3 points about the Falcons, who put Peyton in his place

Robert McClain, who's not exactly world-famous, returns his interception. (AP photo)

Robert McClain, who's not exactly world-famous, returns his interception. (AP photo)

1. In victory, the Falcons were equal parts happy and relieved. They knew full well that they’d been starved for Signature Wins, and this qualified. They beat Peyton Manning, who’s among the best ever, and the Denver Broncos, who made the playoffs last season and beat the Steelers once there, on a Monday night. The Falcons led from the game’s third minute until the end, and they made the great Manning look addled early. In sum, it was a big night for this franchise.

2. The Falcons’ secondary might have played its finest game since the 1998 NFC title tilt in Minneapolis. Brent Grimes, who’s a starter, has been lost to an Achilles tear. Asante Samuel, who’s a starter, missed plays Monday night with a neck injury but returned. Christopher Owens, the new nickel back, suffered a head injury and didn’t return. Working with guys such as Robert McClain, who had been cut by both Carolina and Jacksonville, and Dominique Franks, whom the Falcons themselves cut during training camp, they nonetheless made Manning work for everything and intercepted passes on the game’s first three series. Massive kudos to defensive coordinator Mike Nolan for disguising the coverages so deftly.

3. The running game isn’t functioning. The Falcons ran the ball 28 times for 67 yards, and this total includes 19 yards gained on six Matt Ryan scrambles. Michael Turner needed to break a 15-yarder on the final series just to get over 30 yards on the night. (He finished with 42. Then he went out and got himself arrested for DUI.) On 28 carries over the first two games, Turner averaged 2.6 yards. That’s terrible. Coach Mike Smith pointed to Turner’s clinching first down as an indication the Falcons can run when they needed to run, but that seemed sugar-coating.

By Mark Bradley

133 comments Add your comment

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 18th, 2012
2:39 pm

24 completions and 217 yards? Elite? Really? ha ha :)

Kyle

September 18th, 2012
2:41 pm

Leeads the NFL in TDs as well as Quarterback rating with a 2-0 record. Yes, elite fool.

Mark

September 18th, 2012
2:42 pm

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 18th, 2012
2:42 pm

Welcome to San Diego. Home of the aerial assualt and a stout defense.

Don’t plan on another 4 plus turnovers in the first half.

Again, only the Great Mike Vick can over come 4 plus turnovers in back to back wins :)

tyler

September 18th, 2012
2:44 pm

matt “choke” ryan…..you are a joke. Ryan’s one of the best QBs in the game. Get your head out of your a!@#%!@#

mock1

September 18th, 2012
2:45 pm

I think Turner is about 2yrs/ seasons past his prime,he use to be Burner Turner,now he runs more like Fat Mike!…Fresh,Athletic legs is a must if this team is to advance in the playoffs !!!

Rollo Lawson

September 18th, 2012
2:47 pm

On the running game. Garrett Reynolds is sad. Bring on Konz now!!! Along with that, time for a quicker back to get carries, i.e. Antone Smith, Snelling, and Rodgers.

mock1

September 18th, 2012
2:50 pm

Matty Ice will need a running game to help balance out the offense.

GTBob

September 18th, 2012
2:51 pm

The running game is starting to get a little worry some. Turner didn’t look good in the preseason or the first two games. The defense is looking great though.

harold

September 18th, 2012
2:53 pm

PEYTON IS SUCH A GREAT QB AND WHAT A CLASS ACT. TENNESSEE AND INDY WERE LUCKY TO HAVE HIM AS QB. AND BETTER YET AS A ROLE MODEL!

SquillDog

September 18th, 2012
2:53 pm

Don’t listen to any of the people that want to rip Ryan. Anyone that understands football and watched that game knows better. The Broncos kept two safeties deep all night because they could handle the run with their front seven so easily. Therefore, you have to take the underneath throws and not force the ball downfield and make mistakes. In addition to the coverage, one of the Broncos biggest strengths is pass rushing off the edge. Again, you combat that with quicker throws. Ryan was sacked once all night. Lastly, Ryan made four quality throws that were dropped, yet still had a strong completion percentage.

The Falcons still have their issues, but I promise you. Matt Ryan isn’t one of them.

Red-N-Black

September 18th, 2012
2:53 pm

Matt “CHOKE” Ryan

September 18th, 2012
2:42 pm

Welcome to San Diego. Home of the aerial assualt and a stout defense.

