Atlanta Falcons Choke on the Road Again

Defense is an Embarrassing Joke, Overall a Terrible Loss

The Defense Actually Played Worse than Cincy Game

Smith Continues Atrocious Road Record

The fact that Smith is now 24-26 on the road in his career as head coach is bad enough just on the surface, but looking at this one really drives home how awful Smith has been on the road: 1 – 10 in last 11 games on the road. That’s unacceptable any way you slice it and many of those have even been blowouts. What a damn joke.

Rookie QB’s LOVE the Falcons Defense

I believe the Falcons defense are doing the best job they can to help rookie quarterbacks find their footing in the NFL. It’s been pretty pathetic seeing rookie QB after QB having no issues whatsoever manhandling the Falcons defense. Last year saw Geno Smith coming in and doing his best Joe Namath impression that led his Jets to a win and actually being the first rookie QB to win on the road in their first year in the history of Monday Night Football. Mike Glennon had a career day vs. the Falcons D last year as well. This time it was rookie QB Teddy Bridgewater’s turn for excellence. In fact, he didn’t even have an incompletion until the 2nd quarter. Through the first half, he engineered 4 scoring drives and all this without Adrian Peterson. Over 300 yards passing barely into the 4th quarter including a touchdown run.  And a few more feathers in this defenses cap: Bridgewater was first rookie in Vikings franchise history to pass for 300+ yards. McKinnon averaged 8 yards on the day. Also, this was the first time the Vikings had a 300 yard passer, 100 yard rusher, and 100 passer since 2009. Two of those are fresh NFL rookies. Just pathetic


The Falcons had only 2 drops coming into this game and had 3 to 4 in the first half alone. Roddy White, Levine Toilolo, and Devin Hester all had drops and at least one killed a drive and another one could have been caught for a TD (although it was a tough catch). With their defense being absolutely atrocious, they can ill afford to drop any balls or miss any chances to score. Desmond Trufant even dropped an easy interception that could have been a huge for the Falcons momentum.

Decent RB Rotation

It has to be a tough job trying to spread the wealth to all the talented offensive players, but Dirk Koetter has done good with it. A rejuvenated Steven Jackson, a speedy Antone Smith, all-around RB Devonta Freeman, and versatile Jacquizz Rodgers has helped keep the offense balanced and all played a nice part. Fans probably would like to see Freeman start getting some of Rodgers carries, but overall it’s been a nice mix in the backfield. Jackson should get a few carries in spots, but he should no longer be the starter.

RE: Defense, What’s Left to Say?

There’s simply nothing else left to say regarding this pitiful and pathetic excuse for a defense. Over 7 years, this defense has juggled between bad, terrible, and worse. Even at it’s best, this D has been mediocre and average. 2 coordinators and a complete overhaul of players has seen it do no better than before Mike Smith arrived. They can’t rush the passer and can’t even stop the run anymore. A rookie QB and rookie running back (Jerick McKinnon) lit up the Falcons to the tune of 450+ yards, and all of that was done through 3 quarters. If things go south this year and Mike Smith finds himself out of a job, he has no one to blame but himself and the failure of skills that got him the job in the first place.

Devin Hester is The Man

Many questioned the sizeable contract that Thomas Dimitroff awarded 31 year old Devin Hester a big contract, but he’s looking like one of the smartest men in the NFL right about now. Not only has Hester added a new spark to the return game, but he’s also been fantastic in the passing game. In fact, through this first part of the season, it’s harder to find a free agent that has made more of an impact than Hester.

Antone Smith has to Start

With all due respect to Steven Jackson and him doing well in his own right, but Smith has got to start getting the bulk of carries in the backfield. Every time he touches the ball, he makes something special happen. He has the same homerun ability that Hester possesses and he can turn the speed on in a blink. Most would like to see Jackson and Smith swap places in terms of carries. While he may not be the best inside runner, he has to be on the field more often.

Major Injury Concerns

The Falcons really got bit by the injury bug in this one. William Moore, Kemal Ishmael, Lamar Holmes, Joe Hawley, and Justin Blalock all headed to the locker room with injuries and none returned. It even got so bad that Peter Konz had to move to center and TE Levine Toilolo to right tackle. The Falcons have been really lucky so far up until this game, but they got it and then some vs. the Vikings. And to really top it off, they left two of their offensive linemen as inactives.

790 thoughts on “Atlanta Falcons Choke on the Road Again

  1. SinIsIn

    Continuing the “I have zero self control” narrative…..

