FALCONS TAKE BACK NFC SOUTH CROWN

By John Waynesworldfalcons-ornament

Christmas came a day early for Atlanta Falcons fans around the globe (and growing). From all the doubts cast in our recent losses this team responded with wins. And more wins. After 2 blowout victories against the Rams and 49ers and then dominating the reigning NFC Champion Panthers in their own back yard, these Falcons are starting to run downhill toward the playoffs.

 

ryan-rocks

The offense is working at full capacity with every weapon imaginable…a stable of really good running backs, a solid O-Line, a (dare I say) great OC and the future MVP Matt Ryan.

On the other side of the ball our defense has really excelled in spite of its youth, lack of superstars, and recent statistical history. Our defense is finally getting stops via sacks, turnovers and solid tackling. While we are occasionally letting the other teams eat up yards between the 20’s, we are protecting the end zone better than we have in years.

jones-get-in

 

This weekend we host the Sain’ts for a chance to cement the #2 seed and a bye week. The Falcons defense will be sorely tested by  future Hall of Famer the ever-pesky Drew Brees and their very fast Wide Receivers, but the good news is we are fast back there too.

colliins-produces-again

It is also heartening for fans that our Head Coach is not moving off the script and the path that he prepared. His mantra that each and every day every man on this 53-man roster needs to get better and to be ready to step up has been evident on the field all year long.

Falcons Panthers Football

Let’s all have a Happy New Year!

 

 

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1,253 thoughts on “FALCONS TAKE BACK NFC SOUTH CROWN

  1. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Bringing This Over From an Earlier Link: ( PFF Rates The OL) – in case anyone missed it
    #10 Patriots (10th best OL in NFL)
    #6 Falcons
    #5 Packers
    #3 Steelers

    * ICE FINALLY HAS A PLAYOFF CALIBER OL – and it’s showing.

    Reply
    1. medallion

      While I agree it’s a playoff caliber line and it shows, I have more than a grain of salt for PFF rankings. Didn’t PFF rank us as having a top 5 O line last year?

      Reply
  2. Flo-Ri-Duh

    ToyBoy (TE) had more receiving yards than Jimmy Graham (TE) saturday!

    * Congrats to Campbell (OLB) and Neal (SS) for their tremendous work covering the TE’s saturday!

    Reply
    1. Paddy O

      pretty obvious that the team wants everyone to succeed; they immediately threw to Toilolo again after his drop, then he had a big gainer a few plays later – running over Seahawks like they were chaff.

      Reply
  3. Greg Mendel

    The Falcons have had incredible success this season, but I still consider the team rebuilding — or at least “building.” They’re ahead of schedule. There’s not much to improve upon on offense, save a lineman or two, to be near-perfect. The defense is still getting there, but is still getting better every game.

    Seems like a pattern has emerged in recent games: Ryan and the offense get hot and stay hot. The defense warms up more slowly. The score is close for a while, then the defense holds and the offense scores. When this happens again, the opponent begins to become frustrated, then demoralized, and we get our thirty points and win.

    I hope this happens with the Packers. Rodgers, however, has the skill, grit and composure to stay in the game to the end. Rodgers and the Pack are absolutely capable of ruining our day — and the final farewell to the (perfectly usable) Georgia Dome.

    But we have an edge, and the Dome is part of it. The other part is Matty Ice. The Iceman. The league’s yet-unofficial MVP. He may not get the nod only because he’s Mr. “nice” Ice. But he IS the Iceman. Nice as he is, team player and modest, hardest worker on the team — we know he’s heard it all: weak arm, chokes in the playoffs, overpaid, immobile, deer-in-the-headlights, NOT elite.

    Rodgers and Brady are the elite. Royalty. But it’s Matt Ryan’s time. And the Iceman cometh. Cometh with Julio Jones, Mohamed Sanu, Taylor Gabriel, Austin Hooper, Aldrick Robinson, Nick Williams, Justin Hardy, Tevin Coleman, Devonta Freeman, Dwight Freeney, Vic Beasley, and the rest — including Matt Bryant.

    Double-check THAT!

    Reply
    1. Paddy O

      it appears to me that the defense intentionally allows the offense to score on the first drive – lets Quinn see what the offense is trying to do, and makes the offense over confident the rest of the game. Other than that first drive, and a late score, Falcon’s defense was stout and swarming.

