Atlanta Falcons Fall Short in New Orleans…….Again

Eerily Similar Loss Sees Falcons Choke @ Saints

Best you got on 4th and Goal? (AJC)

Is this the 2013 NFL season or are we stuck in 2013 playoffs? The Falcons started their season almost exactly the way the ended it, yards short of victory. As will be discussed in this post, it’s only mile one in a long marathon, but fans are tiring of seeing the same mistakes pop up and cost the Falcons wins when they seem to as talented as any team in the NFL. The team from Flowery Branch might deserve a new nickname of “Schizophrenic Falcons,” where they predictably come out fairly strong, hit a lull, let the team back in the game, and when they realize they have to pull it together at the last moment, they do. And then the part comes where they fall short. Again, there’s a reason they call it “overreaction Monday,” where fans wait for 7 months to see their team play and a loss seems so crushing. The reality is that it’s a long season and even most of the recent Super Bowl Champions (Ravens, Giants x 2, Packers) didn’t even have that great of a regular season. But the Falcons have some major issues that need fixing if they want to accomplish the goals they aspire towards. To the loss that was………..

Not the End of the World…………..

Terrible OL Blocking (AJC)

As mentioned above, it’s not the end of the world. Part of it is having the buildup of seven months, talking, researching, and discussing the season ad nauseum, especially the first game against your biggest rival. The truth is that it’s a very, very long season and there are surely tons twists and turns around the corner. There’s no big shame in losing a heavyweight fight against your biggest rival and playoff contender on the road with a chance to win the game at the very end. There was the issue of not having Asante Samuel, Stephen Nicholas, and very limited Roddy White, but the Saints had a ton of injuries as well. It was a game full of hype that the Saints desperately wanted to win in Sean Payton’s return. There were plenty of positives, as will be discussed later, and the sky isn’t falling yet.

……but, Same Issues are Still Present

One Team Overcame their Turnover (AJC)

No, the universe didn’t spontaneously combust after we lost the first game to the Saints, but it’s the same old crap that is getting the Falcons beat when they should’ve easily won. Stop if you’ve heard these before: poor offensive line play, no pass rush, weak tackling, mid-game lulls, key turnovers, dropped passes and potential interceptions, and of course the always favorite redzone choke-fests. Seminole Warrior called it a “disconnect” a long time back and our good friend was obviously onto something. It’s unfair and simply too easy to place all the blame on the head coach, so this net is a wide one, including the General Manager’s massive failure to address either of the lines. The Falcons don’t have the roughest part of their schedule directly next, but it ain’t that easy either. Can someone, anyone at least try to get these issues fixed.

The Coin Toss Stupidity

Dent vs. Colston....Great Idea (AJC)

Obviously, this isn’t the biggest issue in the world, but Mike Smith has had a fetish for “getting the ball” first regardless of playing at home, the opponent across the field, or any other factor. It’s just one belief of course and it supposedly has merit on getting rhythm and points first, and thus being able to pin your ears back on defense. Well, the downside is that if you go three and out, especially on the road in a hyped environment, it’s a major lose-lose. The crowd gets even more into it and you don’t have the chance to get the ball in the second half as a potential safety valve. It just doesn’t make a lot of sense at all, particularly on the road. Sure enough, the Falcons went 3 and out, the crowd got even more hype, and the Falcons missed a big chance at a momentum shift and crucial possessions.

The Young CB’s Showed Up

Alford Balled (AJC)

When news came across that Asante Samuel wasn’t suiting up, fans immediately started to panic about the young cornerbacks playing against one of the best quarterbacks and receiving corps in the NFL. Well, they stood tall and played lights out for the most part. Desmond Trufant, Robert McClain, and Robert Alford all played really well overall, especially considering the lack of pass rush. All three were tested early, often, and on deep passes All three had some big deflections on the Saints best receivers. It wasn’t all perfect by any means, but it was a superb effort that should only build confidence going forward, and it’s a great preview (hopefully) of what the Falcons cornerback corps will look in the future.

Failure on All Levels on Offensive Line

Ryan Played Well, Considering

Red Zone Choke Artists

Defense Played Well Enough to Win

Same Old Issues @ LB, Lack of Pass Rush

SJax Looked Good, with Limited Carries

Missed Opportunities

That Old Familiar Lull

Overreaction or Just More Proof?

Rest of post coming very soon……

The Falcons Cage Podcast #12 – Falcons Lose @ Saints (warning: not for the faint-hearted)

608 comments Add your comment


September 9th, 2013
11:11 pm

D3, so far so good.

And no, the reaction is not an overreaction. It is genuine care and concern. Why? We have seen this B movie time and time again. And it is getting old. Simply put, there is too much talent on this team to be dealing with this. And too much time and effort has been lost in a failed cross-training, developmental mode at key positions. Depth questions persist, scheme questions persist, effort issues persist, coaching adjustment (lack thereof) still persist.

