Atlanta Falcons Choke to Saints Again

Falcons Cornering the Market on Ways to Lose

M-I-S-E-R-Y! (AJC)

What’s left to say, really. The Falcons lost again. This time they actually decided to show up against their biggest rival at home and try for a change. Same old, same old. Terrible offensive line, stupid penalties, costly turnovers, and even worse coaching decisions. Looking at the Saints for a second. They managed to win 7 games WITHOUT their head coach and the Falcons can’t even muster 3 wins WITH their head coach. But let’s call it an aberration and blame on injuries and just “one of those seasons” and see how we’re doing this time next year. Hey, at least we’re looking at a high draft pick. Not to worry, though, taking a long-snapper or 3rd string tight end with “really high potential” will surely be on top of the draft board. It’s great to be a Falcons fan these days, huh. Is this season over yet?

More analysis to come soon. For now, drown your miseries in here if you can keep from dry-heaving………….

358 comments Add your comment

Greg Mendel

November 21st, 2013
11:44 pm


November 21st, 2013
11:48 pm

D3, You hit the nail on the head once more. The Saints not only won 7 games without their head coach, they (Saints) won 7 games show-casing the worst defense in modern day league history.

We have a couple of injuries at a few key positions…and forget how to play football.

IMO, There is know comparison of the two, the Saints had a much more dire situation than ours, when comparing the adversity.


November 21st, 2013
11:52 pm

2014 Atlanta Falcons Football Season = WASTE!!!!!

Hey, on the bright side………

Only 25 more games left under this Clowshoe Coaching Staff and Joke of a General Management Team: 5 more games in 2013; 4 preseason games in 2014, and 16 regular season games in 2014

Hey, gotta love countdowns.

If nothing else, I just hope they get a new offensive coordinator. Koetter is a joke. Maybe our ol’ buddy Bill Musgrave gets the axe in Minnesota and comes back home to be our OC. Could he be any worse?


November 21st, 2013
11:57 pm

Im really sick of this . I cant get angry anymore every time that this team find ways to lose. What a poorly call to look for a field goal with 2 min remaining. I will not See any moré game this season. Hope to get a new coach next year, deal the top selection and get help in both lines . Despite the evolution in the game the most importante part are trenches


November 21st, 2013
11:58 pm

Another quash to the BS injuries excuse……….

In some cases, performance has improved.

For example:
Veteran tackle Dwan Edwards suffered a hamstring injury in Week 2 that sidelined him for five games. With veteran Colin Jones and rookie Kawann Short, the defense had seven sacks and a shutout in the next game.
Starting free safety Charles Godfrey suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in Week 2. Strong safety Mike Mitchell moved over to free and has become the leader of the secondary, playing to a Pro Bowl level. Rookie Robert Lester went from the practice squad to the starting lineup. He had an interception in each of his first two games.
Weakside linebacker Jon Beason was traded to the New York Giants after three games. Chase Blackburn came in and solidified a position where the team was giving up big plays.
Blackburn suffered a foot injury at San Francisco. Rookie A.J. Klein played so well the rest of that game and against the Patriots that there’s a chance he’ll remain the starter when Blackburn returns.

Kawaan Short and AJ Klein. Two more guys I said we should’ve drafted. No, no. Let’s take 12 safeties, a really terrible tight end, and a 15 cornerbacks.

Nite ‘all!


November 22nd, 2013
12:03 am

D3, The more I watch these guys (why I do that, I don’t know), the more I think this is mostly on TD. Could you find a worse offensive line? I think you could put an ad in the AJC classifieds for offensive linemen and come up with a better group than this. That’s on TD. The defense has never been much to write home about, but they looked better tonight. I think Brees was a little off his game. However, not a good defensive line and a pretty weak secondary. Again, I think it’s on TD. I don’t think it’s the schemes. I’m not letting MS off the hook-why did Antoine Smith only get one carry? Really?

[...] News here – Atlanta Falcons: The Cage ← BenTrickey and David Dondero lead double-release [...]


November 22nd, 2013
1:48 am

Don’t forget injury issues to go along with the high potential.

darrell starks

November 22nd, 2013
2:43 am

Blame Matt Ryan, HA

This is a joke of a team with Matt being QB.

Is it really the OL or Ice Man Regression continue, maybe it’s Mr. Koetter with his play calling, or it could be all 3 phrase.

