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  1. MODS COULD YOU PLEASE UN-PIN THE 2018 POST AND PIN THIS ONE! So for 3 years now I have made a thread dedicated to the scouts looking at players for the upcoming draft. You may Post here and update the findings on players the Falcons have visited, scouted, and any info you may find on social media so we can get a better idea about what the Falcons are looking for. I will be listing them by position below as well as do Videos on players we are looking at on my YouTube channel ( Link below ) if they are heavily scouted by the Falcons scouting department. PLEASE CHECK YOUR SOURCES TO MAKE SURE!!!!!! QB Easton Stick - North Dakota State - EWS RB WR Terry Godwin - UGA - EWS KeeSean Johnson - CSU Fresno - EWS Jesper Horsted - Princeton - EWS TE FB OT Martez Ivey - Florida -EWS Ryan Pope - SDSU - EWS Brian Wallace - Arkansas - EWS OG Joshua Miles - Morgan State - EWS Martez Ivey - Florida -EWS C Lamont Gillard - UGA - EWS DT DE OLB MLB CB Jimmy Moreland - James Madison- EWS SS FS Work updated by Unintentional Grounding's "Lt Dan" Host of " (FNL) Falcon's Nest Live" on Facebook and "The Falcons Nest" on YouTube UNINTENTIONAL GROUNDING TWITTER OUR FACEBOOK PAGE OUR INSTAGRAM ungr_show
  2. Check out the highlights I created for a Julio's 6th Probowl season.
  3. This is not a coincidence.... Aaron Rodgers ($33.5M) Matt Ryan ($30.0M) Kirk Cousins ($28.0M) Jimmy Garoppolo ($27.5M) Matt Stafford ($27.0M) Derek Carr ($25.0M)
  4. He has very little to do with how bad the defense has been. If anything, out of all of our 3 major coordinators, Manuel is the one you need to keep the most. Sarkisian and Armstrong can get outta here, I hope everyone understands that. Anyways. Let me get to my point. The poor defensive play has been on DAN QUINN the past 4 seasons. Our defense was problematic in 2015 and 2016 too. The least worst defense or the best defense statistically in the Quinn era, happened last season with Manuel (guess who) as our DC. Manuel comes from the Quinn tree and has been with Quinn going back to Seattle. Our defense won’t change even if we get rid of Manuel. Manuel was the coordinator who dealt with the most injuries from the beginning of this disappointing season, NOT Sark or Armstrong. I believe we have some personnel issues when it comes to cornerback position. Alford and Trufant are at the peak of their careers and have been unimpressive, and they were drafted in 2013 when Mike Smith was still here. Maybe they don't belong in this system anymore. If I choose between the 2, I'd keep Alford over Trufant based on what I've seen from 2016-present, but some might disagree though. If it was up to me. I'd cut at least one of them, draft Deandre Baker from UGA and have Oliver develop and I bet them two would end up being WAY better corners for us in the long run. Here's another Quinn issue and NOT Manuel. We have size issues up the middle and keep getting run over by big physical lines and big backs. Multiple ESPN/NFL analysts and former players have said it. When it comes to the linebackers and D-linemen, I've only seen Grady Jarrett and Deion Jones (for the short time this season) perform at an exceptional level on a consistent basis. Takk McKinley has had a disappointing, sophomore slump season, but I believe he'll bounce back defensively next season like Hooper had to do this year on the offensive side. Vic Beasley must be cut, and if he stays, we better not overpay him.
  5. The Eagles are a lock for 2nd place in the NFC East, even if they lose to the Redskins on Sunday. It's also looking like the Falcons are almost a lock for 2nd place in the NFC South as well, but there's still a scenario where we can finish 3rd but it's unlikely. Panthers would have to win in New Orleans against a Saints team who has already clinched home field advantage, so maybe they'll rest their players, AND we must lose to the Bucs. This would make the Panthers 7-9 and would make us tied for 3rd at 6-10 with the Bucs. It's impossible for the Falcons to finish 4th, which means Matt Ryan still hasn't and won't be finishing last in the division since he's been our QB. The Saints, Bucs, and Panthers have all been last at some point in Matt Ryan's career with the Falcons. Right now, it looks like this will be the 5th season in a row the Falcons face the Eagles including the playoffs and the 15th time out of 18 seasons we face the Eagles, more than any non-divisional opponent in our conference.
  6. The Ringer - Kevin Clark - The NFL’s Analytics Revolution Has Arrived The football analytics revolution may not be obvious, but it is happening in front of you all the time. There is an NFL team that plans to run more offensive plays to the side of the field farthest from its opponent’s bench. It has figured out, using player-tracking data, that a defensive lineman will sometimes run more throughout the course of a game by shuffling from the bench to the field during a substitution than he will during actual gameplay. Thus, running plays to the far side of the field can help tire out rotating defensive linemen. This strategy is unique but the logic behind it is not. Stories like this are common around the league: A team stumbles upon some shred of data and builds a play, a playbook, a personnel decision, or an entire scheme around it. It changes how a team drafts, calls plays, and evaluates opponents. All of these trends point to one thing: Football’s analytics moment has arrived. We’ve reached this high point for a couple of reasons. The rise of smarter, younger GMs and coaches is part of it. A bigger part of it, though, is the spread of the NFL’s player-tracking data, which is being shared leaguewide for the first time this season. Having access to that data allows teams to build models to analyze plays and players differently, and to simply know more about the game. That’s been a boon to a movement that had already been embraced by a handful of the smartest teams. As other teams try to catch up, they’ve created an arms race to get the best numbers. Essentially, the smartest teams are getting significantly smarter, the average teams are trying to get better, and the dumbest teams are going to be very dumb if they don’t act soon. “It’s about translating that data ASAP and being very, very in tune with the numbers. You can’t be a year behind, you can’t be a month behind.” —Thomas Dimitroff, Atlanta Falcons general manager “It’s about translating that data ASAP and being very, very in tune with the numbers. You can’t be a year behind, you can’t be a month behind,” said Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff. Teams are examining details they’ve never studied before to get an edge. One scouting department graded a defensive back prospect as an undrafted free agent due in part to his slow 40-yard dash. When that department was able to measure his game speed using tracking data, it determined that it should have listed him as a midround pick. Other teams in the market for linebackers have homed in on what kind of closing speed elite tacklers need. For instance, Zebra Technologies, a company whose MotionWorks service collects game-day data, found that the Cowboys’ Leighton Vander Esch reaches 16 to 17 miles per hour on his best plays. “Teams can go deep on rosters to leverage the tracking data to scout players for the future, maybe in free agency,” said John Pollard, vice president of Zebra Technologies. The new information can also help teams simplify play-calling, like going for it on fourth down more often. The Eagles won the Super Bowl in part because of their aggressiveness in such situations—and in part because they went for two-point conversions when it was mathematically smart to do so. Analytics are not new to football, but this depth of knowledge is. The Eagles have had an analytics department for nearly two decades. “We confirmed,” said Joe Banner, the