No, this is not an overreaction. This is a fact that must be addressed.

Coop said it best in the most recent Pod Cast. There is enough talent on this team for the front office to sustain itself. 10 wins is attainable. A playoff berth secures the continuation of this process. A playoff berth buys another chance. So, again as Coop stated, this is as good as it gets. Remember, the front office holds the trump card…

If it gets better, they win!! If they are a playoff team, it continues a streak that is unheralded in team history…so they win. If they repeat as division champs but do not make it to the Super Bowl, we yet again achieve a historic milestone for this franchise, so AGAIN, they claim victory.

Simply put, a winning season and a playoff appearance IS a win for this franchise. They can not lose. Really!!

So what if we do not make the playoffs? Does anyone think for a moment AB will fire ANYONE in the front office?

If we do not make it to the conference championship or the Super Bowl, will the CFA remove EITHER coordinator?

If we do not make it to the conference championship or the Super Bowl, will the CFA have to make some the “sacrificial lamb”?

And ohhhh yeah, there is that little question of the transition. For all the “changes” that have been placed on this roster this season, just wait and see what 2014 brings? Think that we have OL issues now? Oh, do not take a look at next year when Blalock’s $5 million or Reynolds at $2.75 million may get one of them “Clabo” treatment?

How about a defensive front that will feature Osi and “Bier Truck” as the ONLY returning DL players with STARTING experience given our projected free agency?

Oh yeah…TG88 retires again next season. And where is Coffman and his catches. Buried in WPP?
Oh damned, that’s right. Levine will save us next year at tight end.

And there is that little matter of $10 million due to Samuel and White next year? Will we keep them both?

Oh, yes. There is a disconnect. For see, this disconnect, as I always stated, was not about the present. It was about the future. Overreaction…nope. Facts, yes. And they may be painful. But they are going to have to be dealt with.


September 9th, 2013
11:14 pm

Hello D3. Don’t post much but I read every column. Thanks.

I have to agree with you on one point and vehemently disagree on another. I agree the O-line play was horrid all day. Jackson had to find his own holes and Ryan had happy feet all game long. I have to blame Smitty and Dimitroff for this. You can’t have high priced skill players but bargain basement linemen and expect to win. Their philosophy of simply thinking they can just plug in any body and succeed hold no merit and after 5 full seasons, they should know the experiment is a massive failure. Cross training linemen??? Yeah right.

I must disagree though with who is at fault here. While you are correct there is much blame to go around, at the end of the game when you have not one but two chances (3rd and 4th downs) to get 3 yards and can’t, that has to be on Ryan’s shoulders. If you want to be one of the top 3 paid QB’s in the league, you have to GET THE BALL IN THE FREAKIN’ END ZONE! And who would call for a bone headed play bunching all of our skill players in the middle of the end zone in the first place? Use the space you are given.

In the end, while the sky is not falling, the Saints have offered a recipe for success against Atlanta. It doesn’t matter how many skill players you place on offense if the QB is always picking himself up off the ground.


September 9th, 2013
11:25 pm

Before the assassins take aim at me, let me be clear. I am harsh on this team because I LOVE this team. You can not sit idle and assume that everything is going to be okay when continuing trends arise at the most inappropriate times.

It has been evident now for EIGHT games. This team has shutdown, directly or indirectly, now eight times in a row. We have been outcoached and/or outplayed EIGHT straight times. Victory has been in our grasp EIGHT times but has only been secured ONCE. You do the math!!! Is that the making of a champion?

Tampa, Seattle, San Fran……Preseason…..New Orleans. Try and tell me that preseason does not matter. Ok. Believe it if you wish. But if the mind is soft, then so is the attitude derived from it. You can not win or sustain a winning culture long term without a sustainable commitment.

Manage the process and like Coop stated, you emerge in good shape often. Challenge the process and you may find a surprise or two. Submit to the status quo and there too you may find a surprise.
Where do you want to go?

Again, the front office has us at the supreme disadvantage. Because they hold more trump cards than we do. So desperate are we to relevant, so desiring of a championship are we, so willing to believe anything they say…we are at their mercies. WHY? We love this team!!

I believe. I have no choice. It can’t get any worse than times I have seen before. Grits and I were talking about that in the previous blog just as many of us have shared in the past. It does not matter how pathetic they look at times, it does not matter how many they lose, it does not matter. They got us and they know it!! You can’t quit on them if you wanted to; I KNOW I can’t. They know that too.

So, in the words of Sonny and Cher, the beat goes on. We will ride this roll coaster now and for all times. We have no choice….we are hostages. And there is no release in sight.


