LIVE: Which Falcons will show up tonight?

Matt Ryan and Tampa Bay's Josh McCown chat it up before tonight's game. (AP)

Matt Ryan and Tampa Bay’s Josh McCown chat it up before tonight’s game. (AP)

In  Week 1, Matt Ryan and the Falcons gave us a view of this team’s upside.

In Week 2, they showed us their ugly alternate universe.

So projecting what happens tonight, even against the apparently horrible Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is risky. But if the Falcons had to pick an opponent in this situation — a short week and coming off a bad game — they might choose Tampa.

The Bucs are 0-2. They’ve lost to two backup quarterbacks, Carolina’s Derek Anderson and St. Louis’s Austin Davis (19-17).  Tampa is in the early stages of a transition/reconstruction under coach Lovie Smith and the team isn’t near a finished product lately. They have a solid rotation of running backs on the roster with Doug Martin (currently out with a knee injury), Bobby Rainey (26 carries for 156 yards) and Charles Sims, but the offense behind quarterback Josh McCown has struggled, which is probably just what the Falcons’ maligned defense needs. The Bucs rank 28th in yardage and 27th in scoring.

New Orleans and Cincinnati each totaled 472 yards in offense but the Falcons were fortunate to win the first game off of Matt Ryan’s arm and Matt Bryant’s foot. Atlanta is the only team in the league without a sack through two games. They figure to struggle in that area all season but it would be nice to see some semblance of a pass rush against a weaker opponent.

Offensively, the Falcons will be without wide receiver Roddy White (hamstring). But they should be able to mount an effective enough to win this game. If not, it doesn’t project well for the end of the season.

Tonight’s actives: The Falcons are sitting White, tackle Ryan Schaeder (as Jake Matthews returns from an ankle injury), third quarterback Sean Renfree, cornerback Javier Arenas, linebacker Tyler Starr and defensive tackle Cliff Matthews. The Bucs’ scratches include injured starters Martin and defensive tackle Gerald McCoy (hand).

I’ll be here live blogging during the game, so feel free to throw your questions and comments but preferably no rocks in this directions.

EARLIER TODAY: Weekend Predictions: Falcons win, NFL and Tech lose

Digital Jukebox
— AJC: Falcons win, Jackets lose, Goodell cowers
— AJC: Braves see Nats celebrate, and Pirates may do same
— MyAJC: Fredi Gonzalez: ‘It’s my team, I take full responsibility’
— AJC: Braves’ opponents often celebrates here
— MyAJC: Falcons let everybody see their ugly side
— AJC: Short takes on Falcons’ loss to Cincinnati
— MyAJC: Georgia Tech has problems, but it also has Justin Thomas
— AJC: Short takes on Georgia Tech’s narrow escape
— AJC: Danny Ferry takes leave but Hawks won’t change with this ownership
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons (real ones) over Saints
— AJC: Hawks giving lessons on how not to contain a fire
— AJC: Goodell was at Masters when Rice video arrived at office
— AJC: Adam Silver, Magic Johnson see Ferry-Deng differently
— MyAJC: Only cure: All Hawks’ owners and Ferry must go
— AJC: Levenson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar miss point about Atlanta
— MyAJC: Levenson gone but timing raises questions
— AJC: Hawks’ Levenson has ugly exit because of email
— MyAJC: Matt Ryan wouldn’t let Falcons lose
— MyAJC: Georgia Tech still looks wobbly at 2-0
— AJC: Short takes on Tech’s 38-21 win over Tulane
— AJC: Live blog: Tech tries to spoil Tulane’s party
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons (real ones) over Saints
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons (real ones) over Saints
— 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: On Braves, McGuirk and repairing baseball

Reader Comments 0

273 comments
WilliamCoit
WilliamCoit

3 down, 13 to go. We need to win 7 - 8 in order to make the playoffs, I believe 10 - 6 should get us in. We need to solve the road woes to get a victory or two.



Need shipping containers for storage?
http://youtu.be/OFHGmqZtKGo

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Feel bad for Lovie Smith. He's a class guy.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Love me some Antone Smith! Wouldn't sniff his jockey the way Arthur Blank does with Matt Ryan but I still love the player.

FalconsD
FalconsD

@TreeRollins Tree, don't let Hard Knocks help you make your decision about this guy.  He might turn out to be a stud.  Remember how Roddy couldn't catch nothing for the first couple of years but look how he turned out.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

That's true about Roddy– I cannot deny it. But Hagemann just looks like a bust.

NorwegianBlue
NorwegianBlue

I teased the over to 69 with my bookie. Got 100-1 odds. Laid down a nickel. Now I'm headin' to McDonalds.

brian4567
brian4567

CBS announcer just mentioned former falcons QB D**k Shiner. 

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

That's got to be a miss print? Couldn't be his real name.

Addy10
Addy10

Renfree should be in. 

Addy10
Addy10

Release Yates now !!!


Big Wally
Big Wally

There's the TJ Yates we know.

FalconsD
FalconsD

Tree, wasn't you a professional basketball player?  I think you was a bust too.  The Hawks didn't win a championship while you were playing either.

Big Wally
Big Wally

@FalconsD Yea, but he did nearly bite off Danny Ainge's finger, so you got to give him points for that.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

And at least, unlike Hagerman, I could play me some defense out on the court!

FalconsD
FalconsD

@TreeRollins Different kind of defense..try playing football..you wouldn't have made the team.

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

@TreeRollins Defense by biting other people? Please try out for our falcons. We need you on the D line.

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

We didn't allow for any wimps and sissies like Hageman on our team!

FalconsD
FalconsD

@TreeRollins Tree, don't let Hard Knocks help you make your decision about this guy.  He might turn out to be a stud.  Remember how Roddy couldn't catch nothing for the first couple of years but look how he turned out.

Dirtyb8
Dirtyb8

please fire Robert Alford

Big Wally
Big Wally

Well, one ref. has already checked out mentally.

jschultz
jschultz moderator

Put the starters back in,

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Matt Ryan is looking like the consummate All-Pro that he is!

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

And finally is this complete bust Haggemann ever going to do anything positive for the Falcons? Or is he simply the Falcons next Paria Jerry – another total bust?

brian4567
brian4567

Do not let up, Falcons.  I'm still mad about the Warren Sapp pogo stick celebration 12 years ago.


TreeRollins
TreeRollins

I honestly did not understand the Devin Hester signing during the off-season – now I understand!

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Antone Smith looking explosive like he does in every other game that they allow him to play!

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

Why isn't the infamous jockey sniffer Arthur Blank hovering on the sidelines like he does every other game looking for a jock to sniff? Or is it possible he already got a whiff of Matt Ryan's jock during halftime?

Georgia_Native
Georgia_Native

Just seems a lot of anger for a guy you dont know

TreeRollins
TreeRollins

To be honest, I'd be so happy if the guy would just stay in the press box like the other intelligent owners.