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Archive for September, 2010

Steelers run by Falcons in OT

September 12th, 2010 Comments off
Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Mendenhall scores in OT

The Falcons lose a heart-breaker in their 2010 season opener on the road against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers pulled an overtime victory by a score of 15-9 in what was mostly a defensive struggle.

Matt Ryan led the team with 27 completions on 44 attempts for 252 yards with an interception. The Falcons had little success on the ground, rushing for 58 yards. Michael Turner led the team with 42 of those yards on 19 carries. Roddy White had a career high with 13 receptions for 111 yards. Harry Douglas got the start opposite him in place of an injured Michael Jenkins and finished with 3 catches for 39 yards. Eric Weems also contributed with 4 grabs for 36 yards. Tony Gonzalez caught a pair of passes for 35 yards, surpassing the 1000-catch career mark, joining a group of only 6 NFL players all-time and being the first tight end to do so.

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FalcFans.com Live Gameday Chat!

September 12th, 2010 Comments off

We do it every Sunday, and this year will be no different. Come by the chat room at 1:00 in order to talk to fellow Falcon fans live as the Steelers-Falcons game unfolds.

In order to login, you must be a member of the FalcFans Forums and use your forum username and password. So if you haven’t already, drop by and register on the forums so that you can log in.

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Matching Up With the Steelers

September 9th, 2010 Comments off

I’m not sure how regular this will be as the season unfolds, but I’ll try to do one each week if I can. Since this is the first game of the season, I really don’t have any excuses not to do it. But I’m going to be looking at the different matchups that I like and don’t like as the Falcons prepare for the Steelers.

Matchups I Like

Dennis Dixon vs. the Falcons defense

I know many Falcon fans were worried about the possibility of Dixon starting this week instead of Byron Leftwich. They’d rather face the statue of Leftwich rather than the mobile Dixon.

I’m not too worried. Dixon will likely be able to make some plays with his legs, but his accuracy and decision making are the biggest areas of concerns for the Steelers offense. He has only had limited work with the first team offense, so he isn’t likely to be on the same page with most of his receivers. He is only making his second NFL start, so he will also be prone to making a lot of rookie mistakes. How he recognizes defense, how he sees the field, and whether he can make good decisions and put the ball on the money with accuracy to his receivers must be a major concern for the Steelers brass, otherwise they would not have been so reluctant to start him.

The Falcons will likely look to confine him to the pocket where he is going to be less dangerous. Safeties Thomas DeCoud and Erik Coleman will likely be a big reason why if the Falcons are able to take advantage, sitting back and reading Dixon’s eyes and breaking plays on the ball. The hallmark of young quarterbacks is a tendency to stare down his targets, which allows defensive backs, especially safeties a greater opportunity to jump routes and break up plays.

Steelers Right OL vs. Falcons Left DL

This matchup features rookie center Maurkice Pouncey, right guard Trai Essex, and right tackle Flozell Adams versus the Falcons left side of their line which will feature mainly Kroy Biermann at left end, Peria Jerry at left tackle, and Jamaal Anderson splitting time at both spots.

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Fearless Predictions – 2010 Falcons

September 8th, 2010 Comments off

You can click here to see my predictions for the rest of the league. But here, I’ll do my best to predict what I think the Falcons 2010 season may entail.

SCHEDULE & RESULTS

Wk – Opponent – Result
1 – @ Steelers – L
2 – Cardinals – W
3 – @ Saints – L
4 – 49ers – W
5 – @ Browns – W
6 – @ Eagles – L
7 – Bengals – L
9 – Bucs – W
10 – Ravens – W
11 – @ Rams – W
12 – Packers – L
13 – @ Bucs – W
14 – @ Panthers – L
15 – @ Seahawks – W
16 – Saints – W
17 – Panthers – W
18 – @ Saints – L

As you can see I predict the Falcons to make the playoffs and get bounced in the first round by the Saints.

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Fearless Predictions – 2010 NFL Season

September 8th, 2010 Comments off

You can click here to see my Falcon-specific predictions. Here are my predictions for what the standings will look like at the end of the 2010 season. Playoff picks and my Super Bowl pick come after the jump.

AFC EAST
AFC NORTH
AFC SOUTH
AFC WEST
Patriots (11-5)*Ravens (10-6)*Colts (12-4)*Chargers (10-6)*
Dolphins (10-6)*Steelers (9-7)Titans (9-7)Raiders (6-10)
Jets (10-6)*Bengals (8-8)Texans (8-8)Broncos (5-11)
Bills (2-14)Browns (5-11)Jaguars (6-10)Chiefs (4-12)
NFC EAST
NFC NORTH
NFC SOUTH
NFC WEST
Cowboys (13-3)*Packers (12-4)*Saints (12-4)*49ers (10-6)*
Eagles (9-7)Vikings (10-6)*Falcons (10-6)*Cardinals (7-9)
Giants (9-7)Bears (7-9)Panthers (9-7)Rams (4-12)
Redskins (7-9)Lions (5-11)Bucs (4-12)Seahawks (4-12)

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Falcons pick eight for practice squad

September 5th, 2010 Comments off

Jay Adams of Atlanta Falcons.com reports that the Falcons have chosen their eight-man practice squad. It will consist of eight players that were cut by the Falcons yesterday in their final roster cutdown, including tight end Robbie Agnone, wide receiver Tim Buckley, safety Rafael Bush, running back Dimitri Nance, defensive end Emmanuel Stephens, wide receiver Andy Strickland, offensive tackle Jose Valdez, and linebacker Bear Woods.

