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Steve Wyche comments excerpts about our beloved Falcons


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A 20-year veteran of sports journalism, Steve Wyche has covered the NFL, the NBA and college football for The Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Miami Herald and, most recently, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Click here for his articles.

AF.COM: What's happened to the Falcons after a blistering 4-1 start?

SW: Injuries and a lack of depth in key spots. Losing Brian Williams at corner had a major effect. So did losing rookie defensive tackle Peria Jerry. You lose two key starters on the front and back end of the defense and that affects the pass rush and pass coverage. I am really surprised at the lack of consistent pass rush. That’s hurt, too. Place kicker Jason Elam, who’s been released, became a liability. Running backs Jerious Norwood and Michael Turner and then quarterback Matt Ryan got hurt. Atlanta has played on sheer will and heart and done a decent job of staying competitive. That is a sign of strong leadership from the top. Props to Coach Mike Smith for that.

They've been playing with heart after that Iggles game. Mucho props to the players and the coaches for this.

AF.COM: Do you think the Falcons have a chance to run the table in their final three games -- at the New York Jets, home against Buffalo, and at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to end the season?

SW: Absolutely. The hiccup could come against the Jets, who can pound the ball on the ground. Tailback Thomas Jones is one of the most underrated players in the league. New York also has one of the better offensive lines in the NFL. The defense is going to cause some problems in the running game and they have one of the top two corners in the game (Green Bay’s Charles Woodson is the other) in Derelle Revis.

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