will be my favorite team.

snacktastic

December 31st, 2011
6:54 pm

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m looking for another Jags-style beatdown against the Bucs on Sunday. If I were on this Falcons team, I’d be seriously ticked off about that Monday night loss and looking to take out my frustration on a hapless Tampa Bay.

Unca' Bob

December 31st, 2011
7:28 pm

Cage,

Everyone have a Safe and Happy new year. Enjoy the game tomorrow. I finally get to watch a game. Life’s good.

JB FALCON

December 31st, 2011
7:59 pm

If there’s anyone like me who choses to stay home and bypass the celebration, ( and read the blog,etc.) have a safe and properous new year, one year at a time, one game at a time.
Unca Bob, I hear ya’ man. For anyone who’s going out, don’t drink and drive so you’ll be here next year. Happy New Year to one and all!

Big Ray

December 31st, 2011
9:44 pm

Happy New Year to everyone in advance. Stay safe.

Like my man JB , I’m sticking around the house.

Deplane , thanks man. We can only watch and see what happens. I’m not much into predictions, but I do think we will see some changes that will be evidence of a keen mind at work in the front office.

WR ,

Right on…damn fine post.

falcon21

December 31st, 2011
11:59 pm

Happy New Year Cage. Go Falcons. I do enjoy the convo my friends!!!

Screen Pass

January 1st, 2012
1:30 am

Happy New Year all!

Birdman

January 1st, 2012
1:33 am

Happy New Year Cage… May God Bless You All..!!

E43

January 1st, 2012
1:45 am

Big Ray
1) TD hires/fires the head coach. Its the head coaches job to hire/fire his coaching staff. TD will pull the trigger on Mike Smith and Mike Smith alone. However, it’s pretty obvious Bratkowski was added to Mike Smiths staff because Mularkey wants out of Atlanta.

2) Its pretty easy to figure out whether or not you have a dominant or elite Oline/Dline. With Dahl the Falcons Oline still wasn’t considered elite. Forget about modeling after Brees and Brady. This team was somewhat modeled after Eli and Roethlisberger. But the Falcons still stand in a class by themselves. How the falcons win and lose games is no surprise to me because of the Oline and Dline not being dominant. They were great running the ball. But they decided to experiment and Turner will likely rush for his lowest YPC average

3) TD (2008 executive of the year) has done a good job bringing in players. The coaching staff (2010 coach of the year/offensive coordinator of the year SN) has done a good job with this team since 2008 and that’s that. TD most Dominant picks since 2008 are Ryan, Lofton, Weatherspoon and Julio Jones. Grimes doesn’t have a problem with the scheme. Dunta has struggled but he’s still not the one getting burned. John Abraham has had no problem getting pressure the last few years under the same scheme. Brian, Williams, Foxworth and Hayden weren’t the ones getting burned this and all of them were credited with the task of solidifying the secondary. Problem is none of them play the entire year and your back down to TD’s draft picks that have struggled or are never given a chance to improve. That’s what I’m trying to point out. If you’re blitzing to have the offense beat you then that’s on the coaching. If they blitz the wrong side of the play then that should be coaching as well. But this is a situation where they can actually call the right play to have the players flop mightily in the most basic of basic schemes at the pro level.

4) The point I was making was that this team if good because of TD and the Coaching. But saying that this team is not great because of the coaching and coaching alone is being naive because ate some point TD is going to have to draft another Lofton type and he simply just hasn’t done so. TD is just as responsible for this team not being great as is the coaching staff. It’s their job to figure it out and when they cant its should be treated as such instead of picking favorites.

Screen Pass

January 1st, 2012
2:02 am

“However, it’s pretty obvious Bratkowski was added to Mike Smiths staff because Mularkey is being run out of Atlanta. ” – e43

Fixed that for you. The Falcons gladly gave him permission to respond to interview requests. He wasn’t hired because unfortunately for us no one was dumb enough to take this clown.He was not RESIGNED by Atlanta this year…not him leaving because he wants lol. He will be lucky to be in the NFL if he is properly vetted by the desperate teams needing coaching help.

Screen Pass

January 1st, 2012
2:32 am

Seeing as I’m the unofficial leader of the Cage “group 2″ movement, or at least the first here to want heads roll going way back…I must point out the funniest thing I’ve seen all year…all 3 hours of it anyways. First, major props to Pokersteve from another site for making this great video and I’ll remove the link if asked.

WARNING; Do not open this with liquid in your hands near your computer…

or ( http://boards.atlantafalcons.com/topic/3938617-group-2-has-drawn-the-attention-of-der-fuerher/ ) if imbed isn’t supported.

E43

January 1st, 2012
2:37 am

Screen- Potato potatoe… If they didn’t want the cat then they should have fired him. Kind of like they way they pinned the secondary issues on Emmit Thomas only to have not one thing change. All I know for a fact is that Mularkey wants a new head coaching job and that’s that. As far as him being ran out….Ill believe it when I see it. The rest is just speculation. This is the city of Atlanta at the end of the day.

Paddy O

January 1st, 2012
4:03 am

screen pas – that was some exceptionally funny stuff. most old timers here at the cage ARE GROUP 2!!!!!!!! Woooooo, hoooooo!

Paddy O

January 1st, 2012
4:03 am

baker was not his fault . . . his arms are just too short!

Paddy O

January 1st, 2012
4:05 am

Mein Fuhrer, zu don’t trade fer Julio, just to see the same ole manure we saw in 2010! And, exactly vhy ist Quizz on da bench for so much of ze game? And dat Snelling, makes da most amazink TD run of da seazon, den vat? Off to dah bench vist him! Oi!

JJ

January 1st, 2012
7:58 am

Happy New Yr cage, back to the jon…:(

JJ

January 1st, 2012
7:59 am

kam, get a life…troll.

trademark

January 1st, 2012
8:52 am

Paddy O – Ich stimmt aber TOTAL zu!! …ahem…oops…My inner German got channeled….LOL

Screen Pass

January 1st, 2012
10:35 am

“screen pas – that was some exceptionally funny stuff. most old timers here at the cage ARE GROUP 2!!!!!!!! Woooooo, hoooooo!” – Paddy O

Thanks! I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time…I almost sprayed my keyboard when that lady consoles the other and says “Don’t worry, we’ll always run it up the middle”.

DePlane

January 1st, 2012
11:04 am

Hahahaha! Screen Pass that’s hilarious…thanks for the liquids warning! LOL!!

JJ

January 1st, 2012
12:02 pm

LRD, although it doesnt count except for smack talk, fantasycast has a rematch today. Check your roster for inactives!

Eric C.

January 1st, 2012
12:16 pm

Damn, A. Rodgers inactive today? Definitely start planning for NO I guess. Happy New Year anyway.

Unca' Bob

January 1st, 2012
12:29 pm

Eric C.,

I saw that as well. In order to be the best, you need to beat the best.

JB FALCON

January 1st, 2012
12:47 pm

UB, are you going to get the NO game?

Unca' Bob

January 1st, 2012
1:07 pm

JB FALCON,

I am. Touchdown C Ivory.

Coop

January 1st, 2012
1:09 pm

Fox pregame reporting that TG signed 1 year, $7M extension.

Coop

January 1st, 2012
1:11 pm

Well, GB is mailing it in. My guess is, knowing we have nothing to play for and realizing we’ll get killed next week… we lose to the Bucs.

Coop

January 1st, 2012
1:17 pm

TD RAMS!!!!!!!!

falcon21

January 1st, 2012
1:21 pm

JB FALCON

January 1st, 2012
1:30 pm

Watching the Panthers play zone D shows exactly how NO kicks butt. Seems like playing man would be the only way to shut them down.

Senojh@bellso

January 1st, 2012
1:31 pm

Enter your comments here

Unca' Bob

January 1st, 2012
1:36 pm

JB FALCON,

As well as Green Bay.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

January 1st, 2012
1:39 pm

Against Panthers, Atl had four successive 1st downs for the entire game. Brees has more than 4 in two drives

Unca' Bob

January 1st, 2012
1:45 pm

OC/DC Dinosaurs,

Apples and oranges.

JB FALCON

January 1st, 2012
1:52 pm

That’s the first jump pass I’ve seen since high school.

Senojh@bellso

January 1st, 2012
2:00 pm

UB,
The point is Atl performs poorly on first down. Did you mean NO is far superior to Atl?

Unca' Bob

January 1st, 2012
2:16 pm

Senojh@bellso,

No.

Please go back and reread your post. This is after all the NFL. Things tend to change week to week.

With the exception of perhaps, you.

Eric C.

January 1st, 2012
2:21 pm

Unca’ Bob, I understand you have to beat the best to win it all…but at this point, I just want the Smith/Ryan era to get a playoff win to build some confidence. Of course, the best chance of that happening is to play somewhere other than the superdome.

JB FALCON

January 1st, 2012
2:27 pm

I thought it was illegal for a player to have unauthorized objects on the field. I just saw Brees make a peanut butter sandwich while waiting ot Colston to come open.

Geo

January 1st, 2012
2:28 pm

Great stuff, Screen. Thanks. Dubbing that clip is a mini Internet genre all in itself. Never thought I’d see one based on Falcons’ coaching.

“Is Mularkey really that bad? What’s wrong with begin 3rd and 8 all game long?” LOL!

Unca' Bob

January 1st, 2012
2:29 pm

Eric C.,

I get it as well. Should it come down to it, regardless of whom we play, a win is the imperitive.

Screen Pass

January 1st, 2012
2:47 pm

Lol Geo, that vid is a classic. Panthers playing the Saints so far better than we did, lets see who adjusts after half…it’s nice watching games where the coaches are competent enough to do it.

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
2:47 pm

Watching Panthers-Saints. Also watching what a real DC dials up on 3rd and 7. A nasty blitz that takes Cam Newton right down.

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
2:48 pm

Also watching Jimmy Graham commit obvious pass interference by cramming his left hand into the face mask of the defender. No call, of course.

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
2:56 pm

E43 ,

I never said Dimitroff would tinker with the CS himself. I said he’s see to it that whatever triggers need to be pulled…will get pulled. Bank on it.

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
2:58 pm

Translation – He’ll be drilling Mike Smith on what HE is going to do to fix the problems that exist. And he will evaluate Smitty’s decisions/solutions. Assuming of course, that he doesn’t fire Smitty. I say that with full objectivity, not that I think Smith will or won’t get fired, or even if I want him to/don’t want him to. I truly don’t know what will happen.

JJ

January 1st, 2012
3:23 pm

45 min….looking fwd to see how our coaches/players respnd after the egg they laid in the NO cesspool. Hate is too strong of a word to use about how I feel about the aints so I’ll politically correct it for mrs charlie….

I HATE THEM WHO DAT AINTS but will acknowledge the obvious. No one (esp. falcons) will win in the big easy this yr. Rams are not helping us and Detroit sure as hell doesnt want to play the aints in the piss dome.

So we go back next weekend, do you think our coaching staff will change ANYTHING in there game plan from last MNF???

Go Falcons, today may be the last good day we fans have until the draft…which we shouldnt think about either!

One day at a time, lets win convincingly today, GO FALCONS!!!

BT

January 1st, 2012
3:27 pm

Howdy cage,
I don`t konw what`s going to happen but I have a idea what needs to happen, that is if the Falcons brass wants to take things to the next level?
Let BVG go and hire JDR or Spagnolla recently released from the Rams.
Release MM and put somebody in the OC slot than will bring a total change in philosophy with, TD giving him veto power over CMS in all things offense related both game planning and play calling.
Personell wise, put some talent on both the O and D lines.
If they do nothing else, that is a must.
That`s where this team loses the eye test, IMO.
Too few big nasty guys, making them come off as not tough and putting fear in no one.
Matt Ryan running for his life on every other pass play and inconsistent pass rush against quality opponents is enough to make this old school fan sick at his stomach.
For those that think Matt Ryan is the problem.
If that`s the case?
We don`t have any problem.

John Waynesworld

January 1st, 2012
3:58 pm

Screen Pass, thanks for making my morning. That was a real good laugh.

I can’t believe I am rooting for Matt Flynn, let alone the Packers. That Lion’ vs Packers game is basically everthing for the Falcons’ season, barring Smith and Co. revisiting New Orleans for a miracle upset.

I miss FFL already. Congrats JJ. I’ll be back.

Let’s do this!!

falcon21

January 1st, 2012
4:15 pm

Come on Green Bay, make this game mean something!

snacktastic

January 1st, 2012
4:17 pm

Alright, game time. Nice run by Turner to start.

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
4:24 pm

Rodgers just BULLED his way into the endzone after taking a straight up hit by a LB.

Somebody tell me why this kid hasn’t seen more touches?

John Waynesworld

January 1st, 2012
4:24 pm

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
4:27 pm

BT ,

Not for the sake of arguing, but I don’t think that’s ever a good idea. If a Coordinator has carte blanche over the Head Coach, then the head coach can’t be the head coach. It has to be the head coach’s decision to trust the OC or DC to handle what needs to be handled.

Otherwise, if you think you need to take half of the HC’s full power, then you need to get rid of the HC.

BT

January 1st, 2012
4:31 pm

Ray, so be it!
Does the team want to advance to the next level or not?

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
4:35 pm

Did I see Kroy get a sack earlier?

Meanwhile Jones shows just how strong he is….

snacktastic

January 1st, 2012
4:37 pm

Franks with the pick!

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
4:37 pm

Dominique Franks – starter next year.

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
4:38 pm

OMG…….JULIO….

John Waynesworld

January 1st, 2012
4:39 pm

WOOHOO! Matt Flynn!

snacktastic

January 1st, 2012
4:39 pm

Talk about jumping on an opponent. This is looking like that Jags game all over again. #5 seed or #6 seed, this is fun to watch.

snacktastic

January 1st, 2012
4:42 pm

Flynn trying to out-QB Rodgers? Maybe Green Bay’s thinking of a two-QB system.

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
4:44 pm

Fun as this has been so far, Bucs have mailed it in.

Speaking of mailing, I wonder where Raheem Morris is going to forward address all his mail…

John Waynesworld

January 1st, 2012
4:45 pm

All right, Detroit lost, now put this game away!!

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
4:46 pm

Raheem…it would probably be okay if you said you had to use the restroom, and just never found your way back onto the field.

falcon21

January 1st, 2012
4:46 pm

#5 seed, hell yessss!!! Just hang on.

snacktastic

January 1st, 2012
4:47 pm

Props to Flynn for the win, but we’re comin’ for ya after we get done with Dallas.

