Lowndesfalc

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  1. In 8 weeks, it will be painfully evident one way or the other.
  2. Dammit man, hate to hear that about the kid. He is fun to watch for sure. Prayers for a full and speedy recovery.
  3. Don’t have a game changer among them.
  4. Forcast for New York Sunday is 100% chance of rain, 2 inches with locally higher amounts. Winds building to 20 to 30 mph by late afternoon. It’s been a long time since we had to play in a weather game. Hope running game is working...
  5. 35-14 Pats I think the moment is too big and a mediocre offense and defense melt under the big lights. As per typical Falcons history since 1966.
  6. Link to article Atlanta Falcons INSIDE SLANT Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel | Player Wire Falcons come up short in short-yardage situations The Falcons have a new offensive coordinator in Steve Sarkisian, but they still don't have a viable plan in short-yardage situations. Faced with a third-and-1 situation against Buffalo, they elected to throw a pass. With the game on the line on fourth-and-1, they threw a pass that was incomplete. This, after making their running back Devonta Freeman, the highest-paid player at his position at $8.25 million per year. The Falcons' potential game-winning drive stalled on the Bills 10-yard line after quarterback Matt Ryan tossed an incomplete pass to Taylor Gabriel on fourth-and-1 with under a minute to play. Ryan had a run-pass option. He said he picked the pass play - play-action fake because the Bills had "eight or nine" players in the box. The film review shows that there were only seven players in the box and that the Bills had just 10 players on the field. They were aligned in a 4-3, with one safety and two cornerbacks. "Yeah, that's why we possibly thought it was a blitz," head coach Dan Quinn said on Monday. "In that moment is it best to throw the slant and so those are the kind of plays where you have an opportunity for a quick pass against blitz, you love those looks. When they don't go that way and you have to go to your second or third option, they made a good play on it." Bills defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier told the Buffalo media that they knew they had 10 players on the field for the final play. A linebacker/defensive end was missing. "Looking back, that was a bummer," Quinn said. "It was the turning point in the game for us (at the end). But there were many moments in the game where I thought we missed our opportunities, but that was certainly one of them." The Falcons have drawn criticism for not running the ball on third-and-1 and fourth-and-1 against the Bills. One of the big play-calls in Super Bowl LI was a third-and-1 pass that turned into a sack and a fumble during the team's historic collapse. Former offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan was heavily criticized for that play call. Meanwhile, Quinn hopes to have wide receiver Julio Jones (hip flexor), defensive end Vic Beasley Jr. (hamstring strain) and wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (hamstring strain) back when they face Miami on Oct. 15 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Defensive tackle Jack Crawford's biceps injury is more serious and has the team discussing whether to sign a free-agent defensive tackle. Jones, Sanu and Crawford were set to have MRI exams on Monday. "Beasley, (Terron) Ward and (Courtney) Upshaw are all making progress so we're hopeful to see where they go for next week," Quinn said. Also, safety Keanu Neal suffered a dislocated finger and missed two plays against Buffalo. "You never hope for a bye, but if there was time that it would come through, now would be a good time," Quinn said. He was reluctant to put timetables on the return of Jones, Sanu and Beasley, who he was calling week-to-week, but now is clear that he suffered at least a four-week injury. Quinn doesn't like releasing the timelines because most players heal differently. "The good news is that both of them aren't going to be long-term," Quinn said of Jones and Sanu. "Both of them, the competitiveness to get going is going to be there. We're hopeful that (since) it's (been) two or three weeks for Beasley that he'll be back in the next week's time. "Until we really see him open up as a runner we don't know," Quinn said. He said that he and general manager Thomas Dimitroff will discuss adding some help along the defensive line, likely to replace Crawford. Players spoke about how tough it would be with Crawford out. "We have to see where Courtney's at because that's such an important part of how we play," Quinn said. "We like to rotate players and put them into unique spots." The Falcons will use the bye week to come up with a better short-yardage plan and to get healthy. Notes, Quotes Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan was effusive in his praise of the wide receivers after the 23-17 loss to Buffalo for "stepping up" when Julio Jones (hip flexor) and Mohamed Sanu (hamstring) went out with injuries. But they really didn't step up. Taylor Gabriel was targeted five times, but didn't have any catches. Justin Hardy was targeted six times, but had just two catches for 12 yards and a touchdown. He had a potentially costly fumble determined to be an incompletion after replay. Nick Williams had four targets and three catches for 30 yards. The one incompletion was intercepted. That's five catches on 15 targets for 42 yards, well below the production levels of Jones and Sanu. "For us, we trust all of our guys to go out there and make plays," Ryan said. "We called the