It's just one game...
And that is the truth of the matter. I don't know who we upset at the NFL Headquarters to have such a grueling top heavy schedule or to have played two of the best defenses in week one, but let's not use such as an excuse. The games are scheduled and we have to play them. But these are some thoughts I have on the matter.Thought 1: The playoffs aren't starting next week. I know it's a cliche to say "it's just one game," but in reality...it's just one game! As much as everyone wanted go undefeated in the preseason, not make mistakes and blow out the defending NFC North champions at Chicago on 9/11, it just didn't happen and we have to move on. Not saying any of those things to make excuses or sympathy...but they do play a factor in the grand scheme of things.
Thought 2: As I say that it's one game, many or you will say this and that about the offense and defense being the same as it was. Well, if you have been watching the preseason, you would know that the defense has been blitzing more than they ever had in the BVG era.
It working for us.....is another story...you could say it's a culture shift. Now there were still shades of zone where our CBs were off the WRs about 7-8 yards which kinda made it easy for receivers to RECEIVE the ball and I don't like the predictability of the blitzes.
Those things can be fixed (and should be fixed) As for the offensive explosion people were looking for; who could we blame for that? On the one side we couldn't get the ball out quick enough(Matt Ryan was getting killed!), we couldn't get the ball in our playmakers' hands(Julio, HD, Roddy) except that big run by Turner, and turnovers killed the game for us. And it probably didn't help that Todd McClure was out and Reynolds was getting his first starting nod(which doesn't explain the outside pressure)
On the other side Chicago has a good defense once again. It's their policy not to give up 20+ yard plays and to force turnovers. Cliche? Probably, but like I said for the defense...it can be fixed.
Thought 3: After all that said.....When do heads roll? (Too morbid...yeah) But really, how long can the falcons put up with the things we've complained about for almost three years? This has been the same question after the GB game with many of the same problems but, I guess we really have to see our whole team to make a proper judgment and hopefully healthy players will make the difference.
Thought 4: Moving on to the media circus....Philly. At work, I get from all sides from different jerks representing their teams. There's only one other Atlanta sports fan, but mostly everyone there is from Atlanta or has been in Atlanta enough to be incorporated in the phalanx of Atlanta fandom. (OK, that last statement was wishful thinking) Almost everyone is on the Michael Vick bandwagon including some local radio stations. I mean, what did they want Arthur Blank to do?? Vow to wait on Michael Vick and have his huge salary count against the cap while we still had team needs?
I understand people miss Vick, I'm still a fan, but the dude's gone to one of the most disliked team and fans ever. Its over, let it go. I heard also on the radio that the falcons haven't been out the community like the falcons of old(like Vick) and nobody in Atlanta knows them or gives them support. I don't know the validity of that statement, but I seriously doubt the thousands that pack out the dome don't know at least four falcons or support them in local places.
Thought 5: But, one thing I found interesting on that radio station (out of the millions of other fair-weather fan BS) is that Atlantans don't think our falcon football culture isn't like it is in Baltimore, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, or New York. (paraphrased) "When you come into Baltimore...you know there's a football game that day..." I went to the Baltimore game last year and from 5 until game time there nothing but falcons fans tailgating and roasting some ravens fans.
During the game there was 70,000 red and black flags flying and a small section of ravens fans crying. The team isn't responsible for how the fans choose to celebrate gameday, because those cities are one way and Atlanta is another. There are other historical events that have molded this city but I won't get into that....unless somebody wants to.