1. OL is horrible but have been trying 2 put things together with several looks up front.

2. Matt Ryan get no pass from me he also been horrible with Regression every week with his decision with football, also I will continue 2 say this with him making 20mill it will hand strap this team from becoming a great team, If Matt Ryan do not go Management and tell them renegotiate his contract to get help up front and also sign and keep your top players, this team will get worse.

3.Koetter is horrible he come from Jaguars the worse Offensive team in the league and now making the Falcons Offensive become even more terrible than the team he left from, how do have so many weapons and continue look this bad, with a bad OL they should at least score 20points a game.

Who is 2 blame at the end of the day ?


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

darrell starks

November 22nd, 2013
2:59 am

Falcons Rank

1. Rushing Rank 31

2. Passing Rank 9 but pass attempt is rank 4th behind Broncos, Lions, Browns

3. Totally Offense is 14 but every since the Julio injury Rank dead last.

This team have so many holes on this team that I also must SMH.

How can Falcons fix this.

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

darrell starks

November 22nd, 2013
3:27 am

With all the distraction on Offense there is no way I would pass on Clowney.

My 77 Jersey is warming up.

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

darrell starks

November 22nd, 2013
3:34 am

darrell starks

November 22nd, 2013
3:44 am

darrell starks

November 22nd, 2013
3:46 am

Are you serious no way TD pass on this guy

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


November 22nd, 2013
7:45 am

Went to bed before third quarter ended because the game was so frustrating. Didn’t have any excitement about seeing the game before it started. Surely, AB will come to his senses regarding HC Smith. Reading the blog this morning is certainly more fun than watching the game last night.

Chop Buster – “Geo the play calling has sucked for six years now.” AMEN!! The same lame plays over and over. Maybe MTurner was better in his hey days than we thought.

Big Ray – “Smitty is one stupid looking fool on the sidelines. Just shut up, dude. You’ve been beaten.” AMEN!!! I can hardly stand to look at a picture of him much less a live shot.

And, it looks as though Smitty’s lawyer has abandoned him.


November 22nd, 2013
7:57 am

How motivated do you think the O-line was to work their tails off after watching Matt Ryan slide at the 5? I was stunned. Even Peyton Manning would have stuck his broken neck in their trying to score.

Chop Buster

November 22nd, 2013
7:58 am

Where do I even begin? The issues start from the top of this organization with Arthur Blank. Arthur publicly states that Thomas and Smitty has earned the right in five years to stay for another year. What have they done in five years to deserve to stay? Did they take the team to multiple NFC Championships or even to a superbowl? NO How many playoff games have they actually won? ONE, yes count ‘em.

Who has Dimitroff drafted or sign to this team that is a game changer? Not a single person. Julio? Naw, he’s shown the ability to get taken out of games. Also what’s the percentage of games he’s been healthy and contribute for those FIVE picks? A rookie GM who has proven he’s way in over his head.

You’d think our HC changes his ways and does things out of the usual character of this team, but he hasn’t. The Falcons had the same old lame plays called that they call every game. They played another half of football in the first half and disappeared in the second half as they have done in every game under Smith. Smitty’s game plan consists of 10-15 plays and after that they team is lost.

I’m fed up with this. I have no control or say over what the team does. Only control I have is to stop taking this organization seriously. Arthur is trying to run a football organization like he ran Home Depot–everybody’s family. He’s emotionally connected to TD and Smitty. What business person puts his personal feelings for his employees before the success of his business? Arthur.

This current regime doesn’t have it in them to build this team the right way. I’m sorry for the negativity but this team has given me very little–no NOTHING–to feel positive about. Starting with the owner and his stupid azz remarks to the media.


November 22nd, 2013
8:56 am

The Antone Smith sighting was nice.


November 22nd, 2013
9:00 am

OMG! The players are talking like clones of HC Smith.

Spoon – “Ultimately, we didn’t get the result that we wanted. But we did play with more energy tonight.”

TG*88 – “And don’t get me wrong — we still lost. It’s a bad taste in our mouths. It’s not the outcome that we wanted.


November 22nd, 2013
9:01 am

Hello Cagers.

I’m in agreement with others that say, “the more they watch this team, the more disappointed they get” Ditto.

