LIVE: Falcons (dead, but not dead) seek home win — updated

Empty uniforms, a perfect illustration of the NFC South. (via media.photobucket.com)

Empty uniforms, a perfect illustration of the NFC South. (via media.photobucket.com)

Empty uniforms, a perfect illustration of the NFC South. (via media.photobucket.com)

UPDATED: 2:40 p.m.

Wide receiver Roddy White is among the Falcons’ inactives with an ankle injury. Also out: defensive tackle Paul Soliai (non-injury related), cornerback Robert Alford (wrist), linebacker Tyler Starr, tackle Jonathan Scott, linebacker James Anderson and quarterback Sean Renfree.

This has been somewhat lost in this lost Falcons’ season but do you realize it has been two and a half months since they won a real home game?

Between road games, a bye week, owner Arthur Blank selling a “home” game to London and the general misery, the Falcons haven’t won a game in the Georgia Dome since Sept. 18 over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Think back. They actually started the season winning their first two home games — the opener against New Orleans in overtime being the other — but since have lost consecutive Georgia Dome games to Chicago and Cleveland.

Mike Smith went 56-24 in his first five years (regular season only) but is 8-19 since. (AP)

Mike Smith went 56-24 in his first five years (regular season only) but is 8-19 since. (AP)

That’s kind of significant going into today’s game against Arizona because three of the Falcons’ five remaining games are at home and, as much as this team should be circling the drain at 4-7, it’s still tied for first place in the toxic waste dump known as the NFC South (where the Falcons, New Orleans, Carolina and Tampa Bay have a combined record of 13-30-1). It’s the first time in NFL history that a first-place team has a record three games under .500 and the South certainly figures to have the worst record for a playoff team since the 2010 Seattle Seahawks (7-9).

The Falcons were one of the NFL’s best home teams in the first five seasons under coach Mike Smith, going 33-7. But they’re 5-7 at home since last season (not including the loss to Detroit in London) and their chances of making the playoffs hinge in part winning in Dome again. Their remaining home games: Arizona (9-2), Pittsburgh (7-4), Carolina (3-7-1).

The Falcons have not beat a team with a winning record all season. Their four wins have all come over South opponents (New Orleans, Carolina and Tampa Bay twice). Their seven losses have all come against non-South teams.

They are 0-4 against teams with winning records (Cincinnati, Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland) and the next three opponents have winning records (Arizona, at Green Bay, Pittsburgh).

So how are you feeling about their playoff chances?

The analytics website Fivethirtyeight projects the Falcons to finish with 5.8 wins and 10.2 losses, second best in the South to New Orleans (6.8 wins, 9.2 losses). The site breaks down each team’s chances of winning the South as: New Orleans 53 percent, the Falcons 23 percent, Carolina 24 percent and Tampa Bay less than one percent.

The Cardinals probably aren’t as dominant a  team as their 9-2 record would suggest and they have lost quarterback Carson Palmer for the season. But as we’ve seen, it doesn’t take much to beat this team.

Thoughts? I’ll be here live blogging during the game.

A recent writer’s dozen from the digital jukebox
— MyAJC: This Georgia season was one big tease
— AJC: Georgia ‘short takes’ on loss to Georgia Tech
— AJC: LIVE: Georgia lost East but has tangible goals vs. Tech
— MyAJC: As Georgia loses SEC title shot, Tech suddenly has higher ceiling
— AJC: Missouri wins SEC East — will it affect Georgia?
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Dogs win, Falcons lose, toys devolve
— AJC: Tech’s Johnson long overdue for contract extension
— MyAJC: Tech’s season a loud response for Johnson’s critics
— AJC: First-ballot thoughts: Smoltz should join Maddux, Glavine
— AJC: Georgia vs. Georgia Tech: Which team has had better season?
— MyAJC: Gurley’s injury should prompt change in NFL draft rule
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: The straight poop–Georgia wins SEC East, Falcons lose
— AJC: Is Braves’ pursuit of Lester realistic?
— AJC: Braves trade Jason Heyward and John Hart just took huge risk
— MyAJC: It makes no sense but Falcons are in first
— AJC: Short takes on Falcons’ win over Panthers
— MyAJC: Dogs have a statement win, now hope for best with Gurley
— AJC: Short takes on Georgia’s win and Gurley
— MyAJC: As hoops open, Tech looks far more ready than Georgia
— AJC: Weekend Predictions: Dogs, Jackets cross bridge, Falcons back to normal
— MyAJC: Ladies and gentlemen Georgia vs. Georgia Tech (in basketball, yes now)
— AJC: If Georgia wins out, would it sway playoff committee?
— MyAJC: All eyes are on Gurley (even if you can’t find him)
— AJC: Hart should deal both Uptons and Gattis
— MyAJC: Falcons’ division hopes hinge on beating teams other than Bucs
— AJC: Short takes on Falcons’ win over Tampa Bay
— MyAJC: If Georgia Tech has come together, we’ll find out against Clemson, UGA

