The Falcons: Outplayed, outclassed and out of ideas

Caught in a Bear hug: That's Matt Ryan. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

Caught in a Bear hug: That’s Matt Ryan. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

Caught in a Bear hug: That's Matt Ryan. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

Caught in a Bear hug: That’s Matt Ryan. (Curtis Compton/AJC photo)

These short takes off Falcons-Bears are presented as a companion to the game column, which can be found here. The Falcons came within 15 points of winning, if you hadn’t heard.

1. It’s hard to believe now, but the Falcons were favored. By a field goal, which is the standard home-field allowance. They lost 27-13. They scored one touchdown. They yielded 478 yards. There were long moments when it seemed the Bears could name the score, and they essentially did. There have been more lopsided losses under Mike Smith, but there has never been one in which the Falcons appeared more overmatched, personnel-wise. (Not even last season’s Seattle game, which ended 33-10.) And here we note that the Bears, like the Falcons, entered at 2-3 coming off a two-game losing streak. This shouldn’t have been a blowout, especially not on the road, but that’s pretty much what it became.

2. The Falcons might not be favored again for a while. They don’t play in the Georgia Dome again until Nov. 23 against Cleveland. They travel to Baltimore next week, and then they head to London for a date at Wembley against Detroit. Then they have a bye. Then they play at Tampa Bay, which they beat 56-14 last month. (OK, they’ll probably be favored then.) Then they head to Carolina. How many wins do you see in those four games? One? And if one’s all they get, won’t that make them 3-7 with six to go and essentially out of playoff consideration?

3. Wait a second. Playoffs? We’re talking playoffs? Not really. These past three weeks have been sobering in their revelation. The Falcons were beaten 41-28 by Minnesota without Adrian Peterson and with rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater making his first pro start; beaten 30-20 by the Giants after leading 20-10 with 20 minutes remaining, and now beaten by 14 after trailing by 10 at the half. True, the Falcons did forge a third-quarter tie — which their inept defense held for a total of 73 seconds and three plays. A good NFL team is rarely outclassed at home the way the Falcons were Sunday, but it’s no longer possible to regard these Falcons, who’ve lost three consecutive games by double figures, as a good team.

Reader Comments 2

523 comments
itsslomotionbaby
itsslomotionbaby

JULIO JONES & RODDY WHITE or ALFRED JENKINS & ALFRED JACKSON whom would you rather have

itsslomotionbaby
itsslomotionbaby

ther is one ray of hope in beating the ravens the team as a whole put together one of there best games ever from top to bottom in beating the ravens (and it was at the dome)

First off we did not fool ourselves into thinking we could run theb all against there massive defensive front. no 2 yrd. junts up the middle tos tart the game, the way we allways do.we putt he game squarely on matt ryans shoulders& passed the ball. matt ryan was hot so we were successful so that it opened up the run. the defensive co-ordinators called a good game & seemed like they werer eady for everything they had planned.best complete game ive witnessed out of the falcons from top to bttom

itsslomotionbaby
itsslomotionbaby

I did not feel like the bears had better talent albeit it was the first time in a fewg ames I can say that. our 2 all pro receivers are overrated.NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD SAY THAT. I think we should trade one of them for defensive help.

at some point also we are going to have to put the microscope on ryan he is supposed to be worth 14 pts. by himself.hisp roblem is he is just not atheletic enough to make plays happenespecially when he has to replant his feet. when he does that a lot of times the ball comes out like a battery operated Cessna.now we can win with ryan if we give him the protection brady had with his front three yrs.a go but you are talking about drafting 2 more Mathews & waiting 2 more yrs. until they mature.i always felt like ryan was like a wife with BIG TITTS BUTA FLATT BEHIND

alexander2
alexander2

@zuzu331 : ever spend a summer in Atlanta and sit in the traffic? But your right those winters are brutal....

Kennyd_va
Kennyd_va

Mark, the Falcons are outplayed and outclassed every Game....... There's no Leadership on the Field or sideline.  The Falcons Front office and Coaching staff just don't seems to get it.........

If Bridgewater (Rookie) can pick the defense apart....What did anyone think Eli and Jay C, was going to do.  Jay C and Eli toyed with the Falcons defense. The defense is a mess and the offense is  Mediocre.  

