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Archive for September, 2011

Falcons triumph over Eagles

September 19th, 2011 Comments off
Getty Images/Yahoo! Sports

Ryan celebrates

The Falcons earned their first victory of 2011 with a dramatic 35-31 comeback win in their home opener against the Philadelphia Eagles. There were several lead changes, but eventually the Falcons were able to overcome a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to pull out the win.

Matt Ryan led the team with 195 yards passing, with 4 touchdowns while completing 17 of 28 passes. He also threw two interceptions. Michael Turner had a strong performance with 114 yards rushing on 21 carries and a touchdown that ultimately proved to be the game-winner. Tony Gonzalez led the Falcons receivers with 7 catches for 83 yards and 2 scores. Roddy White added a score of his own along with 3 catches for 23 yards. Ovie Mughelli caught Ryan’s other touchdown pass, his only grab of the night for 1 yard. The Falcons did not have to rely on the leg of Matt Bryant, who attempted no field goals as the Falcons were perfect in scoring touchdowns on five trips into the redzone. Matt Bosher punted 7 times for an average of 35.6 yards with 1 placed inside the 20 yard line. Eric Weems had a single punt return of 19 yards and 3 kickoff returns averaging 26 yards.

Defensively, the Falcons allowed 447 total yards from the Eagles but forced three turnovers that resulted in an additional 14 points for the offense. Curtis Lofton led the group with 10 tackles, and also had 2 passes defended. John Abraham (2 tackles, 1 forced fumble, ), Ray Edwards (2 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 fumble recovery), Brent Grimes (6 tackles), Kelvin Hayden (3 tackles, 1 interception), Peria Jerry (1 tackle, 1 forced fumble), William Moore (5 tackles), Stephen Nicholas (3 tackles, 1 fumble recovery), Chris Owens (3 tackles), Dunta Robinson (6 tackles, 1 pass defended), James Sanders (3 tackles), and Sean Weatherspoon (9 tackles) all had noteworthy games.

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FalcFans Live Week 2 Pregame Show

September 18th, 2011 Comments off

Ryan and I have set up a live channel at Justin.TV in which we broadcast a live version of our podcast beginning at 7:45 pm EST, a half hour before kickoff between the Falcons and the Philadelphia Eagles. The channel will go live at 7:30, and our podcast will begin fifteen minutes later. Once kickoff occurs, we’ll go off-air and come back during halftime with our thoughts on the first half. Check us out!

http://www.justin.tv/didziojo

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Owens questionable for Week 2

September 16th, 2011 Comments off

The Falcons released their injury report this afternoon. On it, cornerback Chris Owens was listed as questionablee with an ankle injury. Owens missed practices on Wednesday and Thursday, but was able to participate on a limited basis on Friday, opening the door for him to suit up this week against the Philadelphia Eagles. Owens served as the team’s nickel cornerback in Week 1′s loss to the Chicago Bears. Those duties will likely be filled by Kelvin Hayden against the Eagles.

Also on the injury report were center Todd McClure and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux, both of whom are out with knee injuries. Babineaux suffered a partial tear of his MCL last week against the Bears. McClure injured his knee during the Falcons third preseason contest against the Pittsburgh Steelers on August 27.

Returning to the Falcons lineup is defensive tackle Corey Peters, who will help alleviate somewhat the loss of Babineaux. Peters injured his knee on August 14, and has been out since. Wide receiver Harry Douglas was also listed as probable this weekend after suffering a concussion last week, but he was cleared by doctors on Thursday, and participated fully in Friday’s practice. Also the Falcons will expect to see fullback Ovie Mughelli (knee) and wide receiver Roddy White (knee) this week, as both are probable.

For the Eagles, defensive end Darryl Tapp (pectoral) is listed as out, linebacker Akeem Jordan (shoulder) is listed as doubtful, and cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (ankle) and quarterback Vince Young (hamstring) are both listed as questionable.

FalcFans Podcast – Ep. 6 “Christmas for the Bears”

September 14th, 2011 Comments off

Ryan and I share our thoughts on the Falcons disappoint loss to the Chicago Bears in Week 1. Which includes how we grade out the offensive line and Joe Hawley and Garrett Reynold’s first starts. We also discuss the loss of Jonathan Babineaux and which players step up to fill that void, including the possibility of whether that is Carlton Powell, Ryan’s new favorite player. We also break down our thoughts on how to beat the Eagles in Week 2. Coaching changes, Thomas DeCoud, Matt Bosher, and Kroy Biermann are also topics of discussion.

