‘Haters’ roundup: National view on Falcons has changed (video added)

Julio Jones (left), Roddy White and Falcons have a lot to celebrate these days. (AP photo)

Julio Jones (left), Roddy White and the rest of the Falcons have a lot of reasons to celebrate these days. (AP photo)

(Added CineSport video below on Falcons’ potential playoff match-ups.)

I hate the term “haters.” Fans tend to label somebody a hater any time somebody doesn’t agree with their own view of things, as if their own view of things is the absolute truth and the only opinion that matters. (Welcome to my world.)

But, yes: Many in the national media (and among the team’s own fan base) have had doubts about the Falcons, despite their record. And the doubters generally have been labeled “haters.”

So given Sunday’s resounding 34-0 victory over the New York Giants, it seemed like a good morning to take a spin around the Internet to see what all of those Nattering Nabobs of Negativism were saying and writing.

Guess what? Suddenly everybody loves the Falcons! (Shocking, I know.)

Highlights and linkage . . .

From former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka, who appeared on ESPN’s “Mike and Mike” radio show (which I watched this morning while on the eliptical): “I have to be apologetic because I didn’t think the Falcons were very mentally tough and they proved to me they’re much mentally tougher than the New York Giants.”

From Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com, who was among those in attendance Sunday: “Still think the Atlanta Falcons aren’t a good football team despite their lofty record and their closing in on the top seed in the NFC? If so, you are wrong. Here’s proof: Falcons 34, New York Giants 0. That’s the defending Super Bowl champion Giants, the team most experts have pegged to go on a late-season roll to again be a factor in the postseason, the same Giants who blew out the Falcons in the playoffs last January. Atlanta made them look like a league bottom-feeder Sunday at the Georgia Dome. The critics, and they are many, especially after Atlanta lost to the Carolina Panthers last week, kept saying how the Falcons don’t blow teams out. They said they were winning, but not impressively. On and on it went. All of last week, on all the networks, on all the websites, it was talk of how the Atlanta Falcons weren’t any good. Now what?”

From Pat Yasinskas, ESPN’s NFC South Division blogger: “This is what a 12-2 team is supposed to look like. It goes out and dominates every facet of the game against the defending Super Bowl champions. It plays like a machine and erases the ghosts of last season’s playoffs and last week’s ugly loss to the Carolina Panthers. That’s precisely what the Atlanta Falcons did in Sunday’s 34-0 victory over the New York Giants at the Georgia Dome. … Even the critics, including media members and opposing players, who have been quick to point out the Falcons often have been just getting by against the league’s easiest schedule, have to be impressed by this one. At least for the moment, you can make a case the Falcons are as good as their record.”

– From FoxSports.com’s “Top 15 Takeaways” column: “Offensively, the Falcons showed something they hadn’t all season — a ground game. The Falcons ran the ball for 129 yards, with beleaguered back Michael Turner scoring the first touchdown of the game. Atlanta’s dominance on the ground was a big reason why the Falcons had the ball for 23:32 of the second half. Good defense, big passing attack, solid ground game, undefeated at home? Hey, maybe the Falcons could represent the NFC in the Super Bowl, after all.”

From Yahoo Sports’ Mike Silver in his “Morning Rush” column: “Back in late October, Atlanta Falcons receiver Roddy White admitted that in light of their shoddy playoff record in recent years, “We’re just regular-season warriors” until proven otherwise. Don’t be so quick to dismiss Atlanta (12-2) as a Super Bowl contender, however. In response to last Sunday’s lackluster defeat to Carolina, the Falcons rolled to a 34-0 victory over the Giants, essentially reversing the outcome of the two teams’ playoff clash last January. In other words, the Regular Season Warriors took a major step. “Lol yea we did,” White said via text Sunday evening. “Confidence booster for the whole team.”

Jason Cole, another Yahoo NFL writer, seemingly avoided jumping on the Falcons’ bandwagon. Cole strangely avoided referencing the Falcons in the “winners” section of his “Winners and Losers” from Week 15 column. Instead, he mentioned the Giants in the “losers” section, writing: “It’s unfortunate that the New York Giants couldn’t come up with a better effort in light of their hope to honor the victims of the Newtown tragedy. From a football perspective, the Giants’ playoffs hopes are in jeopardy with two games to go. The biggest issue with the Giants is they don’t consistently play with urgency and often need to have a fire lit under them.”