Don’t plan on another 4 plus turnovers in the first half.

Again, only the Great Mike Vick can over come 4 plus turnovers in back to back wins

HEY MORON, I guess you don’t watch the NFL and the interception prone QB in San Diego, but alas you are a troll as evidenced by your reputed remarks. Keep on hating we love watching the haters eat crow.

BusterBrave

September 18th, 2012
2:57 pm

Looks like the end of the road for Michael Turner,need to use Snelling and Rodgers more often for the ground game……….

Seen (the Saints) This (rocked by a scandal) B4 (Painkillers, bounties)

September 18th, 2012
2:57 pm

Yes the defense played great. But the offense completely took their foot off the gas in the second half. The conservative play calling on the last several drives leading up to the final one was horrible. Other big time offenses (Patriots, Saints, Packers) would NEVER playcall that conservatively in similar circumstances. The Falcons played not to lose in the 2nd half and it showed. Maybe Turner’s DUI is a blessing in disguise–get Snelling and Quiz in there more.

Dr. Henry -- Augusta

September 18th, 2012
2:59 pm

Who put Peyton in his Place??? Cute MB

Davo

September 18th, 2012
3:00 pm

Wonder how the game would have gone if the officials had actually called accurate penalties and gotten the other stuff (like fumble recoveries) right. No way to know. This game will be remembered less as a “signature game” for the Falcons than as a debacle for the replacement refs.

DeepDiver

September 18th, 2012
3:00 pm

The trolls only come around because folks keep putting food out for them. Just sayin’.

in closing, the Saints suck.

GT GRAD

September 18th, 2012
3:01 pm

Matt Ryan is definitely aTop 10 QB……period. The racist person blogging as Matt “CHOKE” Ryan is simply a Vick fan that cannot move on……….he exposes himself as an ignorant person with each and every blog entery. We should all ignore him!

I have suggested trading or cutting Turner for several months now…………..I predict our offense will produce even better results during the 2 (hopefully 4) weeks that he is suspended by the Falcons for his DUI……..this devlopment should result in more carries for Rodgers and Snelling the nexy 14 games!

Turner will not be on the roster next season; we would be a better team IF the Falcons had made the tough decision to trade/cut him during preseason (we would have a young/fast RB to develop and play special teams right now!). Could he possibly be traded/cut during the season (very doubtful).

BusterBrave

September 18th, 2012
3:03 pm

The Great Mike Vick……HEE,HEE,HEEEEEEEEEEEE !!!!!!!!!

Falcon James

September 18th, 2012
3:04 pm

This was a great win for the Falcons. The Defense came out of nowhere lead by Mike Nolan. I agree with the comment that Smith was sugarcoating Turners performance. I am wondering if Turners problems running the ball are a symptom of a much bigger problem. We needed a run game tonight, but not one from Ryan. Give the Broncos D some credit for stuffing us on the run. I hope we see more of Rogers, Antone Smith and Snelling next week in San Diego. Our OL gave Ryan the time he needed to throw the ball. Save one play by G. Reynolds, they were solid. Overall, this game will put the Falcons on the Radar. We just need to keep building on what we do well.

HAL

September 18th, 2012
3:08 pm

Turner is done. Hate to admit it but the tape don’t lie.

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 18th, 2012
3:11 pm

0-infinity in the playoffs & 2004 and counting…..

Enough said LOSERS….ha ha :)

CHOKE is a BUST :)

welikebaseball2

September 18th, 2012
3:19 pm

I was watching the game & thinking the same thing…conservative playcalling. It’s the Mike Smith way. We get out to a 1st half lead then let our foot off the gas, allowing the game to become much more of a nail-biter than it should be. I mean, I’m for trying to establish the run & all, especially when you have a sizable lead starting the 2nd half…but if your run game is non-existent, sling the ball around, put the opposition away by scoring more points as opposed to trying to run the clock down for a whole half. Again, it’s the Mike Smith way.

reckingball

September 18th, 2012
3:27 pm

Agree about the running game. Turner always runs into a pile of defenders, and Rogers looks like he runs up to the line of scrimmage and does the Texas two step, dancing bear, or whatever it is.
Looks like Mike Smith still has the two touchdown lead, is the time to go to the slow em down offense and protect the lead mentallity, even though there is still 25 minutes of game time left on the clock.

