Atlanta Falcons Fall Apart in Charlotte Again

Falcons Continue their Misery Campaign

Panthers Running Wild (S.Sharpe)

The Falcons continued their campaign of misery Sunday when they suffered another embarrassing blowout, this time at the hand of one of their closest rivals. Signs were leaning to the Panthers surpassing the Falcons in the NFC South as the biggest threat to the New Orleans Saints and it became official when they laid a 34-10 butt-whooping down on them. The season seems to be officially over at this point. Sad to say when the season is only halfway done. The Falcons would have to go undefeated in the second half just to get to 10-6. Oh, and they have the Seahawks, Niners, Packers, Redskins, Panthers, and Saints left on the schedule.  At this point, it seems fairly likely that they may not win another game in 2013. Some hard decisions will have to come at the end of the season and the best fans can hope for is that they take pride and at least try to develop some talent going forward. To the ugliness that was………….

Offense is Pathetically Weak

Newton Likely Broke These Tackles (B.Leverone)

After a one year burst, the Falcons offense has gone back to what it was in previous years, a dink and dunk offense. Yes there’s the injuries excuse, but it’s been like this even before the injuries starting happening. The offense has become insanely predictable and overall really weak. And although he does have one of the worst offensive lines in football, Matt Ryan seems to be regressing. He is throwing into double and triple coverage often, throwing interceptions at a breakneck pace, and generally looking pretty awful. The routes, personnel, and creativity has become increasingly stale on offense. Dirk Koetter threw as many people under the bus as possible last week, including Matt Ryan among others. While other teams like the Patriots and Packers find a way to stay dynamic on offense even with injuries, the Falcons evidently are unwilling or unable to get back to their higher octane offense from 2012.

Matt Ryan is Regressing

This was probably an INT (C.Burton)

Maybe it’s working behind one of the worst OL’s in the NFL, a disconnect with his coordinator who threw him under the bus, or he’s just having a bad year, but Matt Ryan is looking bad. He no longer has the calm presence he once had and is really looking pretty atrocious lately. The load has been put squarely on his shoulders, but that’s what comes with signing a mega-contract. If alarm bells aren’t going off in Arthur Blank’s head about the overall direction and state of his team, they certainly are about his once Pro Bowl quarterback looking worse by the week. Dirk Koetter probably won’t have an issue throwing his QB under the bus for a second straight week.

Pitiful Tackling

Bad Final Year for Gonzo (B.Donnan)

What’s simply crazy is that the Falcons have been led by a coach who came to fame by being a good defensive coordinator and this Falcons team seems to be getting worse by the year on being able to tackle well. You look over at what the Panthers have done in just three years on defense, becoming one of the most dominant defenses in the entire NFL, and it’s simply inexcusable seeing what this defense has become in year 6. The Panthers chase and hit with a ferocity that’s never been seen by the Falcons. It’s fine if you want to load up your offense (that’s working really well right now), but that doesn’t mean you have to have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. The Falcons can’t tackle to save their life. In one particularly terrible sequence, 3 separate Falcons missed tackles on Cam Newton when they had a surefire sack with a 3rd and 12. He escaped and they converted. It’s been beaten to a pulp, but this defense is really bad.

Don’t Blame Injuries

Smith Imitating Falcons Fans (B.Leverone)

Yes, injuries have played a part in the seasons plane crash script of a season, but it by no means is the only reason the Falcons look so poorly. Other teams have injuries and they aren’t missing a beat. The Falcons have lost less starters than the Patriots and their offense is still good. Also throw in the fact that several players have actually stepped up, including Harry Douglas, Drew Davis, Darius Johnson, Paul Worrilow, and Joplo Bartu, among others. Furthermore, injuries alone isn’t an excuse for a team to look this bad. They’re bad in all phases of the game. The offense is putrid. The defense is worse. And coaching is beyond terrible. Injuries will play a large role on any decision at the end of the year, but that excuse can only go so far.

