Ryan and Quinn need to find their A game for #Falcons to reach #NFLPlayoffs

12 Dec

 

In the roller coaster season for the Atlanta Falcons the only constant has been questionable play of QB Matt Ryan and on field strategy of Head Coach Dan Quinn. These two, with Ryan being the bigger culprit have either cost the Falcons games outright, or made the wins much closer than they should have been. Matt Ryan the MVP of the NFL last year, has regressed. Gone is the maestro orchestrating one of the best offenses in league history. In 2016 -17 he seemed to always make the right throw, at the right time. Ball security was excellent having a 5-1 TD to INT ratio while still throwing enough to have almost 5000 Yards passing.

Dan Quinn was the captain of ship of players after his own heart . Rookies he helped select were making huge contributions on defense.  His hand picked OC Kyle Shanahan went from Atlanta’s most wanted out, to the hottest head coaching prospects and landing the 49er job.

This year there are multiple new coaches including new offensive and defensive coordinators, and QB coach. The defense has improved statistically moving into the top 10 in fewest yards allowed. However the dominant, record setting offense has taken a big step backwards. Quinn also continues to make strange, risky decisions in crucial times, especially clock management.

As for Matt Ryan, all of his key measurables up to this point in 2017 are down in comparison to last year. TD to INT 17/11 vs 38/7. QB rating 92.4 vs 117/1 . 252 yards per game passing vs 309 per in 2016. One of the greatest offenses in NFL history last year has become average and predictable. Scoring per game is down 33% averaging 22 points per game down from 33 per game.

Quinn has been given a pass by most of us in the media due to his upbeat nature and energy. Ryan has been criticized more often, sometimes unfairly especially by fans many who point to him as why the team can’t reach its potential.

The team still has the ability to reach the playoffs in their own hands. Win out, they are definitely in. Take 2 of 3 probably still will make it. The task isn’t easy. All 3 games are against division opponents. New Orleans and Carolina are ahead of them in the standings.

One other thing this years Atlanta Falcons have also been is resilient. If Matt Ryan can play more like the reigning league MVP, and Dan Quinn can make sound Late game decisions this team has the personnel to make some noise in postseason.

But if they don’t at least get there, Ryan and Quinn will face some hard questions this offseason. Explaning why this became such a ‘year of living dangerously ‘m

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3 Groups, 8 items #24Steps to stop the #Violence #Racism and #Destruction in America

15 Jul

Improving-Race-Relations

Fighting Fear, Fatigue, and Frustration to create better towns and communities in America. By Minister Jonathan Simmons @MinisterJSimm

Our nation and even our world has been rocked with recent rash of violence. The attacks have been and jarringly televised in real time to our increasingly jaded eyes and ears. We are losing the respect of life, and dignity of our human existence as Social Media and TV shows the graphic brutality of people beaten and killed with out filter, or regard the loved ones of the victims. We are pointing the finger at one another again with racism and misunderstanding devouring our ability to communicate. Well below are some things we can start doing, or do more of to improve and restore decency and eventually prosperity for the nation “Red, Brown, Yellow, Black and White-We ALL are precious in God’s sight”

 “Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins;
You will raise up the age-old foundations;
And you will be called the repairer of the breach,
The restorer of the [i]streets in which to dwell. Isaiah 58:12

LOCAL POLICE Departments

  1. Moratorium on racial profiling by Police department
  2. Harsh Penalties for officers commit police brutality. Especially in cases where suspect is subdued, restrained or presents no clear or present danger. Swift punishment to ensue if violations occur
  3. Probation, training period of 1 year or more before allowing veterans who have been in combat to have patrol duties on street. Reduces potential for PTSD to affect judgment in tense situations
  4. Do more psychological screening of new officer candidates
  5. Be polite, even friendly when possible
  6. Uniform officers to have neighborhood introduction. Officer should be introduced to community. Possible meet and greets held at churches, schools, restaurants in the officer’s patrol area
  7. Revamp Citizen review boards to include more police/community strategy sessions to improve areas of concern and jointly develop policies to best the needs of that particular community or precinct area served
  8. Increase funding of PAL (Police Athletic Leagues) Sports has consistently been a place of ‘common ground’ and could become another way for Police and citizens to become more humanized and less demonized in each other’s eyes

