Overreaction Monday: Everybody wins! What can possibly go wrong?

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who was all smiles after Sunday's win, has thrown for 730 yards and leads the NFL in quarterback efficiency rating. (AP photo)

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who was all smiles after Sunday’s win, has thrown for 730 yards and leads the NFL in quarterback efficiency rating. (AP photo)

Welcome back to Overreaction Monday, where we answer the No. 1 question on your mind this week: Yes, this would be the first time that Georgia and Georgia Tech play for the national championship and the Falcons go to the Super Bowl in the same year. Meanwhile, back on Earth . . .

FALCONS

Last week: Won at Oakland 35-28. Record: 1-1. Next game: Monday at New Orleans.

Overreaction narrative: “A-ha! We were right! Matt Ryan is great in the no-huddle and Kyle Shanahan finally