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
4:47 pm

I really hate to say this, especially when I enjoy watching my team dominate…

But DAMN…the Bucs are a hot mess

snacktastic

January 1st, 2012
4:49 pm

Oh, and that Rodgers guy, too.

Arno

January 1st, 2012
4:49 pm

Fantastic. 45-41 Love to see Matthew and Calvin lay a huge number on the Saints.

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
4:55 pm

We needed a timeout to do that?

Screen Pass

January 1st, 2012
5:00 pm

TY TY GB! Thank you Stafford for losing the big game as usual, glad your still a Falcon fan lol. Hopefully we can start pulling starters and use or 2nd team in WCO sets and bump man coverage. This Smitty ball will not work against real teams that try like we will see in the playoffs.

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
5:03 pm

This also shows just how egregious our loss to this team earlier this season was.

falcon21

January 1st, 2012
5:07 pm

Now that is something to bitch about!

DHunt

January 1st, 2012
5:09 pm

OK so now it’s time for Turner to sit, Roddy needs a few more catches and yards to get his record, then sit him, Matt already has his record so sit him. Abraham can take some time off for the defense.

DHunt

January 1st, 2012
5:13 pm

Ronde has one of those convenient, “I don’t want to be a part of this mess”, injuries.

Abe trying to do too much. He wanted a strip and touchdown that time, when he should have just gone for the sack.

Willie Mo can’t be the first one to touch the ball after he was out of bounds can he?

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
5:15 pm

Dhunt scaring me with his mirror-like thoughts again….

DHunt

January 1st, 2012
5:15 pm

Big Ray, wasn’t that a somewhat different Tampa Bay team, or have they really been this bad all season? Doesn’t really matter though. All the Falcons losses this year with the exception of GB were pretty egregious.

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
5:21 pm

Dhunt,

Yeah, but in a lot of ways, WE were the different team. There was no reason we couldn’t move the ball and score against them….only answer was point firearm towards foot, pull trigger…

Coop

January 1st, 2012
5:21 pm

Do not change anything. Keep pouring it on. It would be hard to lose this game at this point, but we don’t need a Seattle moment.

DHunt

January 1st, 2012
5:22 pm

How does Weems get to be a pro-bowl alternate with Hester and the guy from Arizona in the NFC as special teams guys? I love all my Falcons, but Weems hasn’t done a darn thing all year.

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
5:23 pm

Glad to see TG will be with us again next season. But its likely the last one….

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
5:24 pm

WOW….Turner got to the open real estate, and that was it.

Now…sit him….

Coop

January 1st, 2012
5:24 pm

Thank you. More please.

DHunt

January 1st, 2012
5:24 pm

How in the hell do I not have Turner in my Fantasy league today!!>!#%>$#^<

DHunt

January 1st, 2012
5:25 pm

My 14 year old daughter, who has only watched one complete football game in her entire life, is watching the game with me and she said Tampa is not even trying. LOL. Out of the mouths of babes.,,

BT

January 1st, 2012
5:26 pm

Agree, Big Ray.
8 straight Turner run in a row.
Sit him now.

JB FALCON

January 1st, 2012
5:26 pm

We know MT can run, got anything else you need to practice up on? Let’s practice somes screen passes, JR and JS need some playing time. Try a few different pass routes. Oop, there goes MT again.

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
5:27 pm

JB,

Yessir…

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
5:28 pm

Josh Freeman is a pro. He’s still trying to win.

DHunt

January 1st, 2012
5:29 pm

Ok PLEASE TAKE TURNER OUT NOW!! I am ahead in the championship of my other fantasy league and Turner is the only guy my opponent has left who can even come close to catching me.

MORE QUIZZ PLEASE

DHunt

January 1st, 2012
5:33 pm

Chris Owens can’t get himself in the right spot. He knew what was coming on that one and still didn’t get there.

JB FALCON

January 1st, 2012
5:33 pm

DHunt, somehow I don’t think MS is too concerned about your FFL team. Go figure.

DHunt

January 1st, 2012
5:39 pm

JB, let me have my little FFL moment. And if you don’t see any more Turner today, it may be because I have the coaching staff on my Voxer contact list. I try not to bother them unless it’s extremely important.

DHunt

January 1st, 2012
5:40 pm

Anybody think Ryan can get to 5000 next year? How about if we get a new OC.

snacktastic

January 1st, 2012
5:41 pm

Dhunt, give them a call for me and tell them to NOT SUCK. That’s important, right?

snacktastic

January 1st, 2012
5:45 pm

And yes, #2 could hit 5000. He puts up a ton of yards even in losses, but we end up losing because those yards typically turn into field goals (or nothing at all) instead of touchdowns. If we matched last season’s 13-3 record this year, he’d already be close to 5000.

DHunt

January 1st, 2012
6:01 pm

@snack. it may be important, but could also be considered disrespectful, and get me banned.

R Brown

January 1st, 2012
6:01 pm

Finally Cage Family; We can breath during a Falcons game. Wheeewwwwww!

snacktastic

January 1st, 2012
6:02 pm

Looks like challenges are the only thing the Bucs can do right today.

JB FALCON

January 1st, 2012
6:09 pm

Why do we even puts Weems back there as a KR? I can stand there and watch the ball roll down to the 5 yard line.

DHunt

January 1st, 2012
6:13 pm

How does a Matt Flynn throw for almost 500 and 6 touchdowns?How do two QB’s break the unbreakable Marino’s unbreakable record? Great offensive schemes. Any reasonably competent QB can be successful with the GB, NO, or NE offensive scheme.

Screen Pass

January 1st, 2012
6:14 pm

“Anybody think Ryan can get to 5000 next year?” – DHunt

Easily. If you look up the percentages of yards based on screens and other short/ check down plays, Rodgers, Brees, Stafford, etc. all have very large short pass numbers which M. Ryan doesn’t have because we rarely run screens or other smart high percentage short passing plays. If we get a passing OC in here that uses a full and competent playbook then M. Ryan could/ will really blossom. He has shown he can still get yards while in hell under an ignorant OC…prolly will make him better in the long run as he has already dealt with adversity.

DHunt

January 1st, 2012
6:22 pm

I need to tell them to keep working on the defensive pressure packages. Doesn’t make sense to just let Josh Freeman rack up garbage time yards with no pressure applied. If he’s going to get the yards make him work for it, as well as take this time to work on the blitzes when a mistake won’t matter at all.

Coop

January 1st, 2012
6:33 pm

This is what I feared. Don’t like what I’m seeing. Team is flat, mailing in the second half. This is not the way to take confidence into the playoffs. If we keep screwing around, we’ll let them back in this game.

R Brown

January 1st, 2012
6:37 pm

Breath Coop. I know it’s hard to believe but we can breath for once.

Coop

January 1st, 2012
6:38 pm

R Brown – We’ve seen worse with this team… this year in fact.

Coop

January 1st, 2012
6:40 pm

First down, first down, first down. The announcers are starting to talk about it now.

R Brown

January 1st, 2012
6:42 pm

Coop – You’re right and if TB scores again, you’re even more right about your 6:37 post than I care to admit.

JB FALCON

January 1st, 2012
6:43 pm

MS at half time. “Guys, we couldn’t lose this game if we tried.”
Falcons, “Oh Yeah, just watch.”

Coop

January 1st, 2012
6:44 pm

Jimmeny Christmas our head coach just sucks. I’m sorry, you can’t sugar coat this crap anymore.

Coop

January 1st, 2012
6:46 pm

Better warm up Ryan. We’ll need him for a 4th QTR COMEBACK!!!!

JJ

January 1st, 2012
6:47 pm

BT

January 1st, 2012
6:49 pm

It`s a 42 to 0 lead safe from the Falcons D?
Remains to be seen.

JJ

January 1st, 2012
6:49 pm

Love that prevent D smitty/bvg—stupid.

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
6:49 pm

Ummm….like to see just a bit more out of our defense, please. The guys “mailing it in” right now on the second unit could be playing in the playoffs if somebody gets injured (hope not, but still…).

BT

January 1st, 2012
6:50 pm

Anybody with me on the idea that, CMS is soft?

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
6:51 pm

Nice execution by the O-line, darn good running by Snelling.

JJ

January 1st, 2012
6:51 pm

BT, nothing is safe with these coaches…not ready for primetime.

Coop

January 1st, 2012
6:51 pm

Big Ray – The only players out of the game are Rayn, Turner, and TG. D is still all starters.

JB FALCON

January 1st, 2012
6:51 pm

Coop,if MS blows this, there’s not going to be any excuse he can make or sugarcoat.

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
6:52 pm

Why is it that in “garbage time” we get to see Snelling, then Rodgers on runs? I do like that we get to see it for the rest of the game.

Lil fella damn near scored. Needs more touches.

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
6:54 pm

Coop ,

Mostly referring to Sid and Kroy, Owens, etc.

Guys who won’t get snaps in the playoffs unless somebody is dog tired or injured.

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
6:54 pm

Quizz fumbles. Gotta do better, fella. Some defenders will try to punch the ball loose…

R Brown

January 1st, 2012
6:56 pm

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
6:58 pm

As good as this LB corps is, there are times its obvious that we miss Stephen Nicholas. He has the speed and the nose for the ball that allows us to blitz Spoon.

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
6:59 pm

Saw it coming….Dunta hit the WR, but then the DB started punching him while he was still on the ground.

Then Bucs OL player nails D-Rob. Lofton got ahold of his ass, though.

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
7:01 pm

Chippy as hell.

D-Rob shouldn’t have made that hit. Doesn’t excuse anything that followed, but it was a tad over the top.

D-Rob…has to be smarter than that, and I’m just not sure he is. Opposing teams will look to get inside his head in the playoffs. And I’m not impressed with his coverage. Simple as that.

R Brown

January 1st, 2012
7:02 pm

Who do we want to play? New York or Dallas….Hmmmm

Chop Buster

January 1st, 2012
7:03 pm

We need better backups. This is ridiculous.

JB FALCON

January 1st, 2012
7:04 pm

If D-Rob is worth 57 mil the Falcons should be able to pay me at least a million a year to stand around with my finger up my azz.

Screen Pass

January 1st, 2012
7:05 pm

Weak. This CS cannot even manage a blow-out right.

Chop Buster

January 1st, 2012
7:05 pm

We need better defensive players. This team seriously lacks talent on the defense.

BT

January 1st, 2012
7:05 pm

We want Dallas but I expect the Giants to win.

Chop Buster

January 1st, 2012
7:06 pm

I knew Smitty would sit on the lead the rest of the game.

BT

January 1st, 2012
7:07 pm

Screen Pass,
Your right, shoulda hung 60 on those clowns

falcon21

January 1st, 2012
7:08 pm

Just why should Dunta have not made that hit? It is football and he did not get flaged for that!

Screen Pass

January 1st, 2012
7:09 pm

“Who do we want to play? New York or Dallas….Hmmmm” – R Brown

We have the talent to beat either handily, however with our CS we can’t overlook either. Smitty ball will not work on the Giants and both have passing attacks capable of embarrassing our swiss cheese holes cream puff soft zone. I would prefer Dallas at this point, our talent will overcome our terrible coaching against them the most I believe.

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
7:12 pm

Gotta catch those, Mr. Owens….

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
7:13 pm

Mr. Walls shows how it’s done.

Mr. Walls should be taking somebody’s roster spot next season.

JB FALCON

January 1st, 2012
7:13 pm

Walls has already matched DR’s interception record for the year.

R Brown

January 1st, 2012
7:14 pm

Heck I think it’s a tossup. The spread will be tight with whoever it is but I agree Screen, If I had a choice, Dallas would be it. I think we can get to Romo more than Eli..

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
7:17 pm

Falcon 21,

He didn’t get flagged? That’s your defense? By that logic, when the Saints hold our DEs, then it’s okay as long as they don’t get flagged…as it is, he didn’t get flagged because the officials didn’t see it. I’ve seen less heinous hits that got flagged. All depends on who is playing who, and who gets hit.

I knew it was going to be an issue with the WR as soon as I saw the hit. It wasn’t egregious, but it was NOT necessary. And while I rarely take the opposition’s side, I have to say that I don’t blame the WR for being pissed and taking a punch at Dunta.

If that had been ANY of our guys who got hit like that after the play was over (ball wasn’t even in the area anymore), we would have been screaming bloody murder. And we know it.

All I’m saying is Dunta has to be smarter. You better believe a hit like that gets called in a playoff game. We have NO SUCH LUCK with not getting nailed for penalties. Officials have killed us all season long. No need to give them ammunition…

R Brown

January 1st, 2012
7:18 pm

Oh, and thank the football gods for the 5th seed. I can’t believe I’m saying that with all the promise lost this year but it must be devine that we don’t have to go play NO the first game.

snacktastic

January 1st, 2012
7:21 pm

Awful second half, but as has been said so many times about the Falcons this season, a win’s a win.

Big Ray

January 1st, 2012
7:22 pm

Congrats to our Falcons. 10-6 (yes, I know, could have been better, but could also have been 9-7 or worse…anybody remember our early escape from Seattle?) and in the playoffs.

I’ll take Dallas over NY any day. My reasoning:

1) Giants have guys who can REALLY put pressure on the QB. Pierre Paul is one of those guys we didn’t get in the draft who is a monster.

2) Eli is unflappable for the most part. He can slice you, and he can do it with his RBs as well.

3) Dallas can be more schizophrenic than other talented teams. They don’t have much in the way of trickery offensively.

4) DeMarco Murray is not a joke, but we can stop him.

5) Romo can be had. And when he’s been had, he’s bad.

Having said that, both teams can stomp us if we don’t take them seriously, execute, and adjust where necessary. You have to be aggressive against either team. Dallas DC Rob Ryan will work hard to scheme against our offensive. And that’s what bothers me about THAT matchup.

JB FALCON

January 1st, 2012
7:23 pm

R Brown, you’re worrying too much about the next game. We’re going to have to beat the best of the rest to get to where we want to go. One game at a time,no more BS, if you want it, now is the time to get on it.

R Brown

January 1st, 2012
7:28 pm

Not worried so much against NY/Dallas JB but my condidence level would not have been real high if it was NO in the first round. You’re right however, we gotta play who’s in front of us but we can actually beat either of our probable opponents next week.

falcon21

January 1st, 2012
7:30 pm

Big Ray, I will back Dunta on that hit all day, as I said, it is football. As for the playoffs, I would rather face Dallas. they are in a dome.

Coop

January 1st, 2012
7:30 pm

I want Dallas. Better weather. Eli is superior to Romo, and Dallas doesn’t run well. I know our passing D sucks, but would prefer to play a one dimensional game.