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Falcons Highlight of the Week

September 14th, 2011 Comments off
AP/Yahoo! Sports

Biermann goes for six

Not many highlights from the Bears loss as there were lowlights, but one play definitely stands out from the rest. Kroy Biermann’s interception late in the game, which accounted for the Falcons only touchdown on the day. Here is the link from NFL.com:

Kroy Biermann’s 50-yard Interception for TD

Honorable Mentions:

Michael Turner’s 53-yard run

Julio Jones’s 28-yard catch and run

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Babineaux to miss a month with partial MCL tear

September 13th, 2011 Comments off

Updating previous reports, Knox Bardeen of CBS Sports reports that Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux will miss three to five weeks with a partial MCL tear according to his agent Jack Bechta. Babineaux suffered the injury during the Falcons opening day loss to the Chicago Bears, exiting the game but then later returning to play on it.

The knee injury will not require surgery, but has been known to hamper several players in recent years. Saints quarterback Drew Brees saw his production dip last year after playing with the injury for much of 2010. It was the same injury that knocked Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler out of the NFC Championship game. Saints cornerback Tracy Porter missed four games last year due to a torn MCL, and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Da’Quan Bowers saw his draft stock fall months ago due to the same injury.

The Falcons are working out defensive tackle Derek Landri today, and likely will opt to shore up their depth since Corey Peters is nursing a knee injury of his own. If Peters is not healthy this week, it is likely that Vance Walker and Peria Jerry will fill the vacant starting spots inside the Falcons defensive line against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night.

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Moneyball 2011 – Week 1 Review

September 13th, 2011 Comments off

It was a tough game for the Falcons. Things started off pretty well for them defensively, but the offense was unable to get much going. It was not vintage Falcon football, which featured a lot of mental errors, sloppy tackling, and penalties. Throw in two turnovers, and you get how the Falcons were so handily beat by the Bears in the season opener.

Upon initial viewing, I did not think particularly much of Matt Ryan’s performance, but upon reviewing the game, he was not nearly as bad as I thought. He missed on some throws and his two turnovers were boneheaded mistakes. But other than that, he really did not have a bad game. You can certainly say those two mistakes were enough to merit this being a bad performance, and you won’t see much argument from me. But if he can eliminate those mistakes, the Falcons should be better. He did not get a lot of help from the blocking up front or his receivers. I counted five dropped passes in this game, and the Bears had little issues pressuring Ryan particularly late in the game.

For all intents and purposes, I thought Sam Baker actually did a decent job against Julius Peppers. Peppers had a pretty quiet game until he got pressure that caused Ryan’s fumble that went back for a score. After that point, Baker started to have some trouble because the Bears were able to pin their ears back up front. But all in all, considering some of the past performances Baker has had, and given the level of competition, I think he did a decent job against Peppers.

It was Henry Melton that terrorized Ryan most of the game. Thanks to mistakes mainly made by Garrett Reynolds, who had a really poor game. Joe Hawley and Tyson Clabo also contributed, and that inexperience on the interior and Melton’s stunting inside contributed to a lot of his pressures. That was a strength of Dahl and Clabo last year, which was defending the stunts. There was really no cohesion on the right side of that line.

I was disappointed to see that the Falcons did not attack one of my matchups which was Tim Jennings at left corner. The Falcons barely threw at Jennings until the end of the game, instead going after Charles Tillman much more through the first three quarters. Now, they were able to get two big plays against Tillman, but nonetheless, I thought it would have been very smart of the Falcons to really challenge Jennings all game long.

On the ground, Turner had a nice game, his fumble withstanding. The team was forced to abandon the run by the end of the third quarter. Hawley and Blalock were the main contributors there. I think Hawley has real potential as a run blocker, if this game is any indicator. He’s definitely not there yet, and needs more polish, but he flashed some of the potential to be a significant upgrade over McClure down the road.

