Atlanta Falcons Get Enormous Win in Dallas

Unbelievable Win vs. Cowboys

#24 >> BeastMode!

It’s getting harder to describe the Falcons getting huge wins on the road after their latest and best big win in Dallas against the Cowboys. This Falcons team is a tough and gritty bunch. After looking like the game was pretty much lost when the Cowboys scored their 4th touchdown, the Falcons came back and salvaged a field goal to end the half. Dan Quinn was visibly upset with his defense before halftime and that must have carried over to his speech during the break. The Falcons came out with their hair on fire, shut out the Cowboys, and dominated them the rest of the way. As many have said, this was one of the best and grittiest of wins that fans have seen in years. It’s great to be an Atlanta Falcon and the future is super bright!

Freeman’s Coming Out

Durant & D, Huge in 2nd

Fans have been waiting for this day and it finally came. Devonta Freeman absolutely blew up in Dallas. The former Seminole had 141 yards rushing, 52 yards receiving, and 3 touchdowns. All who knew Freeman’s background and amazing work ethic knew it was just a matter of time. As our buddy Seminole Warrior said, “he just needed a chance.” He took that chance and ran away with it in spades. The Falcons may have Tevin Coleman, but a performance like this will make it hard not to know that Freeman is the Falcons new great running back.

Ryan-Jones Combo Comes Up Big Again

Ryan Another Good Day

The announcers were talking early on about Julio Jones being targeted and not getting actual receptions and having production. The second half blew those doors off the wall. Jones finished with 164 yards receiving with 2 touchdowns including a beautiful 45 yards touchdown that really sparked the Falcons comeback. Matt Ryan had another really good day, going 24 for 36, with 285 yards passing and 2 touchdowns and no turnovers. The Matt Ryan-Julio Jones combo is pretty special.

Time to Give OL Some Credit

Defense Huge 2nd Half

The makeshift offensive line that everyone thought would be terrible is really turning into a pretty good unit. They did an excellent job opening holes for Freeman and only gave up one sack on Matt Ryan. Mike Shanahan deserves some credit for getting this unit together and performing very well. Jake Matthews, Andy Levitre, Mike Person, Chris Chester, and Ryan Schraeder will continue to get better and better and have held their own against some pretty good fronts to start the season.

Defense: Zero Points in Second Half

DF >> The Man!

Dan Quinn was pissed off as the Falcons were heading into halftime. In fact, he said that it was the worst half of defensive football he’d seen all season. Whatever he did or said at halftime obviously worked. The Falcons defense not only got it together in the second half but actually shut the Cowboys out completely. What an amazing performance from a gritty defense that had been shredded in in the first half.

DQ for President!!

DQ for President!!!!

Yes, some of it is the excitement of having a new head coach that has brought passion and fire to a franchise in desperate need. But the rookie head coach has obviously inspired this team to fight and not quit. This is the 3rd straight game where they’ve faced adversity and responded like some tough and gritty son-of-a-guns. The entire coaching staff deserves credit, but the head coach should naturally get much of the love.

Your Thoughts on the Huge Win in D-Town?

908 thoughts on “Atlanta Falcons Get Enormous Win in Dallas

  1. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Yeah – Falcons got some luck today – some good / some bad- it all evened out. A very conscience effort was made by Mattie Ice to get the ball to RW today. Not because they are trying to “include” him but because of the injuries. He made a couple of decent plays.That’s good. Now show us why you are getting $5 mill a year. By the way – I’m a RW fan of many years but if you are going to publicly complain you have to show up when you get an opportunity and I wasn’t overly impressed today.

    1. Paddy O

      he was open numerous times; MR2 locks onto JJ – regardless of whether he is open or not. MR2 big Achilles – lock onto a WR and attempting to force the ball in.

  2. SPS

    I couldn’t tell who applied the pressure that caused Cousins to duck and throw away the game. I just saw the trailing 4 on the jersey number. It was either Beasley or Stupar. Whoever it was, that was our MVP today (right behind Freeman).

  3. DePlane

    It was a heads up play by Alford making the catch and taking it to the house. That’s the game winner. Other than that Free was the show today….and Tamme.

    Ryan 18 targets that were either picked (2), dropped or off target. Maybe the hobbled receiving corp contributed…Hope he’s OK…

    Our er, pass rush…needs to start closing the deal.

    1. Chop Buster

      Hell no I didn’t and frankly I’m tired of this same old weak pass rush effort. Don’t even get me started on this Bend But Don’t Break defense. WTF? Quinn swore last week that we’re not a BBDB defense. Yeah right!

