We’re live from Dallas, where they fear Falcons’ Ryan

scoreboard
I was hoping for a remote control when I got to my seat. No such luck.

ARLINGTON, Texas – Hello. I am back in the Death Star. I’ll be here all game for live blogging. But first, just a few observations.

Driving around Saturday after posting the Digi-Blog on Cowboys Stadium, I was struck by how negative Dallas fans and media feel about the team. Listened to local sports talk a little and chatted with some fans and there seems to be a consensus that the Dallas defense can’t stop Matt Ryan and the Falcons. Many also believe Tony Gonzalez could be a major factor today. I realize that’s not exactly going out on a limb, but the Cowboys have struggled against good tight ends.

No place else can you watch games on the big screen and dancers before the game.

Welcome to the new NFL: No place else can you watch games on the big screen and dancers before the game than at Cowboys Stadium.

I spoke to Ryan earlier in the week about this season and his career thus far, and it’s clear he’s pumped for this game. Remember, he grew up in Philadelphia as an Eagles fan. Philly folks have a built-in dislike of anything Dallas-related. There’s also the fact that  former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, who now works for Fox, has been praising Ryan during broadcasts.

“It’s pretty cool to hear those things,” Ryan said about comments from both Aikman

I found two Falcons fans from South Texas: Daniel Mascorro (Matt Ryan) and his brother Anthony Castillo (John Abraham). Both are originally from Lawrenceville.

I found two Falcons fans from South Texas: Daniel Mascorro (Matt Ryan) and his brother Anthony Castillo (John Abraham). Both are originally from Lawrenceville.

and former coach Tony Dungy, who has compared Ryan with a young Peyton Manning. “But you have to take them with a grain of salt. I certainly feel like I have a long way to go to sniff what Peyton’s doing. Troy Aikman is somebody I grew up watching beat up on the Philadelphia Eagles for my entire youth.”

Gonzalez, a 13-year veteran, has marveled how unaffected Ryan has been by the attention. “I was just thinking about that today — there’s a lot of pressure on him,” he said Wednesday. “He’s just in his second year. A lot of people forget that. You’ve got a guy like Troy Aikman anointing you — and he’s deserved it, too.  A guy like Troy Aikman — I don’t think he’s going to sugar coat anything. If there’s a good player, he’s going to talk about it. It’s for a good reason.”

Finally, there’s this: The Falcons’ defense has been either: 1) Bend but don’t break; 2) unbelievably lucky; 3) a little of both. Atlanta ranks 24th in yards allowed (359.2) but third in scoring defense (15.4 points). The Chicago Bears came away scoreless in three red zone possessions last week, twice because of turnovers.

“I’ve always believed the most important statistic is points allowed,” said coach Mike Smith, who spent most of his career as a defensive coach. “The year we set an NFL record for points allowed with our Super Bowl team in Baltimore, we did not lead the league in defense. Tennessee did. We were second in the league.”

True. But second is better than 23rd.

“All I’m trying to say is the only thing we talk to our guys about is keeping them out of the end zone,” he said. “People are going to make plays.”

So there it is. What are your pre-game thoughts on this game. I need to go find a cup of coffee and I’ll be right back.

1,165 comments Add your comment

mmgtfan

October 25th, 2009
3:01 pm

58dawg

October 25th, 2009
3:04 pm

Go Falcons, make us proud

Bill

October 25th, 2009
3:08 pm

Given He!! Falcons.

Watch out for the Dancers…Jeff!

Sonny Clusters

October 25th, 2009
3:09 pm

What’s in those little sausages, anyway?

Sonny Clusters

October 25th, 2009
3:14 pm

When we’d get in the red zone sometimes we’d call trick plays and let Stinky Wintes carry the ball. Down close like that nobody wanted to be around Stinky Wintes. That boy could put the ball under his arm and the leather would turn dark. We have some good memories of back when we was playing ball.

UGAFan

October 25th, 2009
3:24 pm

Go Falcons! Beat the Boys…..Avenge us! Yes I still hold a grudge for 78′ and 80′ …..

president of matt diaz fan club

October 25th, 2009
3:25 pm

A win is needed, no doubt. BUT, this game seems like the week when the national media is going to be watching, unlike the previous weeks.