      Reply
    2. Paddy O

      GB should have lost – they were 3rd and 20 – if you do not have a pass rush, it is highly likely you will lose – but, we have a lot of team defense speed. My mantra: Score 35, hold the opponent to under 20. Win all day long.

      Reply
    3. Paddy O

      we actually ran a pass play out of a FB formation (pass to Toilolo which he dropped) – when you can be THAT deceptive, your offense has the initiative.

      Reply
  4. Mike In Minnesota

    Mike In Charlotte , et al – Historically it best to be a pessimist when rooting for this team…always believing the worst will happen and be happy with those small victories…I remember someone saying ( at the beginning of this season ) that they’d be happy beating the Saints and the Panthers…and after our loss to the Bucs in game #1 we probably hoped for a split with the Saints and Panthers…The boys exceeded my expectations when we swept the before mention teams and split with the Bucs…In my mind I could have never predicted them winning the division…I was elated when they became the number two seed…And now…Dang… we have a really good chance of winning it all !!!… I like others were fed up with Shanahan and was doubting a former DC who became a HC and had a defense that sucked…Quinn delegated our last years leading tackler to the second string ( Worrilow ) and plugged in a bunch of rookies…I questioned his ability to be a HC…But I was wrong…those young men have done nothing but improve each and every week…( By the way Mack “the stabilizer” and Freeney “the teacher” were unbelievably important pick ups )…We absolutely have the makings of a DYNASTY !!!…I am 61 years old and this has been the most enjoyable season as a Falcon fan…If we lose to Green Bay that won’t change…if we make it to the Super Bowl and lose that won’t change…This blog is one of the reason this season has been the best…Thanks to everyone of you !!!

    Reply
    1. Paddy O

      this team has a different attitude than the 2012 team. I thought we’d lose to SF, as we really let Seattle back into that 2012 game. This 2016 team is NOT the same. I’m pretty confident going into next weeks game – we literally kicked the crap out of Seattle all game long.

      Reply
      1. Greg Mendel

        We did. I think Falcons fans have become conditioned to be pessimists whether we want to or not. We’re always nervous and skeptical, tending to view successes as flukes. Fact is, the Birds “kicked the crap” out of a lot of teams this season — good teams. Facing the Pack, it’s reasonable — instinctive — to assume they’ll be tougher than Seattle. Maybe, maybe not. I think we can beat them, but I’d rather see us kick the crap out of them (so we can kick the crap out of Brady and Pats).

        Reply
        1. Mike In Minnesota

          I do not forget this bad news at the beginning of the year….

          “The NFL will announce on Thursday the 2016 regular-season schedule.While we don’t know the specific order of games for each team, we do know each team’s strength of schedule.Leading the pack are the Atlanta Falcons and San Francisco 49ers, the teams who are poised to have the toughest regular-season road to the playoffs.”

          Reply
  5. Flo-Ri-Duh

    FOX TV is where this Super Bowl LI (51st) will be shown…. and they’re mostly Aaron Rodgers groupees. Sick and tired of hearing about Aaron Rodger’s “great” throw to Jared Cook (TE). He actually threw the ball out of bounds and COOK made a great play to keep his feet in bounds as he caught the ball out of bounds. The “great” part of the play was more Jared Cook than Aaron Rodgers – so there!!!

    Reply
    1. Mike In Minnesota

      Before the Falcons…I was a Bart Starr Packer fan…and still am unless they’re playing the Falcons…Rodgers did say right after the game ( something like )… it was a mediocre throw… but an amazing catch.

      Reply
    2. Paddy O

      yes – and the pass was wobbly – Dallas did not have effective pass rush. But, still a terrific play. 3rd and 20.

      Reply
  6. Mr B

    IDK, he we running away, and threw a laser 35 yards across his body, it is a pretty good throw, and an amazing catch. The play of the game is when Rogers did not fumble the play before when he got blindsided. That said, I like our chances, we are on a pretty good role ourselves.

    Reply
      1. Mr B

        Correct, it was a play that will haunt him for the rest of his career. The ball was out there waiting to be knocked off.

        Reply
    1. falcon21

      I agree Mr B, it was a great throw. I’ve watched it several times today, he put the ball in the only place he could put it and it still be caught. The receiver did a great job of keeping his feet in.

      Reply
  7. Mr B

    I don’t think Green Bay is that physical, or at least, not as physical as the Cowboys. As the game wore on, Green Bay looked tired and overmatched on the line. Has there ever been an NFL game that ended with 3 FGs over 50 yards?

