5 (or so) reasons the Falcons’ 0-4 preseason doesn’t matter

Ray Edwards is shown working on his horizontal pass rush. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Ray Edwards is shown working on his horizontal pass rush. (AJC photo by Curtis Compton)

Reasons the Falcons’ 0-4 preseason doesn’t bother me and shouldn’t bother you:

1. You don’t play at real-game tempo or make real-game adjustments in exhibitions. You’re not trying to win but to evaluate. You want to see how your guys react in certain spots. You’re not looking to game-plan those spots to your advantage. Had the Falcons cared all that much about winning a game that doesn’t count, they’d have inserted Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Michael Turner and Tony Gonzalez at the start of the fourth quarter of the fourth exhibition. But nobody’s that crazy.

2. You don’t set a real tone in exhibitions. Because everyone’s tone gets louder come Week 1 of the real season. If you go 4-0, nobody cares. And the only time someone remembers that you’ve gone 4-0 is when you go 0-16 in the regular season. That happened to the Detroit Lions in 2008. (And guess who just went 4-0 again, thereby making Detroit fans nervous?)

3. If you exit the preseason reasonably healthy, you’ve accomplished your mission. Save for center Todd McClure, the Falcons did that. They’re in great shape.

4. The only Falcon of consequence who required significant work in preseason was Julio Jones. Because he’s a rookie. And he looked very, very good.

4(a). Oh, and maybe Peria Jerry. Because he has been hurt. He looked good, too.

5. The real pros know how much preseason matters. We speak of the folks who attempt to augment their income betting on games. These aren’t fanciful people. They’re pragmatists. And you know how disappointed these dispassionate observers were in the Falcons?

So disappointed the Falcons are a three-point road favorite against a team that won its division and played for the 2010 NFC title. The opening line had Chicago a one-point pick, which means a ton of money has since been placed on the local eleven. That’s not a guarantee of anything, but it’s a powerful indicator. (For the record, the Bears were 2-2 in preseason. To which I say: Nobody cares.)

By Mark Bradley

121 comments Add your comment

mike28212

September 8th, 2011
1:09 pm

Good points all, Mark. Go Falcons!

Mark Bradley

September 8th, 2011
1:10 pm

Thanks, mike. And kudos, even though you didn’t ask.

Show me state

September 8th, 2011
1:10 pm

MagnaCarterGT

September 8th, 2011
1:11 pm

Everything that needed to be said you hit in point 2. 2008. Detroit Lions. Preseason champions. Regular season ignominy.

Show me state

September 8th, 2011
1:12 pm

Great article mark. Go Falcons!

mike28212

September 8th, 2011
1:15 pm

I thought it might be a tad impolite to ask for kudos, this being my first time uh first and all that. But, I am excited to have received them nonetheless.

Mark Bradley

September 8th, 2011
1:16 pm

Your tact is also kudo’ed.

jon

September 8th, 2011
1:28 pm

lets see what the defense does…. that was our weakness last year… if improved we should have a good year… if not, well?????

SeenThisB4

September 8th, 2011
1:29 pm

Really Mark? Pre-season is over, but you seem to be still deeply entrenched in it. If you believe that preseason is meaningless, then why waste a write up on justifying that it is meaningless?

Anyway, reality time is here!

10 (or so) Reasons why the falcan’ts will fail this year:

10. Michael Turner has lost a lot of his speed, your run game will not be as strong as it was last year.
9. Tony Gonzalez has gotten even older and slower. His diminishing capability was well documented by his stats as the year wore on last year; expect more of the same, except sooner.
8. Your 1st round draft choices always get injured; expect Julio to be out for a prolonged period with an injury, before the start of October.
7. You got zip, nada for Jerious Norwood, at least the Saints got a player and a pick for Reggie.
6. Roddy White’s production won’t be sustained this year, even the number of targets his way are already going to be down with Ryan trying to spread the ball around, albeit unsuccessfully.
5. You will split your series with Tampa Bay.
4. Ray Edwards has a gimpy, surgically repaired, questionable knee. Abraham will quickly find out that, not only is he not the missing piece, but he’s the wrong piece altogether.
3. Mike Malarkey’s offensive play calling is as predictable as the sun rising in the east.
2. Matt Ryan is not an elite QB.
1. You’ll get beat twice by The New Orleans Saints.

GEAUX SAINTS!

really???

