We’re live from Falcons’ game (but do they live?)

The New Orleans Saints and their fans have invaded the Georgia Dome.

The New Orleans Saints and some of their fans invade the Georgia Dome today.

Hello, and welcome to the latest must-win game of the season. Only this week, we’re serious.

It’s borderline impossible to imagine the Falcons losing to the New Orleans Saints today and making the playoffs. At 6-6, they’ve buried themselves with too many potential tiebreaker losses — defeats against possible wild card teams Dallas, the New York Giants and Philadelphia — and therefore would be hard-pressed to reach the post-season with a 9-7 record.

First, let’s get the bad news out of the way.  Quarterback Matt Ryan (turf toe) and running back Michael Turner (high ankle sprain) both are on the inactive list. (Right guard Harvey Dahl also is inactive with an ankle sprain)

No great surprise. Neither Ryan nor Turner practiced all week. (Walk-throughs don’t count.) I don’t know if the Falcons had classified them as “questionable” in an attempt to confuse the Saints, or if they really believed there was a chance one or both might play. In either case, it never seemed realistic.

As for today, we’ve seen a lot of strange developments in Falcons-Saints games in the past. But a Falcons win today would rank near the top. New Orleans is 12-0. Atlanta has dropped five of seven since a 4-1 start. Offensively, the Falcons are beat up. Defensively, they’re not very good. At least, Washington, which nearly pulled an upset last week, has one of the better ranked defenses in the NFL.

I’m not sure what this will count for when it’s over today, but I’m certain the Falcons will play hard. They know the situation they’re in and they don’t want to be humiliated at home two weeks in a row (losing to Philadelphia, 34-7, in the Georgia Dome last week).

For those who missed it, I talked to tight end Tony Gonzalez the other day and he remains confident about today’s game and the rest of  the season. Here’s a link to the column.

Referencing the Eagles, game, tackle Tyson Clabo said, “Obviously, nobody likes to get embarrassed like that. We feel like we have a better team than that. It’s not something you want to happen, ever.”

Especially at home?

“Anywhere.”

When asked about the prospects of a turnaround, Clabo said, “It’s just going to take us playing better, no matter who’s in there. If we get some guys back, that wouldn’t hurt. But we can’t sit here and count on things that may or may not happen. This is the hand we’ve been dealt and we have to deal with it.”

So there you go? How many of you out there believe the Falcons are primed to pull an upset today? Weigh in with your thoughts and I’ll be back shortly.

1,123 comments Add your comment

retired on the lake

December 13th, 2009
11:53 am

Prayers would help about now.
Major upset Falcons Win
pass the kool aid

retired on the lake

December 13th, 2009
11:54 am

On the Third nite of Channukah the Falcon celebrate a victory

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 13th, 2009
11:54 am

Where is Bradley?

retired on the lake

December 13th, 2009
11:57 am

Is it obvious i started drinking early?

The Dogfighter Returns

December 13th, 2009
12:01 pm

Bradley just like tiger needs his privacy.

Matt

December 13th, 2009
12:04 pm

I am afraid this is gonna get ugly. Unfortunately, I see the Aints putting up 40+ points on this sieve-like Defense. Without Ryan and Turner there is no way the Offense will be able to keep up. I think I’m going to be doing shots after every Aint score to dull the pain. Anyway, Go Falcons!!

AhhhhhSUM

December 13th, 2009
12:05 pm

As a Falcon lifer, this season has morphed into something all to familiar. Today’s beatdown might be borderline illegal. But there is a few games throughout the decades that miracles happen and we have done the improbable. Maybe this can be one of those times. Then we can get some of our horses back for the remainder of the season and see what happens. go falcons ( in my best just been broken in prison voice)

Tiger

December 13th, 2009
12:05 pm

Leave me alone…

pilgrim

December 13th, 2009
12:07 pm

Carolina missed field goal.
O-line sees Ryan injured on first series by Tampa Bay.
Philly players laughing on the sidelines.
Babineaux’s game preparations.