former Eagles president who helped set up the department, “that there’s a competitive advantage in analytics in a league that is structured to prevent you from having a competitive advantage.” The Patriots have incorporated some level of analytics for years. (Multiple people joked to me that the movement would have taken hold leaguewide sooner if the Patriots ever discussed their efforts publicly.) Earlier this decade, the Jacksonville Jaguars launched one of the NFL’s most notable analytics departments under executive Tony Khan. When former Jaguars general counsel Sashi Brown joined the Browns front office, he employed one of the most forward-thinking, analytics-based approaches in the league. He was fired last year during Cleveland’s 0-16 season, but is credited with helping the franchise accumulate draft picks and young talent. Brown’s successor, John Dorsey, said he’ll continue to use analytics. The Vikings practice facility features a massive analytics hub, and general manager Rick Spielman told me he uses the numbers often. Because of the secretive nature of the sport, it’s impossible to tell what all 32 teams are doing, but the feeling is that just about everyone is in on analytics, which wasn’t the case until very recently. During the 2018 draft, Giants GM Dave Gettleman mocked those who used analytics to question the team’s decision to take a running back with the second overall pick. Football will likely never be baseball, where statistics can basically explain anything. There are too few games and too many variables. But there’s always been a lot of room for more data. “There’s been a shift and I think it’s a lot more recent than people think,” said Neil Hornsby, the founder of Pro Football Focus, one of the sport’s top statistical services. “There are very, very few teams that aren’t doing at least some sensible things with analytics. I would say even two years ago there were still a lot of teams paying lip service.” Hornsby said he thinks at least a handful of teams employed an analytics department simply to say they had one in case an owner asked about it, even if it didn’t have any influence. Matt Swensson, the NFL’s vice president of emerging products and technology, said Next Gen Stats—the NFL’s advanced player-tracking data service—became a full-fledged initiative around five years ago. The data had a limited rollout at the start, and this year is the first time teams have been able to get leaguewide data. Next Gen Stats collects information from chips placed in players’ shoulder pads that reveal their location at all times; the chip can track how fast a player is moving, whether he is sprinting or jogging, the average separation between an offensive player and his defender, and many other metrics. Some of this data is public—skill-position players’ speed, for instance, is published on an NFL website—but the vast majority is available only to teams, who are creating other proprietary stats from the raw numbers. NFL franchises are absorbing millions of data points for the first time, and many football lifers are getting their first deep experience with analytics. “The point we made with our coaches is: We have all this information but so does everyone else. What advantage does it give us to get it? None. It’s what we do with it, the way we use it.” —Kevin Colbert, Steelers general manager The NFL’s relationship with numbers—and in some cases, with smart people—has been complicated, to say the least. Two years ago, I reported on infighting within the league over the release of data and the use of technology. Some teams didn’t want the league to produce automated maps of their route trees because they thought writing them out by hand was a good dues-paying process for younger coaches. Now, there’s no denying the technology and the data are here, and wins and losses are at stake. “The point we made with our coaches is: We have all this information but so does everyone else,” said Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert. “What advantage does it give us to get it? None. It’s what we do with it, the way we use it. It’s no different than when we go sit at the combine and get all the same information. It’s about finding an advantage in what we do with it.” Colbert is right, and the race is on to figure out how to use the numbers better than everyone else. “It is amazing,” Warren Sharp said, “how many teams anonymously follow me on Twitter.” Sharp is an engineer with his own analytics siteand has been playing around with football statistics for about 20 years. He is among the top minds in football not working full time for a team. In fact, when you talk to people inside the league, some think he might be the top mind, period. Though he’s been writing on the internet for many years, he said it wasn’t until 2018 that teams started reaching out to him to discuss analytics. He says he’s heard from at least five and has done work as a consultant. It makes sense that teams have become interested in outsiders like Sharp. Unlike other sports, which have staffed up their analytics departments over the past decade or so, football doesn’t employ many of the best analytics minds studying the game. (One team decision-maker sarcastically said this is because analytics employees inside NFL buildings are too beaten down from having their ideas ignored by old-school coaches.) Sharp is in high demand because he can help answer a question vexing front offices: Which stats matter? He became interested in how teams win games when he was in college and became convinced of two things, both of which would foreshadow the modern NFL. The first is that an offensive emphasis on passing correlated to wins. The second is more complicated than it sounds. Sharp found that third-down efficiency, long the obsession of announcers and old-school coaches, was not the key to an effective offense. He found that it was better for teams to scrap third downs entirely and move the chains by gaining the necessary yardage on first and second down. “Announcers love to say, ‘This team is 10-of-13 on third down,’ and there’s never any comparison to early-down success,” Sharp said. In his view, teams should run the ball on first down much less than they do. This revelation came to him in the late 2000s, as he watched quarterbacks like Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady at their peaks. “I don’t think their strategy was to avoid third down, but I think there was just more aggressiveness. It’s about calling efficient plays,” Sharp said. “You always hear TV announcers, it drives me crazy, they’ll say on second-and-short, ‘Good time to take a shot down the field,’ and there’s a lot of risk in that. The interception rate is higher than it is on a regular play, the success rate converting it is low. Run a play that gets you the first down and take a shot on the next first-and-10 if you want.” There is some evidence that teams are coming around to Sharp’s ideas about early-down aggressiveness. The leaguewide yards per attempt average on first down is 7.4, up from 7.1 in 2017. On second down, it’s 7, up from 6.5 last year. On third down, yards per attempt has actually dipped slightly, from 6.2 in 2017 to 6.0 now. This season, the Rams and Chiefs lead the NFL in first downs, yet are 26th and 31st, respectively, in third-down attempts. Sharp pointed to the Chargers as a team that did not pass enough on first down and did not call efficient plays on early downs last year. This season, Philip Rivers’s yards per attempt average on first down has climbed from 8.1 to 9.7; the 11-3 Chargers are enjoying their best season in years. queries from NFL teams on how to utilize wins above replacement, a statistic that spells out the value of a player. That metric listed Saints receiver Michael Thomas as the most valuable non-quarterback in the league last season largely because of his ability to get first downs. Hornsby said