September 9th, 2013
11:26 pm

Falcons are talented,,your O-line can be fixed,,with experienced under their belt they will.
Saints wanted it more….and they got it. with that said…when your team wants it more they have to go and get it,,take it,,steal it,,what ever it takes..its that simple.


September 9th, 2013
11:31 pm

Wow, just got through watching our last two plays. The 3rd down wasn’t terrible and it wasn’t a perfect throw, but I think SJax should’ve held onto that one. The fourth down call was pitiful. They got to Matt Ryan with a 3 MAN RUSH!!!! Yes, go look it up. That’s just pitiful. Julio and Gonzo were right beside each other and no one bought HD going to the outside. Roddy was double-covered and Quizz was open for a second, but the throw would have had to be perfect. Give credit where it’s due, they defended the hell out of that play because they got pressure with a 3 man rush and than they knew we weren’t going to run it. Love Quizz, but c’mon, you take SJax out in the biggest play of the game? If you look at the clock, we were first and goal at the 1:27 mark or so. We really can’t put the ball in the endzone, and BTW, the first two plays were so much of wastes, that they didn’t even make the highlight reel.

And when I went to look for the video, I got enjoy these headlines……..

“Niner play championship football”

“Young QBs dominate Week 1″

“Is the Saints defense for real?”

“The Cowboys are back”

“Michael Vick has perfect night on offense”

Are we in for a letdown folks? I sure hope not, but I’m preparing myself.

Nite ‘all. Hopefully I;ll wake up less pissed off tomorrow.


September 10th, 2013
1:41 am

You touch it you catch it.


September 10th, 2013
2:10 am

I think your exaggerating the pass rush issue. No team gets to Brees just because they said they would defensively. Especially not the offen$ive minded Falcons. The only team in the NFL that can truly bother Brees is San Fran. But they are deffen$ive minded. I wont be surprised if the falcons got more sacks/hits on Brees than they did all of last year combined.

Also, there’s not one defense from last year that made elite quarterbacks make more mistakes than the Falcons.

I think the Falcons will have less interceptions but get off the field on 3rd down efficiently.

Eric C.

September 10th, 2013
2:27 am

D3, I feel your pain. Lately, the 2-min red zone offense is not good. Jackson looked surprised the ball came his way. But why does it always have to get so critical? And going back for the past few seasons, it isn’t just the better teams the lulls happen against.

That is definitely a great sign to see Trufant and Alford making plays. If they can play well against Brady, I’ll be even more impressed. Alford’s interception was a thing of beauty…really cool to hear on fox about him growing up a huge Saints fan and how his family has switched to the Falcons. I’m interested to hear your perspective on Osi…he looked pretty decent to me.

Eric C.

September 10th, 2013
2:34 am

E43, you make some good points. And there is no doubt that the big key to beating Brees is getting pressure on him. While that is true with all QBs to some extent, Brees seems to wilt a little more quickly when under duress. For all his greatness, he sure makes some boneheaded decisions sometimes when the pocket collapses.

Overheard Somewhere in Flowery Branch

September 10th, 2013
3:04 am

Mike Smith : Well guys, that was a tough loss. But we know what’s wrong and we’re gonna fix it in practice this week.

Arthur Blank : Oh you do, do you? Please. Tell me what’s wrong. Because I am sick to my stomach at the idea of having to look at Tom Benson’s smug (expletive) face at the next owner’s meeting.

Mike Smith : Well, you see, there was that one drive where we had a holding penalty. I have it written somewhere here on my notepad…

Arthur Blank : What? A holding penalty? THAT is why you think we lost?

Mike Smith : Uh, well sir, uh…I have this theory on penalties and turnovers. We did have a turnover where Julio kinda fumbled but if we had just executed every single other play perfectly…I have some other plays that weren’t exactly the way I drew them up…somewhere in my notepad…

Arthur Blank : DAMN you and that notepad of yours! I need somebody in here that makes sense. Tom! Tom! Get your spikey-haired ass in here!

Thomas Dimitroff : Sorry sir, I didn’t hear you. I was watching some footage of a new prospect! It’s so exciting!

Arthur Blank : Oh? Got a first rounder lined up already? Well at least somebody understands that what we have is not going to cut it. So who is he? A standout playmaking linebacker? A huge road grading guard? A defensive tackle that commands a double team? The suspense is killing me, tell me!

Thomas Dimitroff : Uh well, yeah but not in the first round. I was thinking of maybe trading the pick or maybe…you know, Matt Bryant is getting kind of long in the tooth….

Arthur Blank : What the (expletive)?! When are you going to take an offensive lineman? Or a defensive lineman for that matter? The way I see it, we need a Guard, a Tackle…

Thomas Dimitroff : OH no, no sir! I have that all figured out! I know just what to do about those two positions!

