LIVE: Falcons can make it 6-0 before getting a little rest

Michael Turner scored the wining touchdown last week at Washington. (AP photo)

Michael Turner scored the wining touchdown last week at Washington. (AP photo)

Five games into the season, the Falcons (5-0) already have a 3½ game lead over Tampa Bay (1-3) and a four-game lead over New Orleans (`-4) and Carolina (1-4). They also are one of only two unbeaten teams in the NFL and lead the race for home field advantage through the NFC playoffs.

What does this all mean? Well, not quite nothing. But not nearly everything.

It’s only October, and as impressive as the Falcons have been in many areas — particularly pass offense, pass protection and to so me degree pass defense — they weren’t great in consecutive come-from-behind wins over Carolina and Washington. The biggest issues remain the running game and run defense, which also happen to be the two factors (along with quarterback play) that generally separate the Super Bowl contenders from the also-rans in December and January.

Today’s game against Oakland seems to set up perfectly. The Raiders (1-3) aren’t very good, they can’t run the ball (32nd) and their secondary is horrible. The Falcons also know they have a bye week after today, before going into a potentially difficult three-game stretch (at Philadelphia, home against Dallas, at New Orleans).

Matt Ryan should be able to throw the ball against this team. But at some point, the Falcons need to get their running game on track. Michael Turner had a 13-yard touchdown run in last week’s win at Washington but generally he has struggled this season behind a weak-blocking line.

Just a few bullet points and then I’ll open up the phone lines.

Linebacker Stephen Nicholas (ankle) and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (groin) were both limited in practice this week but are in the lineup.

Falcons coach Mike Smith (48-21) can tie Dan Reeves (49-59-1) as the winningest coach in franchise history in only his fifth season.

Tight end Tony Gonzalez needs one touchdown catch to hit 100 in his career. He has four already this season — previous season totals with the Falcons: 6, 6 and 7 — and had 13 receptions for 123 yards and a TD at Washington.

That’s it for now. The cyber-venting lines are open. I’ll be here if you have any questions.

By Jeff Schultz

Earlier blogs from the digital jukebox

Fan revolts out of control, one even wanted to fight UGA player

Weekend Predictions: No sacrifices, but Falcons, LSU win

Video blog: Are Falcons (5-0) really better than before?

Radakovich says Johnson is ‘right person for job’

Al Groh’s problems at  Georgia Tech weren’t pure ‘fantasy’

Falcons are easy highlight in Atlanta’s dark sports weekend

Short takes: Gonzalez, Bryant and missing RG3 in Falcons’ win

Braves’ Frank Wren needs to fix good, but not great, team

Chipper Jones on loss in his finale: ‘Ultimately, I’m to blame’

Spurrier should take a lesson from Richt on handling criticism

1,090 comments Add your comment

Benjamin

October 14th, 2012
11:53 am

A quick glance at the league leaders in catches also shows our spry young TE atop the leaderboard.

Use your journalistic influence to convince Gonzalez to stick around, Schultzie!

Daniel

October 14th, 2012
11:58 am

They should def be 6-0 after today. Ryan just needs to keep connecting to ToGo. Seems to never miss a pass. Julio needs to hold on to the ball better, and Roddy’s playing like a true veteran this year.

AD

October 14th, 2012
11:58 am

Good teams take care of bad teams at home. Lets show the NFL who we are.

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 14th, 2012
12:02 pm

Today is a good day to be Darren McFadden & Carson Palmer.

Oakland sucks, but watch out for them to get their groove back

versus the biggest hype since Elvis…..ha ha.

42-54 2011 record of 1st 6 opponents….that’s sad….

HA HA :)

LOL at the Aints

October 14th, 2012
12:05 pm

Speaking of Sad,, Oh Look,, its MCR! LOL

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 14th, 2012
12:06 pm

Good teams do not trail in the 3rd quarter to teams with a combined
record of 3-7.

Are you kidding me?

This CHOKE guy is pathetic in the clutch.

Shall I remind you of the last 2 playoff games (72-23)…..