An Aging Team

Back in 2008, the Falcons were one of the younger teams in the NFL. 6 years later that’s no longer the case. A ton of veterans are either right at the age of 30 or over it. Asante Samuel (32), Tony Gonzalez (37), Jonathan Babineaux (32), Roddy White (32), Steven Jackson (30), Osi Umenyiora (32 in 2 weeks), and Justin Blalock (30 in December) among others. That’s what worries Falcons fans the most: that this team is either currently in rebuilding mode this year or that it surely will next season. The concern is that Smith and Thomas Dimitroff can get it right this time. There has been a massive failure to draft and develop players under this regime, and many fans have lost confidence in both to get it done. Dimitroff seems more obsessed with his image of “Trader Thomas” than he does with taking the best value at a position of need. How many pieces does this team really have to build around? Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, William Moore, Peter Konz, Sean Weatherspoon, Corey Peters, Desmond Trufant, and Robert Alford. There’s probably a few more if you really reach, but not many. That’s not a great deal of players to rebuild around.

A Few Bright Spots

HD a Bright Spot (Leverone)

There wasn’t much to take from a 34-10 embarrassment to one of your biggest rivals, but a few things did stick out. The best sign was seeing Jonathan Massaquoi possibly taking the step on being the long sought after source of a pass rush. He was in the backfield all day, sacking Newton, hitting him, and generally getting good pressure. Very good sign. Just too bad it took 6 years to develop any pass rusher. Paul Worrilow wasn’t perfect, but he did really well making tackles sideline to sideline. He’s still got a little ways to go, but he shows promise going forward. Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford both had pretty good days, even though Trufant was the victim of some weak pass interference calls. Both rookie CBs had interceptions.

Sloppy, Undisciplined Team

One of Smith’s biggest strengths was getting his team focused and able to avoid stupid and costly penalties and having the Falcons not beat themselves. That is no longer happening. False starts, pass interference, holding, facemask, missed tackles, missed assignments, and turnovers have led this team look as undisciplined and sloppy as any in the NFL. It appears that Smith has lost this team and the players just seem to be going through the motions. Matt Ryan’s confidence seems to be at an all-time low, as does the rest of the team. The team appears lifeless, and that’s squarely on the head coach.

No Toughness to Be Found

A rare good play (Sharpe)

One thing that these Falcons are not is tough. You look at other teams such as the Panthers, Niners, and Seahawks and you see a toughness. The defenses of the teams previously mentioned hit hard and do the best they can to impose their will on the other side. Offenses like the Packers and Saints impose their will on opposing defenses. The Falcons are neither. At least last season they were able to put up points on offense. It may have started way back in training camp when Smith wanted to avoid injuries at all costs and rarely had the team hitting. It’s true that some of it was due to the new union rules, but Smith went above and beyond to avoid contact. It’s a good idea to try to avoid injuries, but football is still a collision sport that’s won in the trenches.

Left Behind and Surpassed in NFC South

The Falcons have remained a top contender in the NFC South since Smith took over in 2008. They made the playoffs as a wild card when the Panthers won the division in 2008, missed the playoffs in 2008, and have traded titles with the New Orleans Saints since then. Even though the Saints lost today, they appear to be leaving the Falcons behind in their own division. More concerning, however, is that the Panthers are surpassing the Falcons as the top contender with the Saints in the division. Fact is, you can’t count on division teams remaining bad for too long and it appears the Panthers have finally got it together, accented by the last two meetings being blowouts. The Falcons being a play away from beating the Saints in week one seems like decades ago. Whether Blank stands pat at the end of the season remains to be seen, but the facts are painfully clear that the Falcons are being left behind in their own division. Not a good sign at all.

548 comments Add your comment

TReamon

November 3rd, 2013
8:59 pm

Well, not much more to say. This can’t be the way Tony G thought he’d leave the game but the chances of this team winning even 7 games sure looks to be impossible right about now.

JB Falcon

November 3rd, 2013
9:04 pm

Falcons continue their misery campaign, “nuff said.

Arno

November 3rd, 2013
9:04 pm

“it appears the Panthers have finally got it together” –D3

Reposting this from the last thread: In Carolina’s four game winning streak, they have scored in every quarter of every game. Atlanta has scored in every quarter just once all year. That tells me Carolina, with a lesser QB, can put together a game plan that suits their talent. Ryan on the other hand, is asked to make up for a hollow system.

And it’s getting to him.

D3

November 3rd, 2013
9:13 pm

Arno — If I’m Arthur Blank, I look no further on making a decision than seeing Ryan’s major regression under this coaching staff. We’ve benefited from the Panthers and the Bucs being bad for a long while. No more. And I would be willing to bet that Tampa doesn’t get it wrong again on their next head coach. Mike Smith has stunted Matt Ryan’s growth. For a long time, Ryan has been able to win and do good things in spite of Smith, that time has also run out.

