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FalcFans Podcast – Episode 22 – Parts 1 & 2

December 16th, 2012 Comments off

Aaron is back and is joined by Allen Strk and Scott Carasik for a lively conversation on a wide range of Falcons-related topics. You’ll hear their thoughts on many of the current Falcon players and what sort of seasons they are having in 2012 and what they could be expecting in the future. You’ll also hear them opine on some past Falcon players as well. Scott shares many of his thoughts on what the Falcons could be looking at in the draft and this upcoming off-season. They give their insights on what the upcoming playoff picture could look like for the Falcons. This episode does contain EXPLICIT content, so be forewarned.

Part 1:

Episode 22 Part 1 [Download]

Duration: 1 hour, 2 minutes

Part 2:

Episode 22 Part 2 [Download]

Duration: 1 hour, 6 minutes

Allen writes for TJRSports.com as well as the Bleacher Report. His twitter handle is: @Allen_Strk. Scott also writes for Bleacher Report and ScarDraft.com. You can also hear Scott on his weekly radio show: “Kvetching Draftniks Radio.” His twitter handle is: @scar988.

 

If you have any questions and comments, you can hit us up on Twitter, post in the forums in the podcast thread, or drop an e-mail at: pudge@falcfans.com.

You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. You can also subscribe directly to our feed at the following URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/falcfans/LXSt

White to be a game-time decision vs. Giants

December 13th, 2012 Comments off

The Falcons practice report issued earlier today listed wide receiver Roddy White as out for the second consecutive day of practice with a knee injury. Falcons head coach Mike Smith indicated that while White made progress since Wednesday’s practice, White likely won’t practice on Friday.

Roddy felt much better today than he did yesterday. We are going to be very cautious with Roddy in terms of getting ready for the ball game. He probably will not do a whole lot on Friday or Saturday and then we will get him out there on Sunday and see where he’s at. But it’s hard to keep Roddy White out of a football game.

Also missing today’s practice was safety William Moore (hamstring). It was Moore’s second consecutive day of missed practice. Moore missed last week’s game against the Carolina Panthers. If he is out this week, it’s likely Chris Hope will start in place for him, as he did vs. Carolina.

Upgraded today was defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (ribs). Babineaux participated on a limited basis in today’s practice, after missing Wednesday practice. Also limited were wide receiver Harry Douglas (ribs) and cornerback Asante Samuel (shoulder). After being limited yesterday, tackle Sam Baker (hand) and guard Justin Blalock (elbow) fully participated in today’s practice.

Moneyball 2012 – Week 13 Review

December 4th, 2012 1 comment

This was a very bad game for the offense as the passing game never got into sync. The Falcons went nearly the full game without converting a third down and the lack of big plays was stark. I don’t think Ryan played poorly, but he certainly did not play well. He looked rattled early, as the Saints were effective pressuring him early. It caused him to be off on some throws and reads. Towards the latter part of the game, he seemed less willing to sling it downfield, and was going more for the easy completions in an effort to keep the offense on schedule. They attempted to take some shots early in the game, but they failed. Obviously when this offense is settling on 6 or 7-yard completions on a lot of dumpoffs to the running backs, then it is not potent at all.

The running game started strong, and one criticism could be that the team abandoned it during the middle portion of the game where the offense was struggling to move the ball. I don’t really adhere to that criticism. Everyone knows this team offensively is carried by its passing attack. The running game was on point against the Saints, but I don’t think you could believe it would be sustainable throughout the night.

One thing I did notice in terms of the backs was that I think Rodgers could be more potent with Mike Cox blocking for him. Cox has been an upgrade at the fullback position in recent weeks. And while he’s no Ovie, he’s at least competent to good for the most part. Traditionally, the Falcons like to use Cox in conjunction a lot with Turner, but I think Rodgers might be a better match. Turner’s late fumble was partially his fault for fighting for yards, but also it did seem that the refs were fairly lethargic on blowing the whistle for forward progress. But in the end, you still have to secure the football, which Turner did not, and ultimately the blame still falls squarely on him. After recent games, it’s going to be hard for Turner to earn the trust back of the coaching staff in order to finish games. While Turner was superior to Quizz in the early going, it does seem that the Falcons offense seems more effective with Quizz as the closer.

