2013 Atlanta Falcons Predictions (Guest Post Pt. 2)

Part 2 from Cage Member Anthony Scott Cooper (Coop)

Ugly First Game (AJC)

7. Sunday, Oct 20th vs. Tampa Bay 1:00 pm

Following the SNF, MNF, BYE, it will be nice for the fans to get back to a regular ol’ Sunday afternoon game. Further, after 3 straight AFC East games, the Falcons gear up for an NFC South foe looking to rebound after a couple of down years. Some think this could be Josh Freeman’s make it or break year, but with the coaching changes a year ago and all the upgrades to the D in this offseason, I think he’ll get at least one more year if they don’t improve greatly this year. Make no mistake, Freeman is a talented physical QB, but he hasn’t had the coaching, preparation, and supporting cast to hang with one Matty Ice.

The Bucs almost conceded that in the offseason by bringing in CBs and Safeties to help defend against MR2, Drew Brees, and company. Passing for the Falcons will be more challenging than most games, but after watching JJ11 torch San Francisco in the NFC Championship game, I simply don’t fear any secondary in the league this year. Further, SJax39 is an upgrade over Turner, so we should be able to move the ball on the ground more. Division games are always tough, but the Bucs are the worst team in the division. Falcons 24 – Bucs 13 (5-1)

8.)  Sunday, Oct 27th @ Arizona 4:25 pm:

Mass with a Big Debut (AJC)

‘Member when the Cardinals were good? You ‘member… they had that guy who used to play with the Greatest Show on Turf. You ‘member, they had Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald who made up arguably the best WR tandem in the NFL. You ‘member, they played us in the playoffs when Matt Ryan was a rookie. You ‘member, Keith Brooking blew a coverage that kept us from advancing and they almost beat the Steelers in the Super Bowl… you ‘member, don’t ya’? Well those days are long gone. This team has a new head coach, Boldin won a Super Bowl with the Ravens, and the QB position has seen the likes of Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, and now Carson Palmer. Meanwhile, Larry Fitzgerald just had his worst season of his career.

Oh, and there’s the small thing about the Atlanta Falcons being the new Greatest Show on Turf and sporting the top WR tandem in the NFL with a top 5 elite QB in Matt Ryan. Some think the Cards will be better and challenge the Hawks and 49ers. I agree, but only because of divisional rivalries. Our Birds outclass this team and should have little trouble dispatching them. Plus, the Falcons travel and perform well out west. Just don’t get caught looking ahead to the Panthers. Falcons 31 – Cardinals 24 (6-1)

9. Sunday, Nov 3rd @ Carolina 1:00 pm

I often can’t decide our biggest rival. It has to be New Orleans of course, but those damn Bucs! And now this outrageous Scam Newton… man, I hate that guy! Anyway, this game is very scary for us. We just came back from a game that should have been easy and we tinkered around too much… probably looking forward to this game. Well, in the words of Herm Edwards, “HELLO!” the Seahawks are next week and we’re 6-1 right now. Hard not to see the Falcons come out flat in this game. The Panthers will be better this year, though I’m not sold on Newton growing up mentally. That said, we have a difficult time containing him and on this day, Matt won’t be able to produce enough offense. Panthers 27 – Falcons 17 (6-2)

10. Sunday, Nov 10th vs. Seattle

McClain with a Pass Breakup (AJC)

One of 2 NFL darlings this year, the Seahawks are on everyone’s radar to challenge for the NFC Championship. Most of the talk you’ll hear is about Russell Wilson and their fantastic defense. Pay no attention to that. The Falcons have shown that when they operate on all cylinders, no defense on the planet can contain them. I still chuckle watching reruns of Roddy White torching Sherman in the playoffs last year. Assuming our WRs don’t get thrown out for fighting their DBs, our offense will be fine. So that leaves Mr. Wilson. I mentioned this earlier, but almost every QB suffers from the sophomore slump. Maybe it’s that defenses adjust to certain tendencies, perhaps the QB slacks off on their offseason workouts and preparation due to endorsements and interviews, or maybe rest of the team slacks off thinking that the super QB will do it all.

