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2014 Schedule

April 23rd, 2014 No comments

2014 Atlanta Falcons Schedule

Preseason
Week Date Opponent Time* Result Score Notes
1 Aug. 8 Miami 7:00 pm
2 Aug. 16 at Houston 8:00 pm
3 Aug. 23 Tennessee 7:00 pm
4 Aug. 28 at Jacksonville 6:00 pm
Regular Season
Week Date Opponent Time Result Score Notes
1 Sep. 7 New Orleans 1:00 pm
2 Sep. 14 at Cincinnati 1:00 pm
3 Sep. 18 Tampa Bay 8:25 pm
4 Sep. 28 at Minnesota 4:25 pm
5 Oct. 5 at N.Y. Giants 1:00 pm
6 Oct. 12 Chicago 1:00 pm
7 Oct. 19 at Baltimore 1:00 pm
8 Oct. 26 Detroit 9:30 am
9 Nov. 2 bye
10 Nov. 9 at Tampa Bay 1:00 pm
11 Nov. 16 at Carolina 1:00 pm
12 Nov. 23 Cleveland 1:00 pm
13 Nov. 30 Arizona 4:05 pm
14 Dec. 8 at Green Bay 8:00 pm
15 Dec. 14 Pittsburgh 1:00 pm
16 Dec. 21 at New Orleans 1:00 pm
17 Dec. 28 Carolina 1:00 pm

 

* All times are Eastern and Stats are provided by NFL.com‘s Gamebooks, which are in PDF format. You can find a PDF reader here.

Click here to see the results of the Falcons 2013 Season.

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2014 Schedule Announced; Falcons Open vs. Saints At Home

April 23rd, 2014 No comments

The Atlanta Falcons 2014 regular season schedule was announced tonight. The team’s 13 opponents have been known since the end of the regular season, but the order in which they will face the Falcons was unknown until tonight.

One game had been previously announced as the Falcons would face the Detroit Lions in Week 8 in London, England. That game will be considered one of the Falcons’ eight home games, and will be played on Sunday, October 6 at 9:30 a.m. Eastern.

The Falcons open the 2014 regular season at home against NFC South division rival, the New Orleans Saints on September 7. The team opened this past season on the road against the Saints, and will have a chance to avenge a close loss.

Their first road game comes the following week against the Cincinnati Bengals. They return home on a short week to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home on Thursday Night Football, which will be simulcast on NFL Network and CBS in their first primetime appearance. It marks the team’s sixth consecutive home game on Thursday night.

The Falcons then catch a few extra days’ rest before traveling to take on the Minnesota Vikings in Week 4. They continue their road trip to start the second quarter of the season against the New York Giants. The team returns home in Week 6 to face the Chicago Bears before going back on the road against the Baltimore Ravens.

That is followed up by the “home” game against the Lions in London. After which, the team receives a bye week before returning to action in Week 10 on the road against the Buccaneers. Their first action of the year against the Carolina Panthers comes the following week on the road.

Week 12 begins a two-game home stint where they host the Cleveland Browns and Arizona Cardinals. That is followed by their second primetime action against the Green Bay Packers on the road in Week 14 to be played Monday, December 8 on ESPN.

They return home to face the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 15, followed by a road game against the Saints. They close out the regular season at home against the Panthers on December 28.

News of schedule’s release also came with a new stipulation about flex scheduling. Games can be flexed into primetime on Sunday night as early as Week 5 beginning this season. The league won’t be allowed to flex a game every week as they have a cap of up to two games over the six-week span from Week 5 to Week 10. Thereafter, starting in Week 11, the normal flex rules apply in which the league can flex any Sunday game into primetime if given 12 days notice. Thursday, Saturday, and Monday games are not eligible to be flexed.

There also will be a new “cross flex” procedure in which games can be flexed between networks of CBS and FOX. It will mean that to better balance out broadcasts, it will be possible that two NFC opponents could be aired on CBS and vice-versa for AFC opponents on FOX.

 

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Falcons Preseason Opponents Announced

April 9th, 2014 No comments

The Atlanta Falcons 2014 preseason opponents were announced this afternoon. Although times and dates will be determined at a later date, the Falcons will open their preseason schedule against the Miami Dolphins in the Georgia Dome. That will be followed up by a road trip to Houston to take on the Texans. The third game will see the Falcons return home against the Tennessee Titans and finishing their preseason schedule on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

 

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Falcons Sign Lowery and Wilson to Bolster Secondary

April 8th, 2014 No comments

The Atlanta Falcons announced the signings of safety Dwight Lowery and cornerback Josh Wilson earlier today. Lowery spent the past three seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars, while Wilson played with the Washington Redskins during that same span. Terms of their deals have yet to be disclosed, although Wilson’s deal is reportedly for one year.

