I'll admit, I was a wee bit nervous about this game. The Colts had played some inspired games in the past, and I worried that they'd put it all together and make us look the fool.
Thankfully, The Real Falcons showed up and quickly put those worries to bed, thanks largely to the Julio Jones Show, which is growing in legend every week. Soon he'll be able to sit on the bench and watch himself score touchdowns while simultaneously scoring the touchdown. And feed the hungry. And be faster than a speeding bullet (Did you see him outrun everyone and their brother on the Colts defense? I giggled like a little girl.).
I've been busy with school lately, and UGA and the Falcons delivered this weekend with a couple of easy-goers which made for a happy weekend.
As always, let's talk specifics after the jump!
Good grief, Julio Jones. You're a boss. And you're fast as all get out, too. Two touchdowns of 50+ yards in one game, the first rookie WR to do that since Randy Moss. Yeah, that's some elite company right there. Keep it up, boss man. You'll be in Falcons lore before you know it if you keep this up.
The Whole Defense: Look, I know it was Curtis Painter and the hapless Colts, but you guys didn't allow a single point to the Colts. Not even in garbage time! That's impressive, I don't care who you are. A great effort by all three facets of the D. Dunta laid some vicious hits (none of which were penalized) and Grimes was, once again, not heard from for the most part. That's a good thing. The LB corps was as good as ever. Lofton had a forced fumble, Spoon was everywhere, and Nicholas was invisible, which in his case, is a good thing.
I saw you, Abe and Ray Edwards. Don't worry, your efforts did not go unnoticed. Same for you, El Sid and Beerman. The four of you were wreaking havoc on the edges. Yeah, you guys didn't get any sacks, but you scared the mess out of Painter and either forced an errant throw or forced him right into the loving arms of USS Angry Babs and Corey Peters. I'll take it. Great stuff.
Matt Ryan's Second Half: I tell you, when Matty Ice is on, he's on. He's as good as any QB (except maybe Rodgers) when he's on. That being said, we need him to be "on" more often. The offense seems to be very rhythm based. Once we settle into a groove, we tend to be darn near unstoppable. If we have a hiccup in there, it's like missing teeth on a gear. Things get ugly when that happens. I'm fully convinced now that Matt needs to run the no-huddle 100% of the time.
I say that not because I think Matt calls a superior game to Mularkey, but because of the fact that Matt has an extremely high football intelligence. He knows what to call based on what the D gives him. He, along with most of the players, know the entirety of the offense. It removes the guessing aspect of calling an offensive play against a defensive alignment. In truth, there's no real way to combat it defensively except try and pick up on the offense's terminology, among other things, or hope your DC guesses correctly a bunch of times.
$$$$ Bryant: Still the man. Nothing more needs to be said.
Matt Bosher, the Revived Punter: Well I'll tell you what, Bosher kicked the ball effectively yesterday. I was surprised he was capable of doing it, but he did. He got some darn good punts off, and his kickoffs were good as well. They had the roof open at Lucas Oil Stadium, too. It wasn't totally covered, so there was definitely some air flow in there. It was also about 60 degrees. Pretty sure colder air makes footballs fly less.....freely.
Quizz: Quizz, you are a fun running back to watch. You're way faster than I ever expected and, in spite of your stature, you refuse to go down! You were dragging people all over the place. I loved how they utilized your quickness to run you outside, and it worked pretty well. When you turned the corner on that pitch to the right on the goal line, I thought for sure you had your first pro TD. I see plenty of those in your future. Keep at it, Quizz.
Turner: Turner, you were effective, if unspectacular. We'll ride you into the ground this year, I'm sure.
The OL: Aside from one holding penalty, the OL was relatively good. I believe we only gave up one sack, and Matty was kept clean for most of the game. Freeney and Mathis can still play, and you know those guys are playing for pride.
Matty's First Half: Wildly inconsistent, errant throws were masked by the Julio Jones show, but we used our base offense a good bit, too. I think he'll get that ironed out. Not really worried. That pick 6 had blame that went around, but it happens.
The Offense's Utilization of Talent: I feel so bad for HD. He's a good athlete and a good receiver, but we're not even bothering to throw to him. I mean, he might be a 30-40 catch a year for 500 yards kind of guy, but we're not even giving him that. He's a deep threat as well and a capable slot receiver. And Quizz! He needs more carries. I think he's the real deal and, while he might never be a feature back, we should certainly use him more. Heck, if Darren Sproles can have 50 receptions thus far, Quizz can have at least 2/3 of that. We just don't use our RBs right, if you ask me.
There wasn't anything ugly about this game. It was a good game, one we probably won't have a repeat of until next season, so enjoy it while it lasts.
Game MVP: Julio Jones. I love Spoon, he's been awesome this year (Love his celebration) but Julio was a superstar yesterday. An absolutely awesome performance.
Sounds of the Game: I'm going to continue Dave's hip hop doodah trend and offer a song called Dirty Birds Fly. It's a really neat song and it's on iTunes. All the proceeds from iTunes purchases go to help cure ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease).
In a Word: Breezy.