Nope that’s not an A.C.C. Basketball game…………

HA HA :)

LOL at the Aints

October 14th, 2012
12:07 pm

And MCR,, Elvis was the real deal.

Five and O Falcons

October 14th, 2012
12:08 pm

The best damn record in the NFC, just win baby,

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 14th, 2012
12:08 pm

LOL at the Aints

October 14th, 2012
12:05 pm
Speaking of Sad,, Oh Look,, its MCR! LOL

______________________________________

I take that as a compliment….ha ha.

So………… 9 years later and still no playoff wins…….

HA HA :)

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 14th, 2012
12:10 pm

“5-0 don’t mean a damn thing. I was 9-0 in K.C. and was 1&done”

—-Tony Gonzalez

HA HA :)

LOL at the Aints

October 14th, 2012
12:15 pm

Thanks Captain Obvious (MCR), Long way to go, GO BIRDS!!

Five and O Falcons

October 14th, 2012
12:15 pm

THE 1-3 RAIDERS DON’T MEAN A DAMN THING

— rise up !

5150 UOAD

October 14th, 2012
12:15 pm

Are the college poll voters stoned?
SC and UGa are not top 10 teams and the Gators have not played anybody to get that top 10 ranking either.

5150 UOAD

October 14th, 2012
12:16 pm

Five and O Falcons

October 14th, 2012
12:17 pm

Matt 5-0 Ryan takes care of business.

AD

October 14th, 2012
12:19 pm

Hey choke we haven’t heard from you much this year. WHere you been? You are what your record is. Time to find a new whipping boy. The Mattural is leading the MVP race.

5150 UOAD

October 14th, 2012
12:21 pm

Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier exactly 65 years ago today.

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 14th, 2012
12:21 pm

AD

October 14th, 2012
12:19 pm
Hey choke we haven’t heard from you much this year. WHere you been? You are what your record is. Time to find a new whipping boy. The Mattural is leading the MVP race.

______________________________________________

0-3 I agree……

HA HA :)

LOL at the Aints

October 14th, 2012
12:25 pm

MCR will not go away until Matt Ryan wins a superbowl,, then it will be because we played a weak team,, got lucky,, the officials gave it to us, Roddy White and Michael Turner had to do it all by themselves, something like that. Matt Ryan will never get credit from MCR. We should destroy the Raiders today. And for that reason its probably going to be a close game, thats the NFL.. Go Birds.

Answer This

October 14th, 2012
12:26 pm

All Bird nest I am checking in! Nation ready to Rise Up?! MCR….good to see you here…we got to have slime to wipe off our feet right? You are here every week looking for the same thing….a loss by the Nation! Lol sad! Anyway look for another big day by the three amigos….White,Julio,Tony…..and Turner is the burner again today! Rise up!

5150 UOAD

October 14th, 2012
12:27 pm

You have to love CHOKE……he watches more Falcon games than Thomas Dimetroff.

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 14th, 2012
12:30 pm

You guys got me wrong. I love the Falcons. I’m just tired

of wearing a brown bag in the 1st round of the playoffs….

HA HA :)

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 14th, 2012
12:32 pm

Seriously guys, who do you get blown out 72-23 in your last 2

playoff games and still have hope?

It’s like the mouse in the maze just looking for the cheese

that he knows he will never get…………..

HA HA :)

5150 UOAD

October 14th, 2012
12:32 pm

You have a few seconds. You need to see this. You will no longer be able to sell your Tickets or your car or you personal property in a yard sale or on ebay. you can’t believe the case the Supreme Court is about to hear.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxZ1g3-2qKU&feature=share

LOL at the Aints

October 14th, 2012
12:33 pm

We havent heard from the Blog monitor yet (JSS) that 12:30 post will probably get him going.

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 14th, 2012
12:33 pm

The NFL is a cruel business.

There are winners and there are losers.

But damn….why do the Falcons take their losing role so serious?

