Heat Check: The Falcons are warming up; Tech has the chills

Jacquizz Rodgers is given a different point of view. (AP photo)

Rookie Jacquizz Rodgers is offered a different point of view. (AP photo)

Our weekly Heat Check begins with a team that won a warm and fuzzy game in the warm and fuzzy city of … Detroit? (Just between us, sometimes these heat metaphors can get a bit strained.)

The Falcons: When they were trailing the Panthers a week ago, it was possible to look ahead and wonder if this gifted team could be 3-6 come Nov. 13. Not possible now. The Falcons are 4-3 with  two bye weeks upcoming — one where they play nobody, the other where they travel to Indianapolis, which has become nobody without Peyton Manning — before they hunker down in the Dome for a three-week homestand. Heat Index: For a team that hasn’t hit full stride but has the worst of its schedule behind it, this is suddenly a hot commodity.

Julio Jones: He was supposed to be the missing piece. He has missed two games due to injury, and his team is 2-0. It was 2-3 with him playing. Heat Index: A hot rookie is in cold storage, and his team seems better for it. I don’t understand it, either.

Georgia Tech: Paul Johnson’s offense gained 768 yards and scored nine touchdowns in four quarters against Kansas. It has managed 507 yards and mustered three touchdowns in eight quarters against Virginia and Miami, neither of which is any great shakes. Heat Index: When you’re hot, you’re hot. Tech was, but now it’s not. And the schedule just gets tougher.

Georgia: It’s headed to Jacksonville. Bulldog fans love going to Jacksonville. Then the game begins, and they love it no more. But this year — stop if you’ve heard this a time or two — might be different. Heat Index: Georgia has won five in a row; Florida has lost three in a row. But last season the Bulldogs entered on a three-game run and the Gators on a three-game slide, and guess who prevailed.

Mark Richt: Should Georgia win Saturday, there’s a chance — a chance, I say — we won’t hear the words “hot seat” mentioned in connection with Mr. Cool again this season. Heat Index: Every Georgia-Florida game is huge, but for this coach, this one might be the biggest yet.

The Braves: They have a new hitting coach. He’s Greg Walker. He’s not to be confused with Harry (The Hat) Walker, who was a hitting coach of some renown and who starred as the manager of Jim Bouton’s Houston Astros in “Ball Four.” But I digress. In even bigger news, the Braves announced their new hitting coach will have an assistant. Heat Index: Guess Larry Parrish was pretty hot item if it takes two men to replace him.

The Hawks: They’re locked out. The sale of the team hasn’t been approved. Games have been canceled and Josh Smith hasn’t been traded and Zaza Pachulia is about to go play in Turkey, and you know what? I haven’t heard anybody say, “Boy, I miss the Hawks.” Heat Index: Indifference can be the coldest cut of all.

By Mark Bradley

205 comments Add your comment

EW

October 24th, 2011
7:58 am

Diggitydawg

October 24th, 2011
7:59 am

When football is over I will miss the NBA

Diggitydawg

October 24th, 2011
8:00 am

EW is the first loser..

Mark Bradley

October 24th, 2011
8:00 am

Panther Student

October 24th, 2011
8:04 am

NO GEORGIA STATE LOVE? FINE… WE WILL SEE ONCE WE OWN THIS STATE! GO PANTHERS!

Ed Pilcher

October 24th, 2011
8:05 am

I couldn’t care less if the NBA is cancelled. Give me college basketball any day over the NBA.

Ed Pilcher

October 24th, 2011
8:06 am

How come there’s no love in the AJC for Ga. Southern? They could probably beat Tech with their own offense.

Say It Aint So

October 24th, 2011
8:09 am

What about that Smoke and Mirrors offense at GT?

Proud-Dawg

October 24th, 2011
8:10 am

I don’t miss the NBA. It’s a superstar driven league, not a team sport. I would rather watch the Tour De France than a bunch of overpaid pompous athletes

CPJ we'll keep!

October 24th, 2011
8:12 am

If Spurrier were at UF, UF would win. But, alas, he is at USC and now beating UGA yearly. Get it folks?

TD Mike

October 24th, 2011
8:13 am

Man, Panther Student is hitting that special drink awfully early this morning… guess it is 5 o’clock somewhere

dap01

October 24th, 2011
8:14 am

The NBA players should be careful. 50% of something is better than 53% of nothing. Nobody is going to miss the NBA.

Where does Lebron have his talentS?

Really?

October 24th, 2011
8:16 am

Correlation is not causation (third grade lesson). Julio Jones is out for two games, Falcons win two games (correlation). Yes, that is true, but has nothing to do with anything. If that’s the case we bench him and win out. Really? Come on Mark, you can do better than that. Really!

