Predictions: Falcons (real ones) over Saints

???????????????????????????????

Before getting to this week’s lox — oh, you thought I meant locks last week? Uh, no – here’s an update from the programming department at HBO. In this week’s episode of, “Jonah From Tonga,” Fobba-lisicious and Kool Kris pick up a triumphant Jonah from prison, just in time to take part in the Feel Da Beat dance competition with their song “Don’t Be A Bully.” While Jonah has been locked up, everything seems to have changed and Jonah is forced to make some real adjustments.

I’m not sure — because the lines between real and unbelievably-stupid-and-scripted-made-for-TV-verbal-undressings-of-characters often seem to get blurred these days — but I think Jonah From Tonga is not real. As in, he was made up. Jonah From Tonga might as well be “Green Eggs And Ham,” because while Dr. Seuss might be the greatest writer ever, as well as a doctor, I’m not expecting anybody named Sam-I-Am to knock on my door this weekend with a strange-looking breakfast.

It's written in the heavens: Take the Falcons and 3.

It is written in the stars: Take the Falcons and 3.

The Falcons are going to rip your head off!

They are Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire reincarnated!

We know this because it was on TV! A premium channel!

We’ve read and heard the sound bites for months about how tough the Falcons are going to be this season from interviews and that amusing HBO creation, “Hard Knocks.”

Are you scared? I know I’m scared. Did you see assistant coach Keith Armstrong terrorize that guy in that special teams meeting? I was waiting for seas to boil.

Really, somebody needed to splice in some old Muhammad Ali clips: “I’ve wrestled with alligators. I’ve tussled with a whale. I done handcuffed lightning. And throw thunder in jail!”

Of course, Ali could back it up. The Falcons? We’ll see.

Lights off? Cameras gone? All of those Ra’shede Hageman-you’re-as-soft-as-a-mutant-baby-hamster diatribes over now? Because now we find out if fiction morphs into reality.

New Orleans has won 13 of the last 16 meetings. They laugh at you, Mongol Horde.

But the Falcons are healthy. Julio Jones and Roddy White are upright. Steven Jackson “tweaked” his hamstring in camp and didn’t play a preseason game but the team says he’s fine and didn’t even put him on the injury report. (Was he examined by Dr. Seuss?)

Nobody nationally is even picking the Falcons to make the playoffs. But if they’re healthy they can score, and if they can score they can win. This game, they can score, and win. Saints are favored by 3. Take the points but the Birds win straight up.

Give it to me, Muhammad

Here’s what tough looks like

SIS-BOOM-BLAH

(It’s Crummy Game Week)

Georgia Tech at Tulane: This falls under the heading, “Games they should win.” But after leading Wofford by one point at halftime and five with nine minutes left, can we be sure of anything? At least the Jackets won’t need to pack hazmat suits, which are required for any game in the New Orleans SuperDump. Tulane has a new stadium. Rich punks. Hiccups gone, Techies? Jackets cover 10.

Tech players won't need to wear these against Tulane.

Georgia Tech players will not need to wear these against Tulane.

North of Mexico St. at Ga. State: The Panthers won last week. Somehow, they did not crack the top 25. Politics. This week, it’s New Mexico State. I always get confused: Which crummy New Mexico team is in the Sun Belt and which is in the Mountain West? State covers 1.

Eastern Michigan at Florida: The Gators’ opener against Idaho was canceled because of the worst thunder and lightning in Gainesville since somebody asked Urban Meyer how many felonies it would take for him to suspend a player. The Idaho game will be played in a few years, and the words, “You get to play Idaho in 2017,” may have just became part of a post-season interview job search. Gators win but take the EMUs and 38.

East Carolina at South Carolina: The Gamecocks’ defense allowed 52 points and 680 yards at home against Texas A&M, and Steve Spurrier couldn’t even blame Jadeveon Clowney for being lazy. But it’s East Carolina this week. Poultry covers 16½.

South Carolina St. at Clemson: Finally, a “South Carolina” that Dabo Swinney can beat. Tigers cover 35.

Flotsam at Alabama: Alabama’s next two opponents, Florida Atlantic and Southern Miss, lost last week by a combined 104-7. Don’t get sucked in by the candy line: Alabama covers 40.

Bambi (FAU) meets Godzilla (Alabama) (Never gets old)

NFL SIX-PACK

49ers at Cowboys: The 49ers have had four arrests this year and 10 since 2012, which means either Jim Harbaugh is channeling Barry Switzer or this is an orchestrated attempt to make Alcatraz an active penitentiary again. Chris Culliver: hit-and-run, felony possession of brass knuckles. Aldon Smith: drunk-and-stupid and threatening to blow up an airport. Ray McDonald: alleged domestic abuse of his pregnant fiancée. Funny. Enabling, Inc., hasn’t said if McDonald will benched Sunday. He’s really a good kid, you know? Niners win but take Dallas and 5.