Sonny Clusters

October 25th, 2009
3:27 pm

Jeff, can you see who is in the Buck Commanders box today?

bass stringerfish

October 25th, 2009
3:30 pm

This is the NFL. Winning is all that counts, not how you look doing it…just win the game, one at a time…and Dave…is it true that the stadium is so big that team buses can drive right up to the locker rooms?
Thanks for the great pics…

Barkin'Dog

October 25th, 2009
3:30 pm

Let’s Go Falcons!! And, oh, Matt… use your “noodle” — and show some of these idiots you have what it takes to lead us to the promised land. We’re all tired of hearing (reading) about that other QB. You are the man!! And most of us really BELIEVE in you. Leave No Doubt!!

bass stringerfish

October 25th, 2009
3:31 pm

Sorry, have no idea who the hell Dave is!

ATLfan

October 25th, 2009
3:32 pm

I grew up with my grandpa being a Redskins fan. Redskin fans have this indescribable hate for Dallas. Personally, I love the Falcons, but that hatred is still there! Here’s to a good tearing apart of the cowboys!

Barkin'Dog

October 25th, 2009
3:33 pm

That’s right, bass… Thanks, Jeff, for the great photos of the stadium. Best pics I’ve seen of the inside so far. A great walk-through… NOW… let’s blow the top off!

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 25th, 2009
3:37 pm

The name speaks for itself :)

mountain_jim

October 25th, 2009
3:39 pm

I’ll be checking in here throughout the game because the Falcons Forum will crash again for sure. They could not keep it running last week and that was a home game!

Not Disappointed

October 25th, 2009
3:40 pm

Rock on Falcons! To my brother have a good time at the game.

Go Falcons!!
Go Jackets!!
Go Dawgs!!

Barkin'Dog

October 25th, 2009
3:41 pm

Matt “CHOKE” Ryan — NO! The name speaks for an idiot. Can I get an AMEN?!

Arno

October 25th, 2009
3:48 pm

About 1980 – My father-in-law after that game said he would never watch football again. Not just the Falcons – never watch FOOTBALL again. And he didn’t.

Barkin'Dog

October 25th, 2009
3:48 pm

“I’LL BE BACK,” in the famous words of the Terminator.
I’m going to set up TiVo and watch a little of the game on Hi-Def…
But, I’ll return soon… to help y’all cheer on the Birds!

I’ll be “Rockin’ Robin” when I get back (but Barkin’ Dog as a handle) ;-)

Hey, where’s Cuz and 45? Hope you’re watchin’ guys… this is going to be a good ‘ne!!

Randy

October 25th, 2009
3:50 pm

Barkin Dog, you got your Amen !!!

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 25th, 2009
3:50 pm

I’m just saying :)

Not Disappointed

October 25th, 2009
3:51 pm

So Jeff, you’ve seen the stadium, the venue & its surrounding. My question as a football fan, is it worth the 1.2 Billion price tag?

Rick

October 25th, 2009
3:55 pm

Matt Ryan, Barring a devastating injury will have a long and great career. He has all the tools.
His brain being the most important.
His arm strength is as good a s ANY QB in the NFL. His 1st pro pass was for a 54yd td.
He will one day wear the yellow jacket in Canton.

Jmayne

October 25th, 2009
3:55 pm

Once again, the key to the falcons team is pressure on the opposing qb. Whether its some of thos blitzes we saw last week, or just the 4-man rush. Defense is allright against the run, but getting to the Romeo is the key to the game. By the way, whos calling the game? Joe Buck and Mr. Cowboy? i hope not…id rather get paper cuts on my eylids.

Doug in Abilene

October 25th, 2009
3:55 pm

Rick

October 25th, 2009
3:56 pm

when has Ryan EVER choked?

Rick

October 25th, 2009
3:58 pm

we can win with the healthy running backs we have

Asheville Dawg

October 25th, 2009
3:58 pm

Thanks again Mr. Jeff for those pictures inside the space machine you entered. Go Falcons! As an extra aside,
I finally met coach Richt yesterday @ the Mars Hill College homecoming game. It was nice to see the Richt’s get to see their son play. Grandma’s, Grandpa’s, everyone seemed to be there. Now go kick those sorry gators butt.

Jeff Schultz

October 25th, 2009
3:59 pm

Sonny — I can’t make out the face, but he’s eating some wings.

Not Disappointed — I’ll never say a stadium is worth $1.2 billion — or $1.8 billion, which is what I’ve heard it really cost. But it’s pretty nice. Sick. Excessive. But nice.