    Reply
  8. Grits Blitz

    It all boils down to this per my observations and Green Bay:
    1. Score virtually every time – something – when we have the ball, beginning early and often. (Air Coryell critical against A. Rogers.)
    2. Revive blitz. Must keep pressure on A.R. & avoid “prevent” defense scenarios or it’s like giving him the key to the candy store…by choice!
    3. Immediately “coach-up” or make needed changes to special teams. (And Weems? No threat to break a long return. Just a sure-handed designated “fielder” w/ scant judgment to know when to catch or let a ball roll. MUST be replaced in 2017.)

    Reply
  9. Mr B

    Agree, you need to Blitz him, he is the least dangerous when he gets the ball our his hand fast. When you let him play street ball, he will kill you every time.

    Reply
  10. Flo-Ri-Duh

    Falcons vs Packers: Two high-scoring offenses and suspect defenses prompted bookmakers to set a record hgh over/under total in early betting – total monday morning was set at 60 points. The Falcons are favored by 4 in early voting. (ajc.com)

    Reply
  11. Chop Buster

    One thing I’ve noticed with Quinn, if he plays a team twice this year, he makes good adjustments to beat them more impressively the second time around (e.g., Bucs, Saints, Panthers, and Seahawks). This will be the second time we’ll play GB this season. Hopefully Quinn continues this trend.

    Reply
  12. The Time is NOW

    There have been some great convo’s going on lately. Recent posts that jumped out to me include contributions from waynester and the Mikes (MNC and MnM; Mike from London hasn’t been around in awhile), among others. Keep em coming my Cage brothers!

    Factoid of the day: with their current QB’s, the Falcons and Packers are 3-3 in 6 regular season matchups since 2008. Aaron Rodgers has NOT owned the Falcons over the course of his career. Yes, Rodgers had his coming out party in the Dome in 2010 – the year he won his only Super Bowl (after losing to our Falcons during the regular season). The time is now for MR2 to return the favor (with the help of his brothers) by defending the Dome and bringing an NFC Championship home!

    Reply
        1. Mr B

          When Rogers gets on a roll, he is the best QB in the game…..To be the best…..I think top to bottom we have a much better team, better RBs, better receivers, and a better D……We just have to keep the Rogers magic in check. And our QB ain’t too bad either.

          Reply
    1. Flo-Ri-Duh

      In fact a DQ lead defense (including when he was DC at Seahawks) has never lost to Aaron Rodgers. (www.espn.com)
      In 2016 AS HC of Falcons, DQ beat Packers (regular season)
      In 2014 as DC of Seahawks, DQ beat Packers (regular season & preseason)
      In 2013 as DC of Seahawks, DQ beat Packers in preseason
      ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

      Reply
        1. Greg Mendel

          There’s a reason Blank moves like Mick: Artie’s only a year older.

          (“What a drag it is getting old.”)

          Reply
  13. Grits Blitz

    And, Arthur (as Mick’s missing Stone), to appear on Singing With The Stars in duet remakes of…”just waiting on a friend”, “19th nervous breakdown”, “jumping jack flash”, and “get off my cloud”. (Rumor has it Keith Richards knows Dr. Feelgood and will be supplying the…”refreshments”.)

    Reply
    1. Greg Mendel

      Hey. Hey.
      You. You.
      Get off of my lawn!

      Artie and the Stones would make a great Super Bowl halftime show.

      Keith Richards (CEO of “Keith Richards Fitness Centers”) has been dead for several years, but he enjoyed enough “refreshments” during his lifetime that he continues to be animated and appear life-like.

      Reply
    1. JB Falcon

      I’ll wish him good luck trying to find a QB smart enough to understand and execute his scheme. KS is a very unique OC and MR is a very unique QB. Both have reached their pinnacle. If KS leaves he’ll spend the rest of his career trying to duplicate the combination he has now, but he won’t find it again. If his ego drives him to reach a higher plateau he will find that his ego was his downfall. Can’t blame him for trying of course, IF SF comes calling.

      Reply
      1. Arno

        KS comes across as more technician than leader of men. No problem with that. Yet he states that every coach aspires to be a HC. Hmm. McDaniels sets a different example.