D3

November 3rd, 2013
9:18 pm

If this is any indication, we are screwed for next year…………….

Immediately after Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith wrapped up his postgame news conference on Sunday, a recognizable voice yelled “Smitty, Smitty,” from the back of the room.

The fact that team owner Arthur Blank summoned Smith in such a manner made you wonder exactly what Blank had on his mind, particularly after watching his team fall to 2-6. But as a red-faced Smith turned to respond, Blank moved closer and embraced the coach like a long lost son.

http://espn.go.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/1559/falcons-need-a-group-hug-after-latest-loss

Greg Mendel

November 3rd, 2013
9:20 pm

Ryan made mistakes. That’s going to happen when you’re almost the only one trying to win.

falcon21

November 3rd, 2013
9:24 pm

Misery, pathetically weak, regressing, pitiful, aging, sloppy, undisciplined, no toughness and surpassed in the NFC South. Nuff said, that is what this team is under Mike Smith.

JB Falcon

November 3rd, 2013
9:34 pm

D3, I read the headline and immediatley posted my opinion. I read the entire article afterward and it was so good and well written that it made me want to throw up after realizing it was the truth. I think of myself as the eternal optimist but have to admit I am finding it very hard to find something about this team to be optimistic about. We have ignored basic common sense and put all of our money on the “win now” concept and it has blown up in our face.
Let me rephrase the “win now”, it’s more like “win now, at all costs, so that I can sucker the fans into buying into the PSL and new stadium concept”.
Dear AB, can you spell “I have sh!t in my pants?” This is the NFL and “on sale tomorrow” don’t float in this territory.

Hamad Meander

November 3rd, 2013
9:48 pm

The thing I worry the most about is Matt Ryan getting hurt or as D3 states “regressing” to a point whereas we will not be competitive NEXT season. The trainwreck has stopped burning on the tracks and really all that is left is the clean up and investigation. There is so much wrong here that it cannot be fixed with just a few nice draft picks and a free agent or two. This team is losing the belief that that can win and they know it’s more deeply rooted that losing just a few players to injury.

D3

November 3rd, 2013
9:49 pm

Yet another example of making needed changes and how it can work out very well……..

Former general manager Marty Hurney didn’t use the word vibe, but he said something was missing in the locker room a year ago when he was released after a 1-5 start.

Yep, and they’re rolling pretty good now. Their defense is impressive and ours has been $hit for 6 years. Unbelievable.

D3

November 3rd, 2013
10:00 pm

Hamad — Great point. Clean up and investigation is correct. Or autopsy, to use another term. Totally agree with you on rebuilding effort. We are a LONG way off from getting back. I keep see-sawing back and forth on what Blank will do. Some think that Blank can’t afford to let him go. I say he can’t afford to keep him. We’ve been thoroughly embarrassed by two pretty mediocre teams. How many points will Packers, Niners, and Seahawks put: 50, 70, 90?

I keep going back and forth and making myself sick on what will happen at the end of the season. Sometimes I believe that Blank will make a change, but then I go back to the other side that Blank will stay put and keep him for another year. More than anything, it’s just time for a reset. I keep going back to the fact that all those changes were made after 2011. No more changes to be made except for HC. I will be in a major depression if we keep Smith.

Arno

November 3rd, 2013
10:09 pm

D3 @ 9:18

Sounds like Arthur is going into a bunker. That’s the last thing we need. Horrible.

PoolerSpirit

November 3rd, 2013
10:41 pm

I know Brian Billick is Mike Smith’s brother-in-law… but did you hear him say during the game that Smitty’s job is safe this year? I believe he referenced the injuries we’ve had, which is my biggest fear… that Arthur will accept the foolish notion that we’d have been all right this year if not for the injury bug…

I’m pretty sure that everyone in the Cage realizes that the injury bug hitting the Offensive Line, costing us Mike Johnson for the season and Sam Baker for a game or two… that ain’t the reason we continually face 2nd and 9, 3rd and 7, and end up punting on 4th and 6th…

How can we come up with five new OLinemen in the offseason, and still be able to get a couple of defensive tackles, couple of linebackers, and at least one safety?