plays that we had in the plan and trusted them to go out there and do it. I thought our guys did a pretty good job of stepping up." But they really didn't. On his two picks against the Bills, quarterback Matt Ryan was trying to make a play. The deep ball to Taylor Gabriel shouldn't have been thrown. Buffalo safety Micah Hyde was running with Gabriel. The pass to Nick Williams was behind him and tipped up. With Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu out of the game, Ryan didn't have his top two targets. Ryan struggled under pressure against the Bills as both tackles struggled in pass protection. Ryan completed 7 of 15 passes for just 69 yards and one interception (32.4 passer rating) when pressured. Ty Sambrailo and Jake Matthews combined for 11 pressures (nine hurries, one hit and one sack). Rookie Duke Riley is not off to a good start. Linebackers coach Jeff Ulbrich has to get his star pupil ready to play like he did Deion Jones and De'Vondre Campbell last season. Riley missed four of his six attempted tackles and now has eight missed tackles. His 2.1 tackle efficiency (attempted tackles per missed tackle) ranks last among 33 4-3 outside linebackers this season, according to profootbabllfocus.com. Rookie Damontae Kazee played well while replacing free safety Ricardo Allen. He probably could have broken on a pass to Bills tight end Charles Clay, who had beaten strong safety Keanu Neal. He was late getting over the top to blow up the play. However, he had three tackles, allowed just one catch and earned a game grade of 82.7, which was 10th among safeties to play before the Sunday night game. Strategy & Personnel PLAYER NOTES FS Ricardo Allen is in the league's concussion protocol. RT Ryan Schraeder is in the league's concussion protocol and head coach Dan Quinn is hopeful to have him back for the Miami game. WR Taylor Gabriel was targeted five times against the Bills and did not have a catch. WR Justin Hardy had a 3-yard touchdown reception. It was the first allowed by the Bills this season. QB Matt Ryan went 24-of-42 for 242 yards and one touchdown. Ryan extended his 200-plus yards passing game streak to 59 games and his games with a passing touchdown to 22 games. RB Tevin Coleman had nine rushes for 79 yards, and he also posted four catches for 65 yards, which were both team highs. His 144 combined total yards is a season high and the second highest total in his career. REPORT CARD VS. BILLS PASSING OFFENSE: D - Matt Ryan and running back Tevin Coleman connected on a 37-yard wheel route to get the offense moving in the second quarter after Julio Jones left the game with a hip flexor. By halftime, Ryan completed passes to seven different receivers including two to tight end Levine Toilolo. But Jones and Mohamed Sanu were lost for the game to a hip flexor and hamstring. Taylor Gabriel, Justin Hardy and Nick Williams tried to pick up the slack, but couldn't. Ryan was intercepted by Micah Hyde on a 50-50 deep ball to Gabriel in the third quarter. Hardy caught a 3-yard touchdown pass with 7:00 left to play. Hyde intercepted Ryan again after he tried to squeeze a pass into Nick Williams on third-and-17. The ball clanged off Williams' hands and popped up. Ryan has five interceptions over the past two games. He had his lowest passer rating in over 30 games. RUSHING OFFENSE: C-minus - Devonta Freeman was held to 58 yards on 18 carries. Tevin Coleman had nine rushes for 79 yards. The Falcons used their "12-Gauge" wildcat formation with Sanu at quarterback and he nearly scored on a 4-yard run. Freeman got in behind left guard Andy Levitre for a 1-yard touchdown run on the following play to give the Falcons a 10-7 lead. With the game on the line, the Falcons elected to throw. They need a better short-yardage package. RUSH DEFENSE: C-plus - The shifty LeSean McCoy was difficult to tackle and quarterback Tyrod Taylor got loose outside the pocket on some timely scrambles as they ran 11:20 minutes off the clock during a 19-play drive to help secure the victory. Fullback Patrick DiMarco, a former Falcons standout, was a solid lead blocker. McCoy and Mike Tolbert combined to rush 28 times for 107 yards for a 3.8 yards-per-carry average. PASS DEFENSE: C - Wide receiver Jordan Matthews beat cornerback Desmond Trufant for a 9-yard touchdown pass. Matthews was lined up in the right slot and ran a crossing route to the left. Trufant tried to undercut the route, but Taylor's pass was too high. Also, safety Keanu Neal was beaten by Bills tight end Charles Clay for a 44-yard deep ball and rookie free safety Damontae Kazee was too late getting over the top to break up the catch. Neal left the game with a hand injury and was replaced by Sharrod Neasman. He returned to action. Clay was open all day and finished with seven catches for 112 yards. SPECIAL TEAMS: C - Kicker Matt Bryant made a 28-yard field goal. Punter Matt Bosher was solid. The Falcons continued to get penalties on the punt-coverage team. Brooks Reed and Neasman were called for penalties. Stephen Hauschka made a 56-yard field goal to put the Bills up 20-17 with 4:44 left to play. He followed that up with a 55-yarder. COACHING: C-plus - They still need a plan for short-yardage situations. The Falcons had to get creative when the starting wide receivers were lost for the game. Coleman and Freeman had to carry more of the load. Hardy nearly had a costly fumble, but the play was ruled an incompletion by the replay official. The Bills, who had just 10 men on the field, weren't fooled by a fourth-and-1 play-action pass to Gabriel that was incomplete with the Falcons threatening to score in the final minute.