Mike Smith : I thought we were going to convert Joe Hawley to play Tackle in case Lamar gives up 30 more sacks between now and week 4? Where IS my notepad? I thought I had it….I bet that Sean took it when we was in New Orleans. He’s always making fun of me over there on the other sideline. I didn’t laugh at HIM when he broke his leg….

Arthur Blank : Him and that damn notepad. He’s going to get himself fired over that (expletive). Nevermind. Tell me about the offensive lineman you’re scoping out. Do you really think it is wise to wait until the third round again to get them? I really think you should do something in the first or second round.

Thomas Dimitroff : Oh no, see that’s the genius of it all! They won’t even get drafted! The minute the 7th round is over, we can swoop right in and take them as college free agents! It’s brilliant, problem solved!

Arthur Blank : I am surrounded by idiots.

Mike Smith : Where? Maybe one of them has my notepad….

Arthur Blank : You’d know where it was if I shoved it up your ass..

Thomas Dimitroff : Anyway, there’s this long snapper in Arkansas and I figure that’s a go for the 3rd round, but what I really like is the idea of getting wide receivers back to back in the first and second rounds….

Mike Smith : Hey look, there’s Matt coming down the hallway. Maybe HE knows where my notepad is. All my statistics are in it, I need those numbers…

Matt Ryan : Guys, can we talk about my protection? I don’t mean to sound like a whiner but –

Mike Smith : Son, didn’t your dad ever tell you about condoms? I prefer Trojan myself but sometimes I get the wrong size and things end up getting a little weird….

Matt Ryan : Huh? Tom, has he lost his notepad again? You know how he gets when he doesn’t have that thing around – can’t focus worth a crap. Listen, I would like to either have somebody else brought in to help with the blocking or else have more plays where I can hand off to Steven. I know he’s almost as old as Mike was, but Steven is built like a brick…um…house.

Mike Smith : Why are you talking about condoms and Steven Jackson? Did he let you borrow some or something? I sure hope this isn’t going where it sounds like it’s going…maybe my notepad is in my other pants….

Arthur Blank : No one is talking about (expletive) condoms! Would you get your head in the game, Mike? If not, I’ll GIVE you a notepad. Full of PINK PAGES that all say the same thing. Can you imagine what that might be?

Thomas Dimitroff : Oh! Oh! I know! It would say “Chief Football Administrator at Flowery Branch” on them, so everybody would know it’s Mike’s notepad and where to return it if lost! Brilliant! Now about those college free agent linemen…I think one has been a Center his whole career but we can probably turn him into a Tackle, meanwhile the other is a tight end who I think we can turn into a Guard….

Matt Ryan : You know, I think I’d be in LESS danger if I started a dog fighting business in Virginia than in the hands of these guys…

Arthur Blank : I can’t take this anymore…my wife is about to collect on my life insurance policy.

Mike Smith : You think I could get white or maybe yellow pages on that new notepad you’re getting me? I don’t think my ink will show up too well on pink….

darrell starks

September 10th, 2013
3:48 am

Falcons need sign Seymour ASAP, I say this because it will only make this team better upfront, plus a more needed size up the middle, explaining myself is why have not brought Richard in is clueless in my opinion.


A front four past rush and a deeper rotation at DT make all the sense in the world when you have no chance of finishing in top 20 in sacks, there is no way as the season progress this defense will become worse with lack of front four domination.


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

darrell starks

September 10th, 2013
4:04 am

Offensive line have been playing bad, adjustment is very important for this team, need 2 run the ball more and play Ewing a lot more to help out Lamar Holmes out until he become more solid as a RT.

Play the more traditional offense with a Fullback and Tailback will allow Matt Ryan more time 2 throw the ball down field and make more big plays.

Also what happen with screenplays 2 the beast, this will stop and also help out the offensive line a lot more, get the ball 2 Steven Jackson and let him go work taking a lot of pressure of this team.


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

darrell starks

September 10th, 2013
4:13 am

Double Tight end will help out OL a lot more.

HD had a great game but this 3 set WR is hurting the Falcons with less protection.

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


September 10th, 2013
5:58 am


Darrell, my brother, what will it take to for you to understand that it is not going to happen. It simply will not happen and there is no need for it to happen. Seymour brings nothing but a waste of money at this point in the game. It’s that simple.


September 10th, 2013
7:13 am

Yes I hope not also D3

But unless something big changes the Falcons will be lucky to even have a winning season let alone playoffs.

As I said a month ago this would probably be one of there hardest games . But to be honest if it would have been San Fran or the Sea Birds or Broncos and a couple more teams . I think it would have been worse than what it was.

With the talent this team has I look none other than to coaching


September 10th, 2013
7:41 am

Morning Cage, some great posts but Im going to wait one more game before storming flowery branch. Im praying it was just one bad game and I still predict 10-6, maybe 11-5 after watching tampa bay.