this year the metric ranks Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner ahead of Rams star Aaron Donald because pass coverage carries more weight than pass rush, as offenses can compensate for the latter. As an example, Hornsby points to when Donald was single-teamed against the Bears in Week 14: Chicago took an average of 1.5 seconds to get rid of the ball, thus making it next to impossible for Donald to wreck a play in his usual way. Hornsby, like Sharp, said teams are finally figuring out the value of never giving the ball up. In baseball, analytics staffs had to work to convince managers that you shouldn’t give up outs via sacrifice bunts, since there are only 27 outs for each team in a game. In the NFL, this logic applies to punting. Teams this season average between 10 and 13 drives per game, and 11 teams have fourth-down conversion rates of at least 60 percent. Of the six teams with conversion rates of at least 70 percent, five are locks for the playoffs. The Chiefs have converted 90.9 percent of their fourth downs. The lesson: Do everything you can to keep the ball. This has long made sense to Carolina coach Ron Rivera, who in 2013 earned the “Riverboat Ron” moniker following a string of aggressive fourth-down decisions. He told me that he’d met a banker at an awards dinner earlier that year who specialized in analytics. At Rivera’s request, the banker compiled numbers on fourth-down conversion rates, which Rivera still references. That same year, Rivera said, he became interested in The New York Times’ “Fourth Down Bot,” which indicated when a team should go for it. Still, Rivera admits that it was initially hard to figure out what to do with all the information that player-tracking technology provided. We spoke earlier this season about the Panthers’ run to the Super Bowl following the 2015 season, a game they lost to Peyton Manning and the Broncos. “That was the year we were trying to dive into the analytics,” Rivera said. The Panthers were getting daily practice readings on players’ energy levels, but Rivera said he couldn’t quite contextualize them until the following spring. I asked him whether there was anything he could have done differently. “Probably, probably a lot of things we could’ve done differently,” he said, pointing to optimizing practice and meeting times. Now, he said, the team uses monitoring devices to see how much players’ core temperatures go down during their mandated two-minute water break in practice. Player health monitoring is a massive part of the league’s data revolution. “We’ve learned that if a player is going 6,000 yards every day at practice it’s like constantly driving a car at 1,000 miles per hour—something’s gonna blow, so slow down,” Titans general manager Jon Robinson told me. Figuring out what matters in the data is a hot topic in front offices. Swensson said there are more than 100 data points given to teams, “so all of it is a little mind-numbing.” Dimitroff told me he’s monitoring pass defense closely, as he’s long thought there were better ways to measure defensive back play. Next Gen Stats can now track how close a defensive back is to a receiver on a given play. “I think now every team has some level of personnel support to manage the data itself,” said Pollard of Zebra Technologies. “How teams interpret that data still varies, but there’s not a club I’ve interacted with that’s not using a deeper level of analytics, that isn’t building predictive models.” “When they write the history of all of this, it will start with Virgil Carter,” said Brian Burke, ESPN’s senior analytics specialist. “It’s amazing. Just imagine if Bill James were a pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds.” Carter is a driving force in two separate football revolutions. In 1970, the Cincinnati Bengals turned to Carter, the backup quarterback, after their starter went down with an injury. The coaching staff changed its offensive strategy to play to Carter’s strengths, using shorter passes and rollouts to compensate for his lack of arm strength. The Bengals won seven straight games to end the regular season, and in 1971 Carter led the NFL in completion percentage. The quarterbacks coach on that team was Bill Walsh and the offense the Bengals designed eventually became known as the West Coast offense, used not only to great acclaim in San Francisco under Walsh, but by dozens of coaching descendents thereafter, including Andy Reid and Jon Gruden. It is still widely used today. If that were Carter’s only contribution to the sport, it would be notable. But during that same stretch, Carter introduced something else, albeit to much less fanfare. It was a 1971 academic paper called “Operations Research on Football” written by Carter and Robert Machol, a systems engineering legend credited with pioneering research in wake turbulence. The paper featured landmark data on the value of possession and quantified “expected points” according to field position, now the backbone to modern football analytics. When I asked Carter this year about the reaction to his paper when it was published, he said there was “none.” He cowrote it while studying in Northwestern’s MBA program during his offseasons with the Chicago Bears in the late 1960s. The Bears helped Carter get the phone numbers of every public relations head in the NFL, and he called them and asked for play-by-play data, which was not yet widely circulated. (He told me the only team to deny his request was the Raiders.) Carter placed punch cards into an IBM computer to process data from 8,373 plays run that year, each with 53 variables on each play, anything from the down and distance, to the score, to the temperature. In the process, he came to believe football stats could never be as all-encompassing as baseball ones; there are simply too many variables. “But I started to realize there were decisions being made that probably didn’t make the best use of expected value,” he said. Head coach Paul Brown did not take to any of his ideas, such as kicking off in overtime instead of receiving, or running out of bounds before the 5-yard line, after which it becomes statistically more difficult to score a touchdown. “Somebody could lose their job,” Carter said, explaining why people were wary of making decisions deemed wild in 1970. Carter ended up writing columns about football statistics as part of a sponsorship agreement with the A.O. Smith Corporation, which sold data processors. He answered reader questions and built on his previous research, but no one in the league took much notice of it at the time. Carter had, however, provided the basis for a lot of advanced football statistics going forward. “It wasn’t the moon landing, but for some respects it was a big deal,” he said. The influential 1988 book The Hidden Game of Football introduced more metrics similar to expected points. Burke, who joined ESPN in 2015, went into football analytics in 2006 as a way of settling office debates. He’s something of a godfather of that era of analytics. He started a blog and built his own models. He expanded on Carter’s work and created “expected points added” and “win probability added.” His work is featured in win probability models widely used by NFL teams to help build charts on when to go for two and when to go for it on fourth down. Burke jokes about how many teams have built more advanced models: “I’m a proud papa, but that baby has grown up and has left home.” In 2005, University of Pennsylvania professor Cade Massey and University of Chicago professor Richard Thaler (who would later be awarded the Nobel Prize) published a paper called “Overconfidence vs. Market Efficiency in the National Football League,” which argued that top draft picks are overrated and that trading back for more picks is almost always the right decision. The instant reaction to their findings was not positive, Massey told me: “I met an NFL owner at