HAH well last week we just sucked. But whats really the kicker is how everyone acted afterwards on the Falcoholic. I mean sure it wasn't good but still the reactions made me laugh a ridiculous amount. I would like to give a shout out to BabyGoatEater (not only for his extra morbid, yet commonly occuring name) but for this hilarious spoof post that most of you have probably already read. Fun fact: that post is tied as the 2nd most popular FanPost in the Falcoholic's long history with a wopping 16 recs (2 recs behind the most popular)... moral of the story the Falcoholic is super popular.
However the Bears game has made me discover one thing, the Falcons can't succeed if they have any sort of lingering expectations. Last seasons playoff game we were thought to go deep into the playoffs and continue of regular season success and what happened? Then this season we are listed as Super Bowl candidates and should do very well all season long repeating the success of last year. Haha yup you guessed it we crashed and burned. The only questions being our pass rush, JJ's production, the production of our older players and our running game. And last week those seemed to be the only things that were any good... (JJ is on pace for 80 receptions and 1136 yards a fairly solid rookie season). Last year at the start of the season the offense was good to go it was the defense that was in question, so they decided to hold their own against the Steelers and the offense didn't do squat. Also the day we score and offensive touchdown opening weekend from now, is the day I assume we aren't going to win the division. I love the Falcs but if you can't have fun after something like this then it just becomes depressing. Now onto the good part.
It's that time of the week again when Turner_The_Burner and I, dunlagh, will give you a breakdown of the 3 best case and 3 worst case situations for the game. These will focus on different parts of the Falcons game where they could soar or suffer against our opponents. Obviously we’re Falcons fans, and have a bit more knowledge of the Dirty Birds than some other teams, so if you’re a visitor or just an NFL purist and we make a shocking mistake, please call us out on it! Other than that I hope you enjoy our work.
The Falcons 2011 campaign started out like a very large pile of defecated waste. The Bears game was very lackluster to put it mildly and it leaves us with a lot to be desired in almost every facet of our play. The highlights were few and far between but never the less it was a game that told us that we have to keep on working regardless of the expectations on us and it is good to have a massive warning sign from day one (I think its better timing then last years warning sign in our 1st playoff game). Everyone has a bad game every now and then but it sure doesn't mean we are as bad as we seem, but one thing’s for sure - The Eagles enter the Georgia Dome in what should be a very memorable game. So entering week two, we officially give you the second Best Case/Worst Case Scenario analysis for 2011
Flipping it to the Eagles
I get to play the role of doomsayer, as I speak about 3 areas where the Eagles can hurt us bad. The new self proclaimed "Dream Team" is going to be a hot favorite to win the Super Bowl this year due to its many big name Free Agent signings. They have added many players to an already formidable NFC East division champions so they could become extra deadly this year, but they aren't perfect and we hope the Falcons can prove that point. Plus there is that little homecoming for Vick as a starter that everyone is talking about. So the 3 worst case scenarios for the Falcons are - Eagles on to Vick-tory, Ryan tastes turf and wideouts wipeout.
Eagles on to Vick-tory: Michael Vick as many Falcons fans know too well is a very versatile and talented player. His speed and ability to run provide him with an extra weapon on top of his powerful and sometimes accurate arm. Vick is probably the most diverse Quarterback right now and can win games by himself in some situations. However Vick can also lose games by himself if he plays a certain way. Last season Vick threw 21 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in 12 games and over 3000 yards with 60% accuracy for the 1st time in his career while also rushing for over 650 yards. These passing stats were by far the best of Vick's career and made him an MVP candidate. But there has been many people speculating if Vick could produce such numbers year in year out. The Vick of old is still there, as seen by a 3 interception, 41% passing preseason game (it doesn't count but it shows it's there). So the big question is which Vick will come out to play. If it is the Vick of last year, then we will have to deal with 60% of his passes completed for about 300 yards, including a couple long bomb passes and a fair few bubble screens. This is while also dealing with the fact at any point he could tuck and run with a surprising resilience to being grounded. This Vick will cause us much grief and pain and not ease the suffering of Week One. I won't go on about how potentially amazing Vick is because many people know exactly how good he can be and what he is capable of, just beware.
Ryan tastes turf: The majority of the Eagles new players are on the defensive end of the field: Jason Babin, Cullen Jenkins, Nnamdi Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. These adds to the already fearsome Asante Samuel and Trent Cole, now I will talk about their defensive backs later but right now the focus is their impressive front 4. Babin and Jenkins are new to the team but last week they grabbed 3 sacks between them and Cole, who also got a sack, is a proven pass rusher for the Eagles with an average of over 10 sacks per season since 2006. Cole was especially effective against Atlanta last year when he got 2 sacks and 1 FF, and this was without Pro Bowl caliber DB's in Asomugha and DRC. With the extra time the new DB's can provide by shutting down receivers, the defensive line can get more shots to bring Ryan to the ground. And if the O-line plays anything like they did last week that could be often. The Falcons offensive line was always thought to be a very strong part of the offense: providing Turner with space to move and allowing Ryan time to throw while rarely drawing a penalty. However last week the O-line was in shambles allowing Ryan to be sacked 5 times and hit many more times. With 2 new starters in Reynolds and Hawley the line looked like a shell of its former self making people question how much we needed Dahl and McClure. Even with Blalock, Baker and Clabo returning, the line was man handled on most passing downs giving Ryan little time to find an open receiver. This may become extra hard if the....
Wide outs, wipe out: Now most teams can boast one or possibly 2 good corner backs, let alone 3. With Asomugha being one of the premier CB's in the league the ball is never thrown to him and when it is it rarely hits its target, last year he gave up 10 catches and 0 TD's all year. He is a 4x All Pro, 4x Pro Bowler, part of the All-Decade team and considered an all around good guy. This is a worry when Roddy is supposed to be one of the biggest parts to our offense and if he is taken out that leaves us with JJ, Meier and HD as our remaining WR's. This however becomes an issue when JJ and HD are then covered by DCR and Samuel. Now I don't know who is going to be matched up on who (I think DRC will take on HD due to having played nickleback in his rookie year) but both of these CB's are Pro Bowl caliber (Samuel All Pro caliber) and will be one of the toughest challenges for each of the WR's. Now there is a chance that Meier or Gonzalez might pull coverage away from one of our WR's however this won't happen too often, if at all and will still be a huge challenge for our passing game. The talent of these corners will make it very difficult for Ryan to make any big plays and we might see many short yardage passes. I expect either Tony G or Snelling to have the most receptions for the game with the other with almost as many. It's going to take something special if we want to beat these corners especially with the talented pass rush they have coming against Ryan. This could be a painful day for Ryan.
Unfortunately that is all we have for you this time but leave a comment or a question and we can cover any other points of interest. Please check back every week for the Best Case/Worst Case Analysis of the upcoming game. Until next time, I wish you good luck and all the best to the Falcons - this should be one hell of a game.