  7. Most certainly the best Falcons free agent signing by far....ever. Could be among best in NFL history when it’s all said and done.
  8. Regardless of whose fault they are. Matt usually has 1 three interception game every season. Guess what??? He has already had the one for this season...
  9. Link to Article Atlanta Falcons INSIDE SLANT Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel | Player Wire Falcons try to go 4-0 before Patriots rematch The Atlanta Falcons found a win in Detroit on a controversial weekend with reigning most valuable player Matt Ryan, not on top of his game. "What a team effort yesterday," Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said on Monday. "I was really pumped about the defense and its resiliency, coming back and making some stops in some really opportune times. We knew it was going to take everything (we had)." The Falcons will host the Buffalo Bills on Sunday before receiving the early bye week. After the bye, they will face the New England Patriots on the road in a rematch of Super Bowl LI, a game they led 28-3 before losing 34-28 in overtime. "There's no doubt that we have to be better with the ball," Quinn said. Ryan opened on fire against the Lions, but cooled off and threw three interceptions that the Lions used to rally and nearly pull out the victory. He was having his way with the Lions' defense until free safety Glover Quinn stepped in front of his 17th pass attempt and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown. Ryan hadn't thrown an interception over his last 211 passes. He was victimized on the other two when running back Tevin Coleman and wide receiver Mohamed Sanu had passes clank off their hands and into the waiting arms of Darius Slay. "It comes down to taking care of the football, for sure," Ryan said. "We talk about that all the time. When you're minus-3 in the turnover differential, it's tough to overcome that. We were able to do it (against the Lions), but that's certainly something that we have to clean up moving forward." Ryan hadn't thrown three interceptions in a game since doing it against Indianapolis in a 24-21 loss on Nov. 22, 2015. Ryan has thrown at least three interceptions in a game eight times during his career. Ryan was 24 of 35 for 294 yards and two touchdowns. He finished with a 77.6 passer rating. Ryan opened the game by throwing a bomb to Julio Jones that was incomplete. The Falcons called pass plays on nine of the first 12 plays in the opening drive, which culminated with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Sanu. After the Falcons loosened up the Lions with all of those passes, the offensive line was able to maul them in the running game. Running back Devonta Freeman rushed for 106 yards on 21 carries and scored a touchdown and Coleman rushed for 46 yards on six carries. "I'll just say we're getting better and better every week," Freeman said. "You know what I mean? It's a process, and next week we're going to get better. And we're going to rest the next week, and the next week coming back, we're going to try to continue to get better." Freeman caught three passes for 32 yards and Coleman had three for 43 yards. Combined, the running backs had 33 touches from scrimmage for 227 yards and a touchdown. "I thought we played well offensively," Ryan said. "Our offensive line did a fantastic job today, we ran the ball extremely efficiently, had some explosive chunk runs." Right tackle Ty Sambrailo, who was starting for Ryan Schraeder, gave up two sacks, but overall Ryan was pleased. "They did a great job in pass protection against a defense who's been getting a lot of pass pressure, pass rush the first two weeks," Ryan said. "So, I was proud of the way our offensive line played." Jones caught seven passes on 12 targets for 91 yards. But slot receiver Taylor Gabriel had an electrifying 40-yard touchdown on a screen pass. He finished with five catches for 79 yards. "It was good to have Taylor (Gabriel) back, he really made some plays today," Quinn said. "I thought on third downs, a nice touchdown on the screen, so for him, dealing with an injury in the offseason, it was awesome to see him back in action today. Kind of looking how all of us are accustomed to seeing that kind of speed." The Falcons' offense recorded a season high 428 total yards, including 151 yards on the ground, also a season high. It was the second straight game the Falcons had rushed for more than 125 yards. The Falcons also had two scoring drives of 10 plays or more, and now have seven drives of 10 plays or more this season. Notes, Quotes For Grady Jarrett and Dontari Poe, it was a simple decision to kneel during the national anthem on Sunday after President Donald Trump referred to any NFL player who has protested racial and social injustice by taking a knee as a "son of *****." "I felt like me, myself, Grady Jarrett is the son of a Queen and that's my message," Jarrett said after the game. Jarrett had been thinking about protesting for a while, but the comments by Trump pushed him to do more. "My spirit moved me in a way and it was on my mind," Jarrett said. "It was on my mind man, and ... it is so awesome because having the support of your brothers and support of an organization like this, this has been, this is truly a blessing. It's truly a blessing. And I'm just thankful." Poe knelt to make a statement against racial and social injustice in the country and said he intended no disrespect to the flag or the military. "I know people (in the military)," Poe said. "I have a girl friend who's in the Air Force. She's in the reserves now. I'm not disrespecting that at all. I wouldn't disrespect her like that. At the same time, I felt it wasn't disrespecting the flag, but I was just standing up for what I believe in." Poe said he was moved by teammate Adrian Clayborn's