        1. Chop Buster

          Paddy, teams have figured out that if they throw quick short underneath passes they can move the ball on the Falcons. We seem to be playing a lot of soft zone for whatever reason. I imagine Quinn feels he doesn’t have the personnel to truly go man yet.

          1. Paddy O

            that is our slow LB problem. I like Worrilow, but he does NOT have the necessary speed. He can also get trucked.

          2. Chop Buster

            Yep, I agree with you on Worrilow. He’d be a great backup but he’s really not the MLB we need to start. We need our own Luke Kuechly.

  4. DePlane

    All that aside I’m ecstatic about 5-0.
    We got some weaknesses and some issues but for now Im just gonna enjoy this W.

    Hope Person is ok.

  5. Grits Blitz

    A few observations…
    1. This may not have been a trap game, but it surely appeared to have had great potential for one. (Was concerned earlier in the week & during the game.)
    2. Throughout NFL history, when the plane of the goal line was broken, it was considered a TD. (Think of all the games that were decided by such throughout the decades!) Now, new rules revisionists say the football must now become an appendage of the player’s body – to be accompanied home, taken for a bathroom bm, and placed under his pillow for 24 hours or more! What a sad joke. I’m so old school, still think it’s fraudulent that the ground now can’t cause a fumble! (Wonder what is still causing them then?) Devonte scoring another TD anyway for good measure was a nice “statement”. Go Falquinns!
    3. Defense has GOT to start getting more pressure on the QB. Hope DQ and DC, Smith, start dialing up more LB and Safety blitzes and less so-called “prevent” coverages. Hope plans call for just that, beginning on Thurs. night. (If so, it should be a … Brees. No overconfidence intended.)
    4. Based on what I saw today in the red zone, I’d rather see less passes to Hankerson. Perhaps Tolo or Nick W. could sub in his place down there with better results.
    5. Babs still has some real gas left in his tank and Tamme’s hands are a plus in the passing game.
    6. How much longer will it be before LB, Stupar, gets to start and play more regularly? Apparently, the guy came to bust some chops this year!
    7. Hope this game was Matt’s worst for the entire year…Ryan AND Bryant. (I’m betting it was. Everybody’s human and entitled once in a while.)
    8. That catch by R. White on 4th down w/ tight coverage was a game-saver. Glad he had a good day. It should help keep him optimistic & focused in the future. Good for him and all of us. (Can’t see him being traded this year.)
    9. Freeman’s “the man” , for now, as starter. He’s earned it running very hard. I have been and am VERY high on Tevin, but hope DQ just lets Tevin heal now. Once he’s fully recovered 100%, they can begin sharing the load to help the team 1st, and each other 2nd. Win-win for everybody – all the time.
    10. Per battle of the O lines…pretty much a wash but the nod has to go the Atlanta. (Saw Arno said even Jake Long got into the mix today!)

    1. JB Falcon

      GB, #2 was funny but the ruling was, in order for a pass to be complete the receiver make two steps with the ball under control. Free only took one step. I’m glad he followed it up with the for sure TD. I’m sure no one heard him mumble, “YO REF, take that one back, MF’er”

      1. Chop Buster

        These rules are STUPID! As soon as the ball broke the plane of the end zone play should have been over. Whoever created this stupid rule needs to rethink it. I could see if he caught the ball in the end zone, went to the ground, and it came out. Be Freeman caught the ball and ran and broke the plane of the end zone. Refs F’ing up games this year.

    2. Greg Mendel

      Don’t forget a pumped Matty Ice bowling over a defender on a sidelines run. I think Ryan intended to be Gerald Riggs if that’s what it took to win.

    3. Paddy O

      Worrilow has a good nose for the ball – if had more speed, he would be a really great LB. But, he is not quick/fast.

  6. waynester

    More lucky than good–but we’ll gladly take it and smile. Stupar makes big plays at big moments. TD– keep bringing in guys with that attribute!!

  7. DePlane

    With just :24 remaining, Cousins complete three passes for 46 yards to set up the 52 yard field goal. Hopkins nailed it, and it was off to overtime.

    They cannot let that happen somehow…wether we go man and send a blitz or something…the soft zone ain’t working.

  8. Dewey

    If the FG by Washington would have been to win the game instead of tie the game, I believe you would have seen a more attacking type defense.

    Keep on “Quinning!”
    Just Quinn, baby!

    Love the fact that our HC’s name rhymes with win. So much potential there.

  9. Dewey

    When we stopped Washington with about 2 1/2 minutes left, Quinn called a timeout even though he only had 2 left. I was having Smitty flashbacks. I’m about 100% certain Smitty would have let the clock run down to the 2 minute warning to save his timeouts for offense.

    It’s still early in his career, but I’ve seen 2 occasions so far where “The Mighty Quinn” has shown to be superior to his predecessor when it comes to end of half/game clock management.

