LIVE: Falcons look for 3-0 start (and some help from Turner)

There will be more fans in the stadium later, but not enough to satisfy ownership.

There will be more fans in the stadium later, but not enough to satisfy Chargers' ownership.

SAN DIEGO — Welcome to the city where it’s impossible to miserable, or so would you think. Great restaurants, a revitalized downtown, beaches, Shamu — what more could anybody want? But temperatures have been in the 80s lately and people are complaining that it’s too hot. (They should try Georgia in August — and this little thing called humidity.)

Folks here don’t seem to have embraced their NFL team, either. The San Diego Chargers are 2-0, like the Falcons, but they couldn’t sell out today’s game and the contest is blacked out locally. It’s not an unusual occurrence. That fan apathy has fueled the organization’s public relations battle against the city for a new stadium deal.

It’s similar to the Falcons’ situation. Chargers owner Alex Spanos says he needs a new venue to generate more revenue and stay competitive. If he doesn’t get it, it’s possible they will be the team that moves two hours north on I-5 to Los Angeles (assuming that stadium deal ever gets done). The only difference between Spanos’s complaints and those of Falcons owner Arthur Blank is Spanos has a more legitimate gripe: The Chargers’ stadium was built in 1966, the Georgia Dome in 1992.

Back to football. We’re going to find out something about the Falcons’ resiliency today. They are a better team than San Diego but there are three significant factors they’ll need to overcome to start 3-0 for only the fourth time:

• 1) They’re playing in a short week, having beaten Denver Monday night.

• 2) They’re playing on the road and far from home. (Though the Falcons are 5-0 on the West Coast under coach Mike Smith, including a win at San Diego in 2008, they have never had to make this trip in a short week.)

• 3) They’re pretty banged up, particularly defensively, where cornerbacks Brent Grimes (torn Achilles) and Chris Owens (concussion) both are out and linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (thigh) is questionable (although he’s expected to play). Right tackle Tyson Clabo (hip) also is questionable. I’ll post the inactives when they’re available.

It also will be interesting to see how running back Michael Turner performs in his return to San Diego. Turner, signed as a free agent from the Chargers, ran for 120 yards in the Falcons’ 22-16 win here four years ago, but those were far different circumstances. He is off to a poor start this season (28 carrries for 74 yards, a 2.6 average) and was arrested for speeding and suspicion of DUI in the early morning hours following the Monday night win over Denver.

Even with the early success of the passing game, the Falcons will need to be able to run the ball at some point this season to be successful, certainly late in the year and in the playoffs.

If you missed it, here’s a link to a column I wrote on the Falcons’ defense, where players have taken to the “calmer” ways of coordinator Mike Nolan and suggested they had burned out on Brian VanGorder’s screaming.

One last thing: If you missed it, the barrister, D. Orlando Ledbetter, broke down the Falcons’ previous 2-0 starts. In a statistical anomaly, they have made the playoffs only two of the previous seven times (the 1998 Super Bowl team and the 2004 NFC title-game team). The Falcons have started a season 3-0 three times: 1981 (started 3-0, finished 7-9), 1986 (started 4-0, finished 7-8-1) annd 2004 (started 4-0, finished 11-5 and went to the NFC title game).

That’s all for now. Weigh in with your thoughts about today’s game and I’ll be back shortly.

By Jeff Schultz

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752 comments Add your comment

phil

September 23rd, 2012
5:13 pm

A good start! Need a stop here.

tallulahFalcon

September 23rd, 2012
5:13 pm

ijonathan

September 23rd, 2012
5:14 pm

Somewhere in Germany a senior Mercedes Benz marketing guy is being fired.

JSS

September 23rd, 2012
5:14 pm

“Not easy to have a 17-play, 96-yd drive … especially with NO running game.”

It is if the Strong safety is not going to play up…

Answer this

September 23rd, 2012
5:14 pm

the Aints on the other hand STink!

tallulahFalcon

September 23rd, 2012
5:14 pm

And i just bought a MB ugh

Michael M.

September 23rd, 2012
5:15 pm

They gonna want them large leaf bags so they can hide now………lol……………………………..

LOL at the Aints

September 23rd, 2012
5:15 pm

Wow Indeed,, Things are shaping up nicely fellas! Just need to put these guys away,,

Ben Jones

September 23rd, 2012
5:15 pm

Let’s shut em out in the 1st half defense!

Answer this

September 23rd, 2012
5:15 pm

Lol @ JSS……kill all the joy in happy land!

phil

September 23rd, 2012
5:16 pm

True dat, JSS….

Dave

September 23rd, 2012
5:16 pm

I see my boy ChokieWohkie is lighting on the boards with his usual brilliance.

stizz

September 23rd, 2012
5:16 pm

Week after week, JSS must find something to critique about the Falcons.