speech about the diversity on the team and how he wished the country was like the Falcons' locker room. The team often refers to itself as "The Brotherhood." "He put it in such great words," Poe said. "It was something that I paid close attention to. It was all truth in it. Basically, he wishes the outside world was like our locker room, with people of all different colors and creeds ... we're fighting together. We are a Brotherhood. "We don't look at nothing else but that. He said he wished the world was like that and that it would be much better place. I totally agree with him." Clayborn was the only player on the team to respond to the tweets from President Trump. He spoke to the issues of privilege in the nation. "It so diverse in football," Clayborn said. "We come from everywhere and it's a shame we can't all get along. I wish we could be like that, but it probably will never be. If it was, it would be a way better place." Teams across the league protested President Trump and labeled his tweets "divisive" to the fabric of the country. Falcons owner Arthur Blank and Lions owner Martha Ford, who is 92 years old, both stood on the sidelines with their teams. "I'm not going to lie," Clayborn said. "It was hard pre-game, just trying to focus on the actual game. But once it started I was locked in. Thank God I got my brain locked in. When you get so much hate and so many people hate your guts because of something you believe in, it's crazy. But we locked in. We got it done." Clayborn, who is from St. Louis where they've had two police officers acquitted in high-profile shooting cases of African-Americans, has become the socially conscious member of the team. "It was a team meeting," Clayborn said. "It's our brotherhood coming together. People are saying nasty things about us and we have to stick together. It's coming in hot." Falcons head coach Dan Quinn stood during the national anthem and supported having Blank on the field with the team. "I'd like to recognize Arthur being down on the field with the team prior to the game and showing his solidarity for not just the Falcons, but for the NFL in general," Quinn said. "He continues to demonstrate what a class act he is to all of the players and staff and coaches. We really appreciate him." Blank was fine with players' decisions. "What they do is their choice," Blank said. "I'm supportive of our players. I'm certainly supportive of their rights to express their freedom of speech. I don't think ... the people that fought for this country going back several hundred years primarily weren't fighting for geography. They were fighting for way of life, and part of that is reflected in the freedom of speech and the ability to speak up and speak out on issues." Blank was not pleased with the comments of President Trump about players who have elected to kneel during the national anthem. "It's unfortunate that the president chose to go in that direction and speak out the way he has," Blank said. "Love conquers and that kind of divisiveness and calling out accomplishes nothing, satisfies nothing." Blank was not one of seven NFL owners who donated $1 million to Trump's campaign. Blank was a strong supporter of President Barack Obama. Players around the league have been protesting social and racial injustice in the country. "The issues that they point to are legitimate issues," Blank said. "They need to be talked about it. We need to make progress as a country moving forward with them. We don't do it by creating walls. We don't build walls. That doesn't create better listening or better responses or connections." Blank noted that the Falcons are one of the busiest teams when it comes to doing community service. "I think our players love this country," Blank said. "They not only play this game, but they work their fannies off physically and financially giving back in a variety of ways to our communities throughout the National Football League. We are the first to step up and do very significant things. They do it day in and day out. I see it every day with our players." Blank believes the players' issues should be addressed. "Opening up thoughtful and positive discussions based on inclusiveness and not based on divisiveness," Blank said. "Divisiveness is never going to solve anything in a positive way. It never has in the history of this country." The Falcons held the Lions to 71 rushing yards and sacked Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford twice. Defensive end Adrian Clayborn recorded his second sack of the season. Rookie defensive end Takk McKinley recorded his first career sack. The defense has recorded a sack in 18 straight games. The defense also recorded five hits on the quarterback and they currently are tied for first in the NFL with 22 hits on the quarterback. Strategy & Personnel PLAYER NOTES K Matt Bryant went three-for-three on field goals, including two 40-plus-yard field goals. Bryant is first in the league with eight made field goals. WR Julio Jones had seven catches for 91 yards, but sustained a back injury. He's limited in practice, but is expected to play against Buffalo. FS Ricardo Allen is in the league's concussion protocol. RT Ryan Schraeder is in the league's concussion protocol and head coach Dan Quinn hopes to have him back for the Buffalo game. RB Devonta Freeman crossed the 100-yard mark for the first time this season. He also scored his fourth rushing touchdown of the season and 27th of his career. The Falcons are 16-2 when Freeman rushes for a touchdown. He finished the game with 21 carries for 106 yards. RB Tevin Coleman had 89 total yards. He and Freeman combined for 227 total yards against the Lions. That is the seventh time the duo has reached 200-plus combined yards and the team is 7-0 when the two running backs reach that mark. WR Taylor Gabriel recorded his first