How in the world can Smith keep trotting out the same lame, stale, offensive scheme that has failed us since his tenure here? you would think that Smith would have conversation with Koetter, tell, (instruct) him (Koetter) to scrap this mundane thing they call an offensive scheme, tell Koetter,’ hey buddy we’re 2 and 7, retire the playbook, we’re gonna play with some reckless abandon, we’re gonna add some flea-Flickers, wide receiver reverses…and a host of other gadget plays to catch teams off-guard’.

But know, Smith is still trotting out this stale azz offensive scheme like we’re competing for the lead in the division (Playoff spot)….and moreover, where are the special teams trick plays? on-side kicks, fake punts? SMITH IS BEYOND MORONIC!!! I really don’t fault him as much though, because he would do better if he were held accountable by the other two stooges (TD, BLANKS).

Adversity should bring about change, desperation is always associated with adversity, none of that is showing through with Smith, or this thing we call a team.

If you guys expect some new wrinkles in the offense next year, keep waiting….if you’re not seeing it now, how in the hell do you expect to see a new and improved offense in 2014?



November 22nd, 2013
9:02 am

Falconssince70, you nailed the one question that I had…”why did Antoine Smith only get one carry?” If I recall correctly MS said that he has earned more snaps, guess he mind freaked us all.


November 22nd, 2013
9:04 am

We have reached a new low when the players (coaches) are satisfied with playing better, competing, as opposed to trying to win.

Paddy O

November 22nd, 2013
9:08 am

we played pretty well. #13 Johnson had a much better game – but that play call where he fumbled is a good example of stupid cute that Welcome Back is famous for. As some point, somebody needs to conclude that Garrett Reynolds SUCKS at RG. And, we seemed to have better blocking with Hawley at C. Oh, where have you gone Mr. Dahl?

Paddy O

November 22nd, 2013
9:14 am

As much as I desire to blame this gigantic mess on Smitty – lets look at the incredible ineptitude of our GM: Obviously looking to go to a super bowl in 2013, based on the play of his VETERANS in 2012, what does he do? Throw aside John Abraham (who is getting more QB pressure than Osi); Grimes, Chris Owens, Vance Walker, Dunta Robinson, Mike Turner, Clabo. All of these guys contributed. Consider – if we keep Dunta or Grimes, we only draft ONE rookie CB; perhaps instead draft a LB or a big butt DT? Or even a better RG? Rookies are tough to integrate – why? They make newbie mistakes. To me, it appears – if the 2013 was TD’s attempt at getting to the SB, he shot himself in the foot repeatedly in the off season. Yes – Spoon, Bierman and JJ getting hurt further exacerbated our loss of veteran presence – but, it is almost exclusively TD’s fault that we are having to play so many rookies. DeCoud played much better – he is a good cover safety – just lousy at tackling – he again made an ole effort on Grahams big run. Sad to say, but Spoon just does not tackle with authority. Worrilow is a MUCH better tackler. Still don’t understand why Coffman gets zero play time. Heckuva block early in the game by #13 Johnson.


November 22nd, 2013
9:15 am

I’m actually going to state some positive things from last night’s game:

Big props to Mr. Joe Hawley for acting like he actually wants to be a starter. Dude was after it all night long. He was down field blocking on just about every play. He did a good job!

DJ13 and HD83 had solid showings! The fumble was very costly cause I think we were actually going to score on that drive! But man can they find a way to get open! He actually got open and MR2 pulled the ball back down and took the sack! Mayock was like DJ had his man beat you got to let it fly!

Lamar Holmes actually held up last night! He looks better on the left side for sure! That right side of ours is awful! Just let Schrader play for goodness sake!

Just one negative thing…Go for the win Smitty! Go out on your sword!

Paddy O

November 22nd, 2013
9:16 am

Klein was one of my draft picks. the 2013 draft had a ton of high caliber LB’s in it; and a boatload of big butt DT’s. We picked neither.

Paddy O

November 22nd, 2013
9:18 am

think if the Falcons had simply signed Curtis Lofton – then we don’t draft Dent – who was on the bench most of the time. That again could have been used to upgrade the line. I hope Garrett Reynolds moves to the PS.


November 22nd, 2013
9:28 am

“In this game, in that one scramble, with that field goal decision, and throughout the entire season, Mike Smith’s team laid up when they should have been shooting for the flag. And this is not a league that rewards the risk-averse.”
Doug Farrar – SI

John Waynesworld

November 22nd, 2013
9:37 am

As of the final whistle last night, forget about the rest of this season. Rest In Flames.