a cocktail thing, he was all with me, and as soon as I started talking about trading back, he couldn’t hear anything else. He thought I was a complete idiot.” The idea of trading back has since become widely accepted. Bill Belichick is credited with popularizing the idea in the NFL, and the Browns have recently used it to help stockpile the assets needed to build one of the best young rosters in the league. Similarly, sites like Football Outsiders have popularized dozens of influential stats—among them DVOA—that are now widely accepted in the NFL. One NFL decision-maker mentioned “speed score,” which Bill Barnwell, now with ESPN, developed at Football Outsiders. Aaron Schatz, the founder of Football Outsiders, said, “I never wanted to revolutionize the way football teams were run—I wanted to revolutionize the way they were covered.” He thinks this has happened, at least in part, and points to how many people scoffed when Jon Gruden ripped analytics earlier this year instead of simply dubbing his reaction “old school.” (As Hornsby points out, Gruden did quote Pro Football Focus numbers at a press conference this year, so Oakland’s anti-analytics sentiment may have been overblown.) Schatz also thinks the public availability of all-22 film, which shows every angle of a play, has made analytics better because fans can chart their own plays and develop their own metrics. “The analytics revolution is also a film revolution,” Schatz told me. For those who’ve preached about analytics in the NFL, the promised land is near. “I’ve always said one day we’re going to have a GM who read Football Outsiders growing up,” Schatz said. “I don’t think we’re far off.” Schatz said analytics will be fully accepted only once owners start going along for the ride, when a coach can go for it on fourth down because the numbers say it’s advantageous without fear of getting fired. Hornsby said that he can tell analytics is being embraced more because people are starting to separate the decision from the execution of that decision. The example he brings up comes from Super Bowl XLIX: Malcolm Butler’s game-sealing interception. “It wasn’t the pass, it was the type of pass,” Hornsby said. “[The Seahawks] had run that exact play six times during that year and it had been totally unsuccessful each time; the best they got out of it was a 2-yard outlet on a third-and-5 against Carolina.” The decision to pass was sound. The pass itself was not. The shift in the NFL’s attitude toward analytics is perhaps summed up most succinctly by the story of Matt Manocherian, who, to Schatz’s point, is a Football Outsiders reader. After working in the scouting departments of both the Saints and Browns, Manocherian was let go by Cleveland in 2014 and explored graduate school. He talked to Vince Gennaro, then the director of Columbia’s sports management program. Gennaro is also the president of SABR, the baseball research society, and serves as a consultant for MLB teams. Manocherian had never looked into the analytics side of football, but Gennaro told him that it was the way in. “He said to look at the analytics movements,” Manocherian said. “Baseball is past theirs, basketball is in theirs now, and football’s is still to come. Those are the guys who are going to be running teams in five years.” “He said to look at the analytics movements. Baseball is past theirs, basketball is in theirs now, and football’s is still to come. Those are the guys who are going to be running teams in five years.” —Matt Manocherian Manocherian said that when he was working in the Saints scouting department nearly a decade ago, he was told to ignore most numbers except combine minimums; a cornerback should run a 4.6-second 40-yard dash or better, for instance. He said that New Orleans was considered forward-thinking for the time—one offensive coach told Manocherian that the staff didn’t see interceptions entirely as a negative, instead preferring to focus on explosive plays—but noted that he didn’t get much of an analytics education. (The Saints use analytics now, sources say.) “Ten years ago the average team was saying, ‘We don’t care to hear about this,’” Manocherian said. “Now the average team is saying, ‘We’re kind of starting to understand that it would be a really good idea to figure this out.’” Manocherian is currently a director of research and development and football at Sports Info Solutions, a company that helps teams with analytics. His evolution from old-school-ish scout to analytics guru is indicative of what the next generation of NFL front offices will look like. In the same way that many of the power brokers of the sport—such as executives like Mike Tannenbaum, Howie Roseman, and Mickey Loomis—made their names when the salary cap debuted in the early 1990s, owning a new and previously overlooked corner, analytics employees will rise up the ranks over the next few years as well. Hiring as many smart people as possible to translate data has become a priority. Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie told me earlier this season that reducing all the data into metrics that truly matter is one of the biggest keys in the modern NFL. “From a personnel arms race, the better and smarter teams have war ships and they are getting the very best missiles and guns for their ship because they know how difficult it is to stay on top with this,” Sharp told me. “Then there are the other teams fighting the same battle and they don’t even know what to do with one gun. They just want to stay afloat, they are trying not to get their coach fired and they’ll be fine being passed over by whoever as long as they keep their jobs.” The arms race is just beginning. Some general managers think it will take years to produce a sample size large enough to start making massive conclusions. “You’ve got to have a history,” the Titans’ Robinson told me. “You can look from a player health standpoint and get returns pretty quickly, but as far as X plus Y equals Z stuff, everyone is so different it might take a few years to get a real database.” The vast majority of the analytics data the NFL collects is not public. Swensson said this is partially for competitive reasons, but also because the league wants to make sure the stats are telling the stories they are supposed to tell, “and that it’s not too overwhelming.” He said that it took a few years for player miles per hour—which has been mentioned during broadcasts for three years—to be put in proper context by fans, and thinks a similar thing will happen with other metrics from Next Gen Stats. He pointed out that the NFL still only does location data and not anything approaching motion capture, so you can’t pick up the specific movements of a player. There is a lot more that could come on the horizon. So this is the start of something new. There will be more data, more decisions made based on that data, and more evidence of what works. It is an exciting time to be smart in the NFL. “In every field there’s way too much, ‘This is the way we’ve always done it,’ and in the NFL that’s particularly extreme,” Joe Banner said. “Now comes the major shift.”
  7. Okay then. Let me show you the numbers and what Matt Ryan is having to deal with this year. Defensive Drive Stats Overall Defensive Efficiency Quarterback Rankings Alright Matt Ryan HATERS, try coming at me after all of this! Try to back me up after all of THIS!!!!! What are the EXCUSES NOW!!!!! Man I get so tired of it. Granted, was never a big fan of him getting all that money but I'm not a big fan of ANY player getting a contract too big because of how much it affects the team, but the NFL is a business, can't do anything about that. I'll say one thing, Matt Ryan has been the LEAST of our problems this season. I can't think of any other player on our roster who wants to win more than him right now and it's sad. He has no control over how poor our coaching has been all year.
