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  1. This NOT just in: Matt Ryan is a top-shelf quarterback Nov 16, 2018 By Mark Bradley, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Nov 16, 2018 The odds are against the Falcons making the playoffs, but let’s say they do. (They’ll need to beat Dallas here Sunday; let’s say they do that, too.) Should they qualify, it would mark their third consecutive postseason appearance. Know how many times in their history they’ve done that? Once – from 2010 through 2012. The quarterback then was Matt Ryan, who’s also the quarterback now. Wait. I’m not done. Know how many times the Falcons had reached the playoffs in consecutive years before Ryan showed up? Never. Over the 42 seasons predating the Matty Ice Age, this franchise reached the postseason eight times. Since he got here in 2008, they’ve done it six times. If we add the playoff runs of the second-, third- and fourth-best quarterbacks in Falcons annals – Steve Bartkowski, Michael Vick and Chris Chandler – we get six. The point being: We around here have gotten to know Matthew Thomas Ryan very well – of the Falcons’ past 179 games (counting playoffs), he has started 177, which is flat-out ridiculous – but rarely do we say out loud what’s indisputably the truth. Namely, that he’s the best player (not just the best quarterback) in franchise history. We were conditioned early to regard Ryan as what he was not. He was drafted to replace the franchise quarterback who’d gone to prison, and there were those who insisted he would never be better than Vick. (Wrong.) Then we doubted if he could lead this team to the Super Bowl. (He did.) Even now, in Year 11, we tune in ESPN and get caught up in the E-word debate – I will not type the silly word itself, but it rhymes with “petite” – and we take as gospel that Ryan, as grand as he has been, is somehow not grand enough. Meaning: He’s not Brady/Rodgers/Brees/Roethlisberger. I won’t argue that any of those four is anything less than an all-timer. Tom Brady: best ever. Aaron Rodgers: most talented QB ever. Drew Brees: apt to win his first MVP trophy at 39. Ben Roethlisberger: consummate winner. But at this moment, what is there about Ryan that relegates him, just below the favored four? You don’t need to shout. All together now: “He hasn’t won a Super Bowl.” And he hasn’t. That’s the fact, Jack. But here, not to get all Kellyanne on you, is where we offer alternative facts. In Ryan’s one Super Bowl, he was better than Brady/Rodgers/Brees/Roethlisberger were in any of theirs, and they’ve been in 13. Ryan’s passer rating Feb. 5, 2017, was 144.1, fourth-best in Super annals, trailing only Phil Simms, Joe Montana and Jim Plunkett. Those three quarterbacks saw their teams win big. Ryan’s team should have. If they played that game again, the Falcons would be more likely to prevail 42-10 than lose in overtime. That losing was some fault of Ryan’s is a big fat lie. (He didn’t touch the ball in OT, you’ll recall.) Ryan in that Super Bowl – 284 yards on 23 passes. His yards-per-attempt average was 12.3, also fourth-best in Super history. His completion percentage was 73.9, sixth-best. Brady threw for 466 yards that day, but – this remains incredible – had nearly as many incompletions (21) as Ryan did passes. Brady eventually dinked and dunked the Falcons into submission, but his passer rating (95.5) was the second-lowest of his five Super wins, and Robert Alford’s pick-6 was a big reason the Patriots trailed 28-3. Put it this way: In the biggest game of his life, Mr. Tier 2 was statistically superior to the greatest ever. And we hold that AGAINST him? This year, Ryan leads the NFL in passing yards per game. (He’s 46 YPG ahead of Brees, FYI.) Ryan is fourth in passer rating and completion percentage, tied for fourth in touchdowns. He’s not the reason the Falcons are 4-5; he’s the reason they aren’t 1-8. We once regarded his MVP season as a career year, but this one is of a piece: Yards per game and completion percentage are better; touchdowns per game are roughly the same; yards per attempt, while down from that peak, is still the second-best of his career. Career passing numbers are problematic, given how skewed the modern game is toward slinging the pig. (Fran Tarkenton retired as the career leader in passing yards; he’s not in the top 10 today.) But here, for comparative purposes, we go: Ryan is fifth in yards per game, ahead of Brady, Rodgers and Roethlisberger; he’s fifth in completion percentage, ahead of Rodgers and Brady; he’s 10th in passer rating, ahead of Roethlisberger; he’s ninth in interception percentage, ahead of