cb795

November 3rd, 2013
11:29 pm

The only opinion that matters concerning the job that Smith is doing is Blank. Blank is not concerned about how the fans feel about his Falcons. He had a quick draw when dealing with Dan Reeves. Smith will get a pass because of the injuries his team has this year. Yet, Smith is the reason for those injuries. Over the last five years the Falcons have been good because of smoke and mirrors. This team never reached their potential in my opinion and time is passing them by. Next year the same problems will return as they have been under Smith, red zone problems, offense and defensive third down issues and poor tackling just to mention a few. Until Mr. Blank feel the pain as the fans do, nothing will change. I missed the days when poor team performance was rewarded with empty seats.

lamac66

November 4th, 2013
12:38 am

Big Ray

November 4th, 2013
1:31 am

Getting tired of the losses, but also the continuous blame heaped on the one guy who gives you a chance at anything.

But whatever. Enough of this foolishness. Not worth the time.

Big Ray

November 4th, 2013
1:33 am

Criticism of the QB is valid, but has FAR more merit if “all else is equal.”

I guess beating on that one guy is a lot easier than admitting that the system is broken, beyond broken. Like I said, whatever.

Screen Pass

November 4th, 2013
1:55 am

“Criticism of the QB is valid, but has FAR more merit if “all else is equal.” – BR

Just get off? Anyone can say anything, people see what they want to see. Meh, I’m awake so I’ll pull my stat post from the end of the last one. They tell a story, considering a lot of what I read on other boards makes me positive they can’t even count to potatoe I doubt they will understand. You and the Cage however, I know we can count to tater salad just fine lol.

Screen Pass

November 4th, 2013
1:59 am

Ok, this was a response to a question, a rhetorical one I imagine..

Hrmm, looking here ( http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/boxscore?gameId=331103029 ) at the box score of the game…

M Ryan was 20/27 219 yards 8.1 avg
C Newton 23/37 249 yards 6.7 avg

Now, a little math says 20/27 is a 74% completion rate..not bad for throwing to scrubs. Now, I have seen the fanbase making grand claims of our running game today and the O-line being first rate, best in the NFL caliber…especially Holmes. Well, lets look at that;

ATL RBs – 20 times for 78 yards = 3.9 avg
Rushing 1st downs = 2

Carolina’s rushing line;

Pantywaists RBs 33 times for 131 yards = 4.0 avg
Rushing 1st downs = 9

Ryan and Scam each had 1 TD pass and 2 INT with HD with an INT assist and Rodgers a fumble. Ryan outplayed Scam by a mile but got no real help from his rushing attack while Scam’s inadequacy at QB was covered up by a rushing attack that produced 9 first downs and helped win the TOP battle by a 13 minute margin.

Yes, Ryan sucked, get rid of him!!

P.S. The lack of purple writing at the end should not be confused for seriousness…for those that can’t count to potatoe that is.

E43

November 4th, 2013
2:49 am

Did anyone see them run a toss play for good yardage and never try it again? Maybe I missed it. If not, this is way I always bring Jerious Norwood back into this cage. Sure the Oline has troubles. But when Norwood was here, the forced him up the middle. They ran that toss play today, got yardage and then what? They cant say theyre sticking with what works. Unless ofcourse they mean what worked for Turner in 2008. Otherwise, I dont even know what they run at practice. Cant be all interior runs.

Falcons4Eva

November 4th, 2013
4:11 am

“And with the second overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, The Atlanta Falcons Select…..”

AlanFalcon

November 4th, 2013
6:24 am

Matty Ice-Watching him at his position reveals what his problems are this year,#1, he no longer uses the pump fake as he has done in the past, #2, he is stareing down his receivers, #3, he gets stuck on a single receiver and does not look for others as targets, #4. he is trying to force his passes to well covered receivers, #5, he is more of a stationary target now than he has ever been, seldom moves out of the pocket to keep plays going #6, his coach seems to have lost the ability to out guess the defense on both running and pasing as they seem to set up perfectly for whatever the call. All of these are departures from last year so with that in mind its no wonder they are haveing their” ” Arse” handed to them every week.