SW, Rotten luck but I recall what you told me 5 yrs ago…just get in the dance then anythings possible. But I want to help, since Wilson will be in the doghouse for the yr, Ill give you Le;veon who is coming back in the next week or 2. Ill sit Wilson on my bench, you dont need the aggrevation!!!


September 10th, 2013
8:18 am

Overheard it’s better than the football game.

Darrell, the Falcons offense is outdated now. That is the problem and it ages each football weekend as the other teams use innovation which the Falcons staff has no clue.


September 10th, 2013
8:19 am

The post at 3:04am is HILARIOUS!!!! Brilliant, nice satire.

Who did it?!?! The writing structure wreaks of Big Ray, SW.


September 10th, 2013
8:29 am

Arthur Blank : DAMN you and that notepad of yours! I need somebody in here that makes sense. Tom! Tom! Get your spikey-haired ass in here!

My coffee sprayed my monitor, I know it was one of the two, one of you owe me a new notebook, hahahahahahahaha……………………


September 10th, 2013
8:31 am

Truth, got to be Big Ray or Screen Pass!


September 10th, 2013
8:35 am

I am more pissed after watching the Monday night game. The Eagles, yet another team that improves immensely in the off season with innovation and imagination and plays with intensity.

I like the analogies that JBF uses involving cars and racing. Here is my take. With all of the talented players, the Falcons have an offense that should perform like a Porsche 911 Turbo but the coaching staff drives it as though it has a Model T engine.

I have come to the conclusion that the Falcons offensive scheme has never changed since MMalarkey was FIRED. It is a failing scheme in the current day NFL.


September 10th, 2013
8:39 am

I think it was either Tyler or Arno that provided such great satire last year. Maye snacktastic?


September 10th, 2013
8:47 am

JJ, I can’t pin-point who it is?!?! But, one of the Fockers need to be shopping for me a new tablet…I’ve ruined mine! Hahahahahahahahaha………….


September 10th, 2013
9:05 am

@Wings: Not me. If I were going for satire, It’d be a bit less incisive and more subtle. However, it’s clear we’re in the midst of a budding creative talent…or perhaps a Flowery Branch staff member who’s been doing a bit of spying.


September 10th, 2013
9:31 am

After a series of generals could do nothing with the North’s glittering superior army, Lincoln was asked why he finally chose Grant, his reply: “He makes things git.”


September 10th, 2013
9:34 am

@Wings: not me.


September 10th, 2013
10:48 am

Its one of the bearded iguanas!!!

Paddy O

September 10th, 2013
10:56 am

It was a pretty universal observation that Holmes was worn out, tired, exhausted, worn out nearing the end of the 3rd quarter. What do you do? I’d suggest we put Hawley in as TE, next to Holmes – at least until he gets his conditioning up to par. I’d also like to suggest we need some SERIOUS innovation from our offense. I rarely saw a group set, and did not see double stack sets at all. I’d also like to why a Y formation – with Jackson and either Snelling or Quizz – all 3 can block – use them to chip the outside – or, hold that block if needed; then flare out. IT is hard to believe our reaction off of rushing pressure was so poor. It looked like Ryan held the ball some – but I’m not sure we had anyone assigned on a hot read. Offensively, this may have been the worst game in 3 years in the regular season.


September 10th, 2013
11:02 am

Just jumping in and I wish I could say the anger is subsiding, but it ain’t. I think more than anything else, I’m finally coming to the depressing belief that Smitty just is not the guy to take us to the promised land. Look, I know we speak in hyperbole and a lot of it is simply frustration and anger, but SW hits it perfectly. Somewhere, somehow, there is a disconnect somewhere. Not sure what exactly it is, but we continually lose these types of games over and over again. Yes, it’s only week 1, but how long does it take to at least address some of these same issues we’ve had?

Put it this way, can you imagine what coaches / coordinators like chip kelly, jim harbaugh, and belichick would do with our offensive weapons? Meanwhile, we score a measly 17 points against a decimated defense. Just yuck

Paddy O

September 10th, 2013
11:04 am

Our CB corps played terrific; Spoon played well; Moore was outstanding. Bierman did a commendable job. Babs & Peters, and Jerry played very well. Osi was mostly invisible. I don’t blame Dent ONE BIT on the Colston TD – no bleepin’ way he should have been covering him – is that Nolan scheme or Spoon BAD call on D? Our offense was so lame, there was little good to comment on.

Hamad Meander

September 10th, 2013
11:09 am

I’m not sure how that kind of brilliance gets posted at 3:04am, but I loved it. E43, Darrell, Patty O – I like all your ideas and observations. It is frustrating being a Falcons fan sometimes. Good news is that we had that game in our hands to win on the road. A few years ago, I would have chalked up a road game in the SuperDome as an automatic loss. Bad news is that we keep losing the close ones to them. Some of football comes down to luck and there is no amount of talent or preparation that can help you in that area.