    1. Paddy O

      he had his first HC what the bleep moment – the clock management before half time -nobody seemed to know what was going on at the clock wound down.

      1. Dewey

        Guys, it was 4th down and we only had 1 timeout left. They let the clock run so Washington couldn’t get the ball back. Don’t confuse poor play selection/execution for bad clock management. Every pass we threw was about 5-7 yards with immediately being tackled. Add a run by Freeman for 7 yards, plus a sack on the play before they let the clock wind down. If anything, it was MR reliving his Smitty days, playing for the safe FG rather than trying to push the ball upfield.

  10. William .....Birdman

    M Ryans worst day I have seen in a long time . I notice in the Dallas game that he looked as if he was just not all there . Like something is missing . would like for that to go away . But not to worried now .

    Freeman is the man . We do have a running game and its known in the NFL when they face the Birds .

    Hope they work out the dents in the next four days . And make it shine against the Saints . J Jones did not look but about 80 % today ether .

    Really hope they adjust for Thursday night . The Saints are not the better team but we know how these teams can play each other .

    Got to love being 5 and 0 …….GO FALCONS !!!!!!

    1. JB Falcon

      BM, the facts from McClure on Ryan;
      “His 55.1 passer rating was his lowest since a 48.6 rating in a 24-10 loss at Cincinnati last season.”
      He definitely had a bad game but to overcome it was to his credit.

  11. Dewey

    Unless Schraeder has a fantastic game against the Saints, that could be his last start. If Jake Long is game ready, I see Quinn using those 10 days off to switch up his o-line. I really like Schraeder, and his story. But he was beat routinely today, and that was one of the reasons Ryan’s accuracy was off.
    I think Long moves in at LT (where he has always played), and Mathews moves to RT (where he played 3 years of college and an entire pre-season in the pros). What a line we could have then.

        1. Dewey

          Long has never played RT, college or pro. It’s a completely different set up, beginning with which foot steps which direction first. Long has never done that, Mathews has, 3 years college and all of 1 mini-camp and pre-season in the pros. Moot point if Long isn’t game ready.

          1. medallion

            My two cents and some PFF opinion/fun:
            (1) While I agree about the experience differences, Matthews is younger and has made huge strides at LT from last year. If a change gets made, I would prefer Matthews get more experience at LT and, if need be, we scheme to help Long’s pass blocking at RT as he learns about some different foot steps. Since any experienced LT and RT has already had to learn some about different foot steps to deal with stunts, blitzes, protection calls, swim moves, etc., it might not be as painful as the worst case scenario that concerns you.
            (2) I’m not even close to thinking Schraeder can’t do well at RT. He’s started fewer games than Matthews (theory is more experience will help), has looked real good for lots of run plays, struggled against JJ Watt (many do and Matthews was lucky to not draw a penalty on one play when JJ Watt was lined up against him), and struggled in pass blocking in first half against Washington, but pass blocked better in 2nd half IMO.
            (3) Somehow, PFF opined/rated him as best RT in week 5 with a really big positive score for a RT – not sure if that meant lots of really bad RTs in the league that shades/adjusts opinion/rating, lots of big positives on many plays to outweigh some negative plays, or their scorers drink while rating (or perhaps live in Colorado or one of my old cities like Ann Arbor where fine for parking at an expired meter was greater than the fine for less than an ounce of MJ).

  12. Arno

    Three of three on fourth downs.
    Three of three on fourth downs.
    (Couldn’t believe my eyes so I had to write it again.)
    Toughness, grit, making up for lost ground because of mistakes– great stuff.

  13. Chop Buster

    Mama said they’ll be days like this! I almost blew a gasket today. It’s al good though. I have to remember we still have a number of holes on this team–especially defensively.

  14. SG

    1) Though I was nail biting due to the lack of a pass rush, I reminded myself that they weren’t deep w/ reliable receivers – mainly Garcon – and Crowder had a good game So yes, we gave up 219 of passing yards, but that left DC’s formidable rushing game w/ less than a 2.5 YPC – Less than 280 yards of Total Offense – I’d say Mission accomplished. 😉
    2) Love Roddy getting 2 / 23. Could’ve had 2 more if MR2 would have been on target.
    3) The 2 Matts, WTH? 😉
    4) The league will be reviewing how to call the odd Bryant Rule but it won’t be changed this year. Per GB’s post above, “when the plane of the goal line was broken (by a Runner), it was considered a TD”………. Per the rule as I understand it now, Free wasn’t in control of the Pass, well so be it…….. It took more time off the clock 😉
    5) The O-line needs to quit reading their press clippings and rankings and get back to balling on the ZBS.
    6) Very impressed w/ DC’s stand-ins in the secondary – they came to play.

