Know Your Enemy: The Falcons

TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 25: Matt Ryan #2 passes to Harry Douglas #83 of the Atlanta Falcons during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on September 25, 2011 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Do you think, in the animal kingdom, that Seahawks would be more badass than Falcons? You know, if there was such thing as a Seahawk? I like to think so. Because of their marine habitat, Seahawks would probably have big badass talons and beaks and would regularly feed on sea lions, barracudas, and small shark species. Most falcons I know hang out on the edge of the freeway and scoop up little innocent mice.

Falcons, as everybody knows, are the weakest sauce in the raptor family of birds of prey.

Weakest sauce, I say.

Mike Smith: Competition Is Coming For The Falcons - The Falcoholic
Mike Smith's Monday press conference was about the same as it ever is, with one notable exception. Smith expressed befuddlement at the team's performance. He acknowledged the need to improve significantly. He threw a bone to Todd McClure, praising him in spite of his botched snap during the Buccaneers game. Smitty also busted out the obvious "we did some things well and other things poorly," as you can see here. What was different and a little ominous for those players tuning in at home was Smith's assertion that "there's competition at all spots." There's always the chance that it's just bluster and we're going to see exactly the same 22 starters out there on offense and defense. Given the performance we all just watched, though, I'm not so sure that's true. 

The Falcons Should Get Jacquizz Rodgers More Involved In The Offense - The Falcoholic
The Atlanta Falcons have a lot of woes. I don't need to tell you that. For all that, there's bright spots on this team. Roddy White and Julio Jones have flashed elite ability, the defense has generally been stout and Matt Bryant is so automatic he makes AK-47s jealous. The Falcons are going to get going at some point, assuming the offensive line goes from "horrible" to "mediocre or better." One of those bright spots could be Jacquizz Rodgers. He's got 24 yards on seven carries, which isn't stellar, but he also has five catches for 52 yards. With Jason Snelling concussed, Rodgers may get more of an opportunity against the Seahawks. I have a feeling he'll size it.

Atlanta Falcons Wednesday Injury Report: Banged Up Birds - The Falcoholic
The Atlanta Falcons threw the injury report in the same fashion you or I might throw a rock. It's heavy. In total, five players did not practice at all on Wednesday. Here's the list:

Whats Your Solution To The Offensive Line Problem? - The Falcoholic
A short discussion post for you all this morning, because I'm still shocked that Atlanta sports, for the collective month of September, has been as sorry as anything I've ever witnessed, and I've still got a good 50 years to go, hopefully. Except the Atlanta Dream, who don't believe in curses. I hope they win a title for this deprived city. Shameless Dream advertisement. In any case, we've skirted around solutions in other threads, but there hasn't been a thread dedicated to what you think the solution should be. Tyson Clabo, in his interview after the TB game, said that he didn't know why the running plays weren't working. He also said that they were, essentially, outplayed. They didn't make their blocks, the Bucs made their defensive stops.

The Bucs are a Stupid Dumb - The Falcoholic
That is pretty much my recap of Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, which was generally not awesome, as we all know. I’m not going to belabor it. The fact of the matter is, any team can win any game on any given Sunday. There were myriad fundamental errors, committed most frequently by the Falcons’ offense, on Sunday, and also a consistently good defensive performance and some flashes of brilliance from Matty Ice and company. Despite the prevailing sense of gloom and doom about Atlanta sports in general today, the Atlanta Dream excluded (nice work, ladies), we have every reason to be cautiously optimistic about this Sunday’s game. Join me after the jump for a breakdown of the advantages and disadvantages the Falcons will be facing heading into this Sunday’s matchup with the Seattle Seahawks.

It's Time For The Falcons To Torpedo The Shotgun - The Falcoholic
Eye-opening stuff from Pat Yasinskas over at ESPN today. He makes a simple, effective case for scrapping the shotgun. For those of you who just were unfrozen and find football "frightening and confusing," the shotgun is a formation where the quarterback takes a long snap. This theoretically gives him more time to scan the field, and teams usually capitalize on that by sending more guys out wide. You would think that with the Falcons' offensive line doing its best impression of the Care Bears, the shotgun would be making a difference. It is making a difference, alright...but a horrible difference! You'll have to insert your own gasps and peals of thunders.

Bradley: Defense has tackling plan for Turner | Seahawks Insider
Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley praised cornerback Walter Thurmond and linebacker Aaron Curry for their efforts during practice today. Curry had a couple interceptions working with the scout team defense, and Thurmond made several plays this afternoon, including two interceptions and a couple pass breakups while working with the first unit. "We’re trying to get them to act like vets off the field and play like rookies, where they’re flying around and having fun," Bradley said. "They’re just having a lot of fun. There’s a lot of guys … Aaron Curry, he had a couple interceptions today and he was flying around. So it’s good. We keeping talking to them every day about having some good juice, good energy out there, and it showed up today."

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