Tag Archives: Falcons

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

 

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#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.

 

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

9 Dec
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#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
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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.

#Falcons vs #Seahawks – No room for error in #NFLPlayoff chase

21 Nov

The 2017 Atlanta Falcons have played their way into a precarious position in their quest to return to the postseason.

Winnable games vs the Bills, Dolphins at home, and Panthers on the road have left them in 3rd place in the NFC South. Even after a big home win against a depleted Cowboys team, Atlanta needs to win 5 or 6 of their last 7 games to get back in the playoffs. The good news is all but 2 of those games are against teams that are ahead of them in the standings. The bad news is those teams are playing well.

The Falcons offense looked the best it has since the opening game vs Green Bay. 6 different players caught at least 2 passes from Matt Ryan who looked loose and confident even when forced out of the pocket. Atlanta even ran some hurry up offense a few times (finally)

Once again the Falcons opponent will be missing key players from their roster. All Pro defenders Cam Chancellor, Richard Sherman and Cliff Averil are all out due to injury.  The Falcons offense should be able to move the ball against Seattle IF they have the cohesiveness and execution of last Sunday.

On defense for the 3rd week in a row Atlanta has the challenge of stopping a dual threat QB. Against the Panthers the D had huge problems stopping Cam Newton. They fared much better against Dak Prescott and the Cowboys sacking him 8 times.  With Russell Wilson they face their stiffest challenge yet. Not only is he elusive but his ability to make big plays of a scramble is amazing

If the Falcons can contain Wilson and maintain their offensive efficiency from last week. Atlanta will have the same record they had after 10 games last year, 6-4.  They also will find themselves right back in the middle of the playoff hunt.

First game at #MBStadium – The Virtual reality tour

27 Aug

When you first walk into the stadium from the front landing with the massive Falcon sculpture you are overwhelmed by the visuals. Halo board, lower field electronic scoreboards, and colors so vivid and bright  it all seems surreal.

It’s as if you’re a character in the movie #Tron, or have donned a set of VR glasses. Being inside the stadium is like you have been dropped inside a giant video game.

Everything has taken to a new level. Fans enjoyed a Field Level Club area that allowed them to walk from inside a stylish restaurant/lounge, to a porch right behind the team bench on the field.

As for the game itself, the Falcons lost to the Arizona Cardinals 24-14. Matt Ryan was was not as sharp as 1st 2 games. Julio played a little as did Takk McKinley.

The Falcons  performance will raise some questions about the team, especially since they have not won a game this preseason. But that is for another story. Mercedes Benz stadium was the story tonight. There is more work remaining before it is totally finished. But early reviews from the fans are 5 star rated for excitement and entertainment.

#Falcons final 2 practices at Flowery Branch before 1st game at MB Stadium

23 Aug

Dan Quinn Falcons Head Coach

The Falcons are back to the norm except for one change. Their Friday walk through will be at their brand new home – Mercedes Benz Stadium.

This season is unique as the Falcons are defending NFC for only the 2nd time AND heading into a brand new stadium that is a technological marvel.

How important is it to have this walk through on Saturday and 2 home games at the new stadium before playing regular season game there?

It will also give coaches the opportunity to evaluate players under pressure of not only making the team, but the excitement of a new stadium and a real regular season feel

Coach Dan Quinn in his daily press conference gave the media some key points to consider:

  • Linebackers look good. Rookie Due Riley’s initial impact may be biggest on special teams. Quinn loves the way he flies around.
  • De’Vondre Campbell has looked good at the Sam LB spot
  • DE Jack Crawford has quickness unusual for a man that size.
  • Coach Bryant Young has the ability to coach the D-Line with a hands on approach befitting a recently retired player

Running back, lineman, and defensive backs are areas that still have the most competition remaining in terms of the 53 man roster. Coach Quinn still deciding whether to have coordinators and ass’t coaches calling plays form on the field or in the press box.

Click Here for the VIDEO of the press conference.

Are the Atlanta Falcons turning into Linebacker U ?

12 May

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The Atlanta Falcons drafted another LB in this years draft. This comes after drafting Vic Beasley in 2015, DeVondre Campbell and Deion Jones the 4th and 2nd rounds in 2016.

Former LSU LB joins Duke Riley is picked 75th overall in the 3rd round.  He is the prototype Q guy. Speed, quickness and a sure tackler. Coach Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff are seeking to add depth to a defense that came on late in the season, but withered under a relentless Patriot offensive attack in the final part of Super 51.

If Riley can give you 75% of what his former LSU teammate Deion Jones did last year the Falcons will have one the steals of the draft.  We got a chance to see a glimpse of him in the rookie camp.

#Falcons desire to stay aggressive may have cost them 1st #SuperBowl win

7 Feb

Throughout the 2016-17 season Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn’s main theme was that the team would play fast and be aggressive. For the first two and half quarters of Super Bowl 51 it worked to perfection. The upstart Falcons defense sacked Patriots QB Tom Brady and harassed into throwing his 1st playoffs ‘pick 6’ interception. Rookie MLB Deion Jones caused a fumble which led to an Atlanta score. By midway throughout the 3rd quarter the Falcons had a seemingly insurmountable 28-3 lead. At this point the goal should be to use the runn take time off the clock and put points on the board when you have opportunity.

Instead the Falcons coaches continued to the throw the ball and blew two chances inside the Patriots 25 to get a least a field goal. Twice Matt Ryan was sacked. One of those sacks caused a fumble to set a Patriot score. The next a sack and penalty wrecked the other chance to score. If Atlanta had gotten points on either drive they would be Super Bowl champs. Instead they will be considered Sports historical chumps who blew the largest lead in Super Bowl history

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Big day by #Beasley leads way as #Falcons corral #Broncos 23-16

10 Oct

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When the Falcons drafted Clemson’s Vic Beasley #6 overall in the 2015 NFL they felt they had someone who would finally give them a legitimate pass rusher of the edge. This was something not present since the departure of John Abraham a few years ago. In his 1st season however Beasley had very little impact. He tallied only 4 sacks 2 of them coming in game 15 vs the Panthers. Some of this was due an injury the severity not publicly disclosed until after the season.  2016 seemed to be going the same way. Beasley was constantly stymied by bigger lineman from the teams Atlanta faced. That all changed in Denver.

Check out our Vic Beasley interview

The 2nd year player who been moved to linebacker, finally became the game disruptor the Falcons thought they were getting when they picked him. Beasley had an epic game. He lead the team with 7 tackles, forced 2 fumbles, and most important tallied 3.5 sacks as Atlanta beat the Denver Broncos 23-16. Now people will point out Denver played rookie QB Paxton Lynch, and an injured lineman. But Beasley was in the Broncos backfield all day long making plays.  The difference was intensity,placement, and technique. The young LB was unrelenting in his pursuit of the ball carrier on run and pass plays when on the field. As we have advocated for repeatedly, he was moved around. First set up on the edge to rush the QB. Then in the middle on a stunt to create pressure from the middle. Next faking the rush and dropping back into coverage. He used his hands and arms more to create leverage and keep lineman from getting in to his body to block him. All told the Falcons defense registered 6 sacks on the day including the final one by Beasley’s former Clemson teammate Grady Jarrett. Next up is the team the Falcons are trying to model their defense on, the Seattle Seahawks

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