Falcons vs Broncos Week 5 Keys To Victory 

The showdown at Mile High Stadium

 

The Atlanta Falcons head west to take on the Super Bowl Champs Denver Broncos!!! If you’re anything like me you’re nervous as hell. Wondering how the Falcons will fair against the Broncos.

Without any further ado, let me give you my keys to victory.

Offensive Key – Establish the run

Falcons offensive line is playing great. But they are going against the NFL’s leading sack team. If they want to keep Von Miller quiet.  Establishing the running game has to be top priority.

Expect to see a heavy dose of Tevin Coleman and Devonta Freeman in both running and short passing game.

Defense Key – Must establish Pass Rush 

With Sean Weatherspoon on IR… Deion Jones De’Vondre Campbell out with ankle injuries. First round pick quarterback Paxton Lynch making his NFL debut.

Falcons cannot afford to play poorly. They need Dwight Freeney and Vic Beasley have to have their best game of the year… If  not!!! CJ Anderson and that Broncos rushing attack will have a field day.

Final Thoughts 

Falcons are the number one scoring offense in the NFL.

Denver Broncos have the NFL’s 4th ranked defense.

Something has to give.

Will the Falcons continue to disappoint their fan base by losing another BIG game?

Will they do what no one expects them to do…. Defeat the Super Bowl Champs in Denver?

What are your thoughts?

Game starts at 4:30 pm CBS

Credit Vaughn McClure with injury report



Falcons vs Saints Week Things To Watch For 

Week 3 Keys to victory


After a big win on the road against the 2-1 Oakland Raiders. The Falcons have a chance to take hold of first in the NFC South. 

Falcons first round draft pick Keanu Neal in his NFL debut in New Orleans against Drew Brees and the Saints. 

Before I get to the Keys to victory here’s the Injury report for both teams. 

Falcons Saints Injury reports

Mohamed Sanu, Julio Jones, Brooks Reed In. Return of O’Brien Schofield. 

De’Vondre Campbell, Paul Worrilow Out. 

Willie Snead, Delvin Breaux, PJ Williams, Terron Armstead, Kenny Vacarro, Cameron Jordan Out. 

3 KEYS TO VICTORY 

1 – Keanu Neal vs Cody Fleener 

Coming off a knee injury, the sAints will test Neal  often and early. Look for the sAints to split RBs out wide and force Keanu to test out that knee. 

2 – Deion Jones return home to Louisiana Super Dump (excuse me Super Dome)  will be an exciting one for him. sAints love to get RBs in space and attack the middle of the field. Deion Jones is the key to this game. 

Drew Brees is a master manipulater. His accuracy is second to none….. If Jones is not prepared. Brees will carve him up. Jones HAS TO HIS BEST DAY AS A PRO. 

3 – Running game has to be on point. The sAints are in the Super Dome and it’s the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The crowd will be nuts and you have to limit Drew Brees offensive opportunities. 

Falcons have to get Devonta Freeman Tevin Coleman going early. Keeping Drew Brees off the field, limiting their big play opportunities… Falcons should walk out the Super Dome in first place in the NFC South. 

What are your thoughts Sports Fanatics? 

Falcons vs Raiders Week 3 Keys To Victory

Lastest Falcons news

Mad Mike is the man of the people and the people have spoken. They want sacks and they want SACKS NOW! Falcons were unsuccessful against Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB Jameis Winston and reporters ask Dan Quinn what he thought about the pass rush. 

“The pass rush isn’t totally made up of sacks. It’s hits, it’s forced fumbles, “Quinn said. But, he conceded,”Sacks are definitely a factor, because you have an opportunity to get the ball out and they lose yards. Those are significant factors.” 

Sign up for my newsletter 

Falcons vs Buccaneers Week 1 Recap

Atlanta Falcons kickoff the NFL Season against division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the Georgia Dome. Going into the game the story  was Can Matt Ryan cut down on turnovers in the red zone?

While they improved in the red zone, another problem came to the forefront. Tackle Jake Matthews, guard Chris Chester, had two costly penalties on offense in key situations. 

Adrian Clayborn two crucial offsides penalties and Robert Alford personal foul hurt the Falcons coming back 31-13 deficit. 

However, Falcons did not quit. After falling behind 31-13 Falcons closed the gap to 31-24 but fail short when bucs All-Pro DT Gerald McCoy batted Matt Ryan’s fourth down pass to the ground.  

Final Thoughts 

I was Impressed with the Falcons linebackers Deion Jones De’Vondre Campbell speed to the ball. Tackling was much better compared to last year’s defense despite the halftime blunder. 

This is a young defense and there will be a lot of WTF moments. Timing of those moments are my only concern… 

What are your thoughts? 

Falcons Team Stats 

Next on the Schedule 

Falcons vs Buccaneers related tweets 

Preseason Falcons vs Jaguars – 3 Things to watch for 

Matt Bryant’s BACK!!!

