Atlanta Falcons: Birds Embarrassed by Panthers

One of Worst Losses in Smith Era

Carolina Panthers' DeAngelo Williams (34) runs for a touchdown against the Atlanta Falcons during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. The Panthers won 30-20. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

No Falcon in Sight (Chuck Burton)

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It’s hard to know where to start on this one. To be blunt, this was one of the worst losses in the entire time that Mike Smith has been head coach. This team has serious problems and they just proved to all the doubters and skeptics that they may be right after all. The Falcons may not always win while under Smith’s reign, but they usually always play hard and fight until the end. Well, that appeared not to happen on Sunday in Charlotte. The Falcons were not only beaten, but flat out embarrassed. Fans likely started getting that same sick feeling in the back of their throats the way they did the last two years in the playoffs, because that’s how bad they looked. A look at the horror show that was:

Offense Just Pitiful

Atlanta Falcons' Julio Jones (11) leaps into the end zone past Carolina Panthers' Haruki Nakamura (43) for a touchdown as Falcons' Harry Douglas (83) watches during the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

One Bright Spot (Chuck Burton)

15 yards in the first quarter. 40 total yards in the first half. Michael Turner 2 carries for 3 yards. Do those stats strike you as a team ready to make waves in the postseason? Sure, they turned it on when they decided to start playing, but by that point it was entirely too late. When they were well behind, they decided to start playing a little offense and looked pretty good in the no-huddle which bogged back down when they needed points. The running game was non-existent, the line was horrible, and Matt Ryan was off yet again. Most of us tried to chalk up the poor offensive game vs. the Saints as just a blip, but they actually looked worse against the Panthers.

Rodgers Should Get Bulk of Carries

That’s putting it nicely. The fact has long been that Jacquizz Rodgers has shown way more upside and the ability to carry the bulk of carries in the backfield. All Falcons fans appreciate what Michael Turner has done for this franchise and he’ll likely have a banner hung in his name when it’s all said and done, but he’s just not getting it done. It’s hard to part with players who have meant so much to the franchise, but the time has come. Mike Smith obviously hasn’t got that memo. The entire offense played terrible so it’s unfair to scapegoat just one player, but Jacquizz Rodgers is just better and the facts don’t lie. Rodgers had 21 yards on 4 carries and Michael Turner carried the ball 7 times for 14 yards.

Just a Blip or Playoff Preview?

Carolina Panthers' DeAngelo Williams (34) leaps high as he is hit by Atlanta Falcons' Stephen Nicholas (54) and Dunta Robinson (23) during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

Yuck (Chuck Burton)

This game had trap written all over it. The Falcons clinched the NFC South and were playing a 3-9 team with the Giants coming up next week. Fans are trying their best to chalk it up as just a blip, but there’s a growing fear that we’re starting to see an eerily similar storyline. In 2010, the Falcons won a lot of close games en route to a 13-3 season and the NFC #1 seed. The rest, of course, is history seeing the Birds have a complete meltdown catastrophe vs. the Packers. Being completely objective, the Falcons are still 11-2, have already won their division, and are still leading the NFC, but the nightmare scenarios are getting worse and not better with the Falcons seemingly playing their best football at the beginning of the season and playing their worst football closer to the playoffs. There’s still 3 games left and all 3 teams will be good tests for the playoffs. This one can be chalked up to a trap game, but we’ll know everything we need to about this team the next three weeks, starting with the Giants at home in a one week.

Ryan is Trending Downward

Yes, he threw for 325 yards and one touchdown, but he also does not look the same quarterback that he did in the first half of the season. He missed throws, looked jittery in the pocket, and just didn’t seem to be in a good rhythm. Maybe it’s playing behind a weak offensive line, maybe he’s suffering from a weak running game, or maybe his coordinator is not helping him at all. Who knows why, but the results say that Ryan is going in the opposite direction. He looks the most comfortable in an open, no-huddle type offense, but for whatever reason, the coaching staff seems to avoid it except when they are 23 points down. Here’s to hoping Ryan gets it figured out and quickly.

Defensive Line Must Improve

It’s been common knowledge that John Abraham has been the Falcons only pass rush for a long time. Problem is, when he’s not completely on his game, the Falcons have nothing else. Biermann has great hustle, but is more of a linebacker playing as a defensive end. No one has taken advantage of Ray Edwards absence whatsoever. In particular, the defensive tackle position appears particularly weak. Peria Jerry has never turned that mythical corner, Corey Peters is likely not 100%, Vance Walker is a good rotational player, and Jonathan Babineaux is playing more defensive end and on the downside of his career. The Falcons were gashed by the run yet again and it allowed Cam Newton be precise in his passing. All considering, the defense did pretty decent since the offense didn’t help whatsoever until entirely too late.

Where’s the No-Huddle?

Atlanta Falcons' Matt Ryan (2) hands the ball off to Michael Turner (33) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

This is Done (Chuck Burton)

Matt Ryan always does best in an open, no-huddle type of offense. If you think about some of Ryan’s best games, they have come from those type of gameplans going all the way back to the Ravens game in 2010. This offense is more in sync, has more rhythm, and it masks some of the weaknesses on the offensive line. The Falcons were at their best early in the season with many of the no-huddle type of looks and yet they are going away from it with diminishing results. Even the run game seems more productive in the no-huddle. Do they have to stay in all the time? No, but why not go with what works best. They only implemented it when they were down 23 points and, sure enough, they went right down the field. The great mystery remains.

Bad Calls

This may come off as sour grapes and ultimately it likely didn’t matter with how poor the Falcons played, but there were several questionable calls at a very critical juncture in the game. The first was one of the worst calls of the entire season. The Falcons scored a touchdown and converted a two point conversion. Even the line judge ruled the 2 point conversion good and was evidently overruled. The ref said that Roddy White bobbled the ball, but the replay clearly showed he never bobbled the ball whatsoever. It was only two points, but it seemed to cut down some of the Falcons building momentum. Another play showed a critical catch by a Panthers receiver who appeared to drop the ball, the play was ruled incomplete, but the refs overturned that call. Finally, Dunta Robinson was called for holding a play where the defense seemed to get a stop. He was holding and it was the right call, but there were tons of times when Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez, and John Abraham were being held to no avail.

Tackling Still an Issue

Carolina Panthers' Mike Tolbert (35) runs as Atlanta Falcons' Chris Owens (21), Stephen Nicholas (54), and Thomas DeCoud (28) defend during the first half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

Weak Tackling (Chuck Burton)

This is an issue that was supposed to get fixed earlier in the season, but the Falcons are still having issues bringing down their opponents. Corey Peters couldn’t bring down Cam Newton for a sack (but also got no help at all either) and there were several other instances where the Panthers running back or quarterback got extra yards after the first hit. At best, they’re simply inconsistent. Some weeks they’ll tackle well and others, they won’t. If they don’t get it fixed in a hurry, they won’t be going far in the playoffs.

Bird Cage Painkillers Turn

1) Simple missed tackle – how awful was this game?

2) Does this rank as one of the worst under Smith?

3) Is it panic time with the offense?

4) What’s most to blame on offense (besides the OL)?

5) When will the Turner Era end? Should it end?

6) Was this just a blip or playoff preview?

7) What is wrong with Matt Ryan?

8.) Which is worse: offensive or defensive line?

9) Why do the coaches refuse to run no-huddle, open attack?

10) Bad calls or sour grapes?

11) Will tackling ever get consistent?

12) Are you terrified of upcoming Giants game?

1,438 comments Add your comment

Big Ray

December 9th, 2012
4:18 pm

I just don’t know. I sure hope something is learned from this.

As to Ryan…he had some issues in this game, I CAN see that. But I think they are magnified because it was like he was allowed to play for less than two quarters. I would be far more upset with him if he’d been given the reins for the bulk of the game and just screwed up.

One has to consider his 325 yards came almost all in the late third and early fourth quarters. He really only made one mistake.

And dude is just NOT mobile in the pocket (what pocket there was). Tom Brady and Peyton Manning take sacks in those same positions that Ryan does. Difference is maybe they make the play because of an incredibly accurate throw as they are being hit, or because their man gets separation and makes the play.

Just sayin’….

Big Ray

December 9th, 2012
4:19 pm

I wish I could say the Steelers losing to the defunct Chargers made me feel better, but it would be a lie.

Steelers are playing without their starting QB and having legit age/injury/talent issues at multiple positions. But there ain’t much wrong with their schemes. Or their heart. Or their effort.

I cannot say the same of our team, though I am loathe to bag on our defense.

Big Ray

December 9th, 2012
4:19 pm

I’m firmly convinced that our defense would be top 3-5 if they had more talent on the DL and more health in the secondary. I really do think the problem is not scheme, and even the execution (tackling) problems are not so bad. Sometimes it’s bad, but that is nearly always after the defense has been played way too much.

Still….with better talent and health, they’ll be dominant. 30 points against these guys is unheard of, largely. They’ve only allowed that TWICE this season.

Big Lou

December 9th, 2012
4:22 pm

Big Ray

Steelers starting QB did play… and the serious position injuries were healed up. They just got spanked. Lol

The Time is NOW

December 9th, 2012
4:22 pm

Enter your comments here

Big Lou

December 9th, 2012
4:23 pm

Big Ray

Yup.

Both times against Carolina.

Big Ray

December 9th, 2012
4:23 pm

Cowboys completing a 4th quarter comeback makes me feel worse…largely because I know why they were able to pull it out – they didn’t make that big of a hole for themselves.

I don’t know what will be learned this week as far as the offense goes.

And if I’m Arthur Blank, I’m thinking to myself “Did I not tell these assholes that the OL didn’t play well last year, regardless of what their pithy statistical charts had to say?”

I know…I’m mad as hell (emotional) but if I’m Blank, I’m taking notes. Just taking notes. Season ain’t over, record isn’t determined yet. Postseason isn’t here yet either. We know we made it, but home field advantage slightly shaky at the moment.

Maybe I’ll come back and post later. My bloodpressure has me feeling my pulse in my f@cking eyeballs.

Big Ray

December 9th, 2012
4:23 pm

Big Lou – my bad…didn’t know…thought Batch was still out there. I still don’t feel better, but I can at least tell you you’re right and I’m wrong…

Big Lou

December 9th, 2012
4:24 pm

D3

You confirm my comment last week. Post immediately up after a loss. Lol

Big Ray

December 9th, 2012
4:25 pm

Big Lou –

Nope. Once against Carolina, once against New Orleans. Carolina scored 28 against us last time.

Big Lou

December 9th, 2012
4:26 pm

Big Ray

Not meant to make it feel better. Just pointing out facts. Still, it just feels like a weird day, that’s all.

Good news is… Mike Smith doesn’t usually lose two games in a row.

Big Ray

December 9th, 2012
4:27 pm

One caveat on this as my blood pressure tries to ease down (seriously, I can feel my pulse in my damn eyeballs).

Carolina matches up rather well with us. It does not excuse the horrible offensive game plan. It just shows that they can play us very tough, and have proven so. So we can’t go brain dead against them or other teams that play well against us.

This is a fact of life.

If you don’t believe in matchups, you have only to witness how the St. Louis Rams play the 49ers.

There are other matchups that are similar.

All the same… we will find something out next week .

Big Lou

December 9th, 2012
4:27 pm

Oh, you’re right.

Saints did destroy us that first game!

Slant Pattern

December 9th, 2012
4:28 pm

Only good news today so far is Aikman is calling the Taints game. That disgusting bromance stuff during our game needs to be reveiwed by the NFL. Kids shouldn’t have to listen to verbal porn on Sundays.

Big Ray

December 9th, 2012
4:29 pm

Good news is… Mike Smith doesn’t usually lose two games in a row.

Pardon my mood…I get mad when we lose for stupid reasons.

D3

December 9th, 2012
4:29 pm

BL — Nah, just trying something different because the blog expires after 7 days and I hate when $hit happens.

Big Lou

December 9th, 2012
4:29 pm

Big Ray

QBs have to make plays with the possessions they get. Period.

I’m not saying Ryan was the only one making mistakes, but saying everyone else is at fault is also incorrect. There were multiple plays were Ryan threw the ball inaccurately or held it too long on a few plays. It’s called Romo syndrome. Nice stats, but poor choices trying to do everything himself.

Now, still, coaches, Oline, and Dline gets blame, too. I put this game mostly on the coaches, though.

Big Ray

December 9th, 2012
4:30 pm

Just watched Eli Manning try his best to complete a pass to Jabari Greer. Greer just didn’t want to catch it.

It looked very eerily like a throw Matt Ryan has been crucified for making. Hmmmm.

Big Ray

December 9th, 2012
4:31 pm

Same type of route, same type of throw. Damn near a pick. Right on Greer’s hands.

Coincidence? Nah.

Big Lou

December 9th, 2012
4:31 pm

D3

All good man. Just making a funny.

Big Ray

December 9th, 2012
4:32 pm

Giants pop the ball loose on a Colston reception. Refs in this game had no trouble avoiding making a bad call. Must not be in the House of FEMA. Either that, or the Giants have earned the right to good calls by winning in January. Who knows.

I’m out.

Big Ray

December 9th, 2012
4:33 pm

Fox Sports is stoked that Cam has grown up. Yeah, well they still can’t even get to .500, so blow me FoxSports.

Big Lou

December 9th, 2012
4:33 pm

Come on Saints! I’m actually wanting you to win this game.

I want the best shot from the Giants!

Arno

December 9th, 2012
4:34 pm

Ryan has a say on the sideline, not just in the no huddle. He bears more responsibility for this unprofessional effort than may be seen at first. He will also bear at least as much responsibility as Koetter/Smith for setting things right. The only positive note I have is that it happened this week and not later.

Big Lou

December 9th, 2012
4:34 pm

Hurricane Sandy > Hurricane Katrina.

darrell starks

December 9th, 2012
4:34 pm

Falcons will not win the playoffs with Turner starting at RB.

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

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 9th, 2012
4:38 pm

I’m so looking forward to Roddy Whites post game interview. He will tell TRUTH…and tell it like it is. He looked pissed after the game.

darrell starks

December 9th, 2012
4:38 pm

Falcons are rank 27th in running on offense.

Falcons are rank 22nd against the run on defense.

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

Mike Franklin

December 9th, 2012
4:38 pm

No more buckets of KFC before the gametime!

Very, very embarrassing regardless of record.

Chop Buster

December 9th, 2012
4:41 pm

Offense has some serious issues right now and look out of sync. Even if the defense maintains gap control it’s still difficult to defend a running QB once he gets outta the pocket. We looked horrible all the way around today. Yet when we came out at half time we were only two TDs and a field goal down. We marched down the field in the no-huddle and then stopped it. We went right back into that hand the ball to Turner conservative defense. How about let’s trying to get the lead first and then go back to the running game OR run Jacquizz if we’re going to run the ball. Coaching lost this game today. I saw nothing by the coaches to get the rallied. They looked like they just stuck with a mediocre game plan. Again, I hope this wakes somebody up on the coaching staff and the team.

JJ

December 9th, 2012
4:42 pm

Tampa lost but who cares. Chicago lost is good, need fins to beat Niners and Det to beat Cheeseheads. We HAVE to have homefield and 1st rd bye if we have ANY CHANCE of winning just one playoff game!

Slant Pattern

December 9th, 2012
4:43 pm

“Ryan has a say on the sideline, not just in the no huddle. He bears more responsibility for this unprofessional effort than may be seen at first:” – Arno

If you go down this path, you won’t end up at a good place. Smitty is in full charge of when the no-huddle is used by his own admission. Ryan has zero say in what plays are installed by HC/OC even tho they may ask him about comfort levels with various things. In the end it is not his decision at all. The only thing Ryan controls is using the installed plays of the no huddle. If crap plays are installed then he gets his choice of crap plays but he cannot do anything more than that.
Liking Smitty and trying to defend Smitty is fine. If you use nonsense to try and deflect blame to do it however, expect flying grilled cheese in your direction.

darrell starks

December 9th, 2012
4:44 pm

Quizz create his own hole, this adjustment should be the easiest decision made, why the Falcons continue 2 starte Turner is beyond my imagination.

Turner 7 rushes for 14yards

Quizz 4 rushes for 21yards

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

Geo

December 9th, 2012
4:48 pm

Howdy Cage. I just finished watching the game. Couldn’t clear three hours today from 1-4. To me it is clear as day: we suck with Michael Turner. We have an MT offense and it sucks. Period. Falcons came out and ran Turner up the middle! Of course the offense was DOA. It’s the definition of insanity.

Had to laugh, Turner at the goal line at the end, guy hits his ankles and he’s down — because his feet aren’t moving. We will not win in the playoffs with him, guarantee it.

Oh yeah, and the OLine. Matt was hit and huried all day. Great QB. Has never had a line.

He was a workhorse for a few seasons, and helped us quite a bit, but he is done. Someone needs to tell Mike Smith.

Geo

December 9th, 2012
4:49 pm

Somehow my last two sentences were transposed…and so it goes

Ray

December 9th, 2012
4:51 pm

For another game again the Defense was trying their best to help us out, but the offense needs to do soul searching even Matt Ryan they all look like they were in a funk.

Defense lost players, but pretty much held their own at times.

Big Ray

December 9th, 2012
4:51 pm

I’m so looking forward to Roddy Whites post game interview. He will tell TRUTH…and tell it like it is. He looked pissed after the game.

Yep, probably will.

Big Ray

December 9th, 2012
4:54 pm

Geo

I’m watching Eli Manning literally sit in the pocket with time to scan the field. You know…so he can find that wide open guy that fans always see from a million miles away.

I’m watching Manning’s guys get open on the same damn sideline passes that we throw. I’m serious. The same damn plays.

Chop Buster

December 9th, 2012
4:56 pm

BR we’ve all said the DL and OL has been a problem since Smitty’s arrival–and still not fixed. We got no pressure on Cam all day and the Panthers front four got after Matt all day.

COfalconsfan

December 9th, 2012
4:57 pm

This team frustrates me to know end. Mike Smith coached this game as if he wanted to give his team essentially a two week bye, which is fine, but they better come back next week and play.

We have to stop wasting reps on Turner, the dude is done. The eyeball test clearly shows Rogers should be carrying the ball 15-20 times a game.

The strengths of the defense was missing two key components in Moore and Samuels. I hate to continue hearing anouncers love fest with John Abraham. Our pass rush is pathetic, if we are not getting coverage sacks, we aren’t getting sacks. If we had a Vonn Miller type pass rusher on this defense we would be superbowl favorites.

Matt Ryan has reverted back to having happy feet in the pocket which is throwing off his accuracy. The offense line is soft, no push in the run game and no protection on must throw passing downs. When its third and long, and the defense pins back their ears, they can’t block, too much push being given up straight in Ryan’s face. If this team keeps relying on converting 3rd down to keep drives going, and think we are going to win in the playoffs, get reading for another playoff loss like last year. Stretch the field!!!

Unca' Bob

December 9th, 2012
4:57 pm

Well, from what I saw today, Carolina simply lined up and kicked our butts. No excuses, no could’a, should’a crap. They won and we lost. Get over it. I’ve moved on. Feel free to join me.

Big Ray

December 9th, 2012
4:58 pm

If you go down this path, you won’t end up at a good place. Smitty is in full charge of when the no-huddle is used by his own admission. Ryan has zero say in what plays are installed by HC/OC even tho they may ask him about comfort levels with various things. In the end it is not his decision at all. The only thing Ryan controls is using the installed plays of the no huddle. If crap plays are installed then he gets his choice of crap plays but he cannot do anything more than that.

Truth. And that goes for the personnel that are on the field with Ryan.

I’m sure I’m labeled a Ryan homer, even though I have issues with his performance/game as well. I just don’t think they are as prevalent or as all-encompassing as other opinions might assert.

But we’re not all gonna agree on this type of stuff.

Arno

December 9th, 2012
4:59 pm

SP– Not zero say. Ryan was quoted last week describing a play he helped design for Quizz on the sideline. I’m only saying that Ryan can and should speak up when the playcalling stinks. My comment had nothing to do with defending Smith. Smith said last week that the coaches had some “fun” planned for December. If what we saw today was fun, well… never mind.

Big Ray

December 9th, 2012
5:00 pm

Chop Buster –

You’re right. That’s on Smitty, but TD doesn’t escape this either.

Ray

December 9th, 2012
5:04 pm

Yeah Mike Smith has a stubbornness either him or Koetter to continue starting people who are not doing so well.

Look I’m happy what Mike Turner has done for us, but it’s time to change the guards let a new RB show what he can do. If this continues we’ll be in for another debacle in the playoffs.

I hope not though as I can’t deal with another let down in the first round well second round if we get the bye. Okay I don’t want to be a one and done team again.

Big Ray

December 9th, 2012
5:04 pm

Arno ,

I ehar you, but designing one play is like saying he has half a percent of say in things. Ryan might need to speak up more, but how do you think that should go down, exactly? I mean…does Eli “talk back” to Tom Coughlin? Does Tom Brady tell Bill Belichick how to fix things? I’m not being a smart-ass, I’m being real here….Ryan might have a nice relationship with Koetter, but if he doesn’t have that good “give and take” relationship with Smitty…

Here’s another thing. Ryan designs a play for Rodgers, and we saw this weeks’ comments from Ryan on Rodgers. His comment was that Rodgers never lets up, never gives up, keeps on keepin’ on…basically (paraphrased).

We see the results on the field.

So tell me…what’s Ryan’s say in this-

1) Turner still gets the lion’s share of the carries.

2) Turner still plays a large number of snaps..without positive effect.

3) Rodgers is consistently taken off the field immediately after he makes a play.

Maybe this is where Ryan should speak up, but will Smitty listen?

Big Ray

December 9th, 2012
5:05 pm

Unca Bob ,

Good advice. I’m just failing to heed it. Takes me a little while sometimes.

LRD

December 9th, 2012
5:05 pm

Hindsight being what it is… I should have stayed up on the river fishing than coming home for that 1st half. THat was just horrible… no other way to describe
At least the trout were biting this morning… as the Falcons were this afternoon.

Geo

December 9th, 2012
5:05 pm

Big Ray, I still haven’t caught up to real time (and probably won’t for a while, like I said, too much goin on, and now the dog wants a walk), but, yeah, I believe it re: Manning.

darrell starks

December 9th, 2012
5:06 pm

Chop buster, I no we have the best record in the NFC but this team record is Flawed.

JUST MY OPINION.

Until coaching staff make some minor adjustment on this team Falcons will not go very far come playoffs.

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

LRD

December 9th, 2012
5:07 pm

FFL alert.. at least my FFL team is ON today….

COfalconsfan

December 9th, 2012
5:13 pm

The offensive line is not efficient to create holes where plays are designed. For some reason Turner runs like he has to attack where the play is designed. The result, Turner tip toeing up some linemans arse and falling down. I speculate that Rogers running style, which is to cut back and create his own holes, would fit the ability level of the oline much better.

Another observation as I watch the saints game. We have no YAC guys. I love Tony and Roddy and wouldn’t give them away, but can we get a slot guy or TE that can get YAC. What about Quiz and turner on the field at the same time. Are you telling me Rogers couldn’t run some routes from a “hit” or slot position.

And what ever happened to giving snelling the rock? It wasnt too long ago he was a stud filling in for an injured Turner.

AlanFalcon

December 9th, 2012
5:14 pm

This is one pathetic loss to a team of pussycats led by a man named Hardy who spoke his mind and then went out and made it happen.
I hope this is not the beginning of the end for a team with championship hopes, but it surely wasn’t what you call a great start to the 4th Quarter on the road to the SuperBowl.

D3

December 9th, 2012
5:15 pm

Trying to write this post and I just am having a hard time getting this one done. I’m trying not to vomit on my keyboard.

Arno

December 9th, 2012
5:16 pm

Big Ray– When Koetter came he said some very accomodationg things about working with Ryan. Smith HAD to be good with this, right? The results have been baffling at best and sickening at worst. I have this picture in my mind of Ryan shoving Koetter up against a locker and saying “get the bleep out of my playcalling.” I have an alternate image of Ryan standing in front of Smith, drawing a line in the sand and saying, “Turner will never cross this line again.” Sorry– I wish I had a better idea of how to answer your points. Ryan has shown he has a temper. I hope he can find a way to put it to good use.

JJ

December 9th, 2012
5:18 pm

LRD, Congrats in our FFL league, thought our jamaican friend was fav by 20+ but his fatted cow Bryce Brown got 0 points. Your dang bench got almost 70 points. Guess Unca’Bob or myself will be your next victim…its early, playing nice for now!!!

tap

December 9th, 2012
5:19 pm

all matt ryan did was pad his stats to say” its not my fault that we loss” he doesnt have any sence of urgency and is completly clueless that he doesnt have a defense. his football IQ out weighs his athletic ability. hes better off coaching a little league team

AlanFalcon

December 9th, 2012
5:19 pm

One Pathetic showing, the Falcons ought to be Red Faced after what the Panthers did to them today.

Ray

December 9th, 2012
5:22 pm

Enter your comments here

Ray

December 9th, 2012
5:24 pm

@ AlanFalcon

They better be or come Playoffs the fans will be and not only that I’m calling it now if Smith can’t get it done he’s canned no matter what if he wins a playoff game he gets extra time wins 2 well the seat has cooled off, and if he goes all the way he gets to stay as much as he likes.

Great Falconi

December 9th, 2012
5:25 pm

This game is the result of the other mediocre performances we’ve had against bad football teams. We’ve all seen bad halves (and games) of football from Mike Smith teams before, but the first half today had less effort than any of the others. It’s embarrassing that any team, but especially an 11-1 football team, can be so uninterested in playing a game. The defense was terrible in the first half, but the offense gave the defense no chance to catch its breath. It was a total meltdown that continued into the second half, culminating in Cam Newton’s embarrassingly easy 72-yd TD run. At that point, we started to compete. Guys, you’re going to wait until you’re down 23-0 to try? That’s totally unacceptable. We had a bunch of Ray Edwardseseseseses out there today. Can’t cut ‘em all, Comrade.

Unca' Bob

December 9th, 2012
5:33 pm

Enough for one day. Ya’ll rest easy.

Slant Pattern

December 9th, 2012
5:34 pm

“SP– Not zero say. Ryan was quoted last week describing a play he helped design for Quizz on the sideline. I’m only saying that Ryan can and should speak up when the playcalling stinks. My comment had nothing to do with defending Smith. Smith said last week that the coaches had some “fun” planned for December. If what we saw today was fun, well… never mind.” – Arno

No worries, I misunderstood you then. You are right about the fun part. If Smitty had to take the beatings Ryans been getting I bet that fun statement would be about running the O-lines sorry arse into the ground with wind sprints.

Slant Pattern

December 9th, 2012
5:40 pm

“I’m sure I’m labeled a Ryan homer, even though I have issues with his performance/game as well. I just don’t think they are as prevalent or as all-encompassing as other opinions might assert.

But we’re not all gonna agree on this type of stuff.” – BR

Meh, I prolly am too. I notice most of Ryans detractors are outright trolls or people deflecting blame from their favorite guy. Liking Ryan or not is irrelevant to the fact that he makes this offense go when he is let off the leash and given the freedom to do so. The troll crowd is out in full force on other boards today so I’m willing to try and stem some of the nonsense if applicable. The O-line problems are what will sink our ship this year, I’m surprised at how well Ryan has performed with all the adversity he has been challenged with. If we can get him protected and used properly the ceiling is very high for the future.

Chop Buster

December 9th, 2012
5:42 pm

Darrell Starks, I totally agree. I’ve said this all season…they’ve achieved much more than I expected with the same players. The DC has overachieved and the OC has underachieved with the group we have. We’ve shown that we can move the ball up and down the field with a passing attack when needed. My question is why do we always revert back to the same type of plays that stall our drives?

Arno

December 9th, 2012
5:44 pm

Not in the mood for positives right now, but here goes: On the Falcons first scoring drive Ryan got a first down at the fifty on a throw to Gonzalez. It was the best fake to the running back I’ve seen for weeks.

D3

December 9th, 2012
5:47 pm

Needs in the draft: Big Boy DT, Offensive Guard, Running Back. The draft should be as follows:

1) Best available OG
2) Best available Big Boy DT
3) Best available RB

Move Konz to Center, plug in new draft pick. Put Holmes at LT. Let Baker and Clabo fight it out for RT. Problem solved.

Chop Buster

December 9th, 2012
5:47 pm

COfalconsfan that’s an excellent point about YAC. We are still running those same tired routes that Mularkey called when he was here. We are not getting the ball to our receivers on the move. I don’t know if Koetter knows how to really use our players strengths or Smitty is handcuffing him with the game plans.

D3

December 9th, 2012
5:48 pm

McClure and Clabo looked particularly bad today. What else is new.

Chop Buster

December 9th, 2012
5:50 pm

Tony Gonzalez seems a little heated under the collar:
“Tony Gonzalez didn’t try to sugarcoat it. He used the phrase “silver lining” just once, and seemingly begrudgingly.

Instead, he showed a passion and fire in the locker room that the Falcons seemed to lack in the first half Sunday against Carolina.

“Ridiculous. No doubt about it. We can’t leave our defense out there like we did, and we’ve got to put points up. We’re too good of an offense,” he said about the first-half Sunday. “We’ve got too many players. Too much talent.”

That was the feeling around the locker room after Sunday’s 30-20 loss to Carolina — a team the Falcons had to scratch and claw against earlier in the season to pull out a last-minute win.

During a week when the chatter was high between the two teams, the Panthers came out with intensity as a previously 3-9 team with not much to lose. The Falcons came out much different, amassing just 35 offensive yards on 13 total first-half plays, good for just 6:12 of offense.

“If we play like that in the first half, there’s no way. It’s not going to work out the way we want it to for the rest of the season,” Gonzalez said. “We’ve definitely got to learn from this game and we’ve got to go out there and play Falcon football, because we didn’t do that in the first half.”

The offensive struggles to start the game played a part in the Panthers jumping out to a 16-0 lead before halftime. A year earlier, the Falcons faced a 16-point deficit at the end of the first half against Carolina and came back to win.

Needing another one of Matt Ryan’s signature comeback performances, the Falcons fell down to 23-0 before the offense started clicking and Atlanta found itself on the scoreboard.

In true Falcons fashion, the team didn’t give up — Gonzalez’s lone silver lining of the day — and Atlanta was able to cut the score within 10 in the second half.

It’s as close as the Falcons would get as Carolina put Atlanta away with a 53-yard screen pass touchdown in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.

“It better be a bump in the road if we’re the team we think we are,” Gonzalez said. “I can hear them right now. They’re getting off the bandwagon. I can hear them jumping off, but that’s how it goes. Looking at our history, a lot of people are going to say, ‘See? I told you,’ or whatever.

“We’re a good football team — no doubt about it. And we’re going play better, because we have to. We’re going to get back and play the way we have, but it’s up to us to have a good week of practice and come out against a very good football team against the Giants and get this thing rolling.””

Chop Buster

December 9th, 2012
5:52 pm

Now will Gonzalez’s comments light a fire under this team’s butt? We play defense so aggressively against certain teams and then so tentatively with the running QBs. We have no answer on how to defend Cam, I’m sorry to say.

Chop Buster

December 9th, 2012
5:53 pm

D3 those McClure and Clabo should have been gone from this team. Again, it goes back to the Falcons not really solidifying this OL. Even Baker should be a backup at best.

JB Falcon

December 9th, 2012
5:53 pm

D3, I am not envious of your job right now. It appears that the attitude of the cage right now is pretty sh!tty so a little optimism wouldn’t hurt. I’m the type of fan/homer that can see some good in a pile of cow sh!t, it makes good fertilizer.
This loss didn’t bother me as much as it did some others. We kept Asante and Moore out, not that they would have changed the game, but there is a possibility that the CS wanted to see just how bad our weaknesses were? We did show that, when we want to, we can be dangerous. I am going to go with UB and others, one loss is not detrimental to getting into the playoffs. Home field advantage would be nice but we’ve seen how that worked out. I’m just glad this game happened when it did instead of in the playoffs. I’m currently watching our next foe and figuring what we will have to do to beat them. I’m joining UB now, moving on.

Chop Buster

December 9th, 2012
5:54 pm

D3 looks like the monster got my previous post.

D3

December 9th, 2012
5:55 pm

Chop — What did Gonzo say?

The Time is NOW

December 9th, 2012
6:02 pm

It’s up there now. ANOTHER reason you gotta love TG!

Chop Buster

December 9th, 2012
6:04 pm

D3, I posted it above from the Falcons website, from the article, “It Better Be a Bump in the Road”

JJ

December 9th, 2012
6:05 pm

UB/JB, give us at least 24 hrs to vent…its the only vise we have after such a stunning performance of our fav sport team. We are fanatics right? So I will bitch and moan about my team and plz forgive me…its just a release of my blood pressure…actually healthy if you think about it. Just havin a laugh buddy, no biggie.

Coop, looks like RG3 got hurt, can you drop some of your 4 qbs please????

The Time is NOW

December 9th, 2012
6:05 pm

Thanks, Chop Buster.

Chop Buster

December 9th, 2012
6:07 pm

They all know we have too much talent on the offense to be performing this way–go an entire first half with ZERO points. Our offense is showing chinks in the armor too late in the season. We should be lighting fire this time of year. It’s definitely something to be concerned about. We all want to see that this team corrected things and come out the following week putting 35+ on a team. But we know that’s not going to happen with the existing coaching staff for whatever reason.

darrell starks

December 9th, 2012
6:07 pm

D3, Falcons need a DT with the first pick.

After watching John Jenkins this year specially against Tides no way i touch him until 4th round.

Jenkins played Lazy this year at DT.

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

Chop Buster

December 9th, 2012
6:08 pm

Time is Now…you’re welcome.

WR

December 9th, 2012
6:10 pm

Not to be the eternal optimist, but as a Falcons fan sure I wanted this team to win, I want them to go undefeated and win the Superbowl every year. As a football fan, that happens to be a fan of the Falcons, to get totally beat down with three games to go before the playoffs in my opinion is a good thing. Why:

1. The Falcons have just been getting by for weeks, when your winning and not at your peak performance its I lot easier to say well we won, no matter the circumstance, which also makes it hard to understand you have major problems.

2. All the one and done themes of the playoffs the last couple of years is getting really old, Carolina called the Falcons out then preceded to punch them in the mouth without much of an answer from the Falcons. Sorry but they could have went undefeated the rest of the way, continued to just get by, but a punch in the mouth might finally wake this team up.

3. Back to that punch in the mouth, the Panthers stated earlier in the week they were better, they sat out from the beginning of the game to prove so, sure they talked smack but they backed it up. Love this new regime, don’t get me wrong, it takes alot to turn a losing franchise into a yearly contender, that’s been a accomplished. Import or export this and that player all you want, sure in many cases it helps, but what gets you over the top is a killer instinct. This team has lacked that in the past and lacks it now. There satisfied with getting by with wins because they just so happen to do so. They seem to always know what they need to fix after there weaknesses have been exposed, but so long as their winning they never really try to fix them. They know their headed into the playoffs here so, maybe this beatdown will help them take things seriously, the Falcons of the past 4 years are a nice bunch of regular season champs, problem is their playoff chumps, so hopefully this humbling by Carolina will open some eyes, or at least some processes, given the current state, these birds need all the help they can get.

falcon21

December 9th, 2012
6:13 pm

Yes I am a Ryan homer, after 5 years of bitching about our piss poor o-line I think that is clear. The dude can play the game but has no o-line to help him! That is really easy to see although many don’t.

Bob in Buford

December 9th, 2012
6:15 pm

Does it strike anyone else that both the O & D started the season taking on some of the personality of their new coordinators.

Then, over the course of the season both units have started resembling the MS teams of past seasons, right down to the MT33 runs (which are even more worthless this season than last) & easily gashed soft zone coverage.

Of course, I’m probably just some idiot fan who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but some of these things we’re complaining about sure look familiar …

The Time is NOW

December 9th, 2012
6:17 pm

We have always known that this season would be judged by how we do in the playoffs. At this point, the only thing the Falcons can do to stop the smart *ss jokes on the pregame show is win in the playoffs.

Game 17 is put up or shut up time. Today the team shut up and got beat by a team that publicly trashed their manhood. Still hoping this team will put up better than this in Game 17.

p.s, – I still think that if this team wins a playoff game, the sky is the limit

Nookah

December 9th, 2012
6:27 pm

LRD,

Congrats my friend. I struggled all year and could not develop any consistency. My mid-season find bombed out today. I went to the Bryce Brown well once too often and paid the price. Oh well, good luck for the rest of the playoffs.

I guess you have “chased this crazy bald head out of town”.

On to the Falcons. I did bot get to see the game but from the posts I can see we stunk the place up this week. Next week will indeed be the test as Big Ray stated earlier.

I will not repeat my “CEO” analogy on another blog but I doubt MS has the goods to take us to the promised land. If we don’t get there this year I think AB needs to make a change, plain and simple.

Go Falcons!!

BobbyDawg

December 9th, 2012
6:27 pm

Ryan just didn’t have ANY time at all today. How can he check down when he doesn’t even have time to find his primary receiver? I hope they iron out some of these O line problems before the playoffs start. No protection for the QB. No holes opened for the RB. Exploited to say the least. go falcons

JB Falcon

December 9th, 2012
6:27 pm

JJ, don’t get me wrong brother, I am totally pizzed off about this loss. I saw a team, the Falcons, play a pizz poor game game. I’m trying to take WR’s attitude and see some good out of it. If this crappy azz loss didn’t teach the CS that they are pizzing on their shoes and calling it a rainstorm, then I don’t know what will. I read TG’s comments on the Falcons.com and totally agree. We have absolutely too much talent on this team to suffer a beatdown like we did. It is totally unacceptable as a fan but, we don’t play the game, nor do we get to call the plays. That’s probably a good thing, I would be getting disability payments.

Slant Pattern

December 9th, 2012
6:28 pm

Vagiants slaughtering the Taints.

Slant Pattern

December 9th, 2012
6:30 pm

“Does it strike anyone else that both the O & D started the season taking on some of the personality of their new coordinators.

Then, over the course of the season both units have started resembling the MS teams of past seasons, right down to the MT33 runs (which are even more worthless this season than last) & easily gashed soft zone coverage.

Of course, I’m probably just some idiot fan who doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but some of these things we’re complaining about sure look familiar …” – Bob in Buford

Good points and welcome to the Cage. I certainly wouldn’t judge you an idoit based on those observations. Could you fill in for Smitty next week? The coma patient isn’t available and any brain use over zero would be an improvement :) .

JB Falcon

December 9th, 2012
6:30 pm

21, 6:13 agree 100%, and we all know whose fault that it.

falcon21

December 9th, 2012
6:32 pm

All the one and done themes of the playoffs the last couple of years is really getting old. WR. Yes it is and until the o-line is taken care of it will stay the same.

Big Lou

December 9th, 2012
6:35 pm

Pigskin

December 9th, 2012
6:40 pm

I just feel really bad for Tony G. Guy stuck around this year thinking we may have a chance to do something special….and it’s come to this?

Unbelievable and downright cruel what this team has done to him and his dreams. Inexcusable.

Wabe

December 9th, 2012
6:40 pm

There’s a simple solution to our offensive woes. I’m not saying it’ll solve every existing problem we have, but it’s obvious at this point we function far better out of the no huddle.

We were predominantly a no huddle team early in the season, and as the season continued, we’ve seen less of it.

At this point, they need to recognize that going no huddle is our best bet. If they’re not gonna change the looks up front on the O-Line personnel wise, then your best bet is to speed up the tempo of the game and tire out opposing fronts.

Why they’re having such a hard time coming to that conclusion is what I don’t get.

Defensively, I was hoping Nolan would get this defense to play Cam better after already having played him. But, Cam did whatever he wanted. With that said, our defense was put in a tough spot all afternoon. They played the majority of the 1st half on the field. They were without 2 stars in our secondary. Wouldn’t really make too much of this performance defensively. Still comfortable with this group’s potential in the playoffs.

The same story here through 14 weeks. Where’s this ‘explosive’ offense. At this point, they are what they are. They’re not an explosive offense. But, they do have the potential to still be a very good offense, if they make the proper adjustments and play to our strengths.

No huddle. Period. From the opening possession.

Big Lou

December 9th, 2012
6:40 pm

http://www.atlantafalcons.com/media-lounge/videos/A-Learning-Loss/53f6f821-f2b7-4b8b-bada-64f8debed63c

Don’t really like Matt Ryan’s responses. The offense sucked, period. I give no credit to Carolina.

The Giants game is going to predict the playoffs for the Falcons. I will watch that game, but if they lose… I am done till the playoffs, where they most likely will be ONE and DONE!

D3

December 9th, 2012
6:44 pm

f21 — What would your plan be for the OL in the off-season? I agree whole-heartedly. This current OL is crap. McClure should not be starting at all. Clabo should be at RG, Konz at center, and can Holmes be any worse at LT or RT? I mean dayum.

Big Lou

December 9th, 2012
6:44 pm

“Defensively, I was hoping Nolan would get this defense to play Cam better after already having played him. But, Cam did whatever he wanted. With that said, our defense was put in a tough spot all afternoon. They played the majority of the 1st half on the field. They were without 2 stars in our secondary. Wouldn’t really make too much of this performance defensively. Still comfortable with this group’s potential in the playoffs. ”

I agree. We didn’t have Asante Samuel and William M, who are both wonderful against the run, as well. I am waiting for the Giants game(where we are fully healthy on defense) to make any judgments on them.

Mike

December 9th, 2012
6:48 pm

Please tell me if I am overreacting or not…

This team has some real issues. I firmly believe that they are over-rated. Look at Seattle. Rookie QB and they are dominating a defense that shut us down (Arizona). With as much work as our defense has needed, it still seems that it is our offense that is holding this team back. Here are some major issues that I have noticed. Throughout the year you expect issues, but you also expect the team to correct them and get better. We haven’t gotten better. We have pretty much just stayed the same. I really like our resiliency. But that can only over come poor play so often.

Offense:
This team is still not operating at a level that their talent suggests they should. I dont know what it is. I know the oline is weak. We cant pass block and now we cant even run block. I firmly believe this is the #1 culprit to our offensive issues. If Ryan has time and feels comfortable, he can dissect a defense. The WR also seem to be having issues getting open. The plays down field arent there hardly and Ryan is constantly checking down. The offense just seems to be too conservative. I get a feeling that even Smitty doesnt know how this offense should run. He still uses Turner in ways that dont work. He lines up on the first play of the game to run the ball. Everyone knows its coming and yet we still do it. And we still gain just a yard. And even now I am beginning to wonder if Kotter is the right guy. This offense has the ability to blow teams out. Its not going to happen every game, but it should happen. And its not. This offense has taken steps back all year.

Defense:
The piss poor tackling continues to be an issue. Our secondary will have one good game and then a bad one. Guys like DR and DeCoud will look great one Sun and will make you want to rip your hair out another Sun. We just don’t seem like a tough defense. We seem more finesse, and on top 0f all that after years, we still have a pathetic pass rush. The dline is small and weak. We cant stop the run, and we cant sack the QB. We basically have to rely on turnovers to win on the defensive side of the ball.

The inability to fix some of the major issues on this team year in and year out also have me questioning TD and his ability to get the right players.

Look, I know all this sounds nuts coming from a fan of a play-off bound 11-2 team. I guess thats what happens when your 11-1 team gets man handled by a 3-9 team, and worst yet, it doesnt surprise you. Plus, it doesnt mean that the issues arent there. We are suppose to be getting hot this time of year and it just doesnt seem to be happening. I love this team and am not trolling. I am just a concerned fan. I want to see progress. And even though we have seen tremendous progress from 2007. We have not seen as much from 2008.

waynester

December 9th, 2012
6:48 pm

D3 nailed it in one. This felt EXACTLY like the team mood of those playoff losses, especially early on when our “O” couldn’t string even a few plays together. Every time I see our guys on TV shows during the week, we play poorly the following weekend. Too many distractions–JUST LIKE THE PLAYOFFS!!!! Are we really mature enough to handle some success without somebody pulling a Eugene on the night before the big game????

Chop Buster

December 9th, 2012
6:49 pm

Man our ST coach better be prepared for these Giants PR/KR. They are running all through the Taints today. Speaking of ST, I wonder how long will we let Franks continue to do nothing with the ball.

falcon21

December 9th, 2012
6:51 pm

Just as you said D3 and draft the best available OG.

D3

December 9th, 2012
6:52 pm

Wabe — Fantastic post @ 6:40. Could not agree anymore. I keep going back to seeing Ryan in that Ravens game from 2010 and yet we never see that gameplan.

JJ

December 9th, 2012
6:53 pm

LRD, 151 proof…had a shot of that back in my 20’s…

JJ

December 9th, 2012
6:56 pm

Big Lou, sorry my friend but I CANNOT root for the taints under ANY circumstance!!!

LRD

December 9th, 2012
6:56 pm

We are still sitting at the #1 seed.
We had coaches make changes to allow us to at least make a game of it in the 2nd half.
Our O can be explosive.
Wabe pointed it out (and we all have said it at one time or another)… no huddle is really the key to our O. When we are in it, we have flow, we have confidence and we move the ball
Bad loss, and to the Carolina makes it sore.. but giving up hope yet

JB Falcon

December 9th, 2012
6:58 pm

Based on what I’m seeing right now in the Giants game, the Falcons better get their sh!t together for next week.

D3

December 9th, 2012
6:58 pm

Mike —- You’re not overreacting at all. I think we all feel that way. If they don’t get some things fixed and fast we’ll see another one and done in the playoffs. Book it.

Big O

December 9th, 2012
6:59 pm

There is no mystery about it! The Panthers dominated the offensive & defensive line of scrimmage! Everything else, including Ryan’s showing, results from that!

JJ

December 9th, 2012
7:02 pm

D3, Have you noticed our WR routes in that game against the ravens had allot of YAC (short,med post) and most of our routes today are button hooks or out patterns with a big ZERO chance for YAC???

We bitched about this with MM and were told cooter would open up the passing downfield…not true! MS will never get fired with his record but cotter better watch out!!!

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Geo

December 9th, 2012
7:22 pm

” Where’s this ‘explosive’ offense.”

I don’t think you can expect that with a team that starts Michael Turner.

It is not just the Oline. It is playing handicapped with a useless offensive player. He is like a lead weight on the offense.

This is exactly the same problems as in our playoff embarassments. Look, I’m not trying to beat down a guy. But there just comes a time…and we are wasting time with plays to Turner that are losing yardage, losing first downs, losing momentum.

Big Lou

December 9th, 2012
7:25 pm

Falcons looked screwed next week.

D3

December 9th, 2012
7:28 pm

Geo — Man, absolutely spot on. For all their talk, Turner still gets the bulk of carries and touches. Where was Jason Snelling today? Heck, even Antone Smith got in the game and got a screen that didn’t work out and was never heard from again. That is 100% “Smittyball!” Our OL is bad, but Quizz and Snelling do better with said OL than Molasses Turner. We get a great drive coming down the field and who do we bring in Turner to kill it. Just don’t get it. I knew this would happen if we kept Turner and sure enough……….

JB Falcon

December 9th, 2012
7:28 pm

Geo, the fact is MT caught TD fooling around with his wife, ergo, playing time at all expense. That’s the only thing my imagination can cook up. If you have another reason for this half azz play calling I would like to hear it.

JJ

December 9th, 2012
7:28 pm

How bout David Wilson, Giants RB finally given a chance and running with it!

JJ

December 9th, 2012
7:31 pm

sorry, thats ffl not falcons.

