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AJC: Falcons already entering key stretch


Ice74
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FLOWERY BRANCH – NFL teams generally are defined in December. That’s when the stakes tend to be the highest, the injuries tend to be the most debilitating and the coaches either look like nuclear physicists or completely dumbfounded as to why the New England defense in Week 13 didn’t bite on the same play-action as the Oakland defense did in Week 2.

That said, we are about to find out something about the Falcons.

It’s not December. But if this football team doesn’t come through this upcoming stretch of games relatively unscathed, December may not matter so much.

The Falcons are coming off a road loss and a bye. Having the bye week so early means they’ll now play 13 straight games without a rest. They travel to San Francisco Sunday and are in a stretch that finds them playing six out of eight games on the road.

How does it get worse? Like this: Four of the next seven opponents (Chicago, Dallas, Washington, New York Giants) will be coming off bye weeks. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, teams coming off bye weeks in the past three seasons won nearly 60 percent of the time (57-38-1, .599).

“It’s going to be a test for this football team, especially with a lot of games on the road,” Michael Turner said. “I guess we’ll see what we’re made of.”

It’s never easy to get a feel for these things. The Falcons are 2-1 and coming off a loss to New England. That’s about where most of us figured they would be. The lack 0f clarity has to do with the fact those two victories — over Miami and Carolina — don’t look nearly as impressive today as they did at the time. The Dolphins and Panthers are a combined 1-6.

In short, the Patriots have been the Falcons’ biggest test and the team was fairly run over (26-10).

Tight end Tony Gonzalez senses fans and media already are doubting the team. “It seems like people are all of sudden poking holes in us,” he said.

It’s at least safe to say assumptions are in short supply. The Falcons are young, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. Inexperience and the potential “awe-factor” tend to come into play more in stressful situations. Like road games.

Defensive end John Abraham looked at game tape and came away convinced, “I think a couple of people got blinded by the lights. It was New England, a championship team. They really wanted to have a great game against them. But if we’d played our game, we’d been alright.

“I was disappointed when I was at the game. Then when you watch the film, you feel worse because you feel like you could’ve played better. We didn’t give New England our best effort. We played terrible. It wasn’t like they were killing us. It was just stuff we did or we let them do to us.”

This is when a team either grows up or struggles. The Falcons have enough talent, certainly on the offensive side of the ball, to win games. But intangibles like resolve and effort decide the rest. Last season, this team grew up quickly. After losing games at Tampa Bay and Carolina by lopsided scores of 24-9, they won four of their final six on the road, before dropping the playoff game in Arizona.

As you would expect, Mike Smith spent much of the off week looking at tape. “You want to evaluate your team from top to bottom,” he said. “But with the bye week coming so early, you’re not able to do in the analytical [statistical] analysis that you normally would do. There’s not enough statistics to see any trends.”

So what stands out?

“Guys are playing hard,” he said.

The rest, we’re about to find out.

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My God what a rag. I love this part

"The Falcons are 2-1 and coming off a loss to New England. That’s about where most of us figured they would be. "

Does anyone else remember the articles the AJC ran just before the season started saying the Falcons would probably start 0-3 because of the combined record of the teams we were starting against? I sure as **** remember. So now the o-3 prediction is "pretty much" the same as 2-1? And their writers are taking BS shots at Arthur Blank about message board censorship? I am sure Mr. Blank spends a lot of time moderating the message boards. The AJC is a rag and they have no sports reporters. You heard me, if you work for the AJC you don't know s#1t about sports. You have no integrity, and the city as a whole is embarrassed that you are our only paper. Seriously, take off the blinders and go get an honest poll about our paper. It's a f-ing joke.

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What is absent for lack of a better term is "attitude". I haven't really seen it, especially on the offensive line and the running game. I keep hearing the phrase "like we did last year" from Coach Smith and a few of the players. They need a new attitude for a new year. Forget last year! Every year is different. McClure and these guys need to be mauling these opposing defensive lines! I keep thinking we're one play or one drive away from seeing the light come on and the confidence return because we need it to win.

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What is absent for lack of a better term is "attitude". I haven't really seen it, especially on the offensive line and the running game. I keep hearing the phrase "like we did last year" from Coach Smith and a few of the players. They need a new attitude for a new year. Forget last year! Every year is different. McClure and these guys need to be mauling these opposing defensive lines! I keep thinking we're one play or one drive away from seeing the light come on and the confidence return because we need it to win.

I repped you because this is a good point. Last year our offensive line had a pure nasty streak in it led by Dahl and Clabo. We just aren't seen anything like it so far this year. We need to go back to what worked and just pound some guys in the dirt with Turner and let Ryan feast off play action and some bootlegs.

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What is absent for lack of a better term is "attitude". I haven't really seen it, especially on the offensive line and the running game. I keep hearing the phrase "like we did last year" from Coach Smith and a few of the players. They need a new attitude for a new year. Forget last year! Every year is different. McClure and these guys need to be mauling these opposing defensive lines! I keep thinking we're one play or one drive away from seeing the light come on and the confidence return because we need it to win.