“Hard Knocks 2015”: 49ers camp

Bengals at Ravens: Speaking of ex-cons, a Ray Lewis statue was unveiled outside of the Ravens’ stadium this week. He’s depicted running to a limo and throwing away his white suit. Take Cincinnati and 2 — and in a straight upset.

PETAredskinsLOGOnew300

The PETA-approved Washington “Redskin” potato logo offends nobody.

Browns at Steelers: Brian Hoyer is the Cleveland starting quarterback and Johnny Manziel is “a juvenile punk,” according to Merrill Hoge. I’m trying to figure out which is worse. Steelers cover 6½.

Washington “Team” at Texans: A coalition of Native American groups sent letters to thousands of TV and radio broadcasters asking them to follow Tony Dungy’s lead and not to use the “R” word. What’s the big deal? In a few weeks, nobody will be talking about the “R’s” anyway. Houston covers 3.

Bills at Bears: Chicago’s Lance Briggs took off practice Monday so he could attend the opening of his restaurant in California. Welcome to the Tony Gonzalez School of Leadership. Chicago covers 7.

Colts at Broncos: Wes Welker failed a drug test and is out four games. Now he’s claiming somebody at the Kentucky Derby spiked his drink. Because, you know, mixing with Buffy and Thurston on the club level at Churchill Downs is one step from a street corner on “The Wire.” Watch out for Mr. Ed: He’ll shiv you. Denver covers 7½.

Horses are smarter than you think (Mr. Ed crushes Koufax)

CHIP COUNT

free-bets-are-profitable“The safest way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket.” — Kin Hubbard

Last week (don’t panic, it’s early): 11-1 straight up, 5-7 against the line.

This week: Much better. I think.

Sack Schultz 2014: YES, you can still play, even with one week in the books. Weekly and grand prizes are on the table. Go to AJC.com/go/sackschultz2014. I went 14-1 in contest picks. A bunch of folks went 15-0. Mazel Tov. Local winner, via tiebreaker, was Justin Fort of Gastonia, N.C., and sits in first among 4,100-plus entries.

NFL Pro Pick’em 2014: YES, it’s another contest. Go to AJC.com/go/propickem2014 for a chance to win prizes, including a trip for two to Hawaii. Pick NFL games against me, WSB’s Zach Klein and AJC’s Mark Bradley.

Lilly Pick of the Week: She’s 0-1 after picking Clemson last week and is in danger of being waived. The choices of cheese’d pictures this week: Matt Ryan (Falcons) vs. Drew Brees (Saints). Lilly went right and picked the Falcons.

???????????????????????????????

Lilly is trying to make amends for her Georgia-Clemson pick.

Last week’s episode: Predictions (no lies): Dogs over Clemson

 Some recent ramblings (free links)
— AJC: Video evidence of Stephen Garcia hitting bottom
— MyAJC: Falcons need Mike Nolan to create an illusion
— AJC: Michael Sam not being viewed as just a player
— MyAJC: With Todd Gurley, possibilities are endless
— AJC: Short takes: Georgia 45, Clemson 21
— AJC: Cantor’s magic tallis has cure to Braves’ problems (on Fridays)
— AJC: Weekend Predictions (no lie): Dogs over Clemson
— MyAJC: Richt, Georgia need another highlight
— MyAJC: Braves CEO Terry McGuirk vows ‘Everybody accountable’
— MyAJC: Full Q&A with Braves CEO Terry McGuirk
— AJC: It’s ‘Sack Schultz’ time. Think you can grill me?
— MyAJC: If Tech wins, it will be with a better option
— MyAJC: Predicting Georgia Tech’s season, game-by-game
— AJC: On Braves, McGuirk and repairing baseball
— MyAJC: Baseball repair list: Pardon Rose, quicken pace, shorten season
— AJC: Braves find a groove, but so do Nationals
— MyAJC: Mike Tice has a challenge — and he knows it
— AJC: Bobby Petrino, Todd Grantham reportedly feuding already
— AJC: Falcons can survive without Baker, not others
— AJC: FSU No. 1, Georgia No. 12 in poll of insignificance
— MyAJC: Trent Miles trying to change attitudes at Georgia State
— AJC: With Braves six back, is ‘Fat Lady’ singing?
— MyAJC: B.J. Upton, Braves continue their zombie walk
— MyAJC: Cancer didn’t slow Michael Cooper
— AJC: Braves’ attendance reflects lack of confidence
— MyAJC: Falcons showing humility, lack of comfort — and that’s good
— AJC: Braves being hurt by shortage of leaders

Reader Comments 0

62 comments
Arx
Arx

The Falcs have an opportunity to turn the corner here. We have to win... we really do or... we're back to square one again.