JB Falcon

December 9th, 2012
7:36 pm

52-27, 1:27 to go, GO SKAINTS!

Slant Pattern

December 9th, 2012
7:36 pm

“Falcons looked screwed next week.” – Big Lou

Not necessarily. There is much our team could learn from watching the VaGiants. Their RB that has scored 3 times and did the back flips is a speed back. Unlike our team the VaGiants realized that the Taints weakness in the running game is not power running but fast elusive types. Turner should be benched or at a minimum held out until inside the red-zone. Using a backfield tandem of Snelling, Quizz, and A. Smith will give us power and speed options while retaining passing checkdown ability. If the Vagiantts wanna use the current trend of bum rushing our shat O-line up the middle we can burn them with A. Smiths speed to the outside. Manning and their offense is good but not unstoppable. Smitty needs to be benched with Turner and have an outside interim coach brought in that understands a pass first offense. We can win a shootout with the VaGiants but Smitty turtle ball cannot smell the field much less be on it. That is a recipe for fail and sadly the one I expect us to use.

drmondo

December 9th, 2012
7:38 pm

A few thoughts:
-I hope they finally realize that Turner is not the workhorse he was and is nearly useless in a fast-paced game. He still has his moments, but they really are when the other team is tired and beaten and we’re up a couple scores.
-I think Mr Blank needs to have a conversation with Coach Smith. He needs to basically lay it out and say that if Smitty continues to dictate a power running offense with this personnel and it’s not successful, Smitty’s getting the blame. If he gives the playcalling to his coordinators and they’re not sucessful then we know it’s not the playcalling and his seat isn’t as warm as it could be. If they’re sucessful, then everyone’s happy and Smitty can start dusting off his shelves for all the trophies.
-We need to run the no-huddle more.
-In the draft and FA we need to bolster both lines. We’ve got the skill players. We need enough time to get them the ball/ get to the QB on D. I wouldn’t spend an early pick on a rb. We can find the right guy for our needs later in the draft.
-just another reminder, Turner is done. Use Quizz and Snelling 90% of the time unless we’re up by 20+ points late in the 3rd qtr. He’s useless on passing downs except as a blocker. When he catches the ball, he rarely gets any YAC.

JJ

December 9th, 2012
7:38 pm

Giants are going to kill us AGAIN!
Our front 5 cannot contain their front 4…yea it sukks!!!

Mike

December 9th, 2012
7:39 pm

You want to see a top offense???

The Giants put up 52 on the Saints. 52!!!!

Its starting to feel like a Mike Smith coached team will never put up that many points on a team.

E43

December 9th, 2012
7:42 pm

I wasn’t really surprised because the Panthers are hot-wired to take down the Falcons. The other teams that couldve caused the falcons problems is the redskins, and Mike Vick’s last season Falcons. Otherwise, none of the difficulties I saw today surprised me. Im also not woried about it because there is no other team built quite like the Panthers.

JJ

December 9th, 2012
7:43 pm

SP, but Turner has some nasty photos of MS that keeps him in the game. AB needs to tell TD to sit his ass and release the photos…hes trying to get a new stadium and PSL’s approved.
Arthur, you go 1 and done in playoffs, good luck with those psl’s buddy!!!

Geo

December 9th, 2012
7:49 pm

Also, you would think good coaching would prevent Dunta from making the same stupid mistake on third down of holding the receiver UNECESSARILY, thereby turning a fourth down into a first down for the opposing offense. SMH.

JB Falcon

December 9th, 2012
7:52 pm

After watching a real playoff contender kick the Skaints azz I am really concerned about our on-again-off-again half azz record. We seem to end up on top in most of the regular season games, as per the last four years, but have nothing to offer when it come playoff time. After tonight’s game I am a little concerned that we will see another one and done in the playoffs.
My personal history was, I built a winning car but you can’t drive the SOB!!!

JJ

December 9th, 2012
7:55 pm

Coop, congrats, your going to affect the playoffs while not in it, nice!

Wings

December 9th, 2012
7:55 pm

Mike – “And we still gain just a yard.”

You are not over reacting at all. In fact that one yard is giving Michael Turner too much credit. It also points out the HC needs to see reality.

falcon21

December 9th, 2012
7:57 pm

JJ, this team is clueless, we will be one and done after the first half of our first playoff game. If anyone can find us a bright side of this team, bring it, we are waiting!

JJ

December 9th, 2012
7:59 pm

f21, agree!!!

Eye in the Sky

December 9th, 2012
8:05 pm

No need to panic Falcons fans!! Things to take from this game. No William Moore or Assante Samuel it was obvious that Mike Nolan called a lot of vanilla coverage in the first half hoping to contain the passing game of the kitties it made me think Van Gorder was back in the booth especially with the 10 yard cushion given to the kitties WR’s. If the mantra is truly “next man up” call the same coverages and make the players realize they have to really step up!! Then no no huddle offense to get on top of them quick!! The Falcons got punched in the mouth on both sides of the ball early and often. If they had played the first half like they did the second half probably would have been a different outcome. Why not start the game as if you are down by 21 then maybe just maybe this explosive offense would not let up until they for sure have the game won!! OK let’s take the lesson learned and keep the run going we are in the playoffs!! KICK the GIants butts next week knock them out of the playoffs!!

Big Lou

December 9th, 2012
8:08 pm

SP

In other words, we’re screwed. Nothing is going to change.

I hope I’m wrong, though.

falcon21

December 9th, 2012
8:10 pm

Damn, I should have figured that out, Moore and Samuel is the reason we have a pizz poor o-line!

Big Lou

December 9th, 2012
8:11 pm

Eye

With RG3’s knee screwed up and the Cowgirls… being the Cowgirls, I really don’t see the Giants being knocked out of the playoffs.

just plain stupid

December 9th, 2012
8:13 pm

@ eye in the sky: No need to PANIC!!! What else is there to do? Nolan calling a vanilla coverage why??? you just played them, that’s your divisional opponent, hell if you don’t know them by now when will you?? The Falcons just don’t bring two things that match to the game..you either have good defense/no offense…decent offense/no defense…when are we gonna play a full 60 minute game??? Somebody needs to turn the offense loose or we are done for this year.

JB Falcon

December 9th, 2012
8:17 pm

21, you’re funny. I thought it was Franks!

Elvis is Alive

December 9th, 2012
8:17 pm

3 for 19 in Third down conversions in the last two games says it all. I predicted a blowout but the other way around. How easily I was fooled.
Limp,unimaginative and predictable offense. Those that say our pathetic effort it is a “ruse” to fool the other teams in the division are totally whack.
Winning means winning..Losing does not build confidence.
Lets replace all the starters with the second team players. At least we will see some fire,anger and aggression.
Then if we lose we can make excuses about how it was ,”only the second string”

joseph cole

December 9th, 2012
8:19 pm

the falcons need to bench mike turner, he is plain horrible. Somebody needs to slap the hell out of mattryan to jumpstart him.,They need to fire whoever the OL coach is.in the offseason arthr blank needs to stop being cheap and go get a star in free agency.and get some DL guys through draft or free agency

D3

December 9th, 2012
8:20 pm

falcon21

December 9th, 2012
8:21 pm

Arno

December 9th, 2012
8:25 pm

Both Falcons and Panthers scored exactly 1.2 points per minute their offenses were on the field. With teams that match up well, the Panthers did what they needed to do to win the game– control the clock. Falcons had one possession in the 1st quarter??

Wabe

December 9th, 2012
8:32 pm

Mike, you’re not overreacting.

I too looked at that SEA-ARIZONA score and was thinking to myself, why couldn’t the Falcons win more convincingly against that team.

With that said, Russell Wilson didn’t really do much in that game. Then again, he didn’t really have to do much. He threw for under 200 yards. Lynch carried the load offensively. And their defense is pretty much what went off for them today. [sidenote - my opponent had the seahawks defense in our fantasy playoff game and I got romped because of them...40 f'n points this week].

But, getting back to the point, I haven’t been buying the ‘get by in whatever way to win’ argument since our game against Oakland. I was ok with getting by Carolina and Washington, fully expecting a blowout the following week. It didn’t happen. We played it close.

It speaks volumes when the offense can come to a grinding halt week after week. You’d have to be delusional to think that they’ll suddenly just turn it on.

They’ve been terrible now [and I mean TERRIBLE] against some subpar teams. The Skins, Raiders, Cardinals, Saints, and now the Panthers have all literally shut this offense down for a good chunk of the game. Outside of a couple drives in each of those games, they didn’t really do jack ish.

I’ll say it again, no huddle. That’ll be this teams one and only chance to keep the chains moving and put points up come playoff time.

He’s being harassed against these bum teams, just line him up behind this line when the Aldon Smith, Justin Smith, JPP, Justin Tuck, and Umenyiora get after this offense.

Geo

December 9th, 2012
8:33 pm

D3, I think you nailed it with this section:

“Matt Ryan always does best in an open, no-huddle type of offense. If you think about some of Ryan’s best games, they have come from those type of gameplans going all the way back to the Ravens game in 2010. This offense is more in sync, has more rhythm, and it masks some of the weaknesses on the offensive line. The Falcons were at their best early in the season with many of the no-huddle type of looks and yet they are going away from it with diminishing results. Even the run game seems more productive in the no-huddle. Do they have to stay in all the time? No, but why not go with what works best. They only implemented it when they were down 23 points and, sure enough, they went right down the field. The great mystery remains.”

It is a mystery. It’s a mystery the cage has tried to unravel. We need the inside scoop, but we no doubt won’t get it.

Wabe

December 9th, 2012
8:36 pm

One last point…

Not sure if anybody caught it a couple weeks back, but Aaron Rodgers has been pretty vocal about the need for a more consistent rushing attack for the Packers. It’s not a coincident that he starts saying that when his line starts looking suspect.

Now, I’m not calling for the same thing here. All I’m saying is, they recognize what the problem is, and they’re at least committing to a solution to help with that problem.

Until Smitty shows that he recognizes the problem and shows some commitment to fix our protection issues, the offense will continue to stall.

Everybody else tries to stay one step ahead. We always seem like we’re a step behind the ‘elite’ or ‘proven’ teams in the league.

Ken

December 9th, 2012
8:38 pm

Hey Falcon fans don’t get so bent out of shape over one loss!! Wow talk about hitting the panic button. Falcons are still the No. 1 seed. Now you know what you have to work on for the long haul the kitties just did you a favor take advantage of it and bring home the trophy. Sitting Moore and Samuel to heal was a good move. The O line needs to go back to cut blocking to be effective it is obvious that Falcons look for pass blockers only because we can’t block for the run at all but can pass block fine. What is Pat Hill teaching these guys they don’t get under anyone to get leverage at all!! Get low and you win the battle!!

JB Falcon

December 9th, 2012
8:38 pm

D3

December 9th, 2012
8:43 pm

Looks like we might be the fools all along and all the media elite experts were right the whole time. I’m not ready to jump ship on this team just yet, but it’s amazing to me how an offense can so easily be shut down with so much talent. We’ll know everything we need to about the Falcons in 7 days.

falcon21

December 9th, 2012
8:44 pm

The Kitties just did you a favor, yep, they showed us how bad we are!

Eye in the Sky

December 9th, 2012
8:44 pm

@just plain stupid

your name speaks for itself!!
TOO EASY LOL!!

falcon21

December 9th, 2012
8:50 pm

Can anyone on this blog tell me something to take positive out of this game? I love my Birds but I see nothing!

Eye in the Sky

December 9th, 2012
8:55 pm

@ Big Lou

take a look at the remaining schedules of the NFC East contenders
Washington next three games Browns, Eagles and Cowboys
Giants next three games Falcons, Ravens and Eagles
Dallas next three games Steelers, aints, Redskins

so it is possible that the GIants could falter IJS!!
Giants lose tie breaker they can’t afford to lose one game. However neither can the Skins or Cowgirls.

JJ

December 9th, 2012
8:56 pm

f21, yea Blank has no chance at psl’s!!! And the public sentiment with the hotel tax will scream NO if we go 0-4 in post season. AB’s ass is on the line with this 1.2BILLION dollar stadium, and he knowes it!!!

falcon21

December 9th, 2012
9:00 pm

Not what I was looking for JJ but good point!

JB Falcon

December 9th, 2012
9:02 pm

21, positive? We learned that we are not what we think we are?

Greg Mendel

December 9th, 2012
9:06 pm

“Can anyone on this blog tell me something to take positive out of this game? I love my Birds but I see nothing!” — falcon21

Check the link below. It’s from the Cage archives, and features 2012 season predictions:

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-fans/2012/09/04/atlanta-falcons-the-great-bird-cage-season-prediction-competition/?cp=1

In fairness, nobody was sure what to expect, but there was general optimism. Purely numbers-wise, the team is doing slightly better than expected at this point. We won some games most Cagers thought we’d lose.

I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say, after today’s loss, there’s much playoff optimism in the Cage. Well, I’m a confessed homer, and that’s bullsmitt! We’ll win the first one. And if we win the first one, we’ll play in the Super Bowl.

Greg Mendel

December 9th, 2012
9:09 pm

You want optimism, ask a homer.

(Fire Turner!)

snacktastic

December 9th, 2012
9:10 pm

Still pissed off. Just thought I’d put it down so the team can know where I stand, just in case they read this blog. I can barely stand to write anything else.

Greg Mendel

December 9th, 2012
9:10 pm

“not” much

DHunt

December 9th, 2012
9:11 pm

Dang. 151 comments and counting and evidently the new blog was up before the game was over. Apocalypse Now, anyone? It will take me a few days to get through all the commentary this evidently engendered, so for now, just a few random thoughts to add to the cacophony.

Embarrassed? Really? This is a Panthers team that was picked to win the South by many at the start of the season. They’ve had almost as much bad “luck” as some would say the Falcons have had good “luck”. Cam Newton, despite maturity issues and growing pains, is still an athletic freak of nature and not a bad QB when the rest of his team is on a roll. This is a division opponent, who we face twice a year, at home, and literally most of these guys are playing for their jobs next year. And they lost a heartbreaker to the Falcons in the Ga Dome, in a game where they arguably outplayed us even moreso than they did today.

So they came out very motivated and played their best game of the year. The Falcons came out flat and couldn’t recover. But embarrassed seems putting a bit more on it than it really needs. The Panthers moved the ball on offense, in large part due to several excellent 3rd and long conversions, most of which were the product of Cam scrambling. And anyone who thinks Cam can’t scramble with the best that ever played this game, is either not paying attention or is delusional. A big third down touchdown pass on the first series of the game was a great pass and an even better catch over DeCoud who was a step slow, but only a step. Cam got a big designed run as well, and as Falcon fans who have seen first hand what a mobile QB can do if given even a little room to run, it’s great when you can stop it from happening, but it’s not totally unexpected or the end of the world when you can’t. Great play by Cam shouldn’t embarrass the Falcons. Maybe it should motivate them to be more prepared to deal with him, NEXT YEAR, but that’s about all it’s worth at this particular point of this particular season.

Let’s not get overly low about a division road loss. It’s not the end of the world.

That’s not to

Arno

December 9th, 2012
9:11 pm

Sharp, Greg. And D3’s words are prophetic:

13) Falcons @ Panthers – Loss — There’s a tendency to not include a game the Falcons should win in theory, and to his credit, Coach Smith has done a good job of winning the games that they should win, but this seems to have letdown game written all over it.

Wabe

December 9th, 2012
9:19 pm

falcon21,

The positive that I’m leaning on at the moment is, I’m glad this happened now. I’m glad they got a serious wake up call. It seems that folks at Flowery Branch were buying into this notion that they were just a team that ‘did whatever they had to do to win’ without ever concerning themselves with ways to get better. At least that’s the vibe I kept getting. They seemed satisfied with the way they’d been playing despite cutting it close all those games.

Now, they understand that they’re a flawed group. Nothing entirely wrong with that, because looking around the league, a lot of teams [if not every team] looks flawed in some way.

But what team masks its flaws the best wins. And the Falcons have done a pi$$ poor job of that. This is something that needed to happen. And I’m happy to see guys like Gonzalez getting vocal about it. Now, if only some of these other players who are supposed to be the leaders of this team would do the same. Ryan, Roddy, Gonzo, these guys gotta know what’s wrong with the offense and they need to get vocal about it. Stop with this ‘politically correct’ garbage and let it be known how you’re feeling every once in a while. I don’t mean throw everybody under the bus or pull a Ray Edwards. I mean, be a vocal leader.

Greg Mendel

December 9th, 2012
9:19 pm

DHunt:

Damn good post! Watching the game, I certainly noticed Falcons mistakes. But, frankly, Carolina played a good, hard game.

Maybe we Cagers (we homers, anyway) tend to forget that other NFL teams can play very well. It’s possible to lose even when both teams play well.

D3

December 9th, 2012
9:20 pm

Geo — Thanks man. It’s maddening to see our offense flow so well in the no-huddle and never to see it again. That’s Smittyball in my opinion.

Wabe — Great points all around. You can have close victories sometimes and that’s OK, but not if you’re seemingly intentionally putting yourself in those positions. It’s like that every single week. The last really good game we played was way back against the Eagles. Heck, that was like 6 weeks ago and the Eagles turned out to be bad anyway. Take no further look than the Saints game. We should have completely blown them out after being up 17-0 and we nearly blow the whole thing.

Seminole Warrior and I have gone back and forth for awhile about the disconnect thing, but it appears he’s right after all. I think it begins and ends with Smith. Yes, TD hasn’t been perfect in his picks, but he’s at least shown an ability to change and adapt (not taking injury prone players after Peria Jerry, taking two OL with his first two picks this year). Smitty has not shown that yet.

Chop Buster

December 9th, 2012
9:22 pm

It’s one game, but I guess it’s the way they lost that concerns me. Inconsistency in every aspect of the word for coaching, playcalling, player execution, and tackling. I believe Smitty is overruling the DC and OC. Of course I have no evidence other than the team looks too darn conservative and I thought I was watching last years teams (BVG & Mularkey). But the common denominator left from that regime is Smitty. I don’t believe he has it in him to attack a team on both sides of the ball for 4 quarters. I hate that everything being pointed out seems so negative, but tell me what’s there to feel good about with this team other than their regular season record?

When the pressure gets turned up late in the season on this team, Smitty and Matt Ryan start cracking. This team is just not built right to win championships–yet. Let’s face it, they’ve overachieved all year long. Name ONE dominant player on either side of the ball? Julio…shows flashes but handcuffed to Smitty’s offense. Abraham…gets swallowed up by certain defenses.

Someone said it earlier, but TD or Arthur needs to have a serious sit down with Smitty and find out what is he doing with this team. What is his plan to win the next three games…the playoffs. Why we go an entire first half and couldn’t score one field goal? Looked likes the Giants game from last year. New coordinators don’t seem to make a difference when you don’t let them have free reign with the game plan. Players have a lot of blame in all of this as well. Enough from me on this…done venting.

falcon21

December 9th, 2012
9:24 pm

Wabe, I will buy that!

Chop Buster

December 9th, 2012
9:29 pm

DHunt/Greg, I can’t speak for anyone else but for me it’s about what the Falcons didn’t do. I know the Panthers have good players and will move the ball. The problem is we were NOT competitive the entire first half of a game. This is a bad pattern that we’ve seen before. Now I don’t know if it’s all coaching or the players lack focus and execution or what…but they stinked today. If you lose playing a competitive game that’s one thing, but they lost looking lost. The coaches seemed a dollar short and a day late getting things going.

Wabe

December 9th, 2012
9:32 pm

Dhunt,

I get you’re a glass half full kinda guy bro, but if you don’t see the problems at this point, I don’t know if you ever will man.

Going back to last week, just gauge where this offense is at. After an early jump on the Saints, the Falcons offense has been pedestrian at best. Downright pathetic in my eyes. And, you can honestly take it back further than that. They’ve had more bad games than good games this season. We’ve come out of more games this season questioning what’s going on with the offense than we’ve come out satisfied. That’s concerning. Especially when you’re getting locked up against very beatable defenses. That don’t bode well for the playoffs.

The Panthers gave up 27 points to Brady Quinn and the Chiefs last week. I understand after what happened in KC, there might’ve been some emotional players that played a ‘little harder’. But, point being, they still put the points up there. Not to mention, they’re a 1-win team that ended up beating the Panthers last week…

There’s no ‘positive way’ you can spin the game itself. It was atrocious. The coaching staff isn’t showing any understanding of how to make this offense ‘go’. Simple question, is this offense playing anywhere near its potential? Isn’t that why we got rid of Mike Mularkey? Because he wasn’t getting enough out of the offense that featured all these star studded players? Well, what exactly has Dirk Koetter done with the same guys that leads one to say they’re a ‘much better unit’ this season compared to last? They still look like the same inconsistent offense. They’ll look great one game, and look downright terrible in others. They’ll look great in one half of a game, and look downright terrible the next half. There’s no level of consistency on either side of the ball truthfully. It’s been that way for years with Smitty though. They don’t do any one thing great. That’s why you see one side having to pick the other up every week. They don’t have a ‘calling card’.

D3

December 9th, 2012
9:34 pm

Arno — Wow, I forgot I picked us to lose this one. I was worried about this game all week and it did have trap written all over it. This is by no means excusing the loss, but it came after a few huge games in a row, both to division opponents. I also think it was a major mistake for Smith to give the players 4 days off. Way too long of a layoff and expect them to just turn it back on. I said the same d@mn thing about our preparations for the playoffs with our bye week. I saw a few videos and reports and they weren’t even hitting. I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe you can be mentally ready for the biggest game of the seasons by practicing in shorts and t-shirts.

D3

December 9th, 2012
9:36 pm

Gotta love that pesticide…………

Greg Mendel

December 9th, 2012
9:37 pm

Chop Buster:

I agree, and I saw it too.

I always plead football ignorance, but I do have my own theory. The first Carolina game was a surprise because the Panthers came with a plan to put heavy pressure on Ryan. They did it again today and won.

After Carolina did it first, other teams saw and planned. That’s how you beat Atlanta.

Maybe the coaches can “fix” the O-line without better players, but I don’t see how.

darrell starks

December 9th, 2012
9:43 pm

Will the coaching staff ever listen 2 D3 and bloggers about Turner, why is he still starting ?

What have Turner done so far in the playoffs ?

How many yards did he have against Cardinals in 2009 playoffs ?

How many yards did he have against Packers in 2010 playoffs ?

How many yards did he have against Giants in 2012 playoffs ?

So what make this coaching staff think that 30 YEAR OLD Turner will do anything in 2013 playoffs ?

Mike Smith will he become the bobby cox of football time will tell.

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

Wabe

December 9th, 2012
9:47 pm

D3,

I’ll definitely buy into that ‘disconnect theory’ that SW has been harping on.

It boils back down to philosophy in my eyes. As you point out, TD sees what’s going on in the NFL, and he’s adjusted his approach and adapted to make his team more successful in today’s NFL. He understood that it was a passing league [QB driven league] after that Debacle in the Dome, and he made the bold move to go get an explosive player to plug into this offense to help us become more of what the NFL had become [a pass first QB driven offense]. As you point out, he saw the flawed OL play and took a couple linemen this past draft.

I still don’t think he’s without fault. I mean, dude’s taken probably one to two linemen on both sides of the ball with early draft picks. Everybody else is a mid to late round pick. That pretty much speaks to why this team is so bad up front. And truthfully, I think this is where the disconnect is. It has everything to do with the lines.

Smitty seems like a guy who knows how to win one way. He’s old school, and TD’s adjusted to try to get us more effective in today’s NFL. Smitty’s wants to run the football and play good defense. Just look at the places he came from. He spent time in Baltimore [never really a high flying offense, more of a run the ball + play great defense] and came from Jacksonville where they had great lines. To do what Smitty wants to do, you have to be oober talented on both sides of the ball, but that’s an area that TD’s been downright neglectful in. TD hasn’t valued the lines anywhere near the level they need to be to do what Smitty wants to do. There’s a reason BVG was rushing 3-4 more than he’d get exotic and send heat. That’s how Smitty’s accustomed to playing it. There’s a reason why he keeps ramming Turner and insisting on running the ball, that’s the only way he’s accustomed to. His track record [the places his been and how they've built and won football teams/games] would show exactly the kinda approach he’s gonna bring.

I’m not saying Smitty’s approach won’t ever cut it. But, I really think that’s where the disconnect is. It’s the approach. TD’s adapted to today’s NFL and has built this team in that manner. Problem is, you have a headcoach that has no experience winning in that way, and despite being around in the league for a while, he’s always been on teams that carried that philosophy [run and play good defense], and as a result, that’s what he’s been groomed to do.

I maybe wrong. Just my take.

The Time is NOW

December 9th, 2012
9:47 pm

There is one other thing from this game that gives me hope. After the Falcons fell behind 23-0, they finally started playing some football. They scored on consecutive possessions and were driving again. Ultimately, they didn’t make plays and lost. But they came back to the point where I actually thought they would get a shot for a win or tie at the end of regulation. I am not happy with the result, but the comeback attempt avoided the embarrassment of getting whipped so bad that they were never in the game. Still, the trend of the team’s recent play is disturbing.

falcon21

December 9th, 2012
9:53 pm

I hear ya Time Now, Wabe, good stuff man!

Coop

December 9th, 2012
9:53 pm

As the year goes on, I see the same thing I saw last year. No way, I’d bet money we beat anybody in the playoffs.

D3

December 9th, 2012
9:54 pm

Wabe / Chop — Great points. Smitty is the common denominator here for sure. How does our offense look so great early in the season only to look as bad or worse than Mularkey’s offense from last year. Is Koetter really that bad where once people get film on him, than he’s all figured out for the rest of the season? Surely not.

I think what many of us get so angry about is the refusal on Smith’s part to try different things. It’s called Smittyball, but it’s more than just coaching decisions and such, but a larger philosophy. He will not change hardly whatsoever. I could list a thousand examples, but I’ll just go with a few:

1) Refusing to change the RB situation
2) Exact same OL as last year, despite draft picks
3) Refusal to give guys like Snelling and Antone Smith touches
4) Put A.Smith in for one play, never to see him again.
5) Quizz makes a great play and gets immediately taken out
6) No changes in offensive philosophy
7) Never putting young guys in on defense, like Sidbury
8.) Glacial change or really no change at all

It’s a pattern and we all feel like it’s 2010 all over again.

Big Lou

December 9th, 2012
9:57 pm

Derrell

At least Bobby Cox made it to multiple world series games and won one.

Smith aspires to be on that level.

darrell starks

December 9th, 2012
9:59 pm

What Happen 2 Travian Robertson why he is not playing ?

PERIA IS A BUST

What Happen 2 Cliff Mathews why he is not playing ?

It is very obvious that Kroy should be playing OLB instead of DE.

Why is so hard for this coaching staff to figure out only a little adjustment will make this team better.

Falcons DL have no pressure up the middle or on the edge if you shut down Abraham then you need not 2 worry about pass rushing from Falcons at all.

Travian and Cliff make this DL much better up front against the run and also more pressure up front against passs.

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

Chop Buster

December 9th, 2012
9:59 pm

Greg, there are things the Falcons can do in the interim to counter the pass rush–but darn if we do them. We saw one, maybe two screen plays today? Ryan must not be good rolling out of the pocket and throwing because we don’t do it that much. Or how about the toss sweep to Jacquizz that worked so well and many other plays that had success to never be seen again. Does the coaches think those plays are good for just one game or something? I don’t know. Coaching is definitely part of the problem with this team’s overall success.

Big Lou

December 9th, 2012
10:00 pm

Wabe

Smith’s way will win if we had an Adrian Peterson, not some used up RB.

After the Arizona playoff game in Matt Ryan’s rookie year, Turner hasn’t done jack sh!t in January.

Greg Mendel

December 9th, 2012
10:01 pm

Sincere, serious question:

If Smitty is “old school” and not the best head coach we could have, who is “new school” and/or a better coach we could have? “Could have” means “could realistically acquire.”

DISCLAIMER: This question is a question, not an argument or a statement, and not directed towards anyone in particular. Doubts about Smith are frequent in the Cage.

Wabe

December 9th, 2012
10:02 pm

Smitty’s approach is more built for a team built like the Niners or even the Steeler’s of the past.

Run the ball behind great lines and play great defense. He’s accustomed to grinders.

It’s not an approach that can’t work. But, that’s where the disconnect is between Smitty’s approach and TD’s approach. TD’s invested heavily in skill positions, and has done the bare minimum to bolster the lines.

Greg Mendel

December 9th, 2012
10:03 pm

Thanks, Chop Buster.

Chop Buster

December 9th, 2012
10:05 pm

D3 (9:54), I swear it feels like Smitty is living that 1970 football philosophy of many head coaches. They don’t play rookies unless they’re a first round draft, they insist on running the ball with a blocking FB and HB, and want to milk the clock anytime they’ve gotten a lead (it’s not sportsman like to run up the score on anyone). All of the things you mentioned and more shows this guy is set in his ways and it may end up being his demise if we continue to fail in the playoffs.

The Time is NOW

December 9th, 2012
10:09 pm

O linemen usually take some time to develop at the pro level. However, with all the linemen we’ve drafted the last couple of years either TD ain’t pickin’ well OR the players aren’t being coached up and put in a position to succeed. This observation is focused on beyond this season. For now, we have who we have and will live or die with them.

Wabe

December 9th, 2012
10:09 pm

Greg,

I’m not sure who the Falcons could go get that would be better suited for the personnel we have. I still don’t think it’s all coaching, but there is certainly something that just ain’t clicking within the coaching staff [regardless of whether you wanna talk about the staffs of the past or this years staff].

A guy like Sean Payton would be a much better fit for this team than a guy like Smith.

Still not calling for Smitty to be fired. Like I said during the game, TD isn’t without blame. I mean, if I’m not mistaken, the only early draft picks he’s used on the lines have been Baker, Konz and Peria Jerry [someone check me on that].

Biermann, Corey Peters, Vance Walker, Lawrence Sidbury, Cliff Matthews – all mid to late rounders. But, they’re all guys we’re hoping to play ‘great’ when they’re really just rotational guys.

Baker was a bust – that’s on TD.
Peria Jerry was a bust – that’s on TD.
Not investing in the lines – that’s on TD.

So, I don’t think TD’s without blame. Even with the greatest head coaches, it’s tough to see them becoming a juggernaut offense behind this OL.

Chop Buster

December 9th, 2012
10:09 pm

Wabe (10:02) – Exactly! I feel Smitty is stuck in the past and those old school philosophies just don’t work when you don’t have the OL/DL or players to run the smash mouth style of football. Heck even Tom Coughlin has changed his ways of attacking down field through the air. At least he goes and get RBs who can run the ball when needed.

Big Lou

December 9th, 2012
10:17 pm

Chop Buster

Giants also have the best defensive line in the league. That helps.

Greg Mendel

December 9th, 2012
10:22 pm

Wabe: Thanks for taking the time — and for the thoughtful response.

The Time is NOW

December 9th, 2012
10:23 pm

If you can’t win in the trenches, you gotta outcoach and deceive the other team. You also need some exceptional playmakers and win the turnover battle. It’s a tougher formula to win.

Big Max

December 9th, 2012
10:24 pm

The offensive and defensive lines are the most incompetent, weak, sissy’s in the entire NFL. Regarding our defensive line, if you strung a sheet of tissue paper across the field, it would do a better job of stopping the opposing team. Regarding our offensive line, if you strung a sheet of toilet paper across the field, it would do a better job of protecting Ryan. Can you guess how thoroughly disgusted I am??

falcon21

December 9th, 2012
10:30 pm

Wabe, Chop and Greg, later guys, enjoyed and Time Now and D3!

waynester

December 9th, 2012
10:35 pm

The photo of the two Head Coaches kind of tells the story of the game…Rivera and the Panthers pi$$ed off and fired up and Smitty and the Falcons standing around bewildered, unsure of what just happened….

The Time is NOW

December 9th, 2012
10:36 pm

Later cage. Thanks for all your excellent analysis. Tomorrow is another day (although I imagine it will take awhile to get the foul taste out of my mouth).

waynester

December 9th, 2012
10:39 pm

The only way for one of these young guys to get any snaps on a Mike Smith team is for another guy to go down. Our linemen have been mostly healthy keeping the young players off the field…..

D3

December 9th, 2012
10:55 pm

Guess I’ll have to turn in too, don’t want to, but gotta hit the pillow. I thought we’d know all we needed to after the Bucs-Saints consecutive games, but I was wrong. The Giants game will tell us everything we need to know.

Ending thoughts………..

Positive Polly
-Better it happen now than in playoffs
-Maybe this @-whippin’ shook something loose in Smitty’s head re:Turner
-Still have a nice lead for home field advantage
-We’ll know in 7 days whether or not we’re for real heading towards playoffs
-No more “barely getting by” BS meme after this one
-Quizz is showing he’s more than capable of being our primary back
-Smitty’s out of excuses: can’t blame coordinators or assistants now

Negative Nellie
-It’s deja-vu all over again (2010, here we come)
-Our OL may be worst in league
-Our DL’s pretty close
-The coaches are too d@mn stubborn to change
-Looks like we’re the ones with egg on our face now

G’Nite All!

Rip

December 9th, 2012
10:59 pm

Why do people think you have to put up with a crappie Team to be a fan. Just keeping believing that the Crap that is put on the field will WIN. And one year the ball seems to bounce their way and blind fans start talking about Super Bowl, then the Playoffs start and there is the reality shock treatment, BLOW OUT, AND DISGRACED IN THE PLAYOFFS. eyes to cloudy to see, simple put, you do nto have enough pieces and you can not put a bad product on the field and expect to win, Several wasted number 1 picks.

D3

December 9th, 2012
11:00 pm

Just to add a little salt in our wounds………..

The defense, which was playing its fourth and fifth safeties and third and fourth defensive tackles due to injuries, also clicked. The Panthers held the Falcons to 35 yards of total offense in the first half.

The Falcons offensive coaches and players should be ashamed of themselves.

Greg Mendel

December 9th, 2012
11:01 pm

And good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are.

(Sorry. Cagers over 24 years-old won’t understand that reference without the Calabash iPhone app.)

Greg Mendel

December 9th, 2012
11:05 pm

Yo, Rip. Give English a chance!

(G’night.)

Geo

December 9th, 2012
11:05 pm

. Or how about the toss sweep to Jacquizz that worked so well and many other plays that had success to never be seen again. —
Chop Buster

I don’t get it either, but I’m tired of seeing it. Same with your point about not playing guys because of status. Same with running the same damn running plays, all two of ‘em. I’m watching Green Bay run it. I’m watching Detroit do the same. They are creative, their offense doesn’t always run or pass on “run” (which a run play is first down for us always, lately), or “pass” downs. It is nothing like the Falcons.

Wabe

December 9th, 2012
11:52 pm

One last point before I call it night…

Really a response to D3’s last question about the upcoming Giants game…

I’m excited about this game. This is by far the best opponent we will have played. They’ve already smacked 2 NFC contenders, and if the Falcons can beat them next week, I can bet folks will be feeling much different about this team.

It’s a week to week league. Unfortunately, I personally think I’ve seen enough of these guys to know what they are and what they aren’t. But, with all that said, it’ll still be interesting to see how we matchup. I think our Birds matchup well with a team like the Packers. The Giants, in my mind, no. But, coming off a loss, if they wisen up, we’ll see a lot more no huddle, and they’ll find ways to get the chains moving.

Our first real test comes 3 weeks prior to the playoffs. We’ll finally get a chance to see what this 11-2 team looks like against one of the league’s heavyweights.

cold ice truth

December 10th, 2012
12:22 am

we suck, this is 1 and 0 all over again, lets bring back vick next year and get to the NFC championship again, what was that??? today i wanted to puke, we looked worse than the oak raiders, we aint gonna win anything playing with this mentality, smith no tiene huevos!

marko

December 10th, 2012
5:49 am

That sucked. Last year my greatest concern was the uninspiring play of the offensive line. This weekend they reverted to last years form. This was an embarrassing loss, and there’s plenty of blame to go around, but still it’s hard to overlook the dismal play of the line. We won’t have to wait long to see how concerned we should be. The Giants have a better defensive front than the Panthers. Last year they dominated our offensive line. Not to mention ending our season on a sour note. Was Sundays debacle a blip on the radar screen, or a dismal sign of things to come. We won’t have to wait long to find out.

Jonathanatlanta

December 10th, 2012
6:06 am

I’m hopeful they will get things fixed before the playoffs. Lots of talent on this team. But in next years draft we need help on the O and D lines. With a healthy secondary we will be solid there. Turner is struggling but a bit hard to fault him when every time he’s handed the ball there’s a defender in his face.

jimmmb

December 10th, 2012
6:53 am

Mike Smith stresses discipline. So he should, and the Falcons generally play with discipline. Discipline overdone, however, can lead to a loss of passion. One only has to observe the first half of the game today to see the results.

John Waynesworld

December 10th, 2012
7:06 am

Trap game…Didn’t pack our defense…comfortable lead…

I am going to chalk up this loss to all the buzz words that go with “We Left Our Heart At Home”. That should sum it up, rather than we all go into a collective mental tailspin over losing a rather unimportant and OBVIOUSLY uninspiring game.

11-2, STILL the #1 seed with a 2-game cushion, and onto a much more inspiring game against the New York Giants. Payback does inspire, just ask the Panthers, and our guys will be ready for the G-Men this Sunday.

Note to ffl self…If Gostkowski pulls a hammy before tonight’s game I’m gonna cry.

Wings

December 10th, 2012
7:43 am

waynester – “The photo of the two Head Coaches kind of tells the story of the game…Rivera and the Panthers pi$$ed off and fired up and Smitty and the Falcons standing around bewildered, unsure of what just happened….”

That photo struck me in a weird way too. I think of Dumb and Dumber and it’s hard to say who is which.

Chop Buster

December 10th, 2012
7:45 am

Phil, congrats on your superbowl win yesterday. Oh wait a minute, we aren’t even to the playoffs yet–which the Panthers won’t even sniff this year. Enjoy watching other teams from your couch this year!

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
7:54 am

I continue to remain unconcerned about the defense, with the exception of a weak interior DL.

On offense, I’m glad to see TG fed up with our BS.

However, I do want to hear similar fire from Ryan. I do understand he stays pretty cool about stuff, but I have seen him get all over his OL before, so a a bit more of that will help.

I’m going to maintain my stance on Ryan. I still think he has flaws that are very fixable, I still think he does more with less protection and worse gameplanning than most could do. I still think he’s presented with only a few options on several of our plays, none of them good.

I see a lot of inconsistency in the offense that has much more to do with scheme than “hey QB, just make the play.”

Why? Because if he gets sacked, it’s “he held the ball too long”. There’s always somebody seeing this “wide open” receiver, but you know what? Guys are rarely as open as we think they are, especially when we’re looking at a replay where it’s quite possible that the “open” guy is the 3rd read…by that time the defense is up Ryan’s ass.

I watched Manning scan the field repeatedly yesterday evening. Oh, he got chased some, but not all that much. Ryan doesn’t scan the field…yeah he does. When he has time, he makes some nice throws. When he doesn’t have time, he has a choice – hold the ball and get sacked, throw the ball away, or force a throw and get picked off.

I’m not saying this is the case every time, but when you expect your QB to “make a play”, this is what can happen. I beg for an explanation of why Ryan looked so confident and so sharp in the no huddle as opposed to whatever BS we were running prior to that. Why did he, with the exception of the forced throw while going for it on 4th down with 6 min left, look like he was in control…unlike how he looked for the majority of the game?

Why was the Panthers’ coverage so tight, as if (really, as if) they knew every play and how we’d run it…even when Ryan would check down? And we just gave up on the running game. It was as though somebody determined that if we couldn’t run Turner, then we simply did not need to run.

I didn’t see our WRs get a lot of separation yesterday, and I do not blame them (nor do I blame Ryan for not trying to force more throws than he did).

The routes suck monkey butt when scripted. It’s really that simple.

Why in the hell did we spot them a 23 point lead before going to what has proven to work all season long when we’re in trouble?

Here is what we did when we went to the no huddle: We forced Ryan and the rest fo the offense to play mistake-free football…two things happened.

1) We got a BS call on a 2 point conversion, which if called properly changes the complexion of the game.

2) On the next drive, Ryan makes a mistake while trying to make a play under duress.

You can talk all you want about how the QB is supposed to make the play. Last I looked, throwing the ball away is NOT making the play. Throwing the ball away would have done one thing – put a tired defense back on the field with the pressure of forcing a quick 3 and out while the other team tries to grind the clock, or somehow forcing a turnover (which is difficult when the opposing offense is taking no chances because they have a lead they can sit on).

Ryan is responsible for a lot, but he’s also being asked to overcome a lot.

What I saw was Ryan costing us a last gasp chance at pulling this one out. It was bound to happen after SEVERAL comeback attempts in which he did all that was necessary and more to make the winning drive happen. This time he didn’t. Mr. Murphy will get your ass sooner or later if you keep playing with him.

As for what cost us the game? That was our a mix of ineptitude that I thought this team was not capable of showing us. 35 yards in the first half? Since when? No wonder TG was mad. Ryan should have been mad, too.

I don’t want to hear one damn thing from anybody who isn’t mad, because mad is all anybody should be. That was insanely bad. Bad execution for sure, but even worse coaching.

Now instead of 4 games to fix the problems, we have three to fix them.

I just saw a Giants squad last night that will beat the dog snot out of us if we come to the game the way we did yesterday. And they will look good doing it, too.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
8:03 am

I’m excited about this game. This is by far the best opponent we will have played. They’ve already smacked 2 NFC contenders, and if the Falcons can beat them next week, I can bet folks will be feeling much different about this team.

I would be excited if I knew what to expect. I really don’t. What I do know is you don’t want to spot these guys a lead of any kind, let alone a three TD lead.

What I also know is that if we have Ryan playing from under center and Turner trudging towards the middle of the line, the Giants will eat Ryan for lunch and snack on Turner for desert.

Play out of the dang shotgun, for crying out loud. Go with dump offs (to Quizz/Snelling, not Turner) and screens/bubble screens, stop with the obvious 5 yard-towards-the sideline crap.

Best thing I’ve heard yet about next week is statistical history: Mike Smith rarely loses back-to-back games.

Yeah, well I don’t give an F about statistical history.

And you can tell me we’re 11-2 all you want. Nobody can take our 11 wins away, but nobody has to give us anymore wins, either. We could very well finish 11-5, and even though it’s only been two losses, this feels like a Smittyball season.

Start fast, then sit on the lead. Yeah, I did wake up angry. I don’t care.

RMikel58

December 10th, 2012
8:11 am

Pretty evident that letting the players off for a few days hurt the falcons. Was almost like the falcons that lost to Denver in the Super Bowl where it appeared the players had hangovers from partying too much.
Let them off again Mike and see what happens!

Wings

December 10th, 2012
8:14 am

Big Ray” – “I see a lot of inconsistency in the offense that has much more to do with scheme than “hey QB, just make the play.” And you can tell me we’re 11-2 all you want. Nobody can take our 11 wins away, but nobody has to give us anymore wins, either. We could very well finish 11-5, and even though it’s only been two losses, this feels like a Smittyball season. ”

I woke up the same way, BR. It is Smittyball. I said before the season started “leopards don’t change their spots”. The fans are being “robbed” by scheme.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
8:16 am

The RB and running game conundrum continues.

Watched the Packers run the ball from several different formations last night. They aren’t even a team that’s very good at running the ball. Yet they ran out of the shotgun, ran with a one back set, ran from 2 back sets, ran from any set they came to the field with. And they don’t even have a very good OL (ask Aaron Rodgers). But they sure did mix it up.

Still confounded about some things. The biggest is this – how the devil do you give Rodgers the ball and watch him get positive yardage…then pull him to the sideline like he did something wrong? How? Why?

He doesn’t miss his pass protection assignments. He is always looking to make somebody miss. He breaks tackles sometimes. Gives a second and sometimes third effort. Follows blockers. Finds holes. Doesn’t put the ball on the ground.

Yet there is an insistence that we give the ball to Turner more in the run game. We plug Quizz in for passes, but again…as soon as he makes a catch and a play, he gets taken right back out. Gee whiz, you think the defense (and defensive coordinators) don’t see that?

Here’s what opposing DCs think:

“Whew, Rodgers is out of the game. Well, we don’t have to worry about that the next play. They’ll either run it up the middle with Turner or try to go to Roddy on the sideline or Tony across the middle. Yeah, we can cover that.”

You leave Rodgers in the game and things will happen.

1) Rodgers will burn folks because they’re looking to cover JJ, Roddy, and TG…not Quizz.

2) Rodgers nearly always wins the battle when he is out in space. Very hard to track, very hard to tackle. He thrives in space.

3) Opposing defenses might actually start trying to account for Rodgers. That means somebody else is open or at least playing one-on-one with no help defender coming.

Take Rodgers off the field and suddenly our playbook looks very small and guess what? Defenses know what we’re going to do. They need only watch the QB’s eyes, because even the QB knows there are only certain options available during a scripted play with limited personnel on the field.

Now you’re asking your TE and WRs to get CLEAR separation…because if they don’t…and that includes against double/help coverage….Ryan will hold the ball and get sacked, or he’ll force a throw and possibly get picked off, or he’ll throw it away.

This is one of the effects that running so many plays with Turner does. We aren’t confusing anybody (opposing defenses)…except ourselves. We wonder why we’re “out of sync”, “can’t get anything done”, “3 and out”….because we limit ourselves to a handful of the plays out of the playbook Smitty stole (and kept) from Mularkey before he went to Jax-ville.

Speaking of which, how many screen passes did we throw yesterday? When did we throw them? Exactly…..

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
8:20 am

RMikeI58 ,

I’m not convinced that this is a matter of having too much time off. These are grown men, professionals. If giving them too much time off is a problem (ok, might be a problem for less committed guys like Ray Edwards and to an extent…Mike Turner), then this glowing, choir boy perfect locker room is not nearly what Dimitroff and Smitty are so proud of claiming it is.

I think this has nothing to do with professionalism and everything to do with piss poor planning due to thinking there ain’t nothing wrong with your gameplan if you’ve only lost one game with it.

?

December 10th, 2012
8:23 am

sorry mr. blank, you want see no super bowl ring this year. this is the sorriest falcon team thar i have ever seen. bobble head boy is not as good as he thinks he is. scam newton showed hima few things about being a quarter back. his entire team along with the coaches suck period.

Chop Buster

December 10th, 2012
8:30 am

The main thing that concerns me with this lost is we were not competitive an entire half. It took you going in the locker room at half time to decide to come out in the no-huddle? You start moving the ball on the Panthers throwing and then go back to Turner? This team has proven that it still has an issue playing consistently at a high level. Why not attack all opponents with the vigor you go after the Taints with? This team and coaching staff were sleeping at the wheel yesterday. We’ve seen this display of play too many times in the past–and it reared its ugly head again yesterday. Let’s see what they learned from all of this.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
8:33 am

Wings ,

What kills me is this –

1) Yeah, the record would seem to indicate on the outside that we are doing plenty right. I think a lot of folks (and I’m not talking just fans, I’m talking Team Staff) misunderstand. The game plan has not gotten us a lot of these wins.

I’ll tell you what has gotten us several of these wins. Nolan and his defensive players + no huddle/2 minute offense late in games. Smittyball has won some games – there is no doubt of that. We got a lead and held on in a handful of games (that would be Smittyball). But there were some games our defense kept us within striking distance and going outside the script resulted in game-winning drives.

Don’t think so? Our defense gives up all kinds of yards. I think we know exactly why – we have no pure shut-down unit. Our LBs haven’t been healthy all season and we play with only two of them a lot of the time. Our DL is weak on the interior and small on the exterior. Our secondary can’t stay healthy. Yet these guys are 6th in the League in lowest points allowed per game.

