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FalcFans Weekly – April 27, 2014

April 27th, 2014 Comments off

Much of the news surrounding the Atlanta Falcons this week centered on rumors about whether the team would trade up for South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. Reports swarmed that the Falcons could swap picks with the Houston Texans, who hold the No. 1 overall selection in the 2014 draft.

On Friday, Clowney worked out for the team in what wasn’t quite a normal workout, rather a biomechanical “force plate” test. Pro Football Talk has the scoop on what exactly went down. It appears that the test used on Clowney is far from a new development with the Falcons.

Vaughn McClure of ESPN indicates that the Falcons won’t make the trade up. D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC is also suggesting that a trade up isn’t smart on the Falcons behalf as it may be a smokescreen.

In a related article, CBS Sports’ Will Brinson writes about the economics of trading up for the No. 1 pick.

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The 2014 regular season schedule was also announced this week, and the Falcons are set to open up the season at home against their biggest rival, the New Orleans Saints. The war of words has already begun as Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan had some choice words for the Falcons offensive line.

When it comes to the Falcons-Saints matchup on September 7, in the immortal worlds of Bart Scott, “Can’t wait!

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Podcast co-host Allen Strk analyzes the schedule for Pro Football Spot.

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The Falcons offseason program began this week. Mike Smith, Matt Ryan, Sean Weatherspoon and William Moore all spoke to the media on Tuesday and Wednesday and the official site provides the video.
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FalcFans Podcast – Ep. 64 “Not To Totally Get Into the Draft”

April 24th, 2014 Comments off

Allen and I are back to give our initial thoughts on the Atlanta Falcons 2014 regular season schedule. We go through each week and give a quick breakdown of the opponent. Later, we discuss the free-agent pickups of Josh Wilson and Dwight Lowery, ageism in the NFL, the direction the Falcons are headed in the 2014 NFL Draft as well as Allen’s expectations for attending the draft spectacle in New York. At the very end of the podcast, there is some explicit NSFW language.

Episode 64: Not To Totally Get Into the Draft [Download]

Duration: 1 hour, 2 minutes

Allen covers the Falcons for Pro Football Spot. His twitter handle is: @Allen_Strk.

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, and be sure to rate us there! You can also subscribe directly to our feed at the following URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/falcfans/LXSt

2014 Schedule

April 23rd, 2014 Comments off

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 Comments off

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 Comments off

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 2014 Opponents

January 2nd, 2014 Comments off

With the 2013 season wrapped up, the Atlanta Falcons can look ahead to the teams they will be facing in 2014. The dates and times for these games will not be determined until April when the league releases the official schedule. However one date is already known, as the Falcons will face the Detroit Lions in London on October 26, 2014 in Week 8 of next year.

As usual, the Falcons will have a home and away series with NFC South Divisional opponents in the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Their five other home games will include their matchup against the Lions, as well as the Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Their road opponents will include: Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, and New York Giants.

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Falcons Set to Play Lions in Week 8 in London in 2014

November 28th, 2013 Comments off

Last month, the NFL announced that the Atlanta Falcons would play host to the Detroit Lions in a game played in London next season. Today, more detail about that upcoming matchup was released. Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports that the Falcons-Lions matchup will take place on Sunday, October 26 during Week 8 of the 2014 season. The game will be played in London’s Wembley Stadium, but will be considered one of the Falcons’ eight home games for the season.

It will mark Atlanta’s first trip to London in the NFL’s International Series, which has become an annual event since 2007. The Falcons have played abroad in the past, coming in 2000 and 2005 when they played preseason games in Tokyo, Japan, but this will mark their first regular season matchup. The Falcons-Lions game will be one of three games set in London next season, an expansion from this past season where two games were set there for the first time. It is very likely that the Falcons-Lion game will be followed by a bye week for each team, as has become the norm over the past few years with teams that play overseas.

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Falcons-Packers Flexed Out of Primetime

November 25th, 2013 Comments off

D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC reports that the upcoming matchup between the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers on December 8 will be moved to 1:00 pm ET from its previously scheduled time of 8:30 pm. Initially scheduled to be featured on NBC in primetime on Sunday Night Football, the network flexed its flex-scheduling powers to replace the game with the matchup featuring the Carolina Panthers and New Orleans Saints. The Falcons-Packers game will be aired on FOX instead.