Agnone was signed in early August as a replacement for injured tight end Colin Peek. Buckley, Bush, Nance, Stephens, and Woods were all undrafted rookie free agents the team signed this past April. Strickland ended last season on the team’s practice squad. Valdez was an undrafted rookie with the team in 2009, spending the entire year on their practice squad.

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Falcons cut 20 including two 2008 draft picks

September 4th, 2010 Comments off

The Falcons announced 20 roster moves today in an effort to get their roster down to 53 players. With these twenty moves, the Falcons roster stands at 55 players, although the Falcons hold two extra spots due to the exemptions gained from the suspensions of both James and Babineaux. The Falcons moves included tight end Robbie Agnone, wide receivers Troy Bergeron and Tim Buckley, safeties Eric Brock and Rafael Bush, cornerbacks Dominique Daniels and Chevis Jackson, linebacker Weston Johnson, fullback Dan Klecko, defensive end Maurice Lucas, running back Dimitri Nance, centers Brett Romberg and Blake Schlueter, defensive end Emmanuel Stephens, wide receiver Andy Strickland and Ryan Wolfe, offensive tackle Jose Valdez, linebacker Bear Woods, and tight end Keith Zinger. The team also waived/injured wide receiver Brandyn Harvey, meaning he will be placed on the injured reserve if he clears waivers meaning no other team signs him.

Many of these players will go on the team’s eight man practice squad that can be made starting tomorrow. Included in the cuts are several players that made the Falcons last year, including Romberg, Zinger, and Jackson. Romberg was a free agent signing last season. Zinger and Jackson were both draft picks of the team in 2008.

These moves mean that none of the Falcons seven 2010 draft picks were released and made the roster. Although that is not counting wide receiver Kerry Meier was was placed on injured reserve earlier this summer. Prominent newcomers to the Falcons roster this season include running back Antone Smith, tight end Michael Palmer, and center Rob Bruggeman. Palmer is the only undrafted rookie to make the team. Bruggeman and Smith both spent time on the Falcons practice squad last season.

Final 53 Roster prediction

September 3rd, 2010 Comments off

I’ve gone through this twice before, once before camp started and once midway through camp. But now the final roster cuts are upon us, and I’m going to pick the 53 players I think will be Falcons on opening day.

Quarterbacks

Starter: Matt Ryan
Backups: Chris Redman, John Parker Wilson

This is a no-brainer.

Running Backs

Starters: Michael Turner, Ovie Mughelli
Backups: Jason Snelling, Jerious Norwood, and FREE AGENT

I think the Falcons will keep five running backs, with the fifth filling the same slot that Aaron Stecker filled last year. But I don’t think Antone Smith or Dimitri Nance have played at a high enough level to earn that role. So I think the Falcons will sign someone. Dan Klecko is a good special teams player and his versatility can be an asset, but he’s not a good enough blocker from what I’ve seen this summer to merit keeping around.

Wide Receivers

Starters: Roddy White, Michael Jenkins
Backups: Harry Douglas, Brian Finneran, Eric Weems, Troy Bergeron

I think the injury to Jenkins will make the Falcons keep six receivers to start the season. I think Bergeron has done the most to earn that sixth spot, but it would not surprise me one bit if the Falcons sought a veteran receiver to fill this spot.

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Reserves fall to Jags in preseason finale

September 2nd, 2010 Comments off
AP/John Raoux

Troy Bergeron is tackled

The Falcons closed out their preseason with a 13-9 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Both teams opted to sit nearly all of their starters and let their backups play their way to roster spots in the finale. It is perhaps the last opportunity many of these players will ever get to earn a spot on an NFL roster.

Chris Redman got the start and completed 15 of 22 passes for 142 yards. He was replaced by John Parker Wilson, who went 8 of 15 for 74 yards in the second half. On the ground, Antone Smith led the way with 41 yards on 9 carries. Jerious Norwood added 31 yards on 4 carries, and Dimitri Nance had 4 carries for 10 yards. Michael Palmer led the team with 5 receptions for 45 yards. Andy Strickland had 4 catches for 38 yards. Ryan Wolfe (3 catches, 55 yards) and Troy Bergeron (3 catches, 36 yards) also contributed to the passing game. The offense got off to a slow start, but Redman was able to lead the team on two scoring drives in the second quarter, but could not get any touchdowns out of it. Outside Norwood and Jason Snelling (3 carries, 9 yards), none of the team’s regulars got playing time.

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2011 Mock Draft

September 2nd, 2010 Comments off

The college football season kicks off tonight, and I think that means the time is ripe for a mock draft. Yes, that’s how I roll. Previously when I did a quasi-mock/draft preview, I didn’t try to predict the draft order. But now that the NFL season is almost upon us, I’m ready to guess how teams may finish. Coupled with the fact that I’ve watched quite a bit of tape of many of these top prospects during the summer, I’m ready to throw out the first real mock draft of the year. An asterisk (*) indicates an underclassman.

Icon Sports Media, Inc.

QB Ryan Mallett

1. Buffalo Bills – QB Ryan Mallett, Arkansas*
His big arm is probably going to wow some scouts.
2. Cleveland Browns – QB Jake Locker, Washington
Fits better in the West Coast system that Holmgren will likely want to install next year.
3. St. Louis Rams – WR A.J. Green, Georgia*
Bradford needs a go-to weapon.
4. Seattle Seahawks – DE Robert Quinn, North Carolina*
The Seahawks need to find a way to generate some pass rush.
5. Tampa Bay Bucs – RB Mark Ingram, Alabama*
A good running game could take a lot of pressure off Josh Freeman.
6. Detroit Lions – CB Prince Amukamara, Nebraska
He’s a lot better than Chris Houston.
7. New England Patriots (from Oakland) – DE Cameron Heyward, Ohio State
Finally find a suitable replacement for Richard Seymour.

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