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Monday Morning Hangover - week 1


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That loss hurt.

It probably didn't help that it was my second "stomach punch" game of the weekend, being a Marshall University fan and watching them fall apart against WVU on Friday night. Or that I had to stomach seeing the Saints hold on for a win on Thursday. Or that I had to watch Ohio State roll against Miami. To say this weekend was a disaster for me in terms of football would be a gross understatement.

Twelve or so hours removed from the Falcons' loss, though, I'm a little more clear headed on the subject. There are positives and negatives to take away from the game.

POSITIVE: Roddy White just proved to the world that he's an elite wideout. As fans of the Falcons football team, we've known it for a long time, but today, on opening week, he went out against one of the best defenses in the league and made some incredible catches. In particular, the catch he made on the sideline with McFadden draped on him was outstanding.

NEGATIVE: Dinking and dunking down the field didn't really work when we had Jeff George, it's probably not going to work now. That offense has never accomplished much of anything in its purest form. You have to either stretch the field vertically, or be able to hammer the ball consistently on the ground. Well, against the Steelers, nobody runs the ball well.

POSITIVE: Our defense is faster, flocks to the ball better, and with the exception of one play in overtime, had an outstanding game. Rookie Sean Weatherspoon didn't make any stupid rookie mistakes, the secondary never got truly burned, and we forced Dennis Dixon to move in the pocket. I would have preferred fewer 20 yard completions to Hines Ward, but we recovered well and, if I remember correctly, allowed only a total of four plays in the red zone.

NEGATIVE: Our pass rush, while better, has to get..well...better. Hurries are nice, hits are better, but we have to get more sacks. Abraham was almost there several times, but he was the only member of the front four that was consistently behind the o-line. For all the talk of Van Gorder's new blitz-heavy defense, it has yet to make an appearance in the preseason or week 1.

POSITIVE: Micheal Vick fans won't like hearing this, but Matt Ryan looked great. He went in against a very good defense and didn't do anything stupid. Troy Polamolu breaking on a ball from 1/3 of the way across the field to make a tiptoe interception has happened to a ton of quarterbacks. Matt Ryan was making difficult throws, didn't get rattled under pressure, and was able to consistently keep field position in Atlanta's favor. I still feel like we need an upgrade on the other side of the field from Roddy White so that Harry Douglas can be more effective in the #3 position, but aside from trying to force the ball to Tony Gonzalez early, I have no issues with Matty Ice's performance.

NEGATIVE: It's a culture thing. My best friend is a Steelers fan, and he never questioned whether the Steelers would win the game. On the other hand, I was trying to figure out how we would lose it. There's no quick cure for this because simply put, we've been a bad franchise for a long time. This game put a bad taste in my mouth, and I'm trying not to panic over the season already, but I don't have a good feeling. Here's hoping for a bounce back against Arizona.

In other news, offenses around the league looked kind of like garbage. Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers' lack of production essentially killed my two fantasy football teams. I'm assuming it's just a case of the defenses being in sync faster than the offenses, much like in baseball where the pitchers are usually ahead of the hitters after spring training. As timing issues get worked out, I'll expect to see scoreboards lighting up around the league.

And finally from around the league...

:D Peyton Manning and the Colts lost. I can't stand that guy. He whines way too much.

:( In my money league, the guy right before me took Arian Foster.

:D The Redskins' uniforms with the gold pants are sweet.

:( Seeing MeAngelo get a fumble recovery for a touchdown is not.

:D Tom Brady is 100%, Wes Welker looks great, and the Patriots appear to be back.

:( Tom Brady is 100%, Wes Welker looks great, and the Patriots appear to be back.

Sorry for my lack of activity lately (like anybody has noticed) but they've tightened up the filters at work, so no more mid-day posting. Evenings have been occupied housebreaking and enjoying my new Weimeraner pup, AKC registered as Ares Bad Moon Rison.

Don't cannibalize the team after week one. Rise up!

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