  15. The Time is NOW

    Wait a minute – Our 3 most reliable offensive weapons have terrible games, but we win anyway by running the ball and making plays on D? I’ll take it.

    Hopefully this wake up call of a game will lead to a better played game on Thursday. I’ll save my other thoughts for later.

    1. Big Ray

      Agreed. And I hope we plan to run it down the Aints’ throats until they beg for mercy. Then run play action on them and try to beat Philly’s score.

      1. Greg Mendel

        I agree, too. And I think they will do all of it. I think the Falcons are going to take all their frustrations out on the Saints.

    2. William .....Birdman

      I think I would put Freeman now as our 2nd if not first best reliable “at least in the last 3 games ” And I thought there D would stop him but NOT !!

  16. Big Ray


    1) Falcons still like to mess with your blood pressure.

    2) Quinn has said we will be a finishing team – so far he has proven to be right on that point.

    3) Devonta Freeman is a demon. Yes that rhymes. Yes, he is leading the league in rushing TDs (the same guy who couldn’t get carries behind SJax last season). Yes, he has 8 TDs before making the season’s halfway point. Yes, he is 3rd in catches on the team. Yes, we should lean on him and Coleman to cause all sorts of problems for defenses.

    4) I know Kirk Cousins isn’t a great talent, but I thought our defense didn’t do badly against him, sans the pass rush. He got 219 yards, we picked him off twice. I wanted 4+ sacks out of this defense but I’ll take the 2 INTs, because one was the game winning TD.

    Oh, and have you noticed that we are now top 5 in the league against the run? Last year we were 21st.

    5) I hope Matt Ryan can stop making old mistakes in a new offense. He looked plain bad today, although the WR corps wasn’t great itself. Julio is banged up, but I saw Roddy open a lot more than Ryan did (apparently). That said, Roddy still isn’t what he used to be. But when he’s open…he’s open. Just saying.

    6) Yes, we still have defensive issues. Unlike our OL, which was totally made over before Regular Season game 1, we mostly have the same guys on defense that we had before, with a few exceptions and a talented 1st round rookie, who is playing DE at the whopping size of 235 pounds. So while the pass rush is still weak, we are now stopping the run, which is good, considering that we have MANY of last year’s defenders still on the 53 man roster. Still…the pass rush has to get better.

    7) Nate Stupar. LOVE this kid.

    8) 5-0, but by no means playoff ready. But 5-0.

  17. The Time is NOW

    Run the ball and stop the run. Good formula for success. Plus Washington came in as a strong running team. Shortcomings notwithstanding, the D has shut down the run.

    Stupar has proven to be much more than the special teams ace he was billed as. He has made plays when he’s been on the field.

    1. Greg Mendel

      I agree. Stupar doesn’t get much press, but he seems to be at the right place at the right time with a critical performance. Other players — Babs, Bierman, etc. — have also been coming up strong in critical situations. Quinn’s notion of putting players where they should play (along with clear direction) is a huge development. In the past, the team would trade for some high-priced has-been to cover a spot that could have been covered by existing, economical personnel.

  18. Big Ray


    1) Beasley is going through what any rookie pass rusher goes through when he joins a team with a weak defense. Ask Khalil Mack what that’s like, as he recoreded a whopping 4 sacks his rookie year (Beasley has 2 already). Add to that the fact that he has also already faced 3 pro bowl tackles in these first 5 games. Excuses? Nope, just thoughts. Beasley has to refine his “finishing” technique, and that takes some time. I expect to see him get something done against New Orleans. I really do.

    2) We still have Tyson Jackson on the roster, as a significant rotation guy. I don’t believe I need to explain that.

    3) RaShede Hageman. Am I blaming him for a lack of pass rush? No, but he’s not yet part of the solution, either. Last year, Hageman was way out of NFL shape, and it showed, despite his insane strength level. The problem with being out of shape is that you can’t learn anything else. In other words, when you’re gasping for air, you don’t learn things like pad level and technique. So what did Rashede learn last year? Nothing, other than he needed to get in shape. He did that, and now he’s learning technique, something he needed desperatedly coming into the league, and something he still has a good ways to go on. He still plays with improper pad level fairly regularly, and can be misdirected away from a play by opponents with enough technique and just enough strength. I see this happen a lot. What he doesn’t understand is that being able to win a “push” war with somebody does not get you to the ballcarrier OR the QB on a consistent basis. In the NFL, it simply doesn’t get you there much at all. I expect Hageman to make more plays (he has 1 sack so far this season) by Week 9 or so, but even then I feel he has a good bit of work to do with the coaching staff on his technique. And that leads me to the next point.