  8. Well, it’s time we finally admit the truth about this franchise. By Cory Woodroof @CoryWoodroof47 Dec 12, 2018, 8:00am EST Leodis McKelvin was right. The Atlanta Falcons are, have been, and for the immediate future, will be front-runners. Go back to 2016 with me, if you will. The Falcons had just lost to the Philadelphia Eagles, one of the team’s few 2016 regular season flops. The game showed what happened when the historic offense met a fierce defensive front. The team was held to 15 points on offense and lost control of the game’s tempo, which sunk the explosive mentality the team thrived on way back when. Post-game, McKelvin uttered the awful truth no one wanted to believe at a time where things were about to break even for Atlanta in the biggest way possible. “I was telling the defense, this is the type of team, they are a front-runner. They are a front-running team,” he told reporters (via ESPN). “If you go out there and make some stops, they eventually are going to be dying down.” The quote, at the time, was great bulletin board material for a team that surely used that moment to jettison to a better place (well, almost). But its the most telling observation about this franchise ever relayed by an opponent, and the defining problem of this team in the post-Michael Vick era. The Falcons are front-runners. They do wilt at immediate adversity. Slow them down, knock them out of the fight. It’s how it’s always been, and 2018 is that in grand amplification. Let’s go back to any big moment in recent team history. Looking Back The 2010 season ended in the divisional round with Aaron Rodgers coming out, guns blazing, to stop the Falcons after they got out to an early 14-7 start to see 35 unanswered points derail a promising campaign. The 2012 season ended with a collapsed lead in the NFC Championship to the 49ers that kept the team from going to its second Super Bowl. The week prior, they did the exact same thing to the Seahawks, but the mighty foot of Matt Bryant saved pain for a week later. In February 2017, well, we won’t go there. Look at the 2013 season, when, after a rash of injuries, the entire half decade of goodwill seemingly evaporated and led to the end of an era with the firing of Mike Smith in 2014. Look at the 2015 season, when the team let a few close games gather moss down the rolling hill to lose six straight. Look at the 2011 season, when the team fell flat at the Meadowlands by only scoring two points. Look at January’s Eagles debacle. Want more examples? Google: “Falcons blow lead regular season.” Sometimes, in large part thanks to Matt Ryan, they can fight their way back for the comeback. But we haven’t seen that much as of late. And it still doesn’t discount the fact that they had to be in that situation to begin with. The team’s problems haven’t changed once since 2008. They can’t handle teams with stout trenches, and the teams with strong run games and even stronger defensive lines always win out against the Birds when the things get close. The Falcons never seem to find success in addressing their own trenches, which have both been decent at the best since the turn of the millennium. The team can’t handle compounding injuries, they can’t handle blown leads, they can’t handle what happens when things go wrong. They have to have everything in place to succeed. It’s never quite broken even in their favor. They’ve gotten close, but not quite. Why is that? Why is it this team can’t get into the tough moments and box out a win? Why can’t this team withstand injuries? Why can’t this team hold a lead? Why does this team spend so much time worrying about rising up? What about staying up when the punches come in bunches? Don’t throw around curses, or “that’s just the way it is,” or more jargon about this or that with the team’s history. This is football, not World of Warcraft. You’re not bound to some ancient hex or manifest destiny. It’s just a game, and anyone can fix anything at any time to win whatever they want to win. The Falcons are front-runners, and it’s time for Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff to fix that. Looking Within Quinn has helped solve some of that problem of the team being accused of being a finesse outfit. He drafted guys like Deion Jones, Keanu Neal, Takkarist McKinley and Grady Jarrett to change the mentality. He wanted guys who were fast and physical; we all know that. For the most part, he’s gotten that exact result. But this team never seems to escape this belief that it’s, as Fox Sports’ Nick Wright said after the team lost in Philly in January, “a soft, finesse dome team.” Is it time we all start taking that moniker seriously? Is this just who the Falcons are, at least right now? Are they really just birds of comfort? These old legacy teams like the Patriots, Packers, Steelers, Bears, Giants, Broncos, Eagles, Dolphins ... the win-in-the-elements, smack-you-down, mean-machine outfits who can win with two teeth, a busted jaw, and a broken leg. We’ve seen the Falcons play tough in this Quinn era, so that total perception isn’t quite true. But we’ve seen them wilt down the stretch too many times in equal measure, often to these types of teams who keep swinging even when the Falcons seemingly have them pinned. The Falcons saw their greatest weakness send them home from Houston without a trophy. They faded down the stretch in the franchise’s most important moment in the exact way McKelvin said they would. The Patriots got some stops, got a few scores, and whammo, a 28-3 lead disappears like a thief in the night. The Patriots didn’t steal the Super Bowl; the Falcons gave it away. They couldn’t overcome their grandest problem, and it stole the greatest victory a football team can achieve. Looking ahead This team has been a front-runner for as long as I can remember, unable to handle the smallest dose of adversity. The team rebounding after 2017’s Super Bowl fracas to get to the divisional round was an incredible feat, but they had time to plan. Quinn has been wondrous about fixing problems in the offseason and letting the team grow. He’ll most likely do that this spring. But when new problems pop up in-season, the team just doesn’t seem to have the wherewithal to withstand them. It happens time after time. The Falcons have to have everything break their way in order to achieve ultimate success. If that doesn’t happen, neither do the Falcons. The rare example of this came in 2016, when the team lost Desmond Trufant to injury, and Jalen Collins stepped up. The team did get the benefit of having Quinn take the plays over in that stretch, which gave them the defensive boost they needed. Collins is gone now, and Quinn hasn’t called the plays since the Super Bowl. But what would’ve happened that year if the team had gotten more banged up? Well, you saw down the stretch. What will the Falcons have to do to fix this? Who knows. It’s not something you can just pinpoint to fix through the draft, or in free agency, or with a coaching change. The entire mentality of the organization has to change, the players you bring in have to have fight in them, the entire team has to have a strong left hook and a nasty counter-punch. No matter the eventual solution, McKelvin called it two years ago. He doesn’t have to stay right, though. If the Falcons want a Super Bowl, they’re going to have to figure out how to be tough and resilient ... no, not in general. When it counts. It’s time for the Falcons to break away from the front-running mentality. It’s time for them to shed the dome-friendly visage. It’s time for them to be 100% tough. It’s time for the Atlanta Falcons to get a backbone. Here’s desperately hoping they find one.
  9. In the last decade, only one team has allowed a higher per game average: The 2010 Buffalo Bills at 169.6 YPG (who finished 4-12 BTW which is still possible for this current Falcons team). But, but... it's always "fast and physical" "speed and quickness ONLY!" "The lighter the better!" 4 seasons in Dan Quinn. 4 seasons of coaching, draft, and FA! This is what we get!
