FALCONS FLY HIGH. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
I didn't write a recap for the Carolina game simply because... well it was a 1-11 team we beat up on at the time. The only thing I didn't like was the run defense in the third quarter, which I feel had more to do with our boys taking their feet off the gas rather than Carolina suddenly finding a will to win. This game, however easily won (admit it, you were scared after that first Seattle drive) by our defense in a "tough" road environment, deserves some attention.
- Defense and Matt Ryan won this game. Mostly defense, though. Matt threw a "OMG HURRR DERRRRP" pick early and it hurt for all of a minute since the defense came back onto the field and sent the Seahawks' Offense back to the sideline three plays later. And then the defense picked off Hasslebeck. AND THEN the defense (Jamaal Anderson and USS Babineaux, in this case) almost got the Falcons their first safety, thought better of it, and then forced a fumble and recovered a touchdown. 2 points? Our D laughs. We want six every time the other team moves the ball. It's a wonder to see. What I loved most was the adjustments made. First Seattle series, Hasslebeck goes 5 for 5 and the 'Hawks get 7. Then the defense adjusted and the aforementioned defensive awesomeness happened. AND THEN Hasslebeck gets benched and out comes GA native
GallagherWhitehurst. Boom, 7 points for Seattle. The next Whitehurst series? 3 and out. We adjusted when we had to and it was a beautiful thing.
- Michael Turner continues to be Michael Turner. No complaints.
- Despite his pick, Matt Ryan was clutchy-clutch and cool in the voraciously anti-Falcons atmosphere. This bodes well if by some travesty, we don't lock home-field.
- Brent Grimes. Is there anything else to really say? He's playing above his height and draft pick. WAY above. Like 42" above. Yeah, you see what I did there.
- You know, these Falcons
can'tmake it this year. They just can'tseem to win on the road. At home, Falcons are 6-0. On the road? 6-2. Yeah. Six and two on the road.
- Eric Weems makes tackles on kickoffs and then returns kickoffs for 50+ yards. If there was ever a more fitting nickname beside "Special Weems" for him, I've never heard it.
- As Roddy likes to say, the Falcons have yet to put together a complete game. I'd really like to see that one day this season, maybe in Dallas... Anyway, there were some minor issues. The dink-and-dunk Hasslebeck specialty worked out of the gate and the Seattle running game looked strong against our LBs. But then adjustments were made and we dominated.
- We still have issues with mobile QBs, though how truly mobile Charlie Whitehurst is, I don't know. He gashed us twice Sunday and it hurt. One of his rushes was a clear QB keeper that none of our LBs picked up. Granted, when you send three and drop everyone else into man coverage, it's difficult to keep tabs on a QB. This could spell disaster if we have to face the MIRACULOUS Philly Eagles. The Patriots? Meh.
- You know this will either be on the refs or the announcers. Now, I'm not going to knock the old guy announcing (his name escapes me) because he had a nearly homoerotic fixation on Michael Turner's tree-trunk legs. Tim Ryan, however, was clearly anti-Falcon from the get go. When Seattle burst forth 7-0 in the first series, it was all OMG THE SEATTLE SEAHAWKS ARE SO AWESOME even though they were 6-7 at the time. And it stayed that way. Now, I know Ryan is a respected analyst that co-hosts a show on Sirius, but his one-sided ALLSEAHAWKS, FALCONSWHO? style really irked me. If you're going to praise one team, praise the other. Stay unbiased, balanced. Oh, and don't get me started on Howie Long's "guest analysis." If you missed it (feel lucky), here's the crux; when asked if Atlanta was a championship calibre team, he responded "I'd like to really see Atlanta beat a dynamic offensive team. They've had a lot of close games and I just need more proof." Howie, you're on the naughty list. Enjoy your coal.