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Atlanta Falcons: Birds Dominate Eagles

10:01 pm October 29, 2012, by Dawson Devitt (D3)

Falcons Crush Eagles in Philly

Everyone in the world has seemingly questioned their record and asked whether they are “for real” or not. Any unbiased and logical person has their answer from Sunday in Philadelphia. The Atlanta Falcons dominated the Eagles, a great source of anguish the last few years, on the road in Philly. The Birds excelled from the opening whistle and only let up a touch when the game was essentially out of reach. Matt Ryan and the offense got back to their old ways and lit up the scoreboard, not even needing Matt Bosher’s punting until the fourth quarter. The defense shut down a “hungry” Eagles offense ready to explode with all their talent. Special teams took care of their business in a hostile environment with less-than-ideal conditions. Simply put, yes this team is for real and anyone who says they aren’t after Sunday shows their true biased opinion. This is not to say that the Falcons won’t have their bad days, but they are every bit deserving of their undefeated record. A look at the huge win……….

Ryan, Offense Back to Awesome

After the blowing the doors off their opponents offensively the first three weeks, the Falcons looked rather pedestrian the following three. With a particularly weak performance against the Oakland Raiders at home. Many hoped the bye week would provide some help and answers. It certainly did. Matt Ryan was back to his surgical self at QB, slicing and dicing the Eagles defense, completing 22 of 29 passes for 262 yards and 3 touchdowns. All the while, Ryan spread the ball around to 7 different receivers in the process. Major kudos to Dirk Koetter for calling an excellent game, complete with many screens that kept the Eagles pass rush in check. Julio Jones had a huge day. Michael Turner, Jacquizz Rodgers, and Jason Snelling piled on 146 yards rushing and the offensive line looked as good as it has all season. Here’s to hoping the Falcons offense keeps on rolling along.

Running Game Split Looked Great

Michael Turner may not be the happiest player in the world now that he’s had his touches and carries cut back, but the Falcons rushing attack finally had a big day. Turner still got almost 50% of the carries, but the Birds gave both Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling plenty of touches in the game and it paid off. A trend in the NFL has developed to using a two back, or even three back, system that doesn’t depend solely on one feature back to carry the entire load. A question was posed back in the off-season on what kind of split would be best for the Falcons in 2012 and the games against the Eagles may have provided the best blueprint to date.

Credit to the Offensive Line, Konz

No position has been beat up more than the Falcons offensive line. Some thought an imminent collapse was coming with the Falcons and their problems on the OL. Well, they put some doubters to rest in Philadelphia on Sunday. They were much better in run blocking, protected Matt Ryan as good as they have all season, and overall had an excellent game. Many had been clamoring for the Falcons to inject something new into the OL in order to give it a much needed boost. Peter Konz shouldn’t get all the credit the improved play, but he looked pretty darn good in his first start in the NFL. He got overpowered one time that led to Ryan’s only sack, but otherwise he added a nice boost to the offensive line, perhaps in visual imagery alone. Tyson Clabo and Sam Baker both held up well against the Eagles talented pass rushers and Justin Blalock was his normal solid self. Todd McClure gets much of the credit for leading this OL through dark times and, hopefully, to brighter days. It was only one game, but it sure was a sight for sore Falcons fans eyes. An improved rushing attack coupled with many screens also helped out the OL.

Can’t Throw the Deep Ball, eh?

Noodle arm. Weak arm. Can’t throw the deep ball. Has no deep game. These have been many trolls favorite garbage excuses when trying to denigrate Matt Ryan. It’s true he didn’t have a cannon like Jeff George or Matthew Stafford, but he could always throw the ball plenty far enough. Can those ridiculous attack lines finally be put to rest already? He’s thrown plenty of deep balls throughout his career, but after putting in a ton of work over the off-season, Ryan has a new comfort in the deep game and it shows. Look no further than his last minute bomb to Roddy White against the Carolina Panthers, from his own endzone nonetheless. But the cherry on top was the beautifully thrown ball to Julio Jones on a 63 yard touchdown strike zooming by supposedly one of the very best cornerbacks in the NFL, Nnamdi Asomugha.

