Short takes: A win, a running game and a chance

Roddy White’s fourth-quarter touchdown catch gave the Falcons a lead. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Roddy White's fourth-quarter touchdown catch gave the Falcons a lead. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Roddy White’s fourth-quarter touchdown catch gave the Falcons a lead. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

This is an adjunct to coverage of the Falcons’ 27-17 win over Tampa Bay Sunday.

CLICK HERE for a link to my full column on the game.

Below are my three “Short Takes” on the game:

1. DON’T GET TOO EXCITED, BUT: When a team starts 2-6 and ends the first half with a five-game losing streak, it generally has all playoff hopes buried. Somehow, that’s not the case with the Falcons. Their win over Tampa Bay pulled them to within one game of “first-place” New Orleans (4-5) in the NFC South after the Saints lost in overtime to San Francisco. If the Falcons intend to pull off this miracle, they are going to have to keep winning — a lot. They can’t assume the Saints or Carolina (3-5-1) will keep losing. The Falcons have one advantage in division tiebreakers: They’re 3-0 against NFC South opponents. The problem is they’ve already played the Bucs twice. They still have to play Carolina twice and New Orleans once.

2. JACKSON HAS AN IMPACT: Most would say running back Steven Jackson hasn’t been the great pickup the team hoped for, but that’s a little unfair because of the offensive line that has been in front of him (as well as Jackson’s injury issues). But he had one of his best games as a Falcons Sunday, rushing for 81 yards on 16 carries (5.1 per-carry average) and a touchdown. The 81 yards were a season high and accounted for his second-best day as a Falcon, behind only his 84-yard, two-touchdown game against Buffalo last season. A strong second half by Jackson would make opposing defenses think twice about teeing off on Matt Ryan and give the Falcons a chance to win some games.

3. DEVIN, OH DEVIN: Devin Hester has been a nice pick up for the Falcons as a returner but he had a major blunder as a wide receiver in the second quarter. On third-and-goal from the 19, Tampa Bay somehow let Hester get wide open in the end zone and Matt Ryan threw a perfect pass to him. But Hester admitted taking his eye off the ball after seeing Buccaneers safety Bradley McDougald closing in for a hit and he dropped a certain touchdown. The Falcons had to settle for a field goal to take a 10-3 lead.

Hester’s drop, via Vine

Recent tunes on digital Jukebox
— MyAJC: If Georgia Tech has come together, we’ll find out against Clemson, UGA
— AJC: Short takes on Georgia Tech’s win over N.C. State
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons’ find their penicillin — the Bucs
— MyAJC: Amid Atlanta misery, can Hawks really be shining light?
— AJC: Election Day: Vote to keep or fire coaches (polls)
— MyAJC: Georgia blows it all with inexcusable performance
— AJC: Short takes on Georgia’s stunning loss to Florida
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: No Gurley (oooh, scary); but Dogs over Gators
— AJC: Rules are dumb but that’s no excuse for Todd Gurley
— MyAJC: Mark Richt deserves credit for holding Georgia together
— AJC: NCAA mum but Muschamp expects Gurley to play vs. Florida
— AJC: Will Arthur Blank make move with Mike Smith (and reader poll)?
— MyAJC: Georgia Tech takes advantage of Pitt’s fumble-fest
— AJC: Short takes: Georgia Tech 56 (points), Pittsburgh 6 (lost fumbles)
— AJC: LIVE: Tech’s defense must improve vs. Pitt
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Falcons lose, Jackets pull upset, Dogs in prayer circle
— AJC: Will a fresh perspective elude Braves?
— MyAJC: Todd Gurley’s return would raise Georgia’s ceiling again
— AJC: Why did NCAA say yes to Mo’ne Davis but no to Todd Gurley?
— MyAJC: Why playoff picture looks good for SEC (and Georgia)
— MyAJC: Here’s good news: Falcons are leaving country
— MyAJC: Georgia Tech continues to stomp on hope
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Dogs win, Falcons lose, Jameis enabled
— AJC: Georgia dealing with reality, FSU avoiding it
— MyAJC: Does NCAA care that public sentiment favors Gurley, athletes?
— MyAJC: Georgia’s response heard loud and clear
— MyAJC: NCAA needs to realize amateurism is dead
— AJC: Minus Gurley, Dogs must overcome flaws
— AJC: With Gurley suspended, is Georgia done?
— MyAJC: If Gurley broke rules, that’s on him
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: No Gurley, no Dogs, no kidding
— AJC: Blank stands by Smith, Dimitroff. What say you?
— MyAJC: Arthur Blank won’t give Falcons’ mandates, speculate on future
 

 

Reader Comments 0

63 comments
Wilbo
Wilbo

I'd have Matt Ryan in an Arizona Cardina;s uniform so fast it would make your head spin. Win for everybody. Ryan doesn't get killed here behind this un-line. Cardinals push for a deep playoff run w a replacement for Palmer. Falcons get out of Matt's insane contract and get some tools to start rebuilding both lines. Matt! Get outta town !!!!!!!

CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

Wanted: Five more yards in Matt Ryan's deep passes.


It happened again yesterday.  Julio outran Matt's arm.  He beat the Bucs defenders easily on a post pattern, but had to wait on the ball which ended up 2-to-3 yards short.  The DBs were able to successfully defend the pass.


Ryan had good protection that allowed him to step comfortably into the throw.


Matt can't throw the deep ball.  


If I'm Julio, maybe I want to play with a QB who can.


Ruffski
Ruffski

Is there a way to get to blog comments via mobile device? I can't find a way. 


The Falcons are a bad team in a horrible division. Who cares if we make the playoffs (which I don't think we will) if there's no chance of going deep?? 

GWJ0525
GWJ0525

In order to get to 8-8 which seems highly unlikely. I don't see wins happening against Arizona or Green Bay, but 3 more south wins and beating Pittsburg which loves to drop eggs to bad teams, and then Cleveland which is a hard team to figure, but we do get them at home. Who knows crazier things have happened. Even 7-9 might work with a tie break advantage.

BigAlHeBDMan
BigAlHeBDMan

Still trying to figure out how to post in this crazy new format. Oh, there it is. Now I know how Devin Hester felt.

Kennyd_va
Kennyd_va

The Falcons needed that win.....Still problem  with the DB's getting beat down field. Every time I see Brent Grimes continue to make plays for Miami....Still I say why did the Falcons release Brent Grimes. Good win for the Falcons ! Rise Up !!!!!!!!!

Looking for a Philly win tonight

NorthFlaFalcon
NorthFlaFalcon

We need a balanced attack. Good to have a win. The losing streak and the "outdoor losing streak" are both over. Carolina will be a tough test. The offense needs to rack up the points, as I'm not confident in our defense.....GO FALCONS

Waredawg
Waredawg

New format stinks beyond belief. Will never post again beyond complaining about the format. Bet your hits go down 50% or more. Wasn't broke, didn't need fixing.

Mr. Negative
Mr. Negative

After the stretch of @GB, Pitt, and AZ, the mangled fowls will be planning how they will be spending The Fool's money this winter. Lots of sideline chatter about new pools, cruises and vacations to Amsterdam. Pregame locker rooms will resemble a teacher with an out-of-control classroom. Paper airplanes will be made out of gameplans, doobies passed around.

Well, we'll see what happens against Carolina.

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

The Bears and Tampa need to reboot. It's hard to believe teams in the NFL can be this bad.

GT71
GT71

Devin Hester has caught the 'safety panic' disease from Stony White and Jangled-nerves Jones.  Seemed like White and Jones may be in recovery, but they still seem infectious.

Don't get carried away, as Carolina twice and NO aren't going to be the Bucs.

Good luck to them and may Matt Ryan live through another year.

And yeah, the site still sux the big one.

jhon bruse
jhon bruse

my Aunty Madelyn got a stunning blue Mercedes R-Class Wagon by working part time off of a pc... visit homepage ➽➽➽➽­ ­w­w­w­.wikienℂℴℳe.ℂℴℳ ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Intruder
Intruder

Bucs made to order for Mike Smith.

BooBooBear
BooBooBear

Half way there to a 6-10 season, sweeping the South.  Then be tied with 6-10 New Orleans, with 5-10-1 Carolina in 3rd and 4-12 Tampa Bay last.  In the playoffs with a 6-10 record!  Gotta love it!

DawgDadII
DawgDadII

All this proves is the Falcons aren't the worst team in the league. Kind of a sloppy effort at times, but a win is a win and the Saints and Panthers aren't going to run away.

Wilbo
Wilbo

Grow up, bonehead. There is no way in the friggin Hinges of Hades, the Atlanta Falcons are going to go 5-2 from here on out. This is why I despise the idiots that write for this alleged big city paper. 