Up front, the line blocked well earning most of their key blocks in the early going. Konz was the weakest of the front, as he along with McClure, Blalock, and Baker all had their troubles blocking Sedrick Ellis. By my count, Ellis had a pressure (vs. McClure), 2 hits (1 vs. Baker, 1 vs. Konz), and a hurry (split by Baker & Blalock). McClure had his ups and downs, missing a couple of blocks (one of which was on a screen), giving up pressure to Ellis and Hicks up the middle. But he also made some very nice blocks in this game, so it also balances out. Clabo had a good game, as it seems like this is the first game in forever that he didn’t give up a pressure/hurry once. But overall, I think the line has been showing some improvement in recent weeks. It’s about time…

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLK
SPEC
PEN
TOTALS
Michael Turner$0$9$0$0$0-$2$7.00
Tyson Clabo$0$0$0$5$0$0$5.00
Sam Baker$0$0$0$4$0$0$4.00
Justin Blalock$0$0$0$4$0$0$4.00
Jacquizz Rodgers$0$3$0$0$0$0$3.00
Todd MCClure$0$0$0$3$0-$1$2.00
Mike Cox$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Julio Jones$0$0$2$0$0$0$2.00
Matt Ryan$2$0$0$0$0$0$2.00
Jason Snelling$0$0$2$0$0$0$2.00
Antone Smith$0$0$0$0$1$0$1.00
Tony Gonzalez$0$0$3-$2$0-$1$0.00
Roddy White$0$0-$1$0$0$0-$1.00
Peter Konz$0$0$0-$1$0$0-$1.00

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Defense lifts Falcons over Saints

November 30th, 2012 Comments off

Daniel Shirey-US PRESSWIRE

Babineaux celebrates an interception

The Falcons defense stepped up and created a number of turnovers against the New Orleans Saints to pull out the ugly 23-13 victory. The game came down to the wire with a strong defensive effort and lackluster offensive one for the Falcons. The Falcons are now a loss by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this Sunday from clinching the NFC South division crown this week with their 11-1 record.

Matt Ryan struggled in this game, completing 18 of 33 for 165 yards and a touchdown. Michael Turner led the team on the ground with 83 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown. He had a late fourth quarter fumble that gave the Saints one last late game opportunity to try and steal the win. Jacquizz Rodgers had 43 yards on 8 carries. Julio Jones led receivers with 5 grabs for 48 yards. Tony Gonzalez had 4 catches for 58 yards and Ryan’s lone touchdown pass. Jason Snelling caught 4 passes for 28 yards. Roddy White had a quiet night, catching only 1 pass for 20 yards. Matt Bryant really made up for the stalled offense, connecting on 3 field goals of 45, 29, and a 55-yarder that put the team up two scores with over 4 minutes left in the game. Matt Bosher punted 6 times, matching a season-high, averaging 53.2 yards and having 1 placed inside the 20-yard line. Rodgers returned 1 kickoff for 22 yards and Dominique Franks returned 1 punt for 13 yards. The offense started strong, rushing well on their opening drive, but then stalled out, unable to take advantage of multiple Saints turnovers. They started the game with 101 yards rushing in the first half, but only had 23 yards on 12 carries in the second half. They only managed to score 6 points off the five Saints turnovers. They finished 1 for 11 on third downs, unable to convert their first one until less than 7 minutes were left in the game.

Defensively, the Falcons gave up a lot of yards as the Saints racked up 436 total yards on the day. They also struggled to get off the field on third downs, allowing the Saints to convert 7 of 14 on that down. But they managed to pick off Drew Brees five times, which cut short a number of go-ahead or tying drives for the Saints. The run defense performed better than their last outing against the Saints, limiting them to just 38 yards in the first half. The Saints finished with 101 yards on the day. William Moore led the team with 11 tackles, including 2 for loss, and also picked off Brees twice. His second interception helped seal the Falcons victory after the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter. John Abraham (2 tackles, 1 sack, 2 pass deflections); Jonathan Babineaux (1 interception); Kroy Biermann (2 tackles); Thomas DeCoud (7 tackles, 1 interception); Robert McClain (6 tackles, 2 pass deflections); Stephen Nicholas (5 tackles); Chris Owens (3 tackles, 2 pass deflections); Dunta Robinson (7 tackles); and Sean Weatherspoon (4 tackles, 1 interception) all had noteworthy games.

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Moneyball 2012 – Week 8 Review

October 31st, 2012 Comments off

Initially from watching the game live, I was very impressed with the Falcons performance. Upon review, I still came away impressed but cannot dismiss that the Eagles did not play well in this game. Most of the positives come on the offensive side of the ball.

Matt Ryan had a strong game. The running game had its moments and you could certainly argue this was the most complete game the offense has played this year. Turner had one of his better performances and Quizz also ran what might be the best game of his career. The blocking was just OK in this game. Relative to recent games, the pass protection held up well. There were some holes in this game, but It was inconsistent. But probably less inconsistent than it has normally been this year.