Biermann Shouldn’t Come Off the Field

Some scoffed at the price the Falcons paid Kroy Biermann to come back to Atlanta, saying it was way too much to pay a “backup.” Some thought that Biermann may very well be the biggest beneficiary of Mike Nolan’s new defense, and sure enough, he’s right up there. His stats won’t blow you away (30 total tackles, 2 sacks), but he’s been all over the field the entire season. Biermann has played with his hand in the dirt rushing the QB, but he’s also been playing as a standup LB where he has plenty of freedom to roam around the outside or move to the inside. His hustle and tenacity was on full display against the Eagles. With Philadelphia in desperation mode towards the end of the game, Biermann turned one of the best plays of the game. He rushed Vick from the outside and beat not one, but two-to-three defenders and chased him down for a sack. With all due respect to Ray Edwards, Biermann should be on the field all the time. His toughness and versatility is one of the Falcons best strengths.

Robert McClain’s a Keeper

It was one of the bigger surprises when roster cut day came down. Robert McClain, a rarely known cornerback from Connecticut who had bounced around the NFL for several years, had won one of the coveted 53 man roster spots. Not too many gave much thought to it since the Falcons boasted Asante Samuel, Brent Grimes, and Dunta Robinson. But when Brent Grimes was lost for the season in the opener and Chris Owens suffered a concussion against the Broncos, McClain was forced into action as the nickel back. His first play only resulted in a Peyton Manning interception. McClain has taken advantage ever since. McClain is quick, tough, and always seems to be in the right position. He had good coverage and some nice hits, with his most important one coming when he forced Michael Vick out of bounds right before the 1st down marker. He already has 3 passes defensed on the year. McClain is moving out of “roster backup” territory and into possibly having a future as a potential starter. For a team searching so long for youthful talent at cornerback, the Falcons may have finally found one.

Love that 3 DT Front

Not only was it fantastic to see Corey Peters back in action, it was also great to see Mike Nolan mix it up on a defensive front. Instead of having the traditional 2 defensive tackles and 2 defensive ends, Nolan put a 3 defensive tackle front on the line, mostly with Peters, Jonathan Babineaux, and Vance Walker. It paid dividends and held one of the league’s most dynamic backs, Lesean McCoy, pretty well in check. Many wondered early on whether or not Babineaux was athletic enough to hold the end in a 3-4 type look and the early returns are promising. Above all, it was nice to see Nolan mixing it up on defense after having 4 years of standard deployment week in and week out.

Drew Davis Takes Advantage

Like McClain, Drew Davis has earned his chance the hard way. A former Oregon standout, Davis worked on the Falcons practice squad all year last season. He was thought to be in a two way battle with Kevin Cone for the 5th and final spot. At the time, most thought spots 1 through 4 were taken, with Kerry Meier being penciled in at the #4 wide receiver position. Funny thing was that Meier ended up getting cut, Kevin Cone made the roster, but late signee Tim Toone grabbed the 5th and final spot. Davis was relegated to practice squad duty again only to get called up soon after with Toone getting injured. To make a long story short, Davis put in his time, finally got his chance when Harry Douglas was injured, and made the absolute most of it. He only caught two passes, but one of them was a thing of beauty hauling in a touchdown and tapping the sidelines. The Falcons have always been set at receiver with Roddy White, Julio Jones, and Harry Douglas, but it turns out it may be even more talented than some thought.

Falcons Need to Lock Up Vance Walker

Perhaps the most underrated Falcon on the roster outside of Justin Blalock, Vance Walker is steadily turning into one of the most solid players on the defense and the overall team. A 7th round draft pick out of Georgia Tech, Walker has always been excellent role player, but he may be growing out of that role and into a more prominent one. He already has 12 tackles, 2 sacks, and a forced fumble on the season. He’s listed as 6’2, 304, but he certainly looks bigger than that. In his last year of a restricted free agent contract, the former Yellow Jacket will be set to hit the free agent market in 2013. Walker seems like a perfect candidate to bring back and develop alongside Corey Peters, Peria Jerry, and maybe Travian Robertson. The Falcons may not have that enormous beast at nose tackle that some defenses do, but collectively, it’s looking like a very strong group and Walker is one of the main reasons.

The Media-Talking-Heads-Elite “Excuse Rolodex”

For the most part, Falcons fans have accepted and come to peace with the Media-Talking-Heads-Elite seeming bias against Atlanta both in the past and this current edition. It seems to be moving goalpost or that they have an “excuse rolodex” where the Falcons shoot down one of their biased opinions, they simply insert another one. First it was a soft schedule the Falcons played. Then it was Peyton Manning throwing those interceptions all on his own. Then it was the Falcons can’t run the ball. Then it was the Falcons can’t stop the run. Then it was the Falcons should be ashamed for having to come back to beat the lowly Panthers. Then it was Robert Griffin III getting injured and then the Falcons eeking out wins and possibly being the worst early undefeated team in history. With a great road test against a quality opponent, the Falcons dominated in every aspect of the game. And what was the story line after the game? The Eagles “collapsing, Vick possibly getting benched, and Andy Reid’s job security.” Did the Falcons even play in that game?