        Reply
    2. JB Falcon

      McDaniels of the Pats has bowed out of the SF job. KS might want to consider McDaniel’s story from espn.
      “McDaniels served as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator in 2008 before being hired as the head coach of the Broncos in 2009. He went 8-8 in his first season before being fired in 2010 after stumbling to a 3-9 record. He spent a year as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach of the Rams before returning to the Patriots in 2012 in the same capacity.”

      Reply
  14. The Time is NOW

    Aaron Rodgers and Matt Ryan have played in the same number of NFL regular season games – 142. Although Rodgers was drafted in 2005, he was the understudy to Favre his first 3 seasons; Rodgers became a starter the same year as Ryan (who was then a rookie). Ryan actually has 7 more starts than Rodgers due to injuries.

    Ryan compares favorably in a statistical comparison with Rodgers, but Rodgers is a media darling for a reason – Rodgers has the highest Career Passer Rating of all time (Ryan is number 11). Rodgers has 90 wins to Ryan’s 85; has 297 TD passes to Ryan’s 240; has thrown 72 interceptions to Ryan’s 114. However, Rodgers has 70 fumbles to Ryan’s 49. Ice leads in passing yards 37,701 to 36,827; but Rodgers leads in rushing yards 2544 to 880. Rodgers’ completion percentage is slightly better at 65.1% vs Ryan’s 64.9%. Rodgers career rate of 7.9 yards per pass attempt leads Ryan by half a yard.

    Yep, Aaron Rodgers is an elite QB. The storyline for this game in the media seems to be that it will come down to a last second game winning drive by possibly the GOAT QB, Aaron Rodgers. There are a couple of key statistics that blow holes in this possible outcome: GWD and 4QC.

    Matt Ryan has 33 Career Game Winning Drives (#6 among active players, and #12 all-time); Rodgers has 17 (#15 and #70). Ryan has 25 Career 4th Quarter Comebacks (#5 active, #14 all-time); Rodgers has 10 (#21 and #105). If the NFC Championship game comes down to a 4QC or GWD, history says the Falcons have the QB most likely to pull out the win. Just saying…

    Reply
    1. Wings

      We can’t forget that Matt Ryan was playing with an anchor tied to him from 2008 through 2014. That anchor was Mike Smith.

      Reply
    2. Chop Buster

      Bam! We got the true comeback kid. Plus a lot of Rodgers’ passes come from that traditional west coast dink and dunk style offense.

      Reply
    3. Paddy O

      Only thing preventing Ryan from being elite is the Falcon playoff performance – I’ve always thought that was mostly due to the HC. If he gets us to the SB, he is a top 5 QB. In reality, he comes in about 3rd or 4th. Wilson did not really play that well the last game.

      Reply
  15. Mr B

    Rogers has a ring, so they are not on the same tier. However, he has closed the gap with his MVP calibre season, and if he wins 2 more games, they are peers.

    Reply
      1. Paddy O

        Winning the SB REALLY elevates you – Eli Manning is elite only because of his 2 rings. Otherwise, he is about Staffords “almost” level.

        Reply
  16. medallion

    Some statistical information about our #1 ranked scoring offense:
    As I have noted before, I think Football Outsiders does some nice statistical work comparing all teams including factoring in the various opponents and those stats become more meaningful as more games during a season can be factored into those stats.
    The following lists the Falcons’ opponents (with a defense ranked in the top 20), then Football Outsiders’ 2016 regular season defensive ranking, then the points we scored against the applicable opponent, and whether the game was away or home.
    Broncos – #1 defense – 23 points – away
    Arizona – #3 – 38 points – home
    Philadelphia – #4 – 15 points – away
    Seattle – #5 – 24 points away and 36 points home
    San Diego – #8 – 30 points – home
    Carolina – #10 – 48 points home and 33 points away
    Tampa Bay – #12 – 24 points home (in first game of the season) and 43 away
    Kansas City – #14 – 28 – home
    Los Angeles – #15 – 42 – away
    Green Bay – #20 – 33 – home
    I like the odds of scoring over 30 against Green Bay this weekend.

    Reply
    1. Paddy O

      Seattle has a pretty good offense – we held them to 20 pts. Defense is rising. We should score 35 – but, we got pretty lucky against Seattle – although it appears their coaching staff TEACHES cheating – as the holding penalty on the Hester long return indicates. MR2 almost had 2 interceptions, and also fumbled. MR2 also missed about 5 throws. So, against a stout Seattle D, we could have scored more – our receivers constantly got open.

      Reply

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