We’re live (and alive) from Falcons-Jets game

Don't you wish you could tailgate in New Jersey? Yeesh.

Don't you wish you could tailgate in New Jersey? Yeesh.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J — Before we get to today’s Falcons’ game, I have two important travel updates:

1.) Our beat guy, Darryl Ledbetter,  rolled into Manhattan at 2:53 a.m. I know this because he sent me a very excited text message, which of course I ignored until about 8:30. For those who missed our travel experiences, and if you want to know how D-Led blew it by not following my lead, click here.

parkinglot2.) We STILL almost didn’t make it the game. Our taxi from the hotel did I nice little swerve and side slide on the New Jersey Turnpike after the doofus driving the Lexus in front of us lost control because he was driving too fast, spun out and kissed the wall. Our driver apologized for startling us. Apologize? For what? He just gave me a blog lead. Of course, now Ledbetter is screaming at me for not taking a picture of the Lexus.

Anyway, I can now say I’ve experienced stadiumeverything. Having a cab driver from Brooklyn apologize was the last thing on my Bucket List.

Inside the stadium, things are fine. Well, not great for the Falcons. As I’m sure you know, they officially were eliminated from playoff contention last night when Dallas upset New Orleans. Of course, I know most us knew they realistically were out of it following last week’s lost to the Saints.

The scene, the stadium and my pressbox neighbors, Dave Archer and Wes Durham.

The scene, the stadium and my press box neighbors, radio teammates Dave Archer and Wes Durham. Wes wanted me to point out that their windows were open.

But it doesn’t make today’s game against the New York Jets uninteresting. I realize athletes are human. But an NFL season is only 16 games. To me, there’s no excuse for letting up. I plan on making this central to the column later. But the Falcons have a lot of questions to answer — about Matt Ryan, about the offense, about the team in general. They need to get the most out of these “meaningless” games as possible.

About Ryan and Michael Turner: If you missed the earlier flashes on Twitter — follow @AJCFalcons and @JeffSchultzAJC!!!– both will start. How a quarterback with turf toe and a running back with a high ankle sprain hold up in this weather remains to be seen. But it will be good to see the offense somewhat intact again.

By the way, the weather is good right now. Cold, but clear skies. The snow on the field has been cleared to the side. So that shouldn’t be a factor. Let’s just say things are a little more under control here now than they are at LaGuardia. Or on the Turnpike.

I’ll check back in a little while.

1,145 comments Add your comment

11-2 GEORGIA TECH in ORANGE BOWL

December 20th, 2009
12:08 pm

11-2 GEORGIA TECH in ORANGE BOWL

December 20th, 2009
12:09 pm

11-2 is ALIVE

Matt Winkeljohn

December 20th, 2009
12:12 pm

Did D-Led hook up with his street peeps?

BOOGIES THE MAN FROM HARTWELL GA

December 20th, 2009
12:16 pm

HEY JEFF …………………DID YOU KNOW……………
IOWA ( YES IOWA ) HAS SOLD 2 TO 1 TICKETS AND BOOKED TWICE THE HOTEL/MOTELS THAN TEK ?
YEA , THIS IS BIG TIME FOR tek ………………..

Barkin'Dog

December 20th, 2009
12:16 pm

I imagine turf toe will be numb from the cold, but gang green is another matter. Looking forward to seeing a similar effort to last week’s game with a winning season on the line. Turner is well rested (sans his injury) and should be a difference-maker. But a dome team in freezing weather is always a question. I know Matt Ryan has played in new England cold, so we need our wide outs to catch and hold the ball. I’ll bet Gonzo is the go-to guy today. Go Falcons… YOU CAN DO IT!!

midnite

December 20th, 2009
12:17 pm

Seasons greetings Schultz and DOL! I hope y’all can get back to the ATL before Christmas. Bring us back a “curse” busting victory. Too bad we lost that 1% playoff chance we had last night. Glad the Saints will not go 16-0. Go Falcons knock the Jets out it today. Y’all be safe and enjoy!

balismith

December 20th, 2009
12:26 pm

ohhhhhhhhh the weather outside is frightful but your column and degiblog were kinda delightful….let it snow let it snow let it snow; great work jeff and merry christmas

BOOGIES THE MAN FROM HARTWELL GA

December 20th, 2009
12:31 pm

HELLO , JEFF ,ARE YOU THERE ?