Paddy O

September 10th, 2013
11:12 am

I really hope we REPLACE DeCoud with one of our drafted S prospects. DeCoud is a LOUSY safety, plain and simple.


September 10th, 2013
11:29 am

I just sit here after watching the Skins game.. and London Fletcher. UDFA … hasnt missed a game ever , tackling machine, and team leader.
And I sit here wondering about the LBs we kept that were UDFA;s… and why can we not take a chance on them? Maybe they are another Fletcher waiting to happen??
But unless we dont take the chance, we will never ever know…


September 10th, 2013
12:02 pm

From Tues Morn QB on ESPN
‘Tis Better to Have Rushed and Lost Then Never to Have Rushed at All: New Orleans leading 23-17, Atlanta reached first-and-goal on the Saints’ 7 with 1:09 remaining, Falcons holding two timeouts. Atlanta came into the season vowing not to forget about the rush. The timeouts meant Atlanta could call anything in the playbook. So what happened? Four passes — incompletion, short gain, incompletion, interception.

On the final play, fourth-and-goal from the New Orleans 3, the Saints were so certain Atlanta would go pass-wacky that they put just two defensive linemen and a dime on the field. In the middle, Atlanta had five blockers opposing three defenders. Matt Ryan could have called a sneak and walked into the end zone. Instead he was deep in the shotgun, forcing the pass into double coverage.

Adjusting for sacks and scrambles, Atlanta coaches radioed in 42 passes and 13 rushes. In their previous outing, the NFC championship game versus San Francisco, Atlanta coaches radioed in 45 passes and 21 rushes. Both games ended with the Falcons throwing at the opposition goal line, not even trying to punch the ball across

Overheard Somewhere in Flowery Branch

September 10th, 2013
12:11 pm


September 10th, 2013
12:15 pm

We have to realize if the offense had exactly the same number of runs and passes or what might be called balance, the offensive play calling, sets, sequence of plays called, the scheme, and more; the offense is not a good offense except for the players. It needs to be blown up big time.

D3, there is no doubt in my mind what the disconnect is. It is the conservative nature of HC Smith. It will never change no matter how much we hope and try to not think of it. I have said this for over three years and nothing has changed. It is so obvious. We have better players but what has really changed? My first post in 2008 on this blog questioned whether one could call it an offense. Sure the team can continue to win more games, go to the playoffs, get better players but it will never be what we all want with SmittyBall.

Frankly, I am fed up with it and need to spend more time on something that has a future.


September 10th, 2013
12:17 pm

Overheard Somewhere in Flowery Branch thanks again for the humor. Magnificent writing.


September 10th, 2013
12:24 pm

LRD in the first quarter, the defense stopped NO cold on fourth down. Quickly, the team moved to the seven yard line with first and goal. Falcons settle for field goal. They must take advantage of defensive play.


September 10th, 2013
12:31 pm

Bring Tim Tebow to Atlanta for the RedZone, I’m tired of the same results year after year, do they not know how to throw back sholder fades or jump balls to the wideouts, can we not just pound the ball 3 times in a row with Jackson inside the 5, how about stop taking Jackson out in the redzone and run some play action, and I ask all of my Falcons fans ( why did we get rid of Turner)…lol…looks like Dirk thinks he is still on the roster with the plays he was calling….he sucked calling plays, if Matt doesnt have time to drop back 5 to 7 yards run some quick routes and stop trying to go deep, how many slants or drag routes did we run…..this is awful…………run the dam ball, Jackson gets stronger as he wears down the defense…


September 10th, 2013
1:09 pm

@Wings: Good point about taking advantage of the defensive play. I saw some pass rush and some good cornerback play on Sunday. But after Alford makes that pick, how many points do we get? Zero.

No point in your young defensive players stepping up if you aren’t going to score.

Paddy O

September 10th, 2013
1:32 pm

I would not be so miffed if our defense had allowed 45 points, and we lost by 3. That is explainable. Getting an offense with so many weapons stuffed by a lousy defense indicates either HC MS or Welcome Back is a lousy offensive schemer. How do we NOT use the no huddle? How? Welccome back arrogance?

Paddy O

September 10th, 2013
1:35 pm

Welcome Back is a lousy play caller. He has almost as zero feel for the game as MM. I’d still prefer Ryan to call the entire game – have for the last 3 years.


September 10th, 2013
1:37 pm

I think its a travesty that the NFL still schedules home opening day games between divisional teams.Makes no sense to me. The challenges in games week 1 and 5+ are not the same. When was the last time the Saints had a home opening in Atlanta? If we had to play the saints opening day, then Tampa and Carolina should be playing each other on similar slots. On the flip side, the team that misses that home opener advantage misses the benefit of having a football starved stadium. I’m pretty sure half of the browns fans might not return..