From John Clayton of ESPN.com:The Falcons needed a statement game. Despite having the best record in the NFC, the lack of respect for the Falcons carried to an extreme when they dropped to No. 5 in ESPN.com’s Power Rankings. For what it’s worth, I still voted them No. 1. Sunday’s 34-0 victory over the New York Giants was just what they needed. At 12-2 and close to locking up home-field advantage, maybe the Falcons will get some respect now. The Falcons looked like a No. 1 seed Sunday, dominating on offense, defense and special teams. Matt Ryan completed 23-of-28 for 270 yards and three touchdowns. The defense made three key stops on fourth downs.”

From SI.com’s Don Banks: “Well it wasn’t a playoff win, but at least the Falcons got some revenge for their playoff loss from last season, overwhelming the Giants team that beat Atlanta 24-2 in 2011’s first round. That’s not enough, of course, for Falcons head coach Mike Smith and quarterback Matt Ryan. Nothing but postseason success will suffice for them. But after last week’s embarrassment at Carolina, Atlanta (12-2) needed to re-establish its credentials as the NFC’s likely No. 1 seed, and destroying the defending Super Bowl champs by nearly five touchdowns is a pretty good way to do it. Ryan especially needed a strong game, and his three-touchdown, 270-yard showing was much more reminiscent of his first-half MVP-level play this season, rather than the uneven showing of the past five or six games. If nothing else, if the Giants and Falcons should meet again in this year’s playoffs, Atlanta won’t enter that game carrying around the burden of last January’s postseason outcome.”

So it appears the viewpoints have changed.

By Jeff Schultz

And now, we have talking pictures, starring Noah Coslov (and I)



205 comments Add your comment

After further review

December 17th, 2012
11:58 am

A good win thant should help to put to rest some of the doubts. They played well on both sides of the ball yesterday, and should do well in the playoffs if they continue to play with that intensity.

tim tomashek

December 17th, 2012
12:06 pm

FIRST! hell yeah jeff!

GT Fan

December 17th, 2012
12:09 pm

BOOM!

LOL @ the Giants. I LOVE IT!!!!

I have been waiting for this game all year long like most of the national media referenced above.

I agreed with the “haters” for the greater part of the season. We hadn’t really earned that big signature win. Alas, my fears were extinguished.

Go birds!!!!!

shannyeight

December 17th, 2012
12:09 pm

i think the Falcons NEED to keep that wound of last season’s playoffs open…never hurts to have some motivation..!

headley lamar

December 17th, 2012
12:11 pm

Haters
Don’t hate us like we’re famous
We’re not the ones who fake it
Cause fakers never make it
Haters gonna hate
Haters gonna hate
Haters gonna hate

Italiain_29

December 17th, 2012
12:14 pm

They won’t change their viewpoint, but who cares, let the Falcons make them all eat their words. That is the best way to quiet the naysayers.

Kane337

December 17th, 2012
12:16 pm

J

December 17th, 2012
12:18 pm

Rodney Harrison strangely mute on this as well.
Stepping up and admitting you’re wrong is a sign of maturity and speaks to the character of a man.
Guess we’ll be waiting a long time for Mr. Harrison’s comment….

Buckeye

December 17th, 2012
12:18 pm

Buckeye

December 17th, 2012
12:19 pm

Hi dogs,

Still cryin’?

Sonny Clusters

December 17th, 2012
12:30 pm

Sometimes when we express our opinion on here a little fella will post something right afterward and say we’re not a real true fan and we was wondering if that makes him a hater or is he just annoying? Ol’ Jeff is right about there being more than one way to see something because we are pretty sure we will always see things differently than some bloggers we read – but we still try to respect them and be nice to them unless they start calling people “pre-madonnas” and such as that. That’s when we question the value of public education unless it was obtained at Parkview and taught by Coach.

Ugh

December 17th, 2012
12:31 pm

It’s awful of Jason Cole to link the performance of the Giants with what happened at Newtown. There is sports and there is the real world and the two almost never intersect. As if a Giant’s win yesterday would have had some larger meaning. I really can’t imagine anyone thinking, “Well, twenty 1st graders are dead, but it inspired the Giants to play well. So at least some good came out of it!”

Sonny Clusters

December 17th, 2012
12:32 pm

Thinking like that is all for nawt.

TheBabe

December 17th, 2012
12:33 pm

A statement game, and the Falcons won it big. Just keep carrying that chip on your shoulder for a few more games and they’ll shed the poor playoff reputation. I’d say Falcons and 49ers are the class of the NFC, with Green Bay close behind.

Ted M

December 17th, 2012
12:36 pm

The Falcons likely knocked the Giants out of the playoffs.

Ted M

December 17th, 2012
12:38 pm

If the Falcons run the ball…they can win it all.

Mark Richt

December 17th, 2012
12:43 pm

January 2014

UGA 52
Ohio state 28

UGA BCS Champions

Urban Meyer quits(again) and this time blames his wife who dumps him for Tim Tebow who will finally lose his virginity.