    4) Brian Cox. He’s entertaining, if nothing else. However, Cox has not impressed me at all. I believe that he was a “lucky” holdover from the Mike Smith era, but he does nothing to improve the defensive line, certainly no more than Ray Hamilton. I think Quinn needs to move on from him next offseason. Am I blaming him for the lack of pass rush? Not solely, no. Rather, while not hurting this unit, I think he’s also not helping it. I see pad level and technique issues with more than just Hageman. The only time I hear anything good coming from the DL or about the DL, Quinn’s name is attached. Not Cox’s. And I believe firmly that there is a reason for that – he’s simply not helping.

    5) There is no one else to move around on a consistent basis. Adrian Clayborn gets more pressure than most guys, and while his output and effectiveness have been a bargain, we don’t have a guy who can play every snap along with him and Beasley, to keep things hot for opposing QBs. Clayborn is sharing snaps with (again) Tyson Jackson, and others. Babs still has good technique and can penetrate, but he can’t close the deal much these days. O’Brien Schofield plays well, but we’re talking about a guy on a snap count who is also not playing at the LEO, where he fits best.

    Once again, I really like Beasley and his talent, but you’re talking about a 235 lb guy playing DE on a team that doesn’t have much talent as pass rushers. Soliai is a run stuffer, Goodman is too (but he doesn’t get a whole lot of snaps either), Schofield is a good backup/rotation guy, and Biermann is still there, getting snaps as well.

    In order for this pass rush to improve AS CURRENTLY CONSTRUCTED, I think that Beasley has to show improvement, but Clayborn also has to get more snaps. Hageman has to turn into more of a Michael Bennett, but I say his technique isn’t nearly good enough for that role. Brooks Reed has to get healthier and more capable of providing some rush on certain packages, and….play Nate Stupar more. No, seriously.

    So that said, I think we are simply limited this year, and we’ll get a bit more pass rush going, but not a whole lot. It’s really a personnel thing. I expect some changes next offseason, possibly on the level of the OL changes we saw THIS year.

    1. Chop Buster

      Totally agree with everything you’ve say BR. I figured it would take Quinn another two years to get the personnel in place to really run his defense–unless they draft very well (already down a 5th and 6th round) and sign FAs that can come in and dominate.

      1. Big Ray

        Exactly. As it is, it will take some skillful drafting (and luck in the draft) to bring in another 2 players that can hopefully contribute on this defense in the 2016 draft. Not to mention, you really hope that Jalen Collins is everything this coaching staff thinks he is…and sooner rather than later, because we do need to upgrade that secondary someway, somehow.

        We may see a key FA acquisition in 2016, as well. I hate missing the 5th and 6th rounders, but not nearly as much as I’d have hated missing a traded 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and/or 4th…and every last one of THOSE picks will have to be ON TARGET.

    2. The Time is NOW

      Quinn’s background is DL. If Cox is not a good teacher, DQ will figure that out. As presently constructed, we need more penetration out of Clayborn if we want a pass rush from our D in the immediate future.

      1. Big Ray

        I agree, and I wonder if keeping Cox was just something Quinn and the organization did to make sure he had a full staff. After all, every other one of his key defensive staff positions is occupied by somebody he brought in (Marquand Manuel, Jeff Ulbrich, Raheem Morris, Richard Smith).

        I believe Clayborn will do more for us, but we have to feature him more. Look at the box score and you see where he had 2 QB hits (although no sacks) and the rest of the defense combined, produced 3 QB hits, and this is rather consistent with what we’ve seen so far. We will need more penetration from him, but I think the run stuffers are cutting into those snaps. But, results are results.

    3. SPS

      Big Ray, I also find Brian Cox to be entertaining, and really enjoyed him last year in Hard Knocks. But I wanted us to hire Chuck Smith last year instead, and still feel that way. CS has run a pass rushing camp in the off season for several years now. When players fork over their own money to be coached up, it says something about the coach.

  19. Wings

    Cousins said he felt pressure from Atlanta’s pass rush before trying to complete the pass to Grant.

    ”I was hot off the left side and felt need to get rid of the football and not take a sack and kill the drive,” Cousins said. ”… I made the throw and the guy made the play and that was it.”

    ”I trusted my instincts and the film study,” Alford said. ”… I just jumped it, and it was there for me to make a play on. I looked back to see who was around me, and once there was nobody around me, it was off to the end zone.”–nfl.html

  20. SG

    Looking foward to Thursday:

    I heard an announcer say that the Saints will be chomping at the bit in this bitter rivalry to hand the Falcons their first loss of 2015. Well, I think that guy needs to watch Brees & Co getting their arses handed to them multiple times yesterday by the Eagles, and comically at times, by themselves.