Time to start focusing on probably the most important decision in this franchise’s history, and that will happen in the April 2014 NFL Draft. Either this team gets back on track or we could spin into a decade long death spiral, looking up at both the Saints and the Panthers for years.

So…WHERE is our #1 most pressing need…OL or Defense? Is it Groundhog Day again?

Knowing all about the Russian Mousse’s grazing habits, I see a pass rusher finally being picked first (considering the super high draft position), followed by a series of O & D line selections:

#1 – DE, DT, or OLB (Best Pass Rusher Available)
#2 – RT or RG
#3 – RG or RT
#4 – DE/DT
#5 – The heaviest Nose Tackle available
#6 – C or LG
#7 – LT to compete against Baker

Focusing on the trenches is the quickest way to fix this mess. This should be a major overhaul. I’m also expecting OL and DL Free Agents to be considered as replacements for presently rostered players. Nothing else really matters, and thank goodness we discovered some LBs this season, so our draft won’t be thinned further looking for help in the back 7 of our defense.

Then after the draft we can sign about 15 UDFA Running Backs and pick the best one or two.


November 22nd, 2013
9:41 am

Falcons Suck!!


November 22nd, 2013
9:49 am

What makes anyone think TD can draft talent, no less impact talent no matter where we pick.


November 22nd, 2013
9:50 am

Augustabred – “Just one negative thing…Go for the win Smitty! Go out on your sword!”

He doesn’t have a sword; not even an imaginary one.


November 22nd, 2013
9:58 am

I’m not that broken up about this one. This has been a season about adjusting expectations, and I expected the Falcons to put up a better effort than usual, but still lose. That’s exactly what happened.

Yes, Smitty’s decision at the end was annoying, and the offensive line broke down (as usual), and there were a number of costly mistakes. But going on and on about them seems a bit like a waste of time at this point, since I wouldn’t expect anything different.

I’m sure fans of the Jags, Texans, Bucs, and Vikings don’t expect their teams to exceed the level of play they’ve established so far, and if they do, it isn’t by much. The Falcons performed about as well as I expected, and unless they surprise me, I don’t feel the need to say much more than that.

On to next week.


November 22nd, 2013
10:03 am

SG that is a good link and lots of to the point stuff:

This stat struck me about Matt Ryan:
Ryan could do no more. He completed 30 of 39 passes for 292 yards, but couldn’t manage a single touchdown pass. He came into this game with more total pressures than any other NFL quarterback (172, which constituted 40.2 percent of his dropbacks) and he was blistered by Ryan’s defense all night.

I heard on 680 the Fan earlier this week that in slightly over two quarters in the Bucs game, Matt Ryan had more hits than any other quarterback had for an entire game. The number was something like 9-11 in that time frame and the most any other QB had for an entire game was 4-6.


November 22nd, 2013
10:05 am

Solid article, SG. Sums up everything.


November 22nd, 2013
10:08 am

Paddy O (9:14 a.m.) — EXACTLY! What I’ve been saying all along – even last year.

Let way too many vet leaders go and drafted what? Should have drafted ONE CB (1st or 2nd round) but should not have traded up. Should have kept Dunta – was decent last year. Should have replaced ONE starter on OL and drafted an OG in 2nd / 3rd round to replace him. Should have drafted a DT in 2nd / 3rd round and should have KEPT Vance Walker. Peria Jerry was the one to let go.

Can’t blame all this on the HC – these decisions are made in the FRONT OFFICE.

But it’s done and Falcons have to move on to the 2014 draft.
Priority #1 is the OL – with all the money spent on Ryan he has to protected and given a chance to out score opponents.

Falcons trade back from their #3 position 1st round:
Houston’s #8 in 2014 & 1st round pick in 2015 for Falcons’ #3 pick 1st round
Houston picks Marcus Mariota (QB)
Falcons pick Cyrus Kouandjio (LOT) Alabama

John Waynesworld

November 22nd, 2013
10:11 am

Next stop, Canada! Forecast 33° with flurries! Too bad it’s a retractable dome.

Maybe TD can hook up with Neil Peart and go bike riding.


November 22nd, 2013
10:14 am

Wings: “….and lots of to the point stuff.”

Reading that article didn’t you feel like Farrar took everything that’s been said here over the last couple of years and cobbled it into one succinct, spot-on read w/ some added details for spice?