Mike Smith talks about fixing stuff every week. Yesterday’s game looks to me like we BROKE some extra things and didn’t fix a damn thing.

Definition of insanity – trying the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. I’m just going to call it “The Script” from now on.

Wings

December 10th, 2012
8:35 am

I heard and have read this statement by HC Smith several times since yesterday:

“They played well and we didn’t play up to our standard,” Smith said.

The statement has bothered me since I saw it the first time. I believe the team did play up to the standard. The standard has been established by HC Smith.

What is the STANDARD?

It is pretty much defined by the continued use of Michael Turner as the featured back. We all know Rogers should be the number one back. In fact, I suggest that Rogers has been the best offensive performer over a period of several games (5-6 games at least). And his success is ignored when Michael Turner is given the ball to score a one yard touchdown or Rogers is taken out of the game after a good play. It is defined when Turner is given the ball to make one yard at the beginning of games and on first down.

It’s defined by the reluctance of Head Coach Smith to make changes and to beat the crap out of another team. Instead, we get the CRAP beat out of us.

There is an old axiom that says “an organization or system operates only as good as its weakest component”.

The offensive line is performing to the standard established by running back Turner but caused by HC Smith’s stubborn and conservative ways. The offense seems to strive when Matt Ryan is running the “no huddle” because he is overriding the “system” and taking over the operation of the offensive team (away from HC Smith).

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
8:39 am

sorry mr. blank, you want see no super bowl ring this year. this is the sorriest falcon team thar i have ever seen. bobble head boy is not as good as he thinks he is. scam newton showed hima few things about being a quarter back. his entire team along with the coaches suck period.

Scam has 16 thrown TDs. Ryan has 24. Scam has 4 wins this season. Ryan has 11. Scam celebrates first downs. Ryan celebrates Division titles. Call me back when Scam can show Ryan something besides his ass. Which, oddly enough, is difficult to tell from his face. The only clue is where the helmet goes and sometimes even that is a question.

Wings

December 10th, 2012
8:45 am

Big Ray – ““Whew, Rodgers is out of the game. Well, we don’t have to worry about that the next play. They’ll either run it up the middle with Turner or try to go to Roddy on the sideline or Tony across the middle. Yeah, we can cover that.””

I left those double quotes around your statement because it is the TRUTH. Rogers performs like a back of 200 pounds and one that is much swifter than he is. He has been playing at a higher level than all other players in my opinion.

Can I get an AMEN TRUTH?

Wings

December 10th, 2012
8:47 am

Big Ray I can tell you woke up angry. Troll’s beware!!!

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
8:55 am

Agreed on the no huddle offense and how its success is linked to overriding The Script.

I will, however, not let Thomas Dimitroff get off scott free in this. He has been good in this, and I’m glad that he and Smitty are so close in their scheming and planning. However, there is a time to set back and follow these plans and schemes.

Smitty has had plenty of say in who we draft. Of that I’m absolutely sure, most HCs do.

But let’s follow the situation, point by point.

1) Blank completely blows TD and Smitty’s little statistical chart out of the water in a postseason press conference last year. He tells it like it is – the OL didn’t play well despite what the stats said. Not when it counted. TD and Smitty are given votes of confidence, but also mandates to fix stuff like this.

Pat Hill is hired after Paul Boudreaux is fired.

Smitty promises a wide open competition across all positions of the OL.

2) TD drafts an OT in the third round, some say the guy is a reach. But this guy was probably never even looked at as a real contender for playing time, even if he’s not injured. The fact that he was injured only made it easier to do the whole Apprenticeship thing. Funny thing is, the guy is known for his pass blocking and not his run blocking…a theme that runs across the entire OL…yet he gets no looks despite increasingly bad play by Tyson Clabo.

Meanwhile, the real story at Tackle surrounds Sam Baker, who is given the ultimate vote of confidence based upon the assertion that he will be healthy and therefore effective. All the while, quiet whispers about similar health poblems with Clabo come up…then quickly go totally silent. And this is just in the preseason…

3) TD drafts the best center in the entire draft. He and Smitty immediately tout him as a Guard without the guy having taken a snap with the team. Then, Smitty gives a guy who failed all last year the job ahead of the new guy…

4) TD signs Manuwai as a Guard to possibly start. Manuwai is cut, possibly due to health reasons, possibly due to something else. No other free agency moves are made in regard to guys who could actually get into the playing rotation.

5) Todd McClure is signed and almost immediately given the starting job.

6) Smitty trots out the EXACT SAME GUYS at the EXACT SAME SPOTS as last season.

What got fixed exactly? What changed? Pat Hill?

Give me a Effin’ break.

TD and Smitty might be BFF, but if these failures follow through into the postseason, somebody has to explain why an area of dire need was NOT fixed AT ALL.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
8:59 am

So if I’m TD, either change the damn flow of things and remember you’re the boss. Or be irrefutably linked to everything Smitty does and go down with him in flames.

Yeah, I know the season ain’t over and the playoffs have yet to be played for success or failure. I’m a fan who thinks ahead. I’m just a fan. The guys getting paid to do this ought to be thinking much further out than I am.

And if I’m TD, I might want to think hard on what Smitty is doing to FIX THINGS and how we’re gonna explain this later. Just a thought.

Wings

December 10th, 2012
9:05 am

BR that baffles me too how quite TD remains. I should say appears to be quite but it sure looks obvious to me he says nothing about making changes because none are made.

I am sure Arthur Blank is much smarter than me, and he has to see some of the issues that are not “fixed”. I feel a rude awaking coming in January.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
9:08 am

Wings

I woke up madder than I was yesterday. I don’t know how that happened. But I am straight up LIT.

Here is a little something from Yastinkas that gives a bit of insight into what typically happens when you limit yourself on offense. Limiting can happen a number of ways. It can be a coaching/scheme design. It can be a talent deficit issue. It could be a health issue. But whatever it is, the results are the same.

One thing that’s obvious: The Saints need a speed receiver. Aside from Joe Morgan, who still is being worked into the offense, the wide receivers weren’t getting any separation against the Giants. That forced Brees to lock in on tight end Jimmy Graham way too often. Both of Brees’ interceptions came on throws for Graham — one went off the tight end’s hands, and the other was underthrown against good coverage.

In the Saints case, it’s a talent problem, or at least Yastinkas would have us believe so.

Notice the key phrases/comments in this snippet .

“The receivers weren’t getting separation.”

“Forcing Brees to lock in on Graham way too often.”

Paraphrasing – “both interceptions came on throws to Graham”

Sound familiar, any of it? So even a record-breaking “hate him but gotta respect the stats” tainted superbowl winning QB know for his accuracy, good decisions and high powered offense can…ahem… lock in on a particular target and turn the ball over doing it ….

Funny…maybe Yastinkas is a Saints fan. Maybe he has a fathead poster of Brees in every room of his house.

Or maybe….even the best QBs in the NFL can make the same damn mistakes when forced into less than ideal situations.

Yastinkas says the Saints need a speedy WR so they won’t have to worry about having such a limited offense. Notice how Brees isn’t faulted for throwing into tight coverage.

If that was Ryan, what would be said? Hell, you need only look into our archives to find that out, or archive a Yastinkas article.

I find this so very eerily, oddly similar to our problems.

Only….we aren’t lacking speed. We are lacking other things. We still fail to get separation more often than not. How many of Ryan’s throws are to “open” guys? How many are tighter than we’d like to admit to? How many of them allow the WR to “go up and get the ball” or otherwise make a play?

The only ones that came like that yesterday came in our hurry up offense in the 4th quarter.

Let’s get an Effin’ clue, shall we?

woeismesince66

December 10th, 2012
9:09 am

The Falcons are playing pathetically. The whole kit and kaboodle. The coaches, the players even the
water boy. Swelled heads over a suspect record is a shame. Luck will hold only so long. I think the
Falcons have used up thiers. Now if they can play football would be a good time to start. I don’t think the Falcons are in the same league as the top tier of teams. I believe they are in for a tough 3 games.
I believe they will be lucky to win one.

Just remember YOU HAVE TO SUFFER A LOT TO BE A FALCONS FAN.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 10th, 2012
9:10 am

Wings, AMEN BROTHER! You guys are at it hard this A.M.

Good Stuff!

Wings

December 10th, 2012
9:14 am

D3 – “To be blunt, this was one of the worst losses in the entire time that Mike Smith has been head coach. ”

D3, I know you have to keep balance, but I will say it is the WORST LOSS in the entire time that Mike Smith has been head coach.

The other losses even close would be the Green Bay and New York playoff games. I say it is worse than those two because those teams won the Super Bowl. And, I don’t give the Falcons any credit for those two losses because of the Super Bowl wins.

The loss yesterday was to a team that doesn’t win many games, and they beat the CRAP out of the Falcons because the team did not arrive to play. I recognize the defense played okay until they were exhausted. The Falcons should be improving not playing at the level we saw yesterday.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
9:15 am

http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcsouth/post/_/id/42801/are-they-the-same-old-falcons

Guarantee you Pat had this halfway written by the start of the 2nd quarter, and all but finished by the start of the 3rd quarter.

I won’t get into the quotes. They’re repetitive and pointless.

D3

December 10th, 2012
9:16 am

Big Ray — Great post @ 8:16 am. Totally agree. I’m sorry, but that’s all Smitty right there.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
9:17 am

I don’t even think it’s arrogance.

I think honestly the attitude is “We’ll go with the script and if it’s a tough game, then we’ll just find a way to win like we have every other week.”

In other words, play not to lose.

“Other teams are going to look at the tape from today and try to do some of the same things,” Atlanta center Todd McClure said.

No sh!t.

E43

December 10th, 2012
9:22 am

1) I still think more people need touches on that offense
2) Wasted plays rules do not apply to the passing game around here. Everyone advocates the sissy fancy passing game with any excuse they can find. Makes me wonder how the check down king Jason Campbell would do with their offense.
3) I will not be surprised if the falcons lead the league in routes ran within 5 yards of the line of scrimmage. Acceptable if they are absolutely being whooped in pass protection. Unacceptable on the very first drive.
4) What is it with some of the passes Matt Ryan throws to anyone not named Gonzalez, White, or Julio? Will Antone Smith’s one play in the offense this season be a pass over his head?
5)Am I the only one that thinks certain receivers get wobblier passes than others? How much time does Matt Ryan spend with Kone, Davis, and Palmer/Coffman*?
6) I find it interesting that Matt Ryan is yet to throw over 200 yards in the playoffs. Cant say the reason is because they didn’t use the no huddle.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
9:22 am

D3 ,

Rodgers was a wonderful pickup in the 5th round. Mike Smith is wasting it. For a guy who is a supposed chess match type that pays attention to stats and averages, I cannot wrap my head around why he does what he does with Turner vs. what he does with Rodgers.

I really cannot see this being a fault of Koetter, who spent so much time in Jax-ville using a guy who is the more talented version of Quizz and nothing at all like Turner.

Schleprock

December 10th, 2012
9:24 am

Typical Atlanta sports team mentality. This is not a Super Bowl team. When are the people in this town get sick and tired of Atlanta being the city of almost. One of the other teams that have been there and done that will win the championship. It won’t be Atlanta because it’s not in their DNA. getting close will be good enough as it always has been. Those other teams expect to win. We expect to come close and thats what we’ll do again this year.

The city of almost will show it’s sports franchise mentality once again.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
9:28 am

I need to take a break. So mad….

In the theme of “hey it could be worse”, there is the Tampa Bay Bucs, who are finding out that they are NOT who they thought they were even when they felt they could have beaten us.

They lost to the cellar dweller Eagles who came alive under QB Nick Foles (really? Dude put up close to 400 yards on the Bucs…ouch!).

Josh Freeman looked like ass out there.

Here’s the crazy part – it was Foles who was sacked 5 times and hit 13 times total.

Tampa competed, but their defense melted down in the 4th quarter. Eagles tried to help them out by missing two FGs.

Geo

December 10th, 2012
9:31 am

Amen, Wings. Did anyone else notice that the large contingent of Falcons fans at the game yesterday booed every time Michael Turner ran it?

Don’t blame them a bit. Mike Smith needs to feel the heat from the fans — this sh!t won’t cut it.

Paddy O

December 10th, 2012
9:40 am

well, this game reinforces my belief that our coaching staff does NOT utilize extra long layoffs properly. How do we get shut out in the 1st half? I did not see too much bad execution. I saw horrendous play scheming. Welcome Back needs to be replaced.

Wings

December 10th, 2012
9:50 am

BIg Ray – “I need to take a break. So mad….”

I know BR. Those type of games and efforts are not entertaining or fun to watch. In fact, they are a complete waste of time. When I was watching yesterday, I thought of the times in my younger days (70’s) when I would drive to parents’ house in west Georgia, turn the antenna to watch the Falcons when games were not broadcast because of attendance. I would not do it today.

Geo – “Did anyone else notice that the large contingent of Falcons fans at the game yesterday booed every time Michael Turner ran it? ”

Thanks and I did hear those boos multiple times. I finally decided it couldn’t be Atlanta fans, but now I think you are right. There were not many fans there at all.

Chop Buster

December 10th, 2012
9:53 am

Man I’m enjoying BRs comments this morning. Don’t get too worked though and blow a gasket. This team is what it is…not a dominant team in any phase and very inconsistent.

Chop Buster

December 10th, 2012
9:56 am

Falcons issues point to coaching and a lack of game changing players (TD). We need a player comes to bust someone in the mouth every week.

Paddy O

December 10th, 2012
9:57 am

did anybody see anything innovative in our WR sets? anything? group sets? double stacked WR sets? anything? flare the RB out into flanks? we do NOTHING interesting. NOTHING innovative – and, we have the talent. Only time I saw us moving the ball is when Ryan went back to timing patterns to RW84. That is old stuff. Welcome Back sucks – he brings NOTHING to the team. We need A Mike Martz type OC.

DustyMac

December 10th, 2012
10:03 am

I’m a big Falcons fan, I’m not worried. They didn’t give us much of a chance when we went to the super bowl. Every Super Bowl winner in the last couple have had a bad game during the year in which they won the BIG ONE. This is no different, They the knowing public, writers, critics,didn’t give some of those teams a chance either, but yet the won the one that counted. Falcons will win it all this year. FALCONS WILL WIN IT ALL THIS YEAR!!!!! AND the New York Giants will be only the start of somethin Great! Rise Up and stop hating. Congrats Panthers you won your Super Bowl sunday. Thanks for the wake-up-call..

SG

December 10th, 2012
10:18 am

Yes, that was a hideous first half display. Yes, the D-line needs reinforcements. Yes, the O-line needs more. Yes the shifty, speedy Antone Smith needs some play while MT33 sits. And yes, Ryan has been looking more unsure, rattled, distracted, etc., since the start of the second half of the season.

That said, while I give the Panthers credit for showing up as the team they were expected to be at the start of the season, the Birds came in totally unprepared to play a Pop Warner team, (actually, I think some of the real team arrived in Charlotte on a flight that came in at half-time).

Through the remaining at least 4 games, I hope we see:
• Ryan controlling the O for a full 60 minutes (w/o a “Sleep Button” ever being deployed by HC/OC)
• Antone breaking in his running shoes
On the D side:
• I think Nolan’s getting the most out of current personnel, (aside from some tackling issues I like the way they’ve shaped up)

Have a good Monday all.

Zoomie

December 10th, 2012
10:22 am

Ever had to get a dog dipped? For two days afterward, he wanders around with a glazed look, no energy, listless and detached (probably feeling sorry for himself for smelling like moth balls). This pretty much describes the demeanor of the Falcons’ defense yesterday. Earlier this year, the coaches set aside time for a focus on fundamentals, including tackling. Looks to me like that lesson lasted exactly one game. A 72-yard touchdown by the QB on a read-option? Now, to any professional NFL defender, that should be downright humiliating.

Oh well, maybe they were sent for a flea dip before the Panthers’ game.

We’ve been watching the fit-and-start play of the offense, basically, since game 4. It’s time to be concerned. As TG says, the performance of the offense yesterday was ridiculous. With all the talent present, I’m going with scheming and game-planning as the obvious big issue from which all the execution issues originate. Koetter ain’t getting it done. Maybe CMS, or even TD, has him shackled to certain players, I don’t know. I do know this: the Falcons are not properly scheming to their strengths and to minimize their weaknesses. Yesterday the offense looked clueless (first half), then desperate (second half).

Already in The Cage, there’s been a lot of good suggestions on what could be done to fix many of the messes we saw yesterday. I’ll just say this: at this stage, I’m convinced it’s a failure to properly install an offense that suits the players on-roster. That’s ultimately Koetter’s responsibility and Smitty’s accountability. Time to put these two under the magnifying glass. Possibly in direct sunlight, if that’s what it takes.

Two random thoughts:

1) Giants strengths match up VERY favorably against the Falcons’ weaknesses. If the Falcons don’t do something completely different than what they’ve been doing, they’re 11-3 after next week.

2) I wonder how many times Ryan heard “Get the f*** off my field!” yesterday?

Matty Bicep

December 10th, 2012
10:35 am

When this season started, I put us down for a loss to Carolina, I figured Cam would beat us sooner or later, I did not expect him to 0-fer against us for his career…..I am just glad it was in a relatively meaningless game. Big test coming up next week, hopefully we got us a wakeup call.

Sis-Boom-Bah Humbug

December 10th, 2012
10:47 am

There is no one as far as I can tell who is upset by the JUST the Carolina loss. The consensus seems to be that the Falcons’ performance was utterly embarrassing because it was largely self-inflicted, or more accurately coach-inflicted. However, it is not just a case of having a bad game – it is a PATTERN of mediocre performance, even in wins over other weak opponents.

Even worse, the evident problems are still the same ones that have been cited for at least a year now. Except for the burst at the beginning of 2012, the problems never seem to change – they just become more obvious & inexcusable. Most frustrating right now is the regression to Smitty Ball regarding personnel, game planning & play calling. The result is painful to watch, and the fans are right to complain.

With the Carolina game, the Falcons seem to have already “peaked” with respect to their characteristic post-season level of play. Undoubtedly, Arthur Blank is more troubled by this situation than anyone else – it is simply incredible that a team with a 11-2 record merits so much sustained & well-deserved criticism.

The players have to be rather frustrated too. If things continue on the present course, such frustration might become public – not a good prospect. A win over the Giants would/will really make a huge difference in the near-term viability & credibility of the Falcons.

John Waynesworld

December 10th, 2012
10:49 am

“Satisfied” didn’t make the flight to Charlotte.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 10th, 2012
10:54 am

CMS, the spotlight, microscope should be targeted in your direction. Some of us say he’s stubborn, inept…and slow to change, all that might be true, but, for a Coach that we criticize on a regular basis about being stubborn, slow to change, he sure has shown alot of inconsistency in some of his coaching decisions/strategies as of late.

1). Starting with the Arizona Cardinals game: He threw the challenge flag without knowing the proper protocol/rule to challenge that particular play. Compare him, at your own peril to the Lions Schwartz, if you will, if you’re comparing the two, they most certainly have Coaching simularities. Just Sayin

2). Not going for the two point conversion in the first game against the Saints. This situatuion didn’t meet his statistical criteria?

3). Choosing to go for the FG against Tampa, rather than punting, have them go 90 yards to score, opposed to 65.

4). If I am not mistaken? in the same game against the Tampa Bucs, he (Smith) mismanaged the clock just before halftime in this game. The falcons were set up deep in the redzone, with a 1st down, but due to the lack of clock management, we were only able to take one shot in the endzone. Bryant ended up missing the very short field goal…and Smith took the two time outs in the locker room with him, made a sandwich out of them, ate’em.

5). Choosing to chase points, go for the 2pt conversion in the Panters game. IMO, it didn’t make sense. If we kick the extra point, the score would have been 14-23, if we hold them, a TD and FG wins the game for us. Funny how Smith choose to go for the 2pt conversion in that situation, with essentially the entire 4th quarter to play, kind of went against that other steaming pile of reason he gave us about 4 weeks ago against the Saints, you know, the 7 minute rule.

I’m not suggesting Smith lies…he’s just inconsistent, kinda sorta like the team he Coaches. IMHO.

D3

December 10th, 2012
10:54 am

I am by no means giving up on this year’s team whatsoever, but what I witnessed yesterday was a major reality check on just how good this team really is. Do we have the talent to go deep in the playoffs? Sure. Do we have the coaching capacity to win in the playoffs? I would say yes. But does Coach Smith have the ability to try and get away from his crutches (Turner, Smittyball, Refusal to Change, Obsession with numbers and averages, etc)? Not feeling very confident of that one.

There’s been a few times when we’ve looked like a legit playoff team. The Chargers and Eagles game come to mind. We’ve some great halves here and there, and some great drives and series, but when was the last time we were really after a complete win? To be honest, the defense has been winning and keeping us in these games and the offense has been complete crap. I’m a big homer and I’m fantastic and rationalizing stuff away, like looking bad but still winning against crappy teams, but that well has run dry. A simple way to look at it is that we finally got our @ss torched after we’ve playing with fire now going on almost 2 months. The Panthers didn’t beat themselves, took the points, kept our offense down, and built a big enough lead that couldn’t be overcome.

We go out and win any way possible, by any margin vs. the Giants and most will be forgotten, but let’s remember that we beat Green Bay at home in 2010 only to get destroyed only a few weeks later by the very same team.

Paddy O

December 10th, 2012
10:56 am

well, folks -we need to realize Cam Newton – as anal an idiot as he is – has evolved. Once he removed his own turnovers, the team became much more competitive. HOwever, in the 1st half, our offense did not show up. I blame the OC.

D3

December 10th, 2012
10:56 am

Sis-Boom — Excellent post @ 10:47 and Welcome to the Cage. You nailed it: PATTERN! It is and has been a pattern going all the way back to 2010. Changing coordinators and, even though the defense is better, the offense looks the exact same or even worse. Pitiful.

P. MILLS

December 10th, 2012
11:03 am

This always happens to Atl. Is it the coaching, or attitude? Hard to figure. Toooo many years watching and waiting on this team & this always happens. I predicted this at the beginning of the year and once again it has happened. So sorry for the players that give all….a real shame.

D3

December 10th, 2012
11:06 am

Well, we know that Smith will definitely get another year for certain. There’s no question about that. But assuming we’re one and one for another year, how much longer does he get? I really think that if he just left Koetter alone than we could get this thing going, but there’s simply too much evidence to the contrary for us fans who’ve watched every single game during the Smith Era. If it walks and talks like a duck, it’s a d@mn duck!

I mean, I know I sound like a terrible person on this one, but who would we go for if we did get rid of Smith? A lot of new hires haven’t worked out too darn well for a lot of teams. I know I sound like pollyanna, but I think it’s a legitimate question. I guess I would be comfortable letting Mike Nolan run the show. At least he would be aggressive for goodness sake.

D3

December 10th, 2012
11:13 am

I remember what I said way back in February, it was “stop talking about it and PROVE IT!” and I think that’s pretty darn accurate. Stop the whole “rise up” garbage and prove that you belong to be considered among the best. As hard as I’ve tried to defend this team against the onslaught of media taking shots at this team, how can we defend this? Yesterday proved that they were at least onto something if not being outright correct.

They can prove me wrong with the upcoming Giants game, but I’m holding my breath.

Finally, (taking a step away here for a little while) remember when the coordinators were hired we said that TD is giving Smith everything he needs to be successful and likely letting him choose his own coordinators. In other words, giving him rope to either pull himself up or hang himself. I think TD has more job security than Smitty. I know a lot of fans bag on TD and rightly so at times, but overall, I think he’s done a very good job, save for the OL. But as I said yesterday, TD has shown an ability to learn and adapt from his mistakes, while Smith appears not to be taking that same path.

Wings

December 10th, 2012
11:25 am

D3 – “If it walks and talks like a duck, it’s a d@mn duck! ”

Right again D3 because I have a duck named Moby Duck.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 10th, 2012
11:30 am

D3, I agree stop the whole “Rise Up” thing…and I don’t want to hear from the players, that a win, is a win, see where that got us against the Panthers. The mark of a good (Super bowl) are the one’s that do not rest on their laurels, they constantly strive to get better…even when winning.

Yesterday was indeed embarrasing. All I know is, the Seahawks throttled the Cardinals, winninig 58-0…the same Cardinal team came close to beating us in our own HOUSE?!?!. I doubt if a 100mg’s of Viagra would’ve assisted us in “Rising Up” against the Panthers.IMO.

Hamad Meander

December 10th, 2012
11:34 am

1. I hate the new stadium already. 2. The Falcons didn’t earn their paychecks on Sunday. 3. I hate Cam Newton and Steve Smith. 4. This team better get on the ball soon before they get bounced out of the playoffs in the first round.

Look, I know the Falcons aren’t going to win every game and that is fine. We are on the way to another 12-4 season and hopefully a bye in the playoffs. The things that are wrong with this team right now is that the offense isn’t in the hurry up enough and the tackling is abysmal. Those are things that can be fixed pretty easily, so I still have hope.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
11:38 am

Zoomie ,

Good post at 10:22 a.m.

Arno

December 10th, 2012
11:43 am

Scouring the post-game comments I couldn’t find one guy even half as mad as Big Ray. Every comment was about execution, not a single one about the tired-out scheme. The Falcons are capable in certain areas– why, why not put the best players and best scheme on the field? Wouldn’t the players execute better if they felt the scheme had a chance of success? I’d like to think Flowery Branch is in mutiny but only Gonzalez seems to be showing the frustration. Come on, Ryan– speak up!!

“Did anybody see anything innovative?” –Paddy O

Wow…. that’s a tough one. I did see a fake sweep shuffle pass that got a first down, but that’s it.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
11:43 am

Paddy O

I agree. I don’t like Cam Newton at all. I do recognize that he’s talented. But dominating? No way should that team have dominated us. We let that happen by only showing up on one side of the ball and eventually losing out THERE as well.

Bottom Line – we failed to compete.

Yes, some of the SB winners had bad games the same year they won the SB. Well, some of them also earned the benefit of the doubt and their problems weren’t a consistent pattern. They simply failed to execute a darn good game plan….and when they chose to execute, they beat the crap out of whoever they played.

Our problems just aren’t that simple. We fail to execute the same time we fail to maximize our strengths.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
11:52 am

Arno ,

Well, I’ll admit my anger has been more like when a dog gets mad – almost to the point of irrational.

Some folks might not understand – my focus is on getting past yet another “good” regular season. I want to see this team in the playoffs, making things happen.

You get enough regular season wins, you get into the playoffs. But that doesn’t mean you will win once you get there, and what I see from this team, what I’ve been seeing for the past several weeks, are the same kinds of issues that caused us to fail in past seasons.

Can’t tackle? That will cost you in the playoffs.

Can’t score? That will cost you in the playoffs.

We’ve found ways to win against teams that have not matched up well with us and teams that have matched up well with us. Then we finally lost to a team that corrected its own mistakes and beat us.

Now riddle me this – how does a 4-9 team correct enough mistakes to beat an 11-1 team, but the 11-1 team cannot correct IT’S mistakes?

Maybe the answer is this – when you lose, it has been proven to you that your mistakes are lethal. When you win, you don’t think those mistakes are lethal.

That’s the problem with us being 11-2 and everything being “alright.”

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
11:56 am

Hamad ,

I think you’re right. And I also think that those things CAN be fixed pretty easily. So why have they not been fixed already? We’ve had offensive issues for several weeks now.

Does it really take a loss to get on track? I hope that’s what it takes, because if it doesn’t then I’m afraid we’ll NOT get back on track. I reckon we’ll know this Sunday, huh….

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
12:05 pm

D3 ,

Getting rid of Mike Smith is certainly no easy matter and I’m still wondering if that’s the best move…if only because like you I’m not at all sure what move comes after that.

Nolan has been a HC before, which gives him a leg up on Smitty. Why? Because Nolan very likely now knows that he wants very little to do with heading up an offense. His is a defensive mind, and he knows it. Smitty does not seem to know this sometimes. Nolan would likely let an OC run things and make the “higher management” decisions like when to go for it, when to throw a challenge flag, managing the clock, etc.

Smitty watched a failure to break through a defense for 3 quarters. He then thought the no huddle offense was a good idea with less than a quarter to go and needing to score 24 points to eke out another one of his close wins.

This is the game plan for the last three games? For the playoffs? Or am I missing something?

I don’t want to say “Fire Smitty” because I can’t say who to hire. I also think he deserves this year to prove that he can or can’t get it done in the postseason.

What I do know (or actually, just speculation) is that if the heat is turned up really high…somebody has to answer.

Zoomie

December 10th, 2012
12:10 pm

” I really think that if he just left Koetter alone than we could get this thing going, but there’s simply too much evidence to the contrary for us fans who’ve watched every single game during the Smith Era.” — D3

I have a hard time with this. Not saying it’s not true; I don’t know.

There is no reason or logic to hiring an OC to run a wide open offense, then use your authority as his senior to cuff him. It’s so nonsensical, I just can’t believe it.

We’ve seen CMS, with a resume in D, pretty much take his hands out of the D. Why would he impose himself into the O, when its issues are so evident? CMS’s job eventually rests on the W-L record of this team, so why in the world would he willingly cut his own throat?

The O-line was bad last year, and worse now; no major moves made in the off-season to fix this issue. Clabo’s been a liability since Dahl left. Turner was definitely showing signs of decline last year as well.

No, I can’t believe Smitty is responsible. I know he sees an O-line that’s mediocre on its best days. He has a sideline view of Sir Sta-Puft and his backfield meltdowns.

The Theory of Zoom: this is Front Office intervention. FO ain’t gonna let $6M-per-year MT33 sit on the bench. FO ain’t spending big money on the LOS, when that money can be spent to bring high-profile, splashy players to the team. Look around in the dome: how many jerseys in the 70’s and 90’s do you see in the stands?

No, I believe we’re seeing the classic sign of micro-management, and I believe it’s coming from The Throne Room, above the head of the players and CS. This is the kind of idiocy you see when administrators get the keys to Operations.

Big Lou

December 10th, 2012
12:14 pm

D3

I would hire Norv Turner as the OC, and grab Andy Ried as the head coach. Imagine those offense minds with our talent….. West coast….

Mind = Blown

Hamad Meander

December 10th, 2012
12:15 pm

It’s crazy to think about firing Smitty. This guy has put the Falcons on course to get into the the playoffs just about every year. It’s funny how our expectations for this team have risen so quickly that a SuperBowl win is about the only thing we would tolerate at this point. 50% of the teams that make the playoffs one year aren’t in it the next. I’m not saying we should be satisfied with what we’ve got, but I am saying it could be a lot worse. Anyone remember the Falcons before Smitty?

The process is working and the team is getting better every year. No coach can guarantee a Superbowl. Let’s worry about finding a new coach when we’ve gone 6-10 twice in a row, instead of when we are 11-2.

Big Lou

December 10th, 2012
12:18 pm

Zoomie

No offense to your theory, but even the fans boo Turner at home when he doesn’t get yards… jerseys or not. I doubt AB would risk his sales and potential future stadium for a couple of pawns.

All I know is that the Giants game will be VERY telling. To be honest, I don’t want a close win or loss. I want a blowout either way. Blowout by the Falcons to shut fans up, or a blowout by the Giants to get things changed. Period.

Big Lou

December 10th, 2012
12:24 pm

Hamad

The problem with your suggestion is that it’s the view of most ATL fans in the great state of Georgia. We expect losers and get satisfied in getting into the post season. Regular season never mattered.

F!ck that noise. I rather be losers and not make the playoffs, them be pretenders and embarrassed on the national stage.

Also, players age. We won’t have this talent on offense forever. The more years they waste, the more unlikely they will do anything in the playoffs.

Heck, at least if we were losers, we would get good draft picks.

Fans are starting to wake up. We’re tired of not having a championship. It’s not accepted in places like Green Bay and New York. It shouldn’t be accepted here.

Granted, if they start winning playoff games, it will change.

Greg Mendel

December 10th, 2012
12:28 pm

One thing that can be fixed, and should have been fixed long ago is the “Turner Problem.” Again and again, I see Ryan trying to make 3-yard TD passes in the Red Zone, only to wind up with a field goal. No team should be stuck with a short-yardage running game so unreliable that its QB has to make repeated passes.

At one point yesterday, Turner failed to make a critical first down on a play that I am convinced would have succeeded if Rodgers had the ball. There was space, and a quick, agile runner would have made the play. Turner is neither quick nor agile. He used to gain yards with defenders hanging all over him, and that hasn’t happened in ages.

Geo

December 10th, 2012
12:31 pm

“why not put the best players and best scheme on the field?”

ya got me. the quick pitch to Quizz and the quick screen to Julio that scored a TD were about the only good plays that take advantage of the skill players. And the inside screen to Snelling that got a first and goal on fourth down. The rest of the game was like the interception late when we could have made a game of it, down 10 with 10 minutes — poor pass blocking while the receivers run short, simple stop or hook routes, with Tony and Roddy within five yards of each other. Hardly a dynamic offense.

Schleprock

December 10th, 2012
12:33 pm

It’s part of the Atlanta sports franchise DNA folks. It is their DNA. We don’t bring home the hardware. 1 time in it’s history??? Are we supposed to be OK with this while other, lesser cities teams, continue to rise to the occaision? We’re tired of the half measures and we’re sick of the mindset of mediocrite. Those other cities fans take losses much worse than we do because they expect their franchise to WIN! Until we change the Atlanta sports franchise mindset to a winning mindset and if we continue to accept this level of midiocrite we’re going to continue to be midiocre at best. Its so sad.

Year after year after year it’s the same thing and we’re supposed to just be OK with it. I’m not investing any more emotional capital as a fan until I see the mindset change to a winning mindset.

Meanwhile at Flowery Branch...

December 10th, 2012
12:36 pm

Memo from AB : Why in the hell do we have the same OL as we did last year? Did I not tell you this is unacceptable?

TD (thinking out loud as he sits in front of his computer) : Ummm, I drafted guys, but Smitty here would not play them, much less start them. Yeah, that’s a good start to this return email…

Smitty (walking by the office, stops in) : Hey! I’m starting Konz!

TD : Yeah…after Garrett got hurt….

Smitty : Yeah well you drafted me a guy with broken toes. Honestly, who does that? All the rest of them are UDFAs with no pedigree or experience. On top of that you got me the fat Samoan guy. He has cankles. I hate Cankles. I cut him for just that reason.

TD : Hey, nobody told me Holmes had broken toes man. I’m gonna have to fire a scout or something. Maybe a team doctor, I don’t know. I’ll talk it over with Rich. In the meantime, I got you Konz so he could play center, but noooo you wanted him to play Guard. Then you wouldn’t even give him the job. And I drafted Hawley to play center, but you won’t let him play, either. Oh wait, what were those two plays a few games back where you were throwing the ball to him? What is he, a tight end now? Yeah Mr. Smarty pants, explain THAT one to the old man! I dare ya! Manuwai I signed because you said you wanted a veteran presence at the Guard position. Cankles? Really? That’s your explanation? I even got you Mike Johnson from Alabama a couple years ago. What happened? If he sucks, why is he still on the team?

Smitty : OH? I didn’t hear you complaining when Mike Johnson caught that touchdown pass! Yes, I DO plan to make Mike Johnson a tight end. He’ll be a hell of a blocker at the position, and you know by now that blocking is what Tight End is ALL ABOUT. Hawley sucks, I don’t like him. I want you to draft me another Tackle so I can play him at Guard, then get me another Center so I can play him at Tackle, and a 300 lb running back so we can get back to the power running game you said you would like. On top of that, can you get me another 289 lb Defensive Tackle, a 250 lb Defensive End, and a Wide Receiver that only catches 7 yard slant routes that point towards the sideline and allow no room for yards after the catch? And please…no need to trade up for that.

TD : Oh? You finally getting wise and going to the 3-4 defensive base? Ok, so I got all you want for draft day…what is this, Christmas? You ask for so much. Why don’t I just draft a tackle to play tackle, a center to play center (I thought I already did this) and a Guard to play Guard? Did you talk to Matt Ryan about this Mike Johnson/Tight end thing? I think he actually likes, you know, Tight Ends that play Tight End. But what do I know…

Smitty : Hell no, I’m not going to a 3-4 defense. I want to build the fastest 4-3 base that has ever existed. To do that, you have to go down in size on the line. And why are you bugging me about where I play my offensive line guys? I know what I’m doing. I know offenses like the back of my hand. How about that 300 lb running back? Your scouts see anybody fitting that description? I want to really POUND a defense. And we don’t need another Tackle. Sam Baker is healthy now, and he’s the bees knees, the cat’s pajamas, the….

TD : Oh for crying out loud, what is your love affair with Sam? No, speaking of love affairs, what is with you and overweight running backs? I got you that little Quizz fellow so you would have an option. You know…a little thunder, a little lightning. Every time I turn around, the kid is doing something nice with the ball but then I don’t see him again for a while.

Smitty : I don’t want him to get tired. He’s not a power back. You can’t run a power game with a guy like that. Quizz makes us explosive. But I only like small explosions with very little flash, even less noise, and absolutely no lasting effect.

TD : Whatever. I should have never let Harvey Dahl go. I see that now. Whatever was I thinking, giving him up and then letting Tyson Clabo have all that money? Pro Bowler my arse. More like Cereal Bowler. Mike, the power running game thing stopped two years ago with Turner. He isn’t even motivated. He doesn’t hit the hole with any speed or urgency anymore….unless it’s in the VIP room at Magic City…or so Ray Edwards tells me. By the way…what is up with that guy and the tighty whiteys he wears and always used to try and show me when nobody was around? Who does he think he is, Michael Jordan? Underwear models. They shouldn’t play football. I’ll never live that one down. The nerve he had, telling me that he couldn’t come to a team meeting because he had an interview with Fruit of the Loom. Something about an opportunity to be the green apple in the next commercial…

Smitty : Well look, all this chatting is nice and everything, but I have to go over the 6 plays we are going to run against the Giants. I can count on you to smooth talk Artie, can’t I? Don’t forget about what I saw you doing with a mountain goat on one of your bike trails. Anything happens to me, those pics are going viral.

TD : Really? You’re going to go there? After all I’ve done for you. And for the last time, that was Steve Spagnuolo you saw, not me. Dadgummit, we don’t look that much alike. I can’t believe you. You’re going to get me fired. Especially if we lose 24-2 next Sunday. Don’t say it can’t happen…

Zoomie

December 10th, 2012
12:57 pm

Well, BL, I’ve been sitting here in the wake of yesterday’s epic fail struggling to make sense of it. The traditional thought processes, thinking in football terms, aren’t fitting. I finally came to the conclusion that to make sense of it in football terms basically means that Koetter or Smitty, or some combination of the two, is totally incompetent. That opens a whole new world of nonsense, so I can’t go there. Or it means that MR2 is not capable of running the O that Koetter wants to implement. Again, doesn’t pass the smell test, so can’t go there.

We’ve seen Smitty make a lot of great decisions since he’s been here. If he took his hands off the D, why would he micro-manage the O? Doesn’t make sense. He can clearly see the ineffectiveness of his O just like the rest of us, and has more insight into the whens, wheres, hows, and whys. Sometime recently CMS was interviewed and said the game of football is about controlling the LOS, yet this is where the team has put the least emphasis. None of this makes sense unless it’s being dictated from the FO.

I don’t know who it might be. Could be AB. Could be TD. Could be RM, in his position as President, brow-beating the young GM, whose expertise is personnel, not finances.

It’s a theory . . .

This, however is not, as far as I’m concerned: AB doesn’t believe for one moment that anything can stop him from getting a new stadium.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
12:58 pm

D3 – This is somewhat off topic about the Birds and is more about the Cage.

When I went to check the cage today, I could find no link to the fan blog anywhere on the AJC website. I had to access the cage through a google search (although now this blog is saved in my favorites). I am afraid that the AJC may be in the process of trying to phase out this blog. Hope I’m wrong.

D3, there are free options for starting your own blog (for example through Wordpress). If this looks necessary, I would attempt to get out info on the new blog address on this site before it gets shut completely down. If you would like assistance exploring blog options, feel free to e-mail me. If you lost the address let me know and I’ll email you. Hoping this is totally unnecessary.

Paddy O

December 10th, 2012
1:00 pm

I’m not sure where this confidence in Welcome Back comes from. What does his resume show to anybody? He got canned as a college coach, and when was the last time J’ville was considered good? You don’t hire mediocre guys with shabby resumes and expect them to be suddenly better. Some guys can’t coach talent. Bobby Valentine – who managed a 90 win Red Sox team to 90 losses and last place – did a lot with crappy talent. When he had more talent, he still wanted to do the asinine platoon system. Welcome Back apparently can’t design a good passing offense. When we try to force feed the run game, our pass blocking and run blocking goes to hell. The veil of pretense is off. I thought our defense played alright – but when the offense does not show up for 3 quarters, you are going to lose. But, I thought we should have had a shadow on Cam – perhaps we missed MOore more than I thought. BTW, from the main AJC Falcons page, I don’t see the bird cage listed anymore. We got too much reality for the AJC?

Paddy O

December 10th, 2012
1:01 pm

I consider Kotter semi-inept. He brings NOTHING of benefit to the offense. NOTHING.

Paddy O

December 10th, 2012
1:02 pm

we have a window. we’ve used up 5 years of it now. Tony G at the most will play another 2 years – at MOST. We need a better offensive coach.

Arno

December 10th, 2012
1:03 pm

Time NOW– very strange. I kept this page open today so I could follow along, but going back to the AJC Falcons page, the link is gone.

D3

December 10th, 2012
1:06 pm

Zoomie — Well, that’s fine and I’m sure that it may not be correct, but I also have come to learn how daggum stubborn Smitty is and how we are seeing the EXACT same problems on offense that plagued us when Mike Mularkey was here. I’m not saying that he’s intentionally torpedoing the offense, but I do think that his insistence on Turner is a major part of the problem. Maybe you’re right and Koetter was just a bad hire. That certainly could be the case as well.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
1:09 pm

Interesting theory, Zoomie .

One problem with it – why would TD do something like that when he knows it would point to him as the culprit, leaving the HC basically in the clear?

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
1:11 pm

Koetter may have been a bad hire…but he was Smitty’s hire. The accountablility doesn’t go away.

Here’s the other thing Koetter is on record as saying they kept nearly all of the offensive playbook that existed when Mularkey was here .

So does Koetter like Mularkey’s playbook, or does he like his new job well enough to “like the playbook?”

Hamad Meander

December 10th, 2012
1:12 pm

Big Lou – thanks for your comments. I guess my theory is that any team that makes the playoffs has a chance to win it all and I’d rather have that than a higher draft pick. I hated when we would go back and forth between winning and losing seasons and I’ll take getting to the playoffs every year vs. that. I understand the frustrations of Falcon fans. I am not just a casual fan – I go to games and watch the games I don’t go to. I love supporting the Falcons, but I keep a realistic attitude toward what is success in the NFL. Most teams don’t make the playoffs and of the ones that do, half don’t the next season. There is a bit of luck that does into winning it all and we need to be successful enough to cash in when it’s available.

I think we have a good amount of talent on this team and they wouldn’t be 11-2 if we didn’t. I don’t think we are a superior team yet. Pieces are still missing.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
1:13 pm

I found a link under “Find other AJC accounts on Twitter, Facebook”. However, the link there goes to a facebook page. Not sure what’s going on.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
1:15 pm

Frankly, I just about don’t care. Maybe that playbook is great if your OL is much better. I know a LOT of things would be much better if that were the case.

I don’t believe Ryan is incapable of doing what Koetter wants to do. Koetter can’t do anything but gush about him….although he’s certainly been quiet about everything lately.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
1:16 pm

Definitely a link problem.

Had to go to browsing history to get back in here.

D3

December 10th, 2012
1:16 pm

RE: Links to the Bird Cage — Guys, ya’ll know as much as I do. They removed it from the home page several months ago and I can’t find it on the AJC Falcons page anywhere either. Maybe it’s just a messup or maybe they’re trying to send me a message :grin:

Wings

December 10th, 2012
1:17 pm

Big Lou – “Also, players age. We won’t have this talent on offense forever. The more years they waste, the more unlikely they will do anything in the playoffs.”

ON TARGET! Also fans age like me who are tired of waiting because we have seen the failures since 1966 and we have limited years to wait.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 10th, 2012
1:19 pm

D3, what gives? Know link to the cage on AJC’s main. They (AJC) must know what an assest you are to them. Your fan blog consistently gets more traffic than the other three writers combined. IMHO.

Arno

December 10th, 2012
1:20 pm

Maybe the explanation is that the AJC is running the Falcons’ offense, so they had to pull the blog to save face. No, that can’t be it… I see that DOL gave the Falcons a nine F grade.

Wings

December 10th, 2012
1:24 pm

Zoomie – “No, I can’t believe Smitty is responsible. ”

HC Mike Smith is responsible. He is the Head Coach and he is responsible for everything.

If HC Smith is the reason the Falcons are sticking to the old conservative ways and forcing Koetter to play Turner, he is responsible for that choice.

If Koetter is making the decision to go with the old plays and playing Turner, HC Smith is responsible for that choice for not ORDERING Koetter to make changes.

It doesn’t take an Einstein to look at the offensive situation and know what the problem is. I believe he meddles in the defense too. That is why the defense varies so much in performance. He didn’t have time to meddle mess with the defense against the Saints because it was a Thursday night game.

The bottom line HC Mike Smith CONTROLS everything.

I assume he is a perfectionist. Perfectionists are control freaks and never let others think or make choices or do things their way. Only the perfectionist can do anything correctly.

Either way Zoomie, he is responsible. It is the only way it can be.

Do you think it was HC Smith who made the choice to “get rid” of MM and BVG? He was forced by AB and TD after everyone else had seen for over a year those two were useless. HC Smith will not make tough decisions; he is more of a middle of the road guy.

Chop Buster

December 10th, 2012
1:34 pm

If you go to AJC > Sports > Falcons > More Blogs (that’s where you’ll find the Bird Cage now)

Wings

December 10th, 2012
1:37 pm

Zoomie one additional thought. People who lead other people do things for a variety of reasons. Often, the leader is driven by the power and control, and the decisions made may not be the result of common sense and evaluation of information.

From that, decisions by HC Smith may not always be the result of how poorly Michael Turner runs for example. He may be so resistant to change that he will not be told nor consider that changes should be made. Until he is forced to do it by AB.

D3

December 10th, 2012
1:38 pm

******BIRD CAGE FAMILY!*******

HERE IS THE BOOKMARK FOR THE BIRD CAGE RSS THAT YOU CAN PUT IN YOUR FAVORITES JUST IN CASE THERE ARE ANY TECHNICAL ISSUES

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-fans/

Chop Buster

December 10th, 2012
1:38 pm

Wings (1:24) – you correct in every aspect when it comes to Smitty. All signs point back to him when it comes to the coordinators. That’s why we’ve seen this team look like BVG and Mularkey were still here at times this year. It was Smitty’s offensive and defensive philosphy while BVG and Mularkey were here and it’s still his after they’ve left. Smitty has done well with regular season wins, but fans have moved on and are looking to this team reaching the next level now (Championships).

Arno

December 10th, 2012
1:49 pm

Wings

December 10th, 2012
1:51 pm

Thanks Chop Buster.

Often, people fail to grasp results made by a well-stated publicized decision has no more weight than a decision left untold. In fact, a decision left untold causes havoc because no one knows what to do.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
1:54 pm

Chop Buster (1:34) – Thanks for the info. Unfortunately, I don’t see “More Blogs” anywhere on the AJC Falcons page.

