Atlanta Falcons

As the highly-anticipated action-packed NFL Week 15 slate looms, the doom of the excruciating ho-ho-rrendous offseason inches closer to its inevitable gloom. Pretty soon we’ll all covet a nationally televised less-than-thrilling division battle between the Cleveland Browns andPittsburgh Steelers.  Or at least some of us die-hard all-around enthusiasts will. Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean we should distillate on the near future without football.  Rather, we should try to digest the entire feast of NFL games that remain on the schedule from now until the Super Bowl on February 6, 2012 in Lucas Oil Stadium. Week 15 is chock-full of [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , , ,
Week 14 in the NFL delivered a feast of high-stakes great escapes and fantastic finishes as the murky playoff picture continues to clear and the pressure for a postseason push is reaching its boiling point. He are my NFL Week 15 Power Rankings with an updated examination on the 2011 NFL playoff picture. Interesting update on the current NFL standings: Six teams have a record of 10-3, 7-6 and 4-9.  There are five teams with a 8-5 record.  Three teams also have a record of 6-7 and 5-8.  Two teams are 2-11 and one team is still winless, while another reamins unblemished. This week's biggest movers are the Giants and Chargers (both climb five spots), Eagles (ascend four places), Buccaneers, Redskins, Panthers and Dolphins (all fall four positions) and the Jaguars (leap from 31st [...] Continue reading →
Broncos 13, Bears 10 (OT) Admittedly, it’s getting harder for us purists to keep pooh-poohing what Tim Tebow and the Broncos are doing. Once again, Denver’s stingy defense carried the day – it was the fourth time in five games that its held opponents to under 14 points – but the fact that Tebow, who completed just 3 of 16 passes in the first three quarters (though four if you count the one to Bears corner Charles Tillman), was 15/20 for 191 yards and a touchdown in the fourth quarter and overtime, can’t be overlooked. There’s still buzz-killing analysis to offer here: Tebow’s touchdown drive was aided by Chicago’s cautious zone coverages down the stretch; the fourth quarter field goal drive doesn’t happen without Marion Barber’s out-of-bounds [...] Continue reading → | , , , , ,
The pressure for a postseason push will reach its boiling point around the NFL with the murky playoff picture continuing to clear in Week 14. The Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3) took care of business against the Cleveland Browns (4-9) on Thursday Night Football 14-3 in a division collision that sent both starting quarterbacks to head to the sidelines temporarily.  FYI I picked the AFC North get-together before it got underway on our Facebook page in a 27-7 landslide.  Nevertheless, 15 games remain to be played. With this in mind, here’s my latest batch of predictions for Week 14.  And analogous to last week, don’t let this [...] Continue reading →
NFL Week 13 featured more high-stakes marquee matchups, sudden surprises and fantastic finishes as the murky playoff picture continues to clear and the pressure for a postseason push is reaching its boiling point. Please take the uncharacteristic momentous movement in this week's rankings with a grain of salt. Teams placed previously between 8th and 14th in last week's rankings all lost on Sunday. He are my NFL Week 14 Power Rankings with an updated examination on the 2011 NFL playoff picture. [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Packers 38, Giants 35 From what was as good a game as professional sports has to offer, we take away not the sterling performance of Aaron Rodgers (just another day at the office: 28 of 46, 369 yards, four touchdowns, one interception…and a game-winning drive) but those of his receivers. The Giants had a good defensive gameplan centered around three-and four-man pass-rushes in front of a mixture of coverages. The idea was to force Rodgers to make decisions from the pocket, as opposed to presnap. Theoretically, the plan worked. In actuality, it didn’t. The Packers simply had too many weapons for the Giants to cover. Greg Jennings, Jordy Nelson and Donald Driver have speed, intelligence and, most importantly, incredible body control. Their adjustments when the [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , ,
NFL Week 13 is jam-packed with high-stakes marquee matchups and boiling pressure as the murky playoff picture continues to clear.  Vince Young and the nightmarish Philadelphia Eagles (4-7) head to the Emerald City to kick the action into gear in a battle withTarvaris Jackson and the Seattle Seahawks (4-7) on so-called T.G.I.T. (Thank God It’s Thursday) on Thursday Night Football on NFL Network. Don’t let this week’s slate fool you.  It may look like a crummy ole’ biscuit, but it smells and tastes like a [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , ,
Week 12 in the NFL featured a feast of mouth-watering action—arguably the best slate of games of the season to date, starting with the most palatable Thanksgiving Day menu ever in league history. Here are my NFL Week 13 Power Rankings with an updated examination on the 2011 playoff picture. This week’s biggest movers are the Redskins (31st to 26th) and the Raiders and Giants, two teams that swap positions for 8th and 13th.  The Ravens (3rd to 2nd) and 49ers (2nd to 3rd) also exchange places, along with the Bears (7th to 9th) and Patriots (9th to 7th). Ranking the dreadful dozen (worst 12 teams) this week is like trying to solve the Rubik’s Cube and catch football passes simultaneously.  Interestingly enough, each team beat the team ranked just behind them from 22nd to [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Getting ready for Week 13 by reviewing some of the film from Week 12.... Texans O vs. Jaguars D Jack Del Rio’s defense gave a stellar performance in what turned out to be their head coach’s final game. It wasn’t a challenging task for the Jags, really. With backup Matt Leinart under center, and especially with third-stringer T.J. Yates under center, the Texans simplified their passing game to the point of near-fecklessness. Their play-action rollouts became predictable and defensible. On those plays, Jacksonville’s ends did a great job at maintaining backside containment, while the linebackers and safeties consistently hunted up the tight end crossing routes. The Jaguars dialed in on Arian Foster in the receiving game, bottling him up on every screen and [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , ,
Broncos 16, Chargers 13 It was another miraculous performance by the Denver Broncos defense. Elvis Dumervil capitalized on San Diego’s glaring weakness at left tackle (backup Brandyn Dombrowski in for the injured Marcus McNeil) to lead the pass-rush with two sacks. The sagacious secondary – three starters with a decade-plus experience – gave up almost nothing downfield. The improving linebacking corps slipped a bit, yielding 185 on 36 rushing attempts (5.1 yards per carry). But the 36 rushing attempts were also an illustration of how Norv Turner was baited into playing Tebowball. That wasn’t Turner’s only acquiescence to the Broncos. In the waning minutes, with Denver driving into field goal range, Turner decided to play for the tie (which, in the 4-6 [...] Continue reading →
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