touchdown reception of the season. The 40-yard touchdown catch was Gabriel's sixth career touchdown of 30-plus yards and his seventh touchdown reception of 25-plus yards. REPORT CARD VS. LIONS PASSING OFFENSE: B - Matt Ryan entered the game having not thrown an interception over his last 195 passes. He had 16 more attempts in the game without an interception before Lions free safety Glover Quinn stepped in front of a pass intended for Julio Jones and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown. Lions cornerback Darius Slay intercepted Ryan in the third quarter and picked off another one that bounced of Mohamed Sanu's hands. Ty Sambrailo was overpowered twice in pass protection and gave up two sacks while subbing for Ryan Schraeder, who is in the concussion protocol. Ryan hadn't thrown three interceptions in a game since doing it against Indianapolis in a 24-21 loss on Nov. 22, 2015. Ryan has thrown at least three interceptions in a game eight times over his career. Ryan was 24 of 35 for 294 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. RUSHING OFFENSE: B-plus - Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman gashed the Lions early and that opened up things for the offense. Freeman added his fourth rushing touchdown of the season. The Falcons found some success running inside against the Lions, who were without rookie middle linebacker Jarrad Davis. Freeman rushed 21 times for 106 yards and one touchdown. Tevin Coleman added 46 yards rushing on six carries. PASS DEFENSE: B - Lions wide receiver Golden Tate was flanked out to the left and came across the middle with the Falcons playing zone. He caught the ball and scored the Lions' first offensive touchdown from 11 yards out with 4:51 left in the third quarter to make the score 23-20. Defensive ends Adrian Clayborn and Takkarist McKinley had a sack each. McKinley tipped Stafford's pass on third down in the fourth quarter that forced Detroit to settle for a field goal. Tate was stopped by Brian Poole on the game's final play at the 1-yard line. RUSH DEFENSE: A - The Falcons held Lions running back Ameer Abdullah in check. He was coming off rushing for a career-high 86 yards against the Giants. He rushed 14 times for 47 yards. The strong play against the run kept the Lions out of the red zone until under 7:00 was left in the third quarter. SPECIAL TEAMS: A Matt Bryant made all of his extra points and field goals of 36, 48 and 40 yards. The kickoff return team was stuffed in the third quarter after the Lions closed to within three, 23-20. Matt Bosher didn't have his first punt until there was 3:26 left in the game. Andre Roberts had a 27-yard punt return and a 38-yard kickoff return. COACHING: B-plus - The coaching staff was able to get the team focused enough to win on the road during a controversial weekend. The defense made enough plays and had three stops down the stretch to secure the win after the offense started to sputter. Offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian came out throwing. He called passes on nine of the first 12 plays. Ryan completed eight and was sacked on one.
  10. Link to article Atlanta Falcons INSIDE SLANT Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel | Player Wire Falcons have taken Alka-Seltzer for hangover Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan is long past the Super Bowl debacle and is ready to face his buddy, Matthew Stafford and the Detroit Lions. "I don't think about it too much," Ryan said. "I think everybody else does because the question keeps coming up. For us, we were focused on playing each week." The Falcons addressed their issue of blowing the 28-3 lead against New England in Super Bowl LI. "We tried to answer it that way, but it kind of seems like nobody really believed you when you were saying it," Ryan said. "It's felt that way in our building for sure. Were we disappointed in it? Absolutely, but we got past that." The Falcons have been focused on moving forward and have gotten off to a 2-0 start. "We started working on trying to become the best 2017 football team we could be," said Ryan, who vacations with Stafford, the former University of Georgia legend. "We're two games into it. Mission accomplished on those two first games." Falcons head coach Dan Quinn has been pleased with how his team has tried to move forward. They received two big plays from cornerback Desmond Trufant against the Packers. Trufant missed the Super Bowl with a torn pectoral injury. He had a key interception and scooped up a fumble returning it for a touchdown to help the Falcons beat the Packers. "That was just a big play with him getting the interception at the end of the half," Quinn said. "Then it was a smart play to start the second half on the forced fumble that you have to scoop up and take back. He was aware. It was a great way to have him back in that kind of performance." The Falcons replaced Kyle Shanahan with Steve Sarkisian as the offensive coordinator after scoring 540 points, the seventh most in league history. Whether Sarkisian would be able to keep the car on the road was a major part of the Falcons' offseason narrative. The offense scored on five of their seven possessions in the victory over the Packers in the first regular-season game in the posh $1.5 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium. "What we really wanted to emphasize was our execution," Quinn said. "We thought the effort was on point, but there was a play here or a play there where it just wasn't crisp and detailed enough where we missed some. We knew the effort and strain would be there, but could we take our execution up a notch? We really had that as part of our preparation. "When we go through the week, we prepare a lot for the opponent and so much of it comes right back to us. That's really the emphasis that we had. Although