I repped you because this is a good point. Last year our offensive line had a pure nasty streak in it led by Dahl and Clabo. We just aren't seen anything like it so far this year. We need to go back to what worked and just pound some guys in the dirt with Turner and let Ryan feast off play action and some bootlegs.

I agree with both of these posts. I did think that the defense played with some fire and urgency in the Fins game, and the offense definitely had some bright moments in the Panties game......but overall the team does seem somewhat flat.

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I know you can find fault with the article, but I agree with it in general.

Those wins don't look as big, now--and Carolina was no gimee like Miami.

And we did look unprepared against the Pats.

We do have a lot of things stacked against us: playing on the road against playoff teams after their byes.

How much harder could it get?

This next stretch will be a defining time for our team--and the coaches.

I agree we need some attitude.

it's time to stop playing scared on both sides of the ball.

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My God what a rag. I love this part

"The Falcons are 2-1 and coming off a loss to New England. That’s about where most of us figured they would be. "

Does anyone else remember the articles the AJC ran just before the season started saying the Falcons would probably start 0-3 because of the combined record of the teams we were starting against? I sure as **** remember. So now the o-3 prediction is "pretty much" the same as 2-1? And their writers are taking BS shots at Arthur Blank about message board censorship? I am sure Mr. Blank spends a lot of time moderating the message boards. The AJC is a rag and they have no sports reporters. You heard me, if you work for the AJC you don't know s#1t about sports. You have no integrity, and the city as a whole is embarrassed that you are our only paper. Seriously, take off the blinders and go get an honest poll about our paper. It's a f-ing joke.

If someone doesn't like AFMB don't read it. If someone doesn't like AJC don't read it.

simple

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Bottom line is we better wake up and face this tough schedule that's about to kick in.

I told you folks. This is a brutal schedule. Also told you that NO, NYJ, SF would be much tougher than you think. TB and CAR won't roll over for us either. Trust me. They both will be trying to knock us down a couple more notches.

This team better do what it takes to win:

Run Ball

Stop Run

Play good special teams

Win turnover battle

Win big play battle

Any questions?

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Bottom line is we better wake up and face this tough schedule that's about to kick in.

I told you folks. This is a brutal schedule. Also told you that NO, NYJ, SF would be much tougher than you think. TB and CAR won't roll over for us either. Trust me. They both will be trying to knock us down a couple more notches.

This team better do what it takes to win:

Run Ball

Stop Run

Play good special teams

Win turnover battle

Win big play battle

Any questions?

You could have made that entire post without the multiple "I told you sos" and with the smartazz "Any questions?" kicker at the end.

It doesn't make your post any more salient and really ends up just confirming what most people think about you and your posts.

Try and do better. Seriously.

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You could have made that entire post without the multiple "I told you sos" and with the smartazz "Any questions?" kicker at the end.It doesn't make your post any more salient and really ends up just confirming what most people think about you and your posts.Try and do better. Seriously.

Hey bro, you, Falcon Faithful and your leader Gazoo need to get past my posting style cause it ain't gonna change. Ever. Trust me.

You boys need to learn how to read between my lines and decipher what the message is. For example in this post, the message is:

Run Ball

Stop Run

Play good special teams

Win turnover battle

Win big play battle

What part of this do you not understand or agree with? I'm jus askin.

P.S. Can either of you put me on ignore? Or at least stop stalking me?

Edited by FalconFanSince1970
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Hey bro, you, Falcon Faithful and your leader Gazoo need to get past my posting style cause it ain't gonna change. Ever. Trust me.

You boys need to learn how to read between my lines and decipher what the message is. For example in this post, the message is:

Run Ball

Stop Run

Play good special teams

Win turnover battle

Win big play battle

What part of this do you not understand or agree with? I'm jus askin.

P.S. Can either of you put me on ignore? Or at least stop stalking me?

Don't care enough to put you on ignore. If you want to continue to post like you have a sour gummy bear firmly lodged up your arse, knock yourself out........ :lol:

See, the thing is, just like a blind pig who occasionally finds a truffle, every blue moon you might make a good point......but it gets totally lost because you always deliver it like you're suffering from stomach cramps......... :lol:

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If someone doesn't like AFMB don't read it. If someone doesn't like AJC don't read it.

simple

No it's not that simple, since they used some really shady practices to run the only other good paper out of town. Being the only paper in town comes with a responsibility, especially when you consider the tactics they used to become the only paper in town. And thanks for adding so much to the discussion.

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Hey bro, you, Falcon Faithful and your leader Gazoo need to get past my posting style cause it ain't gonna change. Ever. Trust me.

You boys need to learn how to read between my lines and decipher what the message is. For example in this post, the message is:

Run Ball

Stop Run

Play good special teams

Win turnover battle

Win big play battle

What part of this do you not understand or agree with? I'm jus askin.

P.S. Can either of you put me on ignore? Or at least stop stalking me?

I am going with ignore, take care.

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