September 10th, 2013
1:42 pm

What goes on between Koetter and Ryan? Does Ryan ever get after him? Sometimes I think Popeye is calling plays for Admiral Nelson.

Annual Heartbreak

September 10th, 2013
1:46 pm

IMHO the issue is with the front office. Every since the Arizona playoff lose, Thomas Dimitrioff has sworn (quoted in the AJC) or said that he was committed to putting defensive playmakers on the field, but it never happened. He either straight up lied to us fans or he doesn’t have a keen eye for talent. Yes, he can pick the obvious, well, some of the time. (Jerry/Baker 1st rd bust considering where they were drafted and their production…and Matt is not (IMHO) worth the 3rd overall pick)

I have always thought Thomas was extremely overrated and he proves me correct every year. How in the world can you not address the defensive line is beyond words…and I can’t believe Arthur is not asking questions. While I, too, think the OL needs to be fix, we should have enough fire power to hide the OL weakness until we get the cap to get the right guys. However, it was apparent to even Honey Boo Boo and mother June that Our IMMEDIATE need was defense. This team took a step back this year. The problem is that we do not have time to rebuild, again. Not to mention, its not fair to Tony G. We were yards away from the Superbowl, but watch, the excuse THIS year will be that the team did not have time to gel. same ole same ole. That’s totally unacceptable and who will be thrown under under the bus this year?

Lets see:

In 2010 they got rid of wide receiver Jenkins as an excuse for not having a passing attack

in 2011 they got rid of both of the coordinators and offensive lineman (Dahl)- 2013 problems in the end-zone still not fixed

In 2012 they got rid of defensive players and offensive line ad Turner- 2013 problems still not fixed. How can you get rid of your best defensive player in Abraham with Osi who didn’t even start in NY, plus you REFUSE to get him help. Guys that is BS at its finest!

Who else is there to blame? Arthur ex-wife to be?

The common denominator is the GM, HC and sorry to say, MR. Matt is getting paid way too much money not to make plays in the Clutch. As mentioned by another poster, great QBs are often judged not by how he handles a play when there’s protection, but how he handle plays when the protection breaks down…and he’s not getting it done.

Mike Smith is a good guy and a better raw-raw coach, but not the guy that’s cut out to take this team to the Super-bowl. Just look at his decision to play his players in the last (meaningless) game of the 2012 season. Need I say anymore?

Thomas Dimitrioff really thinks he’s smarter than everyone else (GMs) but he’s not. Any GM worth his salt knows that games are won and lost in the trenches. Obviously, Thomas hasn’t figured this out or the coaches are convincing him that we can when will B-level lineman at best. Somebody needs to held responsible/accountable for this debacle.

Yes- its the 1st game of the year, but its what we are seeing year after year and the front office brass REFUSED to fix it. Some heads need to role if we do not make the NFC title game.

If we do not make the NFC title game, I think Arthur might be forced to get rid of Mike Smith and or Thomas Dimitrioff, He has to keep this fanbase interested and equally important, willing to pay the PSLs that will the topic of discussion until the new dome is built. Yes, fans will continue to follow this team (including me), but will they be willing to pay out the dollars that will be asked of them for the price hike in tickets and PSL; more importantly, can Arthur sell this team a real SB contender.

Under the regime:
Playoff appearance- been there done that
NFC Title game- been there done that
SB Appears- crickets?

I’m still upset. This not cool, especially for us fans who have spent our hard earn dollars to support this team year after year.

JB Falcon

September 10th, 2013
2:06 pm

FWIW, The Falcons are still ranked #4 in the ESPN poere rankings, just ahead of the Pats.


September 10th, 2013
3:03 pm

Food for thought: Last year, after that miserable game against the Panthers, most fans jumped on the players for a lack of effort. The players themselves admitted that they were sleepwalking through the game. We all know that they adjusted, and went on to crush the Giants the following week.

Sunday’s loss was similarly disappointing. But now, though some players have gotten their share of criticism, the coaches are being blamed in large part. Like last year, we stand to face an opponent that is tougher in certain ways. What adjustments will be made? Smitty said yesterday that self-evaluation goes on among the players AND the coaching staff, which is sort of encouraging, given that I hear more from the coaches about player mistakes rather than coaching mistakes. But what capacity do the coaches really have to adjust? Their philosophies and strategies can certainly change over the long term, but what about week-to-week?

The parallels between the Falcons and the Bulldogs over the first two weeks are mind-boggling. People were calling for heads to roll after Clemson, but hailed Bobo’s and Richt’s work after SC. Could the same thing happen to the Birds?


