Posted: 8:07 am Friday, August 29th, 2014

Falcons’ road to redemption starts with the Saints 

By D. Orlando Ledbetter

JACKSONVILLE – The big gamble to go standby on the 6:35 a.m. flight didn’t pay off.

So, now I have about three hours to blow and wanted to put up a blog from last night’s festivities.

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Freddie Martino (18) outruns Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jeremy Harris (31) and other defenders enroute to a 67-yard touchdown during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Freddie Martino (18) outruns Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jeremy Harris (31) and other defenders enroute to a 67-yard touchdown during the first half of an NFL preseason football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Found it a little ironic that after T.J. Yates’ dazzling performance, Falcons coach Mike Smith wouldn’t name him the backup quarterback.

“We’re not going to make any declarations,” Smith said. “The only declaration that I’ll make is that Matt Ryan is our starting quarterback. Julio Jones is our starting wide receiver and Roddy White is our starting wide receiver. Those things are set in stones. I’m going out on a limb.”

Smith made it clear that he was looking forward to the opener against the New Orleans Saints at 1 p.m. Sept. 7 at the Georgia Dome.

“It will be a great way to kick off the season against a division opponent, a very good football team,” Smith said. “I know our guys will be focused about starting the regular season. It gets real here, real quick.”

Smith, the winningest coach in team history, is 3-9 against the Saints.

After going 4-12 last season, the Falcons are looking to turn things around quickly.

The Saints are just about everyone’s pick to win the NFC South, while most see the Falcons as the third-place team capable of posting an 8-8 or 9-7 type record.

The Falcons could serve notice of their return to contender status by throttling the Saints.

So, is there such a thing as must-win season-opener?

FINAL EXHIBITION GAME: Falcons 24, Jaguars 14

Yates leads Falcons to victory over Jaguars

PHOTO GALLERY from the win over Jacksonville

Falcons convert in short yardage situation

Falcons rest key starters in exhibition finale

Roster spots were up for grabs against Jacksonville

43 comments
DedicationTo98Falcons
DedicationTo98Falcons

I remember when Peyton manning came to the dome and they told us he was going to shut us out and embarrass us well the 1st few plays of the game pick 1,lator pick 2 ,pick 3,our secondary played well , but our line was horrible although we won ,I want this dline to be at least on the Baltimore or San Fran level pounding guys RB"s and forcing errant passes , I'm really tired of seeing passes making it to the wr"s hands ..STOP THE D@MN BALL !!! So the offense can do it's Job smoothly is all I ask play hard and we will win

EddGuitar
EddGuitar

WHODAT ?, How dumb is that,  Oh look how stupid i am, who dats,  pants probably down past their buttts too, I guess thats all they have in New Orleans, Saints , Katrina and a town that smells like piss and vomit, and poor people everywhere, no wonder, dumb, . Who dats, lmao, funny !

EddGuitar
EddGuitar

SeennutinB4 needs a new boyfriend. Still living the Kattrina victum to Atlanta dream.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

If the Fakcons lose I've convinced Roddy White to buy every one of you fans on this Comment Board a Falcons season ticket on the 50 yard line! He says he does it all the time.

zuzu331
zuzu331

If I truly HATE any team it's the forty whiners. The aints are kinda like the '99 Beige Aerostar of the NFL. Are they still on the road? Sure. Anyone really want one? Nahh

Okeetee
Okeetee

Don't know what the line is on this game but it wouldn't surprise me if the aints are favored by a touchdown at least!  We had a pathetic preseason, the aints had a much better one.  We still have a brain dead secondary, no pass rush whatsoever....and nonexistent running game. Our only hope is our passing game is firing on all cylinders and the aints secondary plays poorly.   However, a opening day win here could catapult us into a 10-6 record, whereas a loss could send us reeling into a 4-12 season again.  Orlando is right....this is a "must" win season opener!

SaintsInLosAngelesBy2020
SaintsInLosAngelesBy2020

It's not necessarily a must win, but it would certainly give the team a huge boost being a division rival and a home game. Those are the type of games that a good team needs to win.

If the Birds start 0-2, then the sports media and fan base is going to be putting a lot of heat on the front office and coaching! Let's hope the changes that have been made will pay off.