I like HCMS but I am not impressed with the choices for coaching on either O or D... and I think our drafting has slipped the wig just a tad. But... we do have a lot of young talent in critical spots. If they play to expectations... then that could be the way we turn that corner.

We gotta rise up.

Eric_C
Eric_C

Drew can be a little rusty to start the season, but too many question marks on the Falcons defense...not expecting a good start.  I'm really looking forward to next week's commentary on the UGA/SC game.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@Eric_C Old Ball Coach will have those guys ready, Recent history has not been kind to the dawgs Offense in Columbia.

Eric_C
Eric_C

@gtcaryd I'm guessing they will line up to stop the run, but Mason can burn them if the crowd can be taken out of the game early

Savdon
Savdon

#2 stays upright, we have a heckuva game to watch.  If he doesn't it's going to be a sad day in ATL.


But, whatever happens, we won't know what ATL has-or doesn't have-until the end of game 4.


St Simons he-ne-ha
St Simons he-ne-ha

Let me preface this by saying I still have my Bob Berry & Cannonball Butler jerseys in my 50+ yr old toy box.

Duuuuude - Brees is gonna throw for 700 yds, Falcons are gonna have the 1st pick next yr, so be thinking about the draft, what coaches are available, and whether Al Davis or Matt Millen would be the biggest upgrade at GM, not this nightmare that is about to unfold.

JSSN_Love_Toy
JSSN_Love_Toy

@St_Simons_he-ne-ha

Let me preface this by saying I still have my Bob Berry & Cannonball Butler jerseys in my 50+ yr old toy box.


Interesting way to come out. 


Good luck to you.

pi
pi

"The 49ers have had four arrests this year and 10 since 2012, which means either Jim Harbaugh is channeling Barry Switzer or this is an orchestrated attempt to make Alcatraz an active penitentiary again."

that was quite some backhanded  slap you layed on the dwags mr schultz. considering we all know... the dwags have averaged around 10 arrests a YEAR now over the last... the last... FOREVER. 


good one!  lmao.





GTBob
GTBob

Tech will cover 10 against Tulane.  Not so sure I would pick the Falcons or East Carolina.

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@GTBob Ole Ball Coach has been scuffing his shoes this week.

RONSNO
RONSNO

Mr. Shultz, are you insinuating in those 13 wins the Failures weren't healthy and upright? I suggest they were. I predict a Failure meltdown on Sunday. Saints 30  Failures 17.....I gave them 24 in another post but I'm taking my 7 points back.

Nowayjose9
Nowayjose9

A coalition of Native American groups 

The vast majority of native americans are fine with the Redskins name. PC and the liberal media is destroying this country. Just look how many F ups obuma has made this year alone and they don't even report it.The latest is calling isis JV. Btw, this pretty much says it all.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDVTCfs62gk

pi
pi

@nevrenuftime how about keeping the politics for the politics section. that way you can lie all you want and push fauxnews bs all you want. baaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

gtcaryd
gtcaryd

@pi Might just want to see if the Enola Gay will still crank up.

Chuck_UGA
Chuck_UGA

Lies? Really? So all this talk about Iraq being overrun by ISIS/ISIL is just a lie. Oh, OK.

Another delusional liberal dingbat.

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

@nevrenuftime


Crawl back under the Fox news rock! You have officially been traded for STB4.  Kick rocks and get out of here! STB4 step in anytime you want!

spike79
spike79

@pi Oh LOOK!  He said "Faux" News because that means its FAKE news!!  Get it?  Aint he funny?  Man, I gotta use that one at work next week!  What a knee slapper!

BooBooBear
BooBooBear

If the Falcons can get up by 30 points by the end of the 3rd quarter the home field advantage will really kick in.  Just wait till those 30,000 Saints fans sneak out and leave 25,000 Falcon fans to hoot and holler.

pi
pi

you left off the lord of the rings the bible and the qur'an.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Steven Jackson averages 1 yard per run in his glorious return to the team ( 7 runs for 9 yards predicted). So with that outstanding production, who do YOU think wins? Yeah, that's what I thought.

DrPhill
DrPhill

No doubt about it. Mr. Ed is a better hitter than BJ Upton and several of his team mates.

RangeRover
RangeRover

The Falcons lost two very close games missing several players last season.  Actually, they threw one away.

This is a rivalry and at the dome, and the Falcons will be playing with incredible emotion and desire.

Falcons win and make life miserable for those on here that bask in the glorious thought of every Falcons loss.  What a sad, sad life it must be to frequent here with this only motivation. 

HotDawg
HotDawg

They do the same with THE state school.

"Sad" is being kind.

DawgNole
DawgNole

Link to pro pickem contest is no good. Can you get us a valid one?

HotDawg
HotDawg

Whatever company is running those contests this year is seriously slacking off.

