Tag Archives: NFC

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

4 Dec

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.


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

10 Oct


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

Ryan silences critics with record 500 yard passing performance

3 Oct


Matt Ryan has heard the grumbling from fans and the press after last seasons 2nd half collapse. The red zone interceptions. Clear discomfort in Kyle Shanahan’s new offense. The clutch QB play that earned him the nickname ‘Matty Ice’ had been replaced by a hesitant error prone imitation of himself. During his limited work in the 2016 preseason he didn’t look much better.

Ryan stoically handled the criticism as the professional he is and waited to the regular season to unleash the new Matt  Ryan aka  ‘Matticulous’. Ryan has been unstoppable for the 1st quarter of the new season putting up numbers that lead the NFL. He won player of the month for Sept. That was followed up by throwing for a Falcon record 503 yard, 4 TD performance vs the Panthers. He easily won the duel with reigning league MVP Cam Newton who was actually knocked out of the game with a big hit by Deion Jones.

He has been utilizing the many weapons he has at his disposal connecting with 8 or more players in each of the last 2 games. But in yesterday’s game the main thrust of the aerial assault came by ‘Jet’. Julio ‘Jet’ Jones had a career best 300 yards receiving on just 12 receptions. A stunning 25 yards per catch. His last one was a breathtaking  grasp and dash 75 yard TD which sent the Dome into a frenzy. It marked the 1st time in NFL history that a QB threw for 500 or more yards, and a receiver had 300 yards receiving in the same game.

The Falcons offense after 4 games lead the league in scoring, passing yards, and total yards. Ryan also leads QBs in passing, is on a pace to throw for over 5,500 yards and 44 TDs. Of course the season is young, and the NFL unpredictable. But for now Matt Ryan and Falcons can sing to the naysayers – “Turn down for what”

By Minister Jonathan Simmons

Stats from NFL.com

Are the #Falcons too fragile?

18 Sep



It is tough to write articles that are critical or seem negative.The Real Talk Sports show tries to ‘accentuate the positive’. But life and truth often are harsh and tough to deal with. When we look at this Atlanta Falcons team it seems to always be dealing with injuries to the body and psyche.

Let’s look that physical side. It’s only game 2 and you have several key players already banged up. 2 rookie starters LB DeVondre Campbell and S Keanu Neal out.LB/DE Brooks may be out too.  WRs Julio Jones, Mohammed Sanu, and RB Devonta Frreman have leg injuries. Recently acquired Dwight Freeney only can practice twice per week.And Vic Beasley still doesn’t appear to be 100% either Hopefully a combination of rest and treatment will get all of them back to full speed.

The mental side of things is questionable too. Game 1 had costly procedure penalties, missed assignments, and poor tackling. There still is a disconnect between QB Matt Ryan and OC Kyle Shanahan. Matt had good stats, but timing was off on several throws causing him to throw behind receivers in critical moments. 1st round pick Vic Beasley had NO tackles or sacks. The mild mannered young also seems out of sorts at times and is rumored not to take tough coaching critique well.

Atlanta’s pro sports teams are filled with nice guys. As a licensed minister I believe that’s a good thing in life to be. However, sports especially at the professional level requires passion, intensity and toughness.

At some point the Falcons are going to have to find some guys with “a little dog in ’em” to give this team the confidence and winning edge they need to get them back to playoffs. Just saying.

By-Minister Jonathan Simmons


Embarrassing Effort #Falcons shutout by #Panthers 38-0 #ATLvs CAR

13 Dec

The Falcons season has officially hit bottom. A surprising 5-0 made Atlanta the talk of the NFL, and dreaming of a playoff run. Since their 25-19 win in OT over the Redskins back on Oct. 11 the ‘Birds have fallen off their lofty perch. They have lost 7 of the last 8 games, 6 in succession.

In spite of that there was still hope of righting the ship, and possibly with help make the playoffs. A little optimism lingered because the losses were more a matter of the Falcons losing through their own errors vs getting beat by their opponent. Until today.

Atlanta was outplayed in all areas getting blanked by Carolina 38-0. Matt Ryan had 2 more turnovers, as he was sacked 4 times. Cam Newton meanwhile threw 3 TDs and had his highest QB rated game at 153.3. This performance continues to build a compelling case for Cam Newton as MVP.

The Falcons and Matt Ryan have to look themselves in the mirror and ask some hard questions. Do they have the will and resolve to finish strong like the Birds of Prey they are called, or will they be more like Butterball turkeys on Thanksgiving ?

The Panthers clinched a 1st round bye and are 13-0. The Falcons drop to 6-7 just 1 game out of last place in the NFC South. It’s the 3rd straight NFC South crown, and playoff appearance for Carolina. The Falcons are on their longest losing streak since 2007 the year before Ryan arrived.


