5 reasons the Falcons will still have a winning season

Matty Ice has been put on ice, but he'll presumably be back. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Matty Ice has been put on ice, but he'll presumably be back. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

1. They didn’t put Matt Ryan or Michael Turner on injured reserve. This might seem a technicality, but it isn’t. Roster spots are precious, and teams don’t hold them open on a whim. Once you’re on IR, you’re gone for the duration. The Falcons believe these two essential players will return at some point this season. Speaking of which …

2. Forget Philadelphia. Forget New Orleans. Look beyond. The final three games come against the Jets (5-6), Buffalo (4-7) and Tampa Bay (1-10). Win those three and there’s your second consecutive winning season, and right now that seems a more realistic goal than making the playoffs. This isn’t to say the Falcons can’t beat Philly and/or the Saints. This is, after all, the NFL. And didn’t Tampa Bay nearly beat the Falcons? Speaking of which …

3. This coach won’t let this team quit, and this team won’t quit on Mike Smith. They could have rolled over Sunday. They didn’t. They won a game they had to win, albeit in underwhelming fashion. But the standings bear no category for UW’s (underwhelming wins). Just W’s and L’s and T’s.

4. Tony Gonzalez is proving he can carry a team in a way tight ends rarely do. He catches the tying touchdown in New York traffic against the Giants. He snags four passes on the winning drive Sunday. He’s a great player and a greater addition. Imagine where this team and this offense would be if Thomas Dimitroff hadn’t made that trade. (Do I hear 4-7?)

5. Sagacity will have its reward. The Falcons have been playing since 1966. They haven’t yet had consecutive winning seasons because they were both unlucky and unwise. This team has been unlucky with injuries, but management remains stalwart. TD and Smitty are the best combo this franchise has had, and smart teams can override even the vagaries of Dame Fortune. This isn’t a great team, but it’s a smart one.

157 comments Add your comment

J Clay

December 1st, 2009
12:12 am

no chance – season over

Corrine Brown (Rep-D Fla)

December 1st, 2009
12:13 am

Gradutations, Corch Corn Brawn, on being gusty and…….FIRST!!!!!

Bill

December 1st, 2009
12:13 am

I agree Mark this is the best coach GM combo in Falcon history.However the defense will be the Falcons downfall.

J Clay

December 1st, 2009
12:14 am

Best point is #2 – but do you really believe in the back-up QB?

Also, it looks like I was first on the other post – seems everyone likes to call that out

Corrine Brown (Rep-D Fla)

December 1st, 2009
12:15 am

Gradulations, Corch J Clays, you are the Corch Irvin Myers of posting. Maybe one day, you can achievs to be the next Tim Tivo!!

James Adams

December 1st, 2009
12:20 am

Mark, am I crazy for thinking this team will have added motivation, because of the number 7 on the sidelines that single-handedly ruined a whole season for a large number of these men? I know this might be a crazy thought, but if I were a player that was involved in that lost 2007, I’d be pretty upset. And this question is coming from someone who would cheer him if I were there Sunday. I’ve been a fan since I was 4 (first game I attended was the Dallas playoff game) and the most exciting moment I had as a season ticket holder or fan, besides the ‘98 season, involved Michael Vick.

Mark Bradley

December 1st, 2009
12:26 am

I’m fairly certain the Falcons don’t want to lose to Michael Vick, but Vick doesn’t play much. Might be different were he a starting quarterback.

J Clay

December 1st, 2009
12:29 am

Oh yeah, one more thing….since the Techsters did this all year on unrelated topics…30-24 how do you like them apples?

J Clay

December 1st, 2009
12:32 am

Mark – what do you think the chances are now of an 18-0 Saints team playing an 18-0 Colts team in the Super Bowl? Or even a 17-1 Vikings team….I know those are “smaller market” teams but I would think the rating would be the highest ever. Saints looked unstoppable tonight and though it certainly did not cost them the game Pats coach made another odd decision pulling all offensive starters with over 5 minutes left and the ball.

nyra

December 1st, 2009
12:33 am

To: Falcons Organization from Arthur Blank to the employees that sell the t shirts and clean the aisles:
NOW HERE THIS:
If we stuck with you for mike vick fiasco, bobby petrino fiasco, jim mora fiasco, and 40+ years of FUTILITY!……………….weelllllll we ain’t gonna leave over a BUM TOE!!!!!