TReamon

November 4th, 2013
6:26 am

Screen Pass…that was a mighty good effort, it really was. But son you can’t put lipstick on that pig and then tell us its a playboy centerfold. Ryan did not play well today. No need in trying to degrade Cam’s play. Ryan sucked, by his own admission. Just accept it.

trademark

November 4th, 2013
6:45 am

It’s been hard to comment this year, because everything has been such a wreck…still and all…

Matt Ryan is troublesome. There are a million reasons that we may not know about as to what’s happening out there…wrong routes, not enough time, pressing, showing up DK by throwing the ball exactly where the play is drawn up, into double-coverage as a “see? You’re an idiot.” doesn’t matter, he’s looking very bad out there, and that’s the absolute last thing this team needs right now. His last two game implosion is sending the team into an unrecoverable dive.

Before I go further, this is absolutely, positively, under no circumstances all on MR2’s shoulders, the recent collapse. But he is the QB, and therefore, at the forefront. We have all discussed ad infinitum about the line play, the injuries, and the poor conditioning and player development. Those are all contributing factors as well.

This team is in a crash-dive unlike any I have ever seen, and coming from a life-long Falcons fan, this is saying something.

In Smitty we trust? Not a chance he can pull this team out of this. The lazy play, the poor conditioning, the poor execution, this is a STRONG and CLEAR message that the coach can’t reach his players anymore, and they can’t reach him. The disconnect is total.

The GM didn’t draft or sign to strengthen the line, all the players saw this. The management fired a very, very well-liked and respected strength and conditioning coach, and the players saw that. They did not change the offensive playbook and still went into soft-zones with leads and run-the-clock ball, and the players saw this.

And they can’t play this way anymore. There is a complete lack of joy and intensity out there that I have very nearly never seen in my life from professional football players.

And it’s getting worse.

Gonna be a hard, long year. Let’s hope “the hug” from Mr: Blank for Smitty was the equivalent of a “thanks, but that’ll be all.”

Wings

November 4th, 2013
7:15 am

D3 you have written another great synopsis of the latest nightmare. There is only one statement that I do not agree with:

The best sign was seeing Jonathan Massaquoi possibly taking the step on being the long sought after source of a pass rush. He was in the backfield all day, sacking Newton, hitting him, and generally getting good pressure. Very good sign.

Just too bad it took 6 years to develop any pass rusher.

I think you are giving the coaching staff too much credit. Jonathan Massaquoi’s pass rushing ability just happens to be there. It was not developed because we know “player development” doesn’t happen with this head coach.

trademark

November 4th, 2013
7:37 am

Wings, you nailed it.

I wonder if there’s also internal player backlash because of this.

Strange to be thinking of this, but during the preseason, the Brian Banks situation….I know that we had other prospects, but he got like no playing time to prove himself…and when he was in there, he acquitted himself really well, at least good enough for the practice squad….

Arno

November 4th, 2013
8:02 am

SP @ 1:59 am– Here is my question, and yes it was rhetorical. The numbers show Matt is working in the new guys not great, but fairly well.

Seeing MR2 so disturbed on the sidelines– it got me wondering. We already know Smith’s playbook can’t be run without a heavy duty o-line. Now we are finding out Smith’s playbook can’t be run without heavy duty receivers, either. So the question– is Matt frustrated because Smith’s playbook doesn’t work with the receivers still standing? Or, as Wabe suggests, do we need to look at whether Matt can really succeed without his favorite targets?

If you look at Matt’s targets the past three games without Julio and White, he has targeted his most experienced guys (Douglas, Gonzales, and Quizz) 70 times. Everybody else, 47 times. That looks like he is definitely trying to work in the less experienced players. Completion percentage is 70% for the experienced guys, and 53% for the new guys. So having success working them in is not quite there yet. How much of it is slow player development, how much of it is Matt, and how much of it is the playbook, I don’t know.

I do know who will take the blame. Ryan will shoulder most of the blame for the loss, as usual, and sickeningly– the coaching staff will stand aside and LET him shoulder most of the blame

Screen Pass

November 4th, 2013
8:25 am

“Screen Pass…that was a mighty good effort, it really was” – I can’t even count to potatoe

Knew that bait would catch some tahdfish. Twasn’t no effort, just the facts.

woeismesince66

November 4th, 2013
8:46 am

Reminds me of all the past Falcon teams that couldn’t play the game of football.
I think the majority of problems rest with the offensive and defensive lines. Matt Ryan is not a
great QB but he is adequate if he has time to throw.
I think the front office should be calling every offensive and defensive lineman that can walk and begin a tryout camp right in the middle of this season. Give notice that if you’re going to be on the
team, you’re going to produce or hit the road. If a player can’t tackle send him down the road.
SOMEONE HAS TO TAKE CONTROL OF THIS TEAM AND PUT IT TO WORK

SG

November 4th, 2013
9:19 am

D3 9:18pm

Smith was heard to whisper “Et tu, Brute?” after that hug.