Whatever the case, something happens in the second year. While I have seen some websites that counter the sophomore slump as a myth, they mostly say that the QB was still good, everything else factored into losing. For instance, one site said Matt Ryan was still good in 2009, but got hurt. Yeah, sophomore slump… maybe a jinx. Regardless, the team didn’t make the playoffs and regressed. Look for the Hawks, Skins, Colts, and 49ers take a step back. They may still be very good and make the playoffs, but they won’t look like the juggernauts they were when this past season ended. Big revenge game for the Hawks, but Smitty found a few coaches he is better than. Pete Carroll is one of them (steady Smitty > cheating Carroll). Oh, and it’s a west coast team playing on the east coast at 1:00 pm. Falcons 27 – Seahawks 16 (7-2)

11. Sunday, Nov 17th @ Tampa Bay 1:00 pm:

Most Blocking SJax had all night (AJC)

Another of those “trap” games. We just survived the hyped rematch with Russell Wilson and have the dreaded Saints in just 4 days. The Birds will struggle in this one and let on e they should always win slip away. Why? Just cause. Division games are tough and Matt always has at least 2 bad games. SJax39 won’t be able to help and we’ll likely get run over since our passing game will keep the Bucs close and allow them to run the ball. Buccaneers 20 – Falcons 17 (7-3)

12. Thursday, Nov 21st vs. New Orleans 8:25 pm:

This game will go an awful long way toward deciding the division. I have the Saints at 7-3 entering Atlanta with losses to our Birds, the Patriots, and the Cowboys. I have this particular matchup scheduled in goats blood on my blackberry calendar (hey, I’ve been to Haiti, I know how to fight that Orleans voodoo). Brees and company will be fuming from the spanking we already gave them in the Superdome. Watch for this game to be VERY explosive in the first have. I absolutely expect to see fighting along the two sets of lines. You can also expect to be the national media underdog again this year, but something big is about to happen. I’ve already started to notice the public take the Falcons seriously. After this game, the favored swamp sons will start to lose their luster in the media’s eyes as well.

They’ll begin discussing what Drew Brees will need to add to beat the Falcons. It will be a street fight of epic proportion with each team trying desperately to shut down the passing game of the other. In the end, the advantage will go to Stephen Jackson and Osi Umenyora. SJax39 will have his best rushing day of the year and Osi will find his way to Brees 3 times. The Cage will rejoice in these free agent acquisitions if for nothing else but this one game. Falcons 20 – Saints 16 (8-3)

13. Sunday, Dec 1st @ Buffalo 4:05 pm:

Trufant Held Up Well after Rough Start (AJC)

Talking about the Cardinals falling off the map, have the Bills been any good sense losing 4 straight Super Bowls? The good thing about playing the AFC East is that you are given 3 wins on a silver platter. Tom Brady is still one of the greatest, but the Bills, Dolphins, and Jets are horrible. Again, for a team with Super Bowl aspirations, the Falcons should mark this as a game they can’t afford to lose. Not to contradict my earlier statement that if you’re gonna lose, lose the AFC games; rather, this is a different argument. I count about 7 or 8 difficult games on the schedule.

This isn’t one of them. If you just win these games, the ones you’re “supposed” to win, your playoff hopes are almost taken care of. Then half of the “hard” games and you’re at about 12 wins already. I digress. The Bills were very bad last year and they have made a ton of changes. They traded back to grab E. J. Manuel out of Florida St. They may start with Kevin Kolb, but if Manuel isn’t playing by week 13, he’ll be considered a huge bust already. Watch the Bills only because these hot new QBs coming in have had immediate success. He could be the flash this year while last year’s heroes suffer their slump. Regardless of who plays, Birds roll. Falcons 31 – Bills 10 (9-3)

14. Sunday, Dec 8th @ Green Bay 8:30 pm:

Can Davis Get a Shot at #3 WR? (AJC)

In week 14, most believe that the Saints, Falcons, Packers, 49ers, and Seahawks will be fighting for home field advantage. I agree. The Falcons will have a leg up on the Seahawks and Saints, but two of their last four games come against the Packers and 49ers. The last quarter of the schedule is probably the toughest and most significant. You want home field throughout the playoffs, especially if the alternative is Green Bay in January. So you have a chance to secure it here by beating your competition for those spots. You also can send the message that the Super Bowl comes through Atlanta. Momentum is underrated at Flowery Branch in my opinion. As for this game, I expect to see a shootout between Matt Ryan and Aaron Rodgers.