September 10th, 2013
3:04 pm

Dammit BM, go on a freakin’ diet.

John Waynesworld

September 10th, 2013
3:16 pm

“Seymour brings nothing but a waste of money at this point in the game. It’s that simple.” -SW

And here I was thinking after watching our game that it was Baker, Reynolds, Jerry and Dent who were a waste of money. Oh, you mean ADDED waste of money… :)

Concerning Seymour, the problem with acquiring him is he knows the injury bug will hit every team eventually, so he can wait and choose a team of his liking without having to lower his asking price (even with less games). Some team will eventually need him badly enough to pay him.

Someone needs to tell TD where to locate Wavy Gravy Grady Jackson, now that was big hunk of cheese! I remember hating it when he was released, the man could stop a truck.

The faux interview was hilarious, but painfully true in spots. It does seem the M.O. of Mr. Spikey-Haired Ass is to offset the team’s expensive salary cap by investing in penny-stock linemen. Oh, the arrogance of a known “football mind”, especially after signing up his $100 mil QB.

The good news is next week we have Sam Bradford and his mediocre skills. The crowd noise alone should take Sam off his game (which isn’t much). Hopefully SJ39 can use his butter finger to point out the weakest links on his former team (sorry Steven, but it’s up to you to make us forget that image).


September 10th, 2013
3:30 pm

Falcon fans here is an excerpt from the Mike Smith press conference held on September 9th and I say within this statement is the smoking gun and proof that Mike Smith is our version of Marty Schottenheimer, the coach that wins a ton of regular season games but chokes in big games and the playoffs . My personal comment will follow after Coach Smith’s statement.

On being confident with having the right guys on the offensive line:

“I am absolutely confident that we have the right guys. I think we will see a large improvement from week 1 to week 2, in not only our offensive line but our football team. I think it is the biggest jump to have during the season, is from week 1 to week 2 We were playing a lot of younger guys that have not played as much. It was a great learning experience for them. Unfortunately, we did not get the outcome we wanted in the ballgame. Hats off to the New Orleans Saints, they made more plays than we did in that ballgame. I told our team prior to playing; the team who made fewer mistakes was going to be the team that won. We made more mistakes than they did, that starts with not just the players but the coaches as well.”

My comment:

Fans we can look across the league and clearly see that the game of football is changing at a rapid pace especially with teams now running the read option and the versatile (running/passing) quarterbacks that are having early success in their NFL careers. Coach Smith seems to be stuck in the 19th century and the proof is in his own statement to the players before the Divisional game against the Saints. Coach Smith told his players that the team that makes the fewest mistakes is going to win the game. Okay, I do not have a problem with that statement but what I have a problem with is what Smith is not saying and what the Falcons are not doing.

I ask you fans to put yourself in Coach Smith’s shoes for a moment. What would you say to the Falcons before the 1st game of the season, against a Division opponent, on the road in a hostile environment, against the Saints, and you want to send a message in the NFC South?

I would say to my team if I were the Head Coach, “that we want to keep penalties and mental mistakes to a minimum but what I would EMPHASIZE more than anything else is that we want to IMPOSE our will on the other team. That starts in the trenches on the Offensive line with run blocking and pass protection. It also starts on the Defensive line with getting after the QB and stopping the run, even if you do not sack Brees knock him on his @ss every chance you get. It also starts with running the ball and knocking somebody on their @ss when we have short yardage and 1st in goal in the red zone”. Now I cannot say with certainty that Mike Smith did not say something like this to the Falcons before the game but what I can say is that in my opinion Sean Payton sure as heck delivered a message like this to his team and we sure saw the results hit, after hit, after hit, on our QB. This is not about giving pep speeches before or after a game. I am speaking more to the passive attitude and approach to the game by the HC and the passive attitude of the team in general (i.e., we’ll get them next time).

The bottom line with all of this is that Mike Smith’s 19th century coaching philosophy and his keys to winning the ultimate game the “Super bowl” is to play good special teams and make the fewest mistakes. In my humble opinion this strategy WILL NOT get this team over the hump. I read what you have to say on this blog and I see comments like: we should use the no huddle more often and not just in the 4th QTR when we need a touch down to win. In other words change the pace of the game and impose our will on the other team. Why didn’t we run the ball on the goal line against N.O.? Why didn’t we get veteran help on the Oline in the off season? Why don’t we play faster rookie LBs with better coverage skills that Dent and Nicholas? The answer is because Mike Smith is conservative and he truly believes in his philosophy. He is not going to do anything that will put the Falcons in a situation where they have to be more aggressive and run the risk of either making a mistake or getting a penalty.

I say this to Mike Smith’s lame coaching philosophy and strategy: “No Risk…No Reward!” Falcon Fans…What Say YOU?