Santy Klaus

December 20th, 2009
12:34 pm

Nice pic of Wes and Dave. Wes looks like he has lost weight. Dave, on the other hand, ….

Sonny Clusters

December 20th, 2009
12:35 pm

Clusters’ Keys to the Game:

1. What happens with Turf Toe in cold weather? Will the green toe turn blue? Will Matt be able to go with cold toes?
2. How will Arthur Blank do on a cold-weather sideline? Will we see an overcoat and a muffler? What color muffler?
3. Are there residual effects from last night’s burrito?

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 20th, 2009
12:38 pm

TRIVIA QUESTION:

Which of the following Franchise quarterbacks are out of playoffs?

- Joe Flacco

- Mike Vick

- The CHOKE

I think it’s humorous that the CHOKE would decide to play with nothing on the line. When his teammates needed him, he didn’t have the guts or toughness to lead the team down the stretch, and instead let the backup take the heat for his poor 2-4 play over his last 6 games prior to the Tampa game.

He might as well keep his SORRY butt on the sideline cheerleading, something he is more suited for.

We (UF) own UGA

December 20th, 2009
12:39 pm

UGA fans mocking Tech’s Orange Bowl ticket sales on a Falcons article is absolutely hilarious! Considering per 790 this morning UGA has sold 900 tickets to the mighty Independence Bowl.

BTW-Dawg fans, it’s pretty comical that you lose an DC to Illinois! Wow, but Mark Richt sure has the program going in the right direction now doesn’t he? hahahahahaahahaha

Sonny Clusters

December 20th, 2009
12:41 pm

When we was playing ball we had a game in Gainesville in the snow and we was all wrapped up on the sidelines and shivering when Coach came over to us and said, “Jeff, wipe your runny nose. You’re going in.” We was a team so we both went in together. We was supposed to block and Jeff was supposed to run the ball right behind us. Stinky Wintes was playing tackle. It was the best we had to throw at ‘em. The ball was snapped and Stinky knocked back 3 players off the line. We burst through and leveled a linebacker and a pesky safety. Jeff, on the other hand was slow to hit the hole and was tackled for a loss. Coach called us right off the field and asked Jeff what happened? Ol’ Jeff just looked at Coach and said, “

Jeff Schultz

December 20th, 2009
12:46 pm

Winkeljohn — D-Led says no. It was too late and too cold for the street peeps.

Jeff Schultz

December 20th, 2009
12:48 pm

Sonny — What’s Stinky up to these days.

Jeff Schultz

December 20th, 2009
12:53 pm

Boogies — yes, I’m here.

La Jolla Dawg

December 20th, 2009
12:54 pm

Sonny, I think Arthur might don a hat today. And I don’t think he does mufflers. Scarves, yes, mufflers no. I could be wrong though. I live in Southern California and don’t happen to own either (Jeff, that was for you).

Jeff Schultz

December 20th, 2009
12:55 pm

Midnite — Thanks, man. (And are you the REAL Midnite? We’ve learned there’s so many imitations these days.)

BOOGIES THE MAN FROM HARTWELL GA

December 20th, 2009
1:03 pm

TO we ( uf ) own us ……..
GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT.
FYI, V. KOENNING WAS NOT OFFERED THE DC JOB , ONLY INTERVIEWED FOR IT…. QUIT READING THE WEEKLY FISH RAPPER , GET YOUR FACTS BEFORE YOU MAKE AN IDIOT OF YOURSELF ……. I THING YOU ARE A tekkie ANY WAY AND NOT A GAYTOR

mmgtfan

December 20th, 2009
1:05 pm

Crowd looks sparse on the TV Jeff. How is it from your view

DHunt

December 20th, 2009
1:05 pm

A shame we are at this point hoping that the Falcons can just look presentable. Sad but true yet again.