September 8th, 2011
1:36 pm

I was growing really tired of all the bellyaching during our winless preseason. If you go back and look at the games, though, with the exception of Pittsburgh, our first string offense was better than Miami, Jacksonville, and Baltimore. The defense is going to be suspect at first. If the Edwards pick-up frees up Abraham for more sack-attempts, or even just more QB pressure, it’ll be worth it.

James

September 8th, 2011
1:36 pm

If it is determined that a comment-leaver cheated, received improper benefits, used ineligible components, or failed to cooperate with an investigation into their actions leading up to the awarding of a ‘first’ kudo, would you ask that they return their kudos, or simply ban others who share that IP address from participating in future blog commenting sessions?
What does the MAARK Infractions Committee say about this?

Herschel Talker

September 8th, 2011
1:44 pm

MB:

Well said. We’re in good shape.

HT

Jeff

September 8th, 2011
1:46 pm

Really interesting point, Mark, about how the betting line has moved on the game. I did some research and only three games have had more movement this week – people are betting against Indy, Cinci, and Carolina. Easy to see why people are betting against those teams in big numbers, but the Bears? Says a lot that we are able to move the line against a successful team like Chicago!

SeenThisB4

September 8th, 2011
1:50 pm

Too bad they won’t be able to move Chicago’s defensive line like that betting line.

Najeh Davenpoop

September 8th, 2011
1:53 pm

The preseason is good for evaluating individual players, especially those who haven’t proven themselves yet or are coming off injury. It is pointless for evaluating teams.

where are the true fans

September 8th, 2011
1:57 pm

SeenThisB4, how about you just worry about tonight with your saints going up aganist the packers. Ya’ll are going to need more then the 10 to 14 points that you have had in the last two season opener.

Bear Bryant

September 8th, 2011
1:58 pm

Hey at least ONE team from Georgia will win in the Dome this year.

Larry

September 8th, 2011
2:02 pm

The why did the preseason matter to almost all other 12-13 Super Bowl/Playoff contenders for 2011, each of which one 2 or 3 preseason games?

Larry

September 8th, 2011
2:04 pm

Funny, the preseason mattered to every other of the 12-14 teams considered legitimate Super Bowl or at least playoff contenders this season, all winning 2 or 3 games each!

Only the Falcons were winless…

We’ll know how much it mattered after the first 5 games of the season!

RM

September 8th, 2011
2:06 pm

Is Dunta Robinson healthy and fully ready to go? I recall him also missing most of camp last year and that didn’t turn out too good. He needs to earn his pay this year and be the lock-down CB they say he is. Yeh come on!

Jimmy the Geek

September 8th, 2011
2:16 pm

The pitiful Seattle Seahawks exposed the Saints, Green Bay will destroy New Orleans.

CornJulio

September 8th, 2011
2:18 pm

SeenThisB4

10 (or so) Reasons why you don’t know what you’re talking about:

10. You’re an idiot
9. You’re an idiot
8: You’re an idiot
7: You’re an idiot
6: You’re an idiot
5: You’re an idiot
4: You’re an idiot
3: You’re an idiot
2: You’re an idiot
1: You’re an idiot

Tom

September 8th, 2011
2:23 pm

Seen thisB4 – Also previously known as Vick Supporter! He’s back!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are a complete joke, bro!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Go Falcons!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Barry

September 8th, 2011
2:23 pm

Enter your comments here

Barry

September 8th, 2011
2:23 pm

Enter your comments here

DCBrave33

September 8th, 2011
2:35 pm

Hey Mark, Good stuff on Falcons. I think you are right, but we will find out a lot more from game 1 of the regular season than we could find out in the 4 preseason games combined.

One question: When do we get concerned about a BRAVES collapse? In other words, after the weekend with the Cards, what amount of a lead would leave you worried that they could choke this away? I’m not worried…but I am getting there! Please calm me down! haha

Barry

September 8th, 2011
2:39 pm

Hey Y’all:

Thanks, Bradley. You sound like you are starting to sound like one of the local media “ONE HEARTBEAT!!” AND I LOVE IT. We have to stay with our local team. They are going to be with us until January. So what we hear about the positive things on this team are many, we have to stay the course of getting to the Super Bowl. Hell, you the media, and we the fans are part of the team too. We see them and hear them in our lives in the State of Georgia and throughout the south. These are oour Falcons and we have to be in “ONE HEARTBEATIII” with them. ANd we are in “ONE HEARTBEAT” with them as they are in “ONE HEARTBEAT!!” with themselves as a TEAM. Wellcom aboard Mark Bradley. This is going to be a ride. Yes, preaseason doesn’t matter. It is an evaluation process for preparing new personnel for a new season. The real “PROCESS” starts Sunday in Chicago. The start of our travels to the SUPER BOWL. Therefore, put on your race helmet and get ready for a “ROUGH AND TUMBLE” ride enjoying a great product on the field provided by the Falcons owner Arthur Blank, Rich McKay, Thomas Dimitroff, and Mike Smith and his coaches. They are locked in tune with their players THE FALCONS, the FANS, and the LOCAL MEDIA in continuing the “PROCESS” of having the “LOMBARDI TROPHY” here in the city of Atlanta and the State of Georgia. NOW, ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL!!!!?? I AM! I AM IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!”

GO FALCONS!!!!! “THE PROCESS CONTINUES”. THE PROCESS CONTINUES IN
“ONE HEARTBEAT!!!!” THUMP!!!! CAN YOU HEAR IT?????

” WE RISE!!!” IN “ONE HEARTBEAT!!!”. IT STARTS THIS SUNDAY IN CHICAGO FIR THIS SEASON.

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!
THis is a SECRET from a FALCON FAN. TELL EVERYBODY!!!!!!!!!!

……………………………………” ONE HEARTBEAT, BABY!!!……………………….

Ted M

September 8th, 2011
2:55 pm

only 1 reason is necessary!

Nobody’s preseason has ever meant anything.

GT Fan

September 8th, 2011
2:57 pm

LOL @ SeenThis B4…

What does Jerious Norwood have to do with the Falcons having a bad season?

We got Jaquizz Rogers for Jerious Norwood idiot. You got a third stringer from the Chargers, did I mention Turner was at least a back up? Norwood hasn’t even played in like 2 years so it doesn’t even matter, if anything it HELPED the Falcons by getting rid of a wasted salary. Sproles for Bush, huge STEP DOWN for the ‘Aints.

Oh yeah, and the Saints’ OLine is young now that they got rid of your poppas of the group. Green Bay is going to eat that alive.

And the NO receivers are OLD. OLD. OLD as well as your secondary.

At least the Falcons WEREN’T EXPOSED BY THE SEAHAWKS LIKE THEM SAINTS!!!!

Best Regards

September 8th, 2011
3:02 pm

The Evil Genius is coming to Georgia.

Insane Braves Fan

September 8th, 2011
3:02 pm

Does anybody know or care what the Packers did last preseason?

BFS

September 8th, 2011
3:11 pm

@ Seen This B4 – Take your bloviating, dog-squeeze filled mouth and go find a Saints blog.. Oh yeah, most of your mouth-breathing, cousin-dating, gator-banging bretheren can’t read or write.

And go find a good sized paper bag for your wife/girlfriend.

Bill

September 8th, 2011
3:14 pm

Mark the dispassionate observers have the Falcons over/under at 10 wins.I say under because of a tough schedule.What do you think?

Sonny Clusters

September 8th, 2011
3:26 pm

Chipper can’t go to his left or to his right for a batted ball. That bodes badly for the Falcons. Whenever a runner is on base, Alex Gonzales seems to be coming to the plate. That bodes badly, too. Not a single player on the Cards or the Mets has antlers. That means Chipper won’t be interested in the games. We was never so confused.

jerry

September 8th, 2011
3:32 pm

Thanks for calming my nerves, Bradley. I’ve been losing a lot of sleep worrying about the 0-4.

yeahsure

September 8th, 2011
3:33 pm

@Seen

That is a lot of effort to come up with that list for a team you don’t care about. It seems someone is thinking about us a ton. Getting worried about the season?

yeahsure

September 8th, 2011
3:40 pm

No OTAs and Minicamps = Preseason scores that mean even LESS than years past.

jerry

September 8th, 2011
3:44 pm

What matters is the Saints go down tonight, hopefully, and the Birds lead them by 1/2 game. Should be a helluva game.

Just Asking

September 8th, 2011
3:58 pm

I love all the sports broadcasters who are picking the Falcons to actually get to the Super Bowl. It seems that they aren’t worried about an 0-4 start in pre-season either. Last weekend was rough with all my teams losing. We need to have a better weekend so, Go UGA, Go Braves and of course, GO FALCONS!