Here comes the RAVENS

I have been a Falcons Fan since 1966 and I have seens many up and down seasons. Last season and this season seems to be getting closer to the Worst. Falcons forever...... RISE UP !

Big Wally
Big Wally

I have no idea who the next GM should be.  All I know is, the one we have is the BJ Upton of NFL GM's.  Lots of swings and misses.

HonestInformed
HonestInformed


Thomas Dimitrov needs to go........I wonder if Bill Cowher would consider the HC position in Atlanta?? 


I also wonder who Bill Cowher would want as the GM (Bill Cowher or someone else)??


If the team cannot find a better HC; maybe Mike Smith and company would have more success with a solid, proven GM. I am impressed with OL coach Mike Tice thus far. I am not impressed with DL coach Brian Cox at all.


Several changes are in order........it is time to give younger players more playing time (see IF they can succeed in the NFL and give them experience for future seasons). Steven Jackson, Beirman, Bartu (young, but not very talented), and even Worrilow (young, but not big enough or fast enough for the NFL), & McClain should be replaced starting today!!!


Because we have essentially no healthy & ready to play NFL caliber linebackers, I would run a 5/1/5 defense. Rush 5 DL/DE players every play and tell Shembo his responsibility is to mirror whomever has the ball (QB or RB) just in case the ball carrier breaks through the line of scrimmage (no pass coverage responsibilities). The 3 CB and 2 safeties would be responsible for ALL potential pass routes. I would only run this unusual defense because of the lack of decent/effective LB players on this roster.

zuzu331
zuzu331

Yes,worst than your stank funk,you zany fake avatar,you.

TrueFan1
TrueFan1

I'm predicting  A Smith get 6 touches this week. anymore and I would think that smitty lost his mind. ......................Please Bench Jackson and put the playmaker on the field

ColdSplash
ColdSplash

This regime is over. Was over last year, and quite frankly was over the minute this "brain trust" decided to blow 5 picks including a couple of 1s over two drafts for a what has amounted to an injury prone only-decent nfl caliber receiver. Not once really doing anything of consequence to build what every weekend part time sofa jockey GM knows you have to build in football to win....the offensive line. Dimitroff and Smith simply must go. And as soon as possible.

baseball sucks
baseball sucks

@ColdSplash Do you know anything  about  football are you just  one of those     Matt Ryan  man crushers , who still  don't see that one of the biggest mistakes by Dimitroff and Smith was to  to spend  six years  trying to build a high  scoring and explosive team  around  their qb ,and did that at the expense of the poor  defensive  squad they have assemble  here.  Everybody  knew that this team defense personnel to start  this year was terrible, not one legit pass rusher, very little talent at the LB spots where team in the league  kill them with  any old   tight end , and ran the ball strait up the gut  all day, yet  the  Matt Ryan  Man Crush Cult Clubbers  insisted  we ignore all this teams pressing need of defensive  help and  draft a OL, not that we  couldn't use one , but there was ol in free agency if you made them the right offers. The Jones   traded draft picks has produce   a man who is considered  only second to Calvin  Johnson  to be  the best receiver in the league  now who other than the Matt Ryan Man Crusher Clubbers think Ryan is  the  second ,third , fourth  or fifth  best qb in the league

DawgNole
DawgNole

A hard, but very realistic view of this sad franchise, Mark B. Long, long overdue!

Tragic and inexcusable that this city's pro teams continue to disappoint their fans--year after year after year.

Stinger2
Stinger2

@DawgNole I guess since the Falcons are not doing so well that you are happy. Looks like you have another team besides the Braves to beat up on for a while. Will the Hawks be next?  

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Stinger2 @DawgNole

Can you not read?

"Tragic and inexcusable" means "happy" in your book? 

You're even stupider than I thought.

Still think the 2014 Braves will make the playoffs?

PappaBunny
PappaBunny

The first rules of any football team:


1.  Get your QB

2. Build your O-line to protect QB.

3. Give QB tools.

4. Build rest of team.


Dmitrov has failed.

zuzu331
zuzu331

We will be lucky if Ryan avoids an injury. It's disgusting.