    I mean, I’m not casting stones on a human level. I can be hedonistic as hell. But I am also not a multimillion dollar professional athlete, who’s career and (by extension) desirable social status depend in large part on my ability to be disciplined & “keep my nose clean”.

  2. Seminole Warrior

    Cage Family


    I completely understand the situation that you are in. It has been the same here in central Georgia with all the instability in terms of resources, physical and fiscal, within the Air Force. I know I promised that I would share the load with you; I have been unable to keep my words and for that, I do sincerely apologize.

    We will find a way to move the forum forward during the period that you are busy. We simply must. The Cage has become a staple for so many and we, the pulse of the Cage, must find a way to make it happen.

    Again, I sincerely apology for my failure to keep my word to you and the Cage family.

    In the mean time, I will do what I can when I can to keep the forum moving along.

  3. Paddy O

    the press is currently doing the standard liberal smear job on Adrian Peterson. If folks think their manure is odorless, lol.

  4. Seminole Warrior


    Glad that you found the Joe Sample album. Trust me, you will love it and you will become a huge fan in short order. Dude was awesome and I was honored to see him in person on so many occasions.

  5. Seminole Warrior

    K Strick

    I think that we certainly can not do any worse than to give DK the rest of the season to see what he could do as an interim HC. There certainly is not a thing that the current CFA can do to restore my “confidence”. And while on the subject, it is high time to consider front office moves as well.

    JWW, remember, Rich is here for one reason and one reason only….the Nest. Once the PSLs are done, the Nest is up and operating, and the new MSL franchise is in place (supplementary income for AB), Rich will move on at the end of his deal. The question to ask is if AB will give Rich the chance to hire the “next” GM or will he bring in an outsider to assist in the move?

  6. Seminole Warrior


    Pop would want you to reach those goals so do not let the opportunity pass you by. We will support you as you strive for the personal and professional excellence you seek. Again, I apologize and will do what I can to assist. If it means burning the midnight oil, so be it. You have done it for us; time to return the favor.

  7. Unca' Bob


    While I’m not a stone thrower either, at some point in time reality needs to kick in for A Peterson. Granted, he has probably lived a very privileged life that most could and would envy. He now is getting a dose of reality that he has no concept of. Everyone will now create space between themselves and AP for their own convenience as well as hiding a semblance of their own duplicity. For the first time in his life he is without supporters. I wish him well.

    You remind me of SW. Y’all don’t bring it often, but, when you do…

  8. Mike in Minnesota

    Sinsin and JB – Orgy, weed and abuse…did you hear he’s got 6 kids with 6 women in MN,TX and good ole GA…and sadly the 7th child ( in SD or was it ND )…was killed by the baby Mama’s new boyfriend…I didn’t read it but someone at work said the the 4 yr old that was whipped with the branch had marks to the lower part of the back and it whipped around his body and struck his scrotum. People here are really mad…I don’t think AP will ever play again !

  9. JB Falcon

    The rule was broken and Gurley just traded the proceeds of a $39 autographed photo for probably over $100 mil. And I though A Peterson highlighted the height of stupidity. A shame and disgrace. I don’t have the words to express my disappointment in that young man.

  10. JB Falcon

    If proven true, it would be considered a violation of Gurley’s amateur status as an NCAA athlete and result in his immediate ineligibility. That could be for a number of games or the rest of the season, depending on the size and scope of the violation.

  11. Arno

    Not confirmed what Gurley did, but here’s the official wording:
    “NCAA rules prohibit the use of an enrolled student-athlete’s name or picture to endorse a commercial product or service.”

    And from the prologue:
    “The easiest way to avoid an NCAA rules violation is to ask a coach or staff member BEFORE you enter into any situation or accept any sort of potential benefit. Involvement in a rules violation can have serious effects on your eligibility to practice, compete, or receive athletic scholarship aid. Protect yourself and your team by talking to your coaches, sport administrator,
    or Compliance staff members whenever a question arises.”

  12. JB Falcon

    Arno, A J Green got caught doing the same thing Gurley is charged with and he got a 4 game suspension. Manziel was accused of the same thing but it couldn’t be proven. It’s gonna be hard to prove Gurley did not sign the photos but there is a chance. I know this is a Falcon blog but Gurley is Georgia!

  13. JB Falcon

    JJ, you had me wondering there. I thought you might have been posting what Gurley could have been singing, but won’t. Aren’t you supposed to warn me with an “FFL” before the post?
    So, you know I don’t play, nor understand FFL, but from what I can understand you have been sucking hind tit. So, did you win a game? If so, “HIGH FIVE!”