Ha ha ha

September 8th, 2011
3:59 pm

Failcants finished the preseason 0-4 and will start the regular season the same way. Then watch how many jump off that failcants bandwagon.

FAILcons

September 8th, 2011
4:05 pm

Yes it does matter! They are a sorry team. hahahahahahahahaha! :)

Seen (Sean Payton) This (cross picket lines and play as a scab) B4

September 8th, 2011
4:17 pm

Happy opening night, SeenThisB4. Hopefully Ryan Grant and James Starks won’t run all over the Saints the way Lynch did in last year’s playoff game! Regarding your top 10–I happen to agree with you about Matt Ryan. He isn’t elite. In my estimation he’s somewhere around the 10th-12th best QB in the league right now. But I do think he’s good enough to win a Super Bowl. If Eli Manning and Ben R. can win them, Ryan can… GEAUX PAINKILLERS!

Stinger2

September 8th, 2011
4:30 pm

Bradley: Your are probably a good guy as far as I know. Since I don`t really know you, I don`t know why I said that. One request: Please give CMR a break and don`t throw him further under the bus like Schultz is doing. He picks UGA to beat SC. I think or thought they had a chance until Schultz made his pick.
Now to the point: You are very brave being so optimistic about the Falcons. I hope you are right.

Harvey D. Pooka

September 8th, 2011
4:47 pm

I repeat my earlier post: “Pre Season” means nothing and no awards, special compensation or bonus, or marks in record books will exist.

The NFL and certain clubs decided to stop calling it Exhbition and start calling it “Pre Season” in order to jack up ticket prices and TV revenue. It means nothing to anyone other than the Coaches and the players on fringe of making the team.

Michael

September 8th, 2011
4:52 pm

(1) The same 5 points apply to all teams, but somebody’s gotta win.
(2) Please, please, please stop congratulating firsties, the bane of the internet.

Hillbilly D

September 8th, 2011
5:01 pm

If pre-season don’t matter, why are tickets full price?

Greg Mendel

September 8th, 2011
5:08 pm

Don’t fret, Geauxphers. It’s not a disgrace to lose to Green Bay.

Shawn

September 8th, 2011
5:11 pm

SeenThisB4

Let’s address:

10) Turner doesn’t have to be fast, he needs to get tough yard between the tackles. If he was Warrick Dunn, that would matter. He weighs 250. I’m not interested in him outrunning guys. that’s why we drafted Jaquizz Rodgers.
9) Did you notice we have one of the Top 3 WR’s in the NFL and the best WR from last years draft? Tony Gonzalez needs to be able to do 3 things: Be an available check down receiver, get open on middle and short distance 3rd downs, and catch balls in the end zone when we are inside of 10 yard to the goal line. All of which he can still do. Well.
8) You should pick some stocks for me, since you clearly can see the future.
7) Did you just compare Jerious Norwood to Reggie Bush in terms of value? That’s almost reason to disregard everything you said.
6) See No. 8. But also, you do realize he caught more passes than anyone in the League last year, right? And we picked up Julio Jones and Harry Douglas looked pretty darn good in the pre-season. If his catches go down it means he’s always being doubled. And that means Julio and HD are in single coverage. That is a good thing.
5) See number 8
4) But Abraham has been a monster with nobody on the other side. Ray Edwards doesn’t need to be Demarcus Ware. He just needs to pressure the passer occasionally and balance the ends of the line some. which he does.
3) So predictable the Falcons went 13-3 last year? It’s doesn’t matter if they know what’s coming. It matters if they can stop it.
2) Matt Ryan is one of the 8 best QB’s in the NFL. Only one QB has one more games in his first 3 years, if I’m not mistaken. And his name is Dan Marino. Ring a bell? Seems like pretty good company.
1) See No 8

I’m out! Thanks Bradley. Love your stuff.

dawgmatic

September 8th, 2011
5:12 pm

These Aints fans are some surly characters. Has the stench of Nawlins rotted their feeble brains?

Pack 70
Aints 3

Birds 28
Care Bears 17

coloradodawg

September 8th, 2011
5:12 pm

Falcons will spank the Bears. Grimes will get several picks too as Cutler is put oon his fanny a ton.