Of course when all else fails, just go to the fail-safe “they haven’t won in the playoffs” standard attack line. Or if that’s not your cup of tea, just ignore, ignore, ignore. The day after the game (Monday) a check of NFL.com had not one snippett, headline, buzz feed, article, opinion, nothing on the Falcons, but had all you can eat of the drama with the Jets, Cowboys, and Eagles. Maybe wins don’t matter that much anymore, but rather soap-opera style stories. Perhaps the NFL can merge their network with SoapNet and it would be a fantastic coup for everyone. Fact is, most Falcons fans find it humourous and don’t really get that bothered by it anymore. As Todd McClure said referring to the “media elite”: “I hope it stays that way,” McClure said. “I’m sure it will come to a point where they’ll start talking about us. The only time we really want them talking about us is in February.” Hopefully, it’s at least providing the players some motivation this season.

The Bird Cage Brethren’s Turn

1) Simple quick draw: how big was this win?

2) Is the offense back to normal……for good?

3) How did you like the RB split? Should it change more?

4) Happy with the offensive line? Thoughts on Konz?

5) Matt Ryan can’t throw the deep ball, right?

6) Should Biermann play an even more prominent role?

7) Does Robert McClain have a future as a starter?

8.) Thoughts on the 3 DT front?

9) Has Drew Davis cemented a role even when HD comes back?

10) Should the Falcons bring back Walker to a multi-year deal?Y

11) How do you like the Media-Talking-Head-Elite’s “Excuse Rolodex?” Gotta hate those Falcons, right?

http://blogs.ajc.com...ta_falcons_fans

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What a great article. I really enjoyed that one. Thanks for posting. He broke it down fantastically. I loved the last two paragraphs. This part being so sad but true.

Of course when all else fails, just go to the fail-safe “they haven’t won in the playoffs” standard attack line. Or if that’s not your cup of tea, just ignore, ignore, ignore. The day after the game (Monday) a check of NFL.com had not one snippett, headline, buzz feed, article, opinion, nothing on the Falcons, but had all you can eat of the drama with the Jets, Cowboys, and Eagles. Maybe wins don’t matter that much anymore, but rather soap-opera style stories

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1 Every week is bigger than the last regardless of who it was and the style of the game/victory - being perfect is difficult and a huge responsibility.

2 No but that is the beauty of bending but not breaking - we've found faith hopefully in our 2nd string

3 That is a balanced R attack it keeps schemers guessing! New poison for sale!

4 I wanna see Holmes Hawley and Johnson at some point and PK Manley is hopefully the road grader of road graders

5 Pish

6 He does Kick offs too but he is doing fine - pro bowl material at the minute

7 Yes

8 It was promised and gave us another solid dimension - what's not to like

9 Not cemented but gives the opposition another headache and Koetter more strings to his bow

10 media wank/stats abuse, katrina refs and running out of toilet paper all the same thing

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1) Simple quick draw: how big was this win?

Most dominating win of the season. Could be the spark of something special.

2) Is the offense back to normal……for good?

I think the offense and defense are just starting to hit their respective strides, which could make us deadly.

3) How did you like the RB split? Should it change more?

I think this is what they envisioned, and this was the best that it was executed.

4) Happy with the offensive line? Thoughts on Konz?

If Konz is the best man for the job, go with him. I had settled for not bad, until I realized good was possible.

5) Matt Ryan can’t throw the deep ball, right?

Noodle Arm strikes again.

6) Should Biermann play an even more prominent role?

There's nothing left for him to do on the team, except be towel boy.

7) Does Robert McClain have a future as a starter?

In the nickel, yes. I wouldn't put him on the outside just yet unless we absolutely have to.

8.) Thoughts on the 3 DT front?

As long as it's effective, I love it.

9) Has Drew Davis cemented a role even when HD comes back?

This is actually a great problem to have. The more weapons teams have to worry about when Tony, Julio, & Roddy are occupied, the better. Pick your poison.

10) Should the Falcons bring back Walker to a multi-year deal?