As the last Saints game was a dog fight with defenses shutting down the passing game, this will likely be a game of Madden played on the partially frozen tundra. The only wild card is the weather. If it’s bad, then I put my money of SJax39 to win the game. However, early December is usually not too bad in Green Bay yet. Therefore, I anticipate a high scoring game with tons of passing stats. JJ11 will grab 2 along with RW and TG. However, Rodgers will prevail in the end and the Cage may start to question a deep playoff run. Packers 38 – Falcons 35 (9-4)

15. Sunday, Dec 15th vs. Washington 1:00 pm:

A Good Play Early (AJC)

RGIII was electric last year… right up to the point where Sean Weatherspoon nearly took his head off. Now Washington is struggling to make it through training camp. Should RGIII play in the preseason? Should he stay under center more? What if he gets hurt and is out by the time this game is played? This plays one of two ways.

Either the Skins keep their offensive formula from last year in which case I predict RGIII is injured and out for this game, or they adapt the offense or his style to protect him and he is 25% less effective. The Skins showed that without RGIII, they had nothing for the Birds. After losing a heartbreaker to the Pack, the Falcons will be motivated to not let another game slip away before the big matchup on MNF. SJax39 will provide more balance than the previous week and the pass defense won’t be as heavily challenged. Falcons 28 – Redskins 15 (10-4)

16. Monday, Dec 23rd @ San Francisco 8:30 pm:

MNF right before Christmas and we are all expecting this game to be huge. Revenge for the Falcons… home field advantage of the line… can we cover a TE… can Matt beat the vaunted 49er defense? Well some of this will be true and some won’t. Like Wilson and RGIII, Kaepernick will regress some this year. Though not a rookie last year, this is essentially his sophomore season. Further, look for Defensive Coordinators who’ve had an offseason of study to implement better schemes to fight the read option. So I don’t expect the Seahawks or 49ers to be fighting us for home field advantage at this point. This game will be about revenge and making up the game we lost in Lambeau. Matt Ryan and the Falcons will have success against the Niners defense. My big concern for this game is our ability to stop the run and defend the flats and intermediate routes.

However, if we haven’t figured out how to cover a TE by week 16, I doubt we’ll be 10-4. My final concern is that Smitty got a little outcoached in the playoffs by Harbaugh. Somewhere along the line, if these Birds are going to the super Bowl, that has to start changing. Smitty turns a big corner on MNF and pulls out a huge win by actually making adjustments at halftime that put the clamps down on the 49ers running game while also corralling Kaepernick. Falcons 17 – 49ers 13 (11-4)

17. Sunday, Dec 29th vs. Carolina 1:00 pm:

That Hand is Heavily Wrapped (AJC)

This game will matter this year because Green Bay will be tough and they will be fighting for home field advantage. Carolina will likely be about 6-9 or 7-8 at this point with not much to play for except beating their rival. The Falcons lost 3 games last year, 1 each to their NFC South rivals. This year they take 4 of 6. Cam Newton is mentally and emotionally as unstable as any QB in the league. When things don’t go well, he pouts and gives up more often than putting his team on his back and rising to the challenge. By week 17, he’ll be hearing questions about whether he’s the right fit in Carolina.

The Falcons conversely will be like rabid dogs with raw meat in their mouths. Matt and company got very close last year. They feel like they didn’t finish the drill. This game will be a small statement in their locker room to finish this drill and prepare for the off-season. They won’t want to lose with a potential BYE week looming in the playoffs. Falcons play loose but strong and win behind timely passing and the legs of SJax39. Falcons 24 – Panthers 10 (12-4)

Final 2013 Record: 12 – 4…… What say you?

The Falcons Cage Podcast

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Episode #8 – Review from Falcons-Bengals Preseason Game – 8/11/13
Episode #7 – A look at Training Camp so Far – 8/4/13
Episode #6 – Cage Members’ Questions Pt. 2 – 7/31/13
Episode #5 – Cage Members’ Questions Pt. 1 – 7/28/13
Episode #4 – Training Camp Preview – 7/24/13
Episode #3 – Look back at Falcons 2013 Draft – 7/21/13
Episode #2 – Defensive Tackle – 7/14/13
Episode #1 – Linebackers – 7/10/13

510 comments Add your comment

Flo-Ri-Duh

August 14th, 2013
12:00 am

Coop – You have quite an imagination…….. now give us a prediction on the playoffs!

Hope you are right.

[...] News here – Atlanta Falcons: The Cage ← The Act of Killing parses memory and [...]

JJ

August 14th, 2013
7:21 am

Nice job Coop. Im at 10-6 but hope your right!!!