Brees. Again, this isn’t to say that the Tier 1 guys don’t belong. This is only to suggest that Ryan does, too – and has for a while. This is his 11th NFL season. (That’s another thing: At 33, he’s younger than Brady/Rodgers/et al.) Ryan has worked under four offensive coordinators; should he make the Pro Bowl this season, he’ll have done it under all four. He has spent 10 years and nine games trying to outscore his own defense, which over the past decade never finished among the league’s top 10 in yards against and is third-worst now. Brady and Roethlisberger have won seven Super Bowls between them. How many would they won have won with Falcons-like defenses? And really, isn’t the issue of Super Bowl “wins” for a quarterback something a faux stat, like wins for a pitcher have become? (Jacob deGrom just took the Cy Young with 10.) The only reason Ryan isn’t a Tier 1 fixture is the lack of a Super Bowl “win” – and had his team held on that day, he’d have been the game’s MVP. (And he didn’t call the overtime coin toss wrong; the Pats called it right.) Ryan was the reason the Falcons made the Super Bowl. He’s the reason they’ve been a very good team for the better part of the past 10 years, and he’s the reason they still could make something of this one. He’s not just the best quarterback this team has had; he’s among the best there has ever been. There, I’ve said it.
  2. Falcons not half bad on defense, and getting better 1 hour ago By Michael Cunningham FLOWERY BRANCH — Halfway through the season the Falcons aren’t half bad on defense. If that seems like faint praise, you should have seen them before. Defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel warned us after two Pro Bowl starters from last season, linebacker Deion Jones and safety Keanu Neal, went to injured reserve after the first game. “Next man up” sounds nice in theory. Manuel offered a dose of reality. “I sat here after that first Philly game and I said we had some devastating blows, and that’s what they were,” Manuel said. “I don’t think that anyone really listened to me when I said we are going back to training-camp mode. I said that, (took) a lot of heat for it. But it was not just that we had young guys, but we had new guys. “New voices. Guys that weren’t even in our training camp.” The second training camp seems to be over for Manuel’s charges. After a month of bad defense, the Falcons (4-4) go to Cleveland on Sunday with a unit that no longer is a liability. It’s doubtful that will change against Cleveland’s poor offense, quarterbacked by rookie Baker Mayfield. There’s renewed optimism surrounding the Falcons’ defense. That’s not just because it’s playing better, with Sunday’s 38-14 victory at Washington as the high point. It’s also because reinforcements are arriving. Last week the Falcons saw defensive tackle Grady Jarrett return from injury and wreck Washington’s interior line. This week they added free agent Bruce Irvin. According to Pro Football Focus, Irwin was a more efficient pass rusher in eight games with the Raiders than any of his new teammates. Jones has returned to practice and is eligible to play next week against the Cowboys. The Falcons usually can depend on their offense to play at a high level. Now they can legitimately expect their defense to carry its weight, which isn’t as heavy. “We are starting to come together as a unit,” said veteran defensive tackle Jack Crawford, among the defenders to raise their play. “We are coming together more in practice. Grady coming back helped. We’ve peaked as far as where we were at (earlier) this year. We’ve come a long way, but we’ve got a long way to go.” At least the Falcons can see a path to being good on defense. The Falcons were adequate on defense in a victory over the Panthers in Week 2, then struggled to get any stops while losing their next three games. Excluding kneel-downs, the Saints, Bengals and Steelers combined to score on 19 of 30 drives, including 15 touchdowns. During that span the Falcons forced only eight punts and two turnovers. It seemed the story of the 2018 Falcons would be injuries derailing a potentially promising season. The Falcons were undermanned and some of their veterans were in disarray. Defensive backs Desmond Trufant, Robert Alford and Brian Poole weren’t playing up to their usual standards. The pass rush was inconsistent, with Vic Beasley Jr. gone missing. Things began to change against Tampa Bay. The Falcons were very good on defense through three quarters as the offense sputtered. The Falcons hung on because the defense made key stops -- if just barely -- and it was the first time you could