On D, we have the players (for the most part… could use a big @ss DT that I’ve called for the last 4 years, and a shut down corner) the problem is our scheme.

If we bring 5 or more against the QB and play man/press coverage, we’ll cruise to the Super Bowl.

Unfortunately, we have Smitty.

DHunt

January 1st, 2012
7:30 pm

10-6, 5th seed in the playoffs, headed to a winnable wild card matchup. And yes, we should have 3 or 4 more wins (NO at home, TB, Houston, and maybe GB). But it’s a brand new season now, and I hope the coaching staff realizes that they are playing for their jobs. Unfortunately with the NFL being the turnstile that it is for coaches, losing a job here doesn’t mean as much. It seems the analysts and talking heads agree that we have more than enough talent to compete on offense. The pass rush from the line has been very disappointing, but if we can correct that, we have a decent defense as well. Only need 4 straight wins to get to the promised land. If ever there was a time to start rising up…

Wabe

January 1st, 2012
7:33 pm

The win, how we won, and so on doesn’t mean much to me.

Only thing of importance to this game was it helped us lock up the 5-seed, which is a pretty big deal.

Even after last weeks beatdown, I still didn’t mind a 1st round matchup against the Saints. I wanted a rematch. I didn’t think we put our best foot forward, and was curious to see whether we’d rebound from that loss and play a better game with more on the line in the playoffs.

But, since that’s out the window, look forward to our 1st round matchup with one of those teams from the NFC Least.

Wabe

January 1st, 2012
7:36 pm

I’d rather get the Cowboys, one because it’s a Dome, and the Falcons play better in Domes. Particularly Michael Turner, he runs harder/faster in Domes.

Also, Dallas doesn’t have a dependable running game. They seem to be getting something out of Felix Jones, but still, he’s not dependable nor proven.

I’d also much rather play the Cowboys front rather than the Giants. I know they have Ware, but Pierre-Paul – Tuck and company are pretty beasty up front.

Both secondaries are pretty beat up. That’s something to note.

Not sure where either teams run defenses stack up, I’ll be looking for that tonight.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TOO TELL THE TRUTH

January 1st, 2012
7:36 pm

Players take on the personality of Head Coach…in the Falcons case, soft and predictable. Bucs almost made a game out of it…and whats up with signing of TG to the one year contract extension??? I like the guy, he’s done some remarkable things at the tightend position…but he is long in the tooth and slow as molasess. Guess the Falcons didn’t get the memo…the successul tightends in the league now are Hybrid,Young, Fast, Mobile (pick up tons of YAC)…I appreciate all TG has done to help ths franchise…but the 7 mill could have been spent much wiser…Just Saying…

Screen Pass

January 1st, 2012
7:37 pm

“If we bring 5 or more against the QB and play man/press coverage, we’ll cruise to the Super Bowl.

Unfortunately, we have Smitty” – Coop

I agree. If we run a mix of no-huddle and WCO 3WR looks to spread D’s and mix bump-man and zone to confuse the QB we are a team that can handle anybody. Some see it but also know we are being limited by an incompetent CS so don’t wanna bet on us. I can’t blame them. It is time for the CS to put up or shut up. “Didn’t see that coming” is not an acceptable excuse in the play-offs.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TOO TELL THE TRUTH

January 1st, 2012
7:37 pm

Wabe

January 1st, 2012
7:38 pm

Demarco Murray broke his foot, so we won’t be seeing him…

Wabe

January 1st, 2012
7:39 pm

I actually like the Gonzo signing…

He has the hands. Also buys us more time to get his replacement.

Screen Pass

January 1st, 2012
7:41 pm

“I appreciate all TG has done to help ths franchise…but the 7 mill could have been spent much wiser…Just Saying” – Somebody

I’m surprised this hasn’t been discussed more. On one hand TG is a great chain mover and red zone threat but 7 mil is pretty steep as the TE role is changing like you said.

R Brown

January 1st, 2012
7:41 pm

7 mill’s a lot of money Wabe. Could we use that money better elsewhere and just who was Atlanta bidding against to pay that premium? Nobody. Hope it’s incentive laden.

Wabe

January 1st, 2012
7:42 pm

The money can be debated…

Didn’t really factor that in much.

Was just thinking that having TG around for another season buys us some time to get TG’s replacement.

DHunt

January 1st, 2012
7:44 pm

Count me as wanting Dallas, if only for the favorable dome game. But we should put it on either of these teams as they are both far more schizo than the Falcons, and that’s saying a LOT this year. DeMarco Murray is done for the year, and Felix Jones isn’t going to beat us. We can hold up the Giants rush game as well, but a bad Eli is better than Romo any day. Simply put they better be ready to blast either of these teams.

Peering into my crusted crystal ball for a sec, I think Detroit has enough offensive firepower to make it hard on N.O. Wouldn’t bet on it, but they could shock the Saints. Damn sure can bet they are going to go as hard as they can, and won’t be trying to establish a non-existent run game. So maybe they pull it out. That means the Falcons get to go to San Fran, and we have the run defense to stop Gore. And Rodgers can’t play any better than Flynn did today against Detroit, and they just managed to win that shootout. Maybe Detroit catches GB a little lethargic after the bye, and steals one there too. (Did I mention my crystal ball was quite crusted?)

Can we dare hope for a Lions vs Falcons home game for the NFC title? The football gods mentioned this too me a few weeks ago and I foolishly laughed at them. May be a long shot, but it could happen.

R Brown

January 1st, 2012
7:46 pm

TG’s a HOF’er no doubt but if TD thought that deal was going to sway TG to go in the HOF as a Falcon, he’s clueless. I like the old man, he’s a good possession receiver but he is awful slow getting his feet upfield at this point in his career. I’m not going to rake the guy here. My first sentence should say enough about the man but wow that’s a big chunk for someone that would probably not be brought back to KC for half that.

snacktastic

January 1st, 2012
7:49 pm

If a Lions/Falcons NFC Championship can happen, then a Falcons/Broncos Super Bowl XXXIII rematch can happen. I’m not holding my breath, but I’m crossing my fingers.

Wabe

January 1st, 2012
7:49 pm

Say what you will…

But, I think at this point, seeing the type of season we’ve had, we’ve positioned ourselves to make the most noise as a wildcard team.

We get one of these NFC East teams, which I’m sure nobody minds playing…

And IMO, at this juncture, the Saints > Packers.

Both QB’s are incredible. Both teams have a ridiculous arsenal of weapons.

But, the Saints running game + defense, IMO, are better than the Packers. Teams move the ball up and down the field against the Packers. Both running and throwing the football. The Saints actually have a middle of the road type defense.

Thus, the Falcons likely opponents would be Cowboys/Giants in round 1.

And most likely the Packers in round 2. I’m not overly optimistic about winning a game in GB, but between the Packers and Saints, it might be a better matchup for us. I know we’re more familiar with the Saints, seeing that they’re in our division. But, those guys are playing the best football of any team in the NFC right now, IMO. So, it’s just a case of picking your poison. At this point, the Packers may be more vulnerable than the Saints.

Anybody else feel that way?

Wabe

January 1st, 2012
7:55 pm

Rodney Harrison and Tony Dungy breakin’ down the Falcons playoff chances…

Rodney Harrison hit it on the head. He spoke about the Falcons defense.

He said the Falcons zone-base scheme is a concern. He said that teams can zero in on John Abraham, make him a non-factor, and this leaves the Falcons hopeless in respects to applying pressure because the Falcons generally rush 4 and sit back in zones. He said they don’t get after the QB, and he said we saw the result of what happens when you do that against a team like NOLA.

Wabe

January 1st, 2012
7:59 pm

That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

The Falcons need a better blitz vs 4-man rush ratio. Must blitz as much and sometimes more than you rush 4.

What bugs me is how it was ridiculously evident that our front 4 wasn’t generating the pass rush, but we just kept doing it. get a feel for how that front 4 is getting after them, and if it isn’t cutting it, get after them using a variety of blitz packages. DeCoud is suspect in pass coverage as it is, dial him up in some blitz situations.

The Falcons can do so much more with the personnel they have. 3 safeties that can all play meaningful snaps. Use em’ all if you have to in a designed package.

Screen Pass

January 1st, 2012
8:00 pm

Nice Wabe, a right on point. We are the laughing stock of the league in regards to coaching competence. Sad but true. :(

SOMEBODY NEEDS TOO TELL THE TRUTH

January 1st, 2012
8:01 pm

Ryan was only 6 for 9, 102 yards…In retrospect, I think Smith should have left him in along with the starting unit, to develope more consistency on offense…and Have him throw more to JJ to get the timing and chemistry down…

JJ

January 1st, 2012
8:02 pm

TG IS A STEAL AT 7M….minuins plz learn nfl stats/payroll before spewing bs…we are thankfull to retain the #5 TE for another yr.

Screen Pass

January 1st, 2012
8:02 pm

“If a Lions/Falcons NFC Championship can happen, then a Falcons/Broncos Super Bowl XXXIII rematch can happen. I’m not holding my breath, but I’m crossing my fingers” – snacktastic

Not me, God has a hard on for Tebow. Our own coaching staff bends itself over and tries to poke, last thing we need is God back there too lol.

Coop

January 1st, 2012
8:05 pm

SO I’m hoping to beat Dallas and have Lions upset the Saints. Then we beat 49ers and the Lions upset the Pack. Then we host our first ever NFC Championship game!

R Brown

January 1st, 2012
8:07 pm

From yoor mouth to gods ears Coop.

Screen Pass

January 1st, 2012
8:13 pm

Hoping tonight to see Dallas win and Spags make a press announcement saying he will hold off signing any deals until after the playoffs.

Mr Charlie

January 1st, 2012
8:43 pm

Told you guys that Aint’ game did not mean jack, we are exactly seeded where we would have been had we won 45-16. We are in the playoffs, everything that happened during the season is moot.

snacktastic

January 1st, 2012
9:13 pm

Sure, Mr Charlie…except you kind of need a regular season to even set up the playoffs. Or would you rather we took our 32 NFL teams and had a single-elimination tournament right off the bat, and ended up with much less indication of how those teams can perform?

At the very least, the game against the Saints means the odds of our beating them or a team of their caliber are very low. If we had won, it would basically mean the opposite. We know the playoffs can turn out in a way that defies our expectations, but ignoring seventeen weeks of results just because of that is kind of missing the point.

JB FALCON

January 1st, 2012
9:17 pm

Anybody watching the “menu” game? A preview of who you would like next.

snacktastic

January 1st, 2012
9:23 pm

Watching, JB. I honestly didn’t expect the Giants to give the Cowboys this much trouble; the pressure they’re putting on Romo might give Ryan a few problems.

Coop

January 1st, 2012
9:36 pm

Looks like we’re headed to NY…

LRD

January 1st, 2012
9:39 pm

Looks like we will be heading up to NYC… ( well East Jersey)

Gonzo signing is great.

JB FALCON

January 1st, 2012
9:41 pm

Giants gotta pretty good pass rush. Good thing MR is second in the league against the blitz.

Wabe

January 1st, 2012
9:44 pm

Giants it is…

Man those Cowboys look soft.

Wabe

January 1st, 2012
9:46 pm

Thing about it is though JB…

The Giants aren’t even blitzing. They’re just rushing 4.

When you’ve got Umenyiora, Tuck, and Pierre-Paul, it’s a bit more successful to do than when the Falcons trot out ‘Abe and the supporting cast’.

Wabe

January 1st, 2012
9:48 pm

The Giants can pose the Falcons problems…

Those pass rushers in particular.

We’ve been talkin’ about our O-Line all season. They better bring their A-game next week, especially those tackles, because Pierre-Paul + Umenyiora = problems.

Clabo and Svitek better be ready to ball. Same with the rest of the O-Line.

Coop

January 1st, 2012
9:52 pm

Wabe – I’m more concerned about our D. Gotta stop that running game AND keep Eli from slicing us to pieces.

On O, they’re gonna make Ryan beat them. They’ll stack the box to stop Turner then try to get ahead so they can pressure Ryan non-stop.

BT

January 1st, 2012
9:54 pm

It`s about what I expected in the Cowboys v Giants game.
The Falcons can beat the Giants but not if they play like goobers, as in soft and make boneheaded mistakes, as has been the case against good teams..
It`s soley up to CMS and his staff.
It`s my guess, the Giants come in as a 6 point favorite.

JB FALCON

January 1st, 2012
9:57 pm

If the Falcons play like they did the first half tonight we shouldn’t have a problem. The Boys don’t look all that and a bag of chips.

JB FALCON

January 1st, 2012
9:58 pm

The Giants are handling themquite easily so we should be able to show the Giants what a real team looks like.

Wabe

January 1st, 2012
10:00 pm

At some point, you’ve gotta get the message…

After that debacle in the Dome last season vs the Packers, after losing game after game against playoff teams this season, after getting thumped last week @ NOLA, CMS and this staff just has to get the message.

This years playoffs is Smitty’s chance to show that he can adjust/tweak a vulnerable philosophy. The way we play football just forces us to play near flawless football, which we haven’t been able to do. That’s why we’re always hearing about the ‘couple of plays’ that could’ve changed the outcome of some of those games we lost.

They need to be a bit more aggressive, particularly on defense (IMO). You can’t inconsistently rush the passer and hope to slow down elite level QB’s. It won’t cut it. They’ve gotta strike a good balance of rushing 4 vs blitzing. When they do dial it up, they need to be more creative than what we’ve seen with the usual nickel blitzes/LB blitzes.

D3

January 1st, 2012
10:01 pm

Great Win Day Cage! — Well, we’re in the playoffs and headed for New York it looks like. Can’t say that I have the utmost confidence in the world with how inconsistent this team has been. Will the world beaters from the 1st half show up or the paper tigers from the beatdown in New Orleans show up. Who the hell knows.

Team looked really good today, but as Schultz wrote in his column, they always do against inferior teams. We should win. We have more talent than the Giants do outside of their defensive line. Got to be able to get rid of the football and use SCREENS, FLARES, DUMPS, ETC. to running backs to keep the pressure off Ryan. If we go in to the game with no creativity and a refusal to get the RB’s involved or short, quick passes, we may be in for a long day/night.

LRD

January 1st, 2012
10:02 pm

May the ghost of Jimmy Hoffa give us a hand…. (couldnt resist)

Nice to be there toay to see a smack down again….
wish we had another home game this year…

Chop Buster

January 1st, 2012
10:07 pm

Whoever the Falcons play I’d just like to see them actually attack a team on both sides of the ball. If we lose and played at a high level for 60 minutes I can live with that. What I can’t deal with is going into the playoffs running the same predictable offensive plays and that damn zone defense.

snacktastic

January 1st, 2012
10:09 pm

I’m starting to think I don’t mind us possibly ending up with the Giants. Dallas would be the easier matchup, but beating NY would definitely give us some legitimacy and maybe a bit of swagger.

