FALCONS LIVE: No Cam Newton here but Ryan’s not bad

This guy won't be in the game today . . .

Sorry,this guy won't be in the game today ...

. . . but this guy will, and the Falcons are fine with that.

... but this guy will and Falcons are fine with that.

TAMPA — So if Cam Newton can accomplish this in one season as a starter in the SEC, how many NFL teams are going to run through walls to draft him in the spring?

Well, a lot. But safe to say the Falcons won’t be among them. The biggest reason they’re tied for the league’s best record (9-2) is the play of quarterback Matt Ryan, who was 24-for-28 last week against Green Bay and just won the NFC’s offensive player of the month award for November. And considering this is only his third season, he’s probably going to be around for a little while.

Ryan and the Falcons are in a rare position today. If they defeat Tampa Bay, they’ll hit double-digits in wins for only the sixth time in franchise history with four games still to play. But it would be the second season of double-digit wins in three tries during the regime of general manager Thomas Dimitroff, coach Mike Smith and Ryan.

As I wrote early in the week, Smith (29-14) already ranks fourth in team history in victories despite being only ninth in games coached (43).

The Falcons are not blowing teams away. Kicker Matt Bryant has won three games late on field goals and six of their nine wins have comes by seven or fewer points. But they’re doing a lot of things impressively. Their offense has become more diversified in the past few weeks and the defense, starting to get healthy, is making stops in key situations. Green Bay had two red zone possessions that resulted in a field goal and a fumble, and threw consecutive incomplete passes on third-and-1 and f0urth-and-1 at the Falcons’ 41.

A few other numbers:

♦ 0: That’s how many turnovers the Falcons have in the last four games, a franchise record streak. The team’s 10 turnovers are the fewest in the NFC (third in the NFL). The Falcons also are 8-0 when winning the turnover battle.

♦ 165: That’s Ryan’s consecutive pass attempt streak without an interception. The franchise record is 197 (Steve Bartkowski, 1982-83).

♦ 42: The Falcons’ accepted-penalty total, which is the least in the NFL.

About today’s game: Tampa Bay has the league’s sixth worst rushing defense so expect the Falcons’ game plan to run accordingly. Michael Turner rushed for 107 yards and two touchdowns in Atlanta’s 27-21 win at the Georgia Dome last month.

Finally, late Tampa Bay and USC coach John McKay will be inducted posthumously into the Buccaneers” ring of honor at halftime. Rich McKay, his son and the Falcons’ president, will take part in the ceremonies. The Bucs will wear their throwback pale tangerine uniforms.

Tampa Bay lost last week to Baltimore to drop to 7-5. So expect the team to come out desperate, knowing another loss significantly damages its playoff chances.

That’s it for now. I’ll check back in a little while and let you know about inactives as soon as they’re announced.


Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC and Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

1,834 comments Add your comment

Draggin' Fly

December 5th, 2010
2:04 pm

I hate this “first” crap.

Dubvee

December 5th, 2010
2:05 pm

Go Falcons — Super Bowl Bound!!

Draggin' Fly

December 5th, 2010
2:06 pm

Saints not looking like world beaters in Cincy.

skyler

December 5th, 2010
2:06 pm

Bucs are 7-4, not 7-5

Stateway

December 5th, 2010
2:06 pm

andy a

December 5th, 2010
2:07 pm

Steve

December 5th, 2010
2:08 pm

skyler

December 5th, 2010
2:08 pm

It makes sense that a techie would find something like that…but dont forget who owns georgia tech, and that’s that georgia bulldogs…9 of the last 10 baby…suck it

Dayman

December 5th, 2010
2:09 pm

Newton>>>Ryan.

I can’t even type that with a straight face by myself.

St. Clarkston

December 5th, 2010
2:10 pm

Bartkowski threw the best deep ever. Matty Ice is money in the bank.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

December 5th, 2010
2:14 pm

Lets go , Falcons, Lets go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! why be 9-3 when 10 and 2 feels so gooood….

The Bucs are in their throwback creamsicle jerseys..lets ruin that for them !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Pediction…ATL 31–TB 17

I hate the Bucs!!!!!!!! Even more than the Aint’s….

Love ya, Matty ICE!!!!! I predict big days for 84 and 88

WDE 13-0!!

Steve

December 5th, 2010
2:14 pm

By the way, the betting line is Auburn -3 over Oregon. The over/under is 75.

TrishaDishaWarEagle

December 5th, 2010
2:18 pm

BTW these packers throwback uni’s are BUTT UGLY!!!