Vain Jangling

December 17th, 2012
12:47 pm

What a difference a blow-out shut-out win over the Super Bowl champion makes.

Jason

December 17th, 2012
12:49 pm

Finally. But guess what? Like John Abraham said yesterday when asked is the bandwagon still open…”Hell no.”…and why would it be? All season we’ve heard the Falcons aren’t any good or aren’t as good as their record. 12-2 is not a mistake. You don’t just win 12 games and not be any good. Yeah we all know we have to win in the playoffs but it’s coming. The big time is coming. Falcons are going to win the big one.

Goldie

December 17th, 2012
12:50 pm

So hard to concentrate at work today — can’t stop talkin’ about how excellent Our Falcons were on Sunday! YESSSSS!

Vain Jangling

December 17th, 2012
12:50 pm

And thanks too for the Spiro Agnew reference. Dead convicted felon former vice presidents just don’t get quoted often enough to satisfy me.

GTT

December 17th, 2012
12:53 pm

Pete King also has then No. 5 in his “Fine Fifteen.”

Brown

December 17th, 2012
12:54 pm

Let’s call it what it really was: 41-0. As much as the Falcons deserved to run up the score a little more given all their doubters, they kneeled down and ran the clock out near the endzone, so kudos to Mike Smith for keeping it classy.

DenQ

December 17th, 2012
12:59 pm

Count Tom Jackson among the nay-sayers. Last night he kept harping on “soft schedule” and “three and five interception games”

Mike "CHOKE" Dogs To Death

December 17th, 2012
12:59 pm

Kane337
December 17th, 2012
12:16 pm

There are still naysayers out there. Here is one of them….. http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/12/17/nfl-morning-after-statement-sunday-or-was-it/

________________________________________________________________________________

One blogger on that site said “Atlanta is the worst sports town ever, no doubt.”

Really? The worst?

- The Falcons rank #11 in attendance out of 32 teams.

- The Braves rank #15 in attendance out of 30 MLB teams.

- The Braves are the third most popular MLB team, per the Harris poll.

- The Georgia Bulldogs have an average of 99.86% capacity present at games.

- The SEC Championship game is staged in Atlanta, which is centered between UGA, Auburn, Alabama, Florida and Tennessee.

- Atlanta is also full of fans of Georgia Tech, Clemson and Florida State — not to mention the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Cowboys, Packers and Steelers.

It’s a common misperception that we’re the worst. I’m not sure where it comes from.

Dawglasville

December 17th, 2012
1:01 pm

As long as we still have so many Saints transplants and Vickofants in our town, we will always have haters. Two playoff wins will shut the Vickofants up and it will take a Super Bowl win to shut the Saints fans up.

JSS

December 17th, 2012
1:04 pm

Please… But Jeff Schultz, thanks for all of the internal references to the resident of section 2 of Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens…

He was as crooked as Bernie Madoff and his ex-boss… Must have been Dimitroff’s idol… I couldn’t resist being honest!

Oh, why did you skip over the opinion dropped in ESPN Insider FBO?

PR

December 17th, 2012
1:04 pm

Need to translate this success into playoff wins… NOTHING ELSE MATTERS

Flo-Ri-Duh

December 17th, 2012
1:04 pm

Show me in the playoffs that the Falcon’s OL is consistent enough to make that ONE yard when the game is on the line. Good game Falcons.Giants didn’t show up Sunday – even Eli looked like he was off on his passes.

wde

December 17th, 2012
1:04 pm

Buckeye no we aren’t crying we are making travel plans for our Bowl game how are your plans going? Oh that’s right your not going to a bowl are you there bunky?

Mark (another one)

December 17th, 2012
1:04 pm

It is still a regular season game. As much as I beleive in the Falcons of 2012, they will need to prove it in the playoffs. No one will be happy until that is achieved.

Ron S

December 17th, 2012
1:07 pm

Been suffering with the Falcons since the Bartkowski era. Had my heart broken before, and will believe when they all have Super Bowl rings. Can’t watch a game (afraid I will Jinx them). Donno. They have the coaching and the personnel (they still need a good half back. I’m so tired of the single running back set)

Sign me
VERY HOPEFUL

Snake Doc

December 17th, 2012
1:07 pm

I’m shocked I tell ya!

Shocked!

Congratulations to the Falcons for a most impressive win.