D3

January 1st, 2012
10:25 pm

This is the game of Mike Smith’s career as a Falcons head coach. This one is absolutely huge. If he cannot get this team to go up and play well in the playoffs after being 0-2 so far, than serious doubts will rise with all of us whether he’s the long-term answer or not. Should’ve beat Arizona, but it’s understandable in first year with rookie QB on the road.

Last year’s meltdown has left no room for error concerning this game. He has to get this one or this season has to be considered an abject failure. The Saints obliterated the Giants not too awful long ago and we’re not heading into Lambeau to face the 15-1 Packers, we’re heading to NY to play a 9-7 Giants team who were dead and buried only a few weeks ago.

No Excuses, plain and simple. Even though Smith knows he won’t be going anywhere, the coordinators should be coaching for their lives as Falcons assistants. We have to get this one, but most fans are none to psyched at our chances. Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda has been our theme this year.

No Excuses Smitty!

snacktastic

January 1st, 2012
10:31 pm

Agreed, D3. Four years is enough time to establish that we can make it to the playoffs reliably with our current team/coaching staff, flaws and all. Now it’s time to start winning.

D3

January 1st, 2012
10:38 pm

New post will be coming up tomorrow.

I like the move to bring back Gonzalez, even if it is a touch on the pricey side. As much as I like Palmer, he doesn’t really strike me as anything more than an awfully good #2 TE. This will give us a chance to draft a TE fairly high this year and let him learn under Gonzo for a year, while also getting ready to take over for him at the end of the year.

TD must have some pretty big changes/plans in store for the off-season, because he’s got quite a lot to do and not a lot of money to do it with. Gotta make decisions on Lofton, Abraham, Grimes, HD, Biermann, McClure, Svitek, Snelling, etc. etc. This is going to the most interesting off-season by far and away concerning all our impending free agents, lack of cap space, and coordinators issues.

Have a G’Nite All!

Big Lou

January 1st, 2012
11:00 pm

‘Who I rather the Falcons play’ statements are pointless. The Falcons have to beat the best, to be the best. So, even if we get a easier game against Dallas, we still have to play Green Bay or the 49ers. I hope we get the Giants, so we can win a game on the grass and shut the announcers up. Also, if we lose, is that really a bad thing? Maybe we can get some changes from it. Sink or swim, Falcons, sink or swim!

D3

January 1st, 2012
11:04 pm

D@mn fine point Big Lou! We’ve been forced to “want” certain teams over others because of our poor record against winning teams this year. Don’t the best teams say “we don’t care who we have to play and where.” Goes to show our overall confidence in our fanbase.

JB FALCON

January 1st, 2012
11:15 pm

D3, the fanbase confidence may not agree with me but I’m saying I don’t care who we play, when, or where. It’s been said too many times here on the blog, “to be the best you have to beat the best”. We are in the playoffs right now and talking about the off season, next year, etc., is a little premature imo. This year ain’t over yet. We have as good of a chance to win the SB as anyone else in the playoffs. IF we don’t, then we can talk about “ifs, ands, and buts”.
Big Lou, we ain’t playing the announcers or the talking heads. Our performance, from here on out, will dictate how far the Falcons can go.

Coop

January 1st, 2012
11:15 pm

I want to beat Dallas. Living in Texas, I hate hearing about America’s Team. What a joke. Plus, I would relish a chance to tstick it to Brooking!

JB FALCON

January 1st, 2012
11:27 pm

Coop,from the looks of the current game, Dallas is not going to get in the door to let us beat them.

falcon21

January 1st, 2012
11:27 pm

A better o-line and d-line would make me feel much better about the playoffs but that don’t seem very important to most. We have to come up with a better sheme. We do have weapons but we don’t have heart. It begins with the o-line and d-line. Block and tackle!

Coop

January 1st, 2012
11:28 pm

$50 says we’re the 4pm game on Saturday.

BigLou

January 1st, 2012
11:33 pm

JB Falcon

I agree. Yet, it would be nice to throw that middle finger at them when we win. Also, I’m just saying that win or lose, it helps the franchise moving forward.

D3

Exactly. We should be ready to root for our team and the falcons ready to rip heads — no matter the opponent.

It’s now or never Falcons. The real season starts Sunday!

BigLou

January 1st, 2012
11:34 pm

Coop

Actually, we play on Sunday, via Pat on ESPN.

Chop Buster

January 1st, 2012
11:37 pm

The winner out of the Falcons and Giants will play the 49ers.

Coop

January 1st, 2012
11:38 pm

Lou – Damnit! Out $50.

Chop Buster

January 1st, 2012
11:39 pm

Winner of New Orleans & Detroit plays Green Bay.

Chop Buster

January 1st, 2012
11:40 pm

The BIG question for our upcoming game…will there be a game plan different than what we’ve seen in the regular season? All we can do is hope!

BigLou

January 1st, 2012
11:43 pm

Chop Buster

Actually, if Detroit beats the Saints, we play the 49ers. If the Siants beat Detroit we play Greenbay. It’s based on the seeding.

falcon21

January 1st, 2012
11:44 pm

Falcons and Detroit in the finals, sounds good to me!

BigLou

January 2nd, 2012
12:08 am

Also, even with the blow out loss to the Saints, Matt Ryan has been on fire. Check out his stats, since the Houston game. I’m predicting a great game versus the Giant’s weak secondary. Go Falcons!!!!!

trademark

January 2nd, 2012
8:16 am

Happy yet?

I refused to jump on the “fire everyone” bandwagon last week, because I truly believe the Falcons aren’t done yet. And I think they can totally smack around a “good” team just as easily as the not-so-good ones. It’s a mentality, Cage, TEAMS THAT SUFFER BIG PLAYOFF LOSSES STRUGGLE THE FOLLOWING YEAR IN THE REGULAR SEASON. It’s just history. Most Super Bowl losers go right down the tubes, because all they can think about is getting back into the Playoffs, how hard it is to do that, and what happens next. The Falcons are good enough to have basically cruised into the Playoffs, by feasting on the weaker teams, beating one of the current Playoff field (and the Eagles, who I personally think are MUCH better than the current representative of the NFC East, but I digress…) and getting a Wild Card seed. Seeing the REGULAR SEASON numbers the Saints put up, I’ll take the 5 seed any day.

Notice the emphasis above? :) I said a couple of weeks ago that the Saints game, while important mentally and ego-wise, still boils down to regular season game, win or lose. The important one was Tampa, because that would ultimately determine what or (at the time) if we make a Playoff run.

Now the important game is the Giants. No sleepwalking, the Falcons are WIDE-AWAKE right now, this is what they’ve been basically focused on all year. Not New Orleans, not Green Bay, but this next game.

Feed

the

BEAST

GO FALCONS!

D3

January 2nd, 2012
9:30 am

Working on a new post today. The game of the year. Gotta get this one ya’ll. If Mike Smith wants to keep much of the goodwill he’s garnered over the last 4 years, we gotta win this game. Anything else must be considered an abject failure.

I think we got pretty lucky on the day and time of the game. Weather shouldn’t be as much of an issue and crowd noise won’t be as loud since they won’t have all day to tailgate and get revved up for the game.

This game is a true unknown. Were we that good in the 1st half or the Bucs that bad? Were the Giants that good last night or the Cowboys that bad? Guess we’ll know in a very short amount of time.

HAPPY NEW YEAR’S CAGE FAMILY!!!!!!! :smile: :grin: :twisted: :evil:

DePlane

January 2nd, 2012
9:41 am

The short season begins. Things have fallen into place and the goal of reaching the playoffs has been achieved. Now we will see if this team is capable of getting the “can’t win the big game” monkey of our backs. It’s win or go home…I like our prospects going into NJ….but make no mistake, this will be a tough road game in a hostile environment against a Manning and a pretty stout defensive front. If ever there was a time for thorough prepration and game planning this is it.

Happy New Year everybody!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BigLou

January 2nd, 2012
9:45 am

The Bucs are just that bad. Have you seen the last three games they played? They’ve already given up this season. Also, I don’t think the Giants are that good. The only thing they have an advantage on is their defensive line. Their secondary is suspect, and their offense is even to ours, maybe even weaker since they don’t have the playmakers we have. We’ll see. Go Falcons!

DePlane

January 2nd, 2012
9:46 am

And trademark…while not ungrateful for back to back trips to the playoffs and four winning seasons…no I’m not satisfied yet and I wonder if here are many fans who will say they are. The bar is set high after last year and to be satisfied it is going to take an impressive showing in the playoffs…and that means winning.

DePlane

January 2nd, 2012
9:48 am

@BigLou…agree sir…the Bucs stink and we did what we were supposed to do against them…blow them out.

JJ

January 2nd, 2012
9:50 am

@JJ 8:02PM, get your own name, I’ve been tarnishing mine for yrs. Do not need help with idiotic postings, I do that quite well, lol.

BT

January 2nd, 2012
9:55 am

D3
Both the Bucs and Cowboys are bad teams with the Bucs being the worst of the two.
I personally, don`t buy the 42 point half time lead as any indicaton of greatness.
It still looks to me like the Falcons lack that killer instinct.
They could have hung 60 on the Bucs in the 1st half, instead they ran Turner 8 straight plays, albeit they did score, they could have had more and avoided what was looking like a 2nd half fold.
Some say it shows a lack of class to not run up the score, I dis-agree.
The proper mindset is to score as much as possible, early often and late in the game.
It`s the opponents problem if it gets out of hand by not being able to stop the onslaught.

The Giants machup should be a good one with two fairly evenly matched teams.
That said, I have seen no indication that, the Falcons have the proper mindset to make a deep playoff run.
I hope they prove me wrong.

Ken Strickland

January 2nd, 2012
10:04 am

As long as Smitty is our HC, it won’t matter if we continue with the 4-3, or switched to the 3-4. His conservative approach, and total committment to playing that ultra soft prevent zone pass DEF, will prevent any type of DEF we play from becoming more than it is right now. Have all of you 3-4 supporters forgotten how miserably we failed in our last attempt at establishing a 3-4 DEF under then DC Wade Phillips? And if we did switch to the 3-4, do you really think we have anyone on our roster who could function as an effective nose tackle? Do you really think JAbraham, REdwards, LSidbury and KBierman are 3-4 DEs? And do you really think our core of LBs are 3-4 ready.

It takes more than just a notion or suggestion to establish a functional 3-4 DEF. The Cowboys made the move under the BIG TUNA, and their DEF has struggled with consistency every since. With the exception of the Ravens and this yrs 49ers, and look at how long it took them to finally get it right, alot of the teams that rank at or near the bottom of the NFL in total DEF run 3-4 DEFs. We don’t need to completely change our DEF to become more effective, we just need to either change our HC/DC, or he/they need to move into the 21st century with his/their DEF approach.

All anyone has to do is watch how the Saints dismantled us last week, and the Panthers yesterday, to see how utterly stupid it is for Smitty to continue thinking he can stop, or even contain, the Saints using a zone pass DEF. Their entire OFF approach, as well as the OFF approach of the Patriots, Colts, and Packers, is geared to attacking and picking apart zone DEFs. It appears that the combination of Smitty and VanGorder just aren’t innovative or forward thinking enough, or willing to come up with anything else.

You’d at least think that 2 DEF minded coaches, who’s married to playing zone DEF, would be able to come up with something better than the sorry excuse for a zone pass DEF that’s placed us at or near the bottom ranking in 3rd down effeciency, most 20+yd pass plays allowed, and overall pass DEF, for 5 consecutive yrs. I mean, is it really that difficult for either of them to realize that what they’re doing just isn’t working? Don’t you think the unbelievable success that rookie and 2nd or 3rd string backup QBs have consistently had against that DEF over the yrs should have given them a clue by now? I call it STUBBORN STUPIDITY.

BT

January 2nd, 2012
10:09 am

As for the Cowwobys.
I`m suprised Rob Ryan has not pulled his own hair out.
They can`t cover, take bad angles and they are poor tacklers.
Overall, they appear poorly coached and make way too many boneheaded mistakes.
They will be at home watching the playoffs for good reason, they are only a average to good team on a real good day.

BigLou

January 2nd, 2012
10:10 am

Ken Strickland

You’re absolutely correct, but you’re beating a dead horse by this point. The only way they will change there defensive scheme is another blowout in the playoffs(it could happen against the Saints or Packers), which could also cause coaching changes.

OC/DC Dinosaurs

January 2nd, 2012
10:45 am

Unca’ Bob
I’m calling you out for a personal attack on Sunday. If you have something to say to me, SAY IT. You don’t know anything about me, and the last time I looked it is free to post on this blog. I suggest you keep your smart @ss comments to yourself. It is not the first time you have made comments like this about me and Ken Strickland. STOP!

________________________
Unca’ Bob
January 1st, 2012
2:16 pm

Senojh@bellso,(OC/DC Dinosaurs)

No.

Please go back and reread your post. This is after all the NFL. Things tend to change week to week.

With the exception of perhaps, you.
___________________________________

BT

January 2nd, 2012
10:56 am

Spagnuolo got fired (today) along with Billy Devaney the GM of the Rams.
Was Devaney an understudy of TD?

Chop Buster

January 2nd, 2012
10:56 am

Big Lou that playoff chart came from NFL network showing winner out of Detroit and NO plays GB; winner out of Atlanta and Giants plays SF.

I agree that this is a prime opportunity for smith and company to redeem themselves with a wildcard playoff win. I think we’d have a good chance of beating SF if the chart they showed last night is correct–if we beat the Giants.

BT

January 2nd, 2012
11:00 am

Vegas has the Gents as a 3 point favorite.

Screen Pass

January 2nd, 2012
11:09 am

Spags has been set free. Hoping for the not accepting offers until after the playoffs press conference…if not then Philly will prolly be his home and our nightmare for years to come.

Big Lou

January 2nd, 2012
11:18 am

Chop Buster

Er, maybe because they assumed the Saints would win, but I’m afraid they’re wrong if they said that any winner would play either. The first seed gets the lowest winning seed, and the second seed get’s the next best.

So, if Detroit wins and the Falcons win, you have the 5th and 6th seed. That means Greenbay, who is the number one seed, would get Detroit, because they are number 6. 49ers would get the next best, which is the 5th seed, Atlanta. If the Saints win, then we become the lowest seed and we get Greenbay, since the Saints are the third seed. It’s not rocket science.