Yet here we are. Go Falcons.

Gary Anderson from 1998

December 13th, 2009
12:08 pm

Miracles do happen…you can do it!

Dawgs2009

December 13th, 2009
12:08 pm

Is it Sunday already? Please GOD let there be a last minute Blackout. Bad Falcons football was easier to deal with when every home game was blacked out. There is nothing good that can come from today’s game except moving ever closer to a better draft pick. The bad side of that statement is we traded away our second round pick. we would be setting ourselves up for a decent draft, but now we will have that first pick and have to wait till the third round for another chance. We could be nabbing a corner with that 2nd round pick, but instead we have a useless Tight-End because our QB cannot get a pass to him because he blows.

slickwilly

December 13th, 2009
12:09 pm

Who Dat, Who Dat, who Dat say gonna beat dem Saints!!!

Good luck Atlanta, you’ll need it.

bp

December 13th, 2009
12:10 pm

Reid Adair

December 13th, 2009
12:11 pm

I think they have the confidence of what they were able to do in New Orleans a few weeks ago. Granted, they don’t have Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Harvey Dahl or a few others.

But I think this is going to be an example of how the organization has turned the corner and moved forward for the long haul.

Ree Roe

December 13th, 2009
12:14 pm

What happened to Mark? Go Falcons!

-REEcently Roe!!!

BreesBaby

December 13th, 2009
12:20 pm

mann!! saints got this!!!!!! WHO DAT BABY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 13th, 2009
12:23 pm

I’m taking bets that the FOX network switches games by the 3rd quarter, for a more competitive game :)

Sonny Clusters

December 13th, 2009
12:27 pm

Turf toe is a nasty thing. The toes turns green and needs mowing. Let’s all hope that Matt Ryan’s turf toe gets better and that he can play next week. We was never vicitimized by turf toe but we had an ingrown toenail once. We went out there and played until that toenail fell off and we was state championship. We was wondering if Arthur Blank ever had a hurt toe? Could have dropped a hammer on it.

Ree Roe

December 13th, 2009
12:28 pm

@ Matt “Choke” Ryan, who’s your team?

-REEcently Roe!!!

playmeortrademe

December 13th, 2009
12:34 pm

Also a lifelong Falcons fan, I can’t remember a season that started out with so high expectations (I honestly thought this team had a reasonable shot at the NFC title, even with the horrendous defensive display in the preseason) just to get flattened like a possum on a south ga highway. And up until the philly game the Falcons still had a shot, they essentially blew games at Carolina and New York, but I think the white flag gets raised today and the season will be essentially over. I think anyone with a moderate to severe injury will be shut down after this game and 2010 starts Monday. Hopefully next season’s schedule will be a bit kinder next year if it rotates into the NFC West and AFC North.

tell it like it is

December 13th, 2009
12:34 pm

Falcons have no chance.Sorryest team in the NFL.Sorry folks me and falcons getting a deviorce.

Hang in there Boys

December 13th, 2009
12:39 pm

Maybe we can pull out a win today over the hottest team in the NFL. Hang in there guys!

The good news is we are losing the fair weather fans that jumped on the bandwagon last year.

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 13th, 2009
12:41 pm

CHOKE is a FAKE and a PUNK – Get your butt on the field.

He is the BUST and FRAUD that I knew he was.

Jeff Schultz

December 13th, 2009
12:45 pm

Retired on the Lake – Would that be a bigger miracle than the oil burning for eight crazy nights?

“Choke” (and others) – Bradley on vacation.

Gary Anderson – FYI, Morten Anderson is in the building. Remember him? He’s the kicker who DIDN’T miss.

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 13th, 2009
12:48 pm

Well we all know what Vick did in his sophomore season….well here is a reminder:

- Make his 1st Pro Bowl

- Led his team to the playoffs

- Led his team to being 1st to beat Green Bay at Lambeau

- Finished 2nd in MVP voting

CHOKE sophomore season:

- A pick in 6 straight games

- 12 PICKS in 10 games

- No wins vs teams with current winning records

- 1 and 5 on the road

We can all squash all the comparisons :)

Dude is a joke!

