Atlanta Falcons Beat The Denver Broncos

The Atlanta Falcons beat the Peyton Manning led Denver Broncos tonight at the Georgia Dome 27-21. This really was a game of two halves as the Falcons intercepted Peyton Manning 3 times in the first half and forced a fumble. It was clear early on the the Falcons defense was up for the task of Peyton and his young wide receivers.

The secondary coverage was just too good tonight, Peyton had no where to throw the ball especially deep. Asante Samuel explains the coverage in this post game locker room interview.

For the first half Matt Ryan and Peyton Manning both had the same amount of passes and completions but Peyton had three interceptions and it was just too much to come back from that. The Falcons defense was in a constant motion disguising what coverage the Broncos were seeing. They were blitzing from all over the place in unconventional places.

Roddy White had a good game with some big catches allowing the Falcons to move the chains and kill the clock late in the game. Julio Jones also came up with some big plays. Actually all the wide receivers played good. Besides the main two receiver Harry Douglas made a few good catches and provided some key blocks.

The first quarter was one of the longest quarters I can remember ever watching. Mike Smith eluded to it during his post game interview.

Peyton tried to mount a comeback and the Falcons defense did seem to get a little tired being they were on the field so much it is understandable. The Broncos main problem was they couldn’t get the Falcons offense off the field. Matt Ryan was throwing passes all over the place. Mr dunk over the goal post Tony Gonzalez had some big catches including a touchdown.

It was a homecoming for one of my favorite players as Keith Brooking came back to the Georgia dome where he spent many years tackling people for the Falcons. As I watched the game I kept thinking to myself how we may have the two greatest Falcon linebackers on the field tonight as Sean Weatherspoon is quickly becoming a force on defense.

What was your favorite part of tonight’s game?

Falcons Chiefs Game

My name is A.J. Pyle and I have been a Falcons fan for 25 years.  I know that sounds like an AA meeting starter, but that is what it is like.  I lived through the bad years (very bad) and enjoyed the good years (1999).  Living in Kansas I was constantly bombarded with people questioning my allegiance to the Falcons and not the Chiefs, but my love for Atlanta never faltered.  My Uncle turned me on to the Falcons when I was ten, and I never looked back.  Today, at 7:00 a.m. (Central time) I woke up feeling nervous.  I know that playing at Arrowhead Stadium is hard for any team.  Never the less, my girlfriend and I got dressed and drove to the stadium.  Dawn (my girlfriend) grew up being a Chiefs fan, but was torn as to whom she was going to root for.  But, when she walked down the stairs at 8:00 wearing the Falcons shirt I bought her, I almost cried.

Aj and wife Dawn at Arrowhead stadium

When we arrived, it took us almost thirty minutes (and thirty dollars, ironically) to get parked.  Looking at the huge Arrowhead sign in the distance caused my heart to speed up.  I have been to Chief’s games before and let me tell you, if you have never been, you must try to make it.  The atmosphere is electric and even if you are not a fan, you need to appreciate the love and dedication these people have for their team.  We parked and had some food and drinks before walking towards the stadium.  We saw a few fellow fans walk by, but mostly we were by ourselves.  After our tailgating twosome, we made our way to the stadium.  We encountered “boos” and yells of “Falcons Suck!” as we walked to our gate.  I just laughed it off and told Dawn, “we will let them talk all they want before the game, but WE will get the last word in after it is over.”

Our seats were great, thirty rows up on about the twenty yard line behind the Falcons bench.  I wanted to go to the rail and take some close up pictures, but never made it down there.  I was wearing black in a sea of red and yellow.  All the Chief’s fans were great (I had a good conversation with the man next to me all game).  The first half was exciting because I wanted a close game, for a while (like my girlfriend, I am also a fan of the Chiefs except when they play the Falcons).

I will be honest.  I was still nervous at half time.  I went to have a smoke and listened to Chief’s fans talk trash saying things like “we’ll come back,” or “the second half is our’s.”  I laughed and smiled while inside I was trembling thinking of the possibility that we could be walking back to the car after an NFL upset.  Shame on me for doubting the ability of the best team in the NFC.

The second half started out great and I was ecstatic when toward the end of the third quarter (Cassel’s second interception) I saw many Chief’s fans leaving the game.  I stood up feeling like a conquering war general as I stood alone in section 135.  The game ended with a decisive Falcons victory and I walked back to my car with my head held high.  I didn’t say anything to anyone because the scoreboard did the talking for me.