DarlaLewis
DarlaLewis

If you want to be notice, you have to come out at home and beat the Saints. Anything other than a win is unacceptable...

Michaelee
Michaelee

Get a box of crying towels with the falcons logo on them ready for Seenthisb4. The kid will definitely need then in a few more days.

Drink your own kool-aid whiskey Seen.

Redemption Cometh Soon!


Just sayin

gfw
gfw

Beating the Saints in the home opener would one of the greatest Falcons victories in many years, and quite an upset (last I looked ATL was being given 8 points---the two-score spread is significant, telling us what the money thinks).  And it's true, there's no particular reason why we should be able to beat the Saints, who, let's face it, have pretty much owned us of late, and who have, if anything, gotten stronger this year.  But I don't over-respect the Saints.  All the pressure will be on them, and they may, just a bit, take us for granted.  We can score on anybody if Ryan is given time.  Holmes and Hawley are of huge importance on that issue.  They need to show they are different dudes this year.  Can we score as often as Brees can?  At times our DL has looked stout in the middle, and we have looked fast both up the middle and on the edges.  With some deafening crowd noise helping, my heart says we have a chance. 

RangeRover
RangeRover

As stated previously, SeenThatB4 suffers from Falcons penis envy, undoubtedly due to his grave anatomical shortcomings.  This odd bird gets aroused from anything Falcons.

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

Yes this is a must win for the following reasons:


1.  People did not fear the dome last year...time to change that again.  I think before last year the only way for the Falcons and Ryan to lose in the dome was if it was an important game and we were up by 15 in the NFC Championship!

2.  Which leads me to my second reason why! Time to win some of these BIG games with BIG play calling and BIG plays!  Ryan has to play to win and not manage the game! Take chances and take shots!

3.  It is a conference game.  Enough said! 

4.  Let the defense set the tempo against one of the BEST offenses in the NFL! Period.  We know what we have on offense ( excuse me SJackson..I was not referring to you here) so this is the time for the defense to revert back to two years ago and hope to play with smoke and mirrors and good tackling!  We want the defense to take advantage on making BIG plays when it counts. Get sacks when they count and have at least two turnovers in this game.  Although the AINTS are very good ( see STB4 we give props when props are due...learn something) the Oline is nothing to write home about! They have a decent OLine, so our defense must cause confusion and make turnovers!

5.  The first game of last season set the tempo for the whole season! The Falcons lost the game last year to the Aints because TG88 did not make a catch and SJackson did not catch the ball ( it was a bad throw I still say, but a ball that should have been caught).  This happened to the Falcons all year.  They played a lot of close games and did not win any of them basically!  This game wont be any different...it will be close and Smitty must get a pair of brass knuckles and make some big time calls in this game!


Yes it is a MUST win game! 

SeenThatB4
SeenThatB4

Nah, there won't be any redemption for the falcan'ts on Sept 7. Payton is a far better field general than Mike Smith, and Brees is superior to MRyan.

RandyFalcon
RandyFalcon

This is not a must win game, but it is a need to win game. 

edward24
edward24

 With a trip to Cincinnati looming, yes this is a must win. Smith may be 3-9 against the Saints but how many of those losses are by 1 score? Going back to Smiths 1st season, every loss has been by 1 score or less except for that Monday night debacle of 2011. This is far from as lopsided as it looks.  

WaltBBall
WaltBBall

The "aint's" are not a must win but we like whipping on them so if the FALCONS win then good.  Offensively the FALCONS are better in the skill positions and I rate Matt Ryan as a better QB.  Brees landed in the right fit before that he was mediocre and no where near the caliber of a Ryan.  The defense is better as far as pre season goes but the "aint's will be a good gauge as to where they are at.  I see the FALCONS at best being 13-3 and at worst being 10-6.

MikeisBack
MikeisBack

Dled, this got to be a must win game...THA ICE MAN needs to redeem himself.  WE GOTTA GET TO BREESE. Both teams can score...we gotta get pressure on Breese....it's that simple!!!



RISE UP FALCONS...LET'S GO...LET'S GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FalconJames
FalconJames

The Saints do not stand a chance next week. It will be Glorious!