That’s why Atlanta got Green Bay last year in the playoffs, imo.

Wink

January 2nd, 2012
11:36 am

Wow they almost did it. That first half of football was exactly how I want to see our Falcons play. They attacked on both sides of the ball. Aerial attack, plus Turner, yeah Turner ran with a purpose. I know it was Tampa Bay and most the players were thinking about their vacations, it just too bad they don’t play this way against good team.

Now the second have was more like the Falcons I know, they only score a FG after putting up 42 in the first half. We got lucky again & will not have to play the Saints, due to the Packers dropping the Lions…much thanks to Packers.

I really don’t like the Cowboys, but I would have much rather played them than the Giants. Cowboys are just as Up & Down as we are.

Well we got the Giants, their O-line is over 300 across the front, pretty much mean Eli will stay clean, unless we man up & attack like we did Tampa Bay. The D-line for Giants is aggressive & quick, so I forecast a few bruises for Ryan and plenty Ice after the game, unless we go with 3 step drop & short slant routes. Mix in some screen passes that should take advantage of their ends upfield rush…which should slow them down.

Anyway, since we have to play the hand we are dealt, let try to win the game & not get embarrassed in Prime Time again. The Falcons OC & DC are on the clock…..

Good Luck Falcon & Rise Up!

BT

January 2nd, 2012
11:37 am

Big Lou,
It`s not an opinion, it`s a fact.
GB gets the lowest seed from the WC round and SF gets the higest seed.
Only two team surive the WC round to advance to the divisional round.
It`s that simple.

Big Lou

January 2nd, 2012
11:39 am

BT

That’s what I said… maybe that post should be directed to Chop Buster…

BT

January 2nd, 2012
11:49 am

Big Lou,
All I`m saying is, your correct and it ain`t just an opinion…LOL

D3

January 2nd, 2012
11:49 am

@ BT

January 2nd, 2012
9:55 am

That said, I have seen no indication that, the Falcons have the proper mindset to make a deep playoff run. I hope they prove me wrong.

Will have to exactly agree with this notion. Emotionally, I can’t let myself believe that we will definitely win. I think we can win. We should win, but that has been the case many times. I just can’t let myself be emotionally destroyed after being so hyped and excited for the playoff game vs. Packers and MNF vs. Saints. Love my Falcons and always will, but I need to see it to believe it.

Mike

January 2nd, 2012
11:51 am

Excellent post Ken…I agree with you 100%. I think we have the right pieces on defense to be effective in a 4-3. If you look over the defensive roster at each individual (I would say for the exception of DeCoud right now) I think each player is a good to very good player for their position. Overall you have Abe who most would agree has been one of the elite DE’s over the past decade. I believe our group of DT’s are very good. Lofton and Weatherspoon have turned out to be excellent line backers. Grimes is a very good CB. Over the past two seasons we have picked up two of the top defensive free agents available. Most teams would love to have William Moore in their secondary… We can all say we need to go to a 3-4…or that we should have drafted a good pass rusher rather than trading up to get Julio Jones..(other than Aldon Smith and Von Miller there really no ends or line backers that have made an instant impact on their team…I know Kerrigan and Watt have had good games…and all metioned were well off the board when Atlanta would have been picking). And we all argue that Robinson was a bust….he was a solid corner in Houston…but all the sudden here he can’t play the position? and Edwards a bust….very good in Minnesota, was that only because Jared Allen was on the other end? Our problem I think is 100% defensive scheme. Our defense looks great against o-lines that have inferior talent…however if the talent is equal or greater we can not get a pass rush. I believe that is because o-lines can look across and know exactly who their assignment is. There is nothing that we do on defense to make an o-linemen hesitate or second guess an assignment. BVG does absolutely nothing to create pressure. I do not think it is fair to put our DB’s in a soft zone, give a QB like Brees, or Rogers all day to sit back comfortably and let receivers find the holes in the zones. If we do not figure something out before this week Eli Manning will torch us as well. MM on the offensive side though not quite as predictable as BVG, but still could use a little creativity. Most OC’s would love to have our talent on offense. I would love to see what Norv Turner, Josh McDaniels, marty Mornhinweg, or even Todd Haley could do with our weapons on offense. I am not certain if it is our coordinators, or if it is Mike Smith. I like what Smitty has done for this team…I like going into seasons with expectations..and not just hoping we might be good enough to get to the playoffs..however I feel like I have seen this story in Indy before where Mora could get the Colts to the playoffs and they were one and done…and eventually to take that next step they had to make a change. I would rather us get a championship with the staff and players we have now…but my loyalty is to the team not to certain individuals…so the most important thing for me is no matter who is on the field or on the sideline….I want to see a group of Falcons hoisting the Lombardi when all has been said and done.

BigLou

January 2nd, 2012
11:56 am

BT

Oh. Cheers then!

Chop Buster

January 2nd, 2012
11:58 am

Raheem Morris just fired. We’ll have a new HC within the division. We MUST improve this defense in the offseason; includes a new DC or change in philosophy and signing defensive playmakers.

trademark

January 2nd, 2012
11:58 am

Yeah, as I said, I won’t be happy or satisfied with a first round Playoff loss either. In fat, at that point, I let the anger fly. But I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and an “atta-boy” for now for getting there. It isn’t the easiest thing in the world to do, you know.

Report from the ESPN NFC South blog that the Jaguars have asked permission to interview Mularkey for the Head Coaching position. I don’t have any further comments on that, I think the most telling answer came from the Comments section below the article….

Saintznation
No!!! Don’t go Mularkey!! The Falcons need you!!
20 Minutes Ago

LOL

Chop Buster

January 2nd, 2012
11:59 am

Big Lou/BT, thanks for the clarification. It’s not like the networks don’t ever get it wrong either. lol

BT

January 2nd, 2012
11:59 am

More Black Monday news..Raheem Morris just got canned.

snacktastic

January 2nd, 2012
12:04 pm

Had to see that one coming. The question is, should he have been fired, or did he deserve another shot?

Chop Buster

January 2nd, 2012
12:08 pm

Snack, I think his players stopped believing in him–at least that’s the way the played.

Big Lou

January 2nd, 2012
12:08 pm

Trademark

Haha. That comment was golden! The Saints love Mularkey more than we do!

You see that nobody wants VanGorder… I wonder why?

BT

January 2nd, 2012
12:11 pm

I kinda figured Morris was in way over his head from the start.
Good guy, nice secondary position coach but not HC material.

Screen Pass

January 2nd, 2012
12:16 pm

“Report from the ESPN NFC South blog that the Jaguars have asked permission to interview Mularkey for the Head Coaching position. I don’t have any further comments on that, I think the most telling answer came from the Comments section below the article….

Saintznation
No!!! Don’t go Mularkey!! The Falcons need you!!
20 Minutes Ago

LOL” – trademark

:) That is all you need to know lol. MM has been a favorite of the Taint-nation for awhile. I’m not too excited as a couple of teams asked permission to speak with MM last year…and they all passed on him after the interview. MM has not be offered an extension by us which means he is unemployed whenever the last game ends. I take it the brass is interested in a new direction since they seem to get people under contract early and fast when they want someone. If this organization resigns MM then you can count me out for next year. I will not suffer through the stench of mularkey for any more years.

Chop Buster

January 2nd, 2012
12:18 pm

Screen Pass, if you had to keep one which could you tolerate…BVG or Mularkey?

BT

January 2nd, 2012
12:19 pm

The only issue I have with jumping on the can BVG bandwagon is, he is only simply running CMS defense.
Check back, it`s the same system he ran in Jacksonville.
So, if we replaced BVG?
It would be more of the same defense with minor adjustment because CMS would still be calling the shots and setting the game plan.

Screen Pass

January 2nd, 2012
12:29 pm

“Screen Pass, if you had to keep one which could you tolerate…BVG or Mularkey?” – Chop Buster

BVG easy and all day long. Our defense has shown that it can play bump-man, exotic blitz etc. The million dollar question on D is whether Smitty is forcing BVG to remain in these passive zones that are softer than wet toilet paper.

Chop Buster

January 2nd, 2012
12:30 pm

BT, unless Dimitroff has a talk with Smitty and advises him he wants to bring in someone else with a change in defensive philosophy. We still have the same issues with this defense from 2008.

BT

January 2nd, 2012
12:36 pm

Chop Buster,
The same can be said for the Offense.
A fresh change in philosophy is need more there, imo.

Chop Buster

January 2nd, 2012
12:37 pm

I’ve always believed everything points back to the HC since it’s his team to run as he pleases. If the coordinators are calling these games based on Smittty’s direction then it’s apparent Smitty is one stubborn coach–especially when Sean Payton has said that his offense is designed to attack the zone defense. This next game will tell me how badly Smitty wants to win based on how they come out and attack the Giants.

Chop Buster

January 2nd, 2012
12:38 pm

BT, hopefully Jacksonville helps TD out with that decision and hires MM. lol

Screen Pass

January 2nd, 2012
12:45 pm

“I’ve always believed everything points back to the HC since it’s his team to run as he pleases. If the coordinators are calling these games based on Smittty’s direction then it’s apparent Smitty is one stubborn coach–especially when Sean Payton has said that his offense is designed to attack the zone defense. This next game will tell me how badly Smitty wants to win based on how they come out and attack the Giants” – Chop Buster

I agree. I would not have a problem getting rid of Smitty in the least. However, he brings stability and the players like him…is a good figure head altho his pressers this year really dropped off into the bad region. I’m not going full tilt for Smitty’s head yet simply because there is no clearly better alternative on the table yet. If Smitty leaves our new OC to do his thing and learns to defend in the new pass happy NFL, then he can stay from a stability/ likability stand-point. If we get newOC/ DC’s and the passive conservative pure fail philosophy is still stinking up the joint then can his worthless arse immediately.

BT

January 2nd, 2012
12:54 pm

The Falcons offense is predicated on sucessfully running the football.
When they run up against team that have good front 7`s on defense, their run game stalls and they are forced to pass.
Their O-line is not put together well enough to proctect Matt Ryan for 45+ pass plays in a game.
No matter who thier OC turns out to be, they must correct the issues on the O-line.
If, they expect to improve?

Screen Pass

January 2nd, 2012
1:06 pm

“No matter who thier OC turns out to be, they must correct the issues on the O-line.
If, they expect to improve?” – BT

Our current O-line is a patchwork of contradictions. We are employing a run first scheme with no run-mauling O-line men then switch to a playaction / oldschool Reeves deep strike with no dominant pass protection O-linemen that can give the 4-5 secs necessary for those play to develop. Throw in MM being predictable in timing and in formation and you have the recipe for disaster which keeps rearing its ugly head against non patsy teams. If we switch to a passing philosphy that utilizes screen/ check down passing to punish heavy blitzers like the Taints mixed with quick hit crossing/ YAC routes to minimize play development time then we can hide our O-line flaws until they can be rectified. It’s very simple…keep MM and they old school way you must get DOMINANT O-line men or switch to a WCO / hybrid passing offense that utilizes scheme to punish/ spread attacking defenses.

BT

January 2nd, 2012
1:47 pm

Agreed, Screen Pass.
We face an enigma.
It`s hard to argure against the current regimes sucess, considering their starting point after the `07 season but on the flip side, it`s hard to argue against the idea that, there are inherent design flaws and philosophy.

JJ

January 2nd, 2012
2:29 pm

UGA- pour it on, unlike our falcons!

trademark

January 2nd, 2012
2:35 pm

I dunno, I really want to reserve judgement for this entire year until after the first Playoff game…I want to see if we and the rest of the league have been duped by this “other” version of the Falcons that rears it’s ugly head from time to time. I mean, strategically speaking, it has it’s merits…you don’t provide the other teams with much film to analyze except the same boring, predictable plays. And your players get a little in-game rest….but that’s more of a conspiracy theory, easy to believe, but probably not grounded in much fact. Why would they risk missing the Playoffs or sacrifice a home field advantage? Nah, I think somehow they got out of rhythm against some of the better teams we faced on our schedule. But still….it really does seem like whenever they want to, the Falcons can really turn it loose. Weird year. We’ll see what happens after the game in NJ.

I think I’ve said all I CAN say about Mularkey…he’s got some skills, but his offenses throughout his career are ranked right smack dab in the middle of the pack. This year is one of his better ones, actually (scary, huh?)

As far as BVG, and whether or not he’s playing Smith’s defense, I will submit to you that the answer here is no, and here’s why:

Raheem Morris.

Here’s a guy who was a brilliant defensive coordinator, and as soon as his “powers” shifted to the Head coaching spot, the Tampa defense turns into the laughing stock of the NFL. And even after he decided to take up more day to day responsibility for the D this year, it was so far gone, and he couldn’t dedicate enough time to it, that it deteriorated even further. Head Coaches have a ridiculous amount of responsibility in the activities of the whole team, but offensive and defensive scheming? That HAS to be handled by the coordinators. The Head Coach just can’t detail that much. When he looks at his situational play sheet (submitted by the staff during the week) and all he’s got is that gd’ed soft-zone, what is he supposed to do? He HAS to trust his coordinators. Sorry guys, that soft-zone crap is all BVG. Smith is a REx Ryan student, and coached Ray Lewis, Boulware, Sharper and Thomas at Baltimore. His defenses in Jacksonville were hard-nosed and aggressive, and ranked as high as 2nd in the league in his tenure. They went to crap after he left, because while Del Rio took the credit for the hard-core attitude of the Jacksonville defense, he didn’t engineer it. Smith did. Now Smith is our Head Coach, and while he gets lots of input of several issues, the defensive design….or lack of it…comes from van Gorder. And that soft-zone is a joke.

trademark

January 2nd, 2012
2:39 pm

Blog monster eating my posts…what’s up?

trademark

January 2nd, 2012
2:39 pm

I dunno, I really want to reserve judgement for this entire year until after the first Playoff game…I want to see if we and the rest of the league have been duped by this “other” version of the Falcons that rears it’s ugly head from time to time. I mean, strategically speaking, it has it’s merits…you don’t provide the other teams with much film to analyze except the same boring, predictable plays. And your players get a little in-game rest….but that’s more of a conspiracy theory, easy to believe, but probably not grounded in much fact. Why would they risk missing the Playoffs or sacrifice a home field advantage? Nah, I think somehow they got out of rhythm against some of the better teams we faced on our schedule. But still….it really does seem like whenever they want to, the Falcons can really turn it loose. Weird year. We’ll see what happens after the game in NJ.