Very nice win.

WhoCares?

September 18th, 2012
3:28 pm

The Falcons offense sputtered throughout the game, and in the first half the interceptions gave them short fields in which to score. I’m very happy with the win, but I’m not quite ready to proclaim the team world beaters. Still, we’re undefeated after two games, and not many NFL teams can make that claim

Weyman C Wanamaker Jr, (A Great American)

September 18th, 2012
3:29 pm

Was Turner drowning his sorrows about or celebrating his performance?

Thomas Dimitroff is a moron

September 18th, 2012
3:31 pm

It’s not Turner.

Neither Quizz or Snelling could run

Our OL couldn’t get inches against the giants last year

They look worse

Post-It

September 18th, 2012
3:32 pm

Let’s see, JOKE… right now Ryan leads the MVP race. The Eagles have squeaked by in spite of Vick’s turnovers and the Raven’s loss has been pinned squarely on Flacco’s 2nd half meltdown.

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 18th, 2012
3:34 pm

CHOKE is very lucky he has played 2 teams in transition. He caught them at vulnerable moments in their season.

Look at K.C……they made lowly Buffalo look like Green Bay when they embarrassed the Falcants in the Dome.

Then you have Denver with all their new pieces, they are not even in synch yet.

CHOKE is the same 0-3 Meltdown.

Like Darren Sharper said on the NFL Network last night….Lets see what he does in the playoffs :)

Matt "CHOKE" Ryan

September 18th, 2012
3:37 pm

Enter your comments here

Jay

September 18th, 2012
3:47 pm

Turner is DONE. Jacques Rogers is not the answer either.

Matty Ice is a “STUD”

September 18th, 2012
4:05 pm

It’s nice to see the Falcons field a Defense that takes a little pressure off the offense. If the turnovers continue to rack up the way they have in the first 2 games we are definitely going somewhere.

PDXbyrd

September 18th, 2012
4:08 pm

@MCR: Matt Ryan’s 45 wins since 2008 are the most of any starting QB during that stretch. His 233 consecutive passes without throwing an interception also tops the current list.
Yes, I would call that elite!

Steve

September 18th, 2012
4:13 pm

Yea “Choke” Matt Ryan sucks! Must suck to be you.

Matt Ryan’s 45 wins since 2008 are the most of any starting QB during that stretch. His 233 consecutive passes without throwing an interception also tops the current list

falconFANatic

September 18th, 2012
4:16 pm

“CHOKE”-First of all, Matt Ryan hasn’t had to overcome 4+ turnovers because…wait for it….he dosen’t have any. Second of all, Philly is the biggest choke artist…how many times were they in the NFC Championship and couldn’t get through…I am gonna say 4 or 5. Third, MATTY ICE > Mike Vick…Easily better than Mike Vick. If you wanna continue to dump on Matt Ryan thats fine, but don’t my egregious statements like Mike Vick is better than Matt Ryan because I can see in the first 2 weeks of 2012 that he has not learned anything in his tenure in the NFL. Still makes the same mistakes that he made in Atlanta…Philly has set their team back YEARS, by just having him start at QB. All that talent and no one to get them the ball. The Falcons are going to embarrass Philly when they play this season…you can mark my word on that! GO FALCONS ITS OUR TIME!!!!

Where are the Haters

September 18th, 2012
4:18 pm

Only one hater on the blog…….Choke? You dont really count as a hater you just stupid and dumb! All that talk you did and then you come back again with the same talk about the Chargers? It was supposed to be Peyton who would light it up. Remember what you said…..something about his little brother outdoing him and how he was going to come in here and go off! Man you got your blog privileges pulled! Sit down, shut up and beat it. Pick up both your hands put them around your neck and squeeze hard………..CHOKE yourself!

falconFANatic

September 18th, 2012
4:20 pm

If Mike Nolan confused one of the best NFL minds playing in the NFL right now in Peyton Manning, then it is gonna be like taking candy from a baby when the Falcons stroll into Philly and play Mike Vick…:) :) :) Mike Vick is stupid and will not be able to adjust to the pressure or the talent in our secondary…Goodluck :) :) :)

markie mark

September 18th, 2012
4:24 pm

@davo – yep, the officials called a terrible game all night….however, they didnt throw 3 interceptions, so I dont think they affected play that much…the TIME of play, yes, but the play, not so much

iFalcons Fan

September 18th, 2012
4:25 pm

We could only HOPE that Michael Turner would be stopped for SPEEDING – anywhere,…really. Is there a back in the NFL today who is slower to and through a hole than MT? I don’t care if he’s got legs like tree trunks, he can’t accelerate!!! For gosh sakes, get Joe Addai off waivers, now that was a guy who could hit it quick.