Steve

December 5th, 2010
2:20 pm

Oregon 48 Auburn 45.

mountain_jim

December 5th, 2010
2:23 pm

I hate waiting around for these 4:15 games. I hope the Falcons also plan to exploit the inexperience in parts of the secondary today.

I rewatched last weeks game, and it seems every game Mularkey gets too conservative with the lead in the 3rd quarter, running on too many 1st and 2nd downs, causing some drives to fail into punts or FGs. That in my opinion is why some of these games come down to the last minute.

Step on their throats Mularkey!

TrishaDishaWarEagle

December 5th, 2010
2:23 pm

Steve

December 5th, 2010
2:28 pm

Wishful thinking Trisha. Oregon is going to destroy that pathetic Auburn defense. Remember what Arkansas did to Auburn with their BACKUP QB? Oregon also has a much better defense.

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AJC and Elise , Jeff Schultz. Jeff Schultz said: LIVE BLOG: #Falcons go for six straight against #Bucs. http://tinyurl.com/2bdcdxw [...]

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Brett Israel, RPC and Jeff Haws, Jeff Schultz. Jeff Schultz said: FALCONS LIVE: No Cam Newton here but Ryan’s not bad http://bit.ly/e3qvDG [...]

The Blair Miss Project

December 5th, 2010
2:40 pm

<——– WIDE LEFT <——–

(((((42-34))))) hahahahahahaha

Caleb's Sports Corner

December 5th, 2010
2:46 pm

Hey guys check out my blog it covers all the latest sports news from around the country http://www.CalebsSportsCorner.blogspot.com

Supes

December 5th, 2010
2:55 pm

Can the AJC do a blog without mentioning SHAM? Answer is no…if Jeff and Mark Bradley have anything to say about it.

Today will be a tough game…Tampa Bay is playing for their playoff lives here…a loss would really set them back in their wild card race against the other NFC teams like the Packers and Giants.

Falcons need to man up and take it to the Bucs…play physical and do what they do best….keep opposing QB’s on the sidelines.

Lets go Falcons!!!

and if anyone thinks that teams will be “lining up” to take Newton…I have 2 words for you…VINCE YOUNG…how’s that working out for ya? Teams will be lining up to take ANDREW LUCK…a QB who translates perfect into the pro style offense…not SHAM who runs a gimmicky offense that won’t work in the NFL.

m

December 5th, 2010
3:04 pm

Excuse me here: PLEASE do NOT put Matty Ice in same sentence with scam; Matt deserves better than that and he is SUPPOSED to get paid to play!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Steve

December 5th, 2010
3:06 pm

Caleb, nobody cares.

The Blair Miss Project

December 5th, 2010
3:10 pm

No matter what happens today, the University of Georgia scored Forty-Two points to Georgia Tech’s Thirty-Four points.

This means the Univeristy of Georgia is Nine and One in the last Ten Meetings, and Sixty-One, Thirty-Nine and Five all time.

Hahahahahahaha!!!!

Jeff Schultz

December 5th, 2010
3:10 pm

INACTIVES: As expected, Jason Snelling is inactive with a hamstring strain. Not surprising since he didn’t practice all week. Also inactive: QB JP Wilson (3rd QB), CB Dominique Franks, RB Antone Smith, OT Garrett Reynolds, G Mike Johnson, DE Lawrence Sidbury, DT Trey Lewis.

Supes

December 5th, 2010
3:11 pm

mountain_jim

good call on Mularky getting too conservative with the game plan after the Falcons build a lead in a game…he tries to run clock (which is smart) but they end up getting stuffed and it puts the Falcons in 3rd and long which aren’t the best case scenario for out offense.

one more reason why Sham won’t translate “his game” as a running QB to the next level…he won’t be able to take the beating. He won’t be facing LB who are 210-220lbs…he’ll be facing Ray Lewis, James Harrison, Bart Scott and others who will take his head off when they nail him on running plays.

Jeff Schultz

December 5th, 2010
3:14 pm

Too Funny — Not too funny. Please watch your choice of words.

Jeff Schultz

December 5th, 2010
3:15 pm

Can’t figure out why Fox moved this game to 4 p.m. to make it a national broadcast, only to decide to show it to 7 or 9 percent of the country while everybody else gets a bad Dallas Cowboys game again.

Tide Rising

December 5th, 2010
3:18 pm

Jeff,

Say it aint so. Former Bama qb JP Wilson is out? How will we ever win without him?