I think I’ve said all I CAN say about Mularkey…he’s got some skills, but his offenses throughout his career are ranked right smack dab in the middle of the pack. This year is one of his better ones, actually (scary, huh?)

As far as BVG, and whether or not he’s playing Smith’s defense, I will submit to you that the answer here is no, and here’s why:

Raheem Morris.

Here’s a guy who was a brilliant defensive coordinator, and as soon as his “powers” shifted to the Head coaching spot, the Tampa defense turns into the laughing stock of the NFL. And even after he decided to take up more day to day responsibility for the D this year, it was so far gone, and he couldn’t dedicate enough time to it, that it deteriorated even further. Head Coaches have a ridiculous amount of responsibility in the activities of the whole team, but offensive and defensive scheming? That HAS to be handled by the coordinators. The Head Coach just can’t detail that much. When he looks at his situational play sheet (submitted by the staff during the week) and all he’s got is that gd’ed soft-zone, what is he supposed to do? He HAS to trust his coordinators. Sorry guys, that soft-zone crap is all BVG. Smith is a REx Ryan student, and coached Ray Lewis, Boulware, Sharper and Thomas at Baltimore. His defenses in Jacksonville were hard-nosed and aggressive, and ranked as high as 2nd in the league in his tenure. They went to crap after he left, because while Del Rio took the credit for the hard-core attitude of the Jacksonville defense, he didn’t engineer it. Smith did. Now Smith is our Head Coach, and while he gets lots of input of several issues, the defensive design….or lack of it…comes from van Gorder. And that soft-zone is a bad joke.

JB FALCON

January 2nd, 2012
2:53 pm

JJ, I was beginning to think the GA game was going to end 2-0, then the dam broke. Two very good teams and a very good game.

trademark

January 2nd, 2012
3:00 pm

I dunno, I really want to reserve judgement for this entire year until after the first Playoff game…I want to see if we and the rest of the league have been duped by this “other” version of the Falcons that rears it’s ugly head from time to time. I mean, strategically speaking, it has it’s merits…you don’t provide the other teams with much film to analyze except the same boring, predictable plays. And your players get a little in-game rest….but that’s more of a conspiracy theory, easy to believe, but probably not grounded in much fact. Why would they risk missing the Playoffs or sacrifice a home field advantage? Nah, I think somehow they got out of rhythm against some of the better teams we faced on our schedule. But still….it really does seem like whenever they want to, the Falcons can really turn it loose. Weird year. We’ll see what happens after the game in NJ.
I think I’ve said all I CAN say about Mularkey…he’s got some skills, but his offenses throughout his career are ranked right smack dab in the middle of the pack. This year is one of his better ones, actually (scary, huh?)
As far as BVG, and whether or not he’s playing Smith’s defense, I will submit to you that the answer here is no, and here’s why:
Raheem Morris.
Here’s a guy who was a brilliant defensive coordinator, and as soon as his “powers” shifted to the Head coaching spot, the Tampa defense turns into the laughing stock of the NFL. And even after he decided to take up more day to day responsibility for the D this year, it was so far gone, and he couldn’t dedicate enough time to it, that it deteriorated even further. Head Coaches have a ridiculous amount of responsibility in the activities of the whole team, but offensive and defensive scheming? That HAS to be handled by the coordinators. The Head Coach just can’t detail that much. When he looks at his situational play sheet (submitted by the staff during the week) and all he’s got is that gd’ed soft-zone, what is he supposed to do? He HAS to trust his coordinators. Sorry guys, that soft-zone crap is all BVG. Smith is a REx Ryan student, and coached Ray Lewis, Boulware, Sharper and Thomas at Baltimore. His defenses in Jacksonville were hard-nosed and aggressive, and ranked as high as 2nd in the league in his tenure. They went to crap after he left, because while Del Rio took the credit for the hard-core attitude of the Jacksonville defense, he didn’t engineer it. Smith did. Now Smith is our Head Coach, and while he gets lots of input of several issues, the defensive design….or lack of it…comes from van Gorder. And that soft-zone is a joke.

JJ

January 2nd, 2012
3:13 pm

JB, I may have spoke too soon. Come on DOGS!!!

Screen Pass

January 2nd, 2012
3:13 pm

Lol, the Jags fans are entering the “Mularkey Zone”. Just like us 4 yrs ago the simple questions start..

Fan 1 – This MM sounds ok, I mean look at Atlanta and their stats. He must be pretty good.

Fan 2 – I don’t know. I’ve read about him at his last stops and they are all negative. If he is so good then why is he loathed by fans fron EVERY team he has coached for? I mean, is half the civilized world wrong?

Fan 1 – They are idiots, what could fans possibly know about things complex like coaching?

Fan 3 – Gabbert has a noodle arm. If we could give all our draft picks and trade a few players for Vick we would win it all.

The Tuna – We should be happy we even have coaches. I mean we won more than one game so maybe we should be thankful for a change..it isn’t like anything really means anything cause I said so

Fan 2 – I got a bad feeling about this guy, something just doesn’t add up here…

:) Other teams blogs are so fun lol.

Screen Pass

January 2nd, 2012
3:15 pm

Lol, the Jags fans are entering the “Mularkey Zone”. Just like us 4 yrs ago the simple questions start..

Fan 1 – This MM sounds ok, I mean look at Atlanta and their stats. He must be pretty good.

Fan 2 – I don’t know. I’ve read about him at his last stops and they are all negative. If he is so good then why is he loathed by fans fron EVERY team he has coached for? I mean, is half the civilized world wrong?

Fan 1 – They are idiots, what could fans possibly know about things complex like coaching?

Fan 3 – Gabbert has a noodle arm. If we could give all our draft picks and trade a few players for Vick we would win it all.

The Tuna – We should be happy we even have coaches. I mean we won more than one game so maybe we should be thankful for a change..it isn’t like anything really means anything cause I said so

Fan 2 – I got a bad feeling about this guy, something just doesn’t add up here…

Other teams blogs are so fun lol. Good luck with your chance and choice Jax.

Screen Pass

January 2nd, 2012
3:16 pm

blog monster check

Screen Pass

January 2nd, 2012
3:17 pm

Grrrr. fubm
Lol, the Jags fans are entering the “Mularkey Zone”. Just like us 4 yrs ago the simple questions start.
Fan 1 – This MM sounds ok, I mean look at Atlanta and their stats. He must be pretty good.
Fan 2 – I don’t know. I’ve read about him at his last stops and they are all negative. If he is so good then why is he loathed by fans fron EVERY team he has coached for? I mean, is half the civilized world wrong?
Fan 1 – They are idiots, what could fans possibly know about things complex like coaching?
Fan 3 – Gabbert has a noodle arm. If we could give all our draft picks and trade a few players for Vick we would win it all.

The Tuna – We should be happy we even have coaches. I mean we won more than one game so maybe we should be thankful for a change..it isn’t like anything really means anything cause I said so

Fan 2 – I got a bad feeling about this guy, something just doesn’t add up here.
Other teams blogs are so fun lol. Good luck with your chance and choice Jax.

Screen Pass

January 2nd, 2012
3:18 pm

Grrrr. fubm
Lol, the Jags fans are entering the “Mularkey Zone”. Just like us 4 yrs ago the simple questions start.
Fan 1 – This MM sounds ok, I mean look at Atlanta and their stats. He must be pretty good.
Fan 2 – I don’t know. I’ve read about him at his last stops and they are all negative. If he is so good then why is he loathed by fans fron EVERY team he has coached for? I mean, is half the civilized world wrong?
Fan 1 – They are idiots, what could fans possibly know about things complex like coaching?
Fan 3 – Gabbert has a noodle arm. If we could give all our draft picks and trade a few players for Vick we would win it all.
The Tuna – We should be happy we even have coaches. I mean we won more than one game so maybe we should be thankful for a change..it isn’t like anything really means anything cause I said so.
Fan 2 – I got a bad feeling about this guy, something just doesn’t add up here.
Other teams blogs are so fun lol. Good luck with your chance and choice Jax.

JB FALCON

January 2nd, 2012
3:31 pm

JJ, if you didn’t you sho nuff have now!

DePlane

January 2nd, 2012
3:31 pm

Was that ball tipped?

DePlane

January 2nd, 2012
3:32 pm

Dang it Dawgs…c’mon!

DePlane

January 2nd, 2012
3:34 pm

Yep, is it the chicken or the egg with CMS and this coaching staff? Hard to say…but I enjoy ya’ll’s assessment of the situation :)

JB FALCON

January 2nd, 2012
3:35 pm

Oh well, back to a two point game.

Ken Strickland

January 2nd, 2012
3:44 pm

I’ve been watching all of the firings and expected firing, that have taken place. There will be a lot of HC, OC and DC vacancies this season, and there are at least a couple of teams that have our own OC MMularkey high on their list. If he goes, what do we do? If we rep[lace him from within, it means Smitty wants to maintain control of the OFF and OFF approach. If we bring in an OC from outside, who’s approach is more 21st century, will that set well with Smitty’s conservative and predictable 20th century approach?

Another question is, will anyone, with the resume that’s needed to improve our overall OFF and move it into the 21st century, actually take the OC position knowing Smitty might possibly cause problems by imposing his contradictory approach? Where we need the most help, and where the most changes are needed, is on DEF. And since Smitty is a former DC, and is suppose to actually know how to construct and run a DEF, it will be hard for there to be any meaningful DEF changes brought in from the outside.

It doesn’t do any doggone good for us to have as much speed, quickness, youth and athleticism as we have, if we’re going to end up consistently and unsuccessfully playing so damned much zone pass DEF. Smitty has to get it through his thick head that our CBs and safeties have been unsuccessful at playing his beloved zone pass DEF. We are the only NFL team that consistently gives receivers an 8-10yd cushion, which allows them to consistently attack our secondary, and come off the line at full speed completely untouched.

JB FALCON

January 2nd, 2012
4:02 pm

The worm just turned for the Dawgs. 20-19. So we go from +2 to -1. Close game, to say the least.

DePlane

January 2nd, 2012
4:08 pm

JB…and the worm turns for Mich St.! And they get the two…sweet! Now its on the D…

Ken Strickland

January 2nd, 2012
4:10 pm

If you’re playing a zone pass DEF, especially a cover 2 type zone, what is the advantage of playing your CBs 8-10yds off the WRs? So far, it’s only made our CBs and secondary the NFLs most vulnerable to slants, quick outs and underneath patterns, as well as WR screens. Also, what’s the advantage of allowing receivers to consistently come off the line untouched?

All it does is allow them a better opportunity to read the DEF and find the holes in the zone much quicker than if they were being challenged at the line. It also makes us extremely vulnerable to timing patterns? Now, don’t you think Smitty, as a former DC, should know this, or at least have enough sense to figure it out by now?

DePlane

January 2nd, 2012
4:13 pm

That’s what I’m talkin’ bout!

trademark

January 2nd, 2012
4:28 pm

(Blog Monster re-type…)
I dunno, I really want to reserve judgement for this entire year until after the first Playoff game…I want to see if we and the rest of the league have been duped by this “other” version of the Falcons that rears it’s ugly head from time to time. I mean, strategically speaking, it has it’s merits…you don’t provide the other teams with much film to analyze except the same boring, predictable plays. And your players get a little in-game rest….but that’s more of a conspiracy theory, easy to believe, but probably not grounded in much fact. Why would they risk missing the Playoffs or sacrifice a home field advantage? Nah, I think somehow they got out of rhythm against some of the better teams we faced on our schedule. But still….it really does seem like whenever they want to, the Falcons can really turn it loose. Weird year. We’ll see what happens after the game in NJ.

I think I’ve said all I CAN say about Mularkey…he’s got some skills, but his offenses throughout his career are ranked right smack dab in the middle of the pack. This year is one of his better ones, actually (scary, huh?)

As far as BVG, and whether or not he’s playing Smith’s defense, I will submit to you that the answer here is no, and here’s why:

Raheem Morris.

Here’s a guy who was a brilliant defensive coordinator, and as soon as his “powers” shifted to the Head coaching spot, the Tampa defense turns into the laughing stock of the NFL. And even after he decided to take up more day to day responsibility for the D this year, it was so far gone, and he couldn’t dedicate enough time to it, that it deteriorated even further. Head Coaches have a ridiculous amount of responsibility in the activities of the whole team, but offensive and defensive scheming? That HAS to be handled by the coordinators. The Head Coach just can’t detail that much. When he looks at his situational play sheet (submitted by the staff during the week) and all he’s got is that gd’ed soft-zone, what is he supposed to do? He HAS to trust his coordinators. Sorry guys, that soft-zone crap is all BVG. Smith is a REx Ryan student, and coached Ray Lewis, Boulware, Sharper and Thomas at Baltimore. His defenses in Jacksonville were hard-nosed and aggressive, and ranked as high as 2nd in the league in his tenure. They went to crap after he left, because while Del Rio took the credit for the hard-core attitude of the Jacksonville defense, he didn’t engineer it. Smith did. Now Smith is our Head Coach, and while he gets lots of input of several issues, the defensive design….or lack of it…comes from van Gorder. And that soft-zone is a joke.

trademark

January 2nd, 2012
4:29 pm

I thinks DOL is monitoring, he loves to block my long posts…..

trademark

January 2nd, 2012
4:29 pm

I dunno, I really want to reserve judgement for this entire year until after the first Playoff game…I want to see if we and the rest of the league have been duped by this “other” version of the Falcons that rears it’s ugly head from time to time. I mean, strategically speaking, it has it’s merits…you don’t provide the other teams with much film to analyze except the same boring, predictable plays. And your players get a little in-game rest….but that’s more of a conspiracy theory, easy to believe, but probably not grounded in much fact. Why would they risk missing the Playoffs or sacrifice a home field advantage? Nah, I think somehow they got out of rhythm against some of the better teams we faced on our schedule. But still….it really does seem like whenever they want to, the Falcons can really turn it loose. Weird year. We’ll see what happens after the game in NJ.

I think I’ve said all I CAN say about Mularkey…he’s got some skills, but his offenses throughout his career are ranked right smack dab in the middle of the pack. This year is one of his better ones, actually (scary, huh?)

trademark

January 2nd, 2012
4:29 pm

As far as BVG, and whether or not he’s playing Smith’s defense, I will submit to you that the answer here is no, and here’s why:

Raheem Morris.