NOW: MAN up and DO YOUR JOB!!!! and we will be right there with you guys. ALL THE WAY.
Post Season or die.
Go Birds and give nuthin up.

Mark Bradley

December 1st, 2009
12:38 am

The Super Bowl is different from, say, the World Series or the NBA finals. It gets massive ratings no matter who’s in it, and Peyton Manning against Brees or Favre would be a smash. But that’s just me thinking, and I’m not a TV programmer for good reason.

Whopper Dawg

December 1st, 2009
12:45 am

We all knew going in the schedule would be much tougher. Factor in the injuries, the thin roster, the non-productive draft and here you are. No playoffs, won’t happen, but that is OK. The staff has it going in the right direction, but we are at least two years off. A winning season is a HUGE deal and back to back has not been done before, and that will happen and be a huge step forward.

Ernest T Bass

December 1st, 2009
12:51 am

There ain’t a player on the Falcons what can chuck a full-growed sick jack-ass over his shoulder and tote it five miles to the doctor like I can.

SOUTHGADAWG88

December 1st, 2009
1:07 am

I think Vick will get the most PT he has seen all year.I’m sure he had this game circled..actually I be surprised if he didn’t make an early entrance.

Mark Bradley

December 1st, 2009
1:15 am

I don’t think Vick gets to pick his spots. I think Andy Reid does.

Denver Bird

December 1st, 2009
1:16 am

just give me 9-7 and I’ll smile for a year… The entire NFL knows about the ridiculous jinx this franchise carts around, and I say it’s past time we rid ourselves of such embarrassing notoriety…. and I ALSO say beating the Saints on Dec 13 will be a fun stepping-stone to getting us there even quicker!

SOUTHGADAWG88

December 1st, 2009
1:37 am

True Mark but do you really think for a second that Vick is not going to get some run?Mike Vick returns to Atlanta and sits out the game?I’m sure the Falcons expect to see him on the field.

Heath

December 1st, 2009
2:01 am

As I recall, Chris Redman has played pretty well as a Falcon. Hs TD to INT ration is better than 2-1, right? He’s a veteran, looked pretty good last week and when he filled in a few years ago. I don’t understand why everyone thinks things will be so much worse with him in as QB.

David Smith

December 1st, 2009
2:59 am

The Falcons have a chance to erase the many doubters and their past history of futility with these last 5 games of the season. Our defense will need to step up and get off the field on third downs and our offense will need to keep opposing offenses off the field with time consuming drives that eat up the clock. I still believe that this team will win 10 games this season but, they will have to play lights out Football in order for it to happen.

BIRDDAWGONE

December 1st, 2009
3:10 am

Mark:

I can not believe you are still writing about football. You obviously do not know what you are talking about. It seems to me that you are a mean person, who only write to make people mad. I think it was cruel of you, what you did to those georgia tech fans. Writing all year about how much better georgia tech was than GEORGIA. Saying their coach was better- predicting tech to beat GEORGIA.
What you did was like invitng orphans to a Christmas party and then making them serve your guest and eat their scraps. You are just mean and I feal sorry for those tech fans who believed anything you ever wrote. You had a bad season, should they fire you?

MrDawgFan

December 1st, 2009
4:18 am

You seem to be avoiding the topic of UGA. How can a whole staff of writers be so wrong. Oooops, I bet this gets censored. Don’t diss the Brad. You should be writing about lacrosse, because you know nothing about football, albeit college or pro. I hope you feel as embarrassed as you should.

MrDawgFan

December 1st, 2009
4:19 am

I almost forgot, you need some tissue for that brown on your nose?

"Chef" Tim Dix

December 1st, 2009
5:09 am

One more reason Mark, they only play N.O. once.

Sagacity means smart

December 1st, 2009
6:27 am

I’m an effective writer because I use strong, familiar words and choose to ignore words like sagacity. I don’t even learn what they mean, until a lesser writer uses them in a blog and I have to break out the old dictionary.

Sagacity means smart

December 1st, 2009
6:28 am

Just kidding about that lesser writer thing.