Lowery missed most of the 2013 season with a concussion, suffered in the third game of the season on a blindside hit from Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate. In 2012, he started nine games, missing five during midseason with an ankle injury and missing the final two with a foot injury. Lowery was first traded to the Jaguars at the start of the 2011 season after spending three years with the New York Jets, who drafted him in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. Lowery began his career as a cornerback, but was moved to free safety as an injury replacement for Eric Smith near the end of the 2010 season before making the permanent transition upon his arrival in Jacksonville. He spent his first two years in the NFL primarily playing as the Jet’s nickel cornerback. Through his entire career, Lowery has started 41 games both at cornerback and safety and tallied 178 tackles, three sacks, 10 interceptions, five forced fumbles and six recoveries.

Wilson signed a deal with the Redskins following the lockout in 2011 and started the past 48 games for them opposite DeAngelo Hall. He’s coming off a season where he finished with career-highs in tackles (89), sacks (two) and fumble recoveries (three). Prior to joining the Redskins, Wilson spent one season with the Baltimore Ravens after getting traded by the Seahawks. In both Baltimore and Seattle, Wilson played a lot as a nickel cornerback but still managed to start a combined 33 games between 2008-10.

Lowery is likely to move into the team’s vacant free safety position, while Wilson adds depth at cornerback and can compete for the nickel job or potentially push Robert Alford for a starting job. Wilson has experience playing the slot both in Washington and Seattle.

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Saints Match Bush Offer Sheet

April 8th, 2014 No comments

New Orleans Saints safety Rafael Bush himself tweeted yesterday that he would be remaining with the team, which was later confirmed by his agent according to various outlets. It indicates that the Saints matched the Atlanta Falcons offer sheet to the restricted free agent, meaning he will not be joining the Falcons as previous reports indicated was his desire.

The Falcons had offered a two-year, $4.5 million deal. The Saints had less than $2 million in cap space according to NFLPA documents, but opted to match the deal.

It leaves the Falcons without a clear-cut answer at the free safety position in the wake of the release of Thomas DeCoud earlier this offseason. Zeke Motta is the top candidate currently on the roster at the position, which puts the Falcons in the position where they could sign a veteran in free agency or wait until the draft to address the position.

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Falcons Extend Offer Sheet to Rafael Bush

April 3rd, 2014 No comments
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Rafael Bush

Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post reports that the Atlanta Falcons have extended an offer sheet to restricted free agent safety Rafael Bush, currently with the New Orleans Saints. Terms of the deal are currently undisclosed. But the Saints now have until April 8 to match the offer sheet, else Bush will become a Falcon. And because the Saints gave him the lowest restricted tender of roughly $1.4 million, the Falcons will owe their divisional rival no compensation in the form of a draft pick since Bush was originally undrafted.

Bush is not new to the Falcons as they were his first NFL team when he signed as an undrafted free agent out of South Carolina State in 2010. He spent nearly his entire rookie season on the team’s practice squad before being elevated to the active roster for the season finale. He was once again signed to the practice squad in 2011 after he was cut when the team opted to add veteran James Sanders to fill a reserve role at safety. In October 2011, Bush was signed off the Falcons practice squad by the Denver Broncos, where he played in six games as a special teams player. After being cut the following summer, Bush was scooped up by the Saints and has filled a depth role the past two seasons. This past year, he earned six starts as an injury replacement. He finished the year with 38 tackles and five pass deflections.

Bush will turn 27 in May and spent the bulk of his time in New Orleans as their fourth safety. Prior to his departure from Atlanta, he filled in as a reserve at strong safety and also played some nickel cornerback, making him a versatile reserve option should he join the Falcons. He’ll likely be in the mix for the vacant free safety position if the Falcons don’t fill the position with a draft pick in next month’s draft.

The Saints will be hard-pressed to match the Falcons offer given the fact that they currently have just $2.2 million in 2014 cap space according to reports.

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Robert McClain Re-Signs With Falcons

March 29th, 2014 No comments

Aaron Wilson of National Football Post reports that the Atlanta Falcons have re-signed cornerback Robert McClain, who was a restricted free agent. The team tendered him at the original level, meaning he signed a one-year deal worth $1.431 million.