Ben Jones

September 23rd, 2012
5:16 pm

Ryan has 180 passing yards in the 1st half alone. Dude could have a 360 yard day if he keeps it up.

ijonathan

September 23rd, 2012
5:16 pm

JSS, let me guess, you played safety or DB at one time? Your obsession over DBs and safeties in particular is quite…obvious.

tallulahFalcon

September 23rd, 2012
5:16 pm

one more score before the half

LOL at the Aints

September 23rd, 2012
5:16 pm

Pitching a shoutout right now,, defense is playing a heck of a game,,,,,,,, again,, smoke and mirrors,, I’ll take it..

falconsrus

September 23rd, 2012
5:16 pm

Seen go down and get a roll of paper towel’s when they ask ” Paper or plastic” get the paper. oh get Bounty its the quicker picker you know? cry me a big muddy sop it up wring it out sop it up again draw some lilys on it (the paper bag” and wear it while you are bothering us on our blog

Michael M.

September 23rd, 2012
5:17 pm

Be hard to make a comeback at 0 – 3 and playin the Pack next week ? ……………………………..Falcons need to win today………..

LOL at the Aints

September 23rd, 2012
5:17 pm

Who’s JSS LOL,,

Dr. Warren

September 23rd, 2012
5:18 pm

The best thing about the Chargers so far is their helmets…

Michael M.

September 23rd, 2012
5:18 pm

Falcons like to had a Pick……………….

JSS

September 23rd, 2012
5:19 pm

@ Jeff Schultz…
How is old Jack Murphy (Qualcomm) holding up?

ijonathan

September 23rd, 2012
5:19 pm

Hopefully Beirmann sometimes gets to score at home…because dude is the King of aaaaaalmost on the field.

phil

September 23rd, 2012
5:19 pm

Bierman couldn’t sack a corpse…..the guy is putrid bad.

Ben Jones

September 23rd, 2012
5:19 pm

Score again before the half! Make it 20-0! Defense is playing outstanding so far!

bigdwarf

September 23rd, 2012
5:19 pm

anybody no where MATT CHOKE RYAN is today

tallulahFalcon

September 23rd, 2012
5:19 pm

WTF he was out of bounds. Let them play

Back 2 The Brown Paper Bags

September 23rd, 2012
5:19 pm

Answer this

September 23rd, 2012
5:15 pm

Lol @ JSS……kill all the joy in happy land!
I know, Right ?!! :wink:

Michael M.

September 23rd, 2012
5:19 pm

Give him the Pick Ref……………………..

tallulahFalcon

September 23rd, 2012
5:20 pm

I’ll eat crow if im wrong…of course

ijonathan

September 23rd, 2012
5:20 pm

I think MCR may be in Arizona, caretully wiping the tears from MV7’s eyes and massaging his…throwing arm.

Jeff Schultz

September 23rd, 2012
5:20 pm

JSS — Not well.

Ben Jones

September 23rd, 2012
5:20 pm

Hmm, let’s see? Falcons 3-0, Saints 0-3. Bucs 1-2, Panthers 1-2.

ijonathan

September 23rd, 2012
5:21 pm

INT! INT! INT!

Back 2 The Brown Paper Bags

September 23rd, 2012
5:21 pm

LOL at the Aints

September 23rd, 2012
5:17 pm

Who’s JSS LOL,,
Put a bag over both of them ! :grin:

Big Crimson 75

September 23rd, 2012
5:21 pm

That’s a Pick.

Michael M.

September 23rd, 2012
5:21 pm

Oh thats a pick ………………..indeed !

keepin it real

September 23rd, 2012
5:21 pm

Rhonde Barber said during Ryan’s rookie year that in 5 years, Ryan would be the standard for quarterbacks in the league. Mr. Barber, you are a prophet, indeed.

SirReal

September 23rd, 2012
5:21 pm

Biermann is garbage. Just cant seem to sack a grocery. Same garbage spin move that only mkaes himself dizzy. Glad Julio is ok. We looked totally different once he was back out there. Hopefully we can get some points before the half. So far so good. With the Taints losing, the division is ours for the taking!!!

Ando

September 23rd, 2012
5:21 pm

Looks like a good INT to me

Answer this

September 23rd, 2012
5:22 pm

Thats a int!

Chirp

September 23rd, 2012
5:22 pm

To Jeff’s point…. The NE establishment keeps saying that the Falcon’s don’t know who they are: a passing team or a running team. Looks like we’re seeing that identity being found. At last count, Ryan has already thrown the ball 24 times. So far, it’s working. What happens when they meet a team who can play all facets of the game will be interesting to see.

SirReal

September 23rd, 2012
5:22 pm

Yep, thats a pick for sure!!!

LOL at the Aints

September 23rd, 2012
5:22 pm

@JSS,, quit changing the subject,, LOL

Sid

September 23rd, 2012
5:22 pm

that’s an INT.

Back 2 The Brown Paper Bags

September 23rd, 2012
5:23 pm

Jeff Schultz

September 23rd, 2012
5:20 pm

JSS — Not well.
:mrgreen:

ijonathan

September 23rd, 2012
5:23 pm

JSS, that Decoud is such a pile of crap, huh? Maybe you should go watch some more coaches film…after you splice it together, of course.

Jeff Schultz

September 23rd, 2012
5:23 pm

I’m going to have to start bringing deli to the pressbox to make sandwiches during the reviews.

Answer this

September 23rd, 2012
5:23 pm