Panther Student

October 24th, 2011
8:18 am

TD Mike, I’m drinking the winning coolaid!

STRETCH

October 24th, 2011
8:19 am

Yeah, Give the the first GSU (Ga Southern) so props will ya?!

Panther Student

October 24th, 2011
8:21 am

We will crush Southern when we play them!

Big Enos Burdette

October 24th, 2011
8:21 am

I may be a little dumb and alot a hungover, but the Falcons offense just doesn’t click.

Say It Aint So

October 24th, 2011
8:22 am

Panther Student, you’re about 3 years away. Be patient.

Hal

October 24th, 2011
8:22 am

Tech will win just one more game this season.

STRETCH

October 24th, 2011
8:22 am

Im not worried about the NBA (No Brains at All), cause sooner or later they will break. Not everyone has Lebron, Kobe or Wade money. Sooner or later them babies momma’s are gonna start hitting their wallets.

fan of shorter passes (as short as necessary...what ever that is)

October 24th, 2011
8:22 am

When will Tech have a (good) passing QB? It may not be this year.

The GSU with Six Rings

October 24th, 2011
8:23 am

A bit over the top Panther Student? You have a long way to go before you start beating your chest.

Say It Aint So

October 24th, 2011
8:26 am

The good passing QB’s don’t go to GT because they want to play in spread or pro style offenses. What passing QB you know wants to play in the wing T?

Columbus Dawg

October 24th, 2011
8:29 am

Dawg fans want to see a team show up in Jax that actually looks as if it tried to improve in the areas of concern in Nashville. The special teams will have to be better against Florida’s return teams. Giving them the ball on the forty or fifty every time won’t cut it.

Murray has said all of the right things concerning his shortcomings in last year’s Cocktail Party, so maybe he will continue to build on his performance against Vandy.

I believe the D will be motivated to “Rise to the Occasion”, as Erk used to say. If team will stay focused, they should bring very much wanted victories against UF and Auburn. Looks like Tech has fallen into the category with Kentucky, and New Mexico State as games UGA should most definately win!!!!!!!!!!

fan of shorter passes (as short as necessary...what ever that is)

October 24th, 2011
8:30 am

He is wearing a red shirt this year.

P

October 24th, 2011
8:30 am

Say It Aint So… quit hating! What a great homecomming!

All Saints

October 24th, 2011
8:33 am

Just a reminder that we’ll be having our regular tribute and moment of silence on Saturday for Saint Jan Kemp, the courageous martyr who exposed UGA and Vince Dooley’s “remedial studies” fraud.

Please approach this special moment with reverence as we honor her sacred name.

GoDawgs

October 24th, 2011
8:34 am

Some attendance for your homecomming… ya’ll really packed the place out. I think Southern beat ya’ll at your in Atlanta. You will never run this State. GO DAWGS!

Birmingham Jacket

October 24th, 2011
8:35 am

Don’t know who our special teams coach(es) is/are, and by the way we play, we may not even have one…

But if we do, they need to go…

dtanner

October 24th, 2011
8:36 am

watcing the world series makes me realize what a fool jon schuerholtz was(elvis andrus rafael furcal,etc.)give up so much in these two stupid trades texiera,j.d. drew,guy thought he was a genius,but he was an idiot,set this franchise way back

Gbal

October 24th, 2011
8:39 am

What NBA??? Ive watched as many NBA games this year already as I have in the last 5. Let it go.

No Shock

October 24th, 2011
8:49 am

Hawks will never gain relevance until Spirit group 100% out of the way. At that point, it will require an overhaul of current roster including eating a portion of JJ’s contract in a trade.

falcon

October 24th, 2011
8:49 am

Kudos to the Atlanta Falcons. The O-Line did a good job of protecting Matt Ryan, while the Falcons’ D-Line got after Matthew Stafford. The Falcons won this game despite the pityful play calling by Mike Mularkey. Why he continues to call for bunch formations, then run Michael Turner right into the middle of the pile is beyond me. Take away the 50 yard run, Turner averaged 2.75 yards per carry. When was the last time the Falcons put a team away, when they had an opportunity to do so? They always rely on their defense to hold on at the end. It would be nice to see them insert some speed at the RB position, other than sending Rodgers out only on 3rd down.

Technically Correct

October 24th, 2011
8:49 am

Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, Gators!

ToccoaDawg

October 24th, 2011
8:52 am

Where is Tech ranked?