John Waynesworld

November 4th, 2013
9:21 am

The way things are going (bad), it will be interesting to see the Dome for the Nov. 21st Thursday night game when we host the Sain’ts.

Atlanta fans historically don’t like to go to weeknight games when their team sucks. The Dome could be as much as half empty that night, with ALOT of Sain’ts fans gobbling up tickets.

Between the empty seats and the abundance of Sain’ts fans, it could be the day we see Arthur go off, especially with the national audience and a possible Super Bowl site bid on the line.

The Anti-Gnostic

November 4th, 2013
9:25 am

The GM didn’t draft or sign to strengthen the line, all the players saw this. The management fired a very, very well-liked and respected strength and conditioning coach, and the players saw that. They did not change the offensive playbook and still went into soft-zones with leads and run-the-clock ball, and the players saw this.

I hadn’t heard about this. How does a strength/conditioning coach get fired? Did he drop a weight on Dimitroff’s foot?

Dimitroff has always struck me as…just not a football guy. He spends all the money on first-string skill positions and seems to think linemen are fungible.

Offense still seems really predictable and plays taking too long to set up but I’m not really a student of the game so maybe that’s just me.

O'Brien

November 4th, 2013
9:25 am

Matt Ryan has looked bad this year. But we know the talent is there, and there is no reason to doubt that once Julio and Roddy come back healthy next year, and we are able to shore up the line, that Matt Ryan will be better again.

Where I have my biggest doubts is with Dimitroff. I don’t know if TD can be trusted to make the right moves (draft, free agency). Also, I wonder if the team needs a new voice. Smitty has been a good coach for the Falcons, and we needed his stability coming out of the Vick and Petrino era. But he may as taken us as far as he can.

georgiadawgg

November 4th, 2013
9:28 am

THIS WHOLE TEAM SUCKS. SORRIEST TEAM IN THE NFL. AND NO HEADS WILL FALL. BLANK USES THIS TEAM AS A TAX WRITE OFF. SUCK SUCK SUCK. AND MATT RYAN COULDN’T CARRY TOM BRADYS JOCK STRAP.

Big Ray

November 4th, 2013
9:32 am

I agree that it is hard to trust Dimitroff right now. Up til now, he’s had the attitude and the accolades of a guy who “has it all figured out.”

He’s been proven resoundingly wrong via both the offensive and defensive lines. Sorry, but blaming Smitty (though still correct with that retardedly ridiculous cross training), he simply can’t take all the discredit for this. Dimitroff is the personnel guy, he’s the ultimate scout for the team as the head decision maker in that area.

In my estimation, he is squarely on the hot seat as far as having something to prove. Of course, he can’t show us anything until next offseason…which is a long, long, painful way away from now.

Big Ray

November 4th, 2013
9:33 am

You know what? PHUCK this blog monster.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

November 4th, 2013
9:34 am

Hello Cagers…

Things are beginning to make sense, reveal themselves. Funny when a team is reeling, in turmoil, you can really see some things that might of been camouflaged otherwise if you’re winning.

Full discloser, I was one that didn’t care much for the pursuit…and signing of TG88 for another year. I placed much of this decision to sign TG88 on TD, but as things get crystal clearer, the pursuit was all about Matt Ryan. Matt Ryan wanted TG88 back at all cost. TG88 is…and has been for years Ryans security blanket. I was in the minority, and in agreeance with SW, to ease Coffman into the starting role, IMO, if given a serious opportunity, Coffman can…and will ball out, but Ryan can’t seem to let go of Tony. With the mention of the security blanket, it reminds me of a cartoon I grew up with, and most of you too, I would imagine.

