Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans Saints’

OK, critics: Find something wrong with John Abraham

John Abraham is in double-digits in sacks for the seventh time in his career -- and at the age of 34. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

John Abraham is in double-digits in sacks for the seventh time in his career — and at the age of 34. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

At the age of 34, in his 13th NFL season, in the 171st game of his career, after the generally mandated assortment of groin, ankle, back, shoulder, head and who-knew-I-even-had-a-body-part-there ailments, John Abraham made a play. Actually, he made the play. Again.

The Falcons were leading New Orleans 20-13 in the fourth quarter last Thursday on national television. The Saints had the ball, driving toward a possible tying score. But on third down from the Atlanta 36, Abraham — looking as if he had just been drinking from the Fountain of Red Bull — flew around the left corner, leaving Saints tackle Zach Strief spinning like a weather vane, and buried quarterback Drew Brees for a sack.

End of touchdown threat. End of field-goal threat.

Soon, end of Saints.

“He’s no different for us than Ray Lewis (is for Baltimore),” teammate Jonathan Babineaux …

Continue reading OK, critics: Find something wrong with John Abraham »

LIVE: Falcons hope to avoid hangover from Saints loss

Matt Ryan is hoping for better results when he hands off to Michael Turner today. (AP photo)

Matt Ryan is hoping for better results when he hands off to Michael Turner today. (AP photo)

Hello. Sorry, but I’m a little rushed today. I just posted a new column on Dawgmania in the BCS, following losses by Kansas State and Oregon late Saturday night. Now it’s time to switch gears to the pro team.

The Falcons play host to Arizona today. This is kind of a big game. I know that sounds strange for an 8-1 team with a three-game lead in the NFC South, but consider the circumstances.

They are coming of their first loss of the season, an emotional defeat to rival New Orleans (31-27), a game in which they felt they should have won (largely because of six red zone possessions that resulted in only three touchdowns). A loss to Arizona wouldn’t devastate the team but it has the potential to make things uncomfortable in the NFC South, with three straight divisional games to follow (at Tampa; home against New Orleans; at Carolina).

The questions about the Falcons now are the same …

Continue reading LIVE: Falcons hope to avoid hangover from Saints loss »

Predictions: This time it’s all red — Dogs, Falcons win

chalk

As we head down the stretch of this football season and attempt to answer the age-old question, “Who whines more: SEC football fans after losing a game or Republicans after losing an election?” — and this is why I always check under my car for suspicious wire before starting it — it’s time to check in on the remains of Gene Chizik.

Two years ago, Auburn won the national championship. Now the Tigers are 2-7 overall and 0-6 in the SEC.

The governors of Colorado and Washington.

The governors of Colorado and Washington.

Or, as Karl Rove would put it, they’re trending upward and on the verge of conquering the SEC West, the conference, the BCS, Ohio (don’t it make my red eyes blue?), Hawaii, Alaska, Manitoba, the dangling chads of Florida, the clogging anchors of Fox, the Western Hemisphere, the Eastern Bloc (Commies! We’ll hunt ‘em all down!), the Peoples Republic of Cheech and Chong (Colorado and Washington just legalized marijuana — so, yes, we have confirmation that Doritos has lobbyists) and even the educated, …

Continue reading Predictions: This time it’s all red — Dogs, Falcons win »

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 …

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

Predictions: Dogs over Darth Rooster, Falcons over Skins

chalkboard

Before getting to this week’s big game between Georgia and the S.S. Columbia, captained by Coach Queeg, we have some news related to roosters: It’s World Farm Animals Week!

I checked PETA’s website, and fortunately they did not mandate that all SEC schools with animal mascots change their names to something more acceptable, like to the Fighting Whole Grain Muffins, but it did commemorate this event with a blog that read in part: “By the end of the day, 104,273 cows, 297,392 pigs, 702,383 turkeys, and 21,261,534 chickens will have been killed in the U.S. to satisfy an old eating habit.”

"Bread. Milk. Overthrow Lichteinstein."

"Bread. Milk. Overthrow Liechtenstein."

And I know what you heathens are thinking: Does that come with fries? Because I’m pretty sure if cows, pigs, turkeys and chickens were sitting at the top of the food chain instead of on the right side of the menu, they would pull into a “Bones” (same name) and ask: “Does the Spurrier chops come with a side? Actually, never mind. They had a weird bitter …

Continue reading Predictions: Dogs over Darth Rooster, Falcons over Skins »

Predictions: No bagels, but Dogs win, Jackets don’t collapse

board

Having just completed my annual day of Jewish repentance — 24 hours usually isn’t enough, so I tend to just focus on the top seven or eight sins — I was surprised to see a headline on the London Daily Mail website about, “Bagel Heads” taking over Japan. And I’m thinking, OK, I break my fast with bagels every year. I can see the Japanese liking bagels. Everybody likes bagels.