Sam Baker usually gets destroyed by Trent Cole so only giving up two pressures is relatively a strong performance for him. Clabo continued to have his issues, but had his share of moments as a run blocker. Watching live, I thought Konz played well. Upon further review, I might hold off on that. He did have his moments particularly as a run blocker, but there were two many missed blocks and he had some struggles in pass protection. He had 2 hurries and a pressure on plays that we’re wiped out by penalties. I think he definitely flashed his potential in this game, but still needs to work out the kinks. Reynolds at this point might be more consistent/reliable, but I don’t think he has the upside of Konz, particularly in the ground game. It seemed that Konz had many of his issues trying to block linebackers in the run game, and also struggled versus stunts.

Speaking of blocking, my hat goes off to DJ Davis and Roddy White for their efforts there. Davis had an impressive debut, standing out as a blocker. Both of his catches came when he was wide open thanks to Eagle defenders focusing on the Falcons’ other playmakers, but he did make a nice catch on the TD since it was not a particularly well-thrown ball. Roddy has been an underwhelming blocker so far this year, as I’ve noticed several times this year where he misses an assignment that could have potentially sprung a runner for a big gain. But that was not the case on Sunday.

Julio was very impressive, as his two big plays were a welcome addition to the offense. He absolutely roasted Nnamdi on the touchdown, and if not for an excellent tackle by Kurt Coleman, could have potentially scored on the 37-yard screen pass. The Eagles really had a hard time defending the Falcons screens as well as the shovel passes to Snelling, which essentially doubled as running plays.

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLK
SPEC
PEN
TOTALS
Matt Ryan$15$3$0$0$0$0$18.00
Julio Jones$0$1$10$0$0-$1$10.00
Jacquizz Rodgers$0$7$1$0$0$0$8.00
Michael Turner$0$7$1$0$0-$1$7.00
D.J. Davis$0$0$4$2$0$0$6.00
Roddy White$0$0$3$2$0$0$5.00
Tony Gonzalez$0$0$3$0$0$0$3.00
Jason Snelling$0$0$3$0$0$0$3.00
Todd McClure$0$0$0$2$0-$1$1.00
Sam Baker$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Justin Blalock$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Tyson Clabo$0$0$0$1$0$0$1.00
Peter Konz$0$0$0-$2$0$0-$2.00

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Palmer and Smith to miss Raider game

October 12th, 2012 Comments off

Today, the Falcons announced their injury report for this weekend’s home game against the Oakland Raiders. Tight end Michael Palmer (shoulder) and running back Antone Smith (hamstring) were both declared out for the game, as neither player practiced this week. Palmer will miss his third consecutive game after suffering his shoulder injury in the first quarter of the team’s Week 3 win over the San Diego Chargers. Smith missed two games due to his hamstring injury in Weeks 3 and 4, but returned to practice last week and suited up for the Week 5 matchup against the Redskins. But he reaggravated the injury and will also miss his third game of the 2012 season due to injury.

Also on the injury report were defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (groin) and linebacker Stephen Nicholas (ankle) as questionable. Babineaux was limited in all practices this week. Nicholas was limited in Thursday and Friday practices after missing Wednesday. Nicholas suffered his injury late against the Redskins last weekend. He was replaced by Mike Peterson in the lineup. However middle linebacker Akeem Dent took over his role in the team’s nickel defense. If Babineaux does not suit up or has his role reduced, it will likely result in Vance Walker getting a start and/or Travian Robertson seeing increased reps. Robertson has been active for every game thus far this season, but has only garnered playing time late in the team’s Week 3 blowout of the Chargers.

Players that appeared on the injury report but were listed as probable for the Raider game include: wide receivers Kevin Cone (knee) and D.J. Davis (knee); defensive tackle Peria Jerry (thigh), center Todd McClure (pectoral), safety William Moore (hip), guard Garrett Reynolds (back), and cornerback Dunta Robinson (shoulder). All seven players fully participated in Friday’s practice. Cone, Davis, and Robinson also were full participants on Thursday.

Falcons try out a trio of safeties

October 11th, 2012 Comments off

Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reported on Wednesday that the Falcons tried out a trio of safeties this week: Sean Baker, David Caldwell, and Brodney Pool. The Falcons likely are kicking the tires on these free agent safeties due to concerns about their depth at the position. William Moore suffered a hip injury during the team’s Week 4 win over the Carolina Panthers and has been limited in every practice since. Currently the Falcons depth at safety includes veteran Chris Hope and rookie Charles Mitchell.

