Atlanta Falcons blog 

Atlanta Falcons blog by the AJC's D. Orlando Ledbetter

REPORT CARD: Falcons are regressing as season moves along

  • 6:00 am Monday, October 20th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

BALTIMORE – As the season nears the halfway point, the Falcons are regressing.

The offense has scored 28, 20, 13 and 7 points over their four-game losing streak to Vikings, Giants, Bears and Ravens. They can’t stop the run and continue to make penalties.

As the injuries have started to mount, the offensive line is ineffective again. And we all know they if they can’t protect Matt Ryan, then the Falcons are doomed.

Here are the Falcons’ grades for the 29-7 debacle against the Baltimore Ravens.

GAME BALLS: Defensive end Jonathan Massaquoi and center James Stone. Massaquoi had two quarterback hits, six tackles and [More]

REPORT CARD: Falcons’ offense is broken, defense is confused

  • 9:57 am Monday, October 13th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

The Falcons turned in an absolutely pitiful performance and appear headed for another losing season.

“Our young players, our old players have all contributed to this, and we have to get it fixed, and nothing is off the table in regards to what we have to do to be better,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said.

The Falcons dropped to 2-4 after they couldn’t move the ball against a middle-of-the-pack Chicago defense that was playing without its starting linebackers. There were no Wilbur Marshall or Fridge Perry sightings at the Dome.

The offense is fractured and the defense continued to hemorrhage yards as they [More]

White, Ryan contend offense is ready to win shootouts to cover for weak defense

  • 9:05 am Monday, September 29th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

MINNEAPOLIS — The Falcons’ offensive players are ready to win shootouts the rest of the season if the defense doesn’t improve.

“We are going to have to,” Falcons wide receiver Roddy White told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “This team was basically built offensively with all of our players. In games like (the 41-28 loss to Minnesota), we have to find a way to win on offense. Even when it is a shootout and we were able to take the lead, I felt like we need to score another touchdown or two.”

Quarterback Matt Ryan agreed with White.

“Yeah, absolutely we can,” Ryan said after [More]

REPORT CARD: Defense didn’t show up vs. Vikings

  • 12:16 am Monday, September 29th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

MINNEAPOLIS — The Falcons defense stunk up TCF Bank Stadium.

At halftime, owner Arthur Blank was discussing the team’s porous play with general manager Thomas Dimtroff in an animated exchange.

This is clearly not what Blank expected when he allowed the football men to sign defensive tackle Paul Soliai to a five- year, $33 million contract and defensive end Tyson Jackson to a five-year, $25 million contract. The Falcons were supposed to be bigger and better in the trenches against the run.

After four games, they are not. The first quarter of the season is over and the Falcons’ rebuilt defense is not [More]

Playtime Percentage: Falcons cleared the bench vs. Bucs

  • 12:52 pm Friday, September 19th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Here’s breakdown of how the snaps were distributed against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. All of the active players participated in the 56-14 victory on Thursday night at the Georgia Dome.

OFFENSE    

NAME       OFFENSE     SPECIAL TEAM    

J Blalock     100%   67   9   27%     G

J Asamoah   99%   66   9   27%   G

L Holmes       85%   57   9   27%   T

L Toilolo         85%   57   4   12%     TE

J Matthews   75%   50     9   27%   T

M Ryan         75%   50                     QB

J Hawley       75%   50                     C

J Jones         72%   48     1   2%     WR

E Weems       49%   33   21 64%   WR

P DiMarco     49%   33   20   61%     FB

H Douglas     46%   31                   WR

G Carimi       43%   29   1   3%     T

D Hester       [More]

Q&A: CBS analyst Tony Gonzalez’ interview with Falcons QB Matt Ryan

  • 8:32 pm Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Former Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez, who works for CBS now, sat down with his former teammate, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.

Here’s what Ryan had to say:

On how he has developed throughout his career:

“I’m set in my ways, I’m stubborn, I like things done a certain way, and I’ve realized that my way isn’t always the best way. Sometimes other people have really good perspective on how things should be done. Six-plus years into my career, I’ve got a better pulse on what works for other guys and what’s the best [More]

Q&A: Falcons OC Dirk Koetter on tempo, Roddy and Jake

  • 4:46 pm Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

Normally, we get the coordinators for you all on Tuesdays, but with the short week they were not made available until Wednesday.

We’ll have to check with the league and try to make sure we get them earlier in the week next year if the Falcons play on a Thursday.

Since the coordinators are so good on their topic areas, it’s important to share their insight about their units.

Sorry, it’s coming just hours before kickoff.

But here’s what offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter had to say:

ON PASS PROTECTION AND JOE HAWLEY TAKING THE BLAME FOR COMMUNICATION ISSUES: The main issue last week was that [More]

Cover 9@9: Falcons, Bucs in key early NFC South showdown

  • 9:00 am Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 by D. Orlando Ledbetter

(Welcome all! With the NFL becoming more of a passing league, the “Cover 9@9” blog will become all of the rage. You can read it here every Wednesday at 9 a.m. throughout the season. We’ll try to get to everything about the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons have to stop the run better before they can use the Cover 9! -– D. Orlando Ledbetter)  

1. NFC SOUTH SHOWDOWN: This is a big early season NFC South showdown between the Falcons (1-1) and Buccaneers (0-2) at 8:25 p.m. Thursday at the Georgia Dome.

The loser goes into a deep hole with Carolina off to [More]