COMMUNITY CITIZENS

  1. Respect authority. Like it or not there is always someone who will have some authority over what you can do
  2. Be polite. Parents remember to have manners and teach your children the same
  3. Know the Laws! Is there a curfew in your neighborhood? Noise violations? Loitering? Permits needed for what you are trying to do? If you know better, you do better
  4. Obey the laws. If there is a problem report, complain, contest with your Public officials.
  5. Get to know those who patrol your neighborhood if possible.
  6. Parents get involved (time permitting) with community based events with your children
  7. Single moms if your children father is available and able to be a positive influence in your children’s life let them do so. Fathers get more involved with your children
  8. Increase neighborhood watch patrols and community policing under guidelines and instructions agreed upon by the community in partnership with police

 

STATE AND FEDERAL Government

  1. Help prevent trafficking of guns into poor neighborhoods. Put more emphasis on large operations, eliminating source at the top vs lower level street criminals
  2. Reduce and eliminate money laundering by banks and other sources. Again focusing attention on, and have harsher penalties for large operations
  3. Monitor judicial sentencing for fairness and equal treatment. Violators to be penalized, suspended, removed as needed. Reduce or eliminate contracts with private prisons corporations. Monies made from prisoners’ labor should be used of paying those back who they committed crimes against
  4. Increase funding for more organic crime prevention aids like rec centers, paid clean up campaigns, and overall neighborhood/community improvements
  5. Increase willingness to create bi-partisan solutions in conjunction with local communities to fund and implement strategies to best serve the people in our towns and cities. Emphasis to be placed on those neighborhoods with the most challenges, and next on helping maintain those where things are doing well or improving
  6. Tax incentives, assistance for creating jobs in, and employing the people of distressed neighborhoods
  7. Help rebuild communities through ‘Neighborhood Repatriation and Reclamation’. Give assistance to those looking to stay in neighborhood (especially life long and older residents) who wish to stay and incentives for relatives who left and are willing to come back and help rebuild the neighborhood
  8. Help maintain organic nature of neighborhood. Transit and green space should balanced against the needs of the community. Avoid destroying Neighborhood connectivity by disrupting neighborhoods with higher speed roadways, barriers and other things to disrupt continuity of the area

Humbly submitted by Minister Jonathan  – God Bless

#Hawks vs #Cavs – #Lebron Triple Double, #KyleKorver has huge night in 123-104 win

11 Feb

The Cavs came into the game just after shaking up the entire NBA with a virtual house cleaning. They traded away several players including former All stars D. Wade and Isaiah Thomas.  The Cavaliers were now like Atlanta. Playing with team full of players that no one knew. The good sized crowd seemed distracted. The large contingent of Cleveland fans in attendance seemed to do nothing more than wait for the next Lebron James highlight.  Of course as he always does when he comes to Atlanta, James did not disappoint. He scored another triple double and had the crowd buzzing with several dazzling assists.

Former Hawk Kyle Korver enjoyed his return to Atlanta scoring 16 first half points including 3-5 from 3pt range. He then went 3-3 in the third quarter to open the floodgates and turn the game into a rout in the 4th quarter.  Korver lead all scorers with 30.  Jeff Green added 24 for the Cavs knockout down 3 of 4 from echinacea the arc.

The one bright light for the Hawks was PG Dennis Schroder. He was a problem for Cleveland slashing his way past the Cavs for 19 first half points to keep Atlanta in the game early. He finished with 25 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists

Hawks take on the Pistons who have added All Star F Blake Griffin in a trade with the Clippers. Atlanta does lead the ping pong ball chase in the lottery race. They again have the worst record in the NBA .

Did the #Patriots follow #Falcons mistake of just being happy to be in the #SuperBowl ?

8 Feb

Now that the game is in the books the Sports pundits (ourselves included) now offer perceived reasons to why the Eagles won, or why the Patriots lost. For this writer the seeds of a Patriot loss was evident in the days leading up to the game.

Usually New England and their fans reserved their talking and celebrating until they had the Lombardi Trophy firmly in their grasp. This year it was different. First the clear jubilation by Bill Belichick after the win over Jacksonville. Belichick normally saves that type of emotion for Super Bowl wins.  Next, the huge sendoff for the team before heading to Minnesota. Now maybe they always do this, but it was the first time I remember seeing it.  It reminded me of the festivities in Atlanta before the Falcons left for SB 51 last year. The city and local stations had multiple pep rallies and celebration for a team that had NOT won the big game yet. This seemed to be too much of just being happy to be there. A sense of OK we made it. That’s the vibe I felt watching the Patriots rally.

The ‘we’re not finished yet message’ wasn’t as prominent. It appeared that the 5 time champions had lost sight of the goal of winning the Super Bowl. Now we should smell the roses along the way and enjoy the journey. But like the Falcons the year before it felt like everybody was a little too festive before the game had even been played.