#Falcons snatch another defeat from the hands of victory. Lose to #Bucs 23-19 #ATLvsTB

6 Dec

The incredible run of futility continues for Atlanta. The team again found a way to lose a game that was theirs to win. We say TEAM because there were multiple culprits in the Falcons 4 point loss to the Buccaneers.

  1. The Offensive line-The once vaunted ground game sputtered again even with the return of Devonta Freeman totaling just 64 yards. QB Matt Ryan was pressured often, and sacked 3 times
  2. The Run Defense. Clearly the lofty #1 defense ranking was a mirage. Adrian Peterson had 158 last week, and Tampa rushed for 166 this week
  3. Bad tackling. See #2 and click HERE to see the back breaking Jameis Winston 20 yd run on 3rd and 19 in the 4th quarter
  4. Matt Ryan ended an otherwise good day for him with another INT to end Falcons comeback hopes

This team will have to call on ALL of their ‘intestinal fortitude’ to salvage what’s left of the season to at least finish at 8-8. With 2 or the 4 games remaining vs Carolina, the NFL’s best team, the task is daunting.

#Falcons lose again Ryan interceptions costly

30 Nov

Falcons vs Vikings Ryan huddle (800x599)

There are almost no words to describe the frustration which emanated from the GA Dome today. The Falcons lost their 4th straight game, and 5th of their last 6 played. This time to they fall to the Minn. Vikings led by Adrian ‘All Day’Peterson 20-10.

What is so irritating is that like rest of their previous 3 losses this is a game they could, and probably should have won. The defense held the Vikings to just 10 points through 3 quarters. But the offense kept turning the ball over.

The crowd’s pent up disgust in the poor play of late came out as the Dome echoed with boos. They rained down on the Falcons after their 1st drive stalled. They poured out at halftime as the team left the field. We heard a collective groan after both Ryan interceptions, and the almost comical fumble by Tevin Coleman after a explosive burst of over 40 yards.

Atlanta’s defense played well for much of the game. But they finally succumbed as Vikes put the game away in the 4t quarter with a FG and and a nifty 35 yard TD dash by Peterson.  The Falcons are reeling. With 5 games left and optimistic finish of 3-2 would give them a 9-7 record. That may not be enough to get into the playoffs. What a disappointing end to a season that started with such promise would be


#Falcons seemed to lose sharpness on Day 5 of #NFLTrainingCamp

6 Aug

Screenshot 2015-08-06 13.26.50

Maybe it was the temperature being a little cooler due some welcome crowd cover. Or it could the big crowds of the weekend were gone. It might have been the ‘Friday Night Lights’ scrimmage. Whatever the reason Falcons had more dropped passes and fumbles that were not there previously. Timing was slightly off.  A few players looked like they may have been nicked or a little banged up. Stay tuned for injury updates. Minister Jonathan Simmons (@MinisterJSimm) on the scene at Falcons HQ in Flowery Branch. For more photos and videos go to www.realtalksports.net

Family, Fun, and Football at #Falcons #NFLTrainingCamp on a Sunday morning

2 Aug


The Atlanta Falcons officially launched their training camp on July 31. But today parents grabbed their kids and packed the Falcons Flowery Branch HQ on a beautiful Sunday.

The team does a great job each year of connecting fans through the free and open training camp. Players like 1st round pick Vic Beasley take time to get up close and personal. For more #Sports coverage check out our show every Mon 6-7pm on WIGO 1570, online at www.realtalksports.net Also on your mobile via Tunein Radio app. Follow us on Social Media @talksportsatl

Super Bowl 49: What the Seahawks must do to win

1 Feb

These are some of the keys to a Seattle victory over New England

1) Unleash the ‘Beast’ Marshawn Lynch is the fulcrum around which the Seahawks offense turns. Seattle must use all of Lynch’s skill sets. Not only using him to soften up the Patriots on the ground, but also take advantage of his great skills as a receiver.


2) Pressure Tom Brady The Seahawks ‘D’ must be able to rush Brady and keep him uncomfortable in the pocket. They must be able to do it with 4 rushers. It is the formula that the NY Giants used in their 2 SB wins over the Patriots


3) Let Russell be Russell He is UNDEFEATED against SB winning QBs. Russell Wilson seems to be unflappable when the pressure. His never say die attitude has helped secure last second wins in college and the NFL. His pass/run skills are unmatched in the league right. Let him be free to do what it takes to make plays

Russel vs Pats

If Seattle does these things they will win and stake their claim as the team of the decade so far.

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