AtlantaIsMySavior Posted September 3, 2008 Share Posted September 3, 2008 Falcons won’t be as bad as you thinkBy Mark Bradley | Tuesday, September 2, 2008, 05:24 PM The Atlanta Journal-ConstitutionNumerical estimations have ranged from bad (four guys at NFL.com say 3-13) to worse (Paul Zimmerman of Sports Illustrated says 2-14) to just about the worst record possible (Sporting News says 1-15). I’m saying the Falcons will be better than that, and it will happen this way …Detroit, Sept. 7: Michael Turner goes for 120 yards. Matt Ryan looks pretty good. Brian VanGorder’s defense, which was terrific in preseason, looks even better. Falcons 20, Lions 14.At Tampa Bay, Sept. 14: Ryan has his welcome-to-the-NFL moment in a place where the Falcons have had their share of crummy moments. He’s 9-for-22 with three interceptions. Bucs 21, Falcons 10.Kansas City, Sept. 21: Showing the desired resilience, Ryan throws two touchdown passes. Chiefs rookie Glenn Dorsey, whom many wanted instead of Ryan, tweaks a hamstring. Falcons 20, Chiefs 14.At Carolina, Sept. 28: The Panthers are annually the NFL’s most overrated bunch — Julius Peppers had 2 1/2 sacks last season — but they’ll slip past the Falcons at home. Panthers 20, Falcons 13.At Green Bay, Oct. 5: Michael Vick nearly won in his first trip to Lambeau Field and did win in his second. But Vick, as you’ve doubtless heard, is otherwise occupied. Packers 24, Falcons 14.Chicago, Oct. 12: Even if some Falcons fans aren’t sold on Ryan, the Bears would take him in a heartbeat. The Chicago defense is still among the best, and it has to be. Bears 10, Falcons 9.At Philadelphia, Oct. 26: Not getting any easier, is it? The Falcons get handled in Philly, prompting a gut-check session from Mike Smith, who nearly busts a gut in the process. Eagles 27, Falcons 13.At Oakland, Nov. 2: Lo and behold, Smith’s men respond. The thoughtful DeAngelo Hall aids and abets his old team by being flagged three times on a pivotal drive. Hee, hee. Falcons 20, Raiders 17.New Orleans, Nov. 9: The Falcons haven’t beaten the Saints since Sean Payton and Drew Brees and Reggie Bush arrived in New Orleans, and nothing changes here. Saints 27, Falcons 20.Denver, Nov. 16: Remember when Mike Shanahan was the Mastermind? He might, but everyone else has almost forgotten. Chance for an upset gets flubbed at the end. Broncos 19, Falcons 17.Carolina, Nov. 23: You’ve lost six of seven. You face the choice all struggling teams must confront. Do you pack it in or fight on? Here’s the encouraging answer. Falcons 23, Panthers 14.At San Diego, Nov. 30: A fighting spirit is no match for an elite team. LaDanian Tomlinson outgains his former backup by 50 yards. An overmatched team suffers its worst loss. Chargers 34, Falcons 10.At New Orleans, Dec. 7: You have to score big to beat the Saints in the Superdome, and the Falcons aren’t yet capable. But they might be by 2009, which by now is the focus. Saints 31, Falcons 16.Tampa Bay, Dec. 14: The Falcons shake off two deflating weeks and give a stout effort. As has been the case most Sundays, the talent imbalance is too much to override. Bucs 16, Falcons 13.At Minnesota, Dec. 21: The scene of the most famous victory in Falcons annals becomes the scene of just another defeat in a season that has featured a slew of them. Vikings 24, Falcons 14.St. Louis, Dec. 28: But here’s one to grow on. Ryan has his best statistical day, showing he’s not just tough but talented, and his team, all things considered, finishes a fairly honorable 5-11. Falcons 30, Rams 17. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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