Beginning in Week 11, NBC has the ability to modify their schedule to feature more prominent games in the second half of the season. They must notify teams 12 days in advance of the schedule change.

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FalcFans Podcast – Ep. 37 “What About Sanchez?”

September 3rd, 2013 Comments off

This week Allen and I have our big 2013 NFL Preview Extravaganza. But first we review the cuts made by the Falcons as well as preview the Falcons-Saints game, and our expectations for Week 1. Allen is very optimistic, while I am the opposite. Thereafter, we break down each division in the NFL, looking at potential playoff teams and ultimately make our Super Bowl picks for 2013. In the end, we get into discussion over how to get cheap Super Bowl tickets, underage drinking, and how Pitt’s football team reminds me of former Falcon teams.

Ep. 37: What About Sanchez? [Download]

Duration: 2 hours, 13 minutes

Allen writes for TJRSports.com as well as the Bleacher Report. His twitter handle is: @Allen_Strk.

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, and be sure to rate us there! You can also subscribe directly to our feed at the following URL: http://feeds.feedburner.com/falcfans/LXSt

Takeaways from Last Week – June 24

June 24th, 2013 Comments off
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Patriots could lose both tight ends this year

Of course the biggest story in the NFL last week was the news surrounding New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, and his potential involvement in the homicide of Odin Lloyd.

Lloyd was found dead last Monday afternoon after confirmation that he was with Hernandez the preceding evening. As of Sunday night, a warrant had been issued for Hernandez on obstruction of justice charges, stemming from reports that he destroyed his cell phone, security system, and had his home cleaned by maids. Certainly raises suspicions about Hernandez’s guilt.

But I won’t really comment on the legal side of things. I am neither a policeman nor a lawyer. We have a justice system in this country, and as far as I am concerned it says that a man is innocent until proven guilty. So I won’t speculate on whether Hernandez is guilty of anything besides probably picking a bad day to destroy items that would be very helpful in a murder investigation.

But I suspect regardless of how Hernandez’s legal situation plays out, we won’t be seeing him suit up for the Patriots in 2013. Given Roger Goodell’s penchant for slamming down the hammer regardless of whether a player is guilty of anything, makes me believe that before Patriots training camp starts at the end of July, we’ll see him receive an indefinite suspension until his legal situation is resolved. This happened with Michael Vick back in 2007 after he was indicted following federal dogfighting charges. We also saw the same with Dallas Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent following his indictment on manslaughter charges following his December car accident that resulted in the death of teammate Jerry Brown. Now in both cases, the common denominator is indictment. We’ll see what happens with Hernandez, but I suspect even if an indictment is not reached before July 25, when the Patriots open up camp, Goodell will ask him to simply stay away from the team as was the case with both Vick and Brent.

Well that’s about as far as I care to venture down the legal hole in terms of Hernandez’s situation, and now I’d like to switch gears to how it affects the football side of things. We already know that Rob Gronkowski’s recent back surgery puts his start to the 2013 season in jeopardy. It wouldn’t be that shocking if he too doesn’t play for the Patriots this year due to this injury. Gronkowski had an unrelated back ailment coming out of Arizona in 2010, and has had a number of injuries since joining the team. If Gronk does wind up playing this year, I don’t expect he’ll be at his previous level. And if he does return to form, it probably won’t be until the latter half of the season. Regardless, at best Gronk probably only gives the Patriots 50% of what he did in previous seasons.

That leaves the Patriots without the top three weapons from last year’s team going into 2013. They lost Wes Welker via free agency, replacing him with Danny Amendola. But their offensive identity was really built around the pair of tight ends in Hernandez and Gronkowski, that created such matchup problems with opposing defenses. It really is the equivalent if the Falcons lost Julio, Roddy, and Tony all the span of a five months.

It likely means that the Patriots offensive identity might have to switch more towards being a run-first team. Opposing defenses won’t be put in the quandary of trying to figure out how to match up with their passing attack if Hernandez and Gronkowski aren’t on the field. Gronk was the inline tight end, but was without question the best in the league the past two seasons. You couldn’t cover him with a safety or linebacker, as he was too fast, and he was too physical for a corner. Hernandez was a jack of all trades type of player that would be used like a wide receiver, tight end, H-back, and fullback at times. His role was reminiscent to Reggie Bush’s in New Orleans, where he wasn’t the best player on the field, but you always had to account for him. And because of the different alignments he could appear in, it made it very difficult to game plan against them.

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