we knew Green Bay and the tough opponent they are, it was still going to come back to us and our style, attitude and how we played. We're pleased to see that kind of execution tonight." Ryan leaned heavily on Julio Jones and running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. The running backs combined for 29 touches, 145 yards and three touchdowns. The two combined for 20 carries and 53 yards rushing in the opener against the Bears. "Freeman had some really aggressive runs and made yards after contact and made guys miss," Quinn said. "That was vintage Freeman. We saw Tevin's speed when he got out to the outside. I was pleased with that part of our game." Now, the Falcons will travel to Detroit to face Stafford and the upstart Lions. Notes, Quotes The Falcons, who are off to a 2-0 start, are going to be without All-Pro edge rusher Vic Beasley Jr. for at least a week and possibly more games. Beasley suffered a hamstring strain and even if it's the mild - grade 1 - sprain, those takes up to three weeks to recover from. If Beasley has a grade two sprain, which is a partial tear, it would take from two to eight weeks to recover. "Vic Beasley will be out this week with a hamstring strain," Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said on Monday. Quinn originally similarly under-reported Desmond Trufant's torn pectoral muscle injury last season before he went on to miss the final seven games of the regular season. Beasley was injured in the third quarter of the game against the Green Bay Packers. On video of the game, Beasley is seen grabbing the back of his right leg after the play is over. In addition to Beasley's injury, the Falcons will be without defensive tackle Courtney Upshaw, who suffered a sprained ankle and right tackle Ryan Schraeder, who suffered a concussion and is in the league's protocol. It was reported that Beasley has a tear and could be out for up to a month by Zach Klein of WSB Radio citing "a NFL source." Quinn, however, doesn't believe Beasley will be out that long. "We certainly wouldn't put that kind of timeline on him," Quinn said. "I'm not sure which doctors reported that, but it wasn't ours. He's a guy who's going to work really hard. "I know he'll miss this week. Past that we'll see how it goes to see if he's able to make it back in time for the next game (against Buffalo) and then we have a bye. We'll see where it goes, but he'll definitely miss next week." If Beasley is out a month, he'd be set to return against the New England Patriots on Oct. 22 in a rematch of Super Bowl LI. With Beasley out at least a week, the Falcons will turn to rookie defensive end Takkarist McKinley to play left defensive end in the team's nickel defense. De'Vondre Campbell has been playing the strong-side linebacker spot in the base defense. McKinley played 44 of the 76 defensive snaps (58 percent) against the Packers. He played just 14 snaps against the Bears. McKinley had two quarterback hits against the Packers, one when he came free off a stunt with defensive end Adrian Clayborn. "With Vic (out), we'll lean on Takk and Brooks (Reed) and Derrick Shelby, who can also play outside," Quinn said. "We are fortunate that we have some depth at the position this year." Shelby, who has a base salary of $4.5 million, is coming back from his Achilles surgery that shortened his 2016 season. Shelby tore his right Achilles against Seattle on Oct. 16 and later was placed on injured reserve. He has played 56 of 143 of the defensive snaps this season (39 percent). "Versatility is going to be an important," Quinn said. "Derrick is a guy who can play both outside and inside. Last night (against Green Bay) he played more inside. Whenever you lose two guys at the same position in ball games you lean on others." Ty Sambrailo replaced Schraeder and played 49 of 58 of the offensive snaps (84 percent) against the Packers. The Falcons acquired him from the Denver Broncos for a fifth-round pick on Sept. 1. "Great job by Sambrailo coming in," Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan said. "Obviously, he's only been here a couple of weeks. We asked him to go in and really play the duration of the game for us. I thought he did an excellent job." The defense held the Packers to 59 rushing yards, and 3.9 yards per carry. The Falcons also sacked Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers three times, extending their sack streak to 17 straight games and two straight games with three-plus sacks. Strategy & Personnel PLAYER NOTES CB Desmond Trufant recorded his first defensive touchdown on a fumble recovery, and added his first interception of the season. Trufant's pick was the eighth of his career and it was the second touchdown he's recorded in his career. He finished the game with two total tackles. QB Matt Ryan finished the game 19-of-28 for 252 yards with one touchdown and a 108.0 passer rating. Ryan extended his streak of 200-plus yards passing to 57 games and he is now up to 20 games with a passing touchdown. RB Devonta Freeman scored two rushing touchdowns on the night, which were his 24th and 25th rushing touchdowns since 2015 - first in the NFL during that time period. The Packers game was Freeman's eighth multi-touchdown game of his career, and his sixth game with two-plus rushing touchdowns. WR Julio Jones had five receptions for 108 yards - his 36th 100-yard game of his career, which is three off from the franchise record. RB Tevin Coleman had six carries for 42 yards and also chipped in two receptions for three yards and a receiving touchdown. REPORT CARD VS. PACKERS PASSING OFFENSE: A Matt Ryan got Julio Jones involved early, throwing his first pass to Julio Jones out to the left flat. Jones turned the play into a 19-yard gain. He later had a 34-yard gain on a pass play to keep the first drive alive. With Jones