Here’s a guy who was a brilliant defensive coordinator, and as soon as his “powers” shifted to the Head coaching spot, the Tampa defense turns into the laughing stock of the NFL. And even after he decided to take up more day to day responsibility for the D this year, it was so far gone, and he couldn’t dedicate enough time to it, that it deteriorated even further. Head Coaches have a ridiculous amount of responsibility in the activities of the whole team, but offensive and defensive scheming? That HAS to be handled by the coordinators. The Head Coach just can’t detail that much. When he looks at his situational play sheet (submitted by the staff during the week) and all he’s got is that gd’ed soft-zone, what is he supposed to do? He HAS to trust his coordinators. Sorry guys, that soft-zone crap is all BVG. Smith is a REx Ryan student, and coached Ray Lewis, Boulware, Sharper and Thomas at Baltimore. His defenses in Jacksonville were hard-nosed and aggressive, and ranked as high as 2nd in the league in his tenure. They went to crap after he left, because while Del Rio took the credit for the hard-core attitude of the Jacksonville defense, he didn’t engineer it. Smith did. Now Smith is our Head Coach, and while he gets lots of input of several issues, the defensive design….or lack of it…comes from van Gorder. And that soft-zone is a joke.

trademark

January 2nd, 2012
4:30 pm

As far as BVG, and whether or not he’s playing Smith’s defense, I will submit to you that the answer here is no, and here’s why: Raheem Morris. Here’s a guy who was a brilliant defensive coordinator, and as soon as his “powers” shifted to the Head coaching spot, the Tampa defense turns into the laughing stock of the NFL. And even after he decided to take up more day to day responsibility for the D this year, it was so far gone, and he couldn’t dedicate enough time to it, that it deteriorated even further. Head Coaches have a ridiculous amount of responsibility in the activities of the whole team, but offensive and defensive scheming? That HAS to be handled by the coordinators.

trademark

January 2nd, 2012
4:31 pm

The Head Coach just can’t detail that much. When he looks at his situational play sheet (submitted by the staff during the week) and all he’s got is that gd’ed soft-zone, what is he supposed to do? He HAS to trust his coordinators. Sorry guys, that soft-zone crap is all BVG. Smith is a REx Ryan student, and coached Ray Lewis, Boulware, Sharper and Thomas at Baltimore. His defenses in Jacksonville were hard-nosed and aggressive, and ranked as high as 2nd in the league in his tenure. They went to crap after he left, because while Del Rio took the credit for the hard-core attitude of the Jacksonville defense, he didn’t engineer it. Smith did. Now Smith is our Head Coach, and while he gets lots of input of several issues, the defensive design….or lack of it…comes from van Gorder. And that soft-zone is a joke.

trademark

January 2nd, 2012
4:32 pm

hmmmm…ok, that is most of my post…in segments….it didn’t like the BVG reference I guess…man, c’mon, I didn’t even call him any names!

JB FALCON

January 2nd, 2012
4:40 pm

Ball is on the one yard line, 3 feet,or 36 inches. Penalty, half the distance = 18 inches. Another penalty, half the distance = 9 inches. I think that is the first time I’ve ever seen that.

Chop Buster

January 2nd, 2012
4:55 pm

“If Smitty leaves our new OC to do his thing and learns to defend in the new pass happy NFL, then he can stay from a stability/ likability stand-point. If we get newOC/ DC’s and the passive conservative pure fail philosophy is still stinking up the joint then can his worthless arse immediately.” – Screen Pass

Agree. Smitty should be more of a manager/motivator and leave the game planning to the OC and DC. When something’s not working Smitty should hold his coordinators accountable and have them make the necessary adjustments. I just think Smitty gets too involved in the weeds when he shouldn’t be. There’s nothing wrong with having a run philosophy–it just shouldn’t be a run FIRST philosophy. Turner is a decent RB I just don’t feel he has enough change of direction ability and runs the ball with power consistently.

snacktastic

January 2nd, 2012
5:02 pm

They’ve announced the home/road opponents for next season, and it’s not looking bad to me at first glance. The Eagles will probably bounce back, and the Saints are always an issue, but everything else looks winnable.

JB FALCON

January 2nd, 2012
5:18 pm

Relax and take the day off. Sure, I’m just gonna watch this GA game. 4 hours and 15 min, 3OT’s later, I am totally wore out! Relax my butt, can you get too old to watch football?

D3

January 2nd, 2012
5:34 pm

all posts in. blog monster acting a fool for some reason.

Ken Strickland

January 2nd, 2012
5:39 pm

If we come out against the Giants with the idea that we can stop or contain them with that stupid ultra soft zone pass DEF, then we’re in for another playoff whipping. Manning will simply do what almost every other QB has done to it this yr, and that’s pick it apart. And if we think we can establish the run by running almost exclusively up the middle against their DEF, again, we’re in for another playoff whipping.

Honestly, I don’t see us changing anything, because Smitty is too conservative, and coaches too scared, to make changes at this point.

JB FALCON

January 2nd, 2012
6:39 pm

I had some fake one million dollar bills printed up as an advertising gimmick for my business. I handed one to a valet one time and he asked if I had one that wasn’t wrinkled, or so they say.

[...] Falcons Embarrassed by Saints [...]

BT

January 2nd, 2012
8:01 pm

2012 schedule breakdown

Next season, the Falcons will play Dallas, New York Giants, San Diego, Arizona, Tampa Bay, New Orleans and Carolina at home. On the road, they will face Philadelphia, Washington, Denver, Kansas City, Detroit, Tampa Bay, New Orleans and Carolina.

Not so tough schedule, IMO

JB FALCON

January 2nd, 2012
8:11 pm

I shouldn’t be posting a link to one of DOL’s articles but perhaps reading it would help some folks realize that MS is not a bumbling, stupid, ignorant, moron that he has been called here. I’m sure D3 will understand.

http://www.ajc.com/sports/atlanta-falcons/smith-looks-for-ways-1286362.html

Unca' Bob

January 2nd, 2012
8:12 pm

BT,

If the past has shown us anything, we have no idea who may emerge in any given year. Everyone is scarey and we’ve yet to play the Giant’s this year. I do love how it could shake down next year.

falcon21

January 2nd, 2012
8:32 pm

Your missing a home game BT.

JB FALCON

January 2nd, 2012
8:41 pm

Someone asked me about my 6:39 post about the million dollar bill. My point was, some people will complain about anything, that’s just what they do.. Same as my 8:11 post.
We’re in the playoffs!! We cannot crap magic miracles. I was raised to be thankful for what you have instead of always complaining about what you don’t have. Beating a dead horse will NOT bring him back alive. Please excuse my if I happen to offend anyone but if the shoe fits, wear it.

JB FALCON

January 2nd, 2012
8:47 pm

Just checked the ESPN headlines, sure is a lot of heads rolling.

darrell starks

January 2nd, 2012
8:52 pm

JB FALCON, If the Falcons want’s to win in the playoffs, the Falcons must bring back Dirty Birds blitz on defense, first half of the Falcons game sunday they played aggressive on defense and attack, and second half defense went back to this sorry a$$ cover 2 zone again, my blame this game if continue to play this sorry cover 2 will not be on BVG but the head coach.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WR

January 2nd, 2012
9:13 pm

Evening cage, I don’t want to jinx the Falcons based on what I have been saying all year but this playoff season has set up the same way as GB went through last year. If the Falcons beat the Giants they more then likely go to GB to play the number one seed. If the Saints take care of Detroit and the Niners, the Falcons face their arch enemy in the NFC championship. Now reflection: GB beats a team in the 1st rd, go to Atlanta and upset the #1 seed, then face their arch enemy in the NFC championship, that being the Bears. How did it all start, Aaron Rodgers got hot, we can talk the team peaked at the right time all we want but Aaron Rodgers got hot is the theme to that season. Now look at the Birds, Uncle Bob use to say the Falcons will go as far as Ryan can take them, whether blaming the OL or the D when Ryan was on fans have believed in the Falcons chances. Ryan is currently on fire now, sure they took a step back against NO a couple weeks ago, but it wasn’t because of their QB.

Not that anyone cares but I have had conversations with my father about the Falcons, I have watched and listened to good analyst conversations about the Falcons, and when given the chance I have mixed post with the cage about the Falcons, the one common theme: If the Falcons come out and play aggressive defense, they can beat anyone, if they come out with that soft fake Tampa 2 zone, its one and done again. Now I’m not a Murlarkey fan, think the guy should be gone after this season, but his O won’t hurt the Falcons this post season, but whether its Smitty’s D or BVG’s D that could hurt the Falcons, for some reason I believe we will see more then we have seen from the pair, if we do, the Falcons will soar.

darrell starks

January 2nd, 2012
9:16 pm

One thing if Falcons have not learn so far, that Turner do not run good on the road or grass.
Quizz and Snelling will be the key in the running game.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!

falcon21

January 2nd, 2012
9:26 pm

How does he run on snow and ice Darrell? It is possible. His bowling ball body may be a good thing, lol.

darrell starks

January 2nd, 2012
9:29 pm

Why not play Snelling fullback ? the guy block and give you another weapon on offense.
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!

darrell starks

January 2nd, 2012
9:34 pm

falcon21 LOL!!!!!!!!!!

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

falcon21

January 2nd, 2012
9:35 pm

I do agree Darrell.

falcon21

January 2nd, 2012
9:58 pm

Good post WR, I think we will win this one but I do hope for good weather. Maybe SW can help us out. Later Cage, back to the real world.

JB FALCON

January 2nd, 2012
10:13 pm

MS done checked out the weather. I’m with you WR!

LRD

January 2nd, 2012
10:21 pm

Key to the Giants game very well may be matt bryant an his ability to kick with the swirling winds of the new meadowlands. Maybe he was out practicing this evening with the gusts we have had here….

Chop Buster

January 2nd, 2012
10:23 pm

Justin Tuck is already trying to label the OL as dirty players calling them “dirt bags”. Well then, they should live up to his expectations.

Screen Pass

January 2nd, 2012
10:30 pm

“Why not play Snelling fullback ? the guy block and give you another weapon on offense” – DS

We have in the past and Cox was out so Snelling played FB against TB. He has been “played” there but as always, MM did not use him as a weapon, just a blocker. Snelling and Turner in the same backfield would allow a competent OC to give a DC hell trying to match the possible way they could be used, unfortunately we don’t have that kind of OC.

Screen Pass

January 2nd, 2012
10:38 pm

“Lol, the Jags fans are entering the “Mularkey Zone”. Just like us 4 yrs ago the simple questions start..

Fan 1 – This MM sounds ok, I mean look at Atlanta and their stats. He must be pretty good.

Fan 2 – I don’t know. I’ve read about him at his last stops and they are all negative. If he is so good then why is he loathed by fans fron EVERY team he has coached for? I mean, is half the civilized world wrong?

Fan 1 – They are idiots, what could fans possibly know about things complex like coaching?

Fan 3 – Gabbert has a noodle arm. If we could give all our draft picks and trade a few players for Vick we would win it all.

The Tuna – We should be happy we even have coaches. I mean we won more than one game so maybe we should be thankful for a change..it isn’t like anything really means anything cause I said so

Fan 2 – I got a bad feeling about this guy, something just doesn’t add up here…

Other teams blogs are so fun lol.” – Screen Pass

Hey the blog monster finally let this go. I was wrong. Jax has already gotten permission for 5 interviews, MM only lasted a min on the Jax board. They may not have many fans but it seems they are smart enough to not fall for Mularkey.
On the plus side, Falcon blogs are full of “get Spags here” threads. Might not help but it is nice to see Atlanta has fans with a clue too lol.
The Giants site on SB has been reletively quiet as they seem to just be happy to get in the playoffs. There are of course a couple of homers spouting off about how bad Atlanta is and how great the Giants are but not many yet.

Big Lou

January 2nd, 2012
11:51 pm

Go Hawks! I mean, never mind. So, has Mularkey been hired yet? lol

trademark

January 3rd, 2012
3:06 am

oh geez…sorry for that….didn’t want to post that like 50 times…I really thought they got eaten! LOL

trademark

January 3rd, 2012
3:12 am

I want to sincerely thank Mr. Justin Tuck for voluntarily saying something that is such incredibly stupid good bulletin board material, it will practically guarantee him a bloody mouth on Sunday. Thanks man! What a guy! ,)

[...] Falcons Embarrassed by Saints [...]

John Waynesworld

January 3rd, 2012
8:06 am

The above poster has a curved backbone, much like a dog. Get my drift, techno-suck?

Wabe

January 3rd, 2012
8:49 am

The Falcons are playing a Giants team that was considered dead by many not too long ago.

It’s not as if they went on a miraculous run like the Packers did last season.

They snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against the Cowboys the first time those teams played. Then they lose to the Redskins, and their backs are up against the wall.

They finish the season beating the imploding Jets, and then the imploding Cowboys.

However, although their resume doesn’t impress, the talent on their team is undeniable. They’ve got talent in areas that can cause us problems, and they do have the make-up of a team that can make noise in the playoffs.

I think this week, IMO, the Falcons need to get that ball out of Ryan’s hands quickly. Utilize the short intermediate passing game. Watch tape of and see the half-time adjustments Garrett made last week against the Giants when down 21-0. They started getting Romo to throw the ball quicker, rather than going after that secondary down the field.

trademark

January 3rd, 2012
9:36 am

The above poster is a loser Saints fans that only posts on other teams’ web sites…especially those that are threats to them….stop being so damned scared! You have a good team, congrats. Go celebrate somewhere else.

trademark

January 3rd, 2012
10:54 am

The Giants were actually my pre.season “Dark Horse”. Nobody seemed to be paying attention to them, and I consider them very, very dangerous.

That being said….

There are glaring weaknesses we can exploit on them. They are absolutely 1-dimensional, with no run offense to speak of, but their passing game is pretty impressive. Again, though, it is 1-dimensional, everything big is filtered through Cruz. GET PRESSURE up front, and our corners can handle him, hell, they have to match up with Steve Smith and Colston all damned year, we’re used to it. Our linebackers are fast and smart enough to adjust IF the Giants want to see if they want to try their hand at rushing, but I doubt it. They’ll stick to what got them to the dance. On the offensive side, ground and pound seems attractive, but their secondary is so bad….look, their pass-rush is great, but their secondary is AWFUL. They leak yardage and points, and our receivers and TG should be able to run free all day. Rushing or passing, our Offense has an edge here.
It COULD be a shoot-out….it looks that way on paper. Usually these things end up just the opposite. I still don’t see any way for the Giants to keep our Offense down for long. And Manning the Other this year can be error prone. Keep a balanced attack on Offense, generate some pressure on D, create a turnover, and we’re in business.

GO FALCONS!