PappaBunny
PappaBunny

Shame they wasted 5 draft picks on Julio.  Imagine how much better the defense could be and the O-line if those picks would have been used there.  Instead, they went for flash, and ruined any chance of having quality depth.  WRs do not win championships.  Defense does.  Falcons have WRs, no defense.


Dimitrov needs to be fired for that boondoggle.  That transaction set this team back 5 years.  He is the one that brings in the talent.  That has been an epic fail.

WilSmith
WilSmith

@PappaBunny BS - the problem with the Falcons IMHO is that they overpaid their quarterback and in the process have had to go cheap everywhere else. Since they paid the quarterback so much they have had to build an offense around him. But if we look at what we had when we were reasonably good the game plan was to use the passing game and 'Matty Ice' as the the second option - the run game with a fullback leading M. Turner to the hole was what got us the wins. It ate up clock and tired out the defense. We also had a passable defense (of course we got rid of the defensive players who actually made plays (Abe, Grimes, Lofton, etc) to pay the QB).


Oh well its basketball season soon so I can go back to being disgusted with the Hawks. 

baseball sucks
baseball sucks

@PappaBunny That is   crazy talk ,    when the  nfl analyst  rate the best receivers in the league   are nearly always 1 and 2  Calvin Johnson and Julio Jones in that order.  Wide receivers don't win championships  tell that to   San Fran  fans and Jerry Rice ,in a recent  sport interview   Rice was ask  who of the current class of  receivers out there now reminds him of himself his answer Julio Jones. The Lack of depth  overall  on this teams roster is  a piss poor product  of  terrible  evaluation of  draft talent  and free agency signing by gm Dimitroff and the HC Smith...... Dimitroff and Smith  have had  years to  add  depth to this team after the Jones  draft deal, and judging by those two  drafting  talent  probably  all five of those   coveted   five picks would have been BUST ,  like all of their other  draft picks and free agency signing  for six years  OTHER  than Julio Jones. If you think the  120 million dollar Ryan contract and the 10 million dollar a year Roddy signing along with the  resigning of the  oft injured mediocre  Sam Baker , the new sign  OL  Mathews  and oh yeah the   big contract  coming  next year for Jones  ,then deplete this team payroll  then thats more crazy talk.

WilSmith
WilSmith

@baseball sucks @PappaBunny If I'm so wrong lets look at the empirical evidence. The year we went 13-3 who was on the team, how many 100 yard rushing games did we have, how many sacks did Abe have, etc? The very next year when we went 4-12 how many 100-yard rush games did we have, how many sacks did Abe's replacement have? Oh yeah what also happened between those two seasons?

BoboIsNotTheProblem
BoboIsNotTheProblem

@PappaBunny Agree, except the Falcons DON'T have the WRs.  Julio is world-class mediocre.  Did you see him quit playing on the INT against the Giants?  Roddy drops more than he catches. Resigning him for 4 years was stupid.  The TE is terrible. Our WR core is BELOW AVERAGE, and we've spent a ton of dough there.  Fire Dmitroff.

39Concepts
39Concepts

Mike and Thomas will be wanting huge raises from Arthur in the offseason for all the time they put in at the film room and personnel evaluation. Arthur needs to pay up!

FLASUX
FLASUX

But hey, new stadium!! 

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

Mr. Blank will dismiss most at the end of the year and he should. Plenty of time was given to the staff and Admin to improve the roster. There is some decent coaches on that sideline but they all will pay the price.

MikeS777
MikeS777

This team is just flat no good right now.  The personnel decisions of the past several years have created a team that has Ryan, White, Jones, a good stable of RBs, but a patchwork O line and really not much of a defense at all.

The biggest mistake was getting rid of Grimes, Robinson, and Samuel.  With those 3, at least the Falcons could cover someone when the line got no pass rush.  They have looked clueless in the secondary for two years now.

Bottom line, this team got good by committing to the run with Michael Turner and playing solid defense.  They got away from that identity trying to be all pass happy, and sacrificed other positions to make that happen.  These are the results.  Ask the Saints how all offense, no defense has been working for them recently.  You can't win in this league without playing defense.

ChuckinAlpharetta
ChuckinAlpharetta

I think it might be time to start over - Matt Ryan is fantastic when he has an OL in front of him - and I'm beginning to doubt he will ever have that here - at least for more than the first 2-3 games of a season.