Now lets see if they can claim Home Field through out the playoffs and win a playoff a game.

some sense

December 17th, 2012
1:07 pm

A “hater” is simply someone who disagrees w/ an uneducated, unsophisticated person. They can’t come up w/ a intelligent retort, so you’re a “hater”. This term originated in politics. Anyone who disagrees w/ the president, for example, is a “hater”. Republicans to this crowd are “haters”. And so on.

wde

December 17th, 2012
1:08 pm

Great win for the Falcons we had to listen to how the Giants played “big boy” football…….to me it looks like all the big boy pants were found in the Falcons locker room yesterday.

GeoffDawg

December 17th, 2012
1:25 pm

At least Ditka owned up to it. Ditka vs. Ditka: who would win?

Matt

December 17th, 2012
1:27 pm

What anyone says about the Falcons is none of our business. The only thing that matters is victories. Right now, we have more than anyone else in the NFC. Keep doing that and good things will happen.

Mike "CHOKE" Dogs To Death

December 17th, 2012
1:27 pm

Atlanta is supposed to be such a bad sports town. Well, I was at the game yesterday. There must have been at least 20,000 blue-clad Giants fans there. It was a marvel to behold as they streamed out in a mass exodus in the third and fourth quarters. And these are supposed to be the great sports fans!

All I'm Saying Is....

December 17th, 2012
1:28 pm

Great win yesterday and now it is time to move on to the … Detroit Lions. Need to dominate them as well so we can lock up the #1 seed and prove we do not play to the level of the opposition.

And, by the way, until Dimitroff, Smitty, Ryan, etc. win in the playoffs, then this trio will not have proven themselves to Falcons fans as well as the rest of the nation. That’s just a fact, jack. The good news is that, as was evident Sunday, we still believe in the running attack and with it, we can go all the way!

LET’S GO FALCONS!

Joey

December 17th, 2012
1:37 pm

Big Ray

December 17th, 2012
1:37 pm

Please… But Jeff Schultz, thanks for all of the internal references to the resident of section 2 of Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens…

He was as crooked as Bernie Madoff and his ex-boss… Must have been Dimitroff’s idol… I couldn’t resist being honest!

Oh, why did you skip over the opinion dropped in ESPN Insider FBO?

Schultz must have said “haters” too loud…dogs generally come when whistled for…

Joey

December 17th, 2012
1:47 pm

lol, Big Ray!

rOdnEy "FRAUD" Harrison

December 17th, 2012
1:48 pm

why do the falcons still have short yardage issues, and run awful plays when they need one yard? that douglas reverse sucked!!!!!!!!!!

damn, throw the ball, or fake the run and throw the ball. jeezus wy do coaches make something so easy seem so hard?

headley lamar

December 17th, 2012
1:48 pm

At least Ditka owned up to it. Ditka vs. Ditka: who would win?

Ditka

MWC

December 17th, 2012
1:49 pm

Good job Big Ray !

MWC

December 17th, 2012
1:49 pm

Good job Big Ray !

rOdnEy "FRAUD" Harrison

December 17th, 2012
1:50 pm

i will say that the falcons miss Ovie terribly. does anyone remember the falcons having these issues when ovie was here?

think back to his injury at detroit last year, and then the issue surfaced. i am an expert, and this is the
reason. our fullbacks suck at blocking.

Buckeye

December 17th, 2012
2:07 pm

AFTER THE NCAA STRIPS US OF OUR 2002 NATIONAL TITLE, WE WILL OFFICIALLY HAVE NOTHING, AND I WILL OFFICIALLY BE USELESS. PAY NO ATTENTION TO ME, I AM A CLOWN, A FOOL, AND A PIECE OF TRASH.

goFalcons

December 17th, 2012
2:15 pm

I hate it win all us fans are ready to watch the game and post and it starts going bad like the start of the Card. game or the Panther game and it seems like the only ones to post or the 3 stoogies and the other fans leave. I feel insulted when the media starts saying the Falcons are good….we knew this all along and this is the NFL, you don’t get to play a scedule where you get to play Parkview H.S. and have a breather. A win is a win in the NFL…1 pt are 36 pts…it is the same…a win. In NCAA the way you win is important, not in the NFL. The fact that the Falcons have become a staple in the playoffs, it should not be held against them. The critics say they do not win in the playoffs. All those other teams that did not make the playoffs did not win a playoff game either!!! Please experts keep saying bad things about the Falcons. Please let the 3 stoogies keep posting on here and let the Falcons keep making them look silly. Please Falcon fans if the 1st QTR goes bad do not give up on them and just believe that the Falcons will come back. When does a 9-3-1 team become better then a 12-2 team? GO FALCONS

Roll Dawg Roll!

December 17th, 2012
2:15 pm

Still tired of toss sweeps and screens going to Turner and not Quizz. Turner can only run with a FB. We have got to address the PR situation. We have not gotten ANY production out of special teams all year!