SeminoleWarrior

August 14th, 2013
9:20 am

Good morning Cage

The C130 hit the drop zone and once again, Coop, nailed his jump!! Another excellent Airborne day resulting in yet another great piece of work. Outstanding, my friend.

I am taking notes on your style and technique just as I have been watching the master, D3. I may try to see if “Cocoa” can do one of these come the heart and soul of the draft buildup period.

SeminoleWarrior

August 14th, 2013
9:26 am

I am still feeling a 11-5 or at best, 12-4 season for the Falcons. A playoff berth is in the works for sure as we should take the South again. Let me stop right there for a minute and make a point.

Should the Falcons take the division title, and they SHOULD, that will give the TD/CFA regime yet another historic milestone. NO TEAM has ever repeated as NFC South champions. It would be very nice to achieve that this year.

But there is another historical nugget that I want to break this season. And it will be a challenge but if the intensity, focus, and drive are there, it can be achieved.

We are the ONLY team in the NFC South that has NOT won the NFC championship since the inception of the division. I REALLY would love to break that trend this year which would make the RW84 prediction of SB or bust a reality.

SeminoleWarrior

August 14th, 2013
9:34 am

Back to regular programming…

The NFC South is an improving division. It has always been war within the division and I do not expect that to change much in 2013. But again, if the focus and intensity are there, the Falcons can and should win this division. We seem to always split with the Saints, Panthers, and Bucs and I honestly do not see any reason why that will not change in 2013.

Then there are the challenges that will come from Seattle (that rushing attack and Wilson are legit) and Green Bay in earl December. “A Game” effort will be needed in both contests.

11-5 is where my heart really lies with an absolute best of 12 wins this season. The division title and a #2 seed are most likely but do not be surprised at all if JJ’s 10 and a wild card come to be as well.

It will all come down to execution, intensity, focus, and rapid development/maturity of certain players.
And a little intensity shift within the coaching ranks would be nice as well.

Arno

August 14th, 2013
9:45 am

I found myself looking forward to Coop’s Part 2 and was not disappointed. Engaging and entertaining. The @ Charlotte I have as important. It’s the type of game we’ve tended to drop in the past. A win here would show a Falcons team taking the next step.

SeminoleWarrior

August 14th, 2013
9:53 am

This transformative season, one in which we are reconstructing our OL and our secondary, will surely result in some growing pains. But if they can find that intensity, focus, and develop rapidly, it will make for an interesting season and hopefully, a season that will make history.

But remember, the second term is establishing a “blueprint” for the evolution of the Process, part II.
in 2014, the schedule is intriguing as we will play, in some rotation, our NFC South rivals as well as some combination of the NFC and AFC northern division teams.

JB Falcon

August 14th, 2013
10:46 am

Coop, 12-4; JJ, 10-6; SW, 11-5. I’ll take anything that can get us in the door to the playoffs. I’m not too sure about the 6-1 start and won’t worry if we do start a little slow. I expect to see improvement from one game to the next. We’re starting some young players who can only get better. I just read where the Texans started out at 11-1 last year and ran out of gas. I expect us to do the opposite. 10-6 will get us there and then we can win it ALL.

LRD

August 14th, 2013
10:52 am

Coop.. The Voodoo that you do, soooo well! Very nicely done man!!
I have to agree with JJ.. I see us at 10-6… for now.. I will revise probably after the last Pre-Season game.. but the reason for the doubting on my side..we cannot continue to rely on Ryan to pull our butts out of the fire in the final minutes of a game.
Unless our D finally steps up, we will run the risk of losing games due to 1) the opposing D changing up in the half 2) our D not adapting and not getting 3 and out.
I still think our best D is our Offense staying on the field as long as possible. With SJAX in the mix, I am hoping we can eat the clock more in the 2nd half than we did last year.

I would like to kick the scheduler though for having us have Tampa on Sunday and then the Saints on Thursday. What a kick to the you know whats.. BUT if we are the team we think we are, it should not be an issue…

Joshua malavenda

August 14th, 2013
12:03 pm

Coop- nice post again!

Die Hard Falcon

August 14th, 2013
12:25 pm

Coop — Excellent work again!

I am siding w/ SW on the record, I see 11 – 5 , but like yours much better. We just have such a tough schedule this year and I’m thinking that we’ll go 4 -2 in our division, this year, but instead of beating the hated Aints twice, I think we’ll split w/ them & Carolina and that we’ll beat the Bucs twice.