RangeRover
RangeRover

Jeff,

You've gotten so heavily involved in your personal agendas you're no longer either funny or interesting.

Doubtful you're a former athlete at any level, but try to stick to sports if this is your job description.  

SeenThatB4
SeenThatB4

Tonight, Matt Ryan asked the question, "Why not us?" bringing about the rare situation where the answer, was asking the question.

scientist2
scientist2

@SeenThatB4 -- really, still sniff sniff sniffing jockstraps in your pretend sports world. Face it, playing table tennis was the pinnacle of your sports life. You've NEVER played a contact sport in high school or college but you continue talk tough on blogs. Snif snif snif.. You missed it SeenThatB4 and now are just being the pretender that you are. We pity you. Make sure you stay glued to your fantasy life blogging so that you can be first to respond. You blew that on this one. I didn't think McDonald's gave one enough leeway to hang on line waiting like you do. Of course the other possibility is that you still are living at home with Mamma and she doesn't care if you just wait around on the computer. Sniff sniff sniff.... pathetic. 

kerryb
kerryb

Who cares about predictions. They mean nothing. Just play the game. If the Falcons win don't be surprised. Most of their games with the Saints are always close ones so they could go either way.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Didn't the AJC have a Sack Schultz type site for PRO games last year? Was it Beat Bradley or something?

Haven't seen it yet for this season.

HotDawg
HotDawg

Just saw it. Only got through Jeff's chalkboard before skipping to comments. Lol.

Boring week of games on college side. Even Jeff's picks couldn't keep me interested in reading about those games.

But your right. That link is useless. And no promotion before today? So much for trying to pick GB-Seattle game in that pool, since it already started, and link doesn't work.

ChefTimDix
ChefTimDix

I did a book report in high school on the Dodgers episode of Mr. Ed.

HotDawg
HotDawg

And we wonder what is wrong with our education system.

gfw
gfw

You're taking the Falcons.  It's not rational, but it's the mark of a true fan.  'Fan', of course, is short for 'fanatic'.  So we Falcon fans will all excuse you for this irrational pick.  Our hearts are all with you, even if our brains....


So many questions:

O-line---will Ryan be given time?

LBs---no-name group---how will they perform?

Who will be able to cover Graham?

RB---does Jackson have anything left?  &  Will Rodgers get stuffed every time he's give the ball?

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

Sean Payton, Rob Ryan and Drew Brees against Mike Smith, Mike Nolan and Matt Ryan and Jeff is taking the home team?

JSSN
JSSN

@PaulinNH

Yep, Blind Squirrel Theory? He did say (quote): "Julio Jones is best receiver in the NFL"

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@JSSN 

I can think of 3 WRs with ties to the State of GA who are better than Julio.

BigCrimson75
BigCrimson75

Paulie -- I know you're still "stinging" from that whipping @ Goodison but please don't make Rob Ryan out to be anything special.

Strollin Nolan is & has been a superior DC to his counterpart.

The Payton-Smitty mismatch I'll give you.

As for Jules, Megatron & Green, the other 2 have done nothing in this League to make Jules envious.......Nothing.

Go Falcons.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@BigCrimson75 

"As for Jules, Megatron & Green, the other 2 have done nothing in this League to make Jules envious.......Nothing."

Apart from being able to stay off the DL??

JSSN
JSSN

@PaulinNH

Crimson, those other "three" have numbers that smoke Julio in their healthy years! I'm not "anti Julio Jones," but if any other player spoke like Jones did ("I'm the best," but he cannot stay healthy), folks on this blog would be crucifying him!

With Welker being out for 4 games, it is going to be interesting to see if Peyton still feeds Thomas as much as he did in the playoffs. If so, this might be the greatest receiver year since the old AFL 1967 season which should be legend!

JSSN
JSSN

Lily, my friend, girl what are you thinking? That's OK, Heatwaves have that effect!

It's gonna be a sad weekend for members of the EMU Alumni Association, especially those of us who do not drink or smoke illegal stuff! At least I get to get some good BBQ at my Uncle's in Orlando Sunday! Oh, Muschchamp is not Urban, maybe our little undermanned team can cover, nah! 

JSSN
JSSN

@DawgNole

Because Eastern current football squad is not 1/3 of that Georgia Southern's squad. I love my school, but the Ypsi Men struggled mightily with a good Morgan State team. EMU is not in the top half of the MAC (those teams can play with anybody in the Country on a neutral field in a competitive manner). The new coach has a lot of work to do. But on a serious note, keep an eye on the EMU tight end Tyreese Russell, he's gonna be a pro, and he's better than Bennett (Chicago) was!

DawgNole
DawgNole

@JSSN @DawgNole

Just wishful thinking and rhetorical posting on my part. Had a good friend that attended EMU many years ago.