Probably. But even if he walks, we have Travian waiting in the wings.

11) How do you like the Media-Talking-Head-Elite’s “Excuse Rolodex?” Gotta hate those Falcons, right?

Don't care, really. I actually prefer to be undiscussed by the media.

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Fairly obvious he reads this board.

Except this board blows up at every analyst that doesn't consider us to be the prettiest girl at the dance.

It has reached epic proportions though. I recorded then scanned NFL AM and other than the highlights we may have gotten 2 minutes per hour of conversation. One guy even referred to us as the quietest 7-0 team. They couldn't show that Vick giving up speech enough though and blather on about how Foles is not the answer right now.

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I like to think Theprof is Dawson Devitt.

Nope, I'm not Dawson Devitt, but I do like his articles. At times, his articles have a pessimistic slant, especially after losses or even after unconvincing wins. Every now and then, he tends to get very optimistic about the Falcons, especially after convincing wins against quality opponents. He seems to be either too pessimistic or overly optimistic, with his mood largely dependent upon how the Falcons looked in their latest game, just like most fans, myself included. Therefore, I think many fans can identify with his articles, or at least understand where he is coming from. Some info on Devitt and his AJC blog:

"Dawson Devitt’s Very Brief Bio

Born and raised in Northwest Georgia, graduated from The University of Georgia, and am a middle-school teacher in the Metro Atlanta Area. Grew up a Falcons fan watching greats Steve Bartkowski, Mike Kenn, Billy “Whiteshoes” Johnson, & Jessie Tuggle. Huge homer for all Atlanta sports teams, especially the Falcons. Married a beautiful, amazing Tennessee graduate (go figure) and have a wonderful gift of a son who will be torn between UGA and Tennessee growing up. But we’re all Falcons fans who reside in Dekalb County, and are current season-ticket holders. Coached middle school football for 4 years and is a fanatic for all things Falcons Football. I aspire to be like the Master of Grilling, Bobby Flay in my off time. I also have an unhealthy habit for PS2 Madden (yes, still on the old-school console). I look forward to this great opportunity I have been presented. ....D3 handle name came about by there being 3 generations of Devitt (quite the uncommon name), my dad, myself, and my son.

About D3 (of course you care!)

I’m Dawson Devitt (handle name – D3) and I am truly humbled to be moderating the newly created Bird-Cage Falcons Fan Blog. This represents a new forum for Everything Atlanta Falcons Football, from fans perspectives. This will be a great place for Falcons and other NFL fans to come and discuss, analyze, and breakdown all things that interest the fanatics that surround our hometown Atlanta Falcons.

The blog is named The Bird-Cage, or sometimes will be referred to simply as The ‘Cage for short, as a following of many of us developed a fan forum community through the Falcons Beat Blog by D.Orlando Ledbetter. The enjoyment started with a thirst for everything Falcons Football on the AJC.com website, and quickly developed into a fun hobby that has since become an almost addiction. In an era of social networking sites surging popularity, The Bird-Cage became a community forum based around talking Falcons Football. We welcome you to join in the entertaining environment.

Since this is a blog devoted solely to the fan’s perspective, all themes, ideas, and suggestions are welcome regarding Falcons Football and the NFL at large. Even though the Falcons will be the main focus, the blog will be a forum for many other things related to enjoying the discussion. If you have any suggestions for the blog, Falcons events, or anything related you’d like posted feel free to send emails to dawsondevitt@gmail.com

Every fan’s opinion is welcome and encouraged. As with other AJC blogs, the only stipulation is to keep it respectful. Disagreements, arguments, and even conflicts are completely welcomed and even encouraged, but keep it in a civilized manner and tone. Mudslinging, personal attacks, and distractions need not apply. The Atlanta Falcons will of course be the main topic, but we’ll discuss other issues regarding the entire fan experience such as tailgating, recipes, game day rituals, and anything else associated with watching our Beloved ‘Birds and the NFL.

http://blogs.ajc.com...ons-fans/about/

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I've posted most of Devitt's recent articles on TATF. If you missed them, or would like to reread some of them, then help yourselves to the following links:

Atlanta Falcons: Give Your Bye Week Fixes

The Bird Cage (Dawson Devitt (D3)) — Falcons Must Get Better Can the OL EVER Get it Together (Evan Vucci) Even though it’s technically game week as the Falcons prepare to face the hated Philadelphia Eagles, the Birds are coming off their bye week and, even though they’re 6-0, they better get some things fixed and fast if they want to stay that way. If the the bye week had come after the San Diego game, everyone’s confidence...