I would love to sweep the 49ers & Seahawks, but I really think we’ll split w/ them but go 3 -1 vs. the NFC West.

I see us also going 3 – 1 against the AFC East, of course the Pats are always a well-oiled machine.

And finally, I agree that we lose to the Pack but beat the Redskins, so that’s how I see our 2013 season

Go Falcons!!!

Coop

August 14th, 2013
12:35 pm

Cage – Thanks for the kinds words! This has been a very exciting exeperience. I’m glad that some of my musing hit the right nerves or funny bone.

So far, one of the more pessimistic members has the most optimistic prediction… ME. I hope I’m right too.

JB Falcon

August 14th, 2013
12:57 pm

Coop, excellent writing. I’ll go with 13-3 just so you won’t feel so lonely in the world of optimism. I will, however go as low as 9-7 IF we can get into the playoffs with it.

SeminoleWarrior

August 14th, 2013
1:49 pm

Will miss my Pod Cast brothers tonight; have to hold down the fort in the old forecast center but will post some comments later tonight if I get a chance.

Extra seat possibly available so contact D3 if you are interested. JB F, I still trying to get you or your first lady to give it a roll?

Joshua, hit D3 up via email for the details. Give it a try.

Breaking right…see you all on the other side. Again, Coop, HOOOOOOOAH!! Great job, bro!!

SeminoleWarrior

August 14th, 2013
1:51 pm

LRD, I think you could be a great asset to the show. Give it a shot.

Anyone, everyone….give it a try. Contact D3 or JJ for details. Laters!!

Birdman

August 14th, 2013
3:26 pm

I think 12 & 4

Matty Bicep

August 14th, 2013
4:42 pm

I think we go 3-1 in games that are “over” by the beginning of the 4rd quarter, ie, games that never get closer than 14 pts.

I say we go 7-5 in games that come down to the last drive, one way or the other …That puts us at 10-6, good enough to win the NFC south on a tie breaker with the Panthers.

JJ

August 14th, 2013
5:13 pm

Heres my 10-6 and I pray Im wrong, which I usually am, so theres hope from my perspective. This is my floor prediction, not ceiling. Ifthe stars and smitty align, love Coops , JB and especially snacktastics prophosy!

- split nfc south: Like SW, do not see anything changing. Many are overlooking tampa bay. If freeman plays up to his 2011 level, this team has ALL the other pieces in place.
So theres 3 loses.

- loses at Seachickens (revenge gm), at fudge Packers and at Colonoscopy, SF.

Weary of the Cards, Miami and Pats but think we got them.

Very tough schedule but not one team scares me.
Growing pains expected along the OLO, but expect us to come together and steamroll into the playoffs.

JJ

August 14th, 2013
5:18 pm

Podcast will be rescheduled, our fav school teacher had to stay after school and is now loving the traffic on 285!!!

JB Falcon

August 14th, 2013
5:23 pm

JJ, be sure and put up a link after, or whenever, the cast gets started. Thanks!

JJ

August 14th, 2013
5:31 pm

JB, why dont you join in? Want to hear your voice and you really will have fun. We may have it later today, D3 justed texted and hes clearly agitated in traffic!

Rocky

August 14th, 2013
5:35 pm

Forget JB, We want MRS JB!!!!, probably more falcon savy and knowledge!!!

Arno

August 14th, 2013
6:38 pm

JB– Don’t have to wait for JJ to post the link. As soon as the cast gets going you can click on any of the cast links above. Then click on ‘The Falcons Cage Podcast’ under the header. It should take you to the current podcast.

Rocky

August 14th, 2013
6:45 pm

No podcast tonight cagers, D3 has his panties in a wad with school and traffic and thats ok, He does and spends so much time on this cage that he gets a pass when ever he needs one and today is one of those days. He also has 2 little ones and wife to juggle so D3, take ur time buddy! Plenty of time for podcast!!!

JB Falcon

August 14th, 2013
7:07 pm

Thanks Arno. JJ, I guess there will be more time for things to happen to talk about come Sunday. I figure Flappo will be on the menu. These Thurs night games suck with having to go to work Fri. We get a Sat game after that and then another Thurs.
This LB situation is turning into a monster problem. Everyone loves Banks’ story but he ain’t getting any positive ink. We’ll still have to let another LB go and that’s where I’m running into a wall. Maybe a few more games will sort things out. I would love to see Joplo replace Nicholas but everyone says we need to keep Nicholas, at least as a back up. So that means we still have to let a darn good LB go to another team.