BOOGIES THE MAN FROM HARTWELL GA

December 20th, 2009
1:06 pm

TO JEFF – MERRY CHRISTMAS ( IS IT POLITICALLY CORRECT TO SAY THAT HERE? ) TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY………….
GREAT JOB IN 2009 ALSO ……………

DHunt

December 20th, 2009
1:06 pm

Already starting bad with the refs. Should have been a no call

DHunt

December 20th, 2009
1:06 pm

Jenks has his one good reception already today.

Jeff Schultz

December 20th, 2009
1:07 pm

MMGTfan — Stadium’s half-empty. Don’t know how much because of weather and how much because 2 non-playoff teams.

DHunt

December 20th, 2009
1:08 pm

Let’s go Defense, let’s go!

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 20th, 2009
1:09 pm

WHAT A HIT BY HARRIS :)

Guess NOODLE ARM will be leaving the game soon :)

OUCH :)

Jeff Schultz

December 20th, 2009
1:09 pm

Boogies — Thanks. I’ve never been offended by Merry Christmas.

TMoney

December 20th, 2009
1:10 pm

Let’s see how Sanchez does in his first cold weather game. Previous lowest temperature he’s played in – 45. Current temp – 30.

DHunt

December 20th, 2009
1:10 pm

A pass in a good spot would have been a first down. Some QB’s just put it out there, great ones put it in the right place. Even the ball thrown to Roddy was high and wide when it should have been thrown more downfield so he could go and get it. Keeping it positive today. Let’s just blame it on the wind

Jeff Schultz

December 20th, 2009
1:11 pm

Don’t know if Turner’s coming back in or not. He hobbled out early.

TMoney

December 20th, 2009
1:12 pm

Can definitely hear the wind coming through my speakers. Hey Jeff, what’s the wind speed there today?

DHunt

December 20th, 2009
1:12 pm

D-Line penetration. Check.

DHunt

December 20th, 2009
1:12 pm

Brent Grimes in good position to make a play. 3rd down time again

mike28212

December 20th, 2009
1:13 pm

TMoney

December 20th, 2009
1:13 pm

Nice catch DeCoud.

DHunt

December 20th, 2009
1:13 pm

OH my goodness! DeCoud turning into a playmaker!

Jeff Schultz

December 20th, 2009
1:14 pm

Yep, Turner’s out, but on sideline trying to put pressure on ankle.

DHunt

December 20th, 2009
1:14 pm

One run and done by Turner?

Jeff Schultz

December 20th, 2009
1:15 pm

Nice call — Jets weren’t ready for that play.

TMoney

December 20th, 2009
1:16 pm

Baker was hobbling a little after that first down, grabbed at his hamstring

DHunt

December 20th, 2009
1:16 pm

a third down play designed to beat the pressure. where’s that been all year?

Jeff Schultz

December 20th, 2009
1:16 pm

Now Norwood’s limping off. Oy.

TMoney

December 20th, 2009
1:16 pm

And there goes Norwood. Down to Snelling and Snecker.

DHunt

December 20th, 2009
1:17 pm

Norwood staying upright after the first hit. then limps off the field. The curse is in full effect

Matt "Choke" Ryan

December 20th, 2009
1:17 pm

Sure doesn’t look like someone who has been nursing a turf toe.

DHunt

December 20th, 2009
1:17 pm

Who is the 5th running back? Gonna need them soon at this rate.

DHunt

December 20th, 2009
1:19 pm

Actually he does Choke. Must be a bad plant foot that’s making those passes just a little bit off so far today.

TMoney

December 20th, 2009
1:19 pm

Nice catch Gonzo.

JB

December 20th, 2009
1:20 pm

Someone at AJC please give Sonny Clusters his own column!