HA HA :)

5150 UOAD

October 14th, 2012
12:34 pm

I’m just tired

of wearing a brown bag in the 1st round of the playoffs….
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

You should be used to that Brown Bag. You have to wear it every time you pay the hookers to have sex with you.

atlfalconsfan0125

October 14th, 2012
12:36 pm

MCR’s sunday schedule:

-before a Falcons regular season game, post the playoff spiel.
-Watch the Falcons win
-Leave
Watch Vick fumble
-Cry
-Repeat next week.

Steve

October 14th, 2012
12:37 pm

The Matt “CHOKE” Ryan poster is what happens when you have no life, woman, or friends. Just ignore the little girl.

atlfalconsfan0125

October 14th, 2012
12:37 pm

Falcons should win this game easily. Then they gotta get ready for Philly.

atlfalconsfan0125

October 14th, 2012
12:39 pm

Hey MCR. if (one big If) the Falcons win a playoff game this year, what will you do?

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 14th, 2012
12:41 pm

Why do you guys worry about me so much?

I would think you would use all that energy addressing the

biggest FRAUD in football…… paying a CLOWN 72 million

without even scoring a single point in a playoff game…..

Shoot the messenger baby……

HA HA :)

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 14th, 2012
12:43 pm

atlfalconsfan0125

October 14th, 2012
12:39 pm
Hey MCR. if (one big If) the Falcons win a playoff game this year, what will you do?

____________________________

Please review my 12:32 post…………

HA HA :)

atlfalconsfan0125

October 14th, 2012
12:44 pm

Why are worried about the playoffs in October? relax. You “messages” mean nothing right now. You act as if the Falcons can win a playoff right now.

atlfalconsfan0125

October 14th, 2012
12:45 pm

Thats why I said “IF” reading comprehension goes a long way…

atlfalconsfan0125

October 14th, 2012
12:46 pm

@ my 12:44 post insert a “you” before “worried” and after “are”.

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 14th, 2012
12:46 pm

atlfalconsfan0125

October 14th, 2012
12:45 pm
Thats why I said “IF” reading comprehension goes a long way…

___________________________________

Don’t be so hard on yourself…..

HA HA :)

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

October 14th, 2012
12:48 pm

30-24 48-21 24-2

No those are not Mega Million Lottery numbers…..

HA HA :)

atlfalconsfan0125

October 14th, 2012
12:49 pm

Its impossible to have a conversation with you. Why did I even bother? Hey you are over due for a playoff post….Just a friendly reminder.

Go Falcons!

Jeff Schultz

October 14th, 2012
12:50 pm

Benjamin — Hah. I think TG is pretty set on retirement but that door is always open an inch.

5150 UOAD

October 14th, 2012
12:50 pm

atlfalconsfan0125

October 14th, 2012
12:51 pm

Hey MCR, will you be a doll and kindly tell me the playoff scores?

atlfalconsfan0125

October 14th, 2012
12:52 pm

@ Jeff

What are your predictions for todays challenge?

Answer This

October 14th, 2012
12:53 pm

@MCR
Why do we worry about you so much?
Same reason you worry about Falcons so much!
TOUCHE’!

1990_Champs_GT

October 14th, 2012
12:54 pm

The real season starts in two weeks for the Birds, nothing but NFC games after the bye.

6-0 (if they win today) is a great start, but kicking the Eagles around next week will mean more than all four AFC West teams combined!

GO FALCONS!

Answer This

October 14th, 2012
12:54 pm

And please enough of that crappy joke! That crap is old man! Get some new material! Please!

Steve

October 14th, 2012
12:55 pm

Hey Choke, since you know everything about the NFL, do you consider Peyton Manning a good QB before he got hurt? Did you know he lost his first 3 playoff games? Moron.

Jeff Schultz

October 14th, 2012
12:55 pm

atlfalconsfan0125

October 14th, 2012
12:56 pm

@ MCR

I’m waiting for those playoff scores..

5150 UOAD

October 14th, 2012
12:57 pm

CHOKE is like Hemroids. You can’t just ignore them but Preparation H (another FALCON WIN) makes the pain and itch more bearable.