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 25th, 2009
4:00 pm

Rick

October 25th, 2009
3:55 pm
Matt Ryan, Barring a devastating injury will have a long and great career. He has all the tools.
His brain being the most important.
His arm strength is as good a s ANY QB in the NFL. His 1st pro pass was for a 54yd td.
He will one day wear the yellow jacket in Canton.

“Are you really that stupid? Do you know what Y.A.C. means”?

That first pass only went 20 yards and Jenkins ran the rest of the way.

As far as arm strength is concerned, you really need to lay off of the crack if you think he has arm strength.

YOU ARE AN IDIOT – Lay off the moonshine.

william

October 25th, 2009
4:01 pm

Well, if the referees do not determine the outcome of the game it should be a good game for the Falcons. The NFL media never shows the Falcon’s games on NFL network. According to the NFL network there are only five teams in the NFL. I am sure you can name them they have been on the NFL network every day and every week. It just seems that Falcon fans do not want to watch the Jets, Steelers, and MInnisota everyday. Let us have a vote! Do we? I vote no!

Jeff Schultz

October 25th, 2009
4:01 pm

Rick — you didn’t really think you could post a comment like that, did you. It’s out. Please keep it clean.

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 25th, 2009
4:02 pm

Rick

October 25th, 2009
3:56 pm
when has Ryan EVER choked?

Link Report this comment

“AS YOU REQUESTED”:

http://scores.espn.go.com/nfl/recap?gameId=290103022

Just for starters :)

kid me not

October 25th, 2009
4:02 pm

Another Amen for you Barkin Dog! And Arno, men ought not to make such rash vows! Life without football????????????

kid me not

October 25th, 2009
4:03 pm

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 25th, 2009
4:04 pm

Rick

October 25th, 2009
4:06 pm

Matt Ryan has better arm strength than Romo,Delhome,pennington, and any other qb we have played this year.
Facts are facts.
No drugs or booze here. just sayin what the truth is

Arno

October 25th, 2009
4:07 pm

kid me not – I tried to lure him back. But to his dying day, he kept his vow. But the worst part, after that game, my brother-in-laws started rooting for the Raiders.

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 25th, 2009
4:08 pm

Rick

October 25th, 2009
4:06 pm
Matt Ryan has better arm strength than Romo,Delhome,pennington, and any other qb we have played this year.
Facts are facts.
No drugs or booze here. just sayin what the truth is

“So from ANY qb in the league to Romo, Delhomme, Pennington” :)

You are not very bright :)

Jeff Schultz

October 25th, 2009
4:08 pm

Asheville Dawg — Thanks.

For some reason, the cheerleaders have left the field and the players are on now.

Also just noticed the elevated dance platforms above the “party area” with go-go dancers. I am not making that up.

Rick

October 25th, 2009
4:11 pm

name one pass he has not made due to lack of arm strength.
According to Troy Aikman”anyone who does not think Ryan has an arm that can make any throw an NFL quarter needs to make has never watched the game”
But YOU know better , right.slow day on the drive thru, all the geniuses come out

Rick

October 25th, 2009
4:11 pm

now , go fetch me some more tea

Scott

October 25th, 2009
4:12 pm

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 25th, 2009
4:13 pm

@Rick – you want creme in it :)

Rick

October 25th, 2009
4:13 pm

that’s funny,
You say Ryan chokes and I’m the one who isn’t bright?
you hair net is too tight

Rick

October 25th, 2009
4:14 pm

games on bye

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 25th, 2009
4:15 pm

Falcons-34

October 25th, 2009
4:15 pm

Great digi-blog Jeff. That’s pretty amazing site to see and, yes, I’m a little jealous as a Falcons fan. The Death Star is a fantastic nickname for that behemouth.

Surprising to hear the ‘Boys fans are that hard on their team.

This is the most talented team that Brooking’s played on in a while, huh? The same team that’s failed to win a playoff game in 13 years? Interesting.

Here we go……………

Dr. R

October 25th, 2009
4:16 pm

You know. I understand why FOX has to switch to the Falcons and away from what was a great Steelers-Vikings game in the final seconds. But why do they have to switch to four commercials before kickoff? Couldn’t we see the end of the other game first? I guess we know the answer to that.

Pam Oliver is still a beautiful woman and I think the least annoying of all the eye-candy sideline reporters.

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 25th, 2009
4:17 pm

Matt “Choke” Ryan will throw at least 3-picks today :)