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLOCK
SPEC
PEN
TOTAL
Michael Turner$0$7$2$0$0-$2$7.00
Matt Ryan$8$0$0$0$0-$2$6.00
Tony Gonzalez$0$0$4$0$0$0$4.00
Roddy White$0$0$4$0$0$0$4.00
Justin Blalock$0$0$0$3$0$0$3.00
Julio Jones$0$0$3$0$0$0$3.00
Jacquizz Rodgers$0$0$2$0$0$0$2.00
Joe Hawley$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Sam Baker$0$0$0$0.5$0-$1-$0.50
Tyson Clabo$0$0$0-$0.5$0$0-$0.50
Jason Snelling$0$2-$2$0$0-$1-$1.00
Harry Douglas$0$0$0$0$0-$1-$1.00
Ovie Mughelli$0$0$0$0$0-$1-$1.00
Michael Palmer$0$0$0$0$0-$1-$1.00
Garrett Reynolds$0$0$0-$2$0-$1-$3.00

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Falcons to work out DT Landri

September 13th, 2011 Comments off

Adam Caplan, formerly of FOX Sports reports that the Falcons are expected to work out free agent defensive tackle Derek Landri tomorrow. Landri could add key depth at the Falcons defensive tackle position due to an injury to starter Corey Peters, who suffered a knee injury four weeks ago. Landri was cut last week by the Philadelphia Eagles in their final roster cuts, despite having a strong summer.

Landri most recently played with the Carolina Panthers in 2010, where he started every game and recorded 43 tackles and 3 sacks. Prior to that, he spent three years as a reserve with the Jacksonville Jaguars, combining for 38 tackles and 3 sacks in 35 games. As a rookie in 2007, he played under Falcons head coach Mike Smith, who was then the Jaguars defensive coordinator. Landri was originally a 5th round draft choice out of Notre Dame.

UPDATE: The fact that the Falcons are working out Landri likely has to do with the partial MCL tear that Jonathan Babineaux suffered against the Bears in Week 1.

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Romberg returns again

September 12th, 2011 Comments off

The Falcons announced that they have re-signed center Brett Romberg for the second time in two weeks. The team waived center Rob Bruggeman to make room for Romberg. The Falcons originally signed Romberg on August 30, after an injury to starter Todd McClure. But he was cut a few days later during the Falcons final roster cutdown to 53 players.

Romberg played in 9 games in 2009 with the Falcons.

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Falcons tumble to Bears in opener

September 11th, 2011 Comments off
AP/Yahoo! Sports

Ryan tumbles after a hit

The Falcons 2011 regular season got off to an ugly start with a 30-12 beatdown at the hands of the Chicago Bears on the road today.

The Falcons offense struggled to move the ball throughout the game unable to score an offensive touchdown as well as turning the ball over twice. Matt Ryan completed 31 of 47 passes for 319 yards and interception, but was pressured throughout the game as the Falcons offensive line gave up 5 sacks. On the ground, Michael Turner rushed for 100 yards on 10 carries, most of which came on a 53-yard third quarter run. Roddy White was the team’s leading receiver with 8 catches for 61 yards. Tony Gonzalez (5 catches, 72 yards) and Julio Jones (5 catches, 71 yards) also contributed. Ryan fumbled once, which led to a 12-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Brian Urlacher. Turner also fumbled.

Matt Bryant connected on both field goal attempts of 48 and 25 yards in the game. Matt Bosher had 5 punts for an average of 38.4 yards, with 2 placed inside the 20-yard line. Eric Weems was nondescript on returns with 2 kickoffs for a 16.5-yard average, and 3 punt returns for an average of 3.3 yards.

Defensively, the Falcons had their ups and downs, but for the most part it was a solid performance. They held the Bears to only one touchdown on three redzone trips, and also 6 of 16 on third down conversions. They also sacked the Bears 5 times. Kroy Biermann accounted for the team’s lone touchdown on the day with a 50-yard interception return off a tipped pass from John Abraham. Sean Weatherspoon led the unit with 10 tackles, including 2 for loss. Biermann finished the game with 2 tackles and a sack as well. Abraham (4 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 sacks), Thomas DeCoud (7 tackles), Brent Grimes (2 tackles, 3 passes defended), Curtis Lofton (8 tackles), William Moore (3 tackles), Stephen Nicholas (3 tackles), Dunta Robinson (6 tackles), and Lawrence Sidbury (3 tackles, 1 sack) had noteworthy games.

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