LRD

August 14th, 2013
7:15 pm

HAH.. D3 had to stay after and clean the erasers after he wrote, I will not Falcons Blog while at work 500 times…. non cursive…

I need to get the link again for the podcasts.. maybe I can sneak on one..

Radio had Tony G is rejoining the team on Sunday.

LRD

August 14th, 2013
7:23 pm

LRD

August 14th, 2013
7:25 pm

Hit enter to quick.. but if you look at his scores they are all 1 -3 pt games.. and I will go back to we cannot rely on Ryan to pull our bacon out of the fire all season. I am not saying he cant just saying that eventually the well will dry up

JB Falcon

August 14th, 2013
7:50 pm

LRD, Priscoe is very knowledgable but , like he said. “It’s fun”. I noticed about 85% of his predictions were very close with very few blowouts. Either way, a win is a win. Even still, I ain’t buying the 31-30 SB score. We had the Bengals 3-0 with the first teams in there so let’s say he is Sorenop (Johnny Carson) that would make the score like 30-27 Falcons.

Big Ray

August 14th, 2013
8:55 pm

Good stuff yet again, Coop .

Big Ray

August 14th, 2013
9:04 pm

LRD

August 14th, 2013
9:06 pm

Y all seen the Rise Up Idemic commercial yet?? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o7dUn27ZJQ

Big Ray

August 14th, 2013
9:08 pm

With each passing day, Seminole Warrior looks more and more like he had it pegged:

http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/article_external/pff_grades_desmond_trufant_and_robert_alford/14284943

Kens Strickland

August 14th, 2013
9:13 pm

COOP-12-4 is exactly what I predicted earlier in the off season. I can’t explain why, but it seems some are looking for excuses to underestimate this yrs Falcons. After what this team & its OFF have accomplished over the last 5yrs with all of the OL concerns during that period, how can there be so much doubt now.

We managed to win 14gms last yr with virtually no rushing attack, no pass rush, a weak rushing DEF, only 2 cover CBs(McClain & Samuel) & OL issues at OC & RG. Konz definitely solves last yrs OC issue, & if a healthy Reynolds plays as well as he did before his season ending injury, he’s definitely an improvement at RG.

It seems that no matter how well our team & OL does, we always have those who try to use it as an excuse to predict doom & gloom.

Big Ray

August 14th, 2013
9:15 pm

If you didn’t believe me about the source of some of Dominique Davis’ struggles, then read this. No, it’s not an alibi for Davis, it’s more than that. It also shows that we have got to get things going with this unit or we’re going to have more depth issues at a critical skill position than we are expecting.

We have two issues at WR.

1) Julio isn’t guaranteed to stay healthy, and it may be that he misses some key games.

2) HD can’t be counted on as a legit #2 WR. Wait…is he still considered a legit #3 WR?

http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/article_external/atlanta_falcons_receivers_coach_underwhelmed_by_youth/14288495

JB Falcon

August 14th, 2013
9:19 pm

BR, 9:04, do you really go around and look for pessimistic websites/opinions?

D3

August 14th, 2013
9:37 pm

BR — I would only qualify that Trufant started the game vs. the #1 squad, whereas Alford came on later. No trying to downplay the grades, but I like both the guys. We’re set as pie for the future at CB.

JB Falcon

August 14th, 2013
9:49 pm

BR, 9:08, so you go to Google and type in “why will, in your opinion, the Atlanta Falcons suck?” I really had you pegged for one my cagers on the “optimism” side. That’s okay.
“but it seems some are looking for excuses to underestimate this yrs Falcons.” – KS
“It seems that no matter how well our team & OL does, we always have those who try to use it as an excuse to predict doom & gloom.” KS, again
I can’t jelp but agree with Ken.
“IF” a frog had wings he wouldn’t bump his azz when he hopped. “IF” is the most powerful word in the English dictionary.
I know you are being realistic but the fact is, we’ve done towed this car to the strip, and it is what it is. Win or lose. (You know I used to drag race)
Holmes might be a bust, but we don’t know until he has a chance. MR might break a leg in the next game. We don’t know but I tend to look at the bright side of things. I woke up this morning and was warm and breathing. The good Lord gave me another chance to kick some azz and there’s no way I’m going to start the day with a negative attitude. We will not repeat the Miami deal with a perfect record but I think we have enough weapons to bring home the Lombardi.