Arno (1:49) – Thanks! Good idea.

Wings

December 10th, 2012
1:57 pm

Chop Buster this is so important in what you said:

Smitty has done well with regular season wins, but fans have moved on and are looking to this team reaching the next level now (Championships).

So if there are any people who think we who are critical are not good fans, we have moved on to a new level and expect more. Critical thought results in improvement.

Wings

December 10th, 2012
2:04 pm

LRD

December 10th, 2012
2:12 pm

One thing about the Giants game.. Julio can catch a pass for 7yds and break the 1000yd mark for the year… HA

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 10th, 2012
2:15 pm

You all can sit around and debate the short comings of our team as much as you like…TRUTH hurts sometimes. IMHO, Smith is entering a crutual stage in his coaching career. Percentages show that successful coaches make it to the playoffs, win in the playoffs…win the Superbowl in the 3rd-4th year as head coach.

We’re 11-2, I’m glad of it….another post season birth. I don’t know quite how it will turn out, that’s why they play the game. If Smith doesn’t do something miraculous, say, win the Super Bowl this year, when will the vets start tuning him out? stop buying into his system/philosphies?

Only so many times you can tell the Owner, GM, Players…and fans that things need to be corrected, fixed, each week without any concrete evidence it’s happened.

When will the vets and others start tuning him out? Is it happening already? Roddy is always out spoken, but we’ve heard some rumblings from Tony G. last couple of weeks, McClure has also been very vocal this season as well.

We have evolved (especially on offense) from the team that Smith inherited some years ago. He (Smith) is strangely stuck in 2007-2008 NFL. The NFL was gradually changing to a pass first leauge, IMO, he hasn’t adapted as quickly as other head coaches, Tom Coughlin being one that has. If T. Coughlin saw the light, what will it take for Smith. IMO, I think he will never completely conform. TD, a brilliant GM (debatable), saw the writings on the wall and drafted what we needed to compete in the leaugue, but Smith, still holding on to the ground and pound, this would be better known as the dreaded “Disconnect Theory” of one of our esteem cage members SW take on things. I think there’s strong merit in SW’s theories.

Now, I’m not advocating for Smiths dismisal because of his short comings as the Falcons head Coach, He’s only coaching the way he knows how, it’s not entirely his and Dirk Koetters fault they can’t find away to use the plethora of talent we have on the offensive of the ball, hell, theirs not many in the leauge that can, but their are some Sean Payton, Patriots Josh McDaniels/Belichick, Andy Reid etc..

I’ll just sit back and watch how this season…and Mike Smiths future with this franchise continue to take shape.

Chop Buster

December 10th, 2012
2:24 pm

Time is Now…I went back and it is completely gone from the blogs section. I don’t know what the AJC is doing.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
2:26 pm

Big Ray (8:33 am) – “The Script” …I like it.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
2:27 pm

Chop Buster – I sent a comment to the AJC about it from Arno’s link on the previous page. Would probably be good if they got a lot of comments.

Chop Buster

December 10th, 2012
2:33 pm

Time is Now – okay, I will do that as well.

Wings – The coaching staff more than anyone deserves a big fat F for their game plan yesterday. They had no answer to Cam in the first game and proved they didn’t again yesterday. Running QBs running the option is a new phenomena that teams haven’t shut down before. Maybe I’m being too simplistic, but how hard is it for one defender (say Spoon) take the RB and Biermann take the QB and blow both up everytime they run the option. If we can’t get this problem solved we sure don’t want to face RG3 or Kap from the 49ers who both run the option.

Chop Buster

December 10th, 2012
2:35 pm

Smitty is on 790 the zone right now giving his normal Parrot talk for what went wrong.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 10th, 2012
2:35 pm

Smiths been fixing the same problems with this team for at least 3 years. There’s only so many times the same individual can teach methods to the same group of individuals, wihout seeing results. Sooner, or later, the teachings will start to fall on def ears.

We all know Roddy is out-spoken, but we’re beginning to hear some rumblings from Tony G, McClure has been more vociferous this season as well. Are the players (more-so offensive) totally bought into Mike Smiths offensive philosphy?

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
2:35 pm

Wings (8:45 am) – Amen! Truth.

I think the first Turner drive against NO delayed the inevitable. Please let this be the time that Quizz is given an opportunity to thrive. I am also disappointed in our use (or lack thereof) of Snelling. If he doesn’t cut it anymore, get rid of him. They’re paying him decent money and he’s experienced. If he is not capable of stepping up now, why not develop someone who can fit a short term need (like return man) and has more upside.

LRD

December 10th, 2012
2:38 pm

I just hope Nolan sits down the D and goes thru basic tackling procedures. How many miffed tackles yesterday? How many times have we seen this year of chances to end a play in the backfield and miffed tackle ends up being a first down or more?
Is it the lack of contact in the weekly practices? Is it bad technique? Is it bad coaching?
But , master of obvious here… we have to tackle better.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
2:42 pm

Big Ray (8:55 am) – You are exactly right. Nonetheless, I believe that these same questions will be asked by AB at the end of the season. Maybe I am foolish, but I am comfortable that we have the right owner to build this franchise into the kind we all dream about. Time will tell…

Wabe

December 10th, 2012
2:47 pm

why they remove the link to this blog from the Falcons homepage?

couldn’t even find it, had to look through my recent history just to get here.

Chop Buster

December 10th, 2012
2:50 pm

LRD if the coaching staff has to go through tackling fundamentals with a professional football player at this point in his career, then they don’t need to be on this team. Notice how the better defenses are stellar with fundamental tackling and don’t let the opponent go beyond their intial point of contact? I have tackled someone in YEARS but haven’t forgotten how to. This issue to me comes down to lacking discipline.

Chop Buster

December 10th, 2012
2:52 pm

One other thing I thought of with the tackling. When Peters had Cam in his grasp why did our other players just stood around and watch instead of gang tackling this guy? Now I don’t expect anyone to have the answer here, but it’s common knowledge that Cam is a big guy and you need multiple hats on him all the time.

snacktastic

December 10th, 2012
2:52 pm

Somebody: Exactly. The problems we’re seeing with this team are not new. And, as Chop Buster said, Smitty’s responses (verbal and otherwise) are not new.

As pissed off as I am about this loss, it doesn’t matter compared to next week. If the Birds lose against the Giants, you might as well cross your fingers in the playoffs, because those 11 wins will suddenly look really shaky and we’ll have nothing solid to stand on.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
2:53 pm

Paddy O (9:40 am) – I am also very disappointed with the lack of preparation accomplished during the mini-bye. Absolutely POOR coaching. The team did not come out prepared. Nothing appeared to be tweaked or introduced to give potential playoff foes something to have to prepare for. I am dumbfounded…

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
2:56 pm

Wabe – there is discussion of the missing link here from about 1 pm on. Here is a link to comment to the AJC, if you are so inclined:

http://www.ajc.com/form/contact-contact-us-feedback/

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 10th, 2012
2:59 pm

I’m truly sold on the “Disconnect Theory” SW’s been preaching bout the last two seasons. TD recognized the leauge was evolving, changing into a pass first leaugue. What did TD do? He went got what Smith needed to compete in the ever changing leauge. Instead of Smith breaking in his new toys, he choose (choosing) to stick with the old ones (Turner) because of the comfort level. I’m not bashing Smith/Kotter, they are coaching the best way they know how, there’s only a few offensive coordinators in the leauge that are capable of utilizing all of our toys on offense, but seriously, neither one of these guys can design routes for our slot receiver, Harry Douglas?

Turns out Koetter may be a one trick pony, he can design screen plays with the best of them.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 10th, 2012
3:10 pm

When Peters had Cam in his grasp why did our other players just stood around and watch instead of gang tackling this guy? – CB

Had that same thought CB. Newton and Peters were in a pirouette for about 5 secs…you mean to tell me not one other DLineman could get off a block to assist while Cam N. and Peters were auditioning for a tango contest. C’MON MAN?!?!

Chop Buster

December 10th, 2012
3:19 pm

Somebody…that’s funny (a pirouette) but then it’s not. Shows you these guys don’t play with a high level of intensity and the mindset that no one is going to run or score on us. Of course they will, but the mindset should limit these.

D3

December 10th, 2012
3:24 pm

Wow, ya’ll see this?…………..

http://www.ajc.com/ap/ap/top-news/slumping-ravens-fire-offensive-coordinator-cameron/nTRgL/

This is a team that has won in the postseason. Kind of surprised at this one.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
3:27 pm

D3 (11:06) – I also thought of Nolan. But then we lose a great DC. His previous stint as a HC was not particularly successful, as I recall. The reality is he probably won’t be our long term DC anyway, cause sooner or later, someone is gonna give him another shot as a HC. Maybe as early as next year…

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
3:30 pm

D3 (11:13 am) – Spot on!

Arno

December 10th, 2012
3:31 pm

I’m hoping Nolan wants to see what he can do with a couple of drafts under his belt. He has been kicked around the NFL long enough. Interesting the Ravens are holding somebody accounable. Do we know for sure that TD is over Smith?

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 10th, 2012
3:36 pm

Do we know for sure that TD is over Smith?- Arno

Interesting?

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
3:39 pm

Big Lou (12:18) – Your blowout scenario is an intriguing concept…

Chop Buster

December 10th, 2012
3:45 pm

D3 (3:24) – I saw that on ESPN at lunch. Every year is a new year that the team must perform and the coaches can’t rest on their past successes. Was Cam the problem there? Who knows, but Flacco looks really wide-eyed out there most of the time.

Comes down to standards. Some people have high standards and don’t accept mediocricy, others are fine with winning regular season games, and then there are those that have high standards and look for excellence (winning the big games). This is why some fans are fine with the way things are and others demand more from this team.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 10th, 2012
3:53 pm

Seems if though the Giants were sharpening another knife with the hopes of gashing us come Sunday. That rookie out of Va-Tech is something serious!!! He’s got blazing speed…and he can run with power. He will be hell to stop on Special Teams…and in the Giants run offense.

I am green with envy…wish we had’em.

D3

December 10th, 2012
3:53 pm

SOMEBODY — Man, me too. It’s like an epiphany hit me yesterday and today. It all finally clicked for me. I still believe that the main disconnect is with Smitty and Smitty alone. TD wanted to go in a more up-tempo, aerial attack (the way the league has been going), Smitty is stuck in old-school, power football with no power back or power OL, and Blank is just obsessed with getting a new stadium built. That Seminole is one smart man.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
3:55 pm

Big Lou (12:24 pm) – Have to respectfully disagree on this one. I have long been a believer that there is a certain amount of luck involved in winning a championship. So many things beyond talent go into it. Aside from things like major injuries (everybody is dinged up at the end of the year), there are chemistry and momentum issues, including a team having everything click at the right time or running into the only team that can take you out and having them play their best game at the wrong time. In football, a hot QB sure helps.

Therefore, give me a team that consistently has a chance (however meager) to win a championship. That means a team that makes the playoffs, cause those are the only teams that have any chance. Mediocre winning teams have won championships before, even against fabled teams with a championship pedigree who were playing at a dominant level coming in. Sooner or later, if you’re in the playoffs consistently, the odds are good you’ll win. Yes, the Buffalo Bills are the exception. But they were one missed Norwood field goal away from being a champion.

It’s a lot harder to root for a team that consistently has no chance of being a champion. I know this from my years as a Falcons fan.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
3:58 pm

SOMEBODY – Yeah, Wilson worries me. Bet he worries Nolan and Armstrong, too. Just don’t know if they have the tools to contain him. He’s the kind of RB who especially gives us fits.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
4:00 pm

D3 – I truly believe AB will turn his attention to getting some answers about the operation of his team whenever the season ends.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 10th, 2012
4:01 pm

Yeah D3, Something at the top not quite right. IMO, top meaning with Smith and TD. If they’re not seeing eye2eye…sh!t normally rolls down hill and settles. The end result being a inconsistent Football Team. IMHO.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 10th, 2012
4:06 pm

TTisN, That Wilson is a bad Man…

Arno

December 10th, 2012
4:07 pm

Smith and Dimitroff are not playoff rookies. They have been to the championship with other teams and presumably, know what it takes. That’s why I’m having a little trouble with the disconnect theory. And it seems to me that TD has had plenty of time to influence CMS’s old school ways.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
4:09 pm

Meanwhile at Flowery Branch… (12:36) – Very creative. Some good laughs.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
4:10 pm

The AJC needs to get it together. I had to Google this site to get back in.

LRD

December 10th, 2012
4:12 pm

Time.. agree with your recent post, and after finishing a call with my manager in NY (Who is a giants fan) who was saying ” why should anyone be scared of your Falcons right now.. you all have negative momentum going”…

Smitty: You wonder sometimes if he is the reason we do not use the no huddle more often. It takes some of the control away from him, and maybe the control freak in him just cannot let that happen (to the detriment of our Offense).

Against the Giants, I would love for us to get the kick off, come out immediately with Quizz in the backfield and us running the no huddle… I would also like to win the lottery…

Paddy O

December 10th, 2012
4:17 pm

well, I suppose the jekyll and hyde analogy is back on the stove. Ryan threw for 342 yards. almost entirely in the 2nd half. how could we NOT unleash him in the 1st half? If Ryan wants to win and win dominantly, he needs to have a sit down with Koetter & Smith. LEt Ryan run the bleeping offense – in or out of no huddle. Letting our coaching staff call the plays is a recipe for inconsistent play – as shown in about half our games thus far. and yeah, AZ does suck.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
4:18 pm

Zoomie (12:57) – Maybe I’m blind, but I haven’t seen AB micromanaging the team in quite awhile. I think he has more of the CEO type approach: hire competent people and get out of their way, but communicate expectations and hold the competent people accountable for accomplishing the things that are expected from them. Those who do not produce the desired results get replaced. I think he takes the approach that “I won’t tell you how to do your job, but this is what I expect you to accomplish. If you can’t do that, I’ll find someone who can.”

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
4:19 pm

The coaching staff more than anyone deserves a big fat F for their game plan yesterday. They had no answer to Cam in the first game and proved they didn’t again yesterday. Running QBs running the option is a new phenomena that teams haven’t shut down before. Maybe I’m being too simplistic, but how hard is it for one defender (say Spoon) take the RB and Biermann take the QB and blow both up everytime they run the option. If we can’t get this problem solved we sure don’t want to face RG3 or Kap from the 49ers who both run the option.

When you don’t run a 3-4 and your 4-3 front is weak, this is what happens.

What kills me is we had a solution to this – we ran Babineaux at DE and ran a big front in a 3-4 hybrid. Whatever happened to that? Oh…it must have gone where the screen game and the no huddle went…into oblivion….

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
4:20 pm

Big Ray – see my short post at 2:56.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
4:23 pm

I realize there is some noise about Blank and the new stadium. I understand what the stadium is about, and it ain’t JUST the Falcons. It’s about competing with cities that have more appeal because of what is in the cities themselves.

Atlanta can’t compare to the cultures of some of the other cities. Dallas? They’ve been hosting anything and everything. Atlanta used to be this way, especially in the late 80s and 90s. 1996 Olympics, things like that. This is about hosting a LOT of things. We’re talking the new College Football playoff system. You think Blank and key “pillars” of the Atlanta community (translation: business folks) don’t want some of that?

There is a LOT of money to be made here by those who make money. Blank is one of those guys. This was never really about the Falcons, nor about the people who don’t make money off of these kinds of things.

The rich get richer, you know the rest of the story. It’s why this thing is going forward, despite what us peasants think.

Back to football.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
4:24 pm

Time is Now

Thanks!

Wabe

December 10th, 2012
4:27 pm

We’ve been waiting to see exactly how good this team is…

Well, we’ll get our shot about 6 days from now.

The Giants need to win. They’ve got both the Cowboys and Redskins chasing them. So they’ll come to play.

This is a hugeeeeee game from a confidence standpoint. Winning a game like this [and depending on how we play] could propel the confidence of the entire organization. This is just the type of game you need to win and play well in to get on a roll.

How they matchup, how they play, how Ryan plays, how the coaching staff adjusts after the debacle yesterday, that’s all things to look out for this Sunday.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
4:29 pm

I still think Arthur Blank is the kind of owner you want for this franchise. We can talk Coaches all day long. But when you start reaching up higher, the conversation gets tougher. Can you judge which folks would be better GMs than the one you have? Owners are pretty cut and dry. They either spend money or they don’t. They either hire professionals, or they don’t (Jerry Jones).

Blank went after a good football mind in the Big Tuna…and got turned down because the Tuna wanted to do something else somewhere else. But he did take the Tuna’s advice, and cherry picked Dimitroff from an organization of repute.

Has Blank made mistakes along the way? Of course. But he’s also made good moves. He learned, and his learning curve is a lot quicker than some of his employees ( I need not name names). I think TD is actually a hard guy to replace.

Mike Smith….I’m not so sure. I’ll leave it at that. He has the rest of the season to do some proving one way or the other. No sense in looking for a replacement until we see what he can do in the completion of year 5.

But I do think he is not utilizing what Dimitroff got him to the max. Not even close to the max.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
4:29 pm

Wabe – agreed.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 10th, 2012
4:34 pm

Mike Smith can learn a couple of things from Tom Coughlin…and the blowout the Giants handed the Saints.

1). NO MERCY RULE! The Giants never let up on the Saints, KILLER INSTINCT! His football team never let off the gas. IMO, if a team does, it kills momentum in practice, the next game …and in the playoffs.

2). Never say a 3 & 9 team is a “verygood football team”. IMO, shows weakness.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
4:38 pm

The Ravens may or may not have made a mistake. We’ll see who they hire to replace their OC.

One thing you can take from that – this is what teams who expect to compete for a Conference Championship and a SB berth. The Ravens are serious about this, they’ve been building and gearing everything towards taking this away from the Steelers and then beating the Patriots.

This is what the Ravens aspire to. They are hell bent on beating the best.

Are we? Do we have our sights set firmly on the Giants, Packers, 49ers? Are we building and shaping this team to compete with and overcome the top teams in the NFC?

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 10th, 2012
4:44 pm

Big Ray, I concur on the Ravens. If I can add, they’ve got a very astute GM. OZ is a football guy through and through…can’t pee on his head, tell him its raining. He’s in-tuned with that franchise.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
5:07 pm

Chop Buster ,

Good point on the missed sack by Corey Peters. I will say that a healthy Peters makes that play (and a whole lot more…he was good last season).

But the total lack of “gang tackling” mentality is just crazy. But you know who? That only highlights just how underwhelming our DL is.

I have nothing against Biermann and Abe. Abe’s got some serious miles on him and still does well against the pass and run most of the time. Biermann….let’s be honest here…nobody else is forcing a LB to be a DE as much as we are…Even Nolan said every DE on our roster would be a LB in his 3-4 system. I think that said it all right there…

But beyond that, we have no idea what we’ve got with any of the other DEs and our DTs are not cutting the mustard most games.

Babineaux – older. We saw him play DE in a 3-4 hybrid…and it worked. Haven’t seen it since. He’s not what he once was – a playmaking undertackle. He’s still got a little left in the tank. But for this DL to be effective, we need a lot more than a little. He just can’t do it.

Peters – not healthy.

Travian Robertson – Apprenticeship Program. Just forget it. Then again, maybe he also struggles with learning the play book. But we wouldn’t know because he hardly ever plays.

Peria Jerry – A bust.

Vance Walker – good rotation guy who makes more plays per snap than the starting DTs.

And there we are.

D3

December 10th, 2012
5:15 pm

Big Ray — Looks like what we talked about a few months back is happening. Nowhere to be found anywhere on the AJC website.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
5:22 pm

D3 – Don’t be surprised. The Ravens have weapons. Better ones than we do at some positions (RB) and was it not you who said we might have not traded all those picks off for JJ and went with Torrey Smith instead?

They’ve scored gobs of points in a few games, struggled like hell in others (and not necessarily against good defenses). They apparently figured they’ve had enough of the defense bailing the offense out, because that won’t get you past the Patriots.

Take a look at the facts. We, with all of our offensive issues and what not….still are 7th in total offense (yards). The Ravens are 18th. That means they are behind Philly, Carolina, Oakland, Tampa Bay….although they are only behind us by one spot in points per game.

So even with a nasty defense, they need to score better and more consistently than they are. Do you think a team that’s worse on offense than us is going to win out against the Texans, Patriots, Broncos?

I’ll bet the Ravens don’t think so with the way things were going under the former OC. Like you said, that’s even with playoff success.

It’s called a higher standard.

I’d like to see us get there some day.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
5:22 pm

Somebody – yep!

Big Lou

December 10th, 2012
5:24 pm

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
5:26 pm

D3 – it sucks, but we knew it might happen. I don’t know what’s going on for sure, but this is ridiculous. Still able to get on, but not through the AJC.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
5:26 pm

D3 – I hope not, but we knew this could happen. Glad we can still find our way on. Hope it’s just a Tech glitch.

Paddy O

December 10th, 2012
5:29 pm

changing OC’s at this point would be tough. I agreed with keeping the basic tenets and terminology of the MM playbook. But, are we waying Welcome Back did not revamp play design or add more plays? If he did not, no wonder we still look to predictable – screen passes are the only thing we’ve really added.

BobbyDawg

December 10th, 2012
5:31 pm

I had to get here through Google. Thought you guys were trying to hide from me. I hope they don’t take the Cage off the AJC. Between the Cage and DOL there is no better info on the Birds.

D3

December 10th, 2012
5:42 pm

********************BIRD CAGE FAMILY!!!!************************

Not sure what’s going on, but it doesn’t look particularly good at this very moment. The Cage is nowhere to be found anywhere on the AJC website. I emailed the guy over me and said he’d pass it along, but not sure what to think to be honest.

For now, just make sure to bookmark the RSS feed…………

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-fans/

falcon21

December 10th, 2012
5:47 pm

D3, I found it in the AJC blogs section.

D3

December 10th, 2012
5:59 pm

falcon21 — You might want to check again because I’m not seeing it anywhere.

falcon21

December 10th, 2012
5:59 pm

That was a stupid thing to say with the link right above me!

falcon21

December 10th, 2012
6:00 pm

Arno

December 10th, 2012
6:03 pm

JB Falcon

December 10th, 2012
6:06 pm

21, I couldn’t even find the blogs section! Just happened to have the cage on favorites.

falcon21

December 10th, 2012
6:19 pm

It was there when I first got home JB, it is gone now.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
6:26 pm

This has been discussed since 1pm. See Arno above.

Chop Buster

December 10th, 2012
6:27 pm

BR (4:19) – You’re right. I thought we had fixed this issue defending option QBs before. I guess it did go out the window with all the other successful plays we’ve called in the past, never to be seen again. There is some Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde stuff going on with the Falcons.

Chop Buster

December 10th, 2012
6:32 pm

BR (5:07) – “Even Nolan said every DE on our roster would be a LB in his 3-4 system. I think that said it all right there…” Makes you wonder whatever happened to the 3-4 defenses we were suppose to see this year. We’ve all said the same thing…we have guys that are better suited on this team to be OLBs than DEs. I guess we were still missing our Vince Wilfork and two other big boys on each side of him.

falcon21

December 10th, 2012
6:40 pm

Time Now, all I know is I went to Blogs about news and sports around 4p and the The Bird Cage was there.

D3

December 10th, 2012
6:46 pm

Well, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens I guess…….

Welcome Back Koetter — Someone just mentioned the fact about Smith and Koetter keeping 80% of the calls the same. We all remember thinking “why in the hell would you do that?” That should have been a bad omen than. The Panthers finally ripped the mask off of our team after all those close finishes that we all tried our very best to rationalize and justify. This is all on Smith. He’s been a winner and best coach in franchise history, so he’ll get another year even if we’re one and done. But if can’t change this year, what makes us think he’ll change next year?

LRD

December 10th, 2012
6:51 pm

D3… then what is the other 20%? Is that the stuff we have been holding back waiting for the playoffs? The 20% we do not have the talent to run? The 20% the O Line cannot do?
hmmmm.

Slant Pattern

December 10th, 2012
6:55 pm

Hey all. Storms today knocked out power, had a response earlier wiped out. Cage removed from AJC but shows up with Google still. This has happened before to me and been fixed within a couple days. I’ll try to get some posts up here in a min.

BobbyDawg

December 10th, 2012
6:57 pm

Thanks Arno — I sent my 2 cents worth in for what it’s worth. Whether I leave a post or not I’ve got to have my daily Cage fix.

Arno

December 10th, 2012
7:13 pm

Smith, in today’s Q&A, talks about failures in all three phases, but actually puts most of the blame on the D not getting the Panthers off the field. The Panthers chew up most of the first quarter on their first drive, so I’m thinking Panthers want to control the clock. I’m thinking the Falcons will surely come out with something aggressive. What do we get? Turner up the middle for two. So now Smith says the O is not executing on 3rd down?? Does Ryan have to bail out a poorly called series AGAIN?? As long as Ryan continues to bail out a poor game plan, then Smith (or should I say Smoetter) will keep up the same schemes week after week. For most of the season he has made Smith look good. Problem is, Ryan’s third down numbers are declining. If we run the no huddle, Ryan gets to make his own mistakes and fix them himself, not have to slog through play calling mire. He stays more focused, and the whole offense responds. Ryan can’t be the scheme redeemer forever.

JB Falcon

December 10th, 2012
7:46 pm

Arno, at the risk of skinning my ignorance, let’s say that there are only so many basic, practical plays a team can call. This figure has been proven over many years of many teams playing many games. This proven figure will be 1000. I’m guessing here. So MS & DK keep 800 of the plays in MM’s book and also in evry other coaches book. These are all standard, proven plays used by all teams. Now, maybe the other 20% are a variance of some of the plays that could be executed better by the players on our team than any other team, based on individual player capabilites.
Coaching, to me, is being able to call the correct play at any given time based on the above scenerio coupled with what we know about the other team. Or, maybe, what we “should” know about the other team. The smartest coach in the world would not be able to call all plays perfectly. He would have to have the ability to change, or make adjustments, as the play was being executed.
This is the way I interpreted your 7:13 post that makes sense to me. Given I’m not a complete idiot, I don’t understand why the hell we don’t let MR be his own coach. Let DK & MS make “suggestions.” The no-huddle has proven to be a scoring machine. Now, why are we forcing MR to try to execute stupidly called plays when he can see from the start that they are not going to work? Maybe I am an idiot.

Slant Pattern

December 10th, 2012
7:52 pm

Missed alot of activity today it seem. Props to Wings and BR regarding watching other teams offenses and noting the differences. Questions regarding our schemes and playcalling get easier to answer when you see how much better even average rated teams use theirs, especially in the run game.

JB Falcon

December 10th, 2012
7:56 pm

Actually, my 7:46 post came about after reading D3, LRD, and Arno. I’m open for answers.

Arno

December 10th, 2012
8:02 pm

JB– It’s only my idiot theory that Ryan has bailed out some deficient play calling. Because he has been able to continue to do bail them out in a bunch of close wins, it has “enabled” the “process” to perpetuate itself. Maybe if Ryan weren’t so good, things would change??

Wngs

December 10th, 2012
8:06 pm

Smoetter is good Arno

Paddy O

December 10th, 2012
8:07 pm

our coaching staff are offensive morons. we’ve stopped trying to stretch the field. we are trying to force Turner to run the ball between the tackles. when our o line is asked to pass block and run block, they do neither very well. when concentrating on just pass blocking, they do OK. We have SERIOUS coaching problems. Why run such short routes? maybe the hot read guy, yeah – but all the other receivers? dumb & dumber. Smoetter Ball may be the new key moniker for this boondoggle. Other teams appear to specifically scheme for their opponent. we seem to trot out the same vanilla game plan and hope we execute. crummy.

Paddy O

December 10th, 2012
8:08 pm

very disappointing game. shut out for a half. with all this talent? folks should get terminated for this crap, IMHO.

Sportaree

December 10th, 2012
8:17 pm

JJ….Thank you!

JJ

December 10th, 2012
8:33 pm

Sportaree was trapped on DOL’s with no way to get to the cage. We need to daily leave links on DOL’s until this gets fixed. I’m a early riser so Ill do the am’s if some others want to leave a link at lunch, and maybe one at diner? Just wondering if some powers to be dont like our criticism or if some other fish wrapper “journalist” (lmao) are envious of D3 and the cage. This has happend before so hopefully its just a tech prob.
Regardless it smells fishy but they dont call it the fish wrapper for nothin!

JJ

December 10th, 2012
8:35 pm

frickin keyboard!

falcon21

December 10th, 2012
8:40 pm

JJ, kinda makes you wonder if some of the threats made by someone not long ago has a little something to do with this.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
8:42 pm

Big Ray, you were on a roll today. I enjoyed reading it all.

Coop

December 10th, 2012
8:42 pm

Smitty trying to shut down the Cage for telling the truth.

If you spit in a snake’s face long enough, that sumbitch is gone bite.

If Smitty won’t change, we WILL lose first game of playoffs.

Sadly, I just don’t believe he can. Another wasted year of amazing talent.

JJ

December 10th, 2012
8:44 pm

f21, crossed my mind and we havent seen much of him lately…hmmmm.

JJ

December 10th, 2012
8:47 pm

Coop, my apologies yesterday, I was pretty pissed at our falcons and feeling no pain. Were good and your team(ffl) is fine.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
8:47 pm

JB Falcon (7:46) – you are not an idiot. Good post.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
8:50 pm

Paddy O (8:07) – Can’t argue with you on that.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
8:53 pm

When I have looked, I haven’t been able to find any of the other fans blogs either.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
9:04 pm

Correction – the Junkyard Blawg is still on the GA page.

LRD

December 10th, 2012
9:11 pm

Well… it looks like we are not the only team “with the best team in football” that is just looking horrendous in the first half

LRD

December 10th, 2012
9:12 pm

Meant to say “best record in football”..

Slant Pattern

December 10th, 2012
9:20 pm

The difference LRD is that the Pats are a good and well coached football team instead of dysfunctional rejects like Scam, Hardy and the rest of the rookie Panthers team. We got beat by a collection of less than broze medal winners in the Special Olympics and outcoached by the equivalent of a coma patient. Huge difference.
If you want to see how good coaching, offensive strategy, and a decent O-line come together by all means keep watching the Pats. They are dismantling the Texans the way we should have destroyed the Panty’s with our 3rd stringers playing. I would take one of the Pats towel boys as HC over Smitty at this point :) .

Arno

December 10th, 2012
9:27 pm

“tempo and play selection” –Gruden

Coop

December 10th, 2012
9:30 pm

JJ – No sweat.

JB Falcon

December 10th, 2012
9:31 pm

LRD, some talking head predicted the Falcons and Texans in the SB. 21-0 already?

Wabe

December 10th, 2012
9:43 pm

You see what the Pats are doing to the Texans on MNF?

When the Falcons can play a game like that, a game where they send a statement, that’s when I’ll say they’re ‘official’.

They had their opportunity against the Saints, and it turned into the usual grinder type game where we went a good 2 to 2 1/2 quarters of the game being outplayed.

The Giants have put together a couple games like that this season.

The Packers did it to the Texans earlier in the year.

When there’s a big game, the big boy teams stand up and flex their muscle.

Wabe

December 10th, 2012
9:48 pm

You want a situation that we’ve had to put up with all season long that pretty much summarizes Smitty?

Dominique Franks.

This guy has been the most average [and often times, less than that] punt returner. Rather than trying someone else back there to help possibly make our special teams more of a factor, Smitty just keeps trotting Franks out there. Why?

Well, on one hand, yeah, he ain’t doing ish with punts. Sometimes, his decision making kills field position. But, he ain’t fumbling the ball either.

Just another example of Smitty playing ‘not to lose’ rather than changing things up to actually ‘improve’.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
9:49 pm

I can’t wait to see it Wabe. I just can’t predict when its going to be.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
9:51 pm

I still think if this team can get over the “never won a playoff game” hump, we will see their confidence blossom which could lead to becoming a big game team.

The Time is NOW

December 10th, 2012
9:53 pm

Both of my comments relate to the 9:43 post.

JB Falcon

December 10th, 2012
10:02 pm

Wabe, don’t want to admit it but your are correct! Will we ever get there? I dunno.

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
10:36 pm

Wabe ,

You’re dead on the money once again.

Time is Now ,

Thanks. Wish I didn’t feel the way I do, though. Had a lot to get off my mind in regard to this team. Been positive for so long…it’s all slipping now. Not gone, but slipping, slipping, slipping…

Big Ray

December 10th, 2012
10:38 pm

Watching this game tonight…and thinking we MIGHT could compete with the Texans…maybe .

But the Patriots? Negative. No chance in hell.

Even Smitty’s lawyer (where is he by the way….huh…) would be a damned fool to say otherwise. New England looks like they are ready to avenge last season’s SB loss.

Slant Pattern

December 10th, 2012
10:47 pm

“Watching this game tonight…and thinking we MIGHT could compete with the Texans…maybe .” – BR

Agree. If Smitty isn’t on the sidelines and we go no-huddle agressive from the start we could get Texans down enough to put them in the same position they are now. Trying to “out-man” them Smitty style with Turner would result in the same level of embarrassing loss we have been forced to endure so far.
Also agree on your good posting earlier. I’m not even mad anymore after watching the Pats. One bead of Bellichecks sweat contains more winning coaching knowledge than 1 billion Smitty clones…just the way it is.

LRD

December 10th, 2012
11:00 pm

Before hitting the pillow…
Wabe: The Giants game , for us, is the statement game. We lay an egg in that one, then the last tire comes off the bandwagon for many and all the doubters can say told you so.. and then you know what happens.. The Birds come back , rise up if you may, and we win our first playoff game in the Smitty era and then we see the Texans in New Orleans…
To speculate, there would be nothing finer to be in Nola, win the big game and have Tony G grab the mike and plainly say We Dat. ( I must already be dreaming)
Night yall.

Matty Bicep

December 10th, 2012
11:07 pm

Since you brought it up…..SINce 2008, Smitty is 54-22…Belchek is 58-18.

Also, since 2008, both have been to the playoffs 3 times, twice the Pats were one and done, then last year they went 2-1….I hink we know Smittys record.

Also, Belchecks record was 36-44 in his first 5 years at a HC, and 1-1 in his only visit to the playoffs.

Just fact, draw your own conclusions.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 10th, 2012
11:10 pm

I can almost invision Smith at home, sitting on the sofa, wearing a onesie…franticly jotting down notes of Belichecks offense.

Geo

December 10th, 2012
11:14 pm

Gonna answer D3s questions for a change, for the hell of it

Bird Cage Painkillers Turn
1) Simple missed tackle – how awful was this game?
Mind blowing.

2) Does this rank as one of the worst under Smith?
No, because they were looking past it. Not a big game for them, only for the Panthers.

3) Is it panic time with the offense?
Yes. I liked some things I saw in the Tampa game regarding the running game. It was a mix of some Mularkey, but more Quizz and Snell and Turner on sweeps instead of up the middle. It worked, at least enough to win. Since then it’s been a disturbing regression to Mularkey era offense.

4) What’s most to blame on offense (besides the OL)?
Those GD Turner up the middle plays. Also, notice Ryan grimacing as he hands the ball to Turner. It shows he doesn’t even feel comfortable on a running play.

5) When will the Turner Era end? Should it end?
It should have ended last year.

6) Was this just a blip or playoff preview?
We’re rounding into playoff form /snark

7) What is wrong with Matt Ryan?
Good question. I think he is feeling the pressure already, from the drumbeat all season of never winning a playoff game. Plus, he doesnt’ get any help. Teams are gameplanning to stop us by going all out to get in his face and/or slam him to the ground, and the coaching staff has not answer, doesn’t even seem to care.

8.) Which is worse: offensive or defensive line?
Oline. But they have shown ability to play when the playcalling is smart enough (no huddle, decent script to open).

9) Why do the coaches refuse to run no-huddle, open attack?
Smith can manage a group on a happy productive workplace level, but has no feel or ability to manage a game.

10) Bad calls or sour grapes?
Sour grapes. Still don’t get going for two anyway.

11) Will tackling ever get consistent?
Why? Doesn’t seem to be any accountability.

12) Are you terrified of upcoming Giants game?
Yes.

Matty Bicep

December 10th, 2012
11:19 pm

Teams are gameplanning to stop us by going all out to get in his face and/or slam him to the ground, and the coaching staff has not answer, doesn’t even seem to care.

Ryan was sacked once and hit 6 times yesterday. Brady was sacked once and hit more times can I can count tonight. As much as everyone loves Ryan, we go as far as he takes us. If we expect him to have a nice clean pocket, it ain’t gonna happen, Tom Brady does not even get that as we see tonight.

Greg Mendel

December 10th, 2012
11:19 pm

Carolina humiliates team. Cage blog disappears from Falcons page. Mike Smith seen whispering to Jack Ruby behind Grassy Knoll.

G’night, Cage.

snacktastic

December 10th, 2012
11:20 pm

At least we’ll still be tied for the best record in the league. I don’t know if that actually counts as a silver lining, but I’m treating it like one.

Matty Bicep

December 10th, 2012
11:21 pm

And as for the Carolina game, it was a division game against a team playing for its entire season. It appeared we thought we could just turn it on and pull it out in the end, but Carolina did not make any critical mistakes, and we got jobbed on a 2pt call that changes the complexion of everything.

But, it was an overall piss poor effort all the way around, hope it serves as a wake up call.

Geo

December 10th, 2012
11:23 pm

MB, Brady has much better protection than Ryan. Sack and hit stats don’t tell the whole story.

Wabe

December 10th, 2012
11:25 pm

The stats ain’t ever gonna tell you the whole story…

Yeah, Ryan only took 1 sack and 6 QB hits.

Don’t mean Ryan was clean. Dude was far from it. And that alone, IMO, is what’s derailing this offense.

If they’d go no huddle and speed up the tempo of the game, it’d help slow down that pass rush.

Mike Smith can rack up all the regular season wins he wants. Don’t mean ish. There are definitely things that can be done right now to help alleviate some of the pressure Ryan’s taking. Problem is, they’re not doing them, and that’s why the coaching will continue to be under fire.

Slant Pattern

December 10th, 2012
11:25 pm

Like a moth to flame.

Matty Bicep

December 10th, 2012
11:25 pm

As for the cage disappearing, I am flattered that some think I might be behind it, but it appears that the AJC just did a new deployment, and the Cage was probably not in the initial scope for I am sure it is a lower priority than paid features.

My guess is they add it in later once they get all the defects from the initial deployment fixed. Or maybe they do axe it due to the behavior of some of the members.

Wabe

December 10th, 2012
11:27 pm

Folks can mention all the Pro-bowl caliber skill position players the Falcons have offensively.

They always say how the Falcons have Roddy, and Julio, and Tony G., and Michael Turner [even though he don't belong]. They say we shouldn’t have any trouble scoring points with that cast of Pro-bowl talent.

Problem is, how many Pro-bowl caliber players can you name on the Falcons O-Line? None. All average *at best* talents.

No Huddle

Matty Bicep

December 10th, 2012
11:30 pm

Brady has Welker. We don’t have that, that is what kills us. It is either play design, HD, or Ryan, or a mixture of all of it. But I just don’t see Brady pumping, looking confused.

Wabe

December 10th, 2012
11:31 pm

Name one thing the Falcons do ‘great’?

The Falcons haven’t shown to be a great running team…

And they’re not a great passing team. Good? Maybe. Great? Haven’t shown to be.

You don’t throw the ball great, you don’t run it great, your defense ain’t great…

But, we’re supposed to buy into them being ‘great’? Because it’ll take ‘greatness’ to beat 3 teams and win a Superbowl…

Wabe

December 10th, 2012
11:37 pm

Regarding the Texans-Pats…

I think that’s just a bad matchup for the Texans. I actually think we’d matchup better with the Pats than the Texans do.

The Texans offense is predicated on running the football and setting up the playaction game. They don’t have the explosive passing game that the Falcons ‘could have’ should they adjust some things [NO HUDDLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE]. The Pats are actually decent stopping the run, but aren’t all that great stopping the pass.

Matty Bicep

December 10th, 2012
11:39 pm

Texans just got a smackdown by da man, Pats are the kings, what can ya say? Really, going up to Foxboro on MNF in December? Who did not see that coming?

Zoomie

December 11th, 2012
5:35 am

Wow. Watching the Patriots really shows how high the bar is set. They are a finely-honed execution machine at this point in the season. The Falcons are still struggling to install an offense with 3 regular season games left to play.

Not good . . .

trademark

December 11th, 2012
5:51 am

Have faith in my team. This is the low point, and we’re still 11-2. I remember when low points used to be followed by more low points, week after week. It seems the doom and gloom is a bit much, yeah, they deserve to be harangued for losing to the Panthers, but at the end of the day, this was a pumped up division foe on the road with nothing else to play for. It isn’t the first this has happened to good or even great teams in the NFL, and it won’t be the last.

What matters is, what the big question is, is will the Falcons be playing their best football when the playoffs (FINALLY) get here. That’s the biggest issue to settle right now, that’s what’s got to be firing up in the Falcons’ minds. The Giants game is a proving ground, even if it’s a loss, they HAVE to learn from it. What doesn’t work, FIX IT. Don’t keep repeating the same system (Smith…Turner, I’m looking at you).

Funny to say this, but yeah, if the Falcons lose in the first round again, I don’t care how many games they managed to win, it’s time for Mr- Smith to leave. Not to say he hasn’t done an amazing and even at times miraculous job with this team, BUT a fourth playoff loss in the first round is just Marty Schottenheimer syndrome, and it’s best not to keep torturing everyone.

BobbyDawg

December 11th, 2012
6:54 am

The Falcons DID NOT play their hearts out as we all know they can do. Did they just relax and let one go by? I hate to think so but that’s what it looks like to me. I still have faith, always have had even in the REAL bad years. We’ll know more after the Giants game. Then we’ve got Tampa Bay and the Lions. They let the engine stall. It’s time to crank it back up and get going. GO FALCONS

Wings

December 11th, 2012
7:53 am

I really hate to say this but for the good of the team:

If it is obvious the Giants are going to win the game, I hope they beat the crap out of us. There has to be ANOTHER wake up call for the HC Mike Smith and the FO.

Chop Buster

December 11th, 2012
9:07 am

Wings (7:53) – if the Giants do beat the crap out of the Falcons, I believe the conversation with Arthur and Dimitroff doubting Smitty’s leadership would begin.

CjdAtl

December 11th, 2012
9:21 am

Long time reader, first time poster.

@D3; regarding the penalty on Dunta, I think it was hillarious in a depressing way, hearing the commentator describing why Matt was sacked on the previous drive and you could you could clearly see the holds on the receivers. As did the commentator who thus trailed off his analysis.

And regarding the OL; for the love of god do something, I am sick and tired watching Matt Ryan being chased around like something taken from a Benny Hill episode and the yakety sax playing in the background. I’m even tempted to make a youtube video…

BobbyDawg

December 11th, 2012
9:34 am

I think Koetter will go away before Smitty. Maybe it’s just me but it looks we’re running less no-huddle and shotgun since Koetter came on board. The defense definitly didn’t look the same without WillieMo and Samuel.

Chop Buster

December 11th, 2012
9:51 am

BobbyDawg – “Maybe it’s just me but it looks we’re running less no-huddle and shotgun since Koetter came on board.” It’s not just you, we have been running less no-huddle and Ryan is under center more. Which is crazy based on the play of the OL. You’d think we’d be doing everything possible to get Ryan in a rhythm and more time to get rid of the ball. I just baffled and don’t know if it’s really Koetter the problem or the playbook we’re using from the 1970s (I’m guessing the latter).

Chop Buster

December 11th, 2012
10:18 am

You know one thing that happened in the Carolina game I see no one talking about is the inclusion of Antone Smith and Chase Coffman. Ryan missed on the screen to Smith, but Coffman caught a ball and looked real fast for a TE. I wonder if we could see these guys integrated into the game plan more down the road? I can see Coffman streaking down the middle of the field against the Giants and Smith getting loose on the edges. If we EVER use all of our weapons we’d be one DANGEROUS offense–of course when we fix the OL issues.

Wings

December 11th, 2012
10:28 am

Chop Buster I looked at the number of plays and A Smith was in on offense for that one play only. I was shocked when I saw him.

Geo

December 11th, 2012
10:29 am

I hate watching other teams (like the Pats last night) and seeing all these no-name running backs coming in and contributing with great energy. They are invariably young, a rookie or second- or third-year man. We have a third-year (!) man name Antoine Smith who never plays. Why did we draft him and why keep him if you won’t play him? It makes no sense.

The Time is NOW

December 11th, 2012
10:31 am

One big run where Antone turns the corner and teams have something new to game plan for. Just sayin…

Chop Buster

December 11th, 2012
10:40 am

Coffman is actually healthy now and the guy was a beast in college. If we could integrate him into the game with Tony, Julio and Roddy how would teams defend that? We need to start coming out of our bag on these teams and get them on their heels early. What better game to use my above suggestion than agaginst the Giants–who are weak up the middle and in their secondary. They can’t defend them all. Yet, it all comes down to giving Ryan time to do something with the ball.

Chop Buster

December 11th, 2012
10:41 am

Wings, there have been a number of one-time plays or players in games never to be seen again. I often wonder if they are experimenting with certain things?

Wings

December 11th, 2012
10:43 am

From AJC DLED article:

“We need better production on first and second down so that third down is manageable,” running back Michael Turner said. “So guys won’t have the ears pinned back, going after Matt (Ryan) and teeing off on him. We just have to get the ball rolling and keep it moving.”

I find Turner’s statement really ironic since he either looses or rarely gains more than one yard on first down.

Geo

December 11th, 2012
10:45 am

Time, not buying the theory that they are saving Antoine for just the right moment, his third year in the league and then only as a secret weapon for the playoff push/playoffs. And yet I wouldn’t care at this point if it meant Turner sitting and Antoine playing.

Wings

December 11th, 2012
10:46 am

A Smith is a really good special teams player. He is usually first down field because of his speed. He, Snelling, and Bierman are around the ball most of the time on punts.

Geo

December 11th, 2012
10:47 am

Wings, mark it down. Falcons first play from scrimmage Sunday will be Turner up the middle for no gain. Ironic indeed.

Geo

December 11th, 2012
10:50 am

Wings, exactly. Smith is great on special teams. Glad he can contribute there, but that just tells me his talent is being wasted.

Big Lou

December 11th, 2012
10:50 am

Wings

I agree.

I only except a blowout either way–Falcons or Giants.

Shut us up, or change it up.

Big Lou

December 11th, 2012
10:53 am

Wabe

Great point. Why the f!ck is Franks still punt returning? Shouldn’t they use the reg. season to fix these issues?

Smith is a stubborn idiot. Period.

It will cost another playoff season.

Geo

December 11th, 2012
10:54 am

Time, I may have misunderstood your comment. Giving teams something else to worry about and plan for is also a good thing, depending on how you look at it.

Chop Buster

December 11th, 2012
10:55 am

Geo, I actually think the Falcons will want to catch the Giants off guard and go deep with the ball on the first play. Should be interesting to see which one of us is right.

Big Lou

December 11th, 2012
10:57 am

accept* on a previous post

MB

Your ego is ridiculous. We could care less if you post here. People are just not on…

Geo

December 11th, 2012
11:08 am

Check out the first highlight to the right on this page: http://www.nfl.com/player/antonesmith/89798/profile

Looks like the play they tried with Antone in Carolina. It’s a start I guess.

Chop, I hope you are right. I would come out with Turner, play action and throw it. That would be the smart thing to do. Then I woudl bench Turner and maybe bring him back late in the fourth if you have a good lead.