Phuch Le` Duc

October 24th, 2011
8:53 am

Actually I miss the Hawks, I miss the NBA,
however, the AJC or Michael Cunningham,
whichever, refuses to cover.
[yes there is a lockout - I know that]
But where is the local venue to raise a voice ?
The Falcons and Mr Ledbetter stayed open for business …
during the NFL lockout.
Yes there is apathy for basketball in these parts.
*(at all levels)

By the way;
how many articles [basketball]
have been written by the local media since last season ?
*(yourself included)

The Hawks beat writer has been on a 6 months hiatus.

Okay – now one person has chirped about the NBA lockout !

mountain_jim

October 24th, 2011
8:54 am

I also will not miss the NBA until Football season is over. Thankful that the Falcons are still alive and relevant, though still not hitting on all cylinders on offense.

For which I blame Mularkey. (Smith too if he’s the one making MM so conservative, like calling time out to change to a Burner-up-the-hopeless-middle that could not gain 6″ and resulted in a FG.

BVG’s best coached game of the season, and MM/offense did just enough not to lose. Which is about all they can ever do with MM in charge it appears.

Roark

October 24th, 2011
8:55 am

“already big-time” Julio Jones is still scoreless.

NotProudPanther

October 24th, 2011
8:55 am

OMG… why are we touting and “beating our chest”. We have not even beating an FCS opponent, just D-2. Panther Student… shut it.

Phuch Le` Duc

October 24th, 2011
8:55 am

Oh yeah (pronounced – foosh le duke)

TechRon

October 24th, 2011
8:57 am

I could care less about the NBA. I remember the 60s, 70s, 80s when it was a great game. Today’s 1 on 1 fracas does not appeal to me. I am definitely a BBall fan, but not of the NBA. If it never came back, I would not care. In fact, if that was the case, college BBall would be even better.

Falcons are on the right track, well done, all.

Tech is in the tank, going down in flames. PJ needs a backup plan in case someone shuts down his offense and he has none. My first clue on this was in the Orange Bowl vs. Iowa. Iowa shut down the option and Tech just kept trying the same thing over and over and over and over. What insanity. You would have thought he would have learned something that day, but he did not. The defense sucks bigtime. If we were to de-emphasize football and go down to the Southern Conference, that BS offense would fly. That is not an option of course (no pun intended), so we have to find the answer. PJ is not the genius that he is sometimes made out to be. He is lost, his QB is lost, his defense is no good, he has not backup plan and he has to play a legit Clemson team this week. I am not looking for a miracle. I think Tech will get pounded, and they richly deserve it.

truth

October 24th, 2011
8:57 am

Julio is scoreless because noodle arm underthrew him at least 6 times

Gdawg

October 24th, 2011
9:00 am

The tech Bandwagon sufferred a blowout early this year! I still hear the calls to the Barnhart and Durham show, Wes, “How do you think we will matchup against LSu or Bama in the title game?”

Steveo

October 24th, 2011
9:01 am

If the NBA never played another game, it would mean two things…better sports on tv and a bunch of overpaid jackasses having to earn a living like the rest of us…..keep the lockout going!!! Maybe people will forget about Pro basketball…..it’s a joke anyway…a bunch of narcissistic thugs running up and down the court yelling ME..ME..ME…..I hope they NEVER play another game!!

NYfalcon

October 24th, 2011
9:02 am

Hey Mark…No one misses basketball during football season. Maybe they will when the only thing going is hockey. However, there will be college basketball.

Steveo

October 24th, 2011
9:02 am

No Julio….2-0…..what a waste of draft choices……great job Thomas…..

Rickster

October 24th, 2011
9:03 am

Wanna talk hot? My beloved Packers are now 7-0.

Aaron Moore: Smokin’ Molten Lava hot.

Samuel

October 24th, 2011
9:04 am

The Falcons will win alot of games do to Julio Jones’s play. Being that said Mark Bradley’s statement makes no sense. I think Mike Mularky is taking his time exposing all his weapons to the league. Maybe as time progresses will see him use all his talent on offense. If not, he’ll probally be coaching some where else.

Eagle Nation

October 24th, 2011
9:06 am

Georgia Southern would beat every college team in Atlanta right now including Tech

Diablo69

October 24th, 2011
9:07 am

At Tech (and most every other team… ever) the offense goes as the QB goes. Tevin is not a great runner so it comes down to his ability to open things up with the pass. When Tevin was hitting 60% of his passes and throwing for 200+ yards per game the offense was unstoppable. When Tevin is missing wide open recievers and throwing INTs the offense is the worst we have seen under Johnson. It really is that simple.

I know all of the doomsdayers (I’m sorry “realist”) and the Dawgs are on here telling everyone that GT will not win another game this year, but guess what; Tevin had it figured out for the better part of 5 games. If he gets it figured out again we will win plenty.