  10. This is going to be a very detailed post by me. I fan-posted this on the Falcoholic as well and I would like to share this with everyone on the Falcons boards. These are officially my thoughts on the Falcons 2018 season so far. That top 10 in scoring D we had last year was Dontari Poe, Adrian Clayborn, Keanu Neal, Deion Jones, and Ricardo Allen coming together and leading the other guys on defense. Robert Alford, Desmond Trufant, Brian Poole, and other guys were probably better and up'd their game because of the leadership of Rico and Debo on the field. Jarrett and Takk definitely helped too of course. Our defense came TOGETHER as a collective group with all of those guys from the 2017 unit. When we got rid of Poe and Clayborn this off season, our D-line took an immediate step back and we saw that throughout the preseason. Once Debo, Neal and Rico went down, we were minus 5 major guys from last season's defense. Add the fact that Takk is banged up and even Grady too. You can't overcome that much and expect to be any better than last year, but when your defense is historically bad just because of 3 guys being out, even if they were major pro bowlers, our defense was already thin with lack of depth. I understand those 3 injuries aren't just any injuries, it's 3 injuries to your MOST IMPORTANT and GAME CHANGING GUYS on defense. With that being said, we still have way too much talent on both sides of the ball to be a 1-4 team the first 5 weeks of the season, our worst start since 2013. Look at other teams around the league who have better depth than us and better coaching than us, there are no excuses for them. People keep saying it's all about the 3 major injuries defensively, but the Falcons have A LOT more problems than this. 1. Offensive play calling not clutch enough. Our coaching is very poor in CLUTCH moments when it matters most. Our offense may have fixed its red zone issues from last season, but the few times our thin defense gives our offense a chance, we can't do anything. For an example, against the Saints we get the ball back up 14-13 before the half and we could have gotten 3 points and led 17-13, but instead we have an immediate 3 & out deep in our own territory and the Saints immediately drive down the field and take a 16-14 halftime lead, and that was a SIX point difference swing right there that came back to hunt us. We were tied at 37 against the Saints before OT and the Falcons still had a chance to get in field goal range and win, and we did NOT get it done when we knew our defense wasn't stopping the Saints. Against the Bengals we had a few opportunities offensively and we didn't get it done. Against the Steelers when it was 13-10 for AWHILE, our defense gave us opportunities throughout the 2nd & 3rd quarters but our offense couldn't do anything before the blowout began. We wait until it's too late or when we're trailing by a deficit to finally do something offensively and I get tired of this. 2. Blowing late leads continue to be a problem Our defense keeps blowing leads in the 4th quarter and this goes back to 2016 of course. I don't understand what it is with our coaching staff not having a sense of urgency late in games. Even in our only win against the Panthers, we were up 31-17 late in the game and we give them a quick TD, and then we had to stop them in the red zone to survive 31-24 and could have easily blown that one. We were up 12-10 on the Eagles and lost 18-12. We were up 37-30 on the Saints and lost. We were up 36-31 on the Bengals and lost it. This pattern didn't start this year, it's been an ongoing problem with Dan Quinn and even the whole Matt Ryan era when Mike Smith was our head coach. 3. Special Teams Our special teams have been bad, specifically our kick coverage and punting. We haven't had a good returner since Devin Hester for that little time. However, it seems like the few times we get a good return, it's always illegal block in the back for us. What's up with Matt Bosher's blocked punts 2 out of the last 3 games which were highly costly? It came back to hunt us against the Saints. It started the Steelers blowout on us late in the 3rd quarter. Keith Armstrong has to get it together or I don't know if he should still be our special teams coordinator. 4. Penalties and O-line The boneheaded penalties at the worst possible times in the world drive me insane, in fact, we are the most penalized team in the league I believe. That falls on the entire coaching staff. Last but not least, our O-line pass blocking and pass protection have completely crashed, and it showed against a Steelers defense that had been struggling. I understand the season ending injury to Andy Levitre and that's very unfortunate, but once again we have A LOT more problems than just major injuries at multiple positions. Which I will continue on here. 5. Problems against the AFC Dan Quinn's failures against AFC opponents are clear as day and night. I understand NFC games are more important in terms of playoff seeding and tiebreakers, but AFC games still count for your overall record. We have now lost 8 out of our last 9 AFC games going back to the Chargers in 2016. After the Bengals loss we are now 1-6 at home vs. AFC opponents under Dan Quinn as the head coach, 1-10 overall since 2013 though. The Falcons also has a 6 game losing streak to AFC North teams since 2014 even though we only play the division once every 4 years. AFC North teams are outdoor teams built with big physical guys up front and they grind you out, similar to how the Eagles are built who have always been a bad match up for the Falcons. If you CAN'T beat an AFC opponent, then you don't deserve to go to the Super Bowl anyway. 6. Has our defense ever been elite in the Dan Quinn era? Back to my point about the Falcons struggles against opponents with big grinding teams up front. Dan Quinn's philosophy has always been speed & quickness over big guys and strength right? This is Dan Quinn's 4th year now, and after 4 years despite the injuries on defense for this year's team, our defense is still mediocre at best and you should have better depth across the roster built up in 4 seasons. You are a defensive minded coach. Take out 2017 when we were top 10 in scoring D, and then look at our poor defensive numbers in 2015, 2016, and 2018. The 2015 Falcons had an easy schedule and let backup QB's beat them, and they were last in the league in sacks. The 2016 Falcons defense improved in the pass rush and takeaways, but the secondary was still weak and our defense struggled most of the season against above average offenses, and we know our high powered offense carried that team. Don't fool yourselves. We've never had an elite defense in the Dan Quinn era like we thought we would have by now. Yes, we've had talented players making plays, but we've always had the bend don't break style. Maybe it's the scheme, IDK. Someone help me out on this. Even the 2017 defense wasn't elite because we couldn't force turnovers and despite being top 10 in scoring D, we still struggled in yards per play apparently. The 2018 Falcons defense is HISTORICALLY BAD despite 3 major injuries to pro bowl players. Like I said before, our defense this year is last year minus Poe, Clayborn, Neal, Debo, Rico, and Takk & Grady being banged up. 7. Is it time to hold Dan Quinn accountable? You are what your record says it is. Good teams find ways to win close games and eventually have a blowout win down the road. Bad teams find ways to lose close games and eventually have a blowout loss down the road, which is who we are right now. Dan Quinn has to realize this, but he believes that "we're find with what we have" or "we're better than what our record says" when we are clearly NOT. Elite head coaches would say "we are NOT a good team right now!" or say "we are NOT there yet!" and gets their team motivated. Watch Penn State head coach Jame Franklin's postgame speech after their loss to Ohio State in college football. That's a great example of an elite head coach and a motivator. Quinn also has said week after week "our issues are fixable and we will fix them", and it hasn't been fixed. We keep having missed tackles and poor technique week after week. We continue to have an excessive amount of penalties, and so forth. Anyone recall the 2010 Packers who had 18 players on IR and they didn't use any of that as an excuse. None of the "woe it's me" attitude. They must have had better coaching. Anyways, I'll leave the rest for y'all to analysis this. What do you believe is the problem with this year's Falcons so far?