“DUMP THE CHUMP”

“NEUTER THE POODLE WITH THE ARM MADE OF NOODLE”

Matt

December 13th, 2009
12:50 pm

Yawn…did someone hear something??

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 13th, 2009
12:56 pm

ToccoaBird

December 13th, 2009
12:58 pm

I just hope the D shows up today.

Tiger sparks memories in Clusters

December 13th, 2009
12:59 pm

I know Clusters must be feeling Tiger’s pain, having walked a mile in his shoes.

Now let’s clear something up real quick before Mrs. Clusters gets the frying pan. Can’t put no blame to Sonny like you can Tiger, ’cause he was single during his exploits and wasn’t beholden to anyone.

But still, anybody who was somebody back in the day knew that back part of the Dairy Queen parking lot, where the streetlight was busted out, was Clusters’ house on Fridays and Saturdays.

Only sometimes you’d hear some hoopin’ and hollerin’ and catfightin’ back there, when Sonny got his Friday night and Saturday night dates mixed up.

And now you know where the term Clusterf–k comes from!

Lesa

December 13th, 2009
12:59 pm

Ugh, I’m dreading this game, but am going to watch it anyway. I hope Redman and the offense put up a better showing than last week . . .

mountain_jim

December 13th, 2009
1:02 pm

I want to see Mularkey call a better game – with screens to stop the rush.

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 13th, 2009
1:03 pm

CHOKE makes a good cheerleader.

He’s finally discovered his calling :)

Johnathan Babineaux

December 13th, 2009
1:04 pm

At least I’m relaxed for the game.

Jeff Schultz

December 13th, 2009
1:05 pm

There’s some early momentum. Nice quick play. Can’t believe there was that much space in front of Snelling.

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 13th, 2009
1:06 pm

That was the best Falcons pass all season.

Way to go Redman.

Jeff Schultz

December 13th, 2009
1:07 pm

Falcons clearly want to take a lot of time off clock.

Jeff Schultz

December 13th, 2009
1:08 pm

Bryant now 1 for 1 as a Falcon.

"Chef" Tim Dix

December 13th, 2009
1:09 pm

Who wants pie?

Jeff Schultz

December 13th, 2009
1:10 pm

Chef — what kind?

"Chef" Tim Dix

December 13th, 2009
1:11 pm

A mean key lime!

Jeff Schultz

December 13th, 2009
1:11 pm

Here comes the Saints offense . . . don’t blink.

mountain_jim

December 13th, 2009
1:13 pm

Mularkey being real careful with run run pass. Does not trust Redmond. His throw was not far enough for a first anyway – poor decision it seemed.

dawgma

December 13th, 2009
1:13 pm

O-boy! Here comes the worse CB’s in the NFL. My guess is ‘aints complete 4 passes in the first drive. 2 in 3rds down situations to put seven on the board.

Dimi – get us some CB’s and an end that can RUSH a throw now!

"Chef" Tim Dix

December 13th, 2009
1:13 pm

Won’t have worry about calling the Breck girl (C.Houston) name today…

Rod

December 13th, 2009
1:13 pm

Where is Shockley?

Theron Sapp

December 13th, 2009
1:14 pm

Is everyone in the beer line, or are there a LOT of empty seats in there?

dawgma

December 13th, 2009
1:14 pm

Cedrick

December 13th, 2009
1:14 pm

WOW!! You got too love that sellout crowd in Atlanta this week. Where are all of the Matty Ice Fans??? Why are they not at the game supporting the team. Oh yeah Ryan not starting again, maybe Ryan should call the college player CJ Spiller(RB) and ask him how he played “ALL” year with turf-toe……

dawgma

December 13th, 2009
1:14 pm

two completions

"Chef" Tim Dix

December 13th, 2009
1:15 pm

Even with good coverage like then on Shockey, Brees is better than good.