involved, Mohamed Sanu got involved and Coleman added a 3-yard touchdown catch. RUSHING OFFENSE: B-plus The run game was not spectacular, but it was steady enough to keep the attack diversified. Freeman scored 1-yard and 2-yard touchdowns to help power the offense in the first half. Coleman busted loose for a 35-yard gain in the second quarter. He slipped out to the right side of the offense and used his speed in the open field before being tackled by Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. PASS DEFENSE: C All-Pro edge rusher Vic Beasley Jr. came up with a bone rattling sack of Aaron Rodgers in the third quarter that resulted in a touchdown. Desmond Trufant scooped up the fumble and returned it 15 yards to make it 31-7 early in the third quarter. Trufant also had a big interception late in the second quarter that the Falcons converted into a touchdown to make it 24-7 at the half. Takkarist McKinley had a big quarterback hit on a third down. Adrian Clayborn added a sack in the third quarter. It must be noted that the Packers were playing without their starting tackles David Bahtiari (left) and Bryan Bulaga (right). Also, the Packers lost guard Jahri Evans during the game. RUSHING DEFENSE: B-plus The Falcons cut down on their missed tackles and held running back Ty Montgomery in check before the Packers fell behind and had to scrap the run game. Montgomery, the converted wide receiver, had six carries for 14 yards at the half. SPECIAL TEAMS: B - Matt Bryant made all of his extra points and 51- and 53-yard field goals. The punt return unit had two holding penalties on one play by Deji Olatoye and Kemal Ishmael. Andre Roberts didn't break any big returns. COACHING: B-minus The Falcons rushed four and used middle linebacker Deion Jones to spy on Rodgers on third downs. The Falcons wanted to keep Rodgers in the pocket and not let him slide out to his right and make throws down the field. Coordinator Steve Sarkisian came out on fire as the offense scored on five of its first seven possessions. It was wise to get Jones involved early and that opened up things for the rest of the offense. Sarkisian got creative late and went to the wildcat with Sanu at quarterback. The Falcons picked up a first down on a handoff to Freeman to keep the clock moving.
  11. Congrats my man!!!
  12. Nothing like grandchildren!!! Here's my two! Falcon fans already
  13. Link to article Atlanta Falcons INSIDE SLANT Inside Slant | Notes, Quotes | Strategy and Personnel | Player Wire Packers to test Falcons revamped offensive line Before the Atlanta Falcons face the Green Bay Packers in the regular-season home opener at 8:30 p.m. Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Falcons head coach Dan Quinn and his staff plan to settle down new starting right guard Wes Schweitzer, get the rushing attack moving and eliminate the bulk of the 11 missed tackles they had in the season-opening win. Schweitzer, a sixth-round pick out of San Jose State in 2016, won the starting right guard battle over Ben Garland. He didn't play in any games last season and made his NFL debut against the Bears. It was forgettable performance as he struggled in pass protection and the run game. Schweitzer allowed a sack, a quarterback hit and one hurry. He accounted for three of the four total pressures. "I thought he had his moments where it went well, but there were definitely moments in protection where he gave up a sack, there was a TFL," Quinn said. Green Bay defensive tackle Mike Daniels is coming off a strong performance against Seattle. Daniels and Clark dominated Seattle's interior offensive line of right guard Mark Glowinski, left guard Luke Joeckel and center Justin Britt as the Packers only played a few snaps in their base4 alignment. Daniels, who camped out in Seattle's backfield, had seven tackles, 1.5 sacks, four quarterback hits, a tackle for a loss and a forced fumble. Falcons center Alex Mack and left guard Andy Levitre are much better than Seattle's linemen, but Schweitzer is coming off a tough NFL debut against Chicago's Akiem Hicks. "It's another really stout front, and just to name a few guys like Mike Daniels and Nick Perry, who were active in the (Seattle) game," Quinn said. The Falcons are sticking with Schweitzer. "I'm hopeful that he makes the adjustments and improvements heading forward," said Quinn, who noted that Schweitzer was one of six players making their NFL debuts. "It was a tough first draw, but I anticipate him improving as we go. He's a tough and smart competitor. I anticipate that getting better." Running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman were held to 53 yards rushing on 20 carries. On some runs, there was a little too much dancing in the Falcons' outside zone scheme which requires the running backs to make decisive cuts. Other times, there just wasn't any room to run. Coleman had eight rushes for 16 yards and Freeman had 37 yards on 12 carries. "There were times where we could have stuck our foot in the ground and go as a back," Quinn said. "There were other times when there really wasn't much space for them." The blocking must be in unison in the Falcons' scheme, where one block could lead to a run getting stuffed. "We have to make sure that all of us, tight ends, fullbacks or the center and the guard (are blocking)," Quinn said. "We have to be an extension of each other in the run game. ... especially in the run game where we want to press the line of scrimmage and get north-south." The Falcons' offense is predicated on running the ball and then having Matt Ryan pass off the play-action fakes. If the run is stuffed, they become one-dimensional. They got lucky against Bears when Ryan burned them for an 88-yard touchdown play to tight end Austin Hooper after a defensive breakdown. "I thought we gave it the right amount of reps going