  11. As the HEAD COACH! I just heard this stat on national radio! This is along with him already having more blown leads than any other head coach the past 4 seasons! This is mind blowing! Enough of the blaming coordinators. This man needs to be on the hot seat now as we speak! He's the worst head coach in the league in clock management, late game situations, making adjustments, and so forth! He continues to get out coached by everybody, even interim coaches!
  12. That would have to be a record in the Matt Ryan era. Not even the 2013 team (with a tougher schedule and an arguably worse O-line) was that bad offensively. Nope.
  13. This is according to pro football reference, BTW, and we still have 4 more games to play. Also, for the 2016 season, I wonder if that was with the postseason games included or not, since 2016 is at #3 at 29 sacks which is shocking to me. Anyways, I'm not surprised with the bad O-line play this year, especially on this 4 game losing streak where we've haven't even reached the 20 point mark. Only scored 9 offensively yesterday.[]=QB&game_type=R&career_game_num_min=1&career_game_num_max=400&game_num_min=1&game_num_max=12&week_num_min=0&week_num_max=99&c1stat=pass_sacked&c1comp=gt&c1val=1&c5val=1.0&order_by=pass_sacked
  14. 5-19 against the spread vs. AFC opponents since 2013. Lost this one to the Ravens.... AGAIN. The Falcons are 1-11 at home vs. the AFC since 2013 and have lost 7 straight AFC home games under Dan Quinn as the head coach! We have lost 10 out of our last 11 AFC games overall since the Chargers in 2016. We are 0-8 vs. the AFC North since 2014, which means in all of the home to home series between the Steelers, Bengals, Browns, and Ravens... the Falcons have been SWEPT completely! Even the Bucs could win at least one game vs. the AFC North in 2014 and 2018... sad! We were 1-3 vs. the AFC East in 2013 and 1-3 vs. the AFC East again last season! WTF is up with that! If you think going 0-4 vs. the AFC South next season isn't possible, then you're sorely mistaken! The Colts own us in the series just like the Browns do, and we're not beating Andrew Luck in Indianapolis. We aren't beaten Deshaun Watson in Houston because we don't ever win in Houston period (even in the SB collapse). We probably won't beat the Jaguars and Titans because we suck at home vs. AFC opponents. Now seriously, can someone explain to me why the Falcons have been so poor against the AFC for the 6th season in a row!? Hmmmm.... maybe it's because the Falcons continued to get bullied at the line of scrimmage against bigger sized guys! Especially against the AFC North teams...
  15. Full link to article - Just thought Id post this and get you guys thoughts. Enjoy the game everyone! Go Dawgs! I plan on running the simulator again after getting input.
  16. "Thursday night was another game to forget for the Falcons and their piddling pass rush. Atlanta only got one sack and three hits on Drew Brees, and defensive end Vic Beasley was once again a non-factor. According to Pro Football Focus, Beasley missed two of his three tackle attempts and ranks last out of 106 edge defenders this season OLB Vic Beasley’s struggles continued in New Orleans, as he missed two of three attempted tackles and failed to force a single pressure on 17 pass rush attempts. His 38.2 overall grade this season is by far the lowest among 106 edge defenders. Yikes. Part of Beasley’s issue is that he hasn’t developed enough pass rush moves to consistently win his matchups on the edge. If he can’t beat the tackle with speed, he often gets swallowed up. Beasley still has the physical abilities to be a Pro Bowl defensive end. He proved that much in the 2016 season, outlier though it may have been. At this point, it’s all between the ears. If Beasley is going to reach his potential again, he may need a change of scenery. The Falcons should see what they can get for him this offseason."
  17. According to, when it comes to the most important player stats. You have SIX major factors. Passing yards, tackles, rushing yards, sacks, receiving yards, and interceptions. 3 on the defensive side. 3 on the offensive side. Guess what? HALF of those leaders are all FALCONS! Guess who they are! Wait a minute, you're telling me that Matt Ryan is higher in passing yards than Patrick Mahomes and Jared Goff even after that historic 54-51 game!? You're telling me that Matt Ryan is higher than Big Ben? You're telling me that Tom Brady and Drew Brees aren't top in the league in passing yards? Julio Jones remains top in receiving yards. I'm sure no one is surprised by that. I'm more surprised Antonio Brown is not top 5, but that's probably because the Steelers are a way more balanced team than the Falcons. How about Damontae Kazee? The breakout player for the Falcons D this year? It's gonna be hard for all 3 of these players to replicate that in 2019, because who knows if they'll have the same type of year or if they'll be as healthy the following year. You know what this tells me though? This Falcons team is as bad as the Browns of the previous 3 seasons without these 3 players on our roster. You know what else this tells me? The Falcons are wasting precious talent this year. The Falcons have inept coaching issues. Don't tell me that without 3 pro bowler injuries on the defense (NONE come from our poor D-line play this year) would have made this team Super Bowl contenders. You think this team would have gone from currently #7 in the draft pick (not even middle pack in the league) to being Super Bowl contenders and #29 or #30 in the draft? Oh please. The Seahawks with Russell Wilson (an elite QB) and Pete Carroll no longer have the legion of boom and they have key players on IR yet they've rallied to 6-5 and another possible playoff trip and their defense is TOP 10 in scoring with less talent than us! Or maybe our talent on the defensive side was never as good as we have thought all along? Please explain this to me?
  18. If Dan Quinn and the front office don't get it together. This disappointing season of 2018 better be a learning experience for Dan Quinn and he better improve as a head coach off of this. In 2019 we play the AFC South and the NFC West. 2019 could easily go like 2007 and 2013 again when we played the NFC West in odd years, and the Falcons have missed the playoffs the majority of the time playing the AFC South (only made the playoffs in 2011 playing that division) and if that's the case we could be 4-12. Matt Ryan has only played well every other year since he's been a Falcon. 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2018 right now he puts up good numbers, but he's off in odd years like 2011, 2013, 2015, or 2017. The Falcons are obviously going to lose a lot to free agency after this year due to cap space especially on the offensive side of the ball. If the offense dips again in 2019 and Dan Quinn & Marquand Manuel's defensive schemes continue to fail, we're in for another long one. Looking at our NFC West schedule next season, the Seahawks and Rams could be losses, and the Falcons haven't beaten the Cardinals in Arizona since 2001, making the 49ers in San Francisco our only win but with a healthy Jimmy G back that's not even guaranteed. So that's 1-3 vs. the NFC West with the only win being in Santa Clara or Arizona. The Falcons have been awful against AFC teams for awhile now, therefore, that makes us no better than 2-2 vs. the AFC South, but 0-4 could be a possibility too! We suck vs. the AFC at home, so that makes the Jaguars and Titans automatic losses, and the Falcons don't win in Houston, even in the Super Bowl, and Deshaun Watson could have a big day against the Falcons. The Falcons would let Andrew Luck run all over us in Indy, and the Colts own us in the series 14-2 just like the Browns do. The Falcons would probably draw the Eagles and Packers again, so that's about 1-1 right there. Then you have the NFC South. The Panthers have continued to play better than the Falcons in the regular season, even if we beat the Panthers more often. The Saints are ahead of us right now. I'm just saying it right now. With all the free agency moves and the cap space stuff going on with the Falcons. 2019 could be a make or break year for Dan Quinn. 2019 could be like 2007 or 2013 (win-loss record wise at 4-12) if we don't be careful.