And unfortunately like the Falcons, the Patriots go back home empty-handed and frustrated wondering what could have been. I say save the big celebrations until AFTER the Super Bowl win. The parties will be bigger, better and best of all you will have a trophy to admire long after the parties are over

 

#Falcons fans not interested in #SB52 Still haunted by collapse in #SB51

4 Feb

By Jonathan Simmons

This time last year I found myself in Houston the host city of Super Bowl 51. Who knew I would be there to witness the highs and lows of that unforgettable OT loss to the NE Patriots.

The excitement surrounding the Falcons before SB51  reached unprecedented heights. Multiple pep rallies around Metro Atlanta. Huge send off with over 15,000 people. A 25 point lead in the big game itself. All for nothing. Washed away by a mind numbing,  record setting comeback by Tom Brady and the Patriots.

Then this year they once again ended the season in heartbreaking fashion. The lost to the NFC champs the Eagles in the final minute blowing a chance to win with a series of poor plays near Philly’s goal line.

Frustrating ways to end a season 2 years in a row. I think it has left most Atlanta football and this writer a little numb and not really interested in the big game this year.

Plus time for rest and ready ourselves for Super Bowl 53. That game will be in Atlanta for the first time in almost 20 years. It would the ultimate coming full circle in the Falcons become the 1st team to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium. Hopefully this time next year Falcons fans will have something to cheer about and not home considering another lost opportunity.

 

#Hawks find the clutch gene in win over #Spurs

18 Jan
Atlanta Hawks Dennis Schroder

Dennis gets the layup – NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)

Yes San Antonio did not have their best player Kawhi Leonard or veteran Manu Ginobli the ageless wonder. But Atlanta’s 102-99  win over the Spurs is still noteworthy because of the way they won.  The Hawks finally closed out a tight game in which they led late. Dennis Schroder made the type plays you expect from the team’s leading scorer and court commander. .  Schroder was good all night. He shot 50% from the floor leading the team in scoring with 26 pts. He also dished out 7 assists and grabbed 5 rebounds.  But he was great at the end of the 4th quarter. The speedy point guard scored 6 of the Hawks last 8 points in the final minute of play. First a short jumper to extend Atlanta’s lead to 96-92 with 38 seconds left. Then after Green hits a 3 pointer to trim lead to one, Schroder comes back with one his trademark scoop lay up to put the Hawks back up by three 98-95. Then with 7 seconds left he calmly sank 2 free throws to help secure the hard-fought 3 point win.

Ersan Ilysova tossed in 20 points. Dwayne Dedman continues to be a force down low for Atlanta with 12 points and 10 rebounds.  Having all their big men is huge for the Hawks. Star rookie John Collins continued his outstanding play. He had 12 points, 8 rebounds and 2 more of his trademark crowd pleasing slams.

It was also great to see the halftime concert honoring Dr. Martin Luther King. Fans celebrating MLK day at Philips Arena we moved by a stirring performance by Ann Nesby (Sounds Of Blackness) and multi church Atlanta mass choir.

If Atlanta can continue to build on this game, this home stand could be a turning point for the season and fun for Hawks fans. Unless of course you want them to poorly so they can get a lottery pick. Oops not supposed to say that.

Will Tom Coughlin D again be kryptonite for #Patriots Supermen Belichick and Brady?

16 Jan

By Jonathan Simmons

Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in almost 20 years years together have put together a standard of excellence that will be hard to break. The 2 future Hall of Famers have won 5 Super Bowls, 9 AFC titles. They are in the AFC championship game this year for the seventh year in a row. As great as those accomplishments are, there is a man in Jacksonville that has had his way with Belichick and Brady. That is director of Football operations Tom Coughlin.

Coughlin as a coach vs Belichick is 5 – 1  and has won the last 3 meetings which of course include Super Bowl wins in ’08 and ’12. The last time in his team played at Gillette stadium they stopped a 3 year home win streak for the Patriots. *

The formula Coughlin uses appears to be based on 3 things :

  1. familiarity with Belichick style/scheme
  2. lack of fear, not intimidated by Patriot prowess
  3. physical style play and strong pass rush up the middle

Coughlin and Belichick were assistant coaches with the Giants in the late 80’s under Bill Parcells. They opposed each then as Coughlin was the receivers coach, Belichick the defense. They also spent lots of time together talking football. ** So if anyone has insight on the mind of Belichick, it shoild be Tom Coughlin .