Supes

December 5th, 2010
3:18 pm

As disappointing as Dallas has been this season….they have more fans…? and it’s Peyton Manning on the other side…

JSS

December 5th, 2010
3:21 pm

@ Jeff Schultz…
They have to balance the regions, it was either that or have a Green Bay game at 4 because the Dolphins had a early home game and the Jags had a early away game on CBS too… They love those Florida markets leading into prime time…

Draggin' Fly

December 5th, 2010
3:23 pm

Saints 20 – Bungles 19 early in the 4th.

DIT

December 5th, 2010
3:23 pm

Jeff,
I’m not sure if they are only showing it to 7 to 9% of the country because the Bucs have had a real hard time selling out down here in Tampa. That would be my only guess. I’m not sure if they are sold out today or not.

Mike

December 5th, 2010
3:24 pm

I’m still struggling to grasp that on live television, Tracy Wolfson actually squirted something called “Cammy Cam Juice” into her mouth.

Willy

December 5th, 2010
3:26 pm

Jeff Schultz, I wish YOU were INACTIVE for this game.

Supes

December 5th, 2010
3:28 pm

Maybe the Bungles can actually help out the Falcons today…but Saints just scored again…

WTF

December 5th, 2010
3:31 pm

Bet Marvin Lewis wishes he went for 2 now. oops

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

December 5th, 2010
3:32 pm

Jeff that is an insult to Cam Newton – CHOKE couldn’t lead Boston College to a sorry ACC Title, but anyway back to the topic at hand.

TOP 5 REASONS FALCONS WILL FAIL – AGAIN:

1. They can’t beat playoff caliber teams on the road.

2. The season shifts to cold weather and CHOKE doesn’t have the arm strength to perform well outside of domes.

3. His arm burns out this time of year.

4. They struggle on the road and today kicks off a 3 game road stretch.

5. CHOKE pretty much sucks.

Headley Lamar

December 5th, 2010
3:33 pm

Congrats to Auburn on a great season.

For now …….

andrea

December 5th, 2010
3:34 pm

i’m a newish falcons fan out of respect.i respect their decision not to take vick back.and the falcons are doing great! i’m an anti-fan of the eagles now. . . .do the dirty bird !

Mike

December 5th, 2010
3:34 pm

And who should be the QB for the Falcons Mr. Choke?

Headley Lamar

December 5th, 2010
3:35 pm

I dont think Cam Newtons game translates to the Pros.

He wont make it in the NFL ala Vince Young.

JSS

December 5th, 2010
3:36 pm

Seriously, didn’t y’all get enough of talking about college football all week and yesterday? By the way, Bradley still has his blog up, go and act crazy over there!

Supes

December 5th, 2010
3:36 pm

“Choke” did u have some of Cammy Cam’s Juice too? Looks like by that last garbage post of yours…

You are the worst kind of TROLL…the one who won’t go away…

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

December 5th, 2010
3:36 pm

Why would the NFL want the Falcons in prime time?

I mean when you have the 6-5 Colts vs the 3-8 Cowboys on national t.v., that tells you all there needs to be known how fans outside of Atlanta feels about the “Fraud” Falcons and the CHOKE Master :)

Just mention Vick and BAMM – Instant ratings.

Mike

December 5th, 2010
3:37 pm

I didn’t think Cam’s game would do well in the NFL till he started to have to throw the ball the past few weeks and had been lights out. I wouldn’t be thrilled if my team needed a QB and burned a top 5 pick on him based on 1 year but I think his game might do better then say Jamarcus Russell or Vince Young.

matthew

December 5th, 2010
3:40 pm

hey db choke? ryan led the falcons to victory last week, philly and vick stunk up chicago. you’re not fit the to clean ryan’s jock strap. go jump in front of a marta train.

this is my only message to you today: shut up.

Headley Lamar

December 5th, 2010
3:41 pm

I wouldn’t be thrilled if my team needed a QB and burned a top 5 pick on him based on 1 year but I think his game might do better then say Jamarcus Russell or Vince Young.

He might be successful who knows ? But the NFL is a totally different game .

Look at Tom Brady. Not a superstar at Michigan but his game does translate to the NFL game.

Supes

December 5th, 2010
3:42 pm

Mike…Sham hasn’t played under center (pro style) and in the NFL teams aren’t going to be half to death afraid of him running the football like they were this entire season in the SEC. A running QB won’t last long in the NFL. Why waste a top pick on a guy like that when u have Andrew Luck sitting there for that taking?