Baker was an undrafted free agent out of Ball State, that signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this past May. He was cut at the end of training camp. In the Bucs’ preseason finale against the Washington Redskins, Baker recorded 6 tackles and a pair of interceptions. He was a four-year starter at Ball State, tallying a total of 338 tackles, 18 interceptions, 39 pass deflections, and 6 forced fumbles.

Caldwell started 13 games last season for the Indianapolis Colts as an injury replacement for Melvin Bullitt at strong safety. He finished the season with 67 tackles and 4 passes defended. The 5-11, 212-pound safety was an undrafted free agent with the Colts in 2010 out of William & Mary. He is noted for his ability as a run defender. He was released by the Colts at the end of this past summer’s camp.

Pool is the noted veteran of the three players worked out. He was most recently with the Dallas Cowboys this past summer. He was cut after being a free agent pickup in March. Pool spent five seasons with the Cleveland Browns (2005-09) before joining the New York Jets in 2010. He was originally a second round pick by the Browns out of Oklahoma in 2005. In 2006, he spent time as a starter both at free safety and cornerback due to injuries. He was moved permanently to free safety in 2007 where he started 41 games with the Browns over the next three seasons. During that span, he recorded 9 interceptions, including a career-high 4 in 2009. He signed a free agent deal with the Jets in 2010. He would start 18 games at both safety spots during his two year stint with the Jets. In 2011, he started 6 games replacing an injured Jim Leonhard in the lineup late in the year. He finished with 36 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and 1 interception.

Categories: News Tags: , ,

Falcons Announce Week 5 Injury Report

October 5th, 2012 Comments off

The Falcons announced their injury report for this weekend’s upcoming game against the Washington Redskins. Tight end Michael Palmer will miss his second consecutive game with a shoulder injury, as he was listed as out. Center Todd McClure, safety William Moore, and fullback Lousaka Polite were all listed as questionable. Both McClure and Moore were limited in practice all week long with pectroal and hip injuries, respectively. Polite missed both Wednesday and Thursday practices with a hamstring injury, but was upgraded on Friday and participated on a limited basis.

Also on the Falcons injury report were defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (groin), wide receiver Julio Jones (hand), linebacker Stephen Nicholas (thigh), cornerback Chris Owens (concussion), and running back Antone Smith (hamstring), all listed as probable. All five players were full go in Friday’s practice. Babineaux and Smith were limited on both Wednesday and Thursday, while Nicholas and Owens were only limited in Wednesday’s practice.

For the Redskins, safety Brandon Meriweather (knee) and cornerback Cedric Griffin (hamstring) are out this Sunday. Running back Evan Royster (knee) is questionable. Wide receiver Pierre Garcon (foot), tackle Trent Williams (knee), returner Brandon Banks (hip), and cornerback DeAngelo Hall (flu) were listed as probable.

Moneyball 2012 – Week 4 Review

October 2nd, 2012 Comments off

This was a pretty ugly win. There were a few instances of outstanding execution on the part of the Falcons, particularly in the final minute. But for the most part the Falcons had a pretty mediocre game, largely because of some mental errors, poor execution, etc. Thankfully for the Falcons, Carolina really lost this game at the end with some really poor execution and bad coaching decision. It’s not the first time the Falcons have benefited from a bad decision from an opposing coach. The Bears gave of ’08, and two games against the Bucs where Raheem Morris made a bad decision at the end resulted in Falcon wins. This is just another notch in the Falcons belt. Mike Smith may not be the world’s greatest game manager, but it does make you appreciate that he certainly is on the upper end of that scale.

Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, and Roddy White really stood out in this game. Really the only issues you have with Ryan is that two of the sacks he had I attributed directly to him holding onto the ball too long. He was a little inaccurate on a couple of throws (particularly the deep ball out of bounds to Jones on the penultimate drive), but other than that he was playing at a very high level. Those are really nitpicks on a handful of plays. And with that lone exception, it’s really good to see Ryan being able to hit on these deep balls. You look at the five deep passes he had in this game, where he completed three of them. The one noted previously to Jones was only off by a few feet, and would have been a touchdown otherwise. And he also missed a near touchdown to Roddy on a back-shoulder throw that Roddy didn’t get his head around quick enough to adjust to. A year ago, very few of his deep passes were catchable. Up until this week, you didn’t really see the Falcons trying to hit on the deep balls very often. But one hopes that after this game, it’s something that is newly acquired in the Falcons repertoire.