When you spend time with someone and have had success against them, the aura of invincibility seen by others is not shared. Also Tom Coughlin close ties with US military brass has rubbed off on him.+  So there is no fear of the Patriots and their mystique mystique by ‘Colonel ‘ Coughlin ( as he was called in his days coaching as Parcells’ assistant) **

Tom Brady like most great pocket passers do better when that pocket of protection allows them to scan the field, and step up into their throws. Also Brady is deadly when a team decides to blitz him in order to break down the protection. Tom Coughlin’s defenses have been able to get pressure on Brady most of time with just 4 pass rushers. In addition most of rush in channeled to the middle thus disrupting his sight lines and often leads to a sack. In their 2 Super Bowl wins the Giants sacked Brady a total of 7 times. Brady has been sacked 8 more times in their 2 reg season meetings. The Patriots are 1-1 in those games.

These things are the keys to beating the New England supermen. It has been used by the only other coach/team to beat the dynamic duo twice in postseason John Harbaugh and the Baltimore Ravens.***  But nobody has done better vs Belichick than Coughlin. Even though he won’t be coaching the Jaguars hope the Coughlin dominance over the Patriot supermen holds up for another game

*

** https://nesn.com/2015/11/tom-coughlins-success-vs-bill-belichick-started-on-giants-practice-fields/
https://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2012/01/27/common-coaching-grounds/qzzqD1rjhRbM0WW7UpmB8L/story.html

+ http://www.titansonline.com/news/article-1/Fisher-NFL-Coaches-Meet-the-Troops/658cc4aa-0589-401a-b0ef-d8d0ac557915

*** http://patriotswire.usatoday.com/2018/01/12/new-england-patriots-five-bill-belichick-playoff-stats-that-might-surprise-you/

#CelebrationBowl big stage in Atlanta invigorates, but doesn’t intimidate #NCAT or #Grambling

16 Dec
2017 Celebration Bowl NCAT players

NCAT Aggies

2017 Celebration Bowl Grambling players

Grambling State Tigers

Mercedes Benz stadium is a glorious new state of the art stadium considered to be one of the finest sports venues in the world. It annually hosts the SEC championship, and this year the College Football Championship two of the biggest events of the year for the sport. The Celebration Bowl is the 1st bowl game played each year. It’s the 125th anniversary of the 1st football game played in HBCU football history.  None of this seems to faze the players from Grambling State or No. Carolina A&T.

It’s the 2nd appearance for each in the game with Grambling State returning as defending champs, and No. Carolina A&T coming back after winning the the inaugural game in 2015. NC A&T also boasts a unblemished 11-0 record.

Check out the press conference the day before the big game in Atlanta. Players from both teams seemed relaxed but ready to play in this historic game.

In the #CelebrationBowl the cheers are about family as much as #football

16 Dec

CELEBRATION BOWL,MAYORS MASKED BALL 155CELEBRATION BOWL, FALCONS vs 49ERS,MAYORS MASKED BALL 044

As the hours are counted down before the 3rd annual Celebration Bowl the head coaches and players took time out to speak to the media in their final press conferences. The Celebration Bowl matches the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) champions in Atlanta to determine the kings of Black College football.

There were plenty of Q & A regarding team strategy, key player strengths, school pride and the like. What stood through the answers from the coaches of both teams was the importance of being a family.  It was wonderful to hear what that meant to coaches personally as well as for their teams.

Check out our videos from each coach below to see and hear for yourself

#Falcons snatch win from hands of #Saints on #DeionJones end zone INT

9 Dec
IMG_8966

#InBrotherhood

Saints Falcons Football

Debo Time -atlantafalcons.com

The Atlanta Falcons continue their season in the year of living dangerously. Matt Ryan throws 3 interceptions, including 2 in the Red Zone. But in another strange and miraculous finish, the Falcons intercept Drew Brees in the end zone with less than a minute to go to preserve a 20-17 victory in Atlanta.

Falcons star middle linebacker Deion Jones, a Louisiana native, once again stung his home state with a game changing interception. He intercepted a Brees pass 2 years ago in New Orleans in his rookie year to help the Falcons win that game.