FOXNOISE.NET

December 1st, 2009
6:30 am

The Eagles have our number every year, New Orleans is too much for us – and we are too bad on the road this year to beat the Jets. That leaves us 8-8 at best and maybe 7-9 if we lose our last game to Tampa Bay. Considering the schedule and injuries that’s still not bad.

Wlld Card is very possible

December 1st, 2009
6:53 am

The Falcons are still in the thick of the wild card race.
The best news about this season is the Falcons are 5-0 at home.
The Eagles game is huge and the Falcons must win this one, somehow.

willie martinez

December 1st, 2009
7:02 am

Mark, the 6th reason is that I’m not their defensive coordinator. wilie

jerry

December 1st, 2009
7:06 am

Birds won’t give up their no back-to-back winning record seasons title easily. A mighty effort to lose to the Bucs fell just a little short. Fight on!!!

The Ghost Norm Van Brocklin

December 1st, 2009
7:07 am

Playoffs – Smlayoffs. I’ll settle for the 1st back-to-back winning seasons in team history. We can work from there.

I’m just happy we are even talking about the possibility of back-to-back winning seasons after 11 games into the season. At this point in past seasons, we have been talking about franchise players who torture animals, coaches who have lust in their hearts after other jobs on the Pacific Coast, and coaches who gurantee one thing, then tight a flight and appear on TV doing the pig-sooey.

I’ll take our present vs. our past. Any ol’ day.

Jim Mora, Sr.

December 1st, 2009
7:10 am

Playoffs?

Playoffs!

Are you kidding me? You said playoffs??

FALCONS SORRY

December 1st, 2009
7:10 am

SORRY ATL FALCONS! GET READY TO MEET YOUR DOOM THIS WEEKEND AS THE MAN COME BACK TO TAKE BACK HIS HOUSE FROM ALL THE HATERS! THE PEOPLES QUARTERBACK IS COMING TO TAKE BACK HIS THRONE! MATTY HOPELESS HAS BEEN SO SCARRED OF THIS WEEKEND GAME FOR SO LONG THAT HE FAKED HIS SO CALL INJURY TO GET OUT OF HAVING TO GO FACE TO FACE WITH THE MAN EVER BODY KNOW SHOULD BE THE REAL QUARTERBACK OF THE FALCONS AND THE REAL LEADER OF THE FALCON NATION! AFTER THE REST OF THIS SEASON GO DOWN THE DRAIN AND VICK TOTALY DESTROY THE DOME AND THIS WHOLE CITY FULL OF HATER EBENEEZER SCROOG BLANK IS GOING TO BE CRYING LIKE A LITTLE SISSY AND BEGGING MIKE TO COME BACK AND HELP KEEP HIM FROM GOING BROKE! COME SUNDAY BLANK WILL BE KISSING MIKES FEET! NEXT MONTH DEAD BEAT BLANK WHO WONT EVEN MAKE THE PLAY OFF WILL BE KISSING MIKES SUPPER BOWL RING! THIS SUNDAY THE MAN IS GOING TO COME IN WITH THE EAGELS LIKE A SWARM OF JAPAN PLANE THAT TURN PEARL HARBOR INTO SWISS CHEEZ! AUTHUR BLANK! YOU NEED TO PUT ON SOME LIP STICK PUCKER UP YOUR LIP AND GET READY KISS YOUR BEHIND GOOD BUY! OOO! I SEE THE SWARM OF EAGELS COMING IN THE DISTANCE ALREADY GETTING THEY BOMB READY! RUN AND HIDE BLANK! PEARL HARBOR FALCONS! PEARL HARBOR!

Tiger Woods' Publicist

December 1st, 2009
7:12 am

I sure hope Bobby Bowden retires today. And, I sure hope his wife raises h#ll.

Please take as many reporters away to Tallahassee and away from the gates of this subdivision as possible.

Andy Reid

December 1st, 2009
7:19 am

Miss falcons sorry,
……………………..
Michael Vick will not travel with the Eagles this week in order to keep idiots like you away from the Georgia Dome.

Nativebird

December 1st, 2009
7:41 am

Wish I had some quotes from this preseason bandwagon, I seem to recall, “11-5!” and even “12-4!” and “deep into the playoffs!”. I believe I was not the only one who, with a completely re-tooled and infant defense, claimed a simple 9-7 winning season would be a MIRACULOUS acheivement considering the brutal schedule that last year’s record gave us. I’d hate to see it, but 9-7 is looking iffy….(again!).