say that unit won a game. The defense was better against the Giants: four punts forced in eight full New York possessions, plus a goal-line stand. The Falcons shut down Washington early, then went wild once they got a big lead. “You see the Tampa game, boom, that happened,” Manuel said. “You watched New York — told you about red-zone defense. And then you go consistently stop Adrian Peterson to two yards per carry, when we couldn’t stop the run (before). You take your hat off to the guys.” Even with Irwin and their improving health, the Falcons aren’t likely to be great on defense over a long period. They don’t have to be. The defense must be considered as part of a whole, working in concert with the offense and special teams to produce winning football. We’ve seen how that works. It’s easy to forget that the 2016 Falcons, the NFC champions, weren’t great on defense. That season the Falcons ranked 25th in yards allowed per game, 27th in points and tied for fourth in takeaways. After eight games the 2018 Falcons ranked 28th in yards allowed, 29th in points and tied for 13th in takeaways. You can draw a line from the lack of turnovers this season to Neal and Jones playing in one game each. The Falcons have forced one fumble in eight games. Neal, a punishing tackler, forced five in 2016. Passes defended are a good proxy for interception chances. Jones had 11 passes defended in 2016, second-most on the team. He had two in this season’s opener, which still is tied for the most among the team’s linebackers, though Jones hasn’t played in seven weeks. By the end of the 2016 season, the Falcons had improved enough on defense to support a great offense on the way to the Super Bowl. That’s not likely to happen again this season. This offense can’t match that all-time great production, and the defense won’t be getting back Neal or safety Ricardo Allen. Then again, after those first five weeks, who thought the Falcons had a chance to play halfway good defense this season? It should only get better from here.
  3. I really hope this helps because Beasley talent wise is one of the most talented rushers the NFL has had .... More active hands alone would be HUGE to his game. Co,e on Coach... We need Vic more consistent
  4. Im glad some one pointed this out... This is what i was trying to point out last night when i was getting hit with..... Everybody gets hit with injuries..... Man this scheme depends on Deion Jones soooooooooo much tho... Its just not the same... Thats no excuse but its not the same The saints did not do anyyyything special.... The LBs and Dbs just does not have the instincts to read thru the play like Deion Jones Without Deion Jones Just for example.... With Deion jones Just examples... Deion Jones sniffed thru the BS with the WRs and sniffed out the plays..... So a 3 or 4 yard gain was just that .... But yesterday.. a 3 or 4 yard catch was a 12-15 yard gain
  5. Full’s a bedwetter article. Skim the Falcons’ roster, and note where your eyes stall. While searching for the staples and prominent newcomers, it’s possible to overlook someone such as Richard “Dewey” Jarvis, an undrafted free agent out of Brown. Even diehard football fans might have missed out on Jarvis’ collegiate performance. This isn’t surprising, given that Brown is far more known for turning out neurosurgeons and Nobel Prize winners than linebackers. Only 28 players from the eight teams in the Ivy League are active in the NFL. But the NFL was not at the top of Jarvis’ priorities when he accepted an offer to play football and attend college in Providence, Rhode Island. The Watertown, Massachusetts, native felt the school gave him an opportunity to excel in academics and athletics. He wanted to play his favorite sport while working toward a biology degree that would eventually lead to medical school. So even though Brown football doesn't get the same reaction as other Division I schools, Jarvis felt it was the perfect outlet for his abilities. While his mother, Karla Jarvis, shared the sentiment, she celebrated her son’s decision for a slightly different reason. There aren’t any athletic scholarships at Brown, and Jarvis thought she might be able to “pressure” her son into walking away from the sport. The hope of Dewey Jarvis abandoning football stemmed from concerns that date to his childhood. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker was born with Hirschsprung's disease, a developmental disorder that affects the colon. Roughly one in 5,000 infants are born with it, and while treatments have become more advanced in recent years, little was known about the condition when Jarvis was young. Like any parent, Karla Jarvis wanted to protect her child from anything that could negatively affect his health. After spending the first two years of his life in and out of the hospital, she was adamant that he wouldn’t play football. But Jarvis fell in love with the sport while watching on Sundays with his grandfather, and his mom’s refusal didn’t stop him from asking again and again, even if he did “miss sign-ups” every season. “He wanted to play Pop Warner football, and I thought that was too physical,” Karla Jarvis remembered. “There was too much risk for him, so we always found an excuse to not register him. He was away at camp or we missed the deadline or, ‘Really, there’s a Pop Warner? What is that?’” she laughed. Eventually, Jarvis wised up to his mom’s tactics and got some help from Chris Butler, the head football coach at Belmont Hill School in Belmont, Massachusetts, who convinced Jarvis’ mom to let Dewey play with the promise that “not a hair on his head” would get hurt. As a freshman in high school, Jarvis joined the ninth-grade team and was a natural. As a tight end and a defensive end, he played nearly every down and rarely left the field. “He was one of those kids who never realized when he was playing how good he really was. He was so humble about his abilities,” Butler said. The gridiron wasn’t the only place Jarvis excelled. He played basketball, ran track, played piano, took advanced-placement courses and was a member of the National Honor Society. He was the total package, and recruiters at Brown knew they had found someone special. Defensive coordinator, Michael Kelleher, and linebackers coach, Neil McGrath worked closely with Jarvis during his collegiate career. He initially was brought in as a linebacker and received playing time on special teams as a freshman, but a nagging knee injury resulted in a redshirt his second season. After undergoing a tibial tubercle osteotomy to improve kneecap stability, Jarvis continued to progress and had a breakout season in 2016. Playing at defensive end after a position change, he led the Ivy League and ranked ninth nationally with 18.5 tackles for loss. He returned in 2017 to take advantage of the redshirt season and finished his collegiate run with 17.5 sacks to rank second all-time at Brown. “There was no more dominating player who played every snap (and) not only dominated his position but dominated the defense in the Ivy League,” Kelleher said. “He plays every play like it’s his last.” That work ethic combined with steady improvement on every rep earned Jarvis an invite to the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, alongside players from some of the top FBS teams. “It was a completely different world going and playing with SEC players and Pac-12 players,” he said. “It was an awesome introduction into what I’m doing now because I got to see those guys that were getting selected first round, second round.” During the draft, Jarvis and his mother watched as some of his Senior Bowl teammates were selected. When his name wasn’t called, she thought her son was headed to medical school, but a call from his agent meant there was a choice to be made. Despite his mom’s preference for stethoscopes over shoulder pads, Jarvis decided to continue his athletic career, and the pursuit of playing football professionally led him to the Falcons. But even if more extraordinary achievements lie ahead for Jarvis, his mother remains firm in her stance on the sport. “I just want to be clear. My position about football has not changed at all,” she said. “But I have from Day 1 always been a Dewey Jarvis fan. In fact, I think I’m his No. 1 fan, so no matter what he does, I would give him my full support. Football is what he wants to do. He’s happy doing it. I’m all for it. But I am not a football mom. I am Dewey’s mom.” As far as the opinions of the rest of the Jarvis household, Karla Jarvis says she is on an island by herself. She looks forward to the day her son turns his attention to medicine, but she will be in Mercedes-Benz Stadium at least once a year. “I will absolutely be there at one game,” she said. “That’s our deal. I have to go to one game a season. I can’t watch it. Whenever someone tackles him or touches him, I’m ready to run onto the field and say, ‘Hey! That’s my son!’ We’ve agreed to one game a season, and I’ll settle for my one game.” Of course, the deal only applies if Jarvis remains with the team into the regular season, and though he is focusing solely on improving his game at this point, his other option isn’t necessarily a downgrade. Dewey Jarvis, MD has a nice ring to it, too.