The Falcons had the last word on the day, and Dawn and I were left alone for the rest of the trip.  All I have to say is, is that I am impressed with how the fans treated the opposing fans, and there is no chance that I will be nervous again for the rest of the year.  We will have some loses this year (I am saying four), but we are the Atlanta Falcons, and WE can Rise above any adversity.  GO FALCONS!!!!!

NFC South Predictions

I was just looking through the schedule and wanted to chime in on how I see the NFC South wrapping up.

As I wrote in the post I have the Falcons winning the division at 11-5 but after that what cane we expect to see from the rest of the division. The NFC south is always tough because the teams all seemed to be better balanced than in years past. With that said here is how I see the division finishing.

  1. Atlanta Falcons 11-5
  2. Carolina Panthers 8-8
  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7-9
  4. New Orleans Saints 6-10

Yes the Panthers got better and having Cam Newton get a season under his belt they will be a better team and beat some of the also ran teams in the NFL. It wouldn’t surprise me if they even get more than 8 wins this year. Tampa Bay improved the wide receivers 10x by adding Vincent Jackson and I like a few of their picks in the draft. They improved their defense which has to cover the speedy Falcon receivers twice a year. The Saints are going to be a mess. Without a head coach and the chemistry Drew Brees has with him will cause issues.  Just the contract Brees signed has to piss off a few of the players and divide a locker room.

 

Do The Atlanta Falcons Have The Best Receiving Corp

Was just sitting around thinking about the upcoming season when it dawned on me that the Atlanta Falcons probably have the best receiving corp in the league. While there are many good wide receivers I don’t think there is a core group that is better than the Atlanta Falcons.

Roddy White (6-0 211) has speed a great set of hands and the ability to out-jump almost any defender. Roddy also has the ability to block and chase down defensive backs that make interceptions. I can’t count the amount of times that Roddy has used his big frame to block when Michael Turner is trying to run out in Roddy’s direction.

Roddy has shown us that when not double covered he has an uncanny ability to find a hole in the zone and sit there until Matt Ryan throws him the ball. Not a bad second or third option at all. He is also tough and not scared to cut across the middle.  He also gets involved in run plays and tries to take out the safety when Michael Turner runs up the middle.

Julio Jones(6-4 220lbs) has break away speed and this forces teams to either double cover him which gives Roddy an edge to make plays. When Julio is single or zoned covered it is just a matter of time before he breaks a big play. He is not scared to cut across the middle like Wes Welker and has speed to turn an average 5-10 yard catch into something more spectacular.  I am sure he is only going to improve and be a superstar with Roddy and Tony Gonzalez there to teach him some pointers. At 23 years old the sky is the limit for him.

Tony Gonzalez is a hall of fame tight end and I don’t think I can say anything about him that hasn’t been said already. He creates so many problems to the defense that some weeks he is the guy that gets double covered. Who else has a tight end that demands that much respect. Tony may have the best hands in the NFL. He is the go-to guy on 3rd down since Brian Finneran retired.

Harry Douglas (6-0 183 lbs) plays mostly in the slot and has a knack for breaking into open zones and turning in some big plays. Harry is very fast and has a great set of hands. He has no fear of cutting across the middle and he helps confuse defenses and is usually open a lot when the Falcons go three wide at receiver and teams are forced to cover both Roddy and Julio. He has also made some big 3rd down catches when Tony is covered and Matt has time for a 4th option.

While there are a few teams with good receivers I don’t think any other team has a balance of this many good receivers. Sure you have Calvin Johnson in Detroit but who is their other receivers? Green Bay has a good balance with Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson/Donald Driver but I don’t think they are on the same level as the Falcons. We will have to see what Larry Fitzgerald will teach Michael Floyd but that is still a year or two away.  There numbers are also going to be off because of having a lousy qb situation.

Falcons Predictions for NFL 2012 Season

Lets take a closer look at the Falcons Schedule and see if we can predict the final record. Historically I am not the best at predicting the NFL season and I usually under estimate the Falcons wins but that could be a good thing this year.

Week 1: We will be traveling to Kansas City to play the Chiefs. The Chiefs are really not a good football team and I think this will be an easy win for the Falcons. Should KC is a tough place to play but if the Falcons get an early jump on things they can take the crowd right out of it. Falcons win game 1. Falcons record 1-0

Week 2: Tough game as the Peyton Manning led Broncos will be coming in to play the Falcons in a Monday night game. I am sure Peyton will want to show the world that he is healthy. It will be a close game and I am actually going to give the Broncos the win in a close game. Falcons record 1-1.
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