Atlanta Falcons: Birds Squeak by Raiders to 6-0

The Bird Cage (Dawson Devitt (D3)) — Another Win with a Sloppy Effort Thank Goodness for Abe (AJC) The Atlanta Falcons are the only undefeated team in the NFL, so why do fans feel so nervous or unfulfilled? After roaring out of the gates to a 3-0 start and looking excellent in all phases of the game, the Birds have come back to Earth a bit and looking pedestrian in all areas of the game, especially on offense. On one hand,...

Atlanta Falcons: Birds Edge Past Redskins to 5-0

The Bird Cage (Dawson Devitt (D3)) — 5-0 for First Time in Franchise History Huge Hit by Spoon (Evan Vucci) The Atlanta Falcons weren’t pretty, but they got the job done yet again on the road, coming from behind, and finding a way to win. The offense looked out of sync for almost the entire game, the defense had major problems with the run and even gave up a first career touchdown pass to a brand new rookie in Kirk Cousins,...

Atlanta Falcons: Your Thoughts on Falcons Escape vs. Panthers

The Bird Cage (Dawson Devitt (D3)) — Will have a new and full-length post up very soon, but wanted to go ahead and get an open thread going for you guys to discuss all things Falcons and talk about the huge come-from-behind win vs. hated rivals the Panthers…………

Atlanta Falcons: Birds Crush Chargers

The Bird Cage (Dawson Devitt (D3)) — Falcons Roll on West Coast Happy Times in the ATL (Gregory Bull) The Atlanta Falcons are 3-0 and it feels so good as fans to see our team playing so darn well. Some in the media and others around the league tried to downplay the significance of the Falcons good start by saying the Chiefs win was way overrated after their week 2 performance and that the Birds big Monday Night win was more...

Atlanta Falcons: Birds Beat Broncos on Big Stage

The Bird Cage (Dawson Devitt (D3)) — Falcons Notch Big Win on Monday Night Football Moore = Beast! (AJC) The Atlanta Falcons finally won on the biggest of stages after falling flat the last few times, and every time in the Mike Smith Era. The Birds welcomed one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time full of hype after beating the vaunted Pittsburgh Steelers. It was an entertaining and very long game that was filled with...

Atlanta Falcons: Birds Rip Chiefs

The Bird Cage (Dawson Devitt (D3)) — Falcons Roll in Kansas City Gonzo Returns in Style (AP) The Atlanta Falcons started the 2012 NFL season in excellent fashion as they rolled over and through the Kansas City Chiefs. In fact, only a last second, meaningless touchdown by the Chiefs made it seem much closer than it actually was. It was a struggle in the first half, but the Falcons took advantage of some of the turnovers to...

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thanks Prof! you always seem to find the best articles to share with us, thanks dude!

You're more than welcome, and it's something I like to do. I enjoy reading and researching, finding relevant and interesting info, and sharing it with others. That's the teacher still in me I suppose.

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Great article. I like this Devitt guy a lot. He's a lot like me, he can be a tough critic when the Falcons look bad, but is very complimentary when they play well, as they did against the Eagles. Thanks Prof for continuing to bring these to TATF, buddy.

How big was this win?

I think it qualifies as a "signature" win. First, it came on the road and It came against a team that 1.) Has a multitude of talent at the skill positions; 2.) Had a perfect record after a bye-week by it's HC; 3.) Was desperate for a win to stay in a tight division race; 4.) Was fighting to potentially save the starting QB and the HC their jobs. It also came when the Falcons had already "over-achieved" in the eyes of many because it had never started a season 6-0. It would've been easy to have suffered a let-down, if for no other reason than to take the pressure off of being the last undefeated team.

2) Is the offense back to normal……for good?

It's difficult to say whether the offense can continue to perform as it did in Philly. Many of us were shocked and dismayed at the lackluster performance by the offense, especially by Ryan, in the three games prior to the big Philly win. Of course they DID end up winning those games when in prior seasons it's almost a certainty they would've dropped at least one if not two or all three of those games. With the excellent game plans being put together by Koetter and Ryan being the consummate field general with the no-huddle, it's hard to see how this offense won't continue to find a way to get the job done. Like the defense, they seem to be improving each week and still haven't reached their peak.

3) How did you like the RB split? Should it change more?