Chop Buster

January 3rd, 2012
11:17 am

If we can get after Manning the way we got after Freeman we can force Manning into turnovers. Our defense needs to get back to shutting down the run and making the Giants one-dimensional. The last time we played them Kevin Boss abused our secondary. I don’t think they have the same level of play from their TE position. Shut ‘em down Falcons!!!

D3

January 3rd, 2012
11:22 am

Looks like a certain someone IS entering that category everyone loves to talk about so much……….

By Pat YasinskasIn yet another way, it looks like Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees were pretty much even this season.

According to Total QBR, Rodgers and Brees were by far the two best quarterbacks in the league in 2011. There was only the slightest difference between them.

Rodgers finished the season with an 85.2 Total QBR and Brees was second in the league at 84.0. After that, there was a big drop to third place — Tom Brady at 74.2 and Tony Romo (70.1) were the only other quarterbacks above 70.

But the NFC South did have another top-five quarterback in this category. Atlanta’s Matt Ryan was No. 5 at 67.5.

Chop Buster

January 3rd, 2012
11:43 am

I knew Ryan can sling the rock from his BC days. I think a number of things have affected his stats this year, e.g., lack of protection and all the dropped balls. If or OL and WRs step it u Matt can have a strong game against the Giants. I just hope Smitty and company gives him the keys to drive this machine pass the Giants.

trademark

January 3rd, 2012
11:52 am

Geez….how many of those drops were potential game winners, drive-killers and such….can you imagine where Ryan would have ranked if they caught just 50% of those?

Coop

January 3rd, 2012
11:57 am

Trade – Drop (Julio) cost us the Houston game for sure. RW dropped a TD in the first NO game too. How about those 2 drops alone cost us the NFC South and the 3 seed.

Chop Buster

January 3rd, 2012
12:01 pm

Imagine the additional games we would have won? The only other thing I’d like to see from Matt is more consistency in his level of play. I believe the team as a whole has had a up and down season.

Screen Pass

January 3rd, 2012
12:31 pm

“Imagine the additional games we would have won? The only other thing I’d like to see from Matt is more consistency in his level of play.” – Chop Buster

In all fairness, M. Ryan has had to play in a run first scheme instead of passing systems like Rodgers and Brees enjoy. I have no doubt M. Ryan would match or possibly exceed Brees if he was put into the Saints scheme…other than mobility they are quite similar in passing characteristics with Ryan actually possibly having the edge in accuracy. Brees gets his stats padded with an effective screen game and some stats I’ve seen suggest his accuracy in mid-range passing is below Ryan’s. The final “official” stats may be out now, I haven’t looked yet.
I will pull back on “bagging” our CS to not give the Giant trolls and homers ammo, but make no mistake the thing holding M. Ryan back isn’t M. Ryan. I see alot of idiots saying he needs a playoff win to be considered elite which is pure bunk but I don’t think it will matter after this Sunday. If the weather is a factor in the game, our CS’s usually fail scheme will actually be a plus. I see us winning Sunday even tho I think it will be close due to letting off the gas as usual.

Big Ray

January 3rd, 2012
1:02 pm

Rodney Harrison and Tony Dungy breakin’ down the Falcons playoff chances…

Rodney Harrison hit it on the head. He spoke about the Falcons defense.

He said the Falcons zone-base scheme is a concern. He said that teams can zero in on John Abraham, make him a non-factor, and this leaves the Falcons hopeless in respects to applying pressure because the Falcons generally rush 4 and sit back in zones. He said they don’t get after the QB, and he said we saw the result of what happens when you do that against a team like NOLA.

There it is. Will be addressed in the offseason.

Big Ray

January 3rd, 2012
1:05 pm

As for how much we’re paying TG to stick around next season – I don’t have a problem with it. Dude caught 80 passes this season, scored what….7 TDs?

If we’re gonna complain, let’s talk about Dunta Robinson and $57 million……

Giants are already talking about our offensive line being “dirty.” Really. And we’ve played them how many times? Talking out of their arses, and trying to play up to the officials ahead of time. Now THAT is what I call dirty….

Coop

January 3rd, 2012
1:07 pm

Big Ray – Thanks. Lik eI told my Dad, if a football idiot like I can see what the defensive issues are with this team, why can’t our high-paid coach. Gruden was nearly mocking us on Monday Night Football. Everyone in the universe can see the issue except CMS. I’m not blaming BVG anymore. If this was all him, then CMS should have fired him last year. Same goes with conservative OC playcalling.

Mike Smith is running this team. He may not call each individual play, but he’s dictating the style of play (run first, control the clock, play zone, don’t get beat deep, etc.).

At a certain point, you gotta start listening to EVERYONE else in the world (except JB Falcon) and realize you’re an idiot for expecting things to change when you you won’t change.

Paddy O

January 3rd, 2012
1:10 pm

A few musings: Falcons have a problem generating a pass rush. No doubt there. Why was Ray Edwards covering a pass receiver? With an iffy knee? Is that really the best we could do? At least we don’t have Romo & the Cowboys playing in the Dome. VS the giants – depends on which Eli & which Giants D shows up. We should shut down their running, and need to blanket Cruz. I am beginning to realize that Dunta is not all that good. As posted previously, I’d like to see Franks & Grimes as our corners, with Dunta as the safety – although DeCoud did put some nice hits on players – but that dance hooray for me he does is really embarassing.

Paddy O

January 3rd, 2012
1:12 pm

Speaking of officials – how does Bier Truck get called for roughing the passer when his blocker throws him into Freeman’s knees? How does that type of crap hold up? I hope TD sent a nice video clip to the league office, and request that that official be relieved.

Paddy O

January 3rd, 2012
1:13 pm

during the lock out, I stated if we win 11 and score a post season victory, the process will have continued. We need to defeat NY. Hopefully by 3 TD’s.

Coop

January 3rd, 2012
1:24 pm

Paddy – I want more than one win. We have to win Sunday for certain. If we play SF, we must win two for my taste. If we play NO or GB again, I’ll consider it a success if we play tough, aggressive, non-conservative football. Regardless of the outcome, I’ll take that. Frankly, I beleive if we do that for 60 minutes, we beat ll comers. But I could stomach a loss to the Pack or Saints IF we play hard. That means no taking your foot off the gas, no soft zone crap.

Screen Pass

January 3rd, 2012
1:28 pm

“As for how much we’re paying TG to stick around next season – I don’t have a problem with it. Dude caught 80 passes this season, scored what….7 TDs?” – Big Ray

It is not the total pay out that is an issue, it is the cap hit that matters. If the deal is structured so that most of that 7 mil is guarantee or easy incentive bonuses that don’t kill our cap space then it is ok. We don’t have all the info on the deal yet so its hard to say. I’m willing to give TD the benefit of the doubt for now…if it comes out that the deal kills us on cap space then maybe the TD trolls aren’t so wrong.

Screen Pass

January 3rd, 2012
1:34 pm

“I want more than one win. We have to win Sunday for certain. If we play SF, we must win two for my taste. If we play NO or GB again, I’ll consider it a success if we play tough, aggressive, non-conservative football. Regardless of the outcome, I’ll take that. Frankly, I beleive if we do that for 60 minutes, we beat ll comers. But I could stomach a loss to the Pack or Saints IF we play hard. That means no taking your foot off the gas, no soft zone crap.” – Coop

Agree Coop. The oldschool stuff we employ won’t matter as much against the Giant and SF as they are pretty similar. TOP grinding isn’t gonna work against the Pack or Saints…I don’t mind losing to them but if we come out with the same lame scheme that has gotten us destroyed and fully embarrassed then there is no excuses. I would rather us lose playing aggressive and at least let the world know we have a football team instead of laying there like a conservative corpse.

Chop Buster

January 3rd, 2012
1:48 pm

Screen Pass – agree it’s difficult for a QB to get into a passing rhythm on a run first team.
Big Ray – The commentators and fans see that the zone and a consistent pass rush is a problem, why does Smitty not see it? Or is he just that stubborn? TD may need to step in and state the obvious–the defensive scheme is not working.

JJ

January 3rd, 2012
2:58 pm

Mike Martz…please, come on down!!! You’ll love our mild weather…brrrrrr.

honest_abe

January 3rd, 2012
3:08 pm

where’s all the TD trolls at? raises hand. 7 mil for TG? wtf.

falcons mvp – matt flynn. wow. basically flipped the playoffs on it’s behind. now the birds not only have a shot to win a game but maybe even 2 or 3. let’s pray abe comes to play. if abe, bab’s and peters can cause eli into some mistakes which he’s prone to do the falcon’s should win fairly easy. i hope edwards gets lost on the way to the stadium. you scrub!

Paddy O

January 3rd, 2012
3:47 pm

I was pretty elated at the Tony G news. I think he could play another 2 years, if he keeps the off season training regimen up. Under the Coop scenario, I’d consider this season a pretty good success – we won without a whole lot of luck, and a systematic underutilization of our talent. If we come out with all guns firing, I still think we could defeat either GB or NO.

Paddy O

January 3rd, 2012
3:49 pm

If we jettisioned our current zone coverage system, and went predominantly man to man (heck, Chris Owens might make an excellent safety – he appears to be the fastest guy on the field) – I think we would solve our 3rd & long problems, and improve our overall defense.

Coop

January 3rd, 2012
4:16 pm

Paddy O – Agreed. Even if we got burned, at least our D wouldn’t be on the d2mned field so long.

WR

January 3rd, 2012
4:44 pm

Evening cage, as usual, anticipation of a big game has slowed the week down. As far as the big game goes, Coop mentioned it years ago, and some things don’t change, the Falcons still need a big body in the middle of the DL. That being said, this team is built to make a serious run in the playoffs, the #1 seed plays in a climate that begs for the run, but they can’t run effectively. Supposedly the Falcons are better indoors, which actually doesn’t hold true for many run first teams. It won’t hold true this year either, GB with their current offering has done crap in the cold, notice against a Bears team last year in the cold they struggled. For all the talk, well deserved as it may be, GB is a finesse team, unless I’m proven wrong this year, I can’t see them grinding out many victories in sub-freezing temperatures, but the Falcons can. Which brings us back to that defense:

Its going to be on the D for this 1st playoff game. Sit back and play zone and Eli Manning is going to look like his brother, bring the heat consistently and Eli will look more like Tony Romo. Get pass the Giants and go into cold Wisconsin, receivers won’t be catching 100 M.P.H. balls as that usually do, it hurts, trust me, which will lead to more of a ground and pound game, now who has the edge there. Its one game at a time at this point, but Smitty and BVG are on the clock, please don’t give us no more zones at least regularly, mix it off, utilize a blitz, and the Falcons have a significant chance. I’m not worried about the Giants as much as I am worried about the CS of the Falcons, they have the players to get it done, we’ll see if they have the coaches come Sunday.

BigLou

January 3rd, 2012
5:14 pm

Matt Ryan is getting better every year. Imagine if he had a solid O-line the whole year — no Sam Baker. I bet he would have half the turnovers, over 30 touchdowns, and 4500 yards easy.

JB FALCON

January 3rd, 2012
5:42 pm

“At a certain point, you gotta start listening to EVERYONE else in the world (except JB Falcon) and realize you’re an idiot for expecting things to change when you you won’t change.” – Coop

Huh?

waynester

January 3rd, 2012
5:42 pm

Haven’t posted in a few weeks (post-NO game)–at this point in the season, what’s left to say? Only this: many of our “Fans” TOTALLY SUCK. With the notable exception of the “CAGE”, the AJC blogs and columns are crammed full of the most negative, vitriolic BS…I can’t imagine why these disgruntled pessimists don’t find something else to do with their limited time on Earth than ridicule the team they supposedly “support”. Our team has flaws like any other–maybe more than some in the playoffs–but as Smitty said the other day, there are about 20 teams that would kill to trade places with the Falcons right now. OK, I’m done preaching to the converted about this–at least most of ya’ll know what we’ve got and are proud to see what OUR team has accomplished and are looking for even greater things ahead…..

Paddy O

January 3rd, 2012
6:02 pm

I previously pointed to the “up & coming” teams of St Louis & TB, and how unparalleled promise, bulstered by what appeared to be a very good draft, can create high expectations (erroneous?). IF the ownership has those same expectations, failure is a pink slip. Also, consider the 2011 draft: JJ – excellent production, potential, about 20 rookie mistakes; Quiz – provided exactly what was expected, just utterly underutilized (still think the Turner/Snelling & Quizz backfield would produce a lot of defensive consternation). Bosher? Excellent selection, and a whole lot cheaper than Koenen. Dent? Got some good special teams experience. The Octopus is waiting in the wings. I am hoping we defeat the Giants, as I think we are a MUCH better team than they are. Question: Can we contain Cruz? Or put adequate pressure on Eli (who is as slippery as an eel)? IF not, can we win a shoot out? Does Turner gain over 100 yards? over 150? Can the Giants iffy CB’s cover JJ, Roddy, & Harry D? It should be a typically excellent fan awaited Falcon game. I still say we intentionally played vanilla v. the Saints. We shall see. The sleeper process continues.

Paddy O

January 3rd, 2012
6:04 pm

Coughlin is a very tough Coach in pressure games (Dallas is NOT); Eli is a big game QB. Those are our 2 key obstacles.

Paddy O

January 3rd, 2012
6:12 pm

It is NOT pure dumb luck that we have had 4 consecutive winning seasons. We are in the top 50% of the NFL. I assert top 25%. We need to be top 10-15%. However, talent does not get you very far. Nor does star coaching power. Look at Dallas & Washington. Bad luck also can hammer you in the nads – look at Chicago. Then there is the blow ‘em up idiots – Seattle & the Jets. Then the genuine underachievers – again, the Jets, Dallas & San Diego. Plus, the lucky folks – Denver, Colts. finally, the long term losers – Miami, Oakland (almost were relevent again), AZ, . Elite? New England, NO, GB, Pitt & Ravens (sort of). If one of them don’t win, then a team of destiny/cinderella should. Hmmmm. If our staff pulls out all the stops, we eliminate the drops and Dunta actually plays his man close (I think Franks takes over next year), we could win 2 more games. I am praying that NO overlooks Detroit, or that Detroit does what we did not do, and harass the Brees relentlessly, and Detroit wins in a nailbiter. If we replay Detroit, do we again come out victorious?

DePlane

January 3rd, 2012
6:43 pm

Everybody hates the soft zone….don’t think Eli and the G-men aren’t licking their chops to exploit the cream puff soft zone with no pass rush from all the tape they’re watching of it get reamed. Coach better come up with some consistent coverage or the Pro-Bowling SB winner will have a field general day.