  6. Campbell at 250.... Man i hope we rush him more .... I think thats gonna make him really different.... With Clayborn gone the snaps will be there
  7. Yep. He knows why he is here and he is ready.
  8. The first clue Pat Dye Jr. had that the Falcons were genuinely interested in drafting Calvin Ridley came the afternoon of Thursday’s first round when his phone rang and he looked down and saw it was Thomas Dimitroff. “He said something like, ‘This may seem crazy, but: Calvin Ridley,’” Dye, Ridley’s agent, said. “I said, ‘Thomas, you’re not going to see him where you’re picking.’ He said, ‘I’m contemplating moving up. Where do you think we’d have to get to?’” Dye proceeded to tell Dimitroff potential landing targets for the wide receiver from Alabama: Baltimore at 16. Dallas at 19. Carolina at 24. Dimitroff pondered trading up eight to 10 picks, but determined it likely would’ve cost a second-round pick – too expensive. So he opted to sit back and wait. It worked. Dye said he was “stunned” when Carolina took wide receiver D.J. Moore over Ridley. When the Falcons’ turn came up at 26, they were staring at two players who had been given almost identical grades by the Falcons’ scouting staff: Ridley and Florida defensive tackle Taven Bryan. Defensive tackle was the Falcons’ biggest need. Wide receiver second. But they went with Ridley because they viewed the drop-off in available wide receivers significant after him, while the cluster of the best defensive tackles were closely bunched on the team’s draft board. “In our minds, we were looking at two very talented and legit contributors coming in as young guys on the team,” Dimitroff said. This week’s draft was part of an important offseason for a number of reasons. The Falcons not only needed to fill holes on the roster, but to determine why they struggled at times on offense, had bouts of inconsistency and inexplicably lost consecutive home games to Buffalo and Miami, which would cost them down the line. It was not a horrible season, even with it ending with a deflating 15-10 playoff loss at Philadelphia following the season’s last of too many red-zone failures. The Falcons were the only NFC team to make it back to the playoffs after the 2016 season. They won a road playoff game in Los Angeles, smothering the league’s No. 1 offense. Good, good. But after the Super Bowl run the year before, the season was widely viewed as a letdown. “I don’t see last year as a failure,” coach Dan Quinn said. “A lot went right. What didn’t go right was us not closing at the end of the divisional game against Philly. What I did like was a lot of improvement defensively. By no means was I satisfied but I also don’t think the team was a failure in any stretch. I thought we showed a lot of resiliency, a lot of toughness. But did we get what we wanted to get done? No.” Quinn and Dimitroff understood where the roster needed to improve. They needed a veteran guard but didn’t have much salary-cap room (Brandon Fusco was signed in free agency). They needed a defensive tackle, preferably a space eater (third-round pick Deadrin Senat from South Florida is like a cinderblock with legs at 315 pounds). They needed a third receiver to go with Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu who could stretch the field and get open in man coverage like Taylor Gabriel did in 2016 (Ridley’s speed and route-running makes him a definite upgrade). They also added another defensive back with speed and length (Colorado’s Isaiah Oliver). They also needed a little bit of self-analysis. Quinn said the coaching staff and returning players have being a more proactive this offseason than following 2016 in terms of studying tape and understanding how to fix problems. “We dug into our point-of-attack tapes,” he said. “Near the end of ’16 season we hit our stride and played our best in November, December, January. This (2017) team was more up and down.” He also referenced the losses to Miami and Buffalo, which prevented the Falcons from hosting a playoff game, the potential ripple effect being obvious. “Those are the lessons that you learn,” he said. This also has been a more serene offseason than the year before. The Super Bowl loss to New England the year before led to every local and national media outlet asking “hangover” questions and picking through the ruins. The team won’t have to deal with that nearly as often moving forward. “It’s emotionally lighter,” Quinn said. “Members of the media and others were talking about the difficult ending to ‘16, which was emotionally hard. How could it not be? But I would also say this offseason has been different than last offseason. I saw this group work out for the first time this week (in the voluntary offseason workout program). I was extremely impressed.” Dimitroff echoed: “I really believe there’s been so much learned by the coaching staff and the players, since the Super Bowl and what we went through last year. We’re still maturing.” They look better today than they were when the season ended. Come September, we’ll start to find out if the view has really changed.
  9. Last statement threw major shade lol He does make some good points, however Sark is OC for another season so here's to hoping he "figures it out"...