Singletary

December 1st, 2009
7:52 am

I wish I had Tiger’s PR genius. WHO else could keep the cops at bay? Okay, now that we’ve established that, I understand the limited maneuvers my buddy Chris Redman has, but keep the faith, my brothers. He’s trying. Burner wants to be in. J-Rock can make some limited but spectacular appearances. And he who makes us all unworthy (Harvey Dahl) still wants to play. We have to see all the cards that have been dealt, and yes — I admit it — I want the chance to take down NOLA in the predator dome.

Donovan McNabb

December 1st, 2009
7:52 am

W’s, L’s, and T’s…. what is T’s?

lefty fielder

December 1st, 2009
8:08 am

Falcons Sorry
Dude, mash that little button that says cap lock. Also, your handle needs a verb.

The Boss

December 1st, 2009
8:22 am

“Falcons Sorry”- Is that really how you type/speak? Man I hope that is made up and not real. And you referencing Pearl Harbor in comparison to a FOOTBALL GAME shows further disrespect and flat out stupidity.
The only thing “Sorry” is your dumb a$$. Now pucker up boy so you can go love on your _ick!

The Boss

December 1st, 2009
8:25 am

Andy Reid-
Classic! lmao.

Saint Simons

December 1st, 2009
8:27 am

((((((((((((((30-24)))))))))))))))))) HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

BTW, I’m a little biotch.

MiltonDawg

December 1st, 2009
8:32 am

ahh, gotta love the culture of vick fans still in this city. still blaming someone rather than accept fault or responsibility.
falcons can do it, just play smart ball, and hopefully the D will show up- especially abraham!!

Taylor

December 1st, 2009
9:01 am

The Florida Gators Carlos Dunlap was arrested for DUI this morning. It will be interesting to see what Urban Meyer does about this. He will probably suspend him for the National Anthem this weekend. It will also be interesting to see how the AJC reports on this.

Falconian

December 1st, 2009
9:03 am

Is Samantha Baker going to play on Sunday? If he would quit wearing such high heels during the game, and go with maybe a cleat, it may cut down on his injuries.

Sonny Clusters

December 1st, 2009
9:08 am

5 Reasons . . . and they is 5 Toes in the picture. Only 1 toe is hurt. That leaves 4 toes for playing football. Is that what you meant to say, Mark?

p.s. Those are some ugly toes.

reebok

December 1st, 2009
9:08 am

absolutely zero chance of winning 3 of the remaining 5. 7-9 or 8-8. the offense is depleted and the D is nonexistent. the streak lives.

Erin Andrews' Landing Strip

December 1st, 2009
9:16 am

A winning season still seems probable to me, but to make the playoffs, the Falcons need to do one thing; immediately hire the Great Adjuster, the Greatest Coach in the History of Western Civilization, the Super Genius, Paul Johnson.

John

December 1st, 2009
9:20 am

I think any real Falcons fan looked at the schedule and figured the best we’d be was 10-6 this year. Sure, we always hope for more, but that was realistic. Those who picked them 11-5, 12-4, winning the division and playing in the title game were blinded by their easy schedule last year and fortune with injuries. And anyone would know that 10-6 is iffy for the playoffs. So, that said, all real Falcons fans were just hoping to get the monkey off the back with consecutive winning seasons and maybe with a little luck, we’d find ourselves in the playoffs with a shot. The luck hasn’t panned out. That’s okay. The future looks good and that lifts me up. If they can finish 9-7 with this schedule and those injuries, that bodes well. That means these guys are winners and except no excuses.

And, if they do end 8-8, I can wait until 2011 to end the curse. That, I am confident about. Hell, I’ve already waited this long, what’s two more years.

bubba

December 1st, 2009
9:24 am

forget it, season over, no winning record whether ryan played or not

Kashi

December 1st, 2009
9:28 am

I liked what I saw on Redman last few games with Petrino. I was praying Falcons would stick with Redman for 2nd backup qb. I am very confident that Redman is no less then Ryan with Eagles. Go Redman.. I am with you and best of luck.