Chop Buster

December 11th, 2012
11:14 am

BL I understand your pain with Franks. They may as well not even put anyone back there and allow the kick/punt team to go down the field and down the ball. That’s how valuable Franks is in that position for the team.

Wings

December 11th, 2012
11:18 am

Big Lou you are right. If NE can blow out the Texans, the Falcons can blow out the Giants.

D3

December 11th, 2012
11:20 am

Original Bird Cage Members — Check your emails for some important information when you get a chance.

Big Lou — I know man re: Smitty. I’m just kind of tired of defending him. He’s got all this talent and it’s so d@mn obvious that he can’t or won’t make necessary changes to get this team to the next level. He’ll get next year even if we’re one and done, but beyond that, I think his seat will be on fire.

Wings

December 11th, 2012
11:22 am

Chop Buster, To go a little further and to give us some humor, let MRyan spike the ball as a substitute for Turner running the ball on the first play. I bet that would piss HC Smith off.

Arno

December 11th, 2012
11:25 am

get them on their heels early– Chop Buster

After the Panters chewed up most of the first quarter, you’d think the Falcons would come out and put them on their heels. Nope. Ryan has been called on to rescue poor production (“We need better production on first and second down so that third down is manageable,” running back Michael Turner said.), and when Ryan does rescue the series, the poor production ideology continues. To me it’s a viscious circle.

D3

December 11th, 2012
11:28 am

Blank going ahead with PSL’s………..

http://www.ajc.com/news/sports/football/blank-seat-licenses-are-part-of-stadium-plan/nTRyp/?src=cb_article

Well, you better be ready to get rid of Smitty very soon if he keeps up what he’s done in the playoffs recently, and what it appears is going to happen this year. If we go out and beat the Giants, all is forgiven, but right now, fans are nervous as hell about another collapse………mainly from Smitty’s inability to make ANY CHANGES to get this team over the hump.

Geo

December 11th, 2012
11:29 am

Wings @ 11:22, LOL. That could be the start of something beautiful. Player revolt. MR2 comes of age, tells his dad to eff off, leads team to promised land.

Chop Buster

December 11th, 2012
11:33 am

Wings, you know what a control freak Smitty is. That would surely piss him off. LOL

Wings

December 11th, 2012
11:37 am

I think D3 should have said “mad as hell” and “nervous as hell”.

Unca' Bob

December 11th, 2012
12:19 pm

The first firstdown the Falcons have between the 45’s they wiil play fake to MT and go up top to JJ or RW. Touchdown!

BobbyDawg

December 11th, 2012
12:32 pm

Every time I see A. Smith in pre season running the ball I wonder why he gets hardly any touches in the regular season. As for Coffman, he WAS a beast in college and is healthy and ready. Let the man get a taste of the big league. We all know that filling Gonzo’s shoes is going to be falling on somebody’s shoulders soon and that’s a mighty big pair of shoes to fill. As bad as the O is playing now I hate to think about how it will be after he’s gone.

SG

December 11th, 2012
12:44 pm

@Arno 11:25
“We need better production on first and second down so that third down is manageable.”
Who said that? Turner actually said that? Huh? That must be the new definition of irony.

Paddy O

December 11th, 2012
12:50 pm

Big Lou: Glad you are signing on to your offensive scheme problems. It is not just execution – heck, on the running plays, it is pure play scheme as we have effectively established an inability to run between the tackles – now, draw play occasionally pay dividends. However, when comparing our game with Caroline vs. the Pats & Texans – the TExans got an old fashioned whooping. The Falcon offensive game plan – A WHOLE LOT LIKE THE GIANTS GAME – laid a gigantic egg. It is that level of ineptitude that, if I was GM, would be getting my attention quick. How exactly did we come up with that game plan? It was obviously so predictable against an intra division foe whom we had played prior – PLUS we had 10 days to scheme for it – and that crap is what we came up with? GARBAGE!

SG

December 11th, 2012
12:53 pm

BDawg: I’ve wondered the same thing about A Smith. He’s quick and shifty. On special teams he’s been a smarter, cleaner tackler than a couple of the DBs. I’d like to see him at least get a shot on returns where Franks usually comes across w/ that deer in the headlights look..

Paddy O

December 11th, 2012
12:53 pm

I was glad to see Coffman get a catch. Our problem is, our HC has a Shelby Cobra and wants to drive it like a Model T. Eventually, the guys riding along will mutiny. And, IMHO, if Ryan wants to succeed, he needs to talk to Smoetter about our abysmal play calling and offensive scheme.

Paddy O

December 11th, 2012
12:58 pm

well, folks – in 1998 the Broncos had their last 8 game winning streak. They have one now. It would be sweet to repeat a SB with the Broncos and Falcons.

Coop

December 11th, 2012
1:07 pm

I heard Colin Cowherd say today that he didn’t trust the Falcons. Then he said they have shown that they can be pushed around. That’s the first I’ve thought of us not being a physical team…

But I can’t disagree. Our OL and DL often disapear. I hat eto admit it, but I think I agree with Colin for once.

Arno

December 11th, 2012
1:22 pm

Saw this today (ouch): “When holes open up like that, I just thank God for giving me the speed to take advantage. You hate to be one of those guys that can just look at the hole and say, ‘Man, I could have taken that one if I was just a little bit faster.” –Giants rookie tailback David Wilson

Arno

December 11th, 2012
1:40 pm

SG– talk about irony, compare Wilson’s comment to Turner’s.

SG

December 11th, 2012
1:42 pm

Nice read in NYT re: Falcons, Steelers, Ravens and Bears the past weekend: “Facing a Defining Sunday After a Deflating One”.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/11/sports/football/defining-games-coming-for-floundering-teams.html?ref=football

SG

December 11th, 2012
1:43 pm

@Arno – says a lot doesn’t it?

Arno

December 11th, 2012
1:47 pm

Turner talks about needing to do something. Wilson talks about actually doing it. What is the mindset of this team facing the Giants? It better be more like Wilson’s.

SG

December 11th, 2012
1:56 pm

Arno – for me, I think Smitty was the perfect coach at the prefect time for the talent that stepped on the field in ‘08. But, w/ the teams’ progression since then, the (control freaking) training wheels should have come off last year – and had it, I believe that the killer instinct that’s at the root of every fan’s complaint, would have emerged. So to your point, the mindset of the players is “we’re gonna wait to be told what to do” not “f’in eh, I’m gonna do this!”

D3

December 11th, 2012
2:02 pm

SG — Well put. Smitty’s star is fading fast in my opinion. He’s a good coach and he deserves another year, but if this season turns out like I think it will, he’s got one more year to get it done and he’s a goner.

Arno

December 11th, 2012
2:17 pm

SG– In the Times piece, Ward talks about a nucleus of player leadership to get the team through to the playoffs. Mentions nothing about having to overcome coaching training wheels! Here’s to hoping Ryan, Gonzalez and others can provide some spark to bust the team out– like that scene in Forest Gump, when he runs out of his leg braces.

Big Lou

December 11th, 2012
2:23 pm

Wings

I meant to type ‘accept’ on that post, but yeah, I won’t be satisfied with a close win or loss. I want a blowout!

Big Lou

December 11th, 2012
2:25 pm

If we get embarrassed in the playoffs, I say go big and Fire MS. Then pick up Andy Reid for HC and Norv Turner for offense. Norv sucks as a HC, but he’s a brilliant OC.

SG

December 11th, 2012
2:34 pm

@Arno A+ for perfect analogy ;-)

D3

December 11th, 2012
2:41 pm

BL — Man, I know. The frustration has just boiled over. I know if you’re frustrated, than almost every single Falcons fan must be, because you are were a beacon of optimism for Smitty and I mean that in the nicest way. I think we all have defended Smitty for so long now, but that is growing old. Other coaches that have won in the postseason get the benefit of the doubt, but Smith doesn’t. It finally hit me why all these pundits have been slamming the Falcons, because it’s true and I point all blame to one man: Mike Smith. Too much talent to be this crappy and NEVER play to our capacity.

SG

December 11th, 2012
3:03 pm

BL – If we had Reid, Turner, and assuming Nolan – it’d be the one case of the players having to control the egos of the coaches. ;-}

Unca' Bob

December 11th, 2012
3:13 pm

aint’s players get off.

Greg Mendel

December 11th, 2012
3:18 pm

Yep, Aints players get off. The verdict was “pardoned as charged.”

Arno

December 11th, 2012
3:23 pm

Chop Buster

December 11th, 2012
3:46 pm

D3 (2:41) – As much as I’m frustrated with Smitty, I don’t think Arthur or TD will fire a guy that has accomplished 95% of what they’ve asked–be relevant every year (get into the playoffs).

Now taking the next step will require some changes to Smitty’s philosophy willingly or by force (TD). I think they force him to change. If he doesn’t then they’d have no choice to make a HC change.

LRD

December 11th, 2012
3:52 pm

Franks and Punts.. I am still a firm believer that Smitty and Koetter believe so much in Ryans ability that they rather have fair catch than anything.
I think that it is a bit of a hogwash if you ask me. Put someone back there ( HD) that can take the ball with speed (HD) be able to use the open field ( HD) to get additional yards so that our O is not always starting off on its on 10yrd line
That being said.. If our D can stop and get the other team to punt before they cross the 35 then we are in better shape to begin with…

LRD

December 11th, 2012
3:59 pm

Roger G overplayed his hand a bit, losing respect of players, coaches and sets now a precedent for any future transgressions for appeals. ( my 02)

Sportaree

December 11th, 2012
4:57 pm

Mike Smith kinda reminds me of the title of that old The Four Tops tune.
“The same old song”.

Wings

December 11th, 2012
4:59 pm

SG – ” I think Smitty was the perfect coach at the prefect time for the talent that stepped on the field in ‘08. But, w/ the teams’ progression since then, the (control freaking) training wheels should have come off last year – and had it, I believe that the killer instinct that’s at the root of every fan’s complaint, would have emerged.”

Screen Pass I think SG has the new name for you – Training Wheels. I laughed when I read it and it really fits the situation. It covers everything.

Sportaree

December 11th, 2012
6:57 pm

JB Falcon

December 11th, 2012
7:12 pm

Sportaree, I was just fixin’ to post an indepth, made up, analysis about the silence of the cage. In spite of being an eternal optimist I think I have been reading too many of the “expert” opinions and trying really hard to remain optimistic. It’s awful easy for the experts to look at our past records and jump on the pantywaist wagon. I, on the other hand, refuse to be swayed by any of their crap and will stick by the Falcons until the fat lady sings or the last whistle blows. I don’t care what NE did or the Giants did or did not do. We are the Atlanta Falcons and no one can predict what will happen in any given game. I say “Damn the torpedoes!”

Unca' Bob

December 11th, 2012
7:30 pm

JB Falcon,

“Full speed ahead!”

falcon21

December 11th, 2012
7:48 pm

D3, send it to my work e-mail address, I’m having problems with this one.

[...] Atlanta Falcons: Birds Embarrassed by Panthers It's hard to know where to begin on this one. To be blunt, this was one of the worst losses in the whole time that Mike Smith has been head coach. This team has serious problems and they just proved to all the doubters and skeptics that they may be … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Birdman

December 11th, 2012
8:10 pm

Good evening cage

I just don’t know what to say about the Birds that has not been said already. I don;t understand why they wan’t let Rayn take control of things from the beginning of the game and go with the hurry up no huddle from the start . I mean why not ? And I ant so sure about this new OC we have .

Why do they even play Turner .That’s another thing I can’t understand . Guy’s its as if the coaching staff and people running this show can’t see what we see and I just find that hard to believe . There has gotta be more to it than what we see are what I see.

I made the comment the other day that I believe this team could beat anyone .Well scratch that thought !! Another 1 and done is now what I see coming in the playoffs .I just hope I am wrong and we see some improvements Sunday .

D3
Thanks for the email I hope you got my reply

Cage ya;ll have a blessed day and thanks for the reads
GO FALCONS!!!!!!!

Birdman

December 11th, 2012
8:17 pm

Cage I also heard today that the new Stadium has been approved .

The Time is NOW

December 11th, 2012
8:22 pm

Geo (10:45) – I don’t think they are saving Antone for anything other than injury. I just don’t understand why they don’t occasionally try to get him the ball in space and see what happens. The dude is fast. If they could get him on tape as a threat (even if he only gets limited chances each game), it would make playoff teams prepare for it. As it is, opponents don’t have to think about the possibility.

The Time is NOW

December 11th, 2012
8:28 pm

Geo – I didn’t see the 10:54 post before I attempted to clarify. Never mind…

The Time is NOW

December 11th, 2012
8:30 pm

Wings (11:22) – LMAO

JB Falcon

December 11th, 2012
8:31 pm

Another 1 and done is now what I see coming in the playoffs .I just hope I am wrong and we see some improvements Sunday . BM

Come on, man! We’re all in this together. You been readin’ too many “expert” blogs.

John Waynesworld

December 11th, 2012
8:34 pm

JBF, I am also an optimist when it comes to a team that I have seen go to another level in certain games this season. Against Peyton our defense looked like a magnificent blur and in this last Saints game, our D was flying in much the same way. That is the way I see this defense, playing big when it counts.

Last week was a group team fart against a team that was playing a grudge match against a disinterested opponent looking ahead to next week and resting key players. We have risen to the occasion this season and this week being fully focused at home in our Dome we will shine on another big stage in a crucial game and beat those Giants.

The Time is NOW

December 11th, 2012
8:37 pm

SG (1:56) – Can’t disagree, but we do have quite a few veterans on this team. This is a time when the team leaders need to stand up; not necessarily in front of us, but in front of the team. I know TG has stepped up. I can only hope, beyond my prying eyes, others are as well. That is my hope.

The Time is NOW

December 11th, 2012
8:40 pm

D3 (2:02) – Yes, Smitty deserves another year. But IMHO there might need to be changes forced on him from higher up depending on how this season ends. And, yes, he would then be well and truly on the hot seat.

The Time is NOW

December 11th, 2012
8:47 pm

LRD (3:52) – The only reason I can think of for not letting HD return punts is his potential value to the offense combined with the injury risk. HD has had injury problems. Unfortunately, he also doesn’t seem to have the same chemistry with MR as RW, TG and JJ do. We must not be as deep at WR as I thought we were. I hope MR is doing some side work with HD. They need it.

The Time is NOW

December 11th, 2012
8:50 pm

JB Falcon (7:12) – You rock, man. Well said.

JB Falcon

December 11th, 2012
8:53 pm

Time, catch up brother. Nobody goes back to see what you’re referring to.

The Time is NOW

December 11th, 2012
8:53 pm

JWW (8:34) – Good post.

The Time is NOW

December 11th, 2012
8:56 pm

OK, caught up now. Guess I ought to start copying and pasting what I am responding to. Really, the comments are meant for whoever wrote the original post. Still learning how to blog. I have never done it prior to this year on the Cage. :)

JB Falcon

December 11th, 2012
8:56 pm

Time. I was wrong, I did (had to) go back a page to see what you were talking about. Thanks!

The Time is NOW

December 11th, 2012
8:59 pm

JB Falcon – Does that mean I’m behind the times?

JB Falcon

December 11th, 2012
9:14 pm

Time, you’re cool. Just keep up, imo :)

Birdman

December 11th, 2012
9:19 pm

JB Falcon

To be honest I have not heard are seen much of nothing at all but the scores of Sunday and Monday . Man I have not heard what the so called experts say this week. I have been too busy at work until tonight.Have not even checked my e-mail till today.
What I do know is how flat the team has been with the Cards the Saints and the loss to the Panthers. And I have seen teams like the Giants take for instants beat down teams like they did the Saints . And my friend it don’t take a rocket scientist to see that there is something major wrong here.
I just hope its just a game or two tho and we will see some big changes this Sunday brother.

GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!

Wabe

December 11th, 2012
9:27 pm

This weekend will determine the arrow/direction this team is headed going into the playoffs…

I wouldn’t say it’s a must win. But, if these guys don’t come out and show that they’ve learned a few lessons after their miserable performances the past month or so, I’ll be happy.

It’s all about the offense. Been sayin’ it for years now. They’ll go as far as the offense takes them. And this year, this offense goes as far as Matt Ryan takes them. He’s been slumping, and it ain’t all his fault. But, at some point, he needs to make it known to take charge and let Smitty know what his deal is [we'll never know whether it's already happened or not]. I want him to be more vocal. I want something more than the political correct interviewer we’ve grown accustomed to seeing. I’m not asking him to throw people under the bus. But, I would hope he’d react similar to how Tony G. reacted after our recent debacle. Be mad. Be upset. Let it be known. And ultimately, let Mike Smith know if something he’s doing ain’t cutting it.

This is his team [not Mike Smith's]. Matt Ryan is the franchise. So now, you command the troops. If there’s something within the gameplan that needs tweaking, get Smitty on the phone and let him know, because no way Smitty survives denying the franchise guy what he wants.

Birdman

December 11th, 2012
9:27 pm

But thick are thin I also will stick by the Falcons and root for this team.

GO FALCONS!!!!!!!

Birdman

December 11th, 2012
9:31 pm

Wabe

good point and words

JB Falcon

December 11th, 2012
9:46 pm

We’re going to find out Sunday if we have anything to offer. We’re in the playoffs, one way or the other. If we get our ass kicked Sunday, we’re still in. Sunday’s results will have a big effect on a lot fan’s attitude. I’ll change mine when the last whistle blows.

Greg Mendel

December 11th, 2012
11:32 pm

Regarding experts, or anybody else:

“Seeing is believing” is an age-old measure of proof. But it has an opposite: “Believing is seeing.” That’s when you get an idea stuck in your head, and you only see and accept things that support it.

Big Ray

December 12th, 2012
12:27 am

Well it didn’t take long for Smitty’s lawyer to come around, I see.

Big Ray

December 12th, 2012
12:32 am

I heard Colin Cowherd say today that he didn’t trust the Falcons. Then he said they have shown that they can be pushed around. That’s the first I’ve thought of us not being a physical team…

But I can’t disagree. Our OL and DL often disapear. I hat eto admit it, but I think I agree with Colin for once.

Can’t disagree with this at all.

Herein lies the issue – we draft guys to “get more physical.” We even signed a FA guy for the same reason on the OL.

Result – The two draftees get sent to the bench in favor of the incumbents, same happens to the supposed former heir to the Center position, and the FA gets cut.

So the short version is this – did TD screw all that up, or did the CS? Say what you want, but with the exception of the forced situation where Reynolds incurred injury, that would be Hawley (former supposed heir), Konz, Holmes (ok, so he was injured to start with) and Manuwai supposedly making us more physical and not coming anywhere close to getting the shot at this.

On the defensive side of the line, no attempts whatsoever were made to become more physical. None. The BS line trotted out to us was that Jerry would be healthy and suddenly a force to be reckoned with. That’s about it. Instead, Peters ends up injured, Babs is showing his age, Abe is once more by himself out there, Jerry continues to be the bust he always was, and…well that’s it.

Big Ray

December 12th, 2012
12:36 am

Greg Mendel

There’s some truth to that.

But are you really paranoid if they really ARE out to get you?

I would like to believe that what I’m seeing is a figment of my own imagination and a faux manifestation of my fears. But we shall see if the monsters are real or not. Either way, they gonna eat some lead…

Big Ray

December 12th, 2012
12:45 am

I see some conversation about Brady and Ryan involving pass protection.

First of all, we’re talking about Brady facing the damn Texans…one of the League’s best defenses with a fearsome pass rush. In Ryan’s case, we’re talking about every other week if not damn near every week, regardless of what kind of pass rush ranking.

Duress is not defined by mere edge rusher and guys who push the pocket. Not defined by mere sacks and QB hits.

It also includes busted routes, WRs not getting separation, guys not running where they should and where the ball is supposed to go.

The QB orchestrates the offense, but what Maestro could ever “make” any player in the orchestra play the right note? If Welker runs a bad route (which he rarely does), what does Brady do about that throw? It goes down as an incomplete pass (if he’s lucky it’s not an INT), and fans debate whose fault it was.

Show me where our offense is so well known and understood and repeatedly executed to success by those who are a part of it and I’ll show you how we’ll go as far as Ryan takes us. Until this happens, there is no depending on Ryan as the implied lone factor.

We don’t run the no huddle enough to judge him thusly. The no huddle is all about Ryan calling whatever plays he wants at the times he judges them proper to call them. That is what Brady does most of the time. Even when Brady is going according to a script it’s a genius-level script (enter Belichick). Mike Smith’s formula isn’t about scoring points like Belichick’s is. It’s about scoring enough to get a lead and then managing the clock until the game is over, winning the war of attrition.

Big, Fat, Ginormous difference.

Brady vs. Ryan = retarded argument until all else is equal around both players.

Belichick vs. Smith = retarded comparison for reasons that should be obvious. Belichick dominates one side of the ball with the knowledge and capability he has. Smith has yet to show me he can dominate or specialize with either side. He clearly does not know offense, and he ended up having to bring in somebody that knows defense better than he does with the personnel he himself brought in.

Slant Pattern

December 12th, 2012
1:11 am

“Screen Pass I think SG has the new name for you – Training Wheels. I laughed when I read it and it really fits the situation. It covers everything.” – Wings

I wouldn’t have to change my name while Smitty was here for sure :) . I still like Smitty as a “facetime” coach and he has respect forever for going after that dbag Meangelo on the sidelines. I thought he might be on a learning curve but after what I’ve seen so far this year he is what is and will not change. There is no desire as much or more as there is no ability.

Big Lou

December 12th, 2012
1:55 am

http://m.nfl.com/news/0ap1000000109628/

Difficult to read, but a lot of truth to it.

D3

December 12th, 2012
8:31 am

Hard to argue with this too awful much until proven otherwise………

He called the Falcons ‘Super Bowl Frauds, contended that Russell Wilson rookie was better than Matt Ryan, that Mike Smith can’t coach, the defense stinks and they don’t have any confidence.

Here’s want he wrote about the Falcons:

I credit corner Dunta Robinson for telling us on the SiriusXM Blitz that he understood the skepticism and the doubters. The Falcons knows they need to win in January to silence the haters. I just don’t think they are capable. The Carolina Panthers debacle was alarming. A game like that was a long time coming. San Francisco, Green Bay, and the Giants would suffocate Atlanta in the postseason. I think the Seattle Seahawks, with their great defense, power run game and wise-beyond-his-years quarterback, also could win in the Georgia Dome. No matter who they play in the playoffs, the Falcons will fall short in key matchup areas of quarterback play, defense, head coach and confidence.

The truth hurts, and I’m going back to SHUT UP AND SHOW ME! the same way I was in the off-season. Stop talking about it and PROVE IT! Love my Birds and always will, but that Panthers game unleashed all the negative feelings I’ve had since the Debacle in the Dome and the Meltdown in the Meadowlands. And it mainly points to one person………….HEAD COACH MIKE SMITH!

Chop Buster

December 12th, 2012
9:34 am

D3, I think many of us know this team does not have all the pieces to compete with the teams with strong OLs/DLs. I said it earlier this year that I was surprised how well we were doing considering that we don’t have a real OL or DL. Until they fix these lines we will never know if most of the playcalling on the offensive side would work, because we know how easily Ryan gets rattled with guys in his face. In my mind, the remaining games are to evaluate our weaknesses against the better built teams–which most of us already know. If they win great…they continue to overachieve. If they lose, that’s what we expected with the make up of the team.

Chop Buster

December 12th, 2012
9:36 am

Also, Smitty IS conservative, but I blame TD more for not getting the pieces in place to fix the line issues. Arthur mandated it get fixed last year and it’s still not fixed. It wouldn’t surprise me that TD goes before Smitty.

John Waynesworld

December 12th, 2012
9:42 am

D3, I’m not ready to completely throw blame on Smitty. I still have a concerned eye on our offensive line’s pass protection. Ryan has been comfortable most of the season behind his line but it is evident in our losses that if Ryan isn’t comfortable, he plays poorly and we lose. I am laying this at the OC’s feet (mostly because we can’t borrow some other team’s O line) and Koetter needs to step it up. I believe the running and screen-passing game needs to be used more to offset the opposing defense’s pass rush and give Ryan more time in the pocket. The play-calling needs to be much more creative against the Giants as well in the playoffs if we are going to succeed.

On the other side of the ball, I am not as concerned about our defense, as they have shown in games against Denver and New Orleans that when they bring the passion, they play on a completely different level. I am confident in our defense as a unit. Unlike the short-memoried media, we here in the Cage remember that our defense (with mostly the same personnel) kept us in last year’s playoff game on the road against the Giants A LOT longer than we deserved to be, considering our offense was like a MMoose in headlights throughout the game.

Chop Buster

December 12th, 2012
9:54 am

JW, agreed Koetter can do a lot of things to negate the OL weaknesses in the interim.

Paddy O

December 12th, 2012
10:01 am

Mike SMith has the press rope a dope down to a science. I do fear Smiths penchant for statistical analysis and “trends” sucks the life out of the offense – at least the passion and innovation. Our offense looks like a scripted hollywood play – which that script has only so many options. Our offense against Carolina was so awful, it would prompt me to consider terminating Welcome Back – there is absolutley NO EXCUSE., after a long layoff, to come out that horribly flat. It appears Smoetter does NOT detect opponents weaknesses very well. Thus, we don’t exploit those weaknesses. This year is ton like 2010 – but, as most folks here now know, we will not be stunned when we fall flat on our face in the playoffs like 2010 and 2011. To me, Smith is actually tempting TD & AB to fire him. He has not made any substantial changes – so, if we crash and burn in the playoffs FOR THE FOURTH TIME (a DISTINCT TREND – i’d even say an established MO) – it is ENTIRELY on Mike Smith. If we do crash and burn, I’d love to see either Cowher or Gruden – or even Bill Parcells – hired as our head coach. We have the talent. We just don’t have the managers to utilize them. Again, it is a lot like Abe Lincoln and McClellan. McClellan trained a great Army, but was afraid to use it.

Wings

December 12th, 2012
10:09 am

Chop Buster I believe HC Smith was forced by FO to “get rid” of MM and BVG. Two “underlings” that need to go in any organization just don’t up and have new jobs, and both had been told prior to Giants game. Otherwise, HC Smith would have recognized the problems after the GB playoff game as the Cage did.

We are seeing that Nolan and Koetter cannot fully implement and “carry out” the strategy of HC Smith because it doesn’t work with the same cogs in place. It may not work at all, and I think the NY Giants game again will be a good barometer. Look at the Ray Edwards situation where the reports said Blank and TD were the ones who relieved him of his duty. To my knowledge from the articles, HC Smith was never mentioned.

Yesterday, I was listening to sports talk radio, and the comments were about taking some of the pressure off Ryan by using a moving pocket to the right or left. I think Dan Reeves mentioned this too. I don’t remember ever seeing a moving pocket with this regime. I said once before several weeks ago that Chris Chandler with the Super Bowl team often used a moving pocket to change things up. We never see innovation from the Falcons offense. It is always the same line up and use force (and it hasn’t worked) to hold the defensive players of the other team at bay.

For some reason, I have a strange but good feeling that M Turner will not start Sunday. I hope it it true.

Wings

December 12th, 2012
10:18 am

Paddy O – “Welcome Back – there is absolutley NO EXCUSE.”

I don’t think we know what Koetter can do. Remember after the NO game in an interview, Matt Ryan told the NFL Network guys that HC Smith said the game plan was to run the ball against NO. When the HC determines ahead of time what the plan is regardless of the awful Saints secondary, you take away a lot of options for the OC.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 12th, 2012
10:18 am

The Panthers called us out, said they were the better team, talked trash all week before the game, beat us…and backed up everything they said they would do. The Panthers beat us from start to finish in the first meeting in the dome, we were LUCKY to get the W.

Serious question, are they better? I know some of you will say it’s all about how they match up with us, even so, if they match up, could they beat us in a playoff game? would that make them better?

When a team can shoot off at the mouth, talk about yo momma, etc…and cash the check they wrote, you have to wonder if nothing else. If they (Falcons) couldn’t get motivated from the panthers trash talk, go out and break their foot off in their azz, how the hell can they win in the post season?

WHAT IS IT GONNA TAKE FOR THIS TEAM TO GET MOTIVATED?!?!

Wings

December 12th, 2012
10:20 am

WHAT IS IT GONNA TAKE FOR THIS TEAM TO GET MOTIVATED?!?!

Amen!!

Chop Buster

December 12th, 2012
10:24 am

Wings – “Chop Buster I believe HC Smith was forced by FO to “get rid” of MM and BVG. Two “underlings” that need to go in any organization just don’t up and have new jobs, and both had been told prior to Giants game. Otherwise, HC Smith would have recognized the problems after the GB playoff game as the Cage did.”

I don’t disagree with this at all. I’m just saying TD doesn’t get a pass on any of this as well. Carolina, TB even built t-go…we still haven’t fixed ours.

“We are seeing that Nolan and Koetter cannot fully implement and “carry out” the strategy of HC Smith because it doesn’t work with the same cogs in place.” Dimitroff again.

“Yesterday, I was listening to sports talk radio, and the comments were about taking some of the pressure off Ryan by using a moving pocket to the right or left.” I’ve been saying this for a while now. It’s the OC’s responsibility to counter pressure on the QB. Maybe Mularkey’s playbook doesn’t have a play in it to do that–since Smitty made him use the same playbook upon arrival. I don’t know if I would have accepted a job where my hands were tied prior to starting the job.

D3

December 12th, 2012
10:24 am

Paddy O / Chop / JWW — Paddy described it perfectly my sentiments. I love the guy, I really do, but I just get a bad feeling we’re looking at another playoff collapse………….

He has not made any substantial changes – so, if we crash and burn in the playoffs FOR THE FOURTH TIME (a DISTINCT TREND – i’d even say an established MO) – it is ENTIRELY on Mike Smith — Paddy O

I completely get the idea of a “disconnect” that I’ve been arguing against SW the last 10-12 months. Blank is obsessed with the new stadium, TD wants to go to a more aerial attack (where you only need mobile type OL, not road graders), and Smitty is stuck in 1950’s football philosophy. Paul Boudreau, Mike Malarkey, Emmitt Thomas, and BVG are all gone……………….who remains?

We are seeing the EXACT same thing going on that we’ve seen the last many years. If we’re able to compete against the Giants and especially win the first playoff game, than I’ll gladly stand up and eat my side of crow with Texas Pete hot sauce, but I’m afraid that won’t be happening. The next month or so will define Smitty’s legacy / future career in Atlanta.

How are you going to get people to fill a new stadium with more expensive seats with possibly PSL’s when their team continually chokes in the playoffs and also plays a hyper-conservative brand of football? (BTW, Blank has just now been able to consistently fill the Dome after 5 years of perennial winning regular season football).

Geo

December 12th, 2012
10:28 am

Re: MT33. During a radio interview this week, Roddy White was asked about JR32, and he said the usual things about him being a playmaker, but interestingly, he also said that the offense just seems to flow better when he’s in there.

NFL network talking heads have said the same repeatedly and as recently as this week. Literally everybody knows it, except HC Mike Smith. Does he really have so much power that no one in the organization can get through to him that he is f*cking up?

Wings

December 12th, 2012
10:31 am

D3, it will take more than the Giants game. HC Smith changes a little and then goes backwards a little later. He always reverts to his basic philosphy.

Chop Buster, I agree with you re TD. He does keep quiet too much.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
10:32 am

Since have been comparing NE to the Falcons, lets analyze them since Smitty game into the league:

Regular season records are very similar. The Pats missed playoffs on 08, and were one and done in 09 and 10, then went to the Superbowl. However, they lost in the SB to the exact same team we lost to in round 1.

Just facts.

Wings

December 12th, 2012
10:33 am

Geo maybe Mike Smith is an output device only.

D3

December 12th, 2012
10:33 am

Wings — 10:09 AM and 10:18 AM……HERE, HERE! Great posts. You may very well be right. Many of us said back when everyone except Smitty was fired / let go (arguably the 3 most important positions outside of the HC, than who’s next?). I can’t imagine them letting him go if we have another playoff collapse, but I can’t entirely rule out either. Just think how bad it’s been this year with the media, can you imagine Blank and Co. having to go through an entire 365 more days of that, just waiting until playoff time? Good Lord, that makes MY stomach hurt. I’ve given Smitty every benefit of the doubt over the last 5 years, but he’s fading quickly if things turn out like I think they will. I had a nightmare last night that we’d get beat 48-28 by the Giants on Sunday. When I woke up, I thought, “yeah, that could easily happen, but at least we scored on offense.”

Smitty plays scared and not to lose coupled with an outright refusal to change due to his stubborn nature

And if Koetter really is that bad, than he should be fired…………….better yet, HE SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN HIRED!

LRD

December 12th, 2012
10:38 am

Honestly. I think we are going to surprise even ourselves with a decisive win on Sunday. We are in Our House, we have a payback game, we were just humiliated in Carolina, Willie Moe is back, and I betcha Asante makes an appearance too.
Gotta good feeling about this one.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 12th, 2012
10:40 am

IF we don’t win in the post season, A. Blank, IMO, will call TD in his office for immediate answers. A. Blank has made most of his money as an CEO, he’s prone to get his answers from his top level executives before he even considers meeting with the mid-level (Smith). Now, at some point, TD and Smith will have a heart to heart…and soon after meet with A. Blank. IMHO, Smith will not be on the “hot seat” until TD finds his job security slipping. IMO.

The Time is NOW

December 12th, 2012
10:47 am

Somebody – Very plausible scenario, IMHO.

Arno

December 12th, 2012
10:58 am

In honor or our offense, I hear we’re going to the throwback cheerleader unis this Sunday.
http://www.footballbabble.com/images/steelers-cheerleaders.jpg
(I hope it’s a false rumor!!!)

Chop Buster

December 12th, 2012
11:02 am

I have a question for anyone that might know the answer. Where do the playbooks come from when new HCs are hired? Do they bring their own? Does the NFL issue them one with the basic plays ran in the league and then they tailor it to suit their own needs? I know Smitty didn’t want the plays to change probably because he didn’t want the team learning an entirely new playbook–or maybe he just wanted to keep the plays he likes running.

BobbyDawg

December 12th, 2012
11:14 am

Chop — I’ve often wondered the same thing, since he was strictly a D coach for the last five years or so before he came here. If you go back and look at the type of plays the Jags were running when he left you may find your answer. I wish somebody would help him out with a lttle imagination and creativity. I thought Koetter may be the man to do that but I’m losing faith fast.

Chop Buster

December 12th, 2012
11:25 am

BobbyDawg, all I can say is I hope we run 20% of the playbook Koetter created from here on out instead of the 80% Smitty kept.

Unca' Bob

December 12th, 2012
11:28 am

Cage,

D3’s link has been added to the blog list again. Thanks LRD, and others.

John Waynesworld

December 12th, 2012
11:32 am

“We’ve got to go out, first and foremost, and play our best football here in the fourth quarter. We said that last week leading into it that was our goal to come out in the fourth quarter and play our best football of the year.” – Coach Smith

I’m really starting to loath this “4th Quarter” mantra, much more than I hated “process” or “resilience”. It stinks of a business-as-usual, non-plus approach that I don’t think is good for this team as it is built. We need spit-inducing passionate speeches coming from this HC, not tired buzz-speak. We need a rush order of Smitty con Huevos! Order up!

Greg Mendel

December 12th, 2012
11:33 am

It ain’t over ’til it’s over, and “it” — the remaining regular games and playoffs — hasn’t even started. The concerns and criticism expressed here are reasonable and may be dead-on, but I, for one, am not going to hoist the white flag before the battle even starts.

snacktastic

December 12th, 2012
11:42 am

Here’s an interesting thought for the Cage.

The winner of Sunday’s game will have swept the other team’s division. Also consider that the Giants have lost to all three of their division opponents, while we’ve lost to two of ours (so far). If you believe the common assertion that divisional games are tougher than most others, and take into account that we’ve won more games this season but they beat us in the playoffs last season, these two facts would suggest that the Falcons and Giants are pretty evenly matched, despite the miserable performance against the Panthers.

I wasn’t very confident the last two days, but the facts above temper my expectations. If we play a tough, close game, and win or lose by a single score or so, then the worries disappear because the game will have reflected how even I think these teams are.

What do you guys think?

BobbyDawg

December 12th, 2012
11:52 am

Our D has forced their share of turnovers, and that’s what I kept hoping for in the Panthers game, but it was not to be. The whole D just seemed slow and not all over the field like they normally are. I realize that two of our best were sidelined but to make that big of a difference especially with the Panthers. I can’t buy into that. It looked like we went there to lose that game.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 12th, 2012
11:58 am

THE PRESSURE SOULD START MOUNTING ON M. SMITH. It’s pass time Smith start being questioned and held accountable.

I will attempt to compare his Head Coaching career with some of his peers/contemporaries:

Sean Peyton, Head Coaching career started in 2006 with the sAINTS- Playoff wins, SuperBowl Title.

Mike Tomlin, Head Coaching career started with the Steelers in 2007 – Playoff wins, Two SuperBowl appearances, winning one of the two.

Pete Carroll, Second stint in his Head Coaching career, took a job with the Seahawks in 2010, Playoff appearance and win against the sAINTS 2011 season.

Jim Harbaugh, Head Coaching career started with the 49′ers 2011 season, he took them to the NFC Championship game…one loss fumble away from a SuperBowl appearance.

Mike Smith, Head Coaching career started with the Falcons in 2008, 3 playoff appearances…NO WINS!

Just Sayin…

JJ

December 12th, 2012
11:58 am

Hooyah LRD, nice job buddy, was getting a little nervous about the fish wrapper!

JJ

December 12th, 2012
12:00 pm

Unca’ Bob, tks for the update. I can quit pasting the link over at DOL’s where my imposter blogs.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 12th, 2012
12:06 pm

I had know doubt the AJC would do the right/sensible thing and continue D3’s blog. Good business decision, best blog, makes them money…what else were they gonna do? I do believe there’s some envy from the other 3 writers. IMO.

BobbyDawg

December 12th, 2012
12:06 pm

I think the Giants will have to play one of their best games of the year to beat us in the Dome. I hope we can secure home field throughout the playoffs. The talk going on is that we haven’t played top teams this year therefore we haven’t been truly tested, so I guess the Giants game will be the real tester. I just hope the team is as up for it as the whole fanbase is.

snacktastic

December 12th, 2012
12:09 pm

SOMEBODY: I hate to say it, but Smitty’s resume does look pretty bad compared to those other HCs. I know the current regime has strived for continuity, and I think that’s part of the reason why this franchise is better off than so many others. But if our coach only contributes to our continuity without contributing an edge, or a killer instinct, or creativity, or aggression, or any sort of emotion, then he suddenly isn’t worth as much. We’ll see how hot his seat gets these next few weeks.

JB Falcon

December 12th, 2012
12:29 pm

UB, good catch/news about the front page. I was trying to imagine a football season without the cage. Heaven forbid having nothing but Radio’s page.

Here’s a hunch to chew on. Last week the flow of the cage was very optimistic and the birds came along and crapped their pants. This week I see a lot of negative feelings, meaning (?) the birds will win a very big game this Sunday.
Hey, that’s the way I think.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
12:40 pm

Somebody, I would say it puts him among the top five coaches hired since 2008. Then when you consider what he started with, and the position he has put the team In yet again this year, he has done quite well.

Big Lou

December 12th, 2012
12:43 pm

JB

Most of the cage has been negative on the offense since the Arizona debacle. Now more people(including myself) are starting to see why. It’s not only the weak oline… Mike Smith.

Stubborn to a fault.

Always starting Turner.
Always starting Franks.
Refuses to use the shotgun to help Ryan.
Refuses to use no-huddle.

List can go on…

The Time is NOW

December 12th, 2012
12:46 pm

Unca’ Bob -

“Cage,

D3’s link has been added to the blog list again. Thanks LRD, and others.”

Thanks. Good news indeed. Thanks to Arno, as well. Quick recognition should be acknowledged, IMHO.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
1:04 pm

But really somebody, Pete carrol has yet to post 2 winning season in 7. He playoff win was after his 7-9 team backed in. Would you be happy with that?

Timlin, he inherited a sb team.

So unless the haboughs have another brother, I don’t know who I would choose to replace Smitty with.

Paddy O

December 12th, 2012
1:05 pm

Is regular season excellence or success the goal? Personally, I’m sick of being 1 and out. the 2008 results I discount – so many of the team were young and AZ did make it to the SB and we were playing Warner. Now, the 2010 and 2011 losses were so egregious – I’d say casually the TEAM was NOT prepared to play. I know GB was hot, and we had some bad breaks in that game, but the GAME PLAN we had against the Giants sucked donkey dick – it is almost like we skippy do dahd right into Coughlin’s ambush. The Carolina collapse is too eerily similar to the Giants playoff game. Plus, the Falcons DO NOT IMPROVE in 2nd game contests – if anything, we trot out the same script in game 2 as game 1 assuming the opposition is going to bring a clone of the game plan from game 1. This is to me, the KEY FAILURE of HC MS tenure – the inability to be innovative and confident in the 2nd game of the season. Our defense won against NO. The 2nd Carolina game, we got embarassingly tattoed in the first half – HOW??? Fing HOW???? I’d say INEPT COACHING.

Paddy O

December 12th, 2012
1:06 pm

mb – you and smitty are a lot alike. you keep pushing the same BS and thing no one will notice the stench.

honest_abe

December 12th, 2012
1:11 pm

this team has obvious flaws but it isn’t the end of the world. they need to realize what they’re strengths and play to it.

no more ground and pound. mimic indy from peyton’s days. spread it out, no huddle up tempo is the key on offense. the d since it’s small yet fast needs that lead so they can pin their ears back and rush the passer. only problem is they don’t have mathis and freeney.

beat the giants and this team is a legitimate contender. lose and it’s the same ol bs.

Slant Pattern

December 12th, 2012
1:12 pm

“I don’t think we know what Koetter can do. Remember after the NO game in an interview, Matt Ryan told the NFL Network guys that HC Smith said the game plan was to run the ball against NO. When the HC determines ahead of time what the plan is regardless of the awful Saints secondary, you take away a lot of options for the OC.” – Wings

Excellent and thank you. Smitty’s biggest mistakes this year have been finally revealing his level of involvement in the strategic decision making processes. In the past we could guess and say that in the end he “allowed” things to continue. This year he grabbed the yokes of responsibility firmly and thus why he cannot escape the crosshairs for his terrible decisions. The idea expressed by many that he is bulletproof from AB’s wrath if we are embarrassed again is shortsighted IMHO. If the team fails and falls in the wrong manner, Smitty is fair game…in fact he almost has to go to insulate TD and Blank from an organizational politics perspective.

Paddy O

December 12th, 2012
1:14 pm

Anybody notice that Stephen NIcholas has been virtually invisible the last few weeks? Dent appears to be making some plays for loss. I think we need to start Babs, Walker, Peters and Abe; when we drop to 3, drop Peters. VAnce Walker makes plays when he is in there.

Paddy O

December 12th, 2012
1:18 pm

managerially, the owner of the company said our O line and D line were NOT playing up to standards. Smitty essentially started the same bunch and is still getting lousy results – heck, when we focused on pass blocking, our line – except for Clabo – has done reasonably well. IT is when we reflexively fell back on attempting to run Turner – in or out – and, getting your running game going does make the play action effective – is when our O line sucking wind. If we fail again in the playoffs without a win, and the O line is the cause (ryan getting pressure and playing poorly) – then Smitty has earned his pink slip. He was WARNED that the O line was inferior – TD gave him some new tools and they are stuck in the apprenticeship program.

Birdman

December 12th, 2012
1:23 pm

Big Lou
I hate to look down on the Birds but that pretty much sums it up in your ( 12.43 ) post

JB
I hope your right bro. I like the way you think. None of us really know the outcome with this team this season. I think we had a better perspective last year if you know what I mean. Are not ???

Ryan Plain Sucks

December 12th, 2012
1:26 pm

No more excuses.

Slant Pattern

December 12th, 2012
1:34 pm

“THE PRESSURE SOULD START MOUNTING ON M. SMITH. It’s pass time Smith start being questioned and held accountable.

( The rest ) ” – Somebody NTTTT

Are you sure of that :) ? It is obvious I agree with such sentiment, the rest of the internet Falcon’s community not so much. Our very own contrarian MB continues to make argumants against that line of thinking. Jeanna Thomas ( The same person that posted here as Jean? ) from the alcaholic sounding site says here ( http://www.thefalcoholic.com/2012/12/11/3754818/sunday-was-a-cam-tastrophe )
“To even discuss firing Mike Smith at this point seems reactionary and irrational to me.” – JT
However, she then says this
;
“However, I believe Mike Smith lacks, and this Falcons team lacks, killer instinct. Smitty is an old school coach and a gentleman on the field, at least when DeAngelo Hall isn’t all up in his business, and these are admirable qualities. But, I really don’t care about our opponents’ feelings when it comes to football. Run up the score. Make them regret they even took the field to face the Falcons. Let Atlanta’s opponents be the ones to sheepishly declare in their post game press conferences, we just didn’t execute.” – JT

This begs an obvious question in my eyes. Why is it “irrational” to question replacing Smith if his shortcomings are detrimental to the team? We all see and know by now what those shortcomings are so why the reluctance to part ways and find someone that does not posses such limitations?

Arno

December 12th, 2012
1:37 pm

Smith said the Panthers beat us with three explosive plays outside the red zone. What the Panthers actually did was play explosively, beyond what Rivera’s game plan could account for. The Falcons players will have to do the same the rest of the way– outshine the game plan, if necessary. I think they can do it, and that we will see evidence this Sunday. If the CS finally fixes the line issues in the off-season, then the Falcons will solidify. At this point, though, I’’ve grown weary of coach speak. My ears will be tuned to what the players are saying. And hey, Tony– the sound you heard was not fans jumping off the bandwagon. It was Cagers jumping up and down on the bandwagon making a helluva rukkus.

Slant Pattern

December 12th, 2012
1:38 pm

“Most of the cage has been negative on the offense since the Arizona debacle. Now more people(including myself) are starting to see why. It’s not only the weak oline… Mike Smith.

Stubborn to a fault.

Always starting Turner.
Always starting Franks.
Refuses to use the shotgun to help Ryan.
Refuses to use no-huddle.

List can go on…” – BL

Great post and points. I do miss butting heads but not when you throw this kinda accurate pitching!

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
1:43 pm

I did not say MS should not feel pressure, nfl is what have ya done lately, but I think he has done a pretty good job, and is a few wins away from doing something special. I don’t Condemn MS for a game that has yet to be played. And there is a game to be played, I think we have a chance.

D3

December 12th, 2012
2:00 pm

Smith said the Panthers beat us with three explosive plays outside the red zone. What the Panthers actually did was play explosively, — Arno

Great point………….See, right here. This drives me up the effin wall. No, you didn’t get beat by 3 effin plays. YOU GOT YOUR TAIL WHIPPED in every facet of the game and didn’t even show up. Your offense was downright embarrassing and you go by percentages and averages. Play not to lose, instead of winning and dominating.