The offense was doing what it needed to do…. control the ball to keep it away from Drew Brees and the Saints Offense.  Early on it was the Saints who had  control and held a  2-1 time of possession edge. but it was still a 3-3 tie in the 1st quarter. Atlanta seemed to take charge midway through the 2nd quarter with a beautiful 15 play 90 yard drive lasting  8:17. Austin Hooper had 2 catches to keep the drive alive. Devonta Freeman had 5 carries, 19 yds and caps off long drive with a TD with 4:35 left 2nd quarter.
After score however  it seems like Atlanta’s defense relaxed. First they gave up a big 31 yard kickoff return. Then Brees took Saints on nifty TD drive in just 2:30
When the Falcons get the ball back and the offense moves the ball right back down the field to the Saints 42 yard. Matt Ryan looks at Julio all the way and throws his 1st of 3 interceptions. Saints return it 33 yards and kick FG to take the lead. Or so they thought. Atlanta got it’s first break of the day as a Saints penalty causes a 10 second runoff, negates the field goal, and keeps the game tied at 10.

Ryan threw interception #2 to start the 2nd half, as TE Austin Hooper fumbled the pass right into the hands of the Saints Chris Banjo leading to a short TD drive as New Orleans took the lead 17-10. Atlanta responded by driving to the Saints 5 when Ryan, again staring down Julio Jones throws into triple coverage and interception number three blowing another opportunity to score, and gave the Saints the ball back again.

The Falcons defense was on a mission though and stopped Saints drives twice.  The  second drive stop was highlighted by a key 3rd down sack by Atlanta’s huge interior lineman Dontari Poe. Matt Ryan and Atlanta’s offense then showed they had some resilience and grit.

First with about 2 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, the Falcons began a 15 play, 69 yard drive that ended with nifty 8 yard TD pass for Ryan to wide open Mohamad Sanu in the end zone to tie the game at 17. On their next drive they moved from their own 28 to the Saints 34 when the drive stalled. Mr. Reliable Matt Bryant came on nailed a 52 yard FG to give Atlanta a 20-17 lead with 3:49 to play. A lot of time for future Hall of Famer Drew Brees to get something done. Brees did not disappoint. He led the Saints quickly downfield from their 20 to the Falcons 34 in just a minute and a half. The final moments left everyone there buzzing. On 3rd and 1, 2 minutes left in the game, the Saints are charged with offensive holding, a 10 yard penalty. This would make it 3rd and 11 and the ball on the Falcons 35. Not so fast. Atlanta head coach starts the chess match. He declines the 1st down. It’s now 4th and 1. Saints head coach passes on the 42 yard FG and elects to go for it on 1st down. New Orleans gets the 1st down on a Drew Brees QB sneak. Brees fires an 11 yard pass to Ted Ginn for a 1st down. But Ginn is injured on the play forcing New Orleans to take a timeout and the clock is stopped at 1:39. Brees throws again this time for no gain and Atlanta takes their 2nd timeout. The Saints are clearly playing for the win on the road as Brees is throwing, even though they are easy FG range. On the next play the strategy backfires. Brees throws towards Josh Hill in the end zone but middle linebacker Deion Jones jumps about 3-4 feet in the air for a spectacular interception to kill the drive.

There was still some drama left though. After a New Orleans timeout, on 2nd down Falcons RB Devonta Freeman fumbles. Atlanta recovers however, and is able to kneel down twice and hang on for a hard fought, but strange 20-17 win. The victory puts Atlanta just one game behind the Saints with 3 games left to play. All the games remaining are in the division, including a rematch with the Saints in New Orleans on Christmas eve. The Falcons have it all in front of them, and control their own playoff chances.

It should be an interesting finish as the Falcons fight to return to playoffs to defend their NFC Championship and head back to the Super Bowl.

#Falcons miss opportunity to solidify playoff spot in loss to #Vikings

4 Dec
4530.jpg

Photo- Greg C

It was there for the taking The Atlanta had things working in their favor. Star RB Devonta Freeman was back and running with the same violence as always. The offensive line had kept QB Matt Ryan from being sacked. The defense was avoiding big plays in the passing game and held Minnesota to 1 TD in each half.  But Falcons wasn’t able to score a touchdown, and Matt Bryant missed a 45 yard in the 4th quarter as they lost to the Vikings 14-9. The key problem was the Falcons offense was unable to convert on third down. Atlanta was only 1 of 10. Most of the problems came from the fact that the offensive line had negating gains and putting them in third and long situations. That down and distance are difficult for any team to convert. Meanwhile QB Case Keenum was almost perfect connecting on 25 of 30 for 227 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Vikings unlike the Falcons had most of their 3rd down conversions with less than 5 yards needed.

The Birds don’t have long to regroup. They host their arch rivals the NFC South leading  N.O. Saints in just 3 days for a huge Thursday night clash. The Falcon still have their playoff hopes in their own hands. Hope they don’t drop the ball.

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