  19. Dear Mr. Blank - If Dan Quinn remains head coach after today’s game, I will not spend another second watching this team or giving you my hard-earned money. How many more games will you allow your HEAD COACH to cost your team games? After years of questionable decisions and then insanely boneheaded decisions the past two weeks — last weekend him not challenging a clear touchdown and today giving the Cowboys at extra 8 yards, which was just enough for a hooking field goal to go through the uprights — he must go. Dan Quinn seems like a nice fella but he is fully incapable of leading us to a championship. As a head coach in the National Football League, he clearly doesn’t understand the basics of football…when to call time outs, how to eat clock with a lead, when to challenge and not challenge calls, etc., etc., etc. And as importantly, Coach Quinn is obviously unable to get his team ready to beat teams like Cleveland (who doesn’t beat anybody) and Dallas at home, with the entire season on the line. Do I need to go into the 28–3 lead that he wilted away in the SUPER BOWL? Nope, everyone knows that story, but since every. single. opposing. fan. constantly reminds us of that atrocious meltdown, let me remind you…Dan Quinn blew THE BIGGEST LEAD IN SUPER BOWL HISTORY. All he had to do was run three times, kick a field goal (he must have forgot that we have one of the most consistent kickers in NFL history), and the Atlanta Falcons are Super Bowl champions. Yep, the basics. You do realize that Falcon fans will never live this down right? Well that is unless we finally hoist that beautiful Vince Lombardi trophy. We are wasting the golden years of our Hall of Fame talent. How much longer do you think Matt and Julio will play at this level? The past few seasons we’ve lost a slew of games to teams that we should not be losing to, in pretty horrific ways. Let me ask you something…do you ever feel overly confident going into a football game? I sure don’t, even when on paper we have a more talented team. Why? Because our head coach doesn’t properly prepare this team. We are an undisciplined, unfocused bunch far too often. Sure we had injuries this year, but Dan Quinn is supposed to be a brilliant defensive mind and his defenses have looked clueless all year. Loyalty is a great quality but not when it’s to a fault. Perhaps others won’t say it but I will…you are too loyal Arthur. Where did your loyalties get you with Mike Smith? Dan Quinn is Mike Smith 2.0 to a T. He’s a good talent evaluator but a terrible head coach. Look at where Smitty is now. Out of yet another job having recently been fired in Tampa Bay. You kept that guy around for far too long and I fear the same thing happening here. I’m tired of Quinn’s bland, repetitive answers when questioned about why we lost a game. I’m tired of his clichés and empty slogans (like “In Brotherhood”). I’m tired of his lack of fire when his team does stupid $hit game in, game out. I’m tired. Actually, I’m exhausted. Being a Falcon fan is completely exhausting. My family and I have been watching this team since year one. We had season tickets up until you point when you decided to build an unneeded stadium, charge an insane amount for PSL’s (effectively pricing us out), and turn our football field into an amusement park, creating empty seats throughout leading to zero energy and fan noise. My family was able to look past that though. While sitting in our seats at NRG Stadium during halftime of the Super Bowl, my brother, father, and I, finally felt that that the 50 years of hardship were worth it. We were finally going to see our beloved team win a title. Enter Dan Quinn. But hey, at least we have $2 hot dogs. Please Mr. Blank…I’m a 42 year old man virtually begging you at this point. Please bring us a proven winner. Please bring in a coach who understands the most simple aspects of the game. Please bring us a coach who doesn’t isn’t satisfied with a small lead and who doesn’t seem to enjoy every game going down to the wire. Please bring in a coach who has that Bill Belichick killer instinct and who goes for the jugular. MY jugular, and heart, simply can’t take it anyone. The fans deserve better. The franchise deserves better. You deserve better. Please. Sincerely, A lifelong Atlanta Falcon’s fan who can’t take more losing
  20. After a difficult start in 2018, the Falcons Offense is trending to be the most efficient in it’s history. I really do thing this version is even more deadlier than the 2016 version. I really do think Matt Ryan is operating at the peak of his career- This Matt Ryan looks like a Professor or a General on the field commanding his troops with efficiency and potency. Matt Ryan has this deadly look on his eyes and looking like quiet assassin shredding the defenses. This verion has a mature Austin Hooper who is developing to be a very efficient weapon for Matt Ryan. Ito Smith looks like another great addition to the RB core and he is becoming a major force for the Falcons. Then, there is Calvin Ridley which really magnified this version by opening the field for Matty Ice- a much better of version of Turbo Taylor. Calvin will be a force to come in the years to come. Then, you have the old amigos of Julio Jones and Sanu-these two great receivers have professionalism and leadership for the offense. Sanu has been a great teammate defying some posters about dropping him. Sanu has swagger and toughness that you want from your receivers. Julio is the ultimate teammate who I love and respect- his cool and a great guy to be around. Tevin Coleman has speed and athleticism that adds a different dimension to the offense. Finally, you have Matty Ice and Sark- these two are gelling and you could see how they are on the same page. Actually, I think Sark is even a better version of Kyle because he seems more humble and practical. Matt Ryan is playing on another level. The 3rd down efficiecy and Red Zone efficiency are very important metrics- this shows the Falcons have the best chances of converting 3rd down than any other team and one of the Top 5 in Red Zone. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this number going into top 3 and PTs average rising between 30-33. In other words, a Top 3 Offense. Matt Ryan will have more 5000 yards and probably 40 touchdowns or so which be a career best. We haven’t seen the best of the offense which makes this team even more scarier- the OL is stablizing in blocking and run plays. One number that has a lot room to go higher is the running game. The Falcons running numbers could start averaging around 120-130 during the 2nd half of the season. The total offense could improve to #3 due to running game improvement. In Summary, this team is started to look Like the 2016 version, but even much better. This team seems more tougher and even more battle tested. The offense looks mesmerizing and a thing of beauty. Don’t fight the trends and facts. #FalconsRising
  21. keep in mind he missed 13 games in 2013.
  22. But let’s cut him still.