Slant Pattern

December 12th, 2012
2:04 pm

“So unless the haboughs have another brother, I don’t know who I would choose to replace Smitty with.” – MB

The topic has come up in the past, I believe M. Sherman was who I came up with last year. I have no problem letting this year play out to give Smitty his fair chance. The end of the year will also allow us to see who is released to give us an idea of who is actually available. The Falcons will most likely be losing quite a few of the “old guard” players which then means we have the chance to actually match the new HC’s philosphies with actual player aquisition.
We could choose to let M. Ryan hit the market, trade JJ to try and get some value back, waste ..*cough* I mean spend our 1st round pick on a one dimensional power running back so that keeping Smitty around makes sense. We could also choose to let Smitty go, find an HC candidate with playoff and heavy passing ofensive experience ( M. Sherman ^ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Sherman ^ fits this bill I believe ), and then use our earlier picks to bolster our lines, later picks on ever down full feature back, TE, etc.
Prolly too soon to get to into it, we coul win it all this year still, but it never hurts to look ahead.

D3

December 12th, 2012
2:07 pm

Someone else may have said this, but I’ll reiterate it, when have we had a truly dominating performance over a quality opponent? San Diego, Philly? Both those teams have turned out to be garbage, much like last year our best win was vs. Detroit. Meanwhile,……….

The Giants thrash the 49ers and the Saints on the road, hanging 52 on New Orleans and holding Niners to like 3 right?

Packers go in and truly thump the Texans, same goes for the Patriots

To be honest, I have to go all the way back to 2010 when we beat the Packers and Ravens in a month. Both at home. Both at the last minute.

The Time is NOW

December 12th, 2012
2:14 pm

My thoughts on MS, for what it is worth. I still believe this team will be evaluated by their success or failure in the playoffs, possibly including how well they play if they lose. After the season, I think AB will demand answers to his questions and concerns. Whether heads roll, and which ones, will be determined by how the season ends and who is able to sell AB a convincing scenario for future success. As I am not privy to what occurs in these meetings, I cannot predict the outcome. I suspect MS has earned at least one more year by the fast start, but in my mind that is not a foregone conclusion. The spin game by TD and MS after the season will give us an indication whether one of them is willing to throw the other under the bus. If that happens, it will be interesting to see which side AB winds up taking.

Of course, this is all conjecture and could be totally off-base.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 12th, 2012
2:14 pm

NFL is a copy cat league. The Saints coaching staff found a very powerful stat that helped propell us to a 10-1 record before our second match up with them in the dome. What did they (sAINTS) find? They schemed…and took away our efforts to convert on 3rd down. If I am not mistaken? before we played them, we were ranked #2 in 3rd down conversions. The Saints schemed and took away what made our offense tick. I give them credit, they found out we were in third and medium (long) quite often, they suffocated us on 3rd down…and we didn’t convert on one until late in the 3rd quarter.

Guess what? the Panthers schemed, did the exactly same thing.

I read Turners statement about converting on 3rd downs, it’s almost funny, seems if though he expects the offense to be in third down alot.

There’s know rule that a team must go through 3 downs before it converts a first down…I know teams will be in 3rd downs in the NFL…but who says you’ve gotta be in 30 each game. The more you stay out of third downs, the better. Convert, move the chains on 1st and 2nd downs.

I know, Smith will have us do it by the book….

Slant Pattern

December 12th, 2012
2:15 pm

“To be honest, I have to go all the way back to 2010 when we beat the Packers and Ravens in a month. Both at home. Both at the last minute.” – D3

Ravens game M. Ryan was unleashed in the first ( last too possibly until earlier this year ) game of a pass first philosphy for the entire game. The FudgePackers were a depleted team with 16 injuries if I’m not mistaken at the time we played. We barely beat that half functional Packer team..it counts but when we played them at full strentgh we saw the new results.

The Time is NOW

December 12th, 2012
2:22 pm

Generally speaking, MR’s greatest moments have come on 3rd downs and late in halves. Those moments are the reason I still have hope for him. Unfortunately, if you go to the well too often occasionally the bucket comes up dry. Whether this season indicates Mr has reached his permanent ceiling remains to be seen, but I am still cautiously optimistic. Of course, I also believe other positions will have an impact on MR’s ability to be a big game QB.

The Time is NOW

December 12th, 2012
2:26 pm

SP – It helped the Pack that Rogers was in the zone for that game. He was at his best. I don’t recall him missing an open receiver virtually the whole game. The guy was unconscious. NOBODY can play at that level every week. Gotta give credit where credit is due.

(Not insinuating that this answers all questions about the playoff history.)

D3

December 12th, 2012
2:27 pm

Time — Good point. I agree with that. Blank said himself during the off-season that he will judge about what happens in postseason. I ultimately think, like you, that he’ll probably get one more year, but I wouldn’t guarantee it if we lose for the 4th time in the playoffs in 5 years. I can’t imagine what next year will be like having to hear “0-4 in the playoffs” under the same head coach for an entire season. I could have a major blind spot here, but I believe that TD has much more job security than TD. I can’t think of too awfully many better GMs out there.

A good exercise would be to do this……

If Smitty got canned, would anyone be rushing to pick him up?

If TD got canned, would anyone be rushing to be pick him up?

That’s why I say TD would be allowed to pick the next head coach. It’s very true that TD did help hire Smitty, but we have to remember the context. That was immediately following the Mora / Petrino / Vick debacle. At the time, Smitty was an amazingly reassuring force.

It’s a little different time now.

The Time is NOW

December 12th, 2012
2:28 pm

Rogers was even consistently completing when there was extremely tight coverage in that game. He beat the D even when they were in position to win the battle. Just sayin…

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 12th, 2012
2:31 pm

We could choose to let M. Ryan hit the market, trade JJ to try and get some value back,- SP

Very interesting you said that…I was about to pop off a comment just about that.

I’ll get right to it. I am willing to let the season play out as well, but there are some HUGE decisions to make if we go 0-4 in the playoffs.

Do we extend Ryans contract? Will A. Blanks consider Ryan our franchise QB. Ryans agent will ask for quite a bit of MILLIONS, not as much as Brees…but not far away either. If Blank and TD choose to let Ryan test the market, there might be a chance they (A. Blank, TD) could entertain offers, see how many 1st rounders (draft picks) we could get in return.

Now, I’m not just shooting off at the mouth. when we loss in the debacle in the dome game against GB, A. Blanks said, coaches (Simth) QB’s (Ryan) are measured on what they do in the post season.

So, needless to say, there will be some very interesting moves in the off season if we don’t advance in the post season. IMHO.

The Time is NOW

December 12th, 2012
2:35 pm

Later Cage…

The Time is NOW

December 12th, 2012
2:37 pm

Oh, D3 -

I agree about the 0 for the playoffs monkey. Please let them get that off their backs this year. My confidence for that is not high right now, but I still have hope.

The Time is NOW

December 12th, 2012
2:41 pm

I guess those who want a regime change would prefer a one and done this year. That is a legitimate position to hold for long term success, but I am not yet prepared to go there. Too much baggage of coaching changes that didn’t make anything better for any significant period of time.

OK, really outta here now. Back tonight if I can…

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
2:44 pm

Let ryan walk? Who do you replace him with? Trade JJ? What? How about bringing in Dan Wisenhunt….he won a playoff game and is probably available.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 12th, 2012
2:45 pm

TTisN,

I believe in HOPE just as much as the next guy, unfortunately, that word has been the demise of so many GM’s and Coaches. NFL is a results driven league.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
2:46 pm

The list of HOF qbs who went 3 consecutive 1 and done will fill canton.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 12th, 2012
2:49 pm

MB,

You’re up to your old tricks…its only conjecture.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
2:50 pm

I don’t us hope, I use a chance. Games are unpredictable, especially playoff games…..anyone have Steelers losing to Tebow? Really, all our defeats came to the teams that beat everyone, we just happened to run into them first.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
2:52 pm

It is all conjecture and opinion.

LRD

December 12th, 2012
2:52 pm

Ryan walk?? I want what your smokin….
Again, as the stats folks have shown over and over, Ryan and Peyton have both failed in the first play off attempts. and Ryan and Peyton have many similiarities at this point in their careers…. Did Peyton get canned?> Did the fans give up on him?
Everyone is panicking.. and the best thing to do when under pressure.. not panic… panic leads to bad decisions, bad decisions lead to even worse choices, that eventually could lead to no choices at all.
I will gladly eat crow sunday night, but I have faith we will win this game on Sunday and not in our usual by 3 in the last minute.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
2:54 pm

Being 1 and done 3 times is Iike losing 20 games as a pitcher.

falcon21

December 12th, 2012
2:56 pm

All the winning we are doing in the regular season is really great if that is what you are satisfied with. To me it’s all about getting to and winning the big game. As for the so called “process”, it ain’t working. If the Falcons lose 2 of the next 3 games and are 1 and done in the playoffs, Mike Smith should be gone. He has had time to get us to the next level. If you are happy with 1 and done every season, keep Mike, I don’t agree.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
2:56 pm

And let the record state I did not bring up Ryan walkin. I know I will get blamed. Nor do I advocate it.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 12th, 2012
3:00 pm

LRD,

I am not advocating for Ryan to be let go.

Slant Pattern

December 12th, 2012
3:03 pm

“Let ryan walk? Who do you replace him with? Trade JJ? What? How about bringing in Dan Wisenhunt….he won a playoff game and is probably available.” – MB

The trolls, err I mean geniuses like Peyton, Mr. Right, Swift etc. and a large potion of our fanbase constantly point out how much Ryan sucks so why keep him. Vick will be available and he is the greatest QB of all time according to alot of our fanbase. Not Vick? Oh maybe we can trade Ryan for Scam Newton…he’s the greatest QB of all time I hear, even Pat Y said so. It is clear Ryan sucks and is holding Smitty’s gameplan back. Getting rid of the bum makes the most sense.
Smitty wants to power run, TOP grind, and play not to lose so we need to use our assets accordingly. There is no need for a franchise QB or franchise WR when we have Turner on the team. Ryan would cost us 17-18 mil per year after new contract so lets give that to Turner instead, I bet he would sign another 6 yrs at 15 mil per even. That saves 2-3 mil right there. He is worth it and Smitty will get every pennies worth. Trading JJ will get us a new FB and some O-line pieces, gotta be done sorry. Smitty don’t need no stinking WRs, QB’s that are expensive, he needs better blocking for Turner so let’s give it to him. You want Smitty to succeed don’t you :) ?

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
3:04 pm

Wisenhunt or Smitty? You know, that regular season winning don’t mean much. DW did get to the SB.

Big Lou

December 12th, 2012
3:06 pm

Time is now, MB

Clearly you didn’t see the sarcasm in SP’s post. He was pointing out the fact that it’s easier to replace MS then to bring in the type of offense/defense necessary to win with his philosophy.

SP

As I’ve said many times before, I am not a clear homer. I go by what I see in the games and remain objective. I have no point to be made. Yet, don’t worry, we’ll bump heads in the future. ;)

honest_abe

December 12th, 2012
3:09 pm

“As I’ve said many times before, I am not a clear homer” – BL

confused homer

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
3:09 pm

BL, saw the sarcasm and made my own.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
3:11 pm

Mv7 will be available….hmmm.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 12th, 2012
3:13 pm

Sh!t getting deep and schizo…I’m OUT!

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
3:15 pm

I will say this, we go as far as Ryan takes us in the playoffs, I dont think our team is good enough for him to just manage the game for us to win, he is going th have to make pays under pressure.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
3:16 pm

Later sb…but you brought us the ..conjecture.

LRD

December 12th, 2012
3:16 pm

MV7 available.. very curious who is going to take him? The “experts” say that there is not a lot of QB talent coming out this year.. and after the last crop of QB;s drafted, it will be hard to match.
Vick will find a job, but honestly, who would want him.. take the person out of the equation.. and one see’s a QB fading in age, that still makes bad decisions, is very injury prone.. and why would anyone pay big money for him?

Slant Pattern

December 12th, 2012
3:19 pm

“SP

As I’ve said many times before, I am not a clear homer. I go by what I see in the games and remain objective. I have no point to be made. Yet, don’t worry, we’ll bump heads in the future. ” – BL

Look forward to it. I hope we can put it off til next year after we celebrate hoisting the Lombardi this year tho. I’m tired and need good news lol.

Big Lou

December 12th, 2012
3:21 pm

Here’s my theory:

Let’s ask ourselves… when did we start trying to pound the ball? I mean, really try to get the run game going?

Oh I know, after the Arizona game. It seems to me that Smith(speculation) was alarmed by the bad luck of that game and decided to keep Ryan from making mistakes. Hence, the lack of rhythm in our passing game. That’s probably why the offense has been struggling on third down(lack of manageable distances, which allows defensive lines to tee off).

I understand that Smith is trying to fix the run game to make things more balanced, but you need to stop using Turner in the Power I and run from the shotgun.

You think the Saints stopped being aggressive downfield after Brees threw 5 pics? Peyton? Brady?

No. As many of the cagers have stated, MS is playing not to lose. That’s stupid football since they don’t have the defense for it. That’s why he’s a problem.

Yes. He is detailed and great on fundementals. He will win you games, but can he adjust? Can he understand the flow of the game? Can they figure out schemes to help the offense preform better?

So far, the answers are no.

At least Mike Nolan has schemes that play to indovidual’s strengths. He’s getting the most out of the talent he has. Can’t say the same bout the offense.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
3:21 pm

I see mv7 as a backup. He could probably be effective if he had to come off the bench if the other team did not gameplan for him…..but I don’t see him starting.

Big Lou

December 12th, 2012
3:25 pm

SP

I hope so. We have the talent for it for God’s sakes. That’s why it’s so frustrating.

honest_abe

Glad to see you back after a bad loss by the Falcons. Go figure.

How’s Mario Williams doing?

D3

December 12th, 2012
3:29 pm

All the winning we are doing in the regular season is really great if that is what you are satisfied with. To me it’s all about getting to and winning the big game. As for the so called “process”, it ain’t working. If the Falcons lose 2 of the next 3 games and are 1 and done in the playoffs, Mike Smith should be gone. He has had time to get us to the next level. — falcon21

When you frame it like this, it’s hard to argue against. He has had plenty of time, and despite TD not being perfect, he’s armed this team with plenty of talent to take care of business at least ONCE in the playoffs in 4 years. He skimped on OL, but he did his best to make up for that this draft. What did Smitty do? He’s left the OL EXACTLY the same without even giving any illusion that it’s truly an “open competition.”

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 12th, 2012
3:29 pm

How’s Mario Williams doing? – BL

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA….LOLLOLOLOLOLOL…HEHEHEHEHE…

honest_abe

December 12th, 2012
3:33 pm

Glad to see you back after a bad loss by the Falcons. Go figure. – confused homer

didn’t say a peep about the falcons. thanks.

honest_abe

December 12th, 2012
3:35 pm

mario williams? 11 sacks 2 ff 2 fr 3 pd.

how’s ray edwards doing?

Slant Pattern

December 12th, 2012
3:51 pm

“And let the record state I did not bring up Ryan walkin. I know I will get blamed. Nor do I advocate it.” – MB

I did. It is true there were nefarious reasons connected to testing out new shiny fishing lures with a touch of the ironic dichotomy inherent in any Smitty/ Ryan conversation. You are going thru the “hazing” time here which we all have gone thru. In the past I have been quite pissed at some here but over time you get a better understanding of the usual suspects posting styles and realize it wasn’t really what you thought it was. You are a stubborn individual that sticks to their guns and has pretty good musical tastes…things will settle for you as they have for most here. Your contrarian ways are not fully unappreciated, we gotta aim at somebody ya know!!

D3

December 12th, 2012
3:54 pm

BL — Fantastic post @ 3:21 pm. Could not agree anymore whatsoever.

BobbyDawg

December 12th, 2012
4:26 pm

OK just for the fun of it here’s one…….. The rumor comes true and Saban goes to the Browns. Alabama offers Smitty the job and he takes it and takes Nolan with him because Saban took Kirby. What do we do? I’ve got tendenitis and can’t get on my feet for ten days and it’s about to get to me. I’m sure y’all can tell. I usually only visit the Cage once in the evening and I’ve been here about ten times already today. Time for another one of these pain pills.

Arno

December 12th, 2012
4:28 pm

“We have our foot on the pedal now and we’re not going to let it off. The dogs will be out hunting come Sunday.” –Giants free safety Antrel Rolle

Giants have never won a playoff game the year following a title. They want to do some back to back stuff– like following up the Saints game with a big win in Atlanta. Should be a good battle.

tdawgmom

December 12th, 2012
4:31 pm

Fast forwarded through most of the game. It was just too painful to watch. The bad calls shouldn’t make a difference. If we were as good as the record indicates, the calls wouldn’t matter. I just don’t get the play calling. If they want to win in the playoffs, Turner can not be the main RB. What will Smitty do? Keep playing him to his own detriment? Hope not.

BTW, D3, sure am glad to see you back on the Falcons’s main page. Had me a little worried.

BobbyDawg

December 12th, 2012
4:33 pm

Sorry…… I got my oc and dc mixed up, but you get my jist.

LRD

December 12th, 2012
4:47 pm

If Smitty left, I would think TD would look at what is left, move Nolan up to HQ and then hire a new DC.
Nolan then would take the defensive mindset and aggressiveness, along with his ability to have players PLAY to their ability to the O. This would then force TD to let Turner go, draft a new running back, use Free Agency to snag a TE to replace Gonzo, and would then allow the handcuffs to come off of Ryan and basically saying to him ” Kid, its your show…”
My 02, mileage may vary

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
4:47 pm

I just think we were half asleep for the Carolina game coming off some emotional wins, waiting for them to screw up. Then when crunch time came, we tried to pull it out our azz, but when u do that, everything has to go perfect, and when we missed on the 2pt conversion, we lost our mojo.

Like I said, we were gonna lost to cam eventually, just glad it did not have a lot of implications. We are gonna find out where we stand soon enough.

Wings

December 12th, 2012
4:47 pm

Big Lou have you ever watched Big Bang Theory and its sarcasm? You have had some really great posts for several weeks.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
4:52 pm

Lrd….Good thing about Nolan as a hc, he never went losing playoff games. But Smitty ain’t going anywhere unless we bomb in the playoffs. Ant mt33 ain’t coming back regardless. Not for 7 mil, not for 700k.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
4:55 pm

But really, how about D Wisenhunt here….he’s won in the playoffs.

LRD

December 12th, 2012
4:56 pm

Yeah… Turner is done. I am one that thinks his # eventually will grace the inside of the new stadium (and the current one). He did his job and helped bring back a franchise from near obscurity to a franchise that gets no respect (cept grudgingly) from the “experts”.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
4:56 pm

I actually think dw is a good coach, he just lost this team. He made a run, I will give him that.

Big Lou

December 12th, 2012
5:07 pm

Wings

Yes. I enjoy that show!

honest_abe

Sacks against sorry teams and just recently. Bills defense still sucks. Nice try.

Maybe we can trade JJ for him.

D3

December 12th, 2012
5:13 pm

tdawg — Thanks. Glad we’re back online. We were all a little worried ourselves.

Big Lou — It’s funny you mentioned the Cardinals game about the offensive starting it’s nosedive concerning Turner. Well, take a look at this………….

Raiders Game – 10/14
Have the Falcons lost confidence in Turner or their ability to run the ball at all?
“You would have to ask them that. That’s not something they would tell me. It’s their team, their scheme, their offense. I’m just here to try to help them win.”

Eagles Game – 10/28
Falcons running back Jacquizz Rodgers had 110 all-purpose yards against the Eagles. He had 60 yards rushing, 20 yards receiving and 30 yards on kickoff returns.
Rodgers also broke loose for a third-quarter 43-yard run, the Falcons’ longest from scrimmage this season.

Saints Game – 11/11
HAS JACQUIZZ EARNED HIMSELF SOME MORE CARRIES OR WILL THE SPLIT STAY THE SAME: “We never go into a game. We only ran the ball 18 times. We need to run the ball more efficiently as a team. It doesn’t matter who the runner is. When you look at the tape on the majority of Mike Turner’s runs in the game the other day, he had no chance. We had free runners at the point of attack. Jacquizz did a good job when he was in there. He touched the ball, but some of that could be luck of the draw. We’ll see how it plays out. Touches on this team are always going to be an issue because we have so many good skill guys. One guys increase in touches is going to come at the expense of another guy. Who is that? That’s the million dollar question.”

Cardinals Game – 11/18
Mike Smith, who generally is one of the more pleasant coaches in the NFL, got a little defensive Monday when asked by the media if the Falcons were starting to phase Turner out and give more playing time to second-year pro Jacquizz Rodgers.

No, it doesn’t,’’ Smith said. “Guys, again, I think we’ve been very transparent from the very beginning. I’ve been saying this since April that you’re not going to look up at the end of the season and see Michael Turner having 300 carries. That’s not the type of football team we are. We may have been that type of team when we first got here, but we’re a completely different football team and I think our statistics and our ratios define that. We’re going to be an offense that we are going to move the ball around to our different assets and we’ve got a lot of assets. Michael Turner is an asset as well as Jacquizz Rodgers and as well as Jason Snelling in our backfield.’’

So in that little timeframe, you have Turner getting pissy because he’s not getting his carries (Raiders), Quizz showing that he can carry the load and helped spur, arguably, the best offensive performance of the year (Eagles), Turner getting stuffed on 4th and 1 to lose the game whereby Koetter comes out to defend Turner (even though no one was slamming Turner, but rather if Quizz deserves more carries) and in the same sentence says Quizz did a good job while he was in there, but it could have been the “luck of the draw” (Saints game), and then you have Smith coming out and not only defending Turner but also getting defensive with the media about it (Cardinals game). And whereby after that, we can all agree the offense has gone downhill.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist much, but sorry, that’s just a little bit fishy. How can you say that Quizz does good when he’s in there and then say it’s the luck of the draw in the previous sentence you felt the need to defend Turner, even though completely uninitiated.

>>>>>>>> SMITTYBALL! <<<<<<<<<<<<<

The Time is NOW

December 12th, 2012
5:13 pm

MB – I think it’s Ken Whisenhunt, FWIW. Maybe my memory is failing me, CRS and all.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
5:15 pm

DOH, I knew a Dan growing up….Alzheimers.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
5:19 pm

I will come clean on something, I was a fan of hiring KW the first time around over Smitty. Just shows,winning year in, year out is not to be overlooked.

Slant Pattern

December 12th, 2012
5:20 pm

“But really, how about D Wisenhunt here….he’s won in the playoffs.” – MB

Do you mean Cardinals Whisenhunt ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Whisenhunt )?

The Time is NOW

December 12th, 2012
5:24 pm

Speaking of old memories, MR reminds me a little of Brian Snipe (CLE). Always thought he was a good quarterback who played well in big games. Never dominated and took over the game much, but always kept them in it. He wan’t gonna win by himself, but he knew who his playmakers were and got them the ball. Never quite got over the hump. Was it Schottenheimer or Snipe? Don’t know if the analogy works, but they remind me of MS and MR. I hope our guys get over the hump.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
5:25 pm

Yea, Ken….I know a Dan with a very similar last name growing up.

Slant Pattern

December 12th, 2012
5:30 pm

“Yea, Ken….I know a Dan with a very similar last name growing up.” – MB

He was a player for GT and the Falcons so a bit of hometown history. If he is released I don’t see a problem with him on the candidate list.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
5:32 pm

Time, I just can’t let MR2 wash his hands of the Falcons problems. Again, if he needs dominating receivers, O-line, and a better scheme then the competition to win, well, he might just not win that many. But the best QBs get there in spite of a leaky line, a poor running game, or receivers with the yips. We need to see guy we saw at the beginning of the season throwing it around.

And D3, with all due respect, Mt33 had the least part of any game plan he has ever had last week, and we played arguably our worst game. If he was holding us back, logic dictates we roll last week.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
5:33 pm

SP, I like him for Smittys job. But it does go to show, it just ain’t that easy.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
5:38 pm

I LIKED him for Smittys job, I wanted KW in 08.

Slant Pattern

December 12th, 2012
5:41 pm

“SP, I like him for Smittys job. But it does go to show, it just ain’t that easy.” – MB

The HC position is but one part of the team, too many factors to try a give all credit and blame to success, just like the QB position. I look past records and try to see what exactly it is they offer. In KW’s favor IMHO is his time under Ted Marchibroda ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Marchibroda ). He and Belichik were Marchibroda disciples so hopefully some of the hurry-up stuff rubbed off. I am not enamored with his Steelers ties as getting rid a power run/ turtle baller like Smitty to replace him with another one doesn’t make alot of sense. I would need to research and watch his games quite a bit to get a better feel for his tendencies and philosophies.

D3

December 12th, 2012
5:42 pm

MB — Not true…….

Jacquizz Rodgers – 4 carries – 21 yards (36%)

Michael Turner – 7 carries – 14 yards (64%)

I know it’s splitting hairs a little bit when there’s only 11 total carries to go around, but my point is that they are forcing Turner in when Quizz is being productive. Big Ray and myself among others, noticed specifically that when Quizz would have a good play, they would immediately take him out and put in Turner.

The Time is NOW

December 12th, 2012
5:44 pm

Even the best QB’s need good players around them. Archie Manning did things no other QB in his day could do, but the Aints still lost cause the players around Archie were’nt very good.

The Time is NOW

December 12th, 2012
5:46 pm

The only season KW had a QB they went to the Superbowl.

The Time is NOW

December 12th, 2012
5:47 pm

Well, gotta pop out again…

Arno

December 12th, 2012
5:50 pm

The camera follows Quizz when he makes a good play… all the way to the sideline.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
5:53 pm

D, I do agree we just look more fluid when Q is in there, and Q was in there when we showed life. But I can’t put that miserable effort off on Turners 7 carries. Now, maybe is evidence of a mindset, but I would like to see MT33 ride a game on the pine just to see what we get.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
5:56 pm

Even the best QB’s need good players around them. Archie Manning did things no other QB in his day could do, but the Aints still lost cause the players around Archie were’nt very good.

Different NFL….Now, I agree you must have better players, but the talent level in the NFL is very very close…..And I agree, I don’t discount KWs postseason success with Warner, a trash heap QB. But his team has quit, and regardless of talent level, as a HC, your team should never quit.

D3

December 12th, 2012
6:18 pm

“but I would like to see MT33 ride a game on the pine just to see what we get.—- MB

EXACTLY!

BobbyDawg

December 12th, 2012
7:12 pm

What really bugs me is how Turner can come out with zip in his step, making moves to avoid defenders, and rack up 85 yards or so against NO. Then he comes back ten days later and completely falls flat on his face against the Panthers. Is it coaching or bad blocking or just a sour attitude on Turners part? He’s got million$ lining his pockets so if he doesn’t feel like it he doesn’t have to do it.

Paddy O

December 12th, 2012
7:17 pm

Well, if somebody honestly thinks that going 1 and out in 3 consecutive trips to the playoffs is akin to a pitcher losing 20 games, that individual should be advocating for the termination of the HC. Losing 20 games as a pitcher RARELY happens, and is usually the mark of utter ineptitude.

Now, I don’t blame Ryan for our failures in the playoffs. Although, he does get some blame in the 2nd GB game. The Giants game was 99% coaching and offensive scheme – and, it goes back to this unnatural affection Smitty has with Mike Turner. Yeah, he had what? 3 good years with us? But he does NOT deliver NOW – he has been out of shape sta puft man for the last 3 years – yeah, 2 years ago he sort of got in shape – but he was still 20 pounds overweight. That lost him his step and Turner was NEVER agile. The last two years remarkably, we have tried to make Mike T into a receiver – that has been a miserable failure – the guy can’t catch consistently. Meanwhile, both Snelling and Quizz are substantially superior – both in the catching dept and lateral agility. So, why do we keep trying to force Mike Turner into a productive player? THAT is the essense of SMITTY BALL; now Smoetter Ball. I still see very little – past the introduction of screen passes that MM should have done 3 years ago – that Welcome Back has contributed. We are NOT getting great production from stretching the field – and I agree – it seems to stem from the horrible 5 interception game Ryan had – as though the staff – despite the win – decided Ryan had become a liability and needed to be dialed back. On the Whisenhunt angle – he is inept at judging QB talent – he took Skelton – who he had promoted over Kolb – out of the game with US when they were UP 13-0. It was a HUGE favor to our team, and helped us win. Whisenhunt is a benedict arnold dummy. If I’m TD & AB, and my choice is NOT to terminate MS, I do terminate Koetter and bring in an established OC – like Sherman or Martz. Which is what we should have done in the first place.

D3

December 12th, 2012
7:25 pm

So, why do we keep trying to force Mike Turner into a productive player? THAT is the essense of SMITTY BALL; now Smoetter Ball. I still see very little – past the introduction of screen passes that MM should have done 3 years ago – that Welcome Back has contributed — Paddy O

B-I-N-G-O!

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
7:26 pm

Well, if somebody honestly thinks that going 1 and out in 3 consecutive trips to the playoffs is akin to a pitcher losing 20 games, that individual should be advocating for the termination of the HC. Losing 20 games as a pitcher RARELY happens, and is usually the mark of utter ineptitude.

Meh, you take it too literal. Point is, only a pretty good pitcher keeps getting the ball, like Phil Neikro, to even get the opportunity to get 20 decisions. That is why it is so rare, like KK could have put 20 up….so hopefully you get my point.

A HC just getting to the playoffs 3 out of 4 years in the league is not too common, at least not in cases where they inherit a 4-12 team.

But I think we are all in agreement, this is the year we at least need to show up in the playoffs. I agree another NY debacle ain’t gonna fly. However, I prefer that it actually happen before I run what I think is a pretty good couch out of town on rails.

falcon21

December 12th, 2012
7:26 pm

Coaching, for not having a better RB in the game, we do have 3 RB’s that are better than Turner. Bad blocking is something I guess we will have to deal with, it has been a problem for many years.

Arno

December 12th, 2012
7:28 pm

D3 posted this Smith quote earlier: “We’re going to be an offense that we are going to move the ball around to our different assets and we’ve got a lot of assets. Michael Turner is an asset as well as Jacquizz Rodgers and as well as Jason Snelling in our backfield.”

An asset is not an asset if the cost outweighs the benefit. As has been observed here, Turner’s numbers do not justify keeping him in the platoon, and as has also been noted, when he goes in, the offense stalls. Those are some pretty hefty costs. There is another cost– taking touches away from players who could contribute at least as much as Turner, and who would have the hunger to make an impact on the team. Antone has been here since 2009. Give the guy a shot. Look at the Saints Ivory, and the Giants rookie Wilson– those guys are hungry. Meanwhile, Turner talks about “adjusting” to the setback of not getting his usual carries. I’m sure the Broncos are happy Manning adjusted and I’m sure the Vikings are glad Peterson adjusted to their setbacks. Those veterans are on a tear. They did not rest on their reputations, as if a reputation could open a hole or block for them. Mostly I’m sad for Turner. He is a great Falcon. I hate to see him end his career this way. But simply put, he does not fall into the asset column. These token carries he gets drives me crazy. Even so, if he does light it up in these next weeks, I will be very happy for him.

BobbyDawg

December 12th, 2012
7:44 pm

Move Quizz up to Turner’s spot, move Snelling to Quizz’s spot, give Antone Smith a few touches and as MB said let Turner ride the pine. I’d like to see if A. Smith could turn the corner against top players the way he does in the pre season.

falcon21

December 12th, 2012
7:47 pm

encore is showing one hell of a concert, for those that like the old time rockers that is.

falcon21

December 12th, 2012
7:49 pm

Agree BobbyDawg.

Arno

December 12th, 2012
7:57 pm

D3 posted this Smith quote earlier: “We are going to move the ball around to our different assets and we’ve got a lot of assets. Michael Turner is an asset…”

An asset is not an asset if the cost outweighs the benefit. Turner’s numbers do not justify keeping him in the platoon, and when he does go in, the offense stalls. When the offense stalls, Matt Ryan is exposed to the third and long pass rush. Those are some pretty hefty costs! There is another cost– taking touches away from players who could contribute at least as much as Turner, and who have the hunger to make their first real impact on a team. Antone has been here since 2009. Give the guy a shot. Look at the Saints’ Ivory, and the Giants’ rookie Wilson– those guys are hungry. They don’t talk about “adjusting to fewer touches.” They grab their touches and growl.

Big Ray

December 12th, 2012
8:00 pm

So many good posts in here, I’m about out of stuff to say…and just enjoying reading. Wish we had better things to say, maybe we will next week…one never knows.

D3

December 12th, 2012
8:06 pm

An asset is not an asset if the cost outweighs the benefit. Turner’s numbers do not justify keeping him in the platoon, and when he does go in, the offense stalls. When the offense stalls, Matt Ryan is exposed to the third and long pass rush. Those are some pretty hefty costs! There is another cost– taking touches away from players who could contribute at least as much as Turner, and who have the hunger to make their first real impact on a team. Antone has been here since 2009. Give the guy a shot. — Arno

Man, absolutely spot on! This isn’t all about Turner and it surely isn’t all his fault, but rather Turner is the “face” and “best example” of Smitty’s stubborness and refusal to change. It’s simply unjustifiable not giving some of these other guys a shot like A-Smith in lieu of continued TPW’s (Turner Wasted Plays).

I would go into development issues during Smitty aka the “Witness Protection Program,” but I’ll save that for tomorrow.

G’Nite ‘All, and a special thanks to all of you who make this little blog home sweet home!

falcon21

December 12th, 2012
8:08 pm

Thanks to you D3!!!

Paddy O

December 12th, 2012
8:53 pm

well, you can argue the guy who loses 20 is pretty good; or you could simply say we had no other talent to trot out there every 5th day. If you wish to put lipstick on a pig regarding 20 losses, so be it. But, it was NOT my point or MY statement. Just pointing out a blatant contradiction which makes reading certain posts painfully frustrating to the point of futility.

Paddy O

December 12th, 2012
8:55 pm

heck, I think most here recognize if we were competitive in the 1st half against Carolina, we are most likely to come back and win in the 2nd half. Being shut out, with our weapons, is condemnation of this coaching staff – especially with a mini-bye of time to compose a nice game plan. But, the Falcons under Smith have 2 glaring shortcomings: Not benefitting much if anything on byes (or an extra week off during playoffs), and not evolving when it comes to playing an opponent the 2nd time of the year. These two elements sadly indicate a deeper coaching problem. However, our most impressive win this year is still Denver.

Paddy O

December 12th, 2012
8:56 pm

And, that Denver game seems a LOOOONG time ago.

BobbyDawg

December 12th, 2012
9:15 pm

Colts and Titans replay on NFL channel. Pretty good game.

Arno

December 12th, 2012
9:25 pm

Take it easy on that tendinitis, BobbyDawg. Get well soon!

Wabe

December 12th, 2012
9:32 pm

Glad to see the Cage back up and still rollin’…

I see much of the conversation has been dominated on the subject of Michael Turner.

Honestly, I’m just gonna sidestep that debate. It’s pretty obvious to everybody where the carries should be going [everybody other than Smoetter]. But, with that said, I don’t think that’s what’s gonna determine how far we go.

I agree Turner’s slowing us down at times, but again, it points to a bigger problem with this coaching staff. They cannot figure out the most effective ways to attack defenses. That’s just it in a nutshell.

For instance, in the Bucs game, you have one of the worst secondaries/pass defenses in the league, but we came out determined to run the football. We ran it with some success, I get it. But, it didn’t really show much on the scoreboard. We had 17 points in the 4th quarter with about 8-9 minutes left before we finally punched in the go ahead TD.

In the Saints game, we’re running into one of the worst defenses in general, but IMO, with the amount of success we had on the opening drive running out of our Power I-Forms and a couple 2 TE sets, it was mind boggling to see us get away from it. IMO, that’s when our offense began stalling out.

Lastly, the lack of no huddle, I just don’t get it. Anybody can see we’re most effective when running no huddle. But, for some reason that nobody can really figure out, we don’t run it nearly enough.

It all just points to a lack of understanding what we need to do, how we need to do it, and when we need to do it. They just can’t figure things out. And it’s been like that for quite some time now. To everybody hoping they just figure things out in the next 2-3 weeks, good luck with that. At this point, they are what they are, and the only thing left to see is how whatever it is that they are will result in contending for a Superbowl.

This weekends game against the Giants will answer most questions for me. Can they stack up. The Giants have already beaten down the Packers [38-10] and the Niners [26-3]. I think the Falcons can make a pretty big statement this weekend if they knock off a Giants team that still needs every regular season win it can get [they got folks chasing them].

Wabe

December 12th, 2012
9:37 pm

If they come out and show something in this Giants game, nobody will question a thing…

At least they shouldn’t. Because, in my eyes, the Giants are still the favorites in the NFC [despite not even being a lock for the playoffs]. They’ve shown throughout the course of the season, despite a few bad losses, that they can turn it up a notch and downright dominate some of the best teams in the league.

So, with that said, if the Falcons do roll this Sunday, does that not bode well for our potential come January?

Wabe

December 12th, 2012
9:39 pm

Basically, this Sunday’s game is the one I’ve been waiting for all season.

A legitimate measuring stick game only a couple weeks before the playoffs are set to begin.

How do they stack up?

The Texans just had one of those that didn’t work out so well for them. Let’s see if our Falcons are a legitimate threat or just the same ole’ recycled product from a couple years back.

falcon21

December 12th, 2012
9:43 pm

Yes it would Wabe, they need a big win against a good team. It is time to roll if we have it in us.

Geo

December 12th, 2012
9:50 pm

BobbyDawg and Arno, glad to see some support for Antone Smith. The more I think about the fact that he hasn’t been given a chance to contribute in three years, the more exasperated I get with Mike Smith.

I have to disagree with some of the heat directed at Koetter. I think he did a good job of opening up the passing game in the first half. Ryan was in the MVP conversation, Roddy, Julio and Tony were racking up the yards and TDs and we were rolling for the most part on offense. Then, as others have noted, Mike Smith decided to tinker to establish a running game, but instead of using the a young and hungry back like Antone (as NY is doing with Wilson), he goes with lead weight Turner and his old Mularkey playbook. That’s unacceptable.

Coop

December 12th, 2012
10:02 pm

Geo – Dead on brother!

As for the Giants, I agree this is a true measuring stick. Don’t just beat this team, dominate them. I truly believe we can. I truly don’t believe we will.

I love this team, it I am conditioning myself for what is coming. We’ll get rolled by the Giants. Then we’ll eke out wins against the Lions and Bucs. That will earn the #1 seed. Most will think we’re ok, then we’ll get crushed in the playoffs by Giants or Packers, etc.

I hope I’m wrong, but I doubt I am. We’re at the end of 5 years. Smitty just can’t change.

falcon21

December 12th, 2012
10:21 pm

Coop, could not have said it better brother. Later Cagers, I have had a rough couple of days, it really hurts to lose someone, I thank you Cage for just giving me something to help me deal with it. The Cage is a blessing.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
10:44 pm

21, sorry for your loss…..

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
10:50 pm

On my comparison of 3 one and dones to 20 game losing pitchers….joe Montana had 3 straight 1 and dones….so did peyton manning….The list of 3 consecutive 1 and donners reads like QB royalty. Sorta like babe Ruth being a strikeout king.

Birdman

December 12th, 2012
10:51 pm

Hello Cage
I here ya’ll on the Turner Smitty issue. But guess what I will bet you guy’s that Turner will be on the field Sunday once again. Doing once again what he does ;which is nothing. I hope I am wrong but the past has told me that I ant gonna be right.

I love all these ideas you all have and believe me I have thought of some of them myself but will any of them happen probably not . Lets get real here they ant happened yet . So what are they waiting on . Will somebody please tell me what there waiting on. If we can figure this out then why in the world can’t they .

Sorry guy’s but if they play the way they have played the last 3 games then the score will be Giants about 31 to the Falcons 17 if there lucky . The Giants just had a blow out win against the Saints and they know how the Saints play the Birds . They will be pumped to blow our doors off in the dome.

Keys for the Falcons to win are even stay close are ‘as some have said.
1 play the no huddle offence
2 play Rodgers and Snellings .Let turner worm the wood
3 play the defense the way they played the Broncos
4 LOCK SMITH IN THE LOCKER ROOM … LOL

Cage I hope you all a blessed night. I am having some major personal problems in my life so please keep me in your prayers

GO FALCONS!!!!!!!! and God Bless

Birdman

December 12th, 2012
10:52 pm

scratch the right .. sorry

The Time is NOW

December 12th, 2012
10:58 pm

“Being shut out, with our weapons, is condemnation of this coaching staff – especially with a mini-bye of time to compose a nice game plan. But, the Falcons under Smith have 2 glaring shortcomings: Not benefitting much if anything on byes (or an extra week off during playoffs), …” -(Paddy O)

I agree that mishandling the mini-bye is an example of poor coaching. It still irritates me. But part of the reason that I’m so irritated is that I have been conditioned to expect this coaching staff to make good use of the bye. If I remember correctly, MS as an excellent record after bye weeks. In fairness, excluding playoffs, misuse of the bye has not been a consistent problem for this staff. This year we beat Philly after both teams had a bye. I think it may have been Andy Reid’s first loss after a bye.

Birdman

December 12th, 2012
10:59 pm

21
Sorry I did not know about your loss. You are in my prayers brother and again I’m sorry I missed it.

God be with you man.

The Time is NOW

December 12th, 2012
11:03 pm

F21 and Birdman – you are in my prayers.

Arno

December 12th, 2012
11:06 pm

F21 and Birdman — count me in.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
11:09 pm

And although some of the best qbs in history have had 3 one and dones, there has never been 4 n a row..no pressure….

The Time is NOW

December 12th, 2012
11:15 pm

G’night Cage.

Birdman

December 12th, 2012
11:19 pm

MB
I sure hope the Birds ant the first and they at least win the first round but right now things don’t look to good .

But you know what even if it does I will still be a Falcons fan. At least it ant 16 and 0 season like the Lions had.

Thanks Arno and The Time is NOW

ALM

December 12th, 2012
11:30 pm

Yes the Falcons played terrible last weekend except for a couples series but it seems to me the Falcons script way to many plays to start the game. When you start out a game and the things you are trying to do isn’t working after the second series its time to change it up and go with what got you to 11-2 this year its not the run its the pass mainly because we don’t have a strong powerful running back we have a running back that goes down without to much of a fight. So when the run doesn’t work out pass the damn ball don’t wait until its 3rd and 10,15, 20 to decide to throw it because that will get the best offensive line beat every time to many schems to beat a line when the only way your gonna get a first down is THROW THE DAMN BALL!!!! then when we have 14,21,28 points more than the opponites the run it down there throats. You have to blow out some teams to show the rest you know how to score.

Matty Bicep

December 12th, 2012
11:41 pm

BM, I don’t think anyone thinks they can play like they have in the past few weeks and win in the playoffs. But I, like you, am a fan who has been though worse. I don’t want to be the buffalo bills of playoff one and dones….

Fred Garvin

December 13th, 2012
12:03 am

Mike Smith is either an idiot or a genious, maybe we’re just sandbagging,

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
12:24 am

Actually, we are only 2 one and dones in a row. 3 overall, so we are not on the brink of playoff futility of historic proportions…..smitty and idiot or genius? A little of both, sorta Forrest Gumpish.

BobbyDawg

December 13th, 2012
7:22 am

21 — I’m sorry for your loss. You will be in our prayers. Arno — Thanks. I’ve been battling tendonitis in my right leg ,knee, and hip off and on for a few years but this is the worst yet.

DOL’s new column says MR2 is on track to throw 629 passes this year, the most ever for him. I’m wondering if this is because we now have (pass first) Koetter and JJ or does this show that our run game has weakened. Ryan says the team’s energy level is high and they’re ready to play, so we’ll find out Sunday if the Panthers game was just a stumble bump in the road or not.

Chop Buster

December 13th, 2012
8:40 am

Good reading the posts from last night. Some of it really has made me more paranoid about this team than I normally would have been. We have all discussed and seen the same thing from Smitty year after year, so I don’t know why we really expect much to change. I tried to look at other things that might not have pointed back to Smitty, but he’s the HC and successes and failures always points back to the HC.

Anyway, I was thinking about our last playoff losses and what they all had in common.

Arizona’s defense gashed OL up the middle almost as though they knew our snap count they got back their so fast. Ryan did not have a chance to make a play.

Green Bay’s defense ran through our OL up the middle and off the edges. Again, Ryan did not have a chance to make a play.

Giant’s defense ran through our OL like a turnstile last year in every way possible. Ryan did not have a chance to make a play.

Again, NOTHING has changed with this OL’s ability to protect Ryan. They want to say that it’s not all on them (partially true) but when you look at all of our playoff failures, when teams turn it up a notch, this OL doesn’t cut the mustard. The partially true part belongs to the offensive coordinator since it’s his responsibility to call plays that counters what the defense is doing. Mularkey couldn’t make in-game adjustments and it’s almost looking like Koetter is having difficulty doing the same against the better front four defenses.

Wings

December 13th, 2012
8:43 am

Chop Buster and if you look at the individual game statistics, you will see that Michael Turner did not have many yards.

Chop Buster

December 13th, 2012
8:58 am

Wings you’re correct. I remember him looking like he does now…running into piles and falling down. In fact if I remember correctly, the defense was in the backfield so fast on one play they knocked the ball out of Turner’s hand for a fumble.

Now, here’s the question. As the OC what do you do to counter the front four to stop them running through the OL? We know this OL isn’t going to change this year, so I want to see what Koetter will do to slow down the pass rush and crowding the box.

Chop Buster

December 13th, 2012
9:05 am

Did anyone just hear Adam Schein on 790 The Zone? He said what a lot of has about Smitty and called his coaching ability into question. Maybe they will replay it again.

Unca' Bob

December 13th, 2012
9:23 am

Chop Buster,

I’ve noticed the snap count as well. It should be changed often to keep D’s off balance instead of letting them jump the snap.

Chop Buster

December 13th, 2012
9:51 am

Unca’ Bob, that and the hard count for these aggressive defenses. I remember Ryan doing it his first year and seeming to have success at it. But like a lot of things on this team, we see it once or twice only to never be seen again. I want to see Smitty/Koetter make immediate in game adjustments when these defenses take away certain plays.

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
10:10 am

Sure seems like the inside rush could be slowed by slipping a Quizz, Snelling, or Antone Smith by the collapsing pocket and tossing them the ball. Seems like it ought to work, but what do I know?

Arno

December 13th, 2012
10:26 am

Julio got a quck pass out of the backfield in the Dallas game. He left DeMarcus Ware flat on his face on one play, and also had a nice reverse.Seems like we have some very athletic guys who can be used in creative ways to counter the pass rush.

Big Ray

December 13th, 2012
10:28 am

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
10:28 am

Arno – Yes, the slot man over the middle in stride should be open.

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
10:29 am

Big Ray – agreed.

Paddy O

December 13th, 2012
10:30 am

The Dallas game was possibly the last time our offense flowed well.

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
10:31 am

For a team to peak at the right time, confidence helps. This week is a chance to build confidence. Don’t know the record, but I have a recollection of the Birds always having trouble with the Giants in the dome. Hoping this year is different.

Big Ray

December 13th, 2012
10:32 am

Falcon 21 ,

Hate to hear that, I offer you my condolences. May your grief be short.

Big Ray

December 13th, 2012
10:33 am

Time is Now – that is certainly one way to do it. I can’t think that this hasn’t been considered or thought about…however the decision to do it clearly wasn’t made.

Big Lou

December 13th, 2012
10:36 am

Why is the media using comments from Roddy on September 30th now?

You know, the comment that the receiving core in ATL is better than the Giants(which is true).

I hate how they create drama over nothing. I’m usually hard on Roddy, but I’m not upset on this one. This is the media trying to create bulletin board material.

Big Lou

December 13th, 2012
10:41 am

Big Ray

Nice link.

I have noticed Ryan has been a bit inaccurate. Hopefully it’s not the heavy load of passing. I think the bye week will be huge for him and the team, IMHO.

