Tag Archives: new england patriots

Atlanta Falcons vs. New York Jets Preview

Atlanta can ill-afford to drop to 1-4 heading into the bye week. (John Bazemore)

A win versus the New York Jets can build a little bit of momentum heading into the bye week.  (John Bazemore)

For the first time under the current regime, the Atlanta Falcons find themselves two games under .500.

Last week’s 30-23 loss to the New England Patriots put the Falcons on a two-game losing streak, which hasn’t happened since 2009.

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Falcons Fall Short in Comeback Attempt, Lose to Patriots 30-23

Aqib Talib batted the ball away from Roddy White to squash any chances of a comeback. (Kevin C. Cox)

Aqib Talib batted the ball away from Roddy White to squash any chances of a comeback. (Kevin C. Cox)

Matt Ryan threw for a career-best 421 yards, Tony Gonzalez set a new career record with 149 yards, and yet it still wasn’t enough.

The Atlanta Falcons fell to the New England Patriots 30-23, and for the first time since 2007, are two games below .500 with a 1-3 record.

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Atlanta Falcons vs. New England Patriots Preview

The Falcons will need another big day from Osi Umenyiora. (Wilfredo Lee)

Another big day from Osi Umenyiora will help the Falcons immensely. (Wilfredo Lee)

The Atlanta Falcons have to learn how to finish games. In each of the three games this season, the Falcons have held a double-digit lead. In two of those games, including last week against the Miami Dolphins, the Falcons lost.

And thus, the team sits at 1-2, and is preparing to face a 3-0 New England Patriots team.

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Falcons Blow Lead, Lose 27-23 to Dolphins

Osi Umenyiora's chipped in with two sacks, but it wasn't enough to defeat the Miami Dolphins. (Wilfredo Lee)

Osi Umenyiora chipped in with two sacks, but it wasn’t enough to defeat the Miami Dolphins. (Wilfredo Lee)

In what has been a common denominator for the past five games dating back to the postseason, the Atlanta Falcons allowed an opponent back into the game after jumping out to a double-digit lead.

The Falcons fell 27-23 to the Miami Dolphins after going up 10-0 and later leading 20-10.

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NFL Schedule Release: Falcons Have Four Nationally Televised Games

The NFL schedule is set to be released today at 8 p.m. EST, and the Atlanta Falcons will appear in four nationally televised games, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Ledbetter has the New England Patriots (home), Green Bay Packers (away), San Francisco 49ers (away), and Seattle Seahawks (home) games as the four nationally televised games. It makes sense for each of those games to be nationally televised, although I’m surprised that one of the games against the New Orleans Saints was omitted.

Last season, the Falcons had the same amount of nationally televised games.

Following the schedule release, I’ll have an analysis up along with my predictions.

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NFL Owners Eliminate Tuck Rule, Introduce RB Helmet Rule

Jacquizz Rodgers' trucking of Earl Thomas would incur a 15-yard penalty under the new rule. (David Goldman)

Jacquizz Rodgers’ trucking of Earl Thomas would now incur a 15-yard penalty under the new rule. (David Goldman)

On Wednesday, NFL owners approved of two new rule changes: the elimination of the “Tuck Rule” and the passing of a new rule that makes it illegal for a running back to initiate contact with the crown of their helmet.

Despite the controversy of the new running back rule, it passed 31-1. Detractors of the rule include Hall of Fame running backs Marshall Faulk and Emmitt Smith. Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte also expressed his displeasure. A running back who leads with the crown of his helmet will incur a 15-yard penalty. It should also be a noted this rule is for runs that are outside the tackle box.

Controversy aside, it’s the first rule change that provides protection for the defenders.

The “Tuck Rule” was eliminated by a vote of 29-1-2. Unsurprisingly, the New England Patriots, who benefited from the rule in a 2001 playoff game versus the Oakland Raiders, abstained from voting. The rule enabled a fumbled ball moving forward in the hand of a quarterback to be called an incomplete pass.

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Falcons Unable to Clinch Top Seed This Week

Since the Green Bay Packers won today, the Atlanta Falcons are unable to lock up the top playoff seed this week.

However, if the San Francisco 49ers lose tonight against the New England Patriots, Atlanta would lock up the second seed and a first-round bye.

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Despite 6-0 Mark, Falcons are Still Disrespected

If you didn’t know anything about the NFL, you’d think the Atlanta Falcons are currently one of the worst teams in the league. The Falcons’ 6-0 record is continually overlooked and discredited. A couple of NFL.com writers – Adam Rank and Ian Rapoport – even dubbed the Falcons as “frauds.” Gregg Rosenthal has the Falcons ranked sixth in his power rankings.

Eddie George isn’t buying the Falcons, either.

Seriously?

Analysts are in love with reminding the audience how the Falcons have won close games the past three weeks. Here’s a bit of a news flash: good teams win close games and bad teams lose close games. The isn’t college football where you want to blow out your opponent so you can be ranked accordingly. In the NFL, a win is a win is a win.

Bill Parcells said you’re as good as your record says you are, and he’s absolutely right. You can attempt to take away from a win or do whatever you wish, but the fact of the matter is almost doesn’t count, no matter how badly pundits want you to believe otherwise.

What’s more baffling is how people – notably Colin Cowherd and Tedy Bruschi – attempt to say the Falcons’ close wins shouldn’t count, but in the same breath, attempt to make the New England Patriots look better than their 3-3 record reads. The Patriots have lost three games by a total of four points, but you’d think they were undefeated. So, what you’re telling me is it’s better to lose a close game rather than win?

You’ve got to be kidding me.

Don’t get me started on the whole “Falcons don’t deserve respect until they win in the playoffs.” Well, in order for the Falcons to get a playoff win, they first have to get to the playoffs.

It’s time to cut the crap and give the Falcons a little bit of credit for being the only undefeated team in the league.

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Falcons Sign CB Terrence Johnson

The Falcons have signed cornerback Terrence Johnson on Tuesday, a day after placing Brent Grimes on injured reserve.

Johnson was the primary nickelback for the Indianapolis Colts last year. He played in 10 games before he was put on injured reserve after suffering a forearm injury.

The 26-year-old cornerback went undrafted in 2010 out of California before being signed by the New England Patriots. He was waived in August of that year.

Johnson brings speed to the table, but not much else. I doubt he’ll see significant time on the field with Christopher Owens and Dominique Franks ahead of him.

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Falcons Sign TE Chase Coffman and FB Lousaka Polite

The Falcons have signed tight end Chase Coffman and fullback Lousaka Polite on Saturday.

Coffman, a Missouri product, was selected in the third round (98th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals. He spent last season the Bengals practice squad. Coffman has totaled three receptions for 30 yards while appearing in six games, all in 2010. In the 2009, he suffered a season-ending ankle injury. While at Missouri, Coffman set an NCAA record for most catches by a tight end at 247. In 2008, he won the John Mackey Award for being the nation’s best tight end.

Polite played his college football at Pittsburgh. He was an undrafted free agent following the 2004 NFL Draft and was signed by the Dallas Cowboys. He spent a total three seasons with the Cowboys. Polite had a short five-game stint with the Chicago Bears in 2007 before spending the next three years with the Miami Dolphins. He appeared in one game with the New England Patriots last year. For his career, Polite has 95 rushing attempts for 296 yards and a touchdown to go along with 41 receptions for 233 yards and one touchdown.

The Falcons have also officially placed rookie fullback Bradie Ewing on injured reserve. Ewing tore his ACL on a special teams play versus the Baltimore Ravens Thursday night.

The team also waived tight end Adam Nissley and punter Dawson Zimmerman.

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