Atlanta Falcons

Thanksgiving couples three of the things I love most in life—family, food and football.  And Week 12 in the NFL presents the most mouth-watering slate of games to date this season. It wouldn't be complete without the Packers (10-0) at the Lions (7-3), emerging Dolphins (3-7) at the Cowboys (6-4) and finally the Harbaugh Bowl between the 49ers (9-1) and the Ravens (7-3) all on Turkey Day. Before I get cracking with my Week 12 predictions, here are my NFL Week 12 Power Rankings. This week's biggest mover is Miami, who ascends nine spots (28th to 19th), while Buffalo drops the furthest, sliding down five places (17th to 22nd).  The Jets (15th to 18th) and Eagles (18th to 15th) also swap positions, along with Raiders (14th to 13th) and Bengals (13th to 14th). I maintain a [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Getting ready for Week 12 by reviewing some of the film from Week 11. Dolphins O vs. Bills D Chalk this victory up to Miami’s defense. Fourteen of Miami’s points came off great field position thanks to turnovers, and another seven were on a blocked punt. This is not to say the Dolphins offense wasn’t commendable. It found the end zone on its first two drives, thanks to a sound run game and a few outside on-target throws downfield by Matt Moore. The offensive line made the difference. Jake Long performed all of his versatile assignments with his usual acumen; left guard Richie Incognito was solid on short-area pulls; center Mike Pouncey did a wonderful job angling his blocks and steering defenders in the run game; right guard Vernon Carey stood out both outside [...] Continue reading → | , , , , ,
Bears 31, Chargers 20 Vincent Jackson finally got on track after being held to under 50 yards receiving in four of his previous five games. His return to prominence came against the off-coverage of Charles Tillman, the veteran corner coming off perhaps the best game of his stellar nine-year career. San Diego’s makeshift offensive line – which, on the left side, read more like a Polish phonebook than NFL roster, with Brandyn Dombrowski and Scott Mruczkowski starting in place of injured stars Marcus McNeill and Kris Dielman – did not let Julius Peppers and Chicago’s potent four-man rush get anywhere near Philip Rivers. And yet, it was the Bears defense that came away victorious. Rivers’ two late interceptions were a big reason why. (The What’s wrong [...] Continue reading → | , , , , ,
The Tim Tebow Show kicks off an action-packed slate of games in NFL Week 11, as the Denver Broncos (4-5) host Mark Sanchez and theNew York Jets (5-4) on so-called T.G.I.T. (Thank God It’s Thursday) on Thursday Night Football on NFL Network. Immeasurable playoff ramifications will be put on the line all around the league. This is the last stanza of byes, which includes the three 7-3 teams (Saints, Texans and Steelers) and winless Colts.  Let’s get things started with the season’s last pre-Thanksgiving football feast! [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , ,
I knew going into this game it would be a tough, hard fought match. In that aspect, I wasn't disappointed. Where I was disappointed branches several areas. I plan to cover those today and try to make sense of some of the things the 2011 NFL season has served us this year. Lets start with officiating. I know the players and coaches do not like to complain about it. I wouldn't either if I would get fined for speaking the truth. Lucky for me, and them, I don't make anything so they have nothing to fine me. If the NFL decided to pay me to write, you could expect me to sing the praises of the officials. But, since we all know that's not happening lets be real. There are too many damn penalties being called. A defender basically has to allow a receiver to catch the ball, then tackle [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , ,
NFL Week 10 featured everything but the kitchen sink with a number ofupsets (Raiders 24-Chargers 17, Broncos 17-Chiefs 10, Cardinals 21-Eagles 17 and Seahawks 22-Ravens 17), blowouts (Titans 30-Panthers 3, Texans 37-Buccaneers 9, Cowboys 44-Bills 7, Bears 37-Lions 13, Patriots 37-Jets 16 and Packers 45-Vikings 7) and tight finishes that didn't fall into the previous two categories (Saints 26-Falcons 23 in OT, Rams 13-Browns 12, Steelers 24-Bengals 17 and 49ers 27-Giants 20). Week 10 also presented all 32 teams in action and Week 11 will be the last stanza of byes with the three 7-3 teams (Saints, Texans and Steelers) and the still winless Colts taking a week off before Thanksgiving. While I always pay close attention to what [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
49ers 27, Giants 20 Not one prognosticator would have predicted a 49ers victory if told beforehand that Frank Gore would rush for 0 of his team’s measly 77 yards against the NFC East-leading Giants. Take away the run game, you take away the entire 49ers offense. Or so we thought. Alex Smith had his best outing of the season, regardless of what his good-but-not-great numbers might say. He was able to sustain offense through the air early and late, with no critical turnovers against a typically fierce New York pass-rush. The victory, however, can be attributed to a handful of big second half defensive plays, including Carlos Rogers’s second interception. It was a wide open pick, as the ex-Redskin had perfect underneath positioning against a route that Mario [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , ,
Every year this is my favorite game of the year. The best part is that it happens twice a season. Say what you will about rivalries. I've heard all the great ones from Chicago and Green Bay to Dallas and Washington. But when it comes to these two teams the hatred and angst there cannot be overlooked. And if both franchises, who have been historically terrible, remain contenders in the NFL then the league will eventually take note of this rivalry. "This is one of the most overlooked rivalries in football right now. We've been playing some great games," said Falcons running back Michael Turner. "We know we don't like each other," Turner said. "We've been fighting each other since 2008 for this division. It's a rivalry game." I realize Turner has only been aboard since 2008 but to [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , ,
With half of the NFL season in the books, now is an appropriate time to start talking about Pro Bowl considerations. Here’s my midway point ballot (as filled out on NFL.com), determined by observations from film study (with statistics serving as an infrequent “verification tool”). *Indicates a starter; all other players are listed in no particular order.   NFC Offense Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, Packers* The best first-half of a season we’ve seen from any quarterback. Ever.   Drew Brees, Saints It’s the closest we can get to voting Jimmy Graham in twice.   Eli [...] Continue reading → | , , , ,
Get ready to seek your their teeth into the most mouth-watering action-packed slate of games of the 2011 NFL regular season to date.  It all kicks off on Thursday Night Football with the Raiders (4-4) at the Chargers (4-4) on T.G.I.T. (Thank God It’s Thursday) on NFL Network. I can’t ever remember seeing this many toss-ups for a single week in the NFL.  I may even pull out a lucky penny and try to use the coin-flip method to pick most of these matchups. I don’t wager on games and I strongly advice you to stay the heck away from points spreads for this week.  You may have a better chance of winning the lottery and losing all of the money in the same day than you do of obtaining a ROI from betting on Sunday’s high-stakes head-scratching and [...] Continue reading → | , , , , , , , ,
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