After last week’s debacle against the Miami Dolphins. Dan Quinn point of emphasis was on the red zone. Matt Ryan threw yet another interception. Dan Quinn wasted no time working on it this week. 

What should we expect? 

1) Quinn made it quite clear certain players will play longer than others. If you saw last game both fronts played awful… Including Matt Ryan who played into the second quarter. 

Expect Ryan to play at least the first two series. If Ryan scores on the first drive… Do not expect Ryan to play the rest of the game. 

Matt Schaub & Matt Simms should see most of the game. Simms ( Shanahan’s best pal) beat out Quarterback Sean Renfree for the third quarterback position….should see the bulk of the snaps. 

2) Terron Ward comes back from his ankle injury that kept him out of the first three preseason games. Keep an eye on him… He has to make an instant impact to stay off the bubble. 

Going to be interesting to see how Ward performs. He has to make an impact tonight…or else Brandon Wilds will take his spot. 

3) Defensively, tackling continues to be main point of practice. Quinn will be watching to see how guys finish tackles with authority. 

Don’t expect starters to play much into the game… This will be an opportunity for backups to make last impressions on the coaching staff. 

Preseason Falcons vs Dolphins – 3 Things to watch for 

Falcons are 2-0 going into Thursday nights preseason game against the Miami Dolphins. There are players still battling for starting positions and here what you need to keep an eye on.

1. Wes Schweitzer battling for Chris Chester’s right guard spot. 

According to Dan Quinn Wes Schweitzer has a pretty good chance of winning the starting right guard position from Chris Chester. So Monday night is huge for both guys.

Who do I expect to be starting right guard ?

Despite the constant chatter around Wes Schweitzer. I have to go with veteran Chris Chester. Falcons want to win now and Chester’s experience gives them the best opportunity.

2. Vic Beasley back from shoulder soreness. 

Like most I was disappointed I didn’t have the pleasure of seeing both Vic Beasley and Dwight Freeney on the field last week. So my main focus will be on pass rush.

Can Falcons create pressure without blitzing? We will see.

3. Quinn wants turnovers NOW!! 

Despite their 2-0 record Head coach Dan Quinn and defensive coordinator Richard Smith are not happy with the lack of turnovers.

Here’s what Richard Smith had to say about creating turnovers.

“To do that, you have to hunt like a dog to get them,” Smith said in an interview with AJC. “You have to be conscious of it. We haven’t been able to get that done.”

I know it’s only preseason but I’ll watching to see linebackers trying to cause fumbles and the secondary to making plays on the ball.

Turnovers! Turnovers! Turnovers! Turnovers are a must. Watch out Falcons Fam

Falcons vs Browns Recap – Running game stole the show in 24-13 win

Kyle Shanahan did a great job getting Matt Ryan into rhythm mixing run and pass in 24-13 win against the Cleveland Browns.

Ryan completed  6 -11 passes for 78 yards. Devonta Freeman had 4 carries 42 yards rushing and scored on a 19 yard touchdown. Mohamed Sanu made his presence felt finishing with three receptions for 45 yards.

“I thought he really looked sharp and came out and performed (well), just getting some of the connections going right off the bat,” Quinn said about Ryan. “Any time when the running game and the play-action that goes along with it (is working), it’s a handful. And that was certainly the case tonight.” 

Defense

Robert Griffin gave Atlanta fits all night long completing 6/8 passes for 96 yards two touchdowns. Including a 50 yard touchdown to Terrell Pryor over Desmond Trufant.

Adrian Clayborn continues to showcase his pass rush skills sacking Griffin in the 2nd quarter. Paul Worrilow’s job seems to be in major trouble.

Both Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell had couple of plays where they looked like rookies, but for the most part had a good night. Paul Worrilow on the other hand struggled in coverage and missed a couple of tackles.

Story of the night was undoubtedly running game. Brandon Wilds ran wild with 8 carries 49 yards & a touchdown …Gus Johnson 5 carries 42 yards and Cyrus Gray 18 carries 76 yards rushing. Totaling 224 yards.

Dan Quinn had this to say about the running game.

“The running backs, the offensive line, I thought they stole the show tonight,” I was pleased with the running backs; they were totally pulling for one another.”

Final thoughts 

Kyle Shanahan did a great job with offensive balance. Got the running game going early and use it to create a lot of short easy throws for Ryan.

This is one area of the Falcons offense that has to stay consistent. Particularly on the road where crowds will be extremely loud. Having a running game that can chew up the clock will leave fans little to cheer for… Most importantly give Dan Quinn’s defense time to rest.

YES, I know it’s preseason but a big shout out goes to Kyle Shanahan for a improved offensive flow.

What are your thoughts Falcons Fans?

 

Preseason Falcons vs Browns – 3 Things To Watch For 

In the first preseason game against the Cleveland Browns,  Falcons offense got off to a rather slow start. Matt Ryan was 0-4…. zero completions, zero yards causing yet another panic in FalconsNation.