    Yesterday’s blowout was their 13th loss in their last 21 games. They are definitely not the same team we came to respect over the past 8 yrs., and in Smitty’s case, fear – but let’s not forget even the six win Falcons of ’14 beat them twice.

    Things of note:
    – Brees has become very tentative, and though you’d never call him a mobile QB, he used to move around a bit as he saw D guys breaking through.
    – In DB’s defense, their seems to be a lack of attitude in the entire O.
    – The Rob Ryan and Sean Payton relationship has become more toxic
    — While they did get 2 INTs early on, their D often times resembles the Keystone Cops best highlighted by Vaccaro & Byrd’s running into each other, leaving a Philly receiver fly past and go untouched into the endzone. Definitely glad we never went after Byrd.

    With the short week in front of them, I doubt they’ll have enough time to kick start any significant improvements.

    Falcons 6-0

    1. Chop Buster

      SG I just want to see a real demoralizing defeat of the New Orleans Taints for all those years they abused Smitty. Now that we have a real HC I’m looking forward to things being very different when we play them.

      1. Arno

        I remind myself that despite the Smith woes, he did provide a parting gift to us fans: sweeping the Saints in his final year.

        1. Chop Buster

          Yes he did. And I’m hoping that was just the beginning of the Falcons reclaiming their dominance against the Saints–and in the division as well.

  21. Paddy O

    good think we are now a complete team – MR2 had his worse game in ages. But, I thought he had a good grip on the fumble, and THAT was just a great play by the defender. The interception to JJ – JJ did not leap, and was losing his balance. The only really horrendous throw was to Roddy – that ball was what? 10′ too low? Our D is now pretty darn good – the O line is very good, and our running game is excellent. Regarding progressions – RW84 should be 2nd, not behind Hankerson. Tammi had a very good 1st half.

    1. SG

      Agreed on RW84 Paddy. I know he looks rusty but that’s due to lack of targets IMO. Remember Game 1 against the Eagles? – He was 4 for 84 yds.
      Tp overstate the obvious, no he’s not in his prime but he’s not done either – and that’s why at least 3 teams have apparently inquired about him.

  22. Wabe

    They didn’t play even close to their best game. Everything that could go wrong was going wrong yesterday. Whether it was Ryan throwing picks, guys fumbling the ball, Matt Bryant missing kicks. They did everything they could to lose that game…

    But they still won. And they’re 5-0. And people can argue all they want about how legit a 5-0 team they are. That makes difference in who gets into the playoffs or playoff positioning. The fact that they’re 5-0 and have the easiest schedule you can have makes them a threat to get a top 2 seed.

    Obviously, there are definitely a couple of concerns. The pass rush hasn’t improved all that much from years past. It’s still amongst the league’s weakest IMO. It doesn’t bite us as much when we’re playing Kirk Cousins, Brandon Weeden, and Ryan Mallet. But, this unit could and will get absolutely exposed if they run into a guy like Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs. Considering it’s extremely likely you’d have to get past a guy like Rodgers to make this a special season, this needs to be a point of emphasis moving forward.

    I know it seems far fetched, but it’s not as far fetched to assume this group is a playoff team barring any serious injuries. They already have 5 wins, and have as easy a schedule as it gets. They need to continue to take care of business at the present, but Quinn should also consider the facts. Fact is, this group is looking more and more like a playoff team, and they have some glaring flaws. I hope Quinn isn’t getting caught up in this 5-0 and the good things they do. Those flaws need to be looked at and addressed. You don’t waste opportunities when you get them. When you have a team that will have an opportunity to make noise in the playoffs, you better make sure the team is equipped to match up with playoff foes. They need to be discussing what they’re seeing with the pass rush and find ways to get pressure on QB’s.

    This team is reminiscent to the 2011 Falcons in that, they’re looking like a team that is winning close games, but a team that has some glaring flaws. The flaws were not addressed/masked in 2011. We ran into Aaron Rodgers, we got beat down by GB. I want to keep winning. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. But, early in the season, we were trying to figure out what this team was and what they could achieve this year. 5 weeks in, we know they’re a playoff team. But nobody will be able to say whether they’re equipped for the playoffs until that time comes. The goal at this point is to get playoff ready, not just win games, IMO.

    1. SG

      Well stated Wabe. The playoff bound team that concerns me the most at this time would be the Arizona Cardinals. They’ve scored 24 TDs (only team to score more than the Falcons’ 20 ), and 190 pts while only giving up 90 to their opponents. They are well coached on both sides of the ball.

  23. SG

    A question for The Cage:

    If you were the GM and, for whatever reason, were looking to deal Roddy who / what would you want in return?