(The real bagels, not the press board at Kroger. There are two things that never should be considered acceptable: replacement bagels and replacement NFL officials. I swear, if Roger Goodell ever got on stage and said, “I think these replacement bagels are getting the job done,” he’d have 7,000 rabbis jump him and make him scream, “Onion! Sesame! Poppy!” within seven seconds.)

Where was I? Right, “Bagel Heads.”

Oy. Really? (via natgeotv.com)

Oy. Really? (via natgeotv.com)

So it turns out this actually is a “fashion trend” in Japan. I wish I was making this up: Misguided youth are having saline injected into their forehead, after which …

Continue reading Predictions: No bagels, but Dogs win, Jackets don’t collapse »

Predictions: Falcons over No. 666, Tech wins, Pigs faceplant

week3 001

Welcome back for another week of almost-flawless investment advice. We’re off to a decent start here: 17-5 overall, 14-8 against the spread and 12-0 in the games I was really serious about. The “Sack Schultz 2012″ contest is not playing out as well. I went 8-7 last week, which puts me in 319th place, or right on track to win the trip to … Kabul.

If things don’t improve, I may have to reassess my marketing leverage and join the ACC (at least in softball and lacrosse).

And speaking of numbers:

OMG -- the Denver school people are right!

OMG — the Denver school people are right!

The Falcons face Beelzebub this week. No, not Bobby Petrino — Peyton Manning. Yes, Manning is pure evil. Or at least his jersey number is. The Greeley-Evans (Colo.) school district has barred kids from wearing Manning jerseys because he’s No. 18, and there’s concern that he has ties to the “18th Street” gang, or maybe because 666 (The Number of the Beast!) adds up to 18, or maybe because every single member of the Greeley-Evans School District is …

Continue reading Predictions: Falcons over No. 666, Tech wins, Pigs faceplant »

Falcons go into camp knowing playoff failures need to end

The unhappy faces of the Falcons' brass said it all after last season. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

The unhappy faces of the Falcons' brass said it all after last season. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

The Falcons open training camp this week. They play their first regular-season game in seven weeks. They will be judged in six months.

This is their new reality.

The question with this franchise used to be, “Can they walk straight?” The answer generally was no.

Things improved. The question became, “Can they compete?” The answer over the past four seasons mostly has been yes, at least through December.

But after raising the bar with three playoff appearances in four seasons following mostly decades of infamy, the question now is a more difficult one to answer: Have they have hit a wall?

Some within the organization believe the criticism for postseason failures has been a bit too harsh. After all, two of the team’s three playoff losses have come against eventual Super Bowl winners (Green Bay and New York). The other came in quarterback Matt Ryan’s rookie season and against a team that …

Continue reading Falcons go into camp knowing playoff failures need to end »

Goodell not fazed by Vilma’s lawsuit, Saints’ blather

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell isn't concerned about Jonathan Vilma's lawsuit. (AP photo)

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell isn't concerned about Jonathan Vilma's lawsuit. (AP photo)

Troy Vincent heard it from coaches since his days in youth football.

“Tough it out! Get up! Suck it up!’ — but those days are over,” the former NFL safety said Tuesday. “Was that the right thing to do? No. But that’s the way we were taught.”

The NFL, facing player-safety issues and a blur of concussion-litigation lawsuits, potentially could be on the verge of sweeping changes. But the biggest obstacle may be changing mindsets. Players, coaches and owners are driven to win, CAT-scans and EEGs be damned. This is a $9 billion league. A team’s season: 16 games. Evidence of possible post-career brain damage notwithstanding, does anybody really believe a player is not going to stumble back to the huddle even if he feels a little loopy?

Does it seem fathomable that players, not the most stable bunch when it comes to job security, would be willing to sit out games?

“That’s the progression,” said …

Continue reading Goodell not fazed by Vilma’s lawsuit, Saints’ blather »

Jonathan Vilma tries to tackle me on Twitter (missed)

Just because Jonathan Vilma can fly doesn't mean can get away with everything.

Just because Jonathan Vilma can fly doesn't mean can get away with everything.

It’s not pretty when a person becomes so desperate and is caught up in denial that he turns delusional. That appears to be the case with New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma.

Earlier today, I sent out a link to ex-Saint Anthony Hargrove’s declaration to the NFL that he was told to lie by assistant coach Gregg Williams and Joe Vitt in 2010 about the existence of the team’s “bounty” program.

That three page declaration, obtained by Yahoo, is listed below. It clearly illustrates the dishonesty and coverup in the Saints’ organization about the program, and as we’ve learned lies and coverups can lead to greater penalties that the crimes themselves might have resulted in.

Anyway, the one thing I didn’t expect to happen was that Vilma and I would get into a back-and-forth on Twitter. Vilma has been suspended for the entire 2012 season. He and NFLPA consider this NFL investigation a bunch of hooey. I’ve …

Continue reading Jonathan Vilma tries to tackle me on Twitter (missed) »