into it, but we weren't pleased with the outcome and play-action that goes along with it," Quinn said. SERIES HISTORY: 29th regular-season meeting. Packers lead series, 15-13. The Falcons beat the Packers in the regular season in 2016 and thumped them 44-21 in the NFC Championship Game last season to earn the franchise's second trip to the Super Bowl. Notes, Quotes Falcons defensive tackle Dontari Poe, who was signed in free agency, had a strong debut with his new team against the Chicago Bears. Poe played 43 snaps and led the team with three quarterback hurries and one quarterback hit. "It was good, although it may not have shown up on the stats sheet," Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said. "One of the passes deflected, and I thought he missed a sack on the one that Adrian Clayborn hit him on, so I felt his presence inside." The Falcons didn't re-sign longtime Falcons Jonathan Babineaux and Tyson Jackson over the offseason. They were essentially replaced by Poe and Jack Crawford in free agency. Poe signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the Falcons. "I felt him push the pocket," Quinn said. "They really didn't take a lot of shots down the field. It was more of a quicker passing game. For me, I wanted to see the get-off, and with him being lighter could he really affect the game in that way." Falcons rookie defensive end Takkarist McKinley, who was selected in the first round (26th overall) of the 2017 draft played 14 snaps in his NFL debut against the Bears. He had two tackles and two quarterback hurries off bull rushes. "I really felt his speed off the edge," Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said. "In particular, one play where it was a pass that was thrown and he came out of the stack to make a tackle. Those are the plays that are really his style. It's quintessential Takk Mckinley speed, effort, and toughness." Against the Bears, the Falcons stayed in the base defense for more than 51 percent of their 67 defensive snaps. "We didn't play as much nickel in this game as we do normally, and I anticipate that his reps will ramp up each week as we go," Quinn said. Strategy & Personnel The Packers in their nickel package used strong safety Morgan Burnett as a linebacker. He was assigned to cover Seattle tight end Jimmy Graham, who had three catches for eight yards. Burnett, a tough and gritty player, will be assigned to take away tight end Austin Hooper, who led the Falcons in receiving yards in their season-opening win over the Bears. PLAYER NOTES RB Brian Hill (ankle) was inactive for the opener against the Bears. He returned to practice and was limited on Wednesday. T Austin Pasztor (chest/pectoral muscle) was listed on the injury report, but fully participated in practice. C Alex Mack (back) was limited. LB/SS Kemal Ishmael (hamstring) was limited. LB Duke Riley (knee) was limited. TE Eric Saubert (hamstring) was limited. FANTASIZING Quarterback Matt Ryan was incredibly successful when throwing over the middle, completing 13 of 14 passes for 229 yards and a touchdown (142.6 passer rating) in Sunday's win over the Bears. Throwing outside the numbers, Ryan went 8 of 15 for 92 yards (72.1 passer rating). ... Running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman are not likely good plays this week as Falcons right guard Wes Schweitzer struggled in the opener and figures to be a mismatch for Green Bay's disruptive Mike Daniels. ... Tight end Austin Hooper will get a lot of attention from Green Bay's Morgan Burnett and will be hard-pressed to match his output from Week 1. PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: TE Austin Hopper has caught two passes for 128 yards and had a 88-yard touchdown catch-and-run. The second-year player from Stanford is taking over as the starter from Jacob Tamme, who was not re-signed. GAME PLAN: The Falcons will be on alert for Aaron Rodgers scrambles when he extends plays and for when he tries to take shots and cash in on free plays with his cadence. He had four free shots against Seattle. "He's fantastic on the move with the way he can improvise and get out of the pocket," head coach Dan Quinn said. "When you can extend plays, that makes it difficult because now the coverage definitely turns in." When he gets loose, the Falcons may have to jump out of a zone coverage and convert to man on the fly. "We use the term plaster when a quarterback breaks contain," Quinn said. "He can also run for some first downs when he needs to. They have a really unique style that they play." MATCHUPS TO WATCH Packers TE Martellus Bennett, who is not as fast as he was earlier in his career, vs. Falcons SS Keanu Neal, who's a big hitter. Bennett caught three of six targets for 43 yards against Seattle as the Packers moved him around in different formations. "He's a good matchup guy," head coach Dan Quinn said. The Falcons have the option of using Neal or strong-side linebacker DeVondre Campbell to cover Bennett. Campbell had a pass breakup against the Bears. Packers WR Randall Cobb, who caught nine passes against Seattle, vs. Falcons CB Brian Poole, who plays nickel back. The Packers like to hit Cobb on short quick routes so that he can make a move and get in the open field. Poole is a tough defender and strong open-field tackler. Cobb caught six passes for 82 yards in the NFC Championship Game against the Falcons last season.
  14. They should have had longer cleats no doubt. There was a good bit of slippance going on out there. I wondered if Foxy might have left the sprinklers on for few extra hours. How do you slow down a fast team? Put em' on a slow track. Soldier fields turf has had complaints from opponents and Bear players for several years now. I do believe it made at least some of our timing to be off. All in all, it's a win. We will get better every week.