      1. JB Falcon

        Arno, I’ll be glad to write you one. Just tell me what is it you do. Oh,…. you said “good” references.

  24. Arno

    Jeff Dickerson ‏@DickersonESPN · 33m33 minutes ago
    Bears place Jacquizz Rodgers on IR, sign Antone Smith

    All the best, Antone.

    1. Grits Blitz

      I second that, Arno. Tone deserves all the best, indeed. (Still can’t understand why he wouldn’t have been an asset to have been kept in the fold. It wasn’t the money. A true mystery that even Sherlock could not solve.)

  25. Mike-N-Charlotte

    Watching the game yesterday I can’t help but wonder if Julio needs to sit out a game to heal his hamstring. He seemed to be off a step or two yesterday. I went back and looked at the 1st int thrown by Ryan. Although it was a high throw that is generally one Julio elevates and pulls down. I think for Thursdays game I would have him available, but play him sparingly. I would give the Saints a heavy dose of #24. Hopefully the long break will give the Falcons some time to heal.

    1. Greg Mendel

      I’d let Julio sit. The team can practice playing without him — or worse, actually be without him.

      We talk about Julio being prone to injury, but Julio always plays full-tilt, which beckons injury. Problem is, without Julio in the lineup, it ain’t the Falcons lineup. It took five picks to get him, and it will take five good picks to replace him in a game.

  26. falcon21

    Totally agree and let Justin Hardy play. He looked good in preseason and we need him now. Was he active yesterday? If so, I never seen him.

    1. falcon21

      Thanks Mike, I don’t get it, I thought he did pretty well in preseason and looked a little better than Williams and much better than Weems. I guess it has something to do with ST’s.

  27. gman

    I apologize if I missed this question earlier but regarding the pass rush, don’t wehave the same line coach that we had under Smitty’s no pass rush?

  28. SG

    Looking forward to Thursday Part 2:

    This just in from PFT:

    “The Falcons just held a walkthrough Monday, but per NFL rules had to file a participation and injury report ahead of their Thursday night game at New Orleans.

    These Monday injury reports are basically just projections. If they were real, each team coming off a Sunday game would list about 50 players as limited by soreness, general fatigue and a poor attitude.

    As is, it’s notable that the Falcons listed Julio Jones as a non-participant Monday due to lingering hamstring and toe injuries. After Sunday’s overtime win over the Redskins, Jones said he’ll be ready to play Thursday.

    Falcons center Robert Person has an ankle injury, and Falcons coach Dan Quinn talked as if James Stone will start in place of Person. Linebacker Justin Durant also didn’t practice.

    Running back Devonta Freeman and wide receiver Leonard Hankerson were listed as limited.

    The Saints did not practice Monday. Their projected injury report listed tackle Terron Armstead (knee), wide receiver Marques Colston (shoulder), guard Tim Lelito (shoulder), punter Thomas Morstead (quad), defensive back Damian Swann (concussion) and defensive end Bobby Richardson (hip) as out. Limited were safety Jairus Byrd (knee), guard Jahri Evans (knee) and defenisve tackle John Jenkins (elbow).

    Colston suffered what’s thought to be a significant shoulder injury Sunday vs. the Eagles. “

  29. Flo-Ri-Duh

    ‘Skins are supposed to be one of the best run game’s in the NFL and Falcons “D” shut them down. Tyson Jackson is a way overpaid 3/4 DE – basically a run stopper that also ties up the OL so the LB’s can make plays. That’s his role. He never was a pass rusher. He’s done a decent job of stopping the run. He’s got a huge dead money contract and unless he’s absolutely useless he isn’t going anywhere the next two years. The good news is this is the best run “D” the Falcons have had in a long time. The pass rush is still lacking and DQ said so in his press conference last week. Vic Beasley is going through a “rookie” learning curve. He should be much better in 2016. DQ & Co. to strengthen weaknesses on the team.. 2016 will fill some more holds and improve depth.

    Holes still to fill: DE (3 down player that can pass rush), ILB (that can actually cover and tackle), TE ( MR needs another big time target), WR ( deep threat – moving RW to the slot full time), OL help (RT & C). Falcons got a starting OG for their 6th Rd pick so they didn’t lose it. It was a good trade.

    Roddy White isn’t going to be traded. His age and production won’t justify someone taking on his $5 mill a year contract. Falcons would have to eat half his contract. He can still play the slot and that’s where he should be full time now. I want him on the team but he needs to keep his complaints out of the news media. That’s my main complaint.

