When you're expected to win a game, that is how you are expected to win it. The Falcons were favored against the incredibly inept Chiefs and responded by beating the tar out of them by the fun score of 38-14. This team was widely considered to be the worst in the league before the season, and I'll let our record thus far speak for itself.
The Falcons still aren't going to win a ton of games this season, but man do I love it when they do. Let's bask in the light of the sun, after the jump.
- I really have to give Mike Smith, Mike Mularkey and Brian VanGorder a lot of credit for continuing to coach like they actually have a clue. VanGorder did very good things despite the fact that Michael Boley apparently came out on many passing downs, and Mularkey kept Ryan safe with short passes and a lot of running even after Sam Baker came out in the second half. The mark of good coaches is how well their schemes work when they're missing personnel or simply using guys who might not be as talented. So far, Smith and Co. are passing those tests with flying colors.
In this space, it'd be good to mention Ryan. Ryan was solid, and the coaching staff called on him to go for only long passes and short passes right in his wheelhouse. The medium pass still seems to be an issue for him, so they just generally avoided it. That can only help Ryan's confidence.
- Michael Turner was a raging force of nature again. Scoring three touchdowns, he plowed through the Chiefs like Natrone Means (a Falcoholic favorite) with better speed. As the Bucs proved, you can bottle up Turner, but he's going to absolutely ravage inferior defenses this year. So far, he's held up to the pounding very well. Even if this season turns sour sooner than later, it'll be a joy to watch him run.
- Roddy White was the only Falcons receiver to catch more than two passes, and he has an excellent rapport going with Ryan now. When Roddy is really doing well, he runs excellent routes and runs them much faster than the defensive backs assigned to cover him. With Laurent Robinson apparently wearing a knee brace (more on that in another post), White is the only reliable deep threat left and will have to continue to kick gluteus in the weeks ahead.
- John Abraham cannot possibly get enough praise for the season he's putting together. He's leading the league in sacks and has been getting his regardless of opponent, blocking scheme and alignment of the stars. There's a very good reason Abraham was considered one of the best defensive ends in football when we traded for him, and he's reminding us just what that is. Poor Tyler Thigpen got eaten alive today.
- Speaking of eating, Chris Houston and Brent Grimes deserve props for each coming up with a key interception. They're young corners who are still a little mistake prone, but nothing gets you fans faster than a pick. Especially when, like Houston, you return yours for a touchdown. Well done.
- Erik Coleman quietly did some amazing things on Sunday. Between his 10 tackles, interception and forced fumble, he really paced the defense and is starting to look like an incredible value at free safety. Well done, part two!
- Adam Jennings is the beginning and the end, the alpha and omega of suck. With terrible return numbers, no role in the passing game and an ugly fumble on a return that he managed to lose, Jennings continues to baffle with his ability to cling to a roster spot like a deer tick. I'm sure Jennings is a bad guy punching, orphan saving quality dude off the field, but I don't want to see him on it any more. He has easily been the lowlight of the season, and he's the punt returner.
- I actually felt bad for the Chiefs, who are so bad that they almost make the 2007 Falcons look passable. Poor buggers.
Game MVP: Let's give this game ball to Michael Turner. Turner has now won this twice, giving him the coveted title of "Twice Winner On The Falcoholic." I'll accept the award on his behalf.
Game Theme Song: Hero by Nas--once again for Mr. Turner.
One Thing To Take Away: There aren't a lot of teams worse than us, but we have absolutely proven we can beat any of them without breaking a sweat.
Next Week: We travel to face the 2-1 Panthers, who really look rejuvenated this year. Or did until the Vikings beat them. But up until that, yeah, they were great.
Final Word: A very fun win with a lot of scoring, competent defense and a winning record now, to boot. Enjoy this one, because it's a tough week coming up.