Tag Archives: stephen nicholas

Falcons Release LB Nicholas, CB Samuel


Releasing Stephen Nicholas and Asante Samuel gives the Falcons even more cap flexibility.  (Kevin C. Cox)

Releasing Stephen Nicholas and Asante Samuel were necessary roster moves. (Kevin C. Cox)

The Atlanta Falcons have parted ways with linebacker Stephen Nicholas and cornerback Asante Samuel, saving $6.5 million in the process.

These were cuts that had to be made; both players had lost their starting positions in the Falcons’ youth movement last season and simply were too expensive to keep as backups.

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Falcons’ Offseason Needs

With free agency starting on March 12 and the NFL Draft beginning April 25, it’s time to take a look at the positions the Atlanta Falcons need to address.

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Falcons Injury Report: Abraham, Babineaux Questionable

The Atlanta Falcons Piedmont Healthcare Injury Report published on Friday lists two starters as questionable for Sunday’s NFC Champsionship match-up against the San Francisco 49ers: defensive end John Abraham (ankle) and defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (shoulder).

Safety William Moore (hand), linebacker Stephen Nicholas (foot), and cornerback Chris Owens (hamstring) are all listed as probable.

Each player didn’t miss practice, with Abraham and Babineaux being limited.

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Julio Jones, Sean Weatherspoon Listed as Questionable

The Atlanta Falcons Piedmont Healthcare Injury Report published on Friday lists Julio Jones and Sean Weatherspon as questionable for Sunday’s game versus the Arizona Cardinals. However, the two players haven’t practiced all week; it’s rare for a player not to practice all week and play in the game.

Also listed as questionable: John Abraham, Michael Turner, and Vance Walker.

Jonathan Babineaux, Harry Douglas, Tony Gonzalez, Stephen Nicholas, and Mike Peterson are all probable.

Kevin Cone and Charles Mitchell are listed as out for Sunday’s contest.

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Atlanta Falcons Vs. Dallas Cowboys Preview

The Atlanta Falcons made a deafening statement with last week’s domination of the Philadelphia Eagles. With the win, the Falcons moved to 7-0 and remained the lone unbeaten team in the NFL.

On Sunday night, the Falcons look to improve to 8-0 as they host the Dallas Cowboys (3-4). A win would subdue the Falcons’ naysayers for another week; a loss would get those naysayers chirping again.

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Falcons Injury Report: Four Players Ruled Out

The Atlanta Falcons Piedmont Healthcare Injury Report published on Friday lists four Falcons as out for Sunday’s versus the Carolina Panthers: cornerback Chris Owens, fullback Lousaka Polite, running back Antone Smith, and tight end Michael Palmer.

Both Owens (head) and Smith (hamstring) were ruled out for last week’s game against the San Diego Chargers. Palmer suffered his injury during the game and was declared out earlier this week.

Linebacker Mike Peterson (ribs) is listed as questionable. Jonathan Babineaux (groin), Tyson Clabo (hip), Julio Jones (hand), and Stephen Nicholas (thigh) are all listed as probable.

With Polite out, Jason Snelling will be inserted into the fullback role. Tommy Gallarda will take Palmer’s place.

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Falcons Intercept Manning Three Times, Win 27-21

Let’s address what needs to be addressed: the replacement officials are absolutely abysmal, and the NFL needs to get the original officials back immediately. The replacements are doing the best they can; their best just isn’t good enough. While they are at fault, the NFL deserves a large amount of blame as well. Something needs to be done quickly because these games are quickly becoming unwatchable. Both teams were screwed several times by abysmal calls; if the NFL cares about the integrity of the game, the original officials will be back in Week 3.

For God’s sake, the first quarter lasted for ONE HOUR.

Now, the game recap:

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Matt Ryan Shines in Falcons’ 40-24 Rout of Chiefs

Matt Ryan operated the Atlanta Falcons’ offense with masterful precision en route to crushing the Kansas City Chiefs, 40-24.

It was the third consecutive time the Falcons opened the season on the road. They were 0-2 prior to today, losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010 and the Chicago Bears in 2011.

Ryan completed 23 of 31 passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed three times for 25 yards, including a three-yard touchdown.

Julio Jones had six receptions for 109 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Roddy White caught six balls as well, gaining 87 yards.

Jacquizz Rodgers had a 77-yard kickoff return that resulted in a Falcons field goal.

For Tony Gonzalez, it was the first time playing in Arrowhead Stadium since being traded to the Falcons in 2009. His return was largely successful: he had five receptions for 53 yards and a touchdown. However, after Gonzalez did his trademark touchdown celebration of slam dunking the football, he was booed heavily by the Chiefs fans. Gonzalez’s touchdown increased the deficit to 16 (33-17), so that fact may have had something to do with the boos.

Ryan led the Falcons on eight straight scoring drives. The Falcons opened the game with a 12-play drive that went for 80 yards and ended with an eight-yard touchdown to Jones. The Falcons offense took full advantage of the Chiefs’ wounded defense; Pro Bowl linebacker Tamba Hali was suspended for one game for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Cornerback Brandon Flowers, free safety Kendrick Lewis, and nose tackle Anthony Toribio all sat out with injuries.

It looked as though the game would be a back-and-forth affair; neither team punted once in the first half. In fact, the Falcons didn’t punt until well into fourth quarter when the game was clearly out of reach.

The first half ended with the Falcons up 20-17. After allowing those 17 points, the Falcons’ defense made the necessary adjustments and shut down the Chiefs in the second half. The Chiefs’ lone second half touchdown came in garbage time with two seconds left on the clock.

Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel went 21/33 yards for 258 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. He was also strip-sacked by John Abraham, and the Falcons recovered the fumble.

Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles returned successfully to regular season action after tearing his ACL in Week 2 last year. He rushed 16 yards for 87 yards, his longest rush going for 46 yards.

Stephen Nicholas and William Moore both had interceptions. Sean Weatherspoon and Jonathan Babineaux, along with Abraham, notched a sack apiece.

Matt Bryant was perfect on the day, nailing all four of his field goals (34, 21, 30, 41) and his four extra point attempts.

Brent Grimes left the game late in the fourth quarter with an apparent calf injury. Hopefully, it’s not serious.

It was great to see the Falcons finally make halftime adjustments. Over the past four years under the former coordinators, it seemed as though making adjustments was a foreign concept.

Next week, the Falcons play host to the Peyton Manning-led Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football (September 17).

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