As for the focus, they better be. That team embarrassed you in the playoffs and just destroyed the Saints.

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
10:48 am

Big Ray – I get it (hence SP = Slant Pattern). MR and HD just don’t seem to have the same connection the QB has with the big 3 receivers (RW, TG & JJ). You see those guys making adjustments to their routes and the ball when MR is under pressure. Sometimes it seems MR and HD read the route adjustments differently in those situations. Noticed one occasion of that against the Kitties. Just hope MR is putting in some extra work with HD. The roster we have is the one we gotta go with.

Big Lou

December 13th, 2012
10:56 am

Hard to get the ball to your slot receiver when the A gap is getting demolished.

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
11:06 am

Big Lou – You are correct.

I kind of mixed topics. Thinking about use of the slot got me to thinking about the chemistry between MR and HD. For most of this season, it has not appeared to be clicking. The adjustment issue I noticed in the game was not on a slant, but on an intermediate sideline route. HD was open and the ball was not thrown in a great spot, but the big 3 receivers all would have found a way to make a play on the ball (though maybe not catch it). HD just watched it sail without adjusting deeper with the ball in the air. I believe the difference may be a lack of recognition on HD’s part that MR was in trouble and what to expect from the throw as a result. But I’m guessing…

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
11:07 am

Gotta head out. Back later if I can. CU Cage…

D3

December 13th, 2012
11:30 am

Greetings Cage! —

Don’t have time to talk like I want to today, but if anyone has time on their hands, take a look if there’s any coaches in history who went 0-3 in their first 3 trips to the postseason and then see if there’s any coaches who went 0-4 with their first 4 trips to the playoffs and their subsequent tenure.

Later

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
11:48 am

As of January 2011, the NFL record was six consecutive playoff losses (for team, not necessarily the coach) shared by six teams.

http://espn.go.com/blog/statsinfo/post/_/id/15159/food-for-thought-nfl-playoffs-edition

Maybe this can help get the conversation started.

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
11:49 am

Sorry – shared by seven teams.

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
11:57 am

Schottenheimer went 0-5 in the playoffs from ‘94-’06. George Allen was 2-7 in the playoffs.

http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=ac-7131262

Arno

December 13th, 2012
12:17 pm

Coach changes through six consecutive playoff losses

Cowboys 96-07 five coaches over 11 year span
Chiefs 93-06 four coaches over 13 year span
Seahawks 84-04 four coaches over 20 year span
Lions 91-99 two coaches over eight year span
Vikings 85-96 three coaches over 11 year span
Browns 69-85 six coaches over 16 year span
Giants 39-50 one coach over 11 year span

Unca' Bob

December 13th, 2012
12:28 pm

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 13th, 2012
12:32 pm

The constant debate of why our offense is in free-fall is larger than scheme (play calling) IMHO. Turner notwithstanding. If it was scheme (play calling) alone, using one of Smiths favorite words, it would be “Correctable”, “Fixable”. Defensive Coaches are attacking Smiths coaching PHILOSOPHY, not scheme. Ever wonder why (yall know why) Smith always harp on getting out front “scoring quickly” HE WANTS TO PLAY AVERAGES/STATISTICS OF SETTING ON A LEAD.

The gig is up! IMO, it was exsposed going back to the Raiders game. Teams have founded out, if they keep it close, or lead in the first half, they have a better than average chance of being victorious. IMO.

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
12:47 pm

Bill Walsh won a SB, then went to the NFC Championship, then 3 consecutive one and done….

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
12:49 pm

So, actually, Walsh have 4 consecutive…He won a SB, then lost late, then 3 1@D. So that is 4 consecutive.

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
12:51 pm

How about this….Name HCs fired after a playoff win.

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
1:11 pm

Thanks Unca’ Bob!

George Allen started with 3 playoff losses, then went 2-1 in ‘72, followed by 3 more one and dones.

Warren Moon and Billy Kilmer both lost 4 consecutive playoff games in 4 years. Dave Kreig holds the record at 5, but it was set over a 10 year period.

Jack Pardee was Moon’s coach during those years and resigned the season after the 3rd consecutive loss. Pardee started his career 0-3 in the playoffs, went 1-1 in ‘91 (the year Moon’s streak started), lost the next 2 and never saw the playoffs as a head coach again. No other team hired him after he resigned following Houston’s 1-9 start in ‘94.

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
1:19 pm

Arno (12:17) – Good info.

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
1:21 pm

Records for most consecutive playoff losses by a QB in NFL history can be found here:

http://espn.go.com/boston/nfl/story/_/id/7453102/win-lose-tom-brady-makes-history

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
1:24 pm

Correction – Kilmer lost 4 straight over 5 seasons. Moon lost 4 straight over 4 seasons, but won one playoff game the season his streak started.

Big Ray

December 13th, 2012
1:28 pm

Big Lou

I’m not sure Ryan’s inaccuracy has had as much to do with the passing load as it has the intensity of the passing load. Take for instance when we got down 23-0 against Carolina. Ryan was pretty accurate while running the no huddle but up until that point, wasn’t doing so great. He still managed a decent percentage of completions for the game, but what happens when you are forced to throw a lot very quickly, in a short amount of time? I’m sure that has an effect.

Of course, that doesn’t have anything to do with passing load from game to game. And as it happens…

Ryan has never thrown for this much in his career…yet his percentage of completions this season is his highest ever. Nearly 6.5% better than last season, and nearly 5.5% over his career average.

Believe it or not, he hit on 69% against the Panthers. 81% against Tampa. It was New Orleans (54%) and Arizona (60%) that were his low points in the last 4 games.

So something tells me its not the load that affects his accuracy.

Big Ray

December 13th, 2012
1:30 pm

Time is Now,

Mixing subjects isn’t always a bad thing. Big Lou has it right…hard to establish chemistry with your slot guy when you don’t get to go to him much, although I’d argue that is a cross between that A gap getting crushed and the playcalling.

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
1:34 pm

Pardee seems like the closest, although he was barely a .500 coach in the regular season.

But I like Walsh…..What do you think the cage would have said about B Walsh’s decline after the SB, and then NFC championship loss, then 3 one and done’s?

Chop Buster

December 13th, 2012
1:45 pm

Time is NOW (11:57) – Well, well, well…looks like Smitty may be following down the Marty Ball road after all. I won’t consider him a failure yet, but he needs to definitely start winning some playoff games this year.

Big Ray

December 13th, 2012
2:02 pm

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-falcons-blog/2012/12/13/atlanta-falcons-asante-samuel-ready-to-return-to-action/?cxntfid=blogs_atlanta_falcons_blog

Ready to see this guy back in the game, but I also don’t want it to be too soon. We’ll need him for the playoffs. I’m kinda torn on this…

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
2:03 pm

Tony Dungee had 11 playoff appearances with 6 one and done’s. He had a stretch of 3 straight with the Bucs, and 2 in a row with the Colts.

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
2:05 pm

Don Shula went 1@D his first tow appearances before he won a SB.

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
2:08 pm

Shula had 9 one and done in 19 playoff appearances.

One thing in common of all great coaches, they all have their one and done’s. Again, who got fired after a 1 and done? Nobody? I think Shott did, but he was also 100 years old….but look at the Chiefs now.

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
2:13 pm

Chuck Noll, 4 in 12….But he did not get to the playoffs until year 4…..Ya think he gets that long today?

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
2:48 pm

Interesting thing about Dan Reeves, a guy thought of as a “bad” post, in 11 trips, he was 1@D only twice, his first two years.

Really, the raw odds of 1@D are appx 5/12, or about 42% of being 1 and done, at least that is what it is today under the current playoff.

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
2:50 pm

My bad, odds of 1D closer to 50%, the wild card complicates it, but you can have as many as 66% of the teams going 1D in a single season.

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
3:01 pm

Interesting factoid:

Of the 4 quarterbacks in NFL history who have lost 4 or more consecutive playoff games, none has appeared in the Super Bowl. (One, Y. A. Tittle, played before the Super Bowl Era, but lost all of his postseason games.)

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
3:06 pm

Here’s hoping we don’t have to add MR to that list. Then we’d need him to be the first to get to a championship game after losing more than 3 consecutive playoff games.

P.S. – We’re not talking about actually winning a championship game. In that scenario, Matty Ice would have to be the first QB in the history of the Super Bowl to just play in the game after losing 4 straight playoff games. Not saying it can’t happen, but I don’t like the odds if we are 1 and done this year.

Chop Buster

December 13th, 2012
3:07 pm

BR (2:02) – I was talking to a Giants fan the other day and apparently Asante has a track record of picking Eli.

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
3:07 pm

But the list of QBs who lost 3 in a row can fill Canton….Your name is appropriate.

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
3:10 pm

Asante has 7 picks off Manning.

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
3:14 pm

Correction – Billy Kilmer played in (and lost) the 1972 Super Bowl.

Chop Buster

December 13th, 2012
3:16 pm

MB, yep that’s what he said. He also hoped Asante was not going to play this game. Asante seems to have picked up on an Eli tendency.

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
3:26 pm

Actually, Shott got fired from San Diego (not KC) for going 1@D against the pats… …But after they fired Shott, Turner did win 2 playoff games the next year, only to get beat by the Pats again, so I don’t know if any progress was even made.

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
3:28 pm

Yea chop, when you mentioned that I sorta remembered NY always struggle against the Eagles, and Asante had a few big picks.

Even this year NY lost to the Eagles, one of those inexplicable division things.

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
3:34 pm

Randall Cunningham started his playoff career 0-3. He finished 3-6. Never went to the Super Bowl (thanks to the Dirty Birds of ‘98).

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
3:55 pm

Don Coryell started 0-3 in the playoffs. Finished 3-6 with no Super Bowl appearances.

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
4:22 pm

Difference between DC and RC is they took years to compile their records. It took CR 4 years to get to the playoffs the 1st time, it took DC 8 years to get his 4th playoff appearance.

That is what gives MS and MR2 so much potential. You find any other coaches being fired after a playoff season?

falcon21

December 13th, 2012
4:23 pm

Many thanks Cagers, you guys are great!

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
4:24 pm

I loved that RC used to punt….That was the last of old school.

Big Ray

December 13th, 2012
4:50 pm

Chop Buster

It is nice to know that Asante knows a thing or two about what Eli likes to do.

Matty Bicep

Giants losing to Eagles is one of those division things that also has to do with matchups. That being the case, even with Samuel’s abilities, it is no guarantee that WE as a TEAM match up well with the Giants.

This will be a scheme (coaches) and execution (players) thing, plain and simple.

The coaching staff must put these guys into the best possible position to succeed, and the players need to come ready to play.

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
5:03 pm

BR, my point was that division games are a little different. The Giants-Eagles matchup has been a barn burner throw out the record game for long before Asante came around, it goes back to the Ruynun-Strahan matchups, all the way back to the Buddy Ryan days.

It is a coping mechanism for me to digest the Carolina game.

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
5:14 pm

I do agree if we come out lathergic like we have the past few weeks, our chances are not nil.

The one thing that does naws on me in the Giants-Patriots in 08, and how the Pats threw everything they had at the Giants in week 16, and then the Giants came back in the SB…..How much do we really want to show for the fact we very well might see the Giants again in a much higher stakes game.

Paddy O

December 13th, 2012
6:20 pm

If I read MR2 right, even all of our angst here in the cage is not really what he is feeling. If you are a player on the Falcons, you must feel pretty cocky. Lets say we do go 2-1 the last few games; that is still a beautiful season. As others have said, as soon as the playoffs begin, a brand new season. I am hopeful we don’t try to force Turner in the playoffs. If our coaches are shrewd and attack the opponents weakness, we should be OK. The key here is on comparisions (and don’t count on MB to give fair comparisons) is guys who lost a slew of 1st round playoff games. then of course, you need to see if those teams had dominant regular season records, or just squeeked into the playoffs. The Bill Walsh commentary / comparison is utter junk; but some folks like to manipulate public opinion. If Smitty takes us to the SB this year – we don’t even have to win – he has a job here for life. You must have some success in the playoffs – otherwise, as another website stated, the Falcons are SB frauds. I find that hard to believe, but it depends on our coaching staffs ability to detect and exploit weakness of the opponent and take advantage of our strengths – hopefully in deceptive and innovative ways. Thus far, after the first 3 games this year, that has not been the case. GO FALCONS! I’ll be in NJ watching the Falcon game!

Big Lou

December 13th, 2012
6:22 pm

Roddy White is a game time decision?

I never saw him get injured. Well, if he can’t play, I hope somebody else is going to stand up to the plate.

Could the be a smokescreen to the beat-down they might get? Maybe an excuse he can give to uncle Blank?

Big Lou

December 13th, 2012
6:27 pm

“Giants losing to Eagles is one of those division things that also has to do with matchups. That being the case, even with Samuel’s abilities, it is no guarantee that WE as a TEAM match up well with the Giants.

This will be a scheme (coaches) and execution (players) thing, plain and simple.

The coaching staff must put these guys into the best possible position to succeed, and the players need to come ready to play.”

Actually, our defense matches VERY well with the Giants. They held them to seven points in the first half in the playoffs, after the ineptness of the offense. I am surprised they only got 24 points, after the great field position we gave them after the fail 4th down conversions. The Giants play like the Falcons in a lot of ways; they just have a very physical defensive line.

All I know is that the offense better have a great game-plan. If this game doesn’t bring the best out of our coaching staff, after getting embarrassed on the national stage, then they need to retire NOW.

It’s regrettable that we will not have William Moore… the guy is an asset to our run defense, yet I rather our starters be rested to give an opportunity for our backups to develop.

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
6:35 pm

Think that concerns me is the new running back, that dude is flat out scary.

Big Lou

December 13th, 2012
6:49 pm

Big Lou

December 13th, 2012
6:54 pm

JJ

December 13th, 2012
6:58 pm

***FFL***

Coop, sent you an email and told LRD on our matchup page about it. No prob either way buddy. ;)

JJ

December 13th, 2012
7:04 pm

f21, My brother weve known each other many yrs and just caught up, hope your well my friend!

falcon21

December 13th, 2012
7:28 pm

JJ, thanks my friend, still hurting but dealing.

falcon21

December 13th, 2012
7:39 pm

I would like to see the Falcons step up and actually be ready for a big game. More times than not they usually lay an egg in the so called big games.

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
7:44 pm

Big Lou – Thanks for the good articles.

JB Falcon

December 13th, 2012
7:53 pm

Great Gobbley Googley! Miss a day or so in the cage and it takes forever to catch up. 21, I must have missed whatever loss you had but you you know the cage is there for you. I had to stop and read some links that were posted so here we are.
If I had ro re-cap it would appear that we have already lost the game that we haven’t even played, fired the coach, and sitting on the couch watching the playoffs. Come on guys!
I try to ignore the talking experts, however I believe if the Accu-Score thingy on espn gives us a 52% chance, straight up, that’s good enough for me. This will be a close game between to QB’s that are tops are 4th quarter miracles. Only thing is, only one team can win. That 2% advantage is totally attitude, imo. We had one of those Carolina games last year in the playoffs and those suckers kicked our butts. We don’t get mad, we just get even. MR and Eli are very, very close on the stat sheet and MR even has a small lead.
If we play to our stenghts and their weaknesses, we should come out on top. All that and Turner should recieve the rotten caviar I mailed him yesterday. Hope he eats it for dinner Saturday!

Sportaree

December 13th, 2012
7:58 pm

Hope it don’t happen, but when was the last time the Falcons lost two games back to back?

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
8:01 pm

Well said, JB Falcon.

JB Falcon

December 13th, 2012
8:22 pm

Sportaree, I forgot to throw that in. Ain’t no point in startin’ now!

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
8:28 pm

Falcons have not lost back to back games since 2007.

JJ

December 13th, 2012
8:32 pm

Dont care about ths game excpt 2 players: Law firm n Maclin-blow chunks for LRD!!!

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
8:33 pm

Yea, what a lousy game….So far the best comment I have seen is where they said the Eagles lack talent around Vick….

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
8:34 pm

I would rather see the Jets get to the playoff over Cincinnati just for the entertainment value, but not as much as I enjoy watching the Eagles lose.

Matty Bicep

December 13th, 2012
8:37 pm

I actually like Andy Reid for some strange reason, but I have Philly fans almost as much as I hate filthy NO fans. Almost.

Big Lou

December 13th, 2012
8:44 pm

JB Falcon

Difference between Eli and Ryan?

2 Super Bowls and a better offensive line.

JB Falcon

December 13th, 2012
9:00 pm

BL. don’t forget to add desire and attitude on MR’s side. Like MR said, “they are a different team now, and so are we.”

Big Lou

December 13th, 2012
9:12 pm

Didn’t see the desire Sunday.

I want to be wrong. I will gladly eat crow if they stomp the Giants.

WR

December 13th, 2012
9:43 pm

Falcon21, just catching up hope all is well, or will be well, its a struggle, but its those struggles that get the most out of us.

You mentioned it earlier, you have mentioned it often, and hopefully by now you don’t think I disagree, the Falcons don’t have the best OL in the league, which is not your point I know. Adequate protection is and I completely understand that. But lets fast forward to 2012, are there really any teams giving their QB enough time, given this pass happy league, this pressure driven league. Consider this, only a few years ago, if you got 10 sacks no matter your defensive scheme, you were considered among the elite. Now we’re in an era where you can get 10 sacks, and you could be considered as having a subpar year. Not about defending the OL in anyway, but the Falcons have won games based on their diversity this year, not based on the overall play of the offense. That’s the problem, well the Falcons can’t run, well as long as we’re beating teams thats okay, it’s not.Well we’re the Falcons are winning, even if the D sparks it, sorry, but again that the problem. Nothing wrong with the D being the catalyst for bring home a victory. Something seriously wrong with the players, coaching staff, and front office, that can’t surrender why this had to happen.

I don’t disagree, but I don’t agree with, its the the protection provided by the OL, scheme has changed alot of that perceived protection failures. My problem is with whats tried and true, even during this vast schematic change. No matter how prolific your passing attack, evidently your going to have to run the ball. Sure the Falcons have been winning but we as Falcons fans only bring it up after a lose. Or maybe its mentioned, but not really given the priority it needs because, hey the Falcons are winning. But if the Falcons are to be undone, this problem will be the one that stands out, not Ryan’s protection.

Big Ray

December 13th, 2012
10:21 pm

Big Lou –

You forgot to add Coughlin to the 2 SB rings and the better O-line…

And on the matchup….I agree on our defense, but our offense vs. their defense is the matcup I’m truly concerned about. Are we a bad match on tat side of the ball, or is this an issue of bad gameplanning/execution?

We’ll soon know for sure.

falcon21

December 13th, 2012
10:37 pm

A team without a strong heart is a team that is going nowhere, it begins with the O-line and D-line. It is a problem we have had for years along with Mike Smith being so darn stubborn. We struggle to beat the weaker teams and get crushed by the good teams. I hope I am proven wrong Sunday. The only coach I have any confidence in is Mike Nolan. Poor coaching, weak O and D line = one and done, sorry JB. If we can beat the Giants, I will be the happiest man on this blog.

Big Ray

December 13th, 2012
10:44 pm

Disagree in a way (though not vehemently)….I think the pass protection and the run game are irretrievably linked.

I’m not trying to put it all on the O-line though I must say…there is a talent issue for certain on the OL. Perhaps a scheme issue as well.

That said, this is why I say I only kinda disagree….because I believe the running game is linked. We don’t use the right sets to run from…nor the right guy. But this has been a topic for a while.

Run from a set that disguises the run well and mixes it well with the pass. It also has to feature a RB who can be an efficient blocker in pass protection as well as a threat to catch a pass and make a play. We are constantly using a guy who can do the first, but isn’t as good at his day job as he once was, and is NOT a worthwhile option on the second.

The running game has little effect due to the way it is deployed and WHOM is deployed. The passing game has similar issues with routes.

All in all the problem becomes one of inability to overcome deficiencies. The OL is not capable of stone-walling pass rushes, nor can they maul defensive fronts in the run game. We know this. The CS knows this. Therefore we cannot enforce our will on offense in either way through pure physicality.

Some commentators have noticed this and said as much – though Mike Smith wants to be known as a physical team…we are not…. in the trenches, where it counts the most .

Therefore the only way to overcome these issues is to scheme past them. The CS is not doing this. And it is catching up to us…at the worst possible time. Fix it now, against the Giants, and it can be dealt with until we can get bigger/stronger/better on both lines.

Don’t fix it, and there is nothing but more bad endings on the horizon.

We need a run game, but it is not a matter of simply executing better, as Smitty would have folks believe. It is a matter of scheming and deploying the right personnel…appropriately.

We can still win out…but we must do this.

Big Ray

December 13th, 2012
10:45 pm

F21

Agreed…

falcon21

December 13th, 2012
10:50 pm

Thanks Big Ray, later man.

Slant Pattern

December 13th, 2012
11:08 pm

“Therefore the only way to overcome these issues is to scheme past them. The CS is not doing this. And it is catching up to us…at the worst possible time. Fix it now, against the Giants, and it can be dealt with until we can get bigger/stronger/better on both lines.

Don’t fix it, and there is nothing but more bad endings on the horizon. ” – BL

Nailed it. The funny thing after watching the Pats game is they scheme past stuff whether there is a problem or not. You can have and watch thousands of hours of their tape but you will only know you have a ton of stuff to cover at the end. We used an extra O-lineman against Denver, I expect to see that approach again. I would prefer us to simply attack in enough different ways that it keeps them off balance instead of losing an extra offensive weapon to pass protection. We shall see soon enough I guess.

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
11:11 pm

“Don’t have time to talk like I want to today, but if anyone has time on their hands, take a look if there’s any coaches in history who went 0-3 in their first 3 trips to the postseason and then see if there’s any coaches who went 0-4 with their first 4 trips to the playoffs and their subsequent tenure” (D3)

OK, Cage – Time for research (thanks to Unca’ Bob for the link and procrastination for the time). I will start with D3’s questions, just citing facts (not interpreting them). Afterwards, I will throw out some comparables for questions of tenure for coaches who have had periods of difficulty in the playoffs. Only coaches who coached in the Super Bowl era were considered. Not considering any coach who did not have at least 3 playoff games narrowed the field considerably. I may have missed something and if I did, can I have some mustard for my crow?

The NFL record for consecutive playoff losses by a single team is 6. The record is shared by 7 teams. (See: Arno @ 12:17 on 12/13 for the number of coaches involved in these streaks).

The coaches who started their career 0-3 in the playoffs are:
George Allen – 0-3 start; 2-1 in ‘72 (lost close Super Bowl to perfect Dolphins); then 0-3.
Marvin Lewis – 0-3 over ten seasons.
Ted Marchibroda – 0-3 start; went 2-1 in final playoff season with different team.
Buddy Ryan – fired after 3 one and dones. Playoff record 0-3.

The coaches who lost their first 4 playoff games are:
Dennis Green – 0-4 start; then 4 years with a 1-1 record each year; lost job when didn’t make the playoffs following the 4-4 seasons. Playoff record 4-8.
Wade Phillips – 0-4 start with 3 different teams; then went 1-1 and was fired the next season after a 1-7 start. Playoff record 1-5.

Other coaches with comparable playoff droughts (some names have been added to establish longevity of playoff coaches in the Super Bowl era):
Wayne Fontes – 1-1 start; then 0-3; fired after 5-11 season following three one and dones. Playoff record 1-4 in 9 consecutive seasons with the same team.
Mike Holgren – 4 consecutive one and dones in mid career after already having won a Super Bowl.
Mike Martz – 3-4 playoff record in six seasons.
Steve Mariucci – 3-4 playoff record in six seasons.
John McKay – 1-3 playoff record in nine seasons.
Red Miller – 2-3 playoff record in 6 seasons.
Dick Nolan – 2-3 playoff record in eight seasons.
Jack Pardee – 1-5 playoff record. In 5 seasons with HOU went 1-4, with the win in his second year.
Bum Phillips – 4-3 playoff record in seven seasons; all playoff games were in his final three years.
Art Shell – 2-3 playoff record in six seasons
Bobby Ross – 3-5 playoff record; ended career with 3 straight one and dones for two teams.
Marty Schottenheimer – 5-13 playoff record; had 3 one and dones in his last 5 years at KC.
Mike Shanahan – 8-5 playoff record. After he had won two Super Bowls, he had 3 one and dones from ‘00-’04. After the one and dones, he went 1-1 and was given three more non-playoff seasons before being fired.
Bill Walsh – 10-4 playoff record. His final five seasons included 3 one and dones surrounded by 2 Lombardi trophies.

I don’t find anyone else with a comparable playoff coaching record in the Super Bowl era. I will leave it to others to discuss the interpretation of these facts. But remember, stats such as these are only predictors of the past, not necessarily the future. Have fun.

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
11:14 pm

D3 – Blogmonster got my Super Bowl era coaching records research results. Please rescue, too much work to re-do.

The Time is NOW

December 13th, 2012
11:15 pm

Oh well, time for bed.

Slant Pattern

December 13th, 2012
11:20 pm

Wow. I get one post out and a cup of coffee, the Bungles explode for 24 points. Unsung playoff dark horse emerging?

Coop

December 13th, 2012
11:24 pm

JJ – Dropped a QB. Hope Locker puts you over the top.

Big Lou

December 14th, 2012
2:16 am

SP

Not after that bs loss to the cowgirls. They should have won that game easily.

marko

December 14th, 2012
5:55 am

I was looking ahead at this weekends football predictions. If we go by these guys “expert” analysis, well just stay home and avoid the needless humiliation. It might be prudent to just put on pink uniforms, and hide in the locker room. Resistance is futile. You know that sort of stuff.

I have a problem with their logic, A, were the home team. We don’t lose many home games. B, this is still the regular season. We only suck in the playoffs. C, it would seem that we’ve actually got a better record than the visitors. D, we almost never lose two in a row. E, Super Bowl champs traditionally suffer in the following season. F, We owe those dudes a double helping of homemade whup ass.

The pressure of the season is proving a little too much for the itty bitty Giants to bear. Sending them home for the holidays is the only compassionate thing to do.

JJ

December 14th, 2012
7:18 am

Coop, Tks, was praying it would be Locker…sigh :( . Think Ill go with a one legged rg3. Hope your other 3 qb’s help you win any ties. Its all good.

tom

December 14th, 2012
7:41 am

Must win out and pray alot.

Big Ray

December 14th, 2012
8:23 am

SP ,

That’s BR at 10:44 pm, not BL. :lol:

Wings

December 14th, 2012
8:31 am

falcon21 we are all hurting with you. Peace and Tranquility from the Heavens will find you.

Zoomie

December 14th, 2012
9:07 am

The Giants’ offense has not been clicking. They’ve been displaying the exact same disorganization, ineffectiveness, and inconsistency as the Falcons.

Now, they put a beatdown on the Aints, but that was virtually the work of one guy: Dave Wilson. The Giants saw an entire season of “we suck against the run” in the Aints’ tape, and attacked them on the ground, knifing them with the pass game when they tightened up their defense. Add in an onslaught from special teams, and eventually the Aints just sat back and took their beating. Compare this to the Falcons’ game plan against the Aints, where they abandoned an effective run game and attacked their defensive strength.

The Giants defense is quite good, but not as dominating as they were last year. However, the Falcons’ O-line seems even less effective than they were last year. I hope the Falcons O-line brings a lunch, because they’re going to have a long Sunday. Coughlin and Fewell are going to attack the trenches relentlessly. Koetter better have an answer.

I think Nolan is going to rattle the hell out of Eli. He’ll find ways to pressure him, but mask and morph coverage to confuse him as well. Eli will let a pass go, doesn’t hesitate much, so he’s susceptible to interceptions.

This game is going to be decided by defense, and probably by turnovers. Honestly, if the Falcons’ O can get some mojo, I think they have the edge in this game, because even though the Giants’ D-line is dominant, I think the Falcons have the better overall defense and the better DC.

Koetter better bring something to the table ths week, dammit!

The Time is NOW

December 14th, 2012
9:22 am

I still believe this is our year, but admit it doesn’t look nearly as good if we don’t pull out this game. After this great start, I’m not gonna quit believing this team can silence the disrespect they get nationally until/unless they lose in the playoffs. It is important that we win a playoff game this year. Still hope we go all the way. A loss this week would dampen my hope (which is already mixed with concern) of a Lombardi trophy this year.

The Time is NOW

December 14th, 2012
9:27 am

D3

Know you are busy right now. When you get time to redeem my coaching research post from the bowels of the blogmonster, I will copy and repost it. This morning I noticed somebody I left out of the post last night, so I will edit before reposting. Thanks!

Wabe

December 14th, 2012
9:35 am

I understand the thought that some might suggest about us not showing too much this weekend because it’s possible the Giants could be a team we see a month from now or so…

I was actually completely behind this thought a couple weeks back. But, now, with the playoff picture the way it is, and with the Giants clinging to a one game lead in the NFC East, I think it’s in our best interest to play this game tough. We have an opportunity to secure homefield this weekend, so it’s not as though we don’t have anything to play for.

I’d like to see us throw some things up on the wall to see if they stick. But, I still want to see us give a good effort and try to pull out the W. I could care less who we see in the playoffs, but again, it’s better for us to try to get the most favorable matchups. If we can KO the Giants from playoff contention, that’s one less stellar defensive front we have to worry about come January. I’d argue that leaves only the Seahawks, Niners, and Bears left as teams that could give our O-Line serioussss problems. The Bears are tailspinning, but the Seahawks are surging. Again though, I like our chances in our building against either the Bears or Seahawks. The Niners would probably be the toughest matchup left if the Giants got KO’d.

The Time is NOW

December 14th, 2012
9:43 am

Any of the playoff opponents will be tough. However, this coach and this team know that jobs and legacies are on the line this year. I think they want to be remembered as more than pretty decent. The time is NOW for us to win in the playoffs with the team as currently constituted. Hope the team can rise to the occasion.

The Time is NOW

December 14th, 2012
9:49 am

Good analysis of the possible playoff opponents, Wabe!

The only thing I would take exception to, is that the Giants can’t be simply knocked out of the playoffs by losing to us. It makes their path harder, but does anyone really think the Cowgirls or the Skins are ready to win high pressure games at the end of the season to pull the East out of the Giants hands? For me, I like the Giants over either of the other contenders for the East this year, even IF they lose to the Birds. Maybe I’m believing the media hype…

The Time is NOW

December 14th, 2012
10:11 am

I can’t help but remember the season we beat the tar out of Emmitt Smith, Troy Aikman and the Cowgirls in the dome. They went on to win the Super Bowl that year.

By the time of the game with us, it was clear that they were a very good team and we would not be going to the playoffs. I remember razzing their fans on the way out of the dome. They were talking Super Bowl. I said, “Hey! How are y’all gonna win the Super Bowl if you just got stomped by the Falcons? We aren’t very good, and we crushed you.” It shut ‘em right up. But they were the ones laughing in February.

The Time is NOW

December 14th, 2012
10:14 am

D3

Blogmonster rescue needed. (I only mention again cause its a new page.)

Don’t know when I’ll be back today. It is my bride’s birthday. Hope to pop in and out later…

Geo

December 14th, 2012
10:18 am

Happy Friday, Cage. Gonna be at the game this Sunday! My first Falcon game since 1993, and I picked a good one. I think (I hope) it is going to be a great game. That’s really all you can ask for: compete, show that you are at least every bit as good as last year’s Super Bowl champ. I always want a victory of course, but I’m probably in the minority in thinking that the team can build on even a close, hard-fought loss, but only if they are aggressive on both sides for 60 minutes. That is the key. they have to get back to playing smart and aggressive. I could have swore I saw a team like that early in the season.

LRD

December 14th, 2012
10:27 am

Asante playing, Roddy game time decision… Harry D.. Oh Harry D… you and Matt better be talkin…

LRD

December 14th, 2012
10:36 am

What worries me.. Accurscore has us winning but more ominous is Peter King picking us too….

Matty Bicep

December 14th, 2012
10:40 am

I thought about the ramifications of showing the Giants everything, but I don’t think we are a good enough team to hold back. We have to treat every game as it is our last, we had our vacation game last week, we have to fight for our lives like everyone else and let the chips fall where they may.

D3

December 14th, 2012
11:05 am

Time / Paddy O — Posts are out!

The Time is NOW

December 14th, 2012
12:14 pm

Thanks D3! Here is the edited post.

“Don’t have time to talk like I want to today, but if anyone has time on their hands, take a look if there’s any coaches in history who went 0-3 in their first 3 trips to the postseason and then see if there’s any coaches who went 0-4 with their first 4 trips to the playoffs and their subsequent tenure” (D3)

OK, Cage – Time for research (thanks to Unca’ Bob for the link on page 15, and procrastination for the time).

I will start with D3’s questions, just citing facts (not interpreting them). Afterwards, I will throw out some comparables for questions of tenure for coaches who have had periods of difficulty in the playoffs. Only coaches who coached in the Super Bowl era were considered. Not considering any coach who did not have at least 3 playoff games narrowed the field considerably. I may have missed something and if I did, can I have some mustard for my crow?

The NFL record for consecutive playoff losses by a single team is 6. The record is shared by 7 teams. (See: Arno @ 12:17 on 12/13, page 15, for the number of coaches involved in these streaks).

The coaches who started their career 0-3 in the playoffs are:
George Allen – 0-3 start; 2-1 in ‘72 (lost close Super Bowl to perfect Dolphins); then 0-3.
Don Coryell – 0-3 start (first 2 with STL); in 9 years with SD made playoffs years 2 thru 5;
3-6 playoff record with no Super Bowl appearances.
Marvin Lewis – 0-3 over ten seasons.
Ted Marchibroda – 0-3 start; went 2-1 in final playoff season with different team.
Buddy Ryan – fired after 3 one and dones. Playoff record 0-3.

The coaches who lost their first 4 playoff games are:
Dennis Green – 0-4 start; then 4 years with a 1-1 record each year; lost job when didn’t make the playoffs following the 4-4 seasons. Playoff record 4-8.
Wade Phillips – 0-4 start with 3 different teams; then went 1-1 and was fired the next season after a 1-7 start. Playoff record 1-5.

Other coaches with comparable playoff droughts (some names have been added to establish longevity of playoff coaches in the Super Bowl era):
Wayne Fontes – 1-1 start; then 0-3; fired after 5-11 season following three one and dones. Playoff record 1-4 in 9 consecutive seasons with the same team.
Mike Holgren – 4 consecutive one and dones in mid career after already having won a Super Bowl.
Mike Martz – 3-4 playoff record in six seasons.
Steve Mariucci – 3-4 playoff record in six seasons.
John McKay – 1-3 playoff record in nine seasons.
Red Miller – 2-3 playoff record in 6 seasons.
Dick Nolan – 2-3 playoff record in eight seasons.
Jack Pardee – 1-5 playoff record. In 5 seasons with HOU went 1-4, with the win in his second year.
Bum Phillips – 4-3 playoff record in seven seasons; all playoff games were in his final three years.
Art Shell – 2-3 playoff record in six seasons
Bobby Ross – 3-5 playoff record; ended career with 3 straight one and dones for two teams.
Marty Schottenheimer – 5-13 playoff record; had 3 one and dones in his last 5 years at KC.
Mike Shanahan – 8-5 playoff record. After he had won two Super Bowls, he had 3 one and dones from ‘00-’04. After the one and dones, he went 1-1 and was given three more non-playoff seasons before being fired.
Bill Walsh – 10-4 playoff record. His final five seasons included 3 one and dones surrounded by 2 Lombardi trophies.

I don’t find anyone else with a comparable playoff coaching record in the Super Bowl era. I will leave it to others to discuss the interpretation of these facts. But remember, stats such as these are only predictors of the past, not necessarily the future. If I missed anyone else it was not intentional. Have fun.

The Time is NOW

December 14th, 2012
12:16 pm

D3

The edited post is too long, so the blogmonster got it too. (Note to self, break up material into several smaller posts.)

Big Ray

December 14th, 2012
12:30 pm

Big Ray

December 14th, 2012
12:36 pm

Koetter better bring something to the table ths week, dammit!

Yeah…agreed…though it must pass the Boss’s inspection….I hold them both responsible if they don’t find ways to overcome what the Giants are going to throw at us from a defensive perspective. It’s not like the Giants have great coverage. What they do well is pass rush (when they want to). Their only claim to fame is that they’re 8th in points allowed per game. That is it.

No reason to not be able to give that defense fits….unless we want to keep rolling out game plans that they are well familiar with and know how to stop…

Big Ray

December 14th, 2012
12:37 pm

LeeVancleave

December 14th, 2012
12:38 pm

I am not pleased about the Falcons 30-20 loss to the carolina panthers last sunday, but that loss was certainly a wake-up call not to take ANYONE lightly on your schedule. The Falcons should have and certainly had the talent to blitz the Panthers last sunday 42-10, but they looked past carolina and to this weeks opponents the world champion Giants, and thus the letdown and the flat performance in the first half of the carolina game. Before the Falcons even went CAROLING this Chrismas,

Big Ray

December 14th, 2012
12:39 pm

LRD – yep. Not just HD though. Julio and Drew Davis as well.

PaulSanderson

December 14th, 2012
12:43 pm

Big Ray: I agree with you about Koetter. In fact, Dirk Koetter is going to have the Falcons so well prepared this Sunday against the Giants, while we are all watching the Falcons CRUSH the Giants, that the headlines in this mondays paper should read, “WELCOME BACK KOETTER”, instead of last weeks headlines following a loss to carolina which read, “BIRDS LAY AN EGG.”

darrell starks

December 14th, 2012
1:03 pm

I agree with Kotter bringing something different 2 the table, but also i believe a little adjustment in personal will take to Falcons 2 the next level.

The main thing in personal change should be Quizz starting instead of Turner who have lost a couple steps, Quizz will take a lot of pressure of Ice Man and Falcons in the running game and passing game giving Ryan to check down more 2 Quizz in short passing game and will also draw the safies to play up closer giving Julio to be open more with 1-1 coverage in deep passing game.

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

darrell starks

December 14th, 2012
1:07 pm

D3, The Falcons defense have been horrible in stoping the run this season, what can Falcons do on defense 2 make this better ?

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

Slant Pattern

December 14th, 2012
1:20 pm

“SP ,

That’s BR at 10:44 pm, not BL” – BR

You’re right, my bad. Good points by both of you lately, getting harder to tell ya’ll apart :) .

Big Ray

December 14th, 2012
1:39 pm

Big Ray

December 14th, 2012
2:14 pm

Somebody please shut Jonathon Vilma up. I’m tired of his damn mouth and his whole “victim” attitude.

In my experience, the guiltiest dogs always bark the loudest.

BobbyDawg

December 14th, 2012
2:59 pm

I’m just getting back to my computer. I’ve got a lot of great reading to catch up on, and it is about 46 hours ’till gametime.

Arno

December 14th, 2012
3:53 pm

For your reading pleasure (just wow):

Osi says Falcons have cleaned up ‘dirtbag’ line

BY Ralph Vacchiano, NY Daily News

The Atlanta Falcons’ offensive line came into their playoff game against the Giants in January with a terrible reputation for dirty play. It was so bad, that Justin Tuck said “Most people, you would call them dirt bags.”

Since then they’ve fired their offensive line coach and apparently cleaned up their act.

“Definitely,” Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora said on Thursday. “They’re not playing the way that they played. They’re just trying to straight-up block you. That’s what they’re trying to do. None of that dirty, after the play, all that stuff they were doing last year.”

The Giants believed last season that the Falcons were taught by their offensive line coach, Paul Boudreau, to cut block – a technique defensive players believe endanger their knees. And many defensive players around the league agreed. Boudreau is now the offensive line coach with the St. Louis Rams and he was replaced in Atlanta by Pat Hill.

“I didn’t even know they had a new offensive line coach, but he’s definitely cleaned that up,” Umenyiora said. “I think he’s just more interested in winning and trying to block people than trying to hurt people.”

Arno

December 14th, 2012
3:56 pm

JB Falcon

December 14th, 2012
4:17 pm

Ahmad Bradshaw will be out for the G-Men so I guess we’ll target the rookie, like we did Doug Martin.

JB Falcon

December 14th, 2012
4:21 pm

Coming off a loss to the Carolina Panthers, the Atlanta Falcons can take solace in the fact they’ve won their previous 11 games immediately after a loss. The Falcons have not lost back-to-back games since 2009. They also are playing in the Georgia Dome, where they’ve won 10 straight games (the NFL’s longest active home winning streak). So everything appears to be in Atlanta’s favor. Until you consider this — the Falcons have not won a home game against the New York Giants since 1978. Pat Yastinkas

Big Lou

December 14th, 2012
4:31 pm

Arno

I thought that was Justin Tuck.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 14th, 2012
4:35 pm

If I had a choice of the Giants runningbacks our Defense to go up against…it would be A. Bradshaw. Bradshaw runs hard, but lacks the brteak-away take it to the house speed the rookie has.

IMO, he’s the most dangerous RB we will face thus far (Doug Martin included).

Arno

December 14th, 2012
4:38 pm

This game will be about intensity. Turner talked about being fresh for Carolina– I’d like to see more than “fresh” for the Giants. There’s been some talk about division records as a measure of intensity and the ability to make adjustments. The Giants are 2-3 in their division, which puts them tied for 18th in the NFL. Falcons are 3-2, tied for 9th. The teams dominating division play are the Pats, Broncos, Texans, and Packers.

Arno

December 14th, 2012
4:41 pm

BL– You’re right. Osi is the one backing off that line.

Big Lou

December 14th, 2012
4:55 pm

SP is usually the offensive guru on this board, so let me talk about how opposing defenses are creating havock for Matt Ryan later into the season. It has been stated previously before by Big Ray, others, and myself.

Defenses are blitzing and powering the A gap.

What this does is prevents Matt from stepping up to throw the ball(which in turn) creates inaccurate throws and mistakes. This is how the defense of the panthers destroyed the offense in the first half(videos of Raiders, Arizona, and Giants in playoffs show this, as well). The interior offensive line(sorry to say) are a bunch of soft fatties. They are the reason why the current offensive schemes will not work, and will continue not to work in the future.

When the offensive line struggles, it also throws off the timing between the receivers and QB. Not to mention, you can’t get push of the ball for a run. Sound familiar, right? Not only that, the secondary are allowed to play physical man on man to prevent the short throws that Matt obviously has to make due to his limited time to do so. Hence why receivers are covered, and why they are getting beat on their routes. Then to add to the flames, the slot is forced to run from the outside, instead through the middle of the field with slants patterns(nudge nudge). This could also explain why you see receivers clumped next to each other on the sidelines.

It seems to me the coaches have tried to solve this issue, just by the route patterns I see alone.

Now, I’m not really an offensive guy, but the only ways to counter that scheme and weakness in the interior Oline are to:

1. Run the no huddle always, unless a huge lead is gained. Screw clock management, get points. It also tires the defensive line and keeps the opposing team from substituting.
2. Run the offense through the shotgun. This will give Ryan more time to throw and survey the field. It will also give time for the receivers to run more exotic routes(including slant patterns). This also will give the running back protector duty up the middle with the ability to run up field for a check down(don’t forget delayed hand offs, too).
3. Get rid of the power I formation until we get a competent offensive line.
4. Bench Turner. He is not meant for the shotgun formation. Get more snaps to Snelling, Rodgers, and Antoine.
5. Screen passes.
6. Toss sweep runs to keep the defensive ends honest.
7. Attack, attack, attack. Play to win!

Big Lou

December 14th, 2012
5:04 pm

One criticism I give to TD is the recruiting of the trenches, but I also believe the coaching staff needs to take blame for not utilizing the younger talent unless and injury occurs. Personally I would bench Jerry and start Robertson. But, what do I know? He’s just a rookie, right Smith?

Obviously your interior offensive line is getting demolished, why not try something new with such a great record? Stupidity and stubbornness, I say. So more of the blame goes to Smith, IMO.

What I do know is that this year is important for the future of the ATL franchise.

Big Lou

December 14th, 2012
5:06 pm

Heck, of I was Matt Ryan, I would be screaming at the coaches for making him look bad. He’s a Peyton and Tom Brady. They need solid offensive line play. He is not mobile.

crowmeat

December 14th, 2012
5:10 pm

Is the so called “big Ray” the commentator of this column?? Just Saying!

These last few games have shown the REAL Falcons..they are a weak team at best..we all know how lucky they are to be 11-2..No run game combined with poor pass attack,poor defensive scheme = 1 and done in the play-offs..
We still don’t have the right mix of coach’s..their collective minds have gone “blank” since the 1st game of the season..

Slant Pattern

December 14th, 2012
5:21 pm

“Is the so called “big Ray” the commentator of this column?? Just Saying!” – blowmeat

Yes he is. Would you care to try and take over that illustrious position from him? Reading your post you are obviously of rare intelligence and possess the debating skills necessary to embarrass him or anyone in a Cage death match. Unca Bob, Coop, or JJ can accept your entrance fee and handle the paper work for you. We all look forward to our new master, please hurry so that we may sooner bask in the elightenment you are sure to bestow upon us!

Chop Buster

December 14th, 2012
5:36 pm

SP…LMAO!!! Funniest stuff I’ve read in a long time.

Slant Pattern

December 14th, 2012
5:41 pm

“Somebody please shut Jonathon Vilma up. I’m tired of his damn mouth and his whole “victim” attitude.

In my experience, the guiltiest dogs always bark the loudest.” – BR

Think I got it right this time. I might have to disagree, not fully or for the reasons one might think. I hope the whiny scumbag Vilma keeps poking and pissing off Goodell for this reason – ( http://espn.go.com/blog/nfcsouth/post/_/id/43085/video-paytons-future-with-saints#comment ). Goodell can stall the talks until J. Jones has Payton signed sealed and delivered. Suck it Taints.

JJ

December 14th, 2012
5:48 pm

blowmeat, The cage is not for you…try bradly/shultz because your about to be erased! lol, you dont want to piss off BR, hes big (less lately), hes bad and hes a professional assasin if the foolish criminal gives him a reason. Wrong tree to raise you leg on dumnazz!!!

Sportaree

December 14th, 2012
6:36 pm

Troll.
What do you look like? A slight man with a gray, sunken battleship of a face, curious wet eyes, a giant gleaming forehead on which a dozen cavemen could have painted something nice, a sickle of a nose perched atop a tiny puckered mouth, and from the back, a growing bald spot whose shape perfectly replicates the great state of Ga. with its capital city Atlanta, marked by a deep brown mole?
Sorry bout that, but after watching the news today, I’m not in a very good mood.

Unca' Bob

December 14th, 2012
6:40 pm

The Time is NOW

December 14th, 2012
12:14 pm

Great stuff my friend. The link was easy, your work, not so much so. Thank you.

Unca' Bob

December 14th, 2012
6:57 pm

Slant Pattern

December 14th, 2012
5:21 pm

LOL. I let JJ handle our lite work.

JJ

December 14th, 2012
7:03 pm

Sad, sad day. UB, had no idea at 5:30, just got in from work and I listen to pandora thru out the day. Would have chosen different words but 5-10 yr old kids, wtf!!!

Unca' Bob

December 14th, 2012
7:26 pm

JJ,

I understand my friend. Sometimes life has no reason and I try my best to make reason from it. To no avail. If I could explain it, at some point in time, I could help to prevent these acts. To the misfortune of the world, I can’t.

The Time is NOW

December 14th, 2012
7:38 pm

Big Lou – good stuff today.