I liked the ratio of carries for Turner, Quizz and Snelling. Turner is past the time when he could carry the load on his own shoulders for 16 games. The Falcons had the best rushing stats all season against Philly, so I'd say keep going with what works.

4) Happy with the offensive line? Thoughts on Konz?

I'm much happier with the OL than I thought I would be and I'm glad Konz finally got some extended time to show his capabilities. I hope his reps will increase exponentially for the rest of the season because he is going to be a fixture on the OL at some point soon anyway.

5) Matt Ryan can’t throw the deep ball, right?

Admittedly, Ryan has had issues hitting his WR's on deep routes in the past, but that is just one more area of his game he's been able to make great strides in improving this season. With the WR's he has, having to try to protect against the deep threat is going to be just one more headache for opposing defenses to deal with.

6) Should Biermann play an even more prominent role?

It appears Biermann is quickly becoming Nolan's wild card in this ever-changing defense and he's taking full advantage of the opportunity. The way things are evolving, I can see Biermann being one of the most important pieces of this defense by the time this season is over ~ right up there with Abe, Spoon and Asante.

7) Does Robert McClain have a future as a starter?

From what I've seen, McClain seems to be very near starter-capable, but it's still a little early to make a final judgment. Definitely is doing a good job in his current role.

8.) Thoughts on the 3 DT front?

I liked how well it worked against Phillly. With Nolan, you have to believe any alignment or personnel grouping is subject to change without notice, depending on who he's game-planning against.

9) Has Drew Davis cemented a role even when HD comes back?Davis looked like a guy who's ready to step up and make a play whenever he gets the opportunity again. With the lack of chances the slot receiver has been allotted so far in this offense, it doesn't appear HD or Davis will get to do very much. Hopefully that will change and Davis will get some more reps. He's earned some more playing time in my book.

10) Should the Falcons bring back Walker to a multi-year deal?

Yes, I think Walker deserves a contract. The guy's got game.

11) How do you like the Media-Talking-Head-Elite’s “Excuse Rolodex?” Gotta hate those Falcons, right?

As a fan I dislike it and don't understand how the team with an undefeated record can get so little respect to the extent that they're practically ignored in favor of teams that are going nowhere. But from the team's standpoint, I think it's a good thing, a good motivator and promotes a very beneficial "us against the world" mentality. And historically the Falcons have not reacted well when they've been the media darlings with all the accompanying pressure and expectations.

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Except this board blows up at every analyst that doesn't consider us to be the prettiest girl at the dance.

It has reached epic proportions though. I recorded then scanned NFL AM and other than the highlights we may have gotten 2 minutes per hour of conversation. One guy even referred to us as the quietest 7-0 team. They couldn't show that Vick giving up speech enough though and blather on about how Foles is not the answer right now.

LOL

you went thru all that just to see if the Falcons got any attention for being undefeated. . . .

laughable LMAO!

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Great article. I like this Devitt guy a lot. He's a lot like me, he can be a tough critic when the Falcons look bad, but is very complimentary when they play well, as they did against the Eagles. Thanks Prof for continuing to bring these to TATF, buddy.

How big was this win?

I think it qualifies as a "signature" win. First, it came on the road and It came against a team that 1.) Has a multitude of talent at the skill positions; 2.) Had a perfect record after a bye-week by it's HC; 3.) Was desperate for a win to stay in a tight division race; 4.) Was fighting to potentially save the starting QB and the HC their jobs. It also came when the Falcons had already "over-achieved" in the eyes of many because it had never started a season 6-0. It would've been easy to have suffered a let-down, if for no other reason than to take the pressure off of being the last undefeated team.

2) Is the offense back to normal……for good?

It's difficult to say whether the offense can continue to perform as it did in Philly. Many of us were shocked and dismayed at the lackluster performance by the offense, especially by Ryan, in the three games prior to the big Philly win. Of course they DID end up winning those games when in prior seasons it's almost a certainty they would've dropped at least one if not two or all three of those games. With the excellent game plans being put together by Koetter and Ryan being the consummate field general with the no-huddle, it's hard to see how this offense won't continue to find a way to get the job done. Like the defense, they seem to be improving each week and still haven't reached their peak.

3) How did you like the RB split? Should it change more?

I liked the ratio of carries for Turner, Quizz and Snelling. Turner is past the time when he could carry the load on his own shoulders for 16 games. The Falcons had the best rushing stats all season against Philly, so I'd say keep going with what works.