The cartoon was Charlie Brown and the peanuts gang. Linus had this blanket, old, filthy, decrepit, but it was his, he’d grown so attached with it over the years, no matter how much the other characters would tell him to let go, he (Linus) just couldn’t, in fact, when the gang stole his security blanket, or attempted to replace it with a new one, Linus would hyperventilate, get sick…he didn’t want to think of the possibilities of breaking in a new that one serve the same purpose. The moral of the story, well, you guys are smart, you know where I’m going with this…………

If Matt Ryan is as great, elite like some say he is in the cage, he will have an opportunity to solidify that elite status, or be exposed come next season (I truly don’t believe TD will allow that) IMO, he will make a serious play for Jimmy Graham.

To further make my point. Patriots coach Belichick is a genius, he provided the blueprint to making Ryan one dimensional in the redzone, by taking TG88 away as an option, paid dividends for the Patriots.

Ryan will have ample opportunities next season to silence his critics, on whether he’s rose to stardom because his ability, or because of TG88, RW84, JJ11 makes him better…

to an extent, I think the question is being revealed, answered right before our eyes….

IMHO…

The Anti-Gnostic

November 4th, 2013
9:39 am

IIRC, didn’t they re-negotiate Ryan’s contract to get him this $100M? I’d have told him to stick with his old contract and gotten some more journeymen linemen. What’s he going to do, go play for Jacksonville? He’s accurate, good mechanics and smart but he can’t run and appears to have no core strength. Guy is a hothouse flower.

Chuck Oliver made an under-reported comment: Falcons’ management draft and trade for an Arena League team.

Big Ray

November 4th, 2013
9:46 am

Had a few things to say about TD, guess the monster either really liked it, or it really didn’t.

As for Ryan, I wonder what exactly is supposed to make him better? How is he supposed to improve in the middle of this insanity? Oh come, the answer should be easy. Let me hazard a guess…stop throwing INTs.

Yep, he can do that. He can do that right now. He can do it today. The solution also involves scoring 9-12 ppg, all on the foot of Matt Bryant. Read between the lines, those of you who can. I seem to recall a certain two-time SB-winning QB throwing 20 INTs in 2007, 25 INTs in 2010, and is on pace this year to end up somewhere in between those marks, if not eclipsing both this season.

This same guy’s numbers (not including this year) include a 23 TD/16 INT average for his career.

You think he regressed, then progressed, then regressed, then progressed, and is now regressing again? It amazes me how folks can’t see the correlation….can’t connect the dots. When your system is broken, nothing is as good as it should be. When you don’t have the players, the same thing applies in large part.

By the way, Ryan (not including this season) owns a 25 TD/12 INT average for his career. His team hasn’t come close (sorry, but last season isn’t as close as you’d like to think) to a SB, let alone win one, let alone win 2.

You do the EFFING math.

Big Ray

November 4th, 2013
9:47 am

When Tony’s the only one or the best one open, should you go in another direction? Ask Drew Brees about doing that with Jimmy Graham….

THEfalconfan

November 4th, 2013
9:53 am

Ive said it since week 2 . This team needs a head coach with a killer instinct , not a conservative play style . This organization wins nothing with Smitty at the helm . Bring in Gruden!!!!

THEfalconfan

November 4th, 2013
10:04 am

Dirk Koetter calls plays that I dont even see other teams run !!! His gameplan is garbage . He should be first to go …..followed closely by Smitty!!! If I was watching millions of my dollars go down the drain , I would make it known that this is unacceptable . Mr. Blank is the one who needs to put his foot down .

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH

November 4th, 2013
10:10 am

IMO, the OLine, and DLine coaches are sometimes forgotten, and their impact/importance on a team is not given enough credit.

We have Pat Hill, and Ray Hamilton. Our OLine has been atrocious this year, but I see improvement (especially with Holmes). Pat Hill should be given another year, IMO.

Ray Hamilton, fire him Yesterday!!!

Massaquio is the real deal! He is quickly becoming an edge rusher that other teams will have to game plan for, IMO.

…and IMO, Ray Hamilton has had little to do with his development. Sometimes a player will shine…develope on their own, because the talent is so deep, they will develope despite of inadequate coaching.

So, if they fire Hamilton? I would like to see Warren Sapp get his first coaching gig at Defensive Line Coach.

Sapp knows defense, IMO, he’d be one of the best in the league…

snacktastic

November 4th, 2013
10:31 am

Eight down, eight to go.