As an original tender restricted free agent, McClain was eligible to sign an offer sheet with opposing teams with the Falcons retaining “right of first refusal.” That means that the Falcons would have seven days to match any potential offer made to McClain by another team. If not, then the Falcons would receive compensation in the form of the original round in which McClain was drafted. Since McClain was a seventh-round pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2010, he would net the Falcons a seventh-round pick in 2014.

By signing his tender, McClain is no longer on the market to be signed to an offer sheet and will remain a Falcon in 2014.

After the 2014 season, McClain will then become an unrestricted free agent where he would be free to sign with any team. McClain first joined the Falcons in 2012 and played very well as the team’s nickel cornerback that year. His production and play fell off a bit in 2013, although he remains the incumbent nickel cornerback. He will likely compete with incoming free agent signee Javier Arenas for that role.

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FalcFans Weekly March 23, 2014

March 23rd, 2014 1 comment
Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Corey Peters

Defensive tackle Corey Peters appeared on Sirius XM NFL Radio on Saturday afternoon, and Pro Football Talk has a pretty good summary of what was said with quotes. In it, he revealed that he’s off crutches in the midst of his rehab from a torn Achilles tendon. Earlier this month, it was reported that Peters was still in a walking boot when he was re-signed by the team.

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Former Falcons defensive tackle Vance Walker discusses “political” reasons that drove him out of Atlanta a year ago. Here’s an interesting quote:

I’d say, it wasn’t necessarily the scheme; it was probably a little more political from the Falcons to the Raiders. The Falcons had a decent roster of D tackles, and even though I was showing and proving that I could rush the passer, I never really got the opportunity. That’s what they promised I would be able to do out in Oakland. It kind of freed me up and let me show my abilities. Obviously, I know I would be a lot better, I could still be a lot better and learn from my mistakes and learn from others. I think (it was just) a personnel type of thing, with me being younger, with the Falcons; I guess they weren’t ready to give me that role just yet.

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Malliciah Goodman has reportedly packed on some muscle this offseason in advance of his expected role as a defensive end in the 3-man front the Falcons are likely to feature more this season.

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Falcons Opting to Keep Umenyiora and Biermann

March 22nd, 2014 Comments off

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC writes that the Atlanta Falcons plan to keep both defensive ends Osi Umenyiora and Kroy Biermann on the team this year with no restructuring of their current contracts.

Both Umenyiora and Biermann are entering the final years of their contracts and coming off disappointing seasons. Despite leading the team with 7.5 sacks, Umenyiora’s performance by some accounts was underwhelming in 2013. Biermann managed to miss most of the season with a torn Achilles suffered in September.

Per Over the Cap, Umenyiora is set to count $4.75 million against the Falcons’ 2014 salary cap, with Biermann coming in at slightly over $4 million. The Falcons could potentially save over $3 million in cap space in both cases if either were released. Earlier rumors indicated that the team had already inquired Umenyiora about cutting his salary, although it never seemed likely that the team would part ways.

Both players could wind up having prominent roles in the Falcons nickel defense this year. Umenyiora finished this past season with a significant decrease in playing time due to playing mainly as part of the nickel sub-package in passing situations. According to Pro Football Focus, a premium website, Umenyiora averaged 21.3 defensive snaps over the final three games of the season after averaging 52.3 over the first 13 games.

Biermann was already a critical piece of the new-look Mike Nolan defense in 2012, serving a variety of roles as a pass-rusher, run-stopper and in coverage. The team had seemingly morphed his role into more of a linebacker last season before his injury.

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Falcons cut ties with Bradie Ewing

March 22nd, 2014 Comments off

The Atlanta Falcons announced late Friday night that fullback Bradie Ewing had been released. Ewing was originally drafted by the team in the fifth round in 2012, but spent two injury-marred seasons in Atlanta.

Ewing landed on the injured reserve during his rookie season after tearing his ACL in the team’s preseason opener. Ewing missed a good chunk of preseason with an unspecified injury but then returned to win the starting position. But he suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the Falcons’ Week 2 win over the St. Louis Rams.

In Ewing’s absence, the Falcons have gotten good production from his replacements in Mike Cox in 2012 and Patrick DiMarco last season. In two career appearances, Ewing finished with two receptions for 29 yards. DiMarco currently remains the lone fullback on the Falcons roster currently.

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