    ‘Skins defense put a lot of pressure on MR and he was hit and knocked down numerous times – due possibly to Hankerson’s & JJ’s injuries slowing them a bit. Tamme (TE) impressed in this game. JJ impressed me with his grit, obvious he was hurting at the beginning of the game and he was slow starting. We all know that this “O” cannot go far without JJ or MR. Amazing how much the run game has improved in such a short time.

    So, run defense and run game have improved dramatically but the pass defense and passing game need a couple of more pieces.

  30. Dewey

    My sleeper DE for the Falcons to draft isn’t a secret anymore. Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State, 6’7″, 270+lbs. Saw their first game this season and liked what I saw. Tireless, relentless. Did some research on him. Was a walk-on that earned a full scholarship and then a starting job. Week#3 he cracked Drafttek’s top 200 prospects at #186. Three weeks later he leads the NCAA in sacks and is now up to #50 with Drafttek. If I noticed him and Drafttek noticed him, you can bet a few NFL scouts have noticed him too. Was hoping he’d be a 4th round gem.

  31. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Either Shanahan or DQ said when asked that “Hardy is not ready yet but he is getting better”. I took that to mean he needs coaching and is not ready to play in the NFL.

    Gonna be tough to get a top pass rusher DE in 2016 draft when Falcons are likely to be drafting from #22 or higher. Maybe Jonathan Bullard, 6’3″ 277 lb, Florida. Emmanuel Ogbah, 6’4″ 275 lb, Oklahoma State would be my choice but likely will go top 20 picks.

  32. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Thursday games are a bad idea. 3 days rest are not enough time for the body to recover – subjecting players to a greater chance of injury.
    Will be very difficult for Devante Freeman (RB) to get 30 touches again like he did Sunday. Hopefully Coleman & Ward can pull half the load Thursday. It’s very troubling for JJ to have to go on just 3 days rest…. really concerned by this. Could it be Roddy White’s time?

  33. Flo-Ri-Duh

    SHOCKER? Steve Spurrier is set to retire immediately and an interim HC coach will be announced to finish out the year. Not surprised he’s quitting but thought he would have the decency to finish out the season rather than abandon his team. (

  34. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Shocker #2 ? JJ may not be able to go Thursday. ( I wouldn’t play him. Falcons can whip the toothless Aint’s without JJ.

  35. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Quinn says Person is out for Saints but JJ and Durant are likely to play. Coleman & Ward better tightn up the chinstrap. Freeman can’t do this by himself on 3 days rest and them Aint’s are physical, down & dirty and they ……… suck!

    Falcons vs Aint’s in the Superdome – N’arleans – 8:25 pm Oct 15th (Thursday)
    Falcons vs Titans in Nashville, Tenn – 1 pm Oct 25th (Sunday)
    Falcons vs Bucs in Jawja Dome – 1 pm Nov 1 (Sunday)
    Falcons vs 49’ers in Levi’s Stadium, San Fran – 4:05 pm Nov 8 (Sunday)
    *** Sunday November 15th BYE WEEK***

  36. Flo-Ri-Duh

    One symptom of a heavy load? Freeman fumbled twice. JJ’s hurting & what about Hankerson?

    Replay of Alford’s OT pick 6 shows a block in the back by the Falcons (wasn’t called) on the run back for the TD. Home cooking?

    Panthers vs Seahawks this Sunday after a bye week. Seahawks suffered a come from behind defeat to Bungles and will be pissed off.

  37. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Falcons Mock Draft: + UFA vet Signings 2016
    #1 Darron Lee (OLB), Ohio State, 6’2″ 235 lb, 4.60 40 [excellent cover, run stopping & tackling skills]
    #2 Reggie Ragland (ILB) Alabama, 6’2″ 252 lb, 4.71 40 [3 Down Dominator in Coverage & Run Game]
    #3 Jonathan Allen (DE), Alabama, 6’3″ 272 lb., 4.76 40 [Sets the edge & Sacks QB’s]
    #4 Ricky-Seals Jones (WR), Texas A&M, 6’5″ 235 lb., 4.52 40 [ Power Forward with Speed-can go up & get it]
    #7 Malcolm Mitchell (WR), UGA, 6’1″ 192 lb, 4.45 40 [Deep Threat with Great Hands]
    Vet UFA Signings:
    * Kelechi Osemeli (G), Ravens, age 26, 6’5″ 330 lb, 5.20 40 [Good in All Phases: Pass Protection & Run Blocking]
    * Stefen Wisniewski (C), Jaguars, age 26, 6’3″ 305 lb, 5.20 40 [ Closest Thing there is to Alex Mack]
    The Best Place To Get Starting G’s & C’s is UFA Vets.

    SOS: Same Ole S*it: Turnovers & Dumb Penalties
    Time to turn this ship around . No More Dumb Arse Mistakes


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