Big Ray

August 14th, 2013
10:04 pm

D3 ,

Can’t say I disagree with you on that. I don’t think the author disagreed, either. I think he took that same thing into account. If you read his words, it’s like Alford was easily better than Trufant. But if you read his grades , you see that he only gave him a grade that was .01 better.

What I’m saying is that I think SW is right – Alford is a hard-working guy with the kind of skills that will show he is no less a talent than Trufant. Of course, that does remain to be seen and like you, I’m only happy that there’s no apparent drop off between those two guys, regardless of which round they were picked in.

Personally, I hope for two Pro Bowlers….

Big Ray

August 14th, 2013
10:06 pm

JB ,

You really ought to know better than that. If you’re convinced that I’ve gone to the dark side, then we’ll just agree not to even talk. Because you’re not just out in left field with that, you’re somewhere in the dang parking lot.

However, if you’re just yankin’ my crank, then I’ll be happy to explain my thought process.

Coop

August 14th, 2013
10:11 pm

I’ll add one caveat to the Trufant/Alford discussion. Ceilings… Is Alford at his ceiling or overachieving and does Trufant still have room to grow. It will take a couple years to see for sure.

Big Ray

August 14th, 2013
10:13 pm

Ken S ,

There will always be folks who will find a reason to underestimate the Falcons. I daresay most of those folks fall into one (or both) of two categories – fans of opposing teams and members of the media.

There will always be folks who have concerns about certain things.

Knowing the difference between the two types of folks is fundamental. Not letting anybody rain on your personal parade is the key. It’s why the Cage is such a great place to be. We tend to know how to balance things, even if not right away. After all, how do our opinions affect reality? They don’t. Neither pessimism nor optimism in this forum nor any other will affect what WILL happen by any stretch of anybody’s imagination.

I hate making predictions, but I could go with 12-4, it just becomes more and more believable as you go along, assuming things continue to go well.

I think that there will be struggles early on in some areas, but the best metal is forged in some of the hottest fires (and sometimes through sub-zero quenching).

Matty Bicep

August 14th, 2013
10:14 pm

BR, as much as I dislike HD out of the slot, I think he does alright at he # 2 WR spot, he runs an ok route, he just does not make good

Matty Bicep

August 14th, 2013
10:15 pm

Continued…good moves in tight spaces.

Big Ray

August 14th, 2013
10:19 pm

Coop ,

I wouldn’t consider that a caveat as much as I would call it a very good point. My early and completely uneducated guess is that Trufant has more room to grow. He’s got the pedigree and there’s a reason why we went up to get him (well, from an evaluator’s perspective, anyway) instead of waiting to get Alford later.

Big Ray

August 14th, 2013
10:23 pm

MB ,

Agreed. I’d rather have somebody else in the slot than HD, and maybe that really is the source of the issues. Problem is, we practically never see him play anywhere BUT the slot because of how good (and big/strong) Roddy and Julio are.

It’s almost a fail waiting to happen because HD simply cannot compare to either guy when he DOES play on the outside. Funny thing is, I can’t understand why HD doesn’t do so well in tight spaces….

The other thing is this – will Davis/Cone/whomever really shine better in the slot than they would outside? Again, not enough reps to prove one way or the other. Cone seems more like he’s made for the outside and I haven’t seen moves by Davis that show he’s an elusive guy once the ball is in his hands. What he does is run a pretty good route, then makes some tough catches.

HD actually can do some nasty stuff in regard to YAC. But it’s been a looong time since we’ve seen him do it without either slipping and falling or somehow failing to otherwise make a play. Frustrating.

I do not have the answers.

falcon21

August 14th, 2013
10:26 pm

Having concerns for your team is not being pessimistic, hell that is just being a fan. It is how the Cage has been for years. It has worked pretty well so far!!!

Matty Bicep

August 14th, 2013
10:34 pm

HD has more speed than quickness, maybe it is he knee, but he is inconsistent in the slot, when he has to read an react. He just seems more fluid and comfortable running from the wide out….as far as cone and davis, I have not seen emough, but Davis has been productive….I liked the way James Rogers caught a pass, he just looked really comfortable and might be a natural slot guy too.

Matty Bicep

August 14th, 2013
10:38 pm

But HD ain’t not JJ, or roddy, but he is a competent sub if needed for a game or two if someone is banged up.