  14. Arno

    JB, What UGA is up to (and for me, Tech), tends to effect our overall football fan mood. Paul Johnson is a domineering type of coach, and I compare his effect on players as I watch Mike Smith in action. So I hope this diversion from Falcons will be taken in stride….

  15. Seminole Warrior


    As most now here, I am an ACC guy so I have no bone in the Gurley situation. But I am one who hopes that this new autonomy in the power 5 conferences will result in the elimination of such BS as this situation that Gurley finds himself in. I thought it was stupid when it happened to Green and I think it is stupid at this very moment.


    Relevance. It is all about relevance this season. And with Sensei as my mentor, relevant is what I hope to remain.

  16. Seminole Warrior

    ***POST ALERT***

    JJ ./ Coop / D3

    I emailed you all a copy of a submission for a short post regarding the upcoming Bears game. Check your email when you get a chance and let me know what you think.

  17. medallion8

    GM – your humor this morning was awesome. Thanks.
    I especially thank all the others who have agreed to take a jump into the wild blue of writing because it reduces pressure on me. LOL.
    MIM could also write by starting something that is more reflective (seeing the forest instead of the trees you know) and bring a different perspective because of the teams broadcast in his area. I intend to use my opinions from watching nearly every Saints’ game during several years when work had me based in south LA. For those that might remember one of my earliest posts here, I also intend to keep on using my crystal ball and Ouija Board (those two fight like crazy).

  18. JB Falcon

    This is what pisses me off and makes we wonder how Gurley could be that STUPID.
    “The suspension came as Gurley had emerged as a leading candidate for the Heisman Trophy, the most prestigious individual honor in college football. Nine of 10 voters in ESPN’s weekly ranking of Heisman candidates picked Gurley as the No. 1 choice this week. But any extended absence from the field would effectively end his candidacy.”

  19. Seminole Warrior

    JB F

    Let there be no doubt about it. He was heading to the NFL draft come January after the season he was having. And his pay day will be huge. I can already hear the gears at the Branch making waves to move up to select him.

    Yep, they would be that stupid once again BUT it would truly give AB the needed infusion of fan interest he would need just in time for those PSL letters to go out.

    It all about business….or in the words of the Million Dollar Man, Money, Money, Money, Money, Money….everybody has a price, everybody is going to pay but the Million Dollar Man always gets his way….Money, money, money.

  20. Seminole Warrior

    ****COCOA MEL ALERT*****

    Speaking of defense, here are two players that the Tee Pee has been following defensively that, if we are hell bent on keeping Mr. Nolan as our coordinator, could come in and be impactful for Atlanta in 2015. They are a little undersized at defensive end but TRULY have the upside and the talents to be BEASTS in a 3-4 defense (should we desire to FINALLY implement the scheme).

    Louisville’s Lorenzo Mauldin and Clemson’s Vic Beasley.

  21. falcon21

    It’s a little too early to judge Gurley, he will be getting big money soon regardless and I just can’t see him making that kind of mistake. I think more to this story will come.

  22. JB Falcon

    SW, in spite of popular belief, there are people who do not put money in front of all else. If I have a dollar with nothing to spend it on and you need a dollar, you can have it. I would rather help a friend than have a dollar. I could submit a post to D3 about this but it doesn’t pertain to football or the Falcons. Sinisin posted a word this afternoon that I had to look up to see what it meant. Hedonistic. The best definition I could find was
    he·do·nism noun \ˈhē-də-ˌni-zəm\
    : the belief that pleasure or happiness is the most important goal in life.
    There are a lot of NFL players in the game for the money and a lot are in it for the thrill of playing the game. Most are in it for the game but the NFL and college ball is a business based on money, they have rules just like we peons have laws. The rules and the law doesn’t care how much money you have.
    JJ, I’m watching the game. This for you.

  23. Wings

    This morning I would like to kick Mike Smith’s butt out of Georgia.

    Only two NFL running backs have more touchdowns than Atlanta’s Antone Smith.

    The mystery is why Smith hasn’t had more chances to add to his total.

    Among Falcons running backs, Steven Jackson, Jacquizz Rodgers and Devonta Freeman have more carries than Smith this season.

    Smith has delivered four big-play scores on his rare touches — from 38, 48, 54 and 74 yards. Two touchdowns came after short catches.

    The only NFL running backs with more touchdowns are Marshawn Lynch and DeMarco Murray, who have combined for more than 200 touches. Smith’s touchdowns have come on only 17 carries and catches.


Join The Falcons Cage Discussion......

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s