Unca’ Bob – Thanks! Don’t discount your work, though. I was looking through Google for what you found; you found it much quicker than I would have (if I ever did). Then I would’ve given up and done what I really needed to be doing anyway. :)

Slant Pattern

December 14th, 2012
7:43 pm

“But remember, stats such as these are only predictors of the past, not necessarily the future.” – TTIME is NOW

Nice stat work and thank you.

JJ

December 14th, 2012
7:49 pm

UB, sent you an email about our fav. fsu cager.\, let me know if you got it?

Slant Pattern

December 14th, 2012
7:49 pm

“SP is usually the offensive guru on this board, so let me talk about how opposing defenses are creating havock for Matt Ryan later into the season.” – BL

You have me confused with “blowmeat”, our new leader. I know nothing but these webpages help a bit :) .

“Erhardt-Perkins” offense * Patriots stuff*
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_England_Patriots_strategy#Erhardt_-_Perkins_Offensive_System )

West Coast and Walsh offense
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Coast_offense )

Air Coryell ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Coryell )

Good ideas at the end. It is scary that “common sense” doesn’t seem very common in our coaching lately.

JJ

December 14th, 2012
7:53 pm

LRD, Everytime I check, you and your son are increasing your pp. It could come down to a tie…but then we should stuff our rosters with qbs …lmao!!!!

JB Falcon

December 14th, 2012
9:02 pm

40 hours from now we will begin to see what the Falcons are made of. Do we rest Roddy, Asante,
Bab’s and HD? Do we lose home field advantage or risk getting someone more hurt and risk the play offs? I am soooo undecided here, not that it matters what the H I think.

Geo

December 14th, 2012
9:06 pm

Big Lou @ 4:55. Spot on, brother.

Geo

December 14th, 2012
9:35 pm

SP, was that a John Prine quote?

Birdman

December 14th, 2012
9:39 pm

Good evening Cage.

I would like to ask that each one of of you all please take some time out today or tonight and pray for the Parents and Family’s of the School shootings .

May our Great Heavenly Father above please comfort there broken hearts…Amen

Geo

December 14th, 2012
9:43 pm

Amen, Birdman.

Greg Mendel

December 14th, 2012
11:51 pm

Off-Topic (If you punt his post, D3, I won’t be offended):

I apologize to the Cage, but football has been the last thing on my mind today. The horrible slaughter of young children is almost beyond my comprehension.

Almost.

We have come to be a divided, frustrated nation. The problem ain’t guns. The problem is hate. I’ve heard the word “evil” used often today. I don’t deny evil exists, but I think “madness” is a more fitting word. Hate boils the pot. Madness blows the top off.

I own guns — the Nazi bring-backs I once mentioned, an SKS, and a VC rifle I brought back from Vietnam. I grew up with guns. But I don’t shoot people.

It’s too late for draconian gun control laws. Too many guns already in circulation. There’s no money for mental health treatment, and no interest anyway.

All we can do is follow Birdman’s advice. Pray. If love doesn’t come easy, at least we can try to take a deep breath.

Slant Pattern

December 15th, 2012
1:24 am

“SP, was that a John Prine quote?” – Geo

Exactly prolly not but inspired by or a derivative? More than likely lol. I am at the age where all kinda weird stuff blends into even goofier things.

Big Lou

December 15th, 2012
2:34 am

http://blogs.ajc.com/jeff-schultz-blog/2012/12/14/falcons-smith-know-this-is-when-theyre-getting-judged/?cxntfid=blogs_jeff_schultz_blog

Smith was angry, eh? Does that mean Turner up the middle on Sunday? Lol

All seriousness, he does have a great record after a loss. Let’s see how the players respond to his passion and corrections. They better play hard, or this will turn bad.. really quick.

Paddy O

December 15th, 2012
4:29 am

It is a horrible day for America. We have far too many cowards, and people who wish to make excuses for them. The gov’t can not prevent people intent on evil from committing it. However, it does seem prudent for every single school in the USA to have an armed resource officer stationed on campus. At least that way, the bastard cowards won’t be able to attack at will. All behavior boils down to one of three motivations: good, neutral and evil. Humans are not as complex as highly compensated psychiatrists wish folks to think they are. Bless the poor parents of these child victims.

Wings

December 15th, 2012
8:44 am

The 1998 Super Bowl team defeated the New York Giants 34-20. The Falcon had defeated the Panthers 51-23 the previous week. Here is a link:

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/boxscores/199810110nyg.htm

Birdman

December 15th, 2012
9:28 am

Morning Cage
BIG Lou ……..Good article . But it’s gonna take more than words to beat the Giants this Sunday !!

They had better be coming up with a good game plan and schemes . They need to be on fire when they hit the field . Both offence and defense. Play the no huddle from the start and play like there behind by 20 points . Do not ‘I say again DO NOT run the ball with the burnt out Turner up the middle .

If they are without White ‘ Asante , and Moor all the same day Then there chances of wining this game went from a hard row to hoe To trying to win with a broke blow.

Not even gonna guess a score in this game . Just gonna hope for a victory .

GO FALCONS !!!! the time is now

Birdman

December 15th, 2012
9:31 am

That’s plow .. Sorry I got carried away there

Big Lou

December 15th, 2012
9:38 am

Birdman

Asante is playing for sure.

White will probably play too. He’s had knee injuries before. Hasn’t missed a game his whole career.

Birdman

December 15th, 2012
9:41 am

Thanks Greg
We are all Falcons Fans here But we are Human beings also. Good People don’t get offended with words that are right

Birdman

December 15th, 2012
9:47 am

Thanks Big Lou .

I Think we need them to win this game and some may say sit them and let them heal up for the play offs . But if we lose another game like they did last week then the morale of this team may drop so bad that it want matter who is 100 % for the play offs

Birdman

December 15th, 2012
10:00 am

On another note If these guys get a win here and we get the one are two seed thats when you think of sitting your starters are hurt players . If these guys or hurt so bad that they don’t need to try and play then that also is another story but I think the front office knows this

D3

December 15th, 2012
10:16 am

Greetings Cage Family! — Heartfelt thoughts and prayers to all the victims, their families, friends, and all involved in the terrible tragedy from Connecticut. Just awful, awful, awful. I can just tell you as a teacher, and I’m making no judgments one way or another because I love my Madden and Fifa Soccer, but I can tell you that many kids these days, at least most that I teach, spend literally hours and hours playing video games every day, often times in lieu of their studies. I’ve talked to some of my kids who say they stay up to 3 and 4 AM during the week playing these games. Take from that what you will. Now to our Birds……….

Birdman

December 15th, 2012
10:45 am

Two key things for a victory this Sunday
For the Falcons

Shut down Wilson in the Run. Time for our defense to Man up. We know they can do it we have seen it before.

Keep that four man pass rush at bay against Matt Ryan . Screen passes and run to the outside with Rodgers . And Offensive line also man up

Wings

December 15th, 2012
11:07 am

Falcons! Remember TWO (2) points last time!!

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 15th, 2012
11:57 am

I would also like to extend my heart felt condolences to the families that suffered loses in the Connecticut shootings.

The families are broken hearted, suffering with grief, probably not the best time to debate what ifs, or causes. IMHO, sometimes we get accustom to using words like tragedy in these situations, IMO, tragedies are natural disasters etc…what we witness in Connectcut was Murder.

Too bad evil and the forces that control it, are cowardice to the point of choosing the easy way out, pulling the trigger on it self…rather than coming out of the dark shadows to face us, be judged by an audience of it’s peers, brought to justice…spend every second of their dying life reflecting.

Sorry Cagers, had a moment.

Back to regular scheduled programming.

D3

December 15th, 2012
12:22 pm

First of all, thanks to all of you who did the coaches research regarding playoff losses, especially Time is Now.

Been trying to get this up the last few days, but haven’t had a chance………..

Jim Mora Sr; 0-6
sAINTS: ‘87-’96 — 0-4
Colts: ‘98-’01 — 0-2

Wade Phillips; 1-5
Broncos: ‘93-’94 — 0-1
Bills: ‘98-’99 — 0-2
Cowboys: ‘07-’10 — 1-2

Sid Gillman; 1-5
Rams / Chargers: ”55-’71 — 1-5

Jack Pardee; 1-5
Bears: ‘75-’77 — 0-1
Redskins: 78-80 — DNM
Oilers: 90-94 — 1-4

George Allen; 2-7
Rams: 67-70 — 0-2
Redskins: 71-77 — 2-4

Wayne Fontes; 1-4
Lions: 88-96 — 1-4

John McKay; 1-3
Bucs: 76-84 — 1-3

Leeman Bennett; 1-3
Falcons: 78-82 — 1-3

Marty Schottenheimer; 5-13
Browns: 84-88 — 2-4
Chiefs: 89-98 — 3-6
Chargers: 02-06 — 0-2

Dennis Green; 4-8
Vikings: 92-00 — 4-8

D3

December 15th, 2012
1:10 pm

I could go on forever, but I think this is plenty of information for me. Anytime I have a question, such as “Is there a chance Smitty could be fair game if we faceplant in playoffs for a 4th time in 5 years?,” I always like to go back to the cold, hard stats. And it was a very enlightening process.

It also helped me realize exactly why there’s been so much skepticism towards our Falcons, but really towards Mike Smith. First of all, let’s just say that all the coaches listed are not the best company to compare to. None have Super Bowls, unless you count Sid Gillman winning the AFL Championship by essentially winning just one game in the postseason. A few not mentioned are Steve Owen (2-8) and Ray Flaherty (2-4) won championships, but we’re talking about the 30’s and 40’s.

Even all those mentioned above found a way to win at least ONE playoff game in that timespan and only Denny Green and Jim Mora went their first four playoff games before either winning a few (Dennis Green) or never winning one period (Mora). Sorry, but not good company that we’re even comparing here.

If you go to the Pro-Football-Reference page http://www.pro-football-reference.com/coaches/ and go sort the Playoff W-L % from worst to last, you actually go down a list of 35 coaches (including guys like Lovie Smith, Jeff Fisher, Pete Carroll, Norv Turner) before you get to Lou Saban winning 2 AFL championships and Blaton Collier winning 1 NFL championship (pre- Super Bowl Era).

If you want to talk about coaches who have won championships in the Super Bowl Era, you’ll have to go to Tony Dungy and Mike Ditka, who won one title a piece, but they both had a .500 winning % (Ditka, 6-6) or right at it (Dungy, 9-10). Not to mention that Dungy had one of the greatest QBs of all time and that Ditka had one of the best defenses and running backs of all time. Don Shula is of course down the list at 45 with a 19-17 record, but he also won two Super Bowls (one being the best team of all time @ 18-0).

So let’s take a look at some stats, shall we:

Coaches who have a record of less than .500 in the postseason have the following % of actually winning titles (including pre-Super Bowl titles):

Titles including Pre-Super Bowl — 7 Titles out of 33 coaches

Titles with total games played, including pre-Super Bowl- 7 Titles out of 246 total playoff games 2.85% win Title-to-Playoff game win percentage

Titles won by coaches including Pre-Super Bowl: 5 coaches out of 32 = 15.6%

Super Bowl Titles won out of coaches (excluding Owen and Flaherty): 1 Super Bowl Title (Dungy) out of 30 coaches — 1 / 30 = 3.33%

Super Bowl Titles won out of total playoff games: 1 Super Bowl Title out of 230 playoff games (excluding Owen and Flaherty’s record): 1 / 230 = .4% — Four tenths of 1% if you didn’t see the decimal in front).

Analysis next………..

D3

December 15th, 2012
1:19 pm

And before we get the typical response from some about “well, go look at guys like Paul Brown, Dick Vermeil, Mike Holmgren, and Tom Landry who had barely above .500 post-season record and they all won Super Bowls , let’s just stop that right there.

These guys all had not only postseason wins sometime and somewhere, but they also had ABOVE A .500 WIN PERCENTAGE. Before I draw my conclusions, Mike Smith would have to go 3-0 in the playoffs (ironically, a run to and winning the actual Super Bowl), just to get to .500 in the postseason.

D3

December 15th, 2012
1:44 pm

OK, the grand finale……..

First things first, if Smitty wins at least one playoff game, he definitely should be brought back. I think everyone agrees on that. Even though history still is not kind to those that don’t win at least several postseason games that lead to Super Bowls (remember that whole .4% four-tenths of 1% thingy; 1 title in 230 postseason games). If he wins at least one, I suppose he should be brought back.

Let me lead off with the fact that I do think that Blank will bring back Smitty even if we are one and done, even though I can’t imagine what a PR nightmare that would be even for the best of businessmen, especially one that wants a new stadium, even though doesn’t need one. What will be the rationale to get fans to “just trust us and Smitty” for one more year, even though you’ve had ample talent and time (4 chances in 5 years) to win just one game. What the hell do we think would be different for another year, except that you’ll probably lose Tony Gonzalez, Roddy’s a year older, Abe’s a year older, and Ryan’s getting closer to 30 himself.

I like Smitty and that’s not a BS statement whatsoever. He’s a great guy, an excellent leader, a good coach, and always represents our organization with the utmost respect and class. I want him to succeed. I think we all do. However, it can’t be completely ruled out that if we are one and done yet again that Smitty wouldn’t be on the chopping block. Although I don’t think it will happen, I could see them letting Smith go and giving the reigns to Nolan with minimal changes, except for whatever changes Nolan wants to make. In other words, not having to completely rebuild in every aspect of the coaching staff, schemes, etc and see if that works for a year before blowing it entirely up.

Finally, history simply isn’t kind to coaches who struggle mightily in the postseason in their career, especially to the magnitude of going 0-3 in the first three tries. Of course if we go one and done and let Smitty go, there’s enormous risk that we’d sink back to sucking in the regular season and at the end of the day, Blank and Co. may believe that that risk is simply too great to let him go just because he can’t or hasn’t won in the postseason.

Least to say, this year in the playoffs will be enormous for Smitty, his tenure here in Atlanta, and ultimately his legacy.

I hope we blow the Giants out, finally click this last month, make an unbelievable run to and win the Lombardi, and Smitty will get a 10 year contract…………………..but I’m not holding my breath.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
2:55 pm

I would be interested to see the list of coaches who got fired after “only” making the playoffs, and how both those, and the franchises faired. The ONLY coach I can find is Shottenheimer, and since SD lost in the playoffs the next year to the same team that beat them the previous year, I can’t say they made much progress.

I think the biggest issue to keep in mind is Smitty has only been a HC for 4 years, and made the playoffs 3 times. Who is comparable on that list? Comparing a 0-6 guy who has been in the league 20 years does not tell me much.

All I know is firing a HC who has shown some good ability early in their career has been a fatal mistake a few franchises have made. Think Don Shula, or Bill Belick immediately come to mind.

And if Art can’t sell Smitty, how can he sell a career 18-37 coach who never sniffed a playoff game?

I would say it depends to whom, and how, we lose in the playoffs. If we look like we did against the Panthers, then good riddence, if we fight tooth and nail, and lose to another eventual SB champion, I would say he gets another try.

Again, BB has not won a SB since 2004, and has his share of 1 and dons since. As you said, playoff records can change dramatically in just a few games, it is hard to project.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
3:02 pm

Also, regardless of what happens this season, I would like to see Smitty go a season without MT33 just to see what he can do. If we lose, and collapse next season, I can live with that, I have before…What I can’t live with is firing Smitty, and watching him go to another franchise and coach 15 more years and get a few rings. I just can’t imagine firing Smitty for losing in the playoffs, and handing it 18-37 Nolan.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
3:17 pm

Don Shula went one and done twice, then it was his 6th year before he got his third try, and then lost to the Jets, a lesser talented team, the ultimate embarrassment…The next year he left then HAD ANOTHER ONE AND DONE, then won 2 titles in 3 years.

Bill Walsh won a SB in year won, then lost the NFC championhsip, then had 3 one and done’s, You think that would have flown in the cage?

Even the best coaches in NFL history have their post season adversity.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
3:31 pm

I would really hate to see Smitty go to Detroit.

Big Lou

December 15th, 2012
3:33 pm

“Also, regardless of what happens this season, I would like to see Smitty go a season without MT33 just to see what he can do. If we lose, and collapse next season, I can live with that, I have before…What I can’t live with is firing Smitty, and watching him go to another franchise and coach 15 more years and get a few rings. I just can’t imagine firing Smitty for losing in the playoffs, and handing it 18-37 Nolan.” MB

Not going to debate you, just for the fact that you argue just to argue. However, I will point out the fact he could have benched Turner weeks ago. Obviously the production is not the same. So, why would anyone want to wait to see what Smith can do without Turner when he can do it now. Also, for the regaurdless of what happens comment, you must be out of your mind to think the fan base or AB will be okay with another playoff blowout. Talent is not forever. Every year the Falcons sit on their hands to figure things out, the older the players get. Not to mention, there will be no Gonzalez next year unless they lose in the SB.

JB Falcon

December 15th, 2012
3:33 pm

In order to get something you have never had, you have to do things you have never done. I think MS knows that and has called in a new OC & DC to help. We have basically the same team we had last year so it’s going to be up to the coaching. The next step for us, as fans, is to hurry up and wait.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
3:35 pm

Tom Laundry was 1-4 in the playoffs after 10 years as a HC. From that point, he was 19-12.

E43

December 15th, 2012
3:35 pm

I still think the running game is struggling because of play calling and the no huddle. It should be fine if they dont run away from it against the giants. The falcons run away from it and expect gold when they come back to it. It shows the lack of a game plan. Example was against the Saints. They were running, they were getting first downs, and they capped it with a TD on the first drive. Then they went true pass heavy for absolutely no reason at all. Only reason was going for the kill. They then decided to try running the ball after that but the offense was already dead beyond repair. Its not like the falcons scored using nothing but defense. They should have lost that game against the Saints. You wont be getting another 5 int game in the playoffs.

It leaves me to wonder what the train of thinking is on the sidelines game by game. My conclusion earlier was that the falcons will defend a pass heavy nature.However, they will do nothing out of their way to fix the run game. They clearly did so against the bucs but rarely will you see that type of play calling gain. They’re now putting up the ball 50 times yet execution of the run game is the problem? I don’t hear anyone complain about those 1 yard passes or throwaways or maybe even grounding the ball. The passing game produces way more wasted plays than they’re being held accountable for. 50 attempts per game is well over enough to hide those wasted plays. Id rather have a 1 yard run than a 1 yard pass.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
3:40 pm

I would say it depends to whom, and how, we lose in the playoffs. If we look like we did against the Panthers, then good riddence, if we fight tooth and nail, and lose to another eventual SB champion, I would say he gets another try.

As I said above, I do not advocate that we keep him if we collapse, if the team quits. If we do lose, I think how, and to whom should be weighted.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
3:44 pm

As far as talent goes, i do not think we are that far ahead of the curve. We have arguably the best wideout combination/TE combination. But we don’t have a good slot guy , our RBs OL and DTs and LBs are below average, and Save Abe, we don’t have much in the way of DEs either.

So to say we are “talented”, I don’t think overall we are much more talented than other NFL teams.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
3:49 pm

I think if Smitty leaves, Detroit picks him up, that is a team that needs a guy like Smitty to bring discipline and consistency.

D3

December 15th, 2012
3:55 pm

MB — Of course I expected this response from you. Look at Bill Walsh’s, Don Shula’s, and any other head coach you mention. They had WINNING percentages in the postseason. Of course, Smith could have the same, but what should make us think one more year will be any different? And if you’re going to compare the coaches who didn’t make the playoffs (notice I said nothing of the such, and I also said it would be a risk letting such a successful regular season head coach go), I’ll say that you could throw many of those teams surely had inferior talent to what we’ve had the last several years. Sure, Smitty’s made the playoffs 3 out of 4 years and he’s also lost all three times, with the last two being embarrassing blowouts. And, as a matter of fact…….

Wade Phillips made the playoffs 3 times in his first 5 years, with 2 different teams, by the way .

George Allen went two out of his first 4 years

Our own Leeman Bennett went 2 out of his first 4 years

Denny Green went 4 out of his first 5 years, and 8 out of his first 9

Schottenheimer 4 out of his first 5 years

And MB, you’re missing the entire point of my research and subsequent post. I’m not saying that Smitty can’t do it, but going on a purely statistical conclusion, it’s a ridiculously insane mountain to climb. The main point I had was that even being in this company has not resulted in hardly any Super Bowl success whatsoever. Don Shula? I acknowledged that in the intro, but he was only one and done twice and on his 3rd attempt he won the whole thing, pre-SB era, and followed that up with two consecutive Super Bowls, one being the best team in the history of the sport. Not to mention that he also went to the Super Bowl and lost in 1971.

Bill Walsh? Why in the hell are you even bringing him up? He won the whole shebang the FIRST time he tried. Not to mention the fact that he won 3 Super Bowls in his entire career.

I do completely agree with you on the “how we play in the playoffs.” I can’t imagine Blank or any owner really committed to winning the whole thing being able to rationalize three straight humiliating defeats.

Your point about Smitty vs. Nolan is contradictory. You say that if we let Smitty go and he goes on to another team to win several rings (man, that’s some sky-high optimism on Smitty’s ability to change and go to a more talented team) and in the same paragraph you say it would be a mistake because of Nolan’s past record and inability to change. The only reason I mentioned that about Nolan is because of the particular situation we have with several key vets with only a few years left (Roddy, Abe, Babs, Asante).

I understand your points and I acknowledge that it would be a huge risk letting someone that successful in the regular season go. But my point is also, as season ticket holders and fans, what should make us think that anything would be any different with another year? Hell, it would be a nightmare winning each game and having to hear the critics at their fever pitch.

I guess ultimately what the research did for me is help me to understand WHY so many of the media elite and other fans are so skeptical. There haven’t been many (really any) head coaches that have won a Super Bowl after going 0-3 in their first 3 tries, much less 0-4 if that happens.

JB Falcon

December 15th, 2012
3:57 pm

A team doesn’t get to 11-2 without talent, even though it is mis-used talent via poor play calling. What we have, imo, is a very good race car with a driver who doesn’t like to go fast, or is afraid to take a chance. There are better teams that are in worse shape than we are. Put together a team of players with no weaknesses and get a coach who is a genious and you’re still subject to lose on any given Sunday.

D3

December 15th, 2012
3:58 pm

We have basically the same team we had last year so it’s going to be up to the coaching. The next step for us, as fans, is to hurry up and wait. — JB

Barring our defense turning into the 2000 Ravens overnight, we’re screwed then? Just kidding.

D3

December 15th, 2012
4:05 pm

MB — How the hell do we know if we are or are not talented at slot (HD did show talent as a rookie) or DE? Outside of 1st round picks and Lofton (out of necessity), Smitty has created and conducted what’s known as the “Witness Protection Program” where we the fans have seen talent (A-Smith, Sidbury, Mass, Owens, Robertson, Holmes, Konz, Quizz, Cone, DDavis, etc) on the field in action, only to never see them again. Outside of signing Carl Nicks to that huge deal the Bucs did, what else could TD have done besides using his first two picks on OL? Smitty changed not a thing from last year’s OL. Konz only started because Reynolds got hurt.

E43 — We’ll just have to agree to disagree. Our strength is in our passing game with Matt Ryan calling the shots, IMO. And the running game can be excellent from the shotgun and the no-huddle. They’re not mutually exclusive.

Big Lou — Here, Here!

JB Falcon

December 15th, 2012
4:15 pm

D3, anything’s possible. I just know that we ain’t screwed until we get screwed.

Unca' Bob

December 15th, 2012
4:22 pm

Geeze, I wish I would have never posted the Coach’s link. D3, no more requests please.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
4:45 pm

Man some of you folks are touchy. Geez, just putting some facts up, and making conjectures on a slow Saturday.

I did not call anyone names, or use profanity or anger, or any disrespect. Im Just sayin’. The guy has only been in the league 4 years, after inheriting the laughing stock of a franchies….and you are comparing him to Jim Mora Sr, I think is premature to extrapolate his career. Just my opinion.

And for talent, sure we have it, as does just about every other NFL team. I think it is moot. And for MT33, BL, I mentioned that as he has been less and less involved, we have struggled, but D3 brought it to my attention that as long as SM is trying to work MT33 in the game, the game plan is tainted. I agreed.

Chill out. It is all just discussion.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
4:51 pm

But Bill Walsh won a SB, lost a championship, then went 3 one and dones….At that point, his trend was heading for a 4-12 season. I could hear the “they figured him out” discussions. Only point is, trends can be very misleading. I don’t put too much weight on them, I watch how the players play, how they respond to adversity…Time will tell. No reason to attack anyone personally.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
5:01 pm

Wade Phillips made the playoffs 3 times in his first 5 years, with 2 different teams, by the way .

George Allen went two out of his first 4 years

Our own Leeman Bennett went 2 out of his first 4 years

Denny Green went 4 out of his first 5 years, and 8 out of his first 9

Schottenheimer 4 out of his first 5 years

Good stuff, and I also notice none of the teams any of these guy coached got trophies AFTER the coaches left….And as for why should I think this year should be any different? Competition.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
5:03 pm

But I do know one thing, If I am in Detroit, I hope Smitty comes available.

JJ

December 15th, 2012
5:10 pm

D3, You know better my friend…hook, lined and sinker. I scroll thru and never read the fishermen looking for attention…but Ive done it many times myself, even defended the fishermen one time…crazy I am (yoda talk).

Unca' Bob

December 15th, 2012
5:13 pm

Damn JJ, you can’t spell vodka.

JJ

December 15th, 2012
5:14 pm

My fav line the other day was our esteemed SP, said somethingl to the effect of: “here comes the moth to the light.” right after someone posted something about the fishermen. Good stuff as always sp!

Wings

December 15th, 2012
5:17 pm

Talent is not forever – BL. We are five years into the current window and the talent has not been used to the fullest extent. Not many coaches have the opportunity that HC Smith has with the Falcons players.

Unca’Bob that is pretty funny. I hope we win tomorrow to get things back to normal in the blog.

JJ

December 15th, 2012
5:19 pm

lol, actually yoda talk is real my friend, at least in SW. Instead of ” Im the best in FFL”, its “FFL, best I am”.

And have no idea how to spell my “special” water that just wont freeze!!!

Chop Buster

December 15th, 2012
5:21 pm

I am watching last year’s game against the Giants and we were still in this game at the end of the 3rd quarter until Nicks scored an uncontested TD. We had the ball down in the Giant’s 20-30 three times and went for it on 4th and one all three times. We had 2 points and had we simply kicked three field goals for 15 points we would have had 17 points at the end of the 3rd quarter and been tied going into the 4th quarter. Also, why we never threw the ball on any of the 4th and 1s just baffles me. Turner was on the bench shaking his head on the last 4th and 1 attempt because we had an empty backfield and Ryan tries another QB sneak. Playcalling killed us this game, yet we were still moving the ball.

Additionally, the media hyped the Giants and made it sound like they totally dominated us for four quarters when in actuality we stopped the Giant for three quarters. It’s not until the Falcons defense are getting tired in the 4th that they are starting to run the ball on us. Franks and Owens were the CBs if that tells you anything and they still did pretty decent.

I really feel good about our team playing in Atlanta tomorrow against the Giants. These two teams are not that different in its offensive philosophy. Coughlin likes to run the ball and insists on doing it even when we were getting in the backfield shutting their RB down. Difference in the playcalling and defense will be the difference in us beating them tomorrow.

Chop Buster

December 15th, 2012
5:34 pm

Excuse mean they went for it twice on 4th and 1, but were in the Giants 20 – 30 yard area three times.

Unca' Bob

December 15th, 2012
5:51 pm

Chop Buster,

Interesting concept. I DVR’ed the game and never went back to review it. That’s the first time I’ve heard that point of view.

tyler

December 15th, 2012
6:17 pm

Whats up Cage, I am pumped up about tomorrow. The last few games have been a little hard to get up for as a fan, so I can only imagine what the players have been feeling. I am giving the Birds a pass on the last few weeks.
But tomorrow, we need to see some real emotion out of this team, and I beleive it will be there. I expect the best Falcon performance of the year coming off the loss to Carolina (a dangerously talented team by the way).
I hope to see more of Rodgers and less of Turner, and will not be surprised if we get the first real output of offense from Antwoin Smith. Not sure of his name spelling regretably, but I think he has the extra gear that none of the other backs have that can come in handy down the stretch.
I looking for Konz to improve the protection up the middle from last years playoff debacle, and our ball hawking D to pick Eli at least twice.
I dont care who plays or does’nt, this has got to be a team effort win at home against the defending Super Bowl Champs. Lets Go Falcons.

JB Falcon

December 15th, 2012
6:20 pm

We have basically the same team we had last year so it’s going to be up to the coaching. – JB
Difference in the playcalling and defense will be the difference in us beating them tomorrow.- CB
Brilliant minds thinks alike.

The Time is NOW

December 15th, 2012
6:54 pm

Two observations:
There is more than one credible way to interpret the coaching data.
MB – you might want to recheck Walsh’s playoff record.

The Time is NOW

December 15th, 2012
6:56 pm

D3 – Don’t know how I missed Mora, Sr. Where’s the mustard?

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
6:57 pm

Re-read your point D3, agree on a lot of them. Do remember, in the end, we do both want the same thing. It will be interesting to see what happens this year, and I, like everyone else, will be glued to the TV…And I can say, that it ain’t always been that way. I guess I all to remember what it is like to be out of it by mid October, so I just try, hook or crook, to figure out HOW we are gonna get it done, not why we can’t….I am well versed in why we can’t.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
7:00 pm

Time…Good catch… He won 2 SBs, then went 1@done. Thought they lost the NFC championship.

But still, 3 one and done’s. But as you pointed out, stats are just that, not necessarily a predictor of future success.

The Time is NOW

December 15th, 2012
7:01 pm

Any historic achievement is something that has never been accomplished by people in similar circumstances. Winning the first Super Bowl for the Falcons will be an unprecendented event for whatever coach finally accomplishes the feat.

Atlfalconsfan0125

December 15th, 2012
7:03 pm

Why does it seem like the Giants are unbeatable?

Atlfalconsfan0125

December 15th, 2012
7:04 pm

We can win the game tomorrow. It will come down to play calling. But hey, thats why we cleaned the coaches house, right?

The Time is NOW

December 15th, 2012
7:05 pm

They’re not. People are just worried about whether or not the Falcons are really as good as their record indicates.

The Time is NOW

December 15th, 2012
7:06 pm

0125 – response was to 7:03 post

Atlfalconsfan0125

December 15th, 2012
7:06 pm

We will find that out in the playoffs man. Thats what we all are waiting for.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
7:06 pm

Exactly, time…To win a SB, you gotta get to the playoffs. And any Falcon fan can attest, that is easier said than done. But if we get to the playoffs, and win 3 of the luckiest games in the world, I am OK. Like I said, I think like a gambler, not a FB coach. I don’t expect a sure think, I just want a dog in the hunt.

The Time is NOW

December 15th, 2012
7:09 pm

As JB observed, one of our jobs as fans is to wait.

Atlfalconsfan0125

December 15th, 2012
7:10 pm

This is much better than the other two Falcons blogs on this site. I normally post on ESPN. Im glad there are no trolls here.

The Time is NOW

December 15th, 2012
7:11 pm

Its kind of fun to wait in here, sometimes.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
7:13 pm

And I have proven to myself that I am better picking winners by throwing darts, than analyzing talent, schemes, etc etc. Clarity is always so simple to see looking backwards, but it is a freaking roll of the dice when you try and pick the winner. Actually, the most consistent predictor of outcome is going doing the opposite of what everyone else thinks. my opinion.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
7:14 pm

125, it is the opinion here that I am a troll…But your right, people more or less know their falcon football.

Atlfalconsfan0125

December 15th, 2012
7:14 pm

So how are yall feeling about tomorrow?

The Time is NOW

December 15th, 2012
7:16 pm

Sometimes the experts are right. If they are always wrong they don’t tend to remain employed as “experts”. But nobody has a crystal ball that always works. Just sayin…

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
7:16 pm

Hard to say about tomorrow. I think we win, I expect Ryan to be sharp. At least, that is what I hope.

The Time is NOW

December 15th, 2012
7:17 pm

I am hopeful about the game tomorrow.

Atlfalconsfan0125

December 15th, 2012
7:18 pm

@ Bicep

At least we can have a conversation with you without the previous playoff scores repeated over and over and over again.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
7:20 pm

Yea, experts also have access to much more information than I do. Like our lack of production about our slot. Is it HD, Ryan, Playcalling? I don’t honestly know, I don’t have the info. Really, the “experts” get info, info, info.

The Time is NOW

December 15th, 2012
7:22 pm

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned. This is a big game, at home, against a good opponent and reigning Super Bowl Champ, in the national spotlight. Am I nervous? Yes.

The Time is NOW

December 15th, 2012
7:23 pm

Some of my old Falcon angst coming out.

Chop Buster

December 15th, 2012
7:28 pm

Unca Bob, I dvr’d it as well and didn’t rewatch it until this afternoon. Roddy had some drops, but Julio caught some balls and we able to put some long drives together from our 10, 15, 20 area and get down within their 10 yard line once, 20 area twice and then somewhere near the 30. The four times down there would have only given us 12 pts excuse me plus the 2 (14 pts). It was still 17-2 with about 3 minutes left in the 3rd quarter. How is that domination. Also one thing that will stand out to you is their front four didn’t get us much pressure as people say. Smitty was obviously making decisions to go for TDs instead of field goals. But the crazy thing is if we kicked the field goals we’re much closer to winning the game at the end.

Atlfalconsfan0125

December 15th, 2012
7:28 pm

I feel different about Matt Ryan this year in a good way. I cant put it into words, but it seems like he wants it more. We will find out tomorrow if this is true.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
7:29 pm

LOL, Falcon Angst….I know what that is all about….and 125, what makes this blog pretty good is they same guys who try and run me, do run off trolls. It pisses them off I am still here, but my sin is being too positive, and calling out negativity. Like I said, being a falcon fan, I know how hard it is to win, and I sure as hell don’t want Jim Mora Sr, Marty Shott, and the karma of every loser playoff coach heaped on us. Geezz.

Atlfalconsfan0125

December 15th, 2012
7:30 pm

This team owned us in the playoffs last year. It will be good to see where we stand vs them. The players better get revenge!

Atlfalconsfan0125

December 15th, 2012
7:33 pm

@ Matty Bicep

I dont see the troll in you. You seem realistic. But then again I come from the land of trolls (ESPN)…

Chop Buster

December 15th, 2012
7:34 pm

JB and another thing is our front four was getting after Eli, so the Giant’s OL isn’t that good. Abe had Eli on the run almost all game. We took out Cruz and Owns covered Nicks pretty well. Willie Mo went out the 1st quarter and we mostly had backups in. With our new defensive scheme and Asante, McClain added to the team we should give Eli even more problems. Our D stuffed Bradshaw just about all game. Jacobs was the one that had a few big runs. We need to shutdown Wilson and make them one dimensional again.

The Time is NOW

December 15th, 2012
7:47 pm

Off topic.

Bummed out that my daughter decided to have a birthday party for my 4 year old grandson at 2 pm tomorrow. Somebody pull ‘em through for me.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
7:51 pm

All good 125, I probably had a few cocktails too many and maybe said things that were best left unsaid.and did not follow Cage protocol….But it is a good blog in the fact that people generally know Falcon Football.

The Time is NOW

December 15th, 2012
7:53 pm

I’m a grandpa first. But, I’m grateful my son-in-law today told me he’s got my back.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
7:53 pm

Time, it is only a football game. Hold your daughter and grandson tight. But I will throw something at the TV for you if they do something stupid.

The Time is NOW

December 15th, 2012
8:03 pm

Thanks. I suspect I’ll see or hear most of it. Later Cage…

SG

December 15th, 2012
8:06 pm

Tomorrow’s the biggest game in Smitty’s tenure:
Giants appearing to becoming Giants again,
Falcons restaging themselves after Panthers game,
Coughlin vs. Smitty,
Cruz, etal vs. Jones, etal,
Nolan vs. NY front four,
ESPN “Experts” Polling even at 7/7 (incl. computer).

That said and for fun, I’m seeing 30-26 as the final.

ATL = 3 TDs, 3 FGs
NYG = 3 TDs, 1 FG, 1 STY

Let’s enjoy the ride. See you all tomorrow or Monday sometime.

BTW D3, I’ve never appreciated the value of this blog more over 3 seasons than this past week. TY.

Falcons don’t lose 2 in a row,
Dome advantage (IMV, a tad overrated),

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
8:06 pm

SG

December 15th, 2012
8:09 pm

Sorry for lousy checking:

“Falcons don’t lose 2 in a row,
Dome advantage (IMV, a tad overrated),”
should’ve been under ESPN “Experts”…. bullet

falcon21

December 15th, 2012
8:15 pm

Time Now, you are a good man, I have 3 grandkids of my own but my son-in-law has my back also, he will make sure a TV is available!

Arno

December 15th, 2012
8:20 pm

Looking at the teams that had six consecutive one and dones, the average head coach tenure during that span was three and a half years. Briefer than I would expect, but it shows the pressure of the job. Is Smith feeling the pressure? If his reported anger after the Carolina game was true, you bet he is. As AJC’s Schultz said, tomorrow is judgement day for Smith.

falcon21

December 15th, 2012
8:41 pm

Arno, we have Smith for the remaining of the regular season and playoffs or playoff. Will he change his ways? Doubt it. Can Smith save his job with a couple of wins but lose in the first round again? Doubt it. Blank wants a winner and I don’t see him keeping Smith around if we are one and done again.

Arno

December 15th, 2012
8:58 pm

21– They talked about playing their best football in December, coming into form at the right time. Then we got the results– the no show in Carolina. If Smith rebounds, has his team ready to play tomorrow, then I will be the first to cheer. By the way– your son-in-law has your back… who has your son-in-law’s back?

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 15th, 2012
8:58 pm

I’m buying the hype. This game will go a long way in letting us know if we are contenders, or pretenders. Where’s the HEART in this team?!?! I truly hope we play inspired football. I really want to embrace this team whole heartedly…sorta like my younger days, when I engaged in alot of bar/clud hopping. I would bring a younglady home in the wee wee hours, wake up the next morning with my arm draped across her…I would take a peep, see if she was truly what I thought she was (most of the time they wasn’t), if she wasn’t, I slowly removed my arm, cleared my throat, hoping she would wake up and soon depart. If she was a knock-out, I put both arms around her and enjoyed the ride.

The Time is NOW

December 15th, 2012
9:01 pm

Just popping back in with a random thought (hit and run).

We know MS is a numbers guy. If TD is the numbers guy I suspect, he probably already knows all the research that went on in the Cage this week. And I bet AB has people gather information such as this for himself. Just sayin…

The Time is NOW

December 15th, 2012
9:04 pm

Not saying they watch the Cage. Just saying they do the research.

DHunt

December 15th, 2012
9:04 pm

Took me three days to catch up on the Cage. Kind of surprising that the loss to Carolina could engender such a torrent that seems more like a tempest in a teacup, but I shouldn’t downplay the obviously heartfelt feelings because I know in the end it’s real pain coming from real love for the red and Black.

My two cents. After further review, nobody brought their A-game last week, and it showed. In 12 out of 13 so far this season, at least one unit has stepped up to the task even if there were letdowns in other places. In most of those 12 the whole team showed enough tenacity to bring home the W. This isn’t a team that I’m ready to quit on just yet, because even if you don’t like their style sometimes, they have earned a modicum of support. The body of work everyone criticizes is not nearly as bad as some like to portray it, and in some cases not nearly as good as it needs to be. but it is an impressive 4 year run of at least consistently good football, mostly good results, and usually good intentions.

One thing I’m not seeing, is the general offensive and defensive line ineptitude that seems to be the mantra of misery most attributed to the Falcons. Granted, there is rarely a true level of dominence displayed by either side in the trenches, but neither is there epic failure. There are minor breakdowns that sometimes equate to highly unfortunate results. But the offensive line is 7th in the league in sacks allowed. 25 other teams are worse than the Falcons in that department. Stats don’t always tell the truth, but that it’s rather harsh to call that the weakest link. Don’t have the stats to bolster the defensive line play, but the eye test says they are getting their share of winning snaps.

Hate to be a hater, but as many have said, this Falcons team will only go as far as Matt Ryan takes them. There have been times when he has had some pressure in his face to be sure. But he was handling it much better earlier in the season. He looks like he is losing his composure in the pocket more in the past few games. Maybe some of the keener eyes in the cage can second guess me on this one, but to mee it looks like he is hopping or shuffling up into the pocket more than he should and thus giving the defense a better shot at disrupting his pass or putting hits on him. It’s been mentioned that other QB’s in the league are experiencing at least as much pressure as MR2 is getting, but the “elite” QB’s are finding ways to slide around and create better passing opportunities. IT also looks like MR2 was somewhat shaken after that 5 interception performance, and may have reverted to his old ways of trying to hard not to make a mistake. It’s one thing to be careful with the football, it’s quite another to not throw it for fear of not having a wide open receiver. Julio, Roddy, and Tony have proven that they will go get the ball. It’s time for Ryan to go back to giving them a chance to make a play. Anytime Julio has one on one coverage he should be considered open and Matt should put the ball up there and let him make a play.

Some of this is play calling, but I have a hard time believing that plays that worked well earlier this season are all of a sudden not viable. I also believe that Ryan will step up his game and start giving us more of those stellar performances the Falcons need to be the offensive juggernaut we all know they can be. We can’t run to set up the pass, but we can pass to set up the run. That’s the M.O. that will lead to those 2 more victories we need in the regular season and give the best chance to get that playoff monkey off their backs.

Arno

December 15th, 2012
9:05 pm

Time NOW– great contributions to the Cage this week. Thanks.

The Time is NOW

December 15th, 2012
9:09 pm

DHunt – Outstanding post!

OK, I lied. Now I really gotta go.

The Time is NOW

December 15th, 2012
9:10 pm

Arno – Thanks. Same back at ya.

falcon21

December 15th, 2012
9:16 pm

Agree 100% Arno, if we can get a win tomorrow the excitement will be back. Just a little worried here. As for the son-in-law, my daughter has his back as long as he takes care of her daddy.The girl loves her daddy. Can you say PROUD? Yes I am!!!

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

December 15th, 2012
9:25 pm

Its really telling when a Coach has coached a team to 11-2 record…and feeling the pressure to win against the Giants. IMO, Chickens are coming home to roost, those playoff loses are are finally beginning to figure into the equation. The only thing that will stop the momentum of pressure bulid-up are wins, Ask Coughlin.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
9:41 pm

Exactly Somebody, nobody wants to even think about the consequences of a playoff L….adversity either crushes a team, or makes it stronger. Tomorrow is a catch 22, it we win, we beat the team that Cincy beat, if we lose, we lose to the team that beat 49ers….And neither result does anything for our playoff record.

falcon21

December 15th, 2012
9:48 pm

It’s just under 15 hours until game time. We will see what we are made of. Later Cage!!!

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
9:55 pm

Vegas has us up 1.5 pts…

Big Lou

December 15th, 2012
10:20 pm

“But the offensive line is 7th in the league in sacks allowed.” -Dhunt

My lord, will people stop using sacks as the only stat that shows the ineptness of the offensive line?

THE QB DOES NOT HAVE TO BE SACKED FOR THE LINE TO FAIL.

When they power the A gap, it prevents Ryan from throwing accurately–heck, any non-mobile QB like Ryan. You want to know where his miscues happen, then actually watch the dang tape.

Yes, Matt Ryan has made mistakes like every other QB in the league, but you’re naive to think the offensive line is doing a good job.

Most of the time Ryan is not sacked because he gets rid of the ball quickly. Why don’t you tell us the stats of QB hits instead, or average time to throw.

“There have been times when he has had some pressure in his face to be sure. But he was handling it much better earlier in the season. He looks like he is losing his composure in the pocket more in the past few games.”

No, you’re just not looking at the defense adjusting to use man on man to press the Receivers in third and long situations[(which has been happening since the Raiders game)also created by bad calling with Turner up the middle in the first place] to counter the quick throws. Also, the beginning of the season… we contended with weak defensive lines. (Kansas, Denver, San Diego, ect.) When we went against good defensive lines, the o-line collapsed(Raiders, Panthers–7sacks, Arizona, ect.).

Birdman

December 15th, 2012
10:23 pm

I heard a lot say that this is the same team as last year . To me tomorrow will tell that story. If we lose yes But if we win no.

They ran the ball more last year and the defense is better this year .Its gonna be a hard hill to climb tomorrow. The Giants are in a situation that they really need this one bad and they are coming full force ,no holds bared . As I said tho if our Birds lose its gonna take most of the wind out of there sail for the playoffs If they can stop the Giants run game to about 70 or 80 yards or even less and protect Matt Ryan in the pocket then the Birds will win . If not the Falcons are in for a long day.

This is there pre playoff game for sure because they will probably face the Pack the way things are looking in there first round

Big game coming time to show us if they can make a stand.. GO FALCONS !!!!!!!!!!!

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
10:31 pm

Our O-line is not perfect, but whose is? Green Bay has maybe the worst in the league, does that mean that GB does not stand a chance? Chicago? Also, Brady was hit nearly every play in Texas, but he still made plays. I am not dumping on Ryan, but he has to make plays under pressure, staring down the gun barrel, and with hands in his face if he wants to be a top 5 QB. We go as far at Ryan takes us….It goes with the job description.

falcon21

December 15th, 2012
10:35 pm

Big Lou, I know you don’t care but you just got my respect, great comment.

DHunt

December 15th, 2012
10:37 pm

Big Lou, not saying the O-Line play is “good”. I’m just saying it isn’t as dismal as almost most of the analysis of this team postulates. I freely admit that sacks aren’t the only stat, perhaps not even the most important one, in the evaluation of the O-Line. But you can’t convince me that press coverage is having that much of an effect on our receivers. Not when I see Julio abusing cornerbacks at the line of scrimmage play after play. And I honestly don’t see Ryan getting rid of the ball sooner these past few games. Quite the contrary, it seems he is double clutching far more often, almost as if he wants to throw a pass but isn’t quite confident enough to let it go.

And since Ryan reportedly watches as much tape as anyone, he should see where the pressure is coming from and HE should be the one making some kind of adjustment. Perhaps holding a back in for extra protection. Perhaps a little bit deeper drop. Certainly not stepping up so much into that interior line pressure.

If it’s so very clear to everyone watching, I suppose we should be seeing some adjustment to compensate for it in the near future.

DHunt

December 15th, 2012
10:39 pm

So the Panthers have a great defensive line, but they only got one sack and 6 hits on over 40 dropbacks last Sunday. Seems like an arguement for a line that is at least performing adequately.

Matty Bicep

December 15th, 2012
10:40 pm

Tomorrow is bandwagon game, it is either all aboard, or they disappear like rats off a sinking ship. Personally, I will be looking at our Oline, How Ice handles disruption, and if we can stop thier new RB. But the end of the day, we have 2 more games before the playoffs start, I don’t forget that.

Big Lou

December 15th, 2012
10:45 pm

“Our O-line is not perfect, but whose is? Green Bay has maybe the worst in the league, does that mean that GB does not stand a chance? Chicago? Also, Brady was hit nearly every play in Texas, but he still made plays. I am not dumping on Ryan, but he has to make plays under pressure, staring down the gun barrel, and with hands in his face if he wants to be a top 5 QB. We go as far at Ryan takes us….It goes with the job description.” -Troll

I am gonna feed you for a second.

GB has a MOBILE QB.
Chicago’s QB has been knocked out of the game twice… wtf are you smoking?
Brady was not hit through the A gap, and also had times where he had ample time to throw. Please learn to read. It’s the Texans… they have a horrible defensive line. Their LB play is what gets sacks.

The. Offensive. Line. Is. Bad.

I will not feed anymore.