Brainstorm
Brainstorm

With that defense, I wonder why everyone is overlooking the Carolina Panthers this year? I also see where several pundits are expecting the Bucs to make some noise also. I think the NFC South is wide open this year.

Trolls coming in 1, 2, 3.......

neauxgeaux28
neauxgeaux28

and he will be 3-10 soon...fact....Sean Payton owns the Falcants....fact....who dat, we dat....easy win next Sunday....fact.....we got a SB ring and Lombabardi.....Birds got nothing but hopes and admiration of the Saints...lmao....

SeenThatB4
SeenThatB4

Hmmm, you got problems cause Bunkley and Jordan are going to beat Hawley and Holmes like Mardi Gras drums, mercifulessly. And I know Matthews will get beat by Galette all day long.

doggoneit
doggoneit

@RangeRover

Atlanta Falcons Fan On the first day of school a first grade teacher explains to her class that she is a Saints fan. She asks her students to raise their hands if they, too, are Saints fans. Wanting to impress their teacher, everyone in the class raises their hand except one little girl. The teacher looks at the girl with surprise, 'Janie, why didn't you raise your hand?' Because I'm not a Saints fan,' she replied. The teacher, still shocked, asked, 'Well, if you are not a Saints fan, then who are you a fan of?' 'I am a Falcons fan, and proud of it,' Janie replied. The teacher could not believe her ears. 'Janie please tell us why you are a Falcons fan?' Because my mom is a Falcons fan, and my dad is Falcons fan, so I'm a Falcons fan too!'' Well,' said the teacher in a obviously annoyed tone, 'that is no reason for you to be a Falcons fan. You don't have to be just like your parents all of the time. What if your mom was an idiot and your dad was a moron, wha t would you be then?' Then,' Janie smiled, 'I'd be a Saints fan.'


SeenThatB4
SeenThatB4

Three W's versus the falcan'ts in one season is a wonderful thing, AT.

DaGherk
DaGherk

@SeenThatB4  The Taints lost at home to the sorry Ravens.... THE RAVENS! HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHA! 22-13!!!! HAHAHAHAHA. The Taints are sorry!

SeenThatB4
SeenThatB4

Uh-huh, okay. No one ever says that MRyan is destined for the HOF, I wonder why?

SeenThatB4
SeenThatB4

Cause they have a Gimpy QB and no offense, that's why.

AlwaysReady
AlwaysReady

@neauxgeaux28 

............. .............. sAINTS gonna get whipped real good on September 7th.

RangeRover
RangeRover

@doggoneit

LOL!

Q: How do you casterate an New Orleans Saints fan? 

A: Kick his sister in the mouth. 


SeenThatB4
SeenThatB4

I guess you think that loss shakes my confidence in the Saints, unlike the pride you have in beating the Jaguars, I know it's the last preseason game. 'nuf said.

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@SeenThatB4


He has not won the big one like Sleeazy!  Easy to respond to that! Come back with something better! AND, he needs 4 more years playing at the level he is playing to be mentioned....not hard to recognize that. 

DaGherk
DaGherk

@SeenThatB4  Well now you know how ridiculous you sound. Its preseason dude. W-L doesn't matter. I would be more worried about Brees' oblique than what the Falcons do. That and the fact that the Superdome still smells like dead people and feces....

SeenThatB4
SeenThatB4

So you're saying it's just a matter of time. Okay, I'll wait.

SeenThatB4
SeenThatB4

How would you know? You been sneaking in to watch some Saints games in person?

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@SeenThatB4


You know that is you with your closet Ryan jersey! You know to much about the home team and you here to much to not like the Falcons...

SeenThatB4
SeenThatB4

I hate your team AT. But like in war, you gotta keep tabs on the enemy.

doggoneit
doggoneit

@SeenThatB4

Q: What do you call an New Orleans Saint in the Super Bowl? 

A: A referee.

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@SeenThatB4


Keep your friends close and your enemies closer!? Nice!   We getting back in this picture this year STB4, and you know it! We will be on the AINTS A$$ this year! Objects in mirror are closer than they appear!