We seem to lose our entire OL to injury before the weather gets cold - maybe they love golf and hate football and look for any excuse to declare themselves done for the year, or maybe we train from the "Sure-to-Break-Somethin'" school.

Whatever the case we clearly don't need a high-priced QB that we're only going to see destroyed by relentless pressure from even the most mediocre of defenses - and we should have too much respect for Matt Ryan to see this done to him.

We need to trade everybody, start from scratch, find one of the most unpleasant quarterbacks who nobody can stand and watch him take a pounding behind what will winds up behind an OL made of of laid-off post office employees by the middle of each season.

Do it for Matt.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@ChuckinAlpharetta: "I think it might be time to start over . . . ."

_______________________

Forty-eight years, ZERO championships, and you're just now figuring that out?

ATLBrown
ATLBrown

Should've drafted or traded for a TE this year.  Toilolo - maybe he's good at blocking, but he can't catch jack.  His drops were devastating yesterday

zuzu331
zuzu331

Don't leave out Julio. The ball must've had butter on it or something...

DawgnIT
DawgnIT

Does this mean there will be $100 season tickets at the new stadium?

Schweigen
Schweigen

Even Oakland and Jacksonville aren't pushed around like the D-line of the Falcons. This team's D-line and line backers are the worst in the NFL - period. 

Taio
Taio

Defensive coach with Mike Smith and we have one of the worst defenses in the NFL. At least you know what you get with Rex, a strong defense and weak offense.  It is time for the Falcons to go in a new direction.  There was more Bears fans than Falcons fans in our stadium.  We have lost confidence in this head coach.  FIRE SMITH NOW!!!!!!

Big Wally
Big Wally

It's a good thing that Dimitroff's "system specific" draft picks are doing so well.  We could be 0-6 instead of 2-4.

PeteMTL
PeteMTL

Falcons will be back at the Dome on Nov 23 with a 2-8 or 3-7 record. Season over, bye bye. Arthur will be looking up his perch at  20,000 to 30,000 empty seats. At least those empty seats will look better red than the ugly teal of the past. Thank God hockey has started.

Ruffski
Ruffski

@PeteMTL Lot's of Ohio folks in ATL... I expect a strong turnout from Browns fans that will be making some noise. 

Schweigen
Schweigen

@Ruffski @PeteMTL Such is the problem living in a location where people move to... especially from crummy places like Cleveland...   

Ruffski
Ruffski

@Schweigen @Ruffski @PeteMTL It definitely make it's tough for the home teams, as the majority of ATL residents seem to be relocated from somewhere else. Odd pro sports town for sure.

zuzu331
zuzu331

You ever spend a winter in Green Bay or Cleveland? It's like a punishment.

GeorgeJetsen
GeorgeJetsen

It would help if ATL sports teams gave transplants something compelling to follow.

Delbert_D
Delbert_D

Next year will be a major rebuilding year after several salary dumps and trades (number 84) for players and draft picks by the new management. The fans can enjoy cheering for the underdogs for several seasons.

Big Wally
Big Wally

This is what happens when you have years of incompetency from the GM position.

Statick
Statick

This is a bad team. A bad, bad, bad team. Thomas Dimitroff should be ashamed. And FIRED. The guy couldn't recognize NFL talent if it bit him in the ***.

CreamofBuckwheat
CreamofBuckwheat

This team is like watching Groundhog Day over and over. They are too predictable, play with little passion and will find out that the same thing happens despite the fact that Coach Smith and Matt Ryan promise every weekly loss to get better, play with more passion and turn things around. This is sounding like the definition of insanity. I have wasted enough time on this bunch and doubt a new billion dollar stadium will change things.

Trackbacks

  1. […] The Falcons: Outplayed, outclassed and out of ideas These short takes off Falcons-Bears are presented as a companion to the game column, which can be found here. The Falcons came within 15 points of winning, if you hadn't heard. 1. It's hard to believe now, but the Falcons were favored. By a field goal, … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) […]

  2. […] knives haven’t come out just yet for Smith outside of the fanbase, with local columnists like Mark Bradley at the AJC alluding to the team’s deep problems but not going so far as to call for Smith’s head. […]