Blog Entry

Falcons still have reason to smile

Posted on: December 28, 2010 1:13 am
With tonight's loss, Atlanta is now 19-2 when M. Ryan is quarterbacking the squad at the Georgia Dome (US Presswire).

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

ATLANTA – When the Falcons are in a sticky scenario, and especially if they’re playing in the comforts of the Georgia Dome, the Falcons rely on QB Matt Ryan.

And why not? Despite the horrendous Matty Ice nickname, Ryan oftentimes bails out his team with strong late-game play. Yes, Ryan was 19-1 at home before the Saints beat Atlanta 17-14 tonight, but Falcons DE Jamaal Anderson has come to understand that his team is relying too much on its third-year quarterback.

It’s almost not fair to one of the NFL’s fringe MVP candidates. They can’t expect him to win them games every time they need it.

“We just didn’t make the plays,” Anderson said. “We were looking at Matt late in the game, because he’s been there for us so many times. We shouldn’t have put him in that position. You have to be accountable on defense. We didn’t close out the win again. Even with some of the wins, the defense hasn’t closed it out.”

Much of the time, the defense hasn’t needed to seal the win, because Ryan and the offense have been so eager to do it themselves.

This time, after the Saints offense finally took a break from getting whipped by the Falcons defensive front four and scored to take a three-point lead with 3:24 to go, Ryan couldn’t make himself that late-game hero. He scrambled for a 20-yard gain on the first play of the drive, but he missed two passes, and Atlanta had to punt.

Ryan instead had to rely on his defense to bail him out this time, but the Falcons couldn’t stop Saints RB Pierre Thomas.

Now, the mystique of the immortal Falcons fielding an unbeatable team at home has been shattered. Though the 70,000-plus fans in attendance were loud and though the Falcons, assuming they beat the Panthers next week in the regular-season finale, will get home-field advantage all the way until the Super Bowl, the Saints proved Atlanta is beatable at home.

Illusions shattered, fans muted and leaving early in frustration, Saints grinning.

“Coach said to give (the Saints) their dues, but we didn’t make the plays we needed to make. I don’t even want to watch film, because it’ll be so terrible,” said DE John Abraham, who should, nevertheless, watch tape of his interception of Drew Brees (because it was pretty awesome).

Look, while Atlanta’s postgame locker room was stoic – though not depressing – the Falcons are still in a pretty good spot. Win next week against the Panthers, and they’re guaranteed home games through the Jan. 23 NFC championship game. That means no chilly trips to Chicago or no numbing journeys to Philadelphia. That means comfortable temperatures inside with a stadium full of newly-converted Falcons fans.

Plus, it could mean another home game against the Saints. That’d be kind of nice, right Tyson Clabo?

“We can have a rubber match,” the OT said. “We’ll see what happens.”

Besides, Ryan is a career 19-2 when playing at home. That’s not so terrible, is it?

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Since: Sep 12, 2008
Posted on: December 28, 2010 1:41 pm

Falcons still have reason to smile

12-3 Falcons da best !

Since: Feb 24, 2007
Posted on: December 28, 2010 11:24 am

Falcons still have reason to smile

So if Garret Hartley doesn't miss a chip shot field goal, the Falcons are swept again by the Saints and Drew Brees is 8-1 all time against the Dirty Birds. Also, Matty Ice's (love that name) two jhome losses...both to the Saints...but you keep telling yourselves, We'll get'em next time. I think you ought to MORE worry about Green Bay seeking revenge on the Dirty Birds, so you best be pulling for Da Bears in Lambeau or there may be no NFC Championship Game much less a Super Bowl for the A.T.L.

As far as the Saints, I fully realize getting back to the SB will be a longshot, but hey, WE GOT OURS, anything else is just gravy for 'da gumbo baby.

Since: May 2, 2008
Posted on: December 28, 2010 9:34 am

Falcons still have reason to smile

CAN SOMEONE TEACH BRIAN WILLIAMS HOW TO WRAP UP AND TACKLE!  WHAT IS THE POINT OF BLITZING THE QB IF ALL YOU ARE GOING TO DO IS RUN BY HIM?  great NFC SOUTH rivalry match up.  Hopefully there will be a Falcons / Saints part 3.  I give the saints credit, but falcons showed me something yesterday too.  The game could have gone either way as this rivalry seems to play out.  these sportscasters are real funny.  Did John Gruden use to coach for New Orleans or is he Drew Brees's lapdog  because he was jock-sniffing  BRees all night on the commentary.   in the end, it came down to this.  New orleans seemed to want the game more (maybe, falcons weren't as intense as they felt they could win next week), but falcons played too conservative!  Too many running plays for nil and saints couldn't cover jenkins in the 3rd quarter, but we stopped throwing it to him because we got conservative.    I'm hoping this doesn't happen in the playoffs.  My thinking is Mularkey is not wanting to tip his hand for the playoffs and lulling teams to think the falcons are predictable.   If we don't adjust our offense to the game scenario, we will have a hard time beating the eagles or saints.  what i mean is if we can control the game with our running game , FINE!  but if teams stop our running game, we need to show we can attack through the air and stop running the damn ball on 2nd and 10.  also, brees is good but c'mon atlanta D,  you stop the saints on 1st and 2nd down but give up the 1st down on 3rd and long because you decide not to blitz on 3rd and play prevent.  FALCONS CAN WIN IT ALL, THEY JUST HAVE TO PLAY SMART AND NO TURNOVERS!  OH ALSO, MCCLURE, YOU BETTER GET SNAPPING THE BALL DOWN PAT.

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: December 28, 2010 9:04 am

Falcons still have reason to smile

The Falcons, barring some miracle-letdown in Week 17, will clinch the #1 seed in the NFC against the Panthers.  So as good as New Orleans is, they'll have to return to the Georgia Dome for the rubber match.  I liked what the Falcons did with the blitz packages, but this week, sound tackling will be a focus during practice.  There were numerous blitzes where Brees would have been dropped, but the blitzers ran right by him, or merely brushed Brees with an arm.  Granted, Brees is quite adept at escaping the pressure but it happened too often last night.  This eventual rematch is the game I am looking forward to most in the playoffs.

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