I have to take my hat off to Turner in this game as well. He looked like the young Turner due to the fact that he was running hard, breaking tackles, and getting yards after contact. I think my favorite run by Turner in this game was on their second offensive series near the goalline. It was just a simple little 6-yard run, but on it Turner made a nice jump cut to the outside, and pick up another 5 yards to get the ball down to the 4-yard line. I can probably count on one hand how many times over the past few years where I’ve seen Turner make a jump cut like that. The question going forward is going to be whether this is Turner getting some of that old magic back, or whether he was just able to prey upon one of the league’s weakest run defenses.

Roddy once again showed in this game why he is one of the best receivers in the game with this game. On the other side of the field Julio Jones was the polar opposite and largely a non-factor. Part of that was due to pressure. And part of that was because he wasn’t getting open. Several incompletions to Jones were because defenders broke up passes. Which is hard to blame on Jones, but they were situations where he could have done a better job attacking the ball. Gonzo had another solid game.

Up front, the Falcons really struggled to protect Ryan. The crosshairs firmly fall on Clabo for he really struggled in this game against Charles Johnson. But he wasn’t alone. Not strong performances for Todd McClure and Sam Baker as well. Blalock and Reynolds definitely did their jobs. The positive thing for Clabo is that he made up for some of his problems in pass protection by having a fairly solid game run blocking. It was interesting to see the Falcons mix in Mike Johnson and Joe Hawley to help out in pass protection and the ground game. They didn’t fare well in pass protection, but they made some solid contributions in the ground game at times. It’s certainly something that I think the Falcons should continue to do situationally going forward.

PLAYER
PASS
RUSH
REC
BLOCK
SPEC
PEN
TOTALS
Michael Turner$0$14$3$0$0$0$17.00
Matt Ryan$14$0$0$0$0$0$14.00
Roddy White$0$0$12$1$0$0$13.00
Jacquizz Rodgers$0$1$4$0$0$0$5.00
Tony Gonzalez$0$1$3$0$0$0$4.00
Justin Blalock$0$0$0$3$0$0$3.00
Julio Jones$0$0$2$0$0$0$2.00
Garrett Reynolds$0$0$0$2$0$0$2.00
Sam Baker$0$0$0$0.5$0$0$0.50
Tyson Clabo$0$0$0$0.5$0$0$0.50
Tommy Gallarda$0$0$0$1$0-$1$0.00
Harry Douglas$0$0$0$0$0$0$0.00
Todd McClure$0$0$0$0$0$0$0.00
Kevin Cone$0$0$0$0$0-$1-$1.00
Mike Johnson$0$0$0-$1$0$0-$1.00

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Categories: Features Tags: , , , , , , ,

Falcons smash Chargers

September 23rd, 2012 Comments off

Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESSWIRE

Weatherspoon and Moore tackle Mathews

The Falcons pushed their record to 3-0 by taking down the undefeated San Diego Chargers with a 27-3 victory on the road. The Falcons got off to a strong start and never looked back, as the Chargers were scoreless through the first half of the game.

Matt Ryan had another strong performance, completing 30 of 40 passes for 275 yards, 3 touchdowns, and an interception. On the ground, Michael Turner bounced back from a slow start this season by leading the team with 80 yards on 14 carries with a touchdown. Jacquizz Rodgers also added 10 rushes for 32 yards. In the air, Tony Gonzalez led receivers with 9 grabs for 91 yards and a touchdown. Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Rodgers each had 5 catches for 67, 55, and 35 yards respectively. Jones and Rodgers both caught Ryan’s other two touchdown passes. Matt Bryant did not attempt a field goal on the day. Matt Bosher punted 5 times for an average of 44.6 yards, with 2 placed inside the 20-yard line. Dominique Franks returned a pair of punts for an average of 17 yards. The Falcons offense had little issue moving the ball against the Chargers. They dominated time of possession, holding onto the ball for over 36 minutes compared to the Chargers’ 24. In the first half, the Falcons held the ball for over twice as long as the Chargers with nearly 20.5 minutes of possession. The offense finished 8 of 13 on third down conversions and put up 384 total yards.

Defensively, the Falcons were too much for the Chargers offense. The Chargers struggled to convert third downs, particularly in the first half where they were 0 for 3. They wound up finishing the game 5 of 11 on their third down conversion attempts. They were limited to 280 total yards and had four turnovers. Dunta Robinson led defenders with 7 tackles. John Abraham (2 tackles, 1 sack); Thomas DeCoud (3 tackles, 2 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery);Dominique Franks (3 tackles); William Moore (5 tackles, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery); Stephen Nicholas (6 tackles); Asante Samuel (6 tackles); Vance Walker (4 tackles); and Sean Weatherspoon (5 tackles, 1 forced fumble) all had noteworthy performances.

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