iFalcons Fan

September 18th, 2012
4:31 pm

…and give Matty Ice his due, the game could have been iced EARLY but for the three or four dropped passes in the first half. Where does that show up in the stats???

Big Earl

September 18th, 2012
4:31 pm

Turner simply can’t hit the hole any more…I’d really like to see Snelling get the carries next game…at least he gives it his all.

C-Dad

September 18th, 2012
4:32 pm

Great win, but I agree on the running game. It looked terrible. I also thought overall the offensive play selection was too conservative. With 4 turnovers, Falcons should have won by a lot more, and this should not have been close. I thought they tried to run the ball too much in the first half, and did not make enough attempts to throw down field. But conversely, I thought on at least one series near the end of the game when the Falcons were backed up to the end zone, they tried to throw the ball too much. Two pass plays called in a three and out, when they really needed to eat clock. Both passes ended in incompletions and gave Manning another minute to work with to make the game closer than it should have been.

william

September 18th, 2012
4:39 pm

Go Falcons! But our OL SUCKS at run-blocking. There are no running lanes. Turner takes his share of the blame, but the OFFENSIVE LINE has to start pushing people around or else we’ll have to get used to running for only 60 or 70 yards on 25 carries per game.

Grumps

September 18th, 2012
4:46 pm

If you can’t enjoy this victory, why do you even watch the Falcons at all? That goes for any of you compainers. Sure, it’s not the Super Bowl, but we won the only game on last night. Enjoy it. Jeez.

Anyone hating on Ryan the morning after a Monday night victory where he out performed Manning is just a moron. It’s as simple as that. After two post from Choke, I stopped reading his messages.

Gimblestob

September 18th, 2012
4:52 pm

Matty may not put up the ridiculous, superfluous numbers we see out of the “elite” QBs but you can’t argue with the results. The third down play to Julio in the 4th quarter was clutch. He knows how to win and will shut up some of these naysayers come playoffs this year (if we can get the ground game going).

Speaking of the ground game; Turner does look like he has lost a step or two but the O-Line didn’t run block well all night. The pass protection was excellent however.

I like what the new coordinators have done both on offense and defense and think they’ll get the run game going. Given how the defense kept Peyton guessing on coverages all night; we might just be OK after losing Grimes. Did you see the way the secondary was making tackles? Great game by those guys; especially after everyone was piling on about Manning picking them apart! Definitely am excited about this team!

rusty

September 18th, 2012
4:53 pm

What kind pro would risk his job by speeding and dui at 5 in the am.Nothing good can come out of this for Turner.

Mitch (the one in Rome)

September 18th, 2012
4:54 pm

Our OLine did a nice job in pass protection. The Denver DLine is very good and did a heck of a job making us one dimensional. Not so much a Falcon problem as much as a dang good game played up front by Denver in the trenches taking away the run.

Now, that does not excuse Turner’s issues, but the OLine did not do bad. Quite good, actually.

Plus…we won!

JDW

September 18th, 2012
4:57 pm

I gotta say they were lucky to run the clock out. I thought the D played great but the O simply didn’t close the deal. 4 1st quarter turnovers only netted 13 pts…should have been 21 minimum. In the second half they were pretty much contained.

Great progress but they are going to have to get better at closing the deal

JSS

September 18th, 2012
5:01 pm

I see the revisionist are out… Last night’s game tied Ryan with Flacco (again) for the most wins. You don’t have to make things up… But you will… Even with the anemic showing in the 2nd half in Philly, Flacco still was the first QB to lead a team in the Super Bowl era to 4 straight playoff appearances to open his career and has yet to miss one start in the 66 games that he’s been eligible play… He’s also the first to win at one playoff game in four consecutive playoffs at the beginning of their career… Not even Brady or Montana accomplished that…

JSS

September 18th, 2012
5:02 pm

Mr. Bradley, Your filter is still tight?