Fans went as far as saying that Ryan needed to be benched for 35 year old Matt Schaub. (Stupid I know)

That was last week and this is what Mad Mike will be looking for this week sports fanatics.

1 – Kyle Shanahan play calling

Confidence means everything for your quarterback. If he’s not confident the offense WILL STRUGGLE.
In the first game Shanahan’s focus was obviously taking shots down field, rather than shorter passes. As a result Ryan didn’t do well. Backup Matt Schaub and wide out Aldrick Robinson had a good night connecting on a couple of big plays.

Ryan’s struggle is nothing to worry about, but I would much rather start with a shorter passing game to get the blood flowing.

So I will be watching Kyle Shanahan’s play calling early in the game. Will he go to short quick developing routes. Or will he continue with long developing routes. We will see.

2 – Linebacker Paul Worrilow 

With the additions of veteran linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, rookie linebackers Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell. Paul Worrilow starting position is DEFINITELY in danger.

Their athleticism, closing speed, the way they finished tackles….was impressive. Worrilow HAS to make a impact (and soon) if he plans to keep his starting job. Watch how Paul Worrilow responds to the pressure these rookies are putting on him.

3 – Dwight Freeney & Vic Beasley show 

Falcons were ranked 32nd in the league in sacks, like most fans I’m anxious to see how Dwight Freeney and Vic Beasley work together on the field.

Freeney is expected to play in the first quarter and I will be watching how Cleveland handles the two.

Who will receive double teams?

Who Cleveland deems more of a threat.

What are your thoughts Falcons Fans?

Falcons vs  Redskins First Preseason Breakdown 

Falcons preseason game review against the Washington Redskins

Fans got what they what they were looking for as the Falcons defeat Redskins 23-17 in their first preseason game of the 2016 year. 

OFFENSIVE – Matt Ryan and the first unit were a little bit rusty in the first two (only) possessions of the game. Ryan was 0-4 no completions, no first downs. 

Matt Schaub Aldrick Robinson had a helluva night. Schaub 10-15 179 yards two to receiver Aldrick Robinson 47,68 yards.  

Running back Brandon Wilds had a pretty decent night. Rushing for 25 yards on nine carries and one touchdown. 

DEFENSE – Linebackers Deion Jones and De’Vondre Campbell played great in their first game. Both guys showcased their speed and hitting ability in tonight’s game. Campbell especially showed why everyone around Falcons camp is raving about.. 

Campbell was incredible diagnosing plays….impressive for a guy in his first year. 

Sean Weatherspoon had a very productive game. Had three tackles one big big hit on Redskins running back Matt Jones. 

Special Teams – JD McKissic returned a kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown in the 3rd quarter. 

Positives – Falcons back up quarterback position seems to be in good hands should Matt Ryan miss time. 

Linebackers were noticeably much faster, more aggressive than last year. Vic Beasley showed off his spin move, he’s been working hard on getting a secondary pass rush move all off-season. Dan Quinn has his defense flying around and confident in the system. 

Negatives – Matt Ryan and first unit could not get in any rhythm in the first two possession.  I know it’s only the first preseason game, but it was sloppy to say the least. 

I thought Kyle Shanahan could have done a better job of getting Ryan in a rhythm by giving him easy throws, but we’ll have to see next game against the Cleveland Browns. 

Fan Reactions to the game

Watch Matt Ryan’s post game interview 

Falcons vs Redskins – 3 Things to watch for  

Falcons football is back as the Falcons are taking on the Redskins

The moment we’ve been waiting for is finally here. Atlanta Falcons football is officially back. No more waiting to see your favorite players Julio Jones, Matt Ryan, Devonta Freeman and Vic Beasley. 

Today is the day and Mad Mike is going to tell what he’s watching for in Thursday nights game against the Washington Redskins. 

1. Grady Jarrett in a limited role was able to impress Dan Quinn in his rookie season against the pass and run situations.  So much so Quinn is ready to make him a starter in place of released nose tackle Paul Soliai. Keep an eye out on how Grady Jarrett holds up against the run. 

2. De’Vondre Campbell – Falcons obviously struggled covering tight ends last year. New Orleans tight end Ben Watson had career games going against the likes of Paul Worrilow, Justin Durant. 

De’Vondre has been extremely active during camp, former Falcons defensive lineman Chuck Smith said after evaluating Campbell  “De’Vondre is the kind of guy that helps you win championships” 

Watch out how Campbell plays in the coverage as well as tackling. 

3. Robert Alford – Desmond Trufant is without a doubt one of the NFL’s top corners. Teams will most likely avoid Trufant during the season, so Robert Alford will have to step up his game even more than he did in 2015. 

Alford has also been prone to penalties. So let’s see if he’s cleaned up his game.

 If Alford has improved. The Falcons could have one of the NFL’s top cornerback duos.  

Others players to watch – CB CJ Goodwin, CB Jalen Collins, WR  Justin Hardy, LB Brooks Reed. 

 What are your thoughts?