The stats about MR2’s total pressures AND how much that figure constitutes of his dropbacks was an eye-opener.


November 22nd, 2013
10:16 am

Wings / Snack

Those stats about Ryan pressures was one thing, but the percentage those make up of his dropbacks was an eye opener.


November 22nd, 2013
10:32 am

Field goal on fourth and 15 is the right decision. All the percentages and state of the Oline add up. They struggled with every pass possible almost all night. Waggle, screen(left)(right), short, inter. I just cant all of a sudden believe that they wont have issues on 4th and 15. Let other teams do what they can do. Their Oine and ours don’t share the same story.


November 22nd, 2013
10:35 am

Did anyone watch Antone Smith get one carry, eleven yards and a first down?


November 22nd, 2013
10:46 am

Yes there was an Antone sighting. Unfortunately he was kidnapped by the Klingons before he got anymore of those touches that MS promised.


November 22nd, 2013
10:52 am

Blank’s argument for continuing with Smith/Dimitroff is that this season is an aberration. I don’t believe the season is an aberration. This season reveals the underlying problems that have finally surfaced.

Blank will focus on the winningest coach in Falcons history. The talk about the ‘winningest coach’ is fine in a vacuum. There’s a problem, though. Our division just happens to have Sean Payton in it, and our winningest coach still looks like the understudy.

After last night, the seven year divisional W/L records read: MSmith 18-17 / SPayton 22-11. So let’s give Smith/Dimitroff another year to fix it. Fix? We have an established pattern of being average in the division which in turn explains our below average performances in the playoffs.

Mr. Blank: this year is a gift to you. A wake-up call. Look deeper and acknowledge that Smith/Dimitroff have been average in our division from the beginning. We are not, and have not been on the road to a championship.


November 22nd, 2013
11:01 am


“Field goal on fourth and 15 is the right decision. All the percentages and state of the Oline add up. ”

Someone made a good point on the radio. For us to win going for the FG, 3 things have to happen.

1) Make a 52 yard FG
2) Defense stop Brees from running out the clock so we get ball back
3) Drive down the FG, and kick another FG.

I’m no mathematician, but by the time you multiply the odds of all 3 happening, it has to be lower than the odds of converting on 4th and 15 (even with a terrible O-line).


November 22nd, 2013
11:07 am

O’Brien: Exactly. I’d sooner bet on picking up fifteen yards with another quick slant to Darius Johnson than our D stopping the Saints with less than three minutes to go. Lance Moore and Jimmy Graham didn’t appear to have a lot of trouble out there the previous three quarters.


November 22nd, 2013
11:29 am

Arno 10:52:

Well stated. If AB hopes that the fan base – not to mention the media – will continue to share space w/ him in that aptly named “vacuum”, he’s in for a far greater disappointment than this year’s final record will be.

In case you missed, Doug Farrar’s SI article this morning nails the “underlying problems” you allude to.

Juius the Kicker

November 22nd, 2013
11:31 am

Go Falcon!!!

Julius the Kicker

November 22nd, 2013
11:31 am

Rick D

November 22nd, 2013
12:08 pm

I have 4 season tickets on the 2nd row and a season ticket holder since 2002. I have never missed a game, even pre season. Until last night. I could not bear to even go the game last night knowing it would be yet another stomach jerker. I couldn’t even give away the seats.

Every time Ryan is sacked, I feel the pain. That Ryan is playing through this, with elevated risk of injury or worse, says more about him than any detractor on these boards can make up. Given the situation, there are only two players who are attempting to give 100% and both of their first names are Matt.

*sigh* I should have gone to the game and supported the team. So quit whining, D3. We got through hard times with Patrino and Vick, we will get through this one. It always gets better when things are down. It’s just a game and life goes on. Things could be worse; we could be Peoria.


November 22nd, 2013
12:20 pm

Yeah….. you have to go for it in that situation! Making the 4 and 15 was more probable than stopping Bree’s. They couldn’t cover HD or DJ all night!

But our young corner’s looked good! McClain showed up and Trufant did a good job as well! Alford needs to play more.

I was a little shocked (why i don’t know) that Antone didn’t get a couple more touches. I liked SJ effort last night but he has lost a couple steps. Antone will get about 3 or 4 carries next game. Hell, even D-Led actually said something about that.

When MR2 didn’t try and score and slid at the 5….Come’ on Man! He just made the list.