This team has been compared to the 2011 “Dream Team” Philadelphia Eagles on a few occasions…well, even they managed to finish 8-8. What would we have to change to do that? Forget the playoffs–what are the odds of us simply breaking even? How often does a team face those odds after multiple seasons with double-digit wins?

I’ll say it again: Curiosity is what keeps me in front of the television on Sunday afternoons. I could take the game apart, as many here do, and do quite well. I could analyze and compare and predict, but that’s only useful for people trying to answer more complex questions.

I only want the answer to one question: Just how bad is this team?

Greg Mendel

November 4th, 2013
10:32 am

“When Tony’s the only one or the best one open, should you go in another direction?” — BR

Exactly. From the old “pick your poison” passing attack, TG is the only venom left. I don’t think fans are acknowledging the true impact of not having a healthy Roddy White on the field all season. White and Gonzalez have always been Ryan’s go-to guys. Jones is gravy. Rapport is important, and it’s not automatic.

The running game is an improvement over Turner, but it’s pretty anemic. Regardless, we still can’t count on getting a single yard on third down — unless it’s third-and-seven.

Given these conditions, I think Matt is making mistakes because he’s being aggressive and trying to force things. I don’t think has many alternatives.

Paddy O

November 4th, 2013
10:55 am

we played well until the 4th quarter. Our Defense actually played fairly well – Worrilow was all over. Both Trufant & Alford had interceptions. We fell apart in the 4th quarter. MR2 needs to get a little more prudent with the ball – or, he has developed a tell that the defense can see. The 1st & 3rd interception were purely bad decision making by MR2. We need a new OC.

O'Brien

November 4th, 2013
10:55 am

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO TELL THE TRUTH,

“I would like to see Warren Sapp get his first coaching gig at Defensive Line Coach.”

I would be surprised to see the Falcons go after someone as outspoken as Sapp. Falcons like their coaches (and players) to stand in the company line.

“Full discloser, I was one that didn’t care much for the pursuit…and signing of TG88 for another year”

I didn’t have a problem with bringing Tony back. My issue is why didn’t we trade him at the deadline? I think Chiefs would have given up a 6th rd pick, which isn’t much, but it would allow us to evaluate Coffman and Toilolo to see if they are worthy of full time play. And it would give Tony a chance to win a SB with his original team.

Big Ray,

I think Matt Ryan’s $100 mil contract is the main reason why fans are so hard on him now. But I agree with you. There are bigger issues than Matt Ryan, and it starts at the top with TD imo.

SameOThing

November 4th, 2013
10:59 am

The game of football is won in the trenches, PERIOD. The O-line is absolutely terrible, losing McClure, Clabo & Johnson did not help at all and as far as the D-line, horrible. Massaquio is making a present and occasionally Bab’s will show up, other than that, nothing.
If Atlanta can make significate gains on the lines (and possibly another quality line backer) and get back the injuried starters next year, I believe we will see a significate improvement in this team.

O'Brien

November 4th, 2013
11:00 am

Paddy O,

“We need a new OC.”

We just replaced Mularkey 2 seasons ago. and now you think we need a new OC again?

Personally, I don’t think Dirk was the right hire to replace Mularkey. Dirk coached in Jacksonville whose number one option was always run the ball with MJD. but Falcons are not a running team.

imo, what the Falcons should have done was to hire the Saints QB coach (joe Lombardi) as our OC. After working with Drew Brees and Sean Payton for so many years, I think he may have learned a few things on offense. And maybe he could share some notes with our defense on defending Brees.

if nothing else, It takes away part of the N.O. staff.

WillieCoyote

November 4th, 2013
11:00 am

Massaquoi is only playing because Biermann is hurt. I never root for someone to get hurt but that is the only reason he is being “developed” now. Same is true for a number of other players.

Ryan has got to use his other receivers though. True, #88 is going to be the best option most times but we have to see what we have in the other guys. Other offenses are so dynamic because they hurt you with 2nd and 3rd options you can’t account for. DiMarco was left uncovered on the same side as Gonzalez when Ryan threw that first pick into triple coverage.

The season is getting worse and worse but the draft pick is getting better and better. The first 4 rounds in the upcoming draft better produce a big DT, and OG, a LB, and another GT, OG, or OT in whatever order.