 

Reader Comments 0

490 comments
DewieCheatem_n_Howe
DewieCheatem_n_Howe

As sole owner of the team Blank can show up anywhere he damn wants to show.

gentleman_loser
gentleman_loser

@billfan....that won't happen....men with power never give in....

BillFalcon
BillFalcon

I think TV networks are obligated to show Arthur Blank.  If Smitty is fired, the next coach should insist that he contract have a clause preventing AB from coming to the sidelines.

camelToeJoe
camelToeJoe

Too bad for AZ losing Palmer.  This is an QB/OLine league.  They have the OLine and now don't have the QB.  We have the QB and almost the line.  Too late for us this year.

kevkat
kevkat

Good win. Unfortunately will see you guys at the Monday night massacre week from Monday. Dang

gentleman_loser
gentleman_loser

blank loves to be on TV....he wears nice suits....just sayn


kevkat
kevkat

I really get tired of seeing AB on slide line

camelToeJoe
camelToeJoe

@DawgNole @midtowncowboy @kevkat


How does Blank being on the sideline, far away from the players, embarrass anyone?  That is just nonsense.  How is it any different than former players being on the sidelines at NCAA games?

Mora-less-Petrino
Mora-less-Petrino

Julio has 189 yds and a TD. What is the name of the guy that was going to stop him?

BlawgDawg
BlawgDawg

Meaningless TD (hopefully), but D played way too loose.

kevkat
kevkat

Way to go defense, make Matt earn his millions and go back out there and hand off and kneel down.

camelToeJoe
camelToeJoe

Easy to dream about this team being 7-5, with the OLine starting to play better.  Good on pass protection again today, good run blocking.  With a good back, we run for almost 200.


I would like to see Smith stick around, with a new OCordinator.  How we can't get Julio open in the red zone is amazing to me.  

GASpider
GASpider

Saints remaining schedule Carolina, CHI,ATL, TB     ATL schedule GB, PIT, NO, Carolina  looks like NO has the edge in schedule....

kevkat
kevkat

Hmmmm, the announcer said that was a clean hit...and they're never wrong...

tmc
tmc

moore's going to get fined for that. He led with his head.

DawgNole
DawgNole

Bingo! What a stick! Lucky we didn't get a flag.

ChefTimDix
ChefTimDix

They should carry Bryant everywhere he goes between games

TrueFan1
TrueFan1

ok , I'm out.... see ya'll next week as we try and conquer the world!  Rise up!!!

AugustaAuthor
AugustaAuthor

This is a good win. (Aren't all wins good?) 

zuzu331
zuzu331

NOW run the big slow guy over and over,Smith. Duuuh...

kevkat
kevkat

Smith=Problematic

GASpider
GASpider

Falcons have to fix the number of penalties........way to many to beat a good team

camelToeJoe
camelToeJoe

First time in 35 games, that is almost 3 seasons,  that the falcons have a 100 yard rusher.  A decent back would have had 150+ easily with the holes Jackson has had.  


That is a problem with player personnel decisions.  


Fire the GM.  


Smith wasn't bad when he had players and could run the ball.

tmc
tmc

@midtowncowboy remember to click your heels together when you keep telling yourself that... 

for full effect.

OhioFalcon
OhioFalcon

The coaches better get to the office tonight and get a plan ready for next week

tmc
tmc

wait! cause he could get stuffed up the middle 2 or 3 times and loose yds and go back under 100!

LOL

GASpider
GASpider

Oh yea prepare for the Blank sideline shot

tmc
tmc

that might be 100

zuzu331
zuzu331

If Blank comes down and parades around now I will puke.

TrueFan1
TrueFan1

they better not throw the ball again in this game

DawgNole
DawgNole

Bryant = Mr. Automatic. 


camelToeJoe
camelToeJoe

I now have official joined the fire Derik Kutter team. 

kevkat
kevkat

@OhioFalcon 


Damn, do we have to go there? Guess we should enjoy this one