4) Happy with the offensive line? Thoughts on Konz?

I'm much happier with the OL than I thought I would be and I'm glad Konz finally got some extended time to show his capabilities. I hope his reps will increase exponentially for the rest of the season because he is going to be a fixture on the OL at some point soon anyway.

5) Matt Ryan can’t throw the deep ball, right?

Admittedly, Ryan has had issues hitting his WR's on deep routes in the past, but that is just one more area of his game he's been able to make great strides in improving this season. With the WR's he has, having to try to protect against the deep threat is going to be just one more headache for opposing defenses to deal with.

6) Should Biermann play an even more prominent role?

It appears Biermann is quickly becoming Nolan's wild card in this ever-changing defense and he's taking full advantage of the opportunity. The way things are evolving, I can see Biermann being one of the most important pieces of this defense by the time this season is over ~ right up there with Abe, Spoon and Asante.

7) Does Robert McClain have a future as a starter?

From what I've seen, McClain seems to be very near starter-capable, but it's still a little early to make a final judgment. Definitely is doing a good job in his current role.

8.) Thoughts on the 3 DT front?

I liked how well it worked against Phillly. With Nolan, you have to believe any alignment or personnel grouping is subject to change without notice, depending on who he's game-planning against.

9) Has Drew Davis cemented a role even when HD comes back?Davis looked like a guy who's ready to step up and make a play whenever he gets the opportunity again. With the lack of chances the slot receiver has been allotted so far in this offense, it doesn't appear HD or Davis will get to do very much. Hopefully that will change and Davis will get some more reps. He's earned some more playing time in my book.

10) Should the Falcons bring back Walker to a multi-year deal?

Yes, I think Walker deserves a contract. The guy's got game.

11) How do you like the Media-Talking-Head-Elite’s “Excuse Rolodex?” Gotta hate those Falcons, right?

As a fan I dislike it and don't understand how the team with an undefeated record can get so little respect to the extent that they're practically ignored in favor of teams that are going nowhere. But from the team's standpoint, I think it's a good thing, a good motivator and promotes a very beneficial "us against the world" mentality. And historically the Falcons have not reacted well when they've been the media darlings with all the accompanying pressure and expectations.

Very good replies to Devitt's questions, and deserves a bump. As you say, Devitt can be a very sharp critic of the Falcons play. I've had people reply in the past to some of Devitt's blogs: that I shouldn't have posted them on TATF, because they were overly critical of the Falcons. That's why I titled this particular topic thread the way I did.

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The Media-Talking-Heads-Elite “Excuse Rolodex”

For the most part, Falcons fans have accepted and come to peace with the Media-Talking-Heads-Elite seeming bias against Atlanta both in the past and this current edition. It seems to be moving goalpost or that they have an “excuse rolodex” where the Falcons shoot down one of their biased opinions, they simply insert another one. First it was a soft schedule the Falcons played. Then it was Peyton Manning throwing those interceptions all on his own. Then it was the Falcons can’t run the ball. Then it was the Falcons can’t stop the run. Then it was the Falcons should be ashamed for having to come back to beat the lowly Panthers. Then it was Robert Griffin III getting injured and then the Falcons eeking out wins and possibly being the worst early undefeated team in history. With a great road test against a quality opponent, the Falcons dominated in every aspect of the game. And what was the story line after the game? The Eagles “collapsing, Vick possibly getting benched, and Andy Reid’s job security.” Did the Falcons even play in that game?

Of course when all else fails, just go to the fail-safe “they haven’t won in the playoffs” standard attack line. Or if that’s not your cup of tea, just ignore, ignore, ignore. The day after the game (Monday) a check of NFL.com had not one snippett, headline, buzz feed, article, opinion, nothing on the Falcons, but had all you can eat of the drama with the Jets, Cowboys, and Eagles. Maybe wins don’t matter that much anymore, but rather soap-opera style stories. Perhaps the NFL can merge their network with SoapNet and it would be a fantastic coup for everyone. Fact is, most Falcons fans find it humourous and don’t really get that bothered by it anymore. As Todd McClure said referring to the “media elite”: “I hope it stays that way,” McClure said. “I’m sure it will come to a point where they’ll start talking about us. The only time we really want them talking about us is in February.” Hopefully, it’s at least providing the players some motivation this season.

http://blogs.ajc.com...ta_falcons_fans

This about nailed it on the head.. well put.

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