Eric_C
Eric_C

The Falcons are still relevant!

moboman
moboman

Don't miss the "recent tunes on the digital jukebox"..  What??? 

Eric_C
Eric_C

Perfect in the division

Eric_C
Eric_C

Isn't that as good as we can ask for going into week 11?

Eric_C
Eric_C

The Falcons control their own destiny

syrupmaker
syrupmaker

What about the under thrown deep pass to Julio, where he had the safety and corner beat by almost five yards?  I guess you missed that one. 

JChikara
JChikara

For this entire week there will be this air of confidence that we all know will quickly be snuffed out at Carolina. Enjoy it while it last!

ErkMunson
ErkMunson

Getting a kick out of how bad this division is. I'm really hoping to see a sub .500 win it. Has that ever happened before?


CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

@Wilbo Arizona just gave Carson Palmer the big bucks.  Houston needs a QB.  


I agree with your sentiments.  Matt's probably not gonna reach his full potential here.  


Just listen to all his supporters... he's been plagued by bad luck, bad line, bad OC's, opponents who are too good.  The list goes on.


Matt Ryan + Atlanta = Super Bowl is math that won't work.

candlin14
candlin14

You're an idiot. The guy is the best QB Atlanta has ever had. He has ZERO protection and an awful offensive coordinator.

He's lost 4 playoff games. All four teams reached the Super Bowl and two won it. Get a clue dude!!!

Playoff losses:

1) Arizona Cardinals > lost to Pittsburg in Super Bowl

2) GB Packers > Won It all

3) Ny Giants > won it all

4) San Fran > lost to Ravens is Super Bowl..

Not a bad way to end the year!! He is bound to get to the Super Bowl.. Mark my words you hater!!!!!!!

JSSN
JSSN

@GWJ0525

You don't have the Jets physicality on the defensive side of the ball.Nor is your QB going to split a double team on a 40 yard pass. That Pittsburgh game is going be 55% Atlanta fan and 45% Steelers if you're lucky. See which team has more of a problem being heard.


BigAlHeBDMan
BigAlHeBDMan

Also, I have not figured out how to widen the comment section. I have all this blank space on the right and my comments are coming up long and narrow, like an Atlanta TD. WTF!

candlin14
candlin14

Imagine if we had Trufant, Grimes, and Dunta Robinson as our three D Back tandem. That would be sick. And Abraham and Osi on the edge. That would make our defense complete but we have a moron for a coach and a complete idiot for a GM!!!

RickinWarnerRobins
RickinWarnerRobins

  Whatever is bothering Cam Newton will be forgotten when the Falcons are mauled by the Panthers.  I love the Falcons, but don't see them winning again this season.

GeorgiaBugman
GeorgiaBugman

@BooBooBear 

I hope you're wrong, who wants the embarrassment of getting your shorts handed to you in the first round of the playoffs?

RickinWarnerRobins
RickinWarnerRobins

@DawgDadII  You're right, they're the next to the worst.  But speaking of worst websites, the AJC has the number one worst website in the country.

sjh5023
sjh5023

@Eric_C  Not to burst your bubble, but quite imperfect against any other division played (maybe you are being sarcastic). 


The NFC South is 1-7-1 vs.the AFC North (and that includes the Bungles). I predicted at season start NFC South no better than 3-13 v AFC North, so right on schedule.

Eric_C
Eric_C

@ErkMunson not in this division but Seattle did it a few years ago with a 7-9 record

CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

@candlin14 I don't know if you remember Steve Bartkowski, but I'd argue he was better than Matt Ryan.  

GWJ0525
GWJ0525

@JSSN @GWJ0525  That's a long road trip for an inter-conference game , but if that many wish to come it's ok by me

RickinWarnerRobins
RickinWarnerRobins

@candlin14  Trufant and Robinson couldn't cover my grandmother...yeah, sick...we'd ALL be sick of losing like we are now.

BooBooBear
BooBooBear

@GeorgiaBugman @BooBooBear It is for the LEGACY to RISE UP!  A new NFL rule named after the Atlanta Falcons - never again will losers be allowed in the playoffs.  The Falcons Rule.

The_Real_KJ
The_Real_KJ

@Princess_Leia  Wow, as original as your UGA "insults"... everyone knows the format sucks, how about you quit being a little beeyatch about it, and stop making it even more cluttered than it is