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Atlanta Falcons Need To Turn Over New Leaf On Road


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http://espn.go.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/8525/falcons-need-to-turn-over-new-leaf-on-road

FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Wide receiver Roddy White put it best when discussing the Atlanta Falcons' upcoming schedule, which features six of the next seven games on the road, one of which is a "home game" in London.

"We've got to be Road Warriors," White said. "We've got to go out there on the road and win games. That's what it's about in this league. We're going to be away from home for a minute. ... We've got to go out there and win games on the road. We've got to go over .500, so this would be a good week to start."

The Falcons take a 24-25 record under coach Mike Smith into Sunday's outdoor road clash with the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium. They have lost three straight on the road dating back to last season and are 1-8 over their last nine road contests. The last time they've won on the road at a true outdoor stadium was Nov. 25, 2012, at Tampa Bay (24-23).

"It's one of those things, it is what it is," quarterback Matt Ryan said of the road woes. "Going on the road in this league is tough, especially when you're playing against good football teams. I think the biggest thing for us has got to be that when we're on that road, it's 53 guys together, and that's all we've got. And we've got to be locked in and understand our plan really, really well. And I think if we take that heightened focus up there, we'll execute better than we did two weeks ago (at Cincinnati)."

The common denominator for the Falcons over the last nine road games has been turnovers. They committed a total of 23, with 17 interceptions thrown by Ryan and six fumbles lost.

The Falcons enter Sunday's game against the Vikings with a minus-1 turnover ratio with eight giveaways and seven takeaways.

"We've been terrible the last two weeks," offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter said of the turnovers.

"We've definitely got to get that trend stopped. We've got to hang on to the football, whether it be interceptions or fumbles. That's always our top priority. We've been doing plenty of things well, but that's not one of them."

If they can get off to fast starts and avoid turnovers, maybe the Falcons will be the type of "Road Warriors" White wants them to be.

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C'mon Roddy and Matt, get these boys ready to be those "Road Warriors" you talked about. We need a good away game quite badly.

Also Falcon App, just said Smitty guaranteed Roddy will play on Sunday. Rare for Mike to be that straight forward.

Very rare. Smitty must be turning over a new leaf as well. I think our unsuccess on the road was due mostly to last year just being a bad year for us. I don't know that we're a bad road team necessarily.

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Vaughn McClure is new so I can let him pass with the stat. Falcons were ranked 3rd in the NFL from 2008-2012 for road wins % (23-17 record). Only behind Patriots(26-14, 0.65%) and Steelers(24-16, 0.600%) had better road record. Last season was when the falcons struggled on road, not that they did any better at home. The team last year was bad from top to bottom with very few bright spots. Will the Falcons go back to being top team on the road or will the last years team show up? We will see.

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I remember when Smitty first got here, he mentioned that you need to win all your home games, and half your road. I think he concedes that road games are going to be tough, and that translates to the play. I hope he's changed that mindset.

There very few teams which can win over 0.55% of the games in the NFL season to season.

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There very few teams which can win over 0.55% of the games in the NFL season to season.

No doubt, but it shouldn't be a talking point.If you concede that you will lose half your road games, you are make it a self fulfilling prophecy.It's like riding a bike, if you focus on the destination, you reach your goal, if you focus on the obstacles, you crash into them.

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No doubt, but it shouldn't be a talking point.If you concede that you will lose half your road games, you are make it a self fulfilling prophecy.It's like riding a bike, if you focus on the destination, you reach your goal, if you focus on the obstacles, you crash into them.

I don't think you can be top 3 in NFL over 5 year period conceding games. There is no proof that Falcons are conceding the games on the road and still be winning so many games. I guess if top 3 team is conceding, rest of the teams don't even show up.

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My favorite NFLN old Falcon guy Mr Steve Wyche is still the man!

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I don't think you can be top 3 in NFL over 5 year period conceding games. There is no proof that Falcons are conceding the games on the road and still be winning so many games. I guess if top 3 team is conceding, rest of the teams don't even show up.

I don't think we are intentionally conceding games. I'm saying it's bad language for people in leadership positions to use. It's a subconscious thing. If you predict a struggle, sometimes you put yourself in one.Like saying "sacks are overrated", another Smitty talking point, We've consistently had pass rush struggles. Language matters.

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I don't think we are intentionally conceding games. I'm saying it's bad language for people in leadership positions to use. It's a subconscious thing. If you predict a struggle, sometimes you put yourself in one.Like saying "sacks are overrated", another Smitty talking point, We've consistently had pass rush struggles. Language matters.

I am pretty sure Smitty rides the guys harder on a road game inside the locker room. Its tough win on the road and there is nothing wrong in repeating, it probably makes the guys harder to do something which not many teams can do.

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I am pretty sure Smitty rides the guys harder on a road game inside the locker room. Its tough win on the road and there is nothing wrong in repeating, it probably makes the guys harder to do something which not many teams can do.

I have no doubt Smitty has the best intentions. I just notice parallels in his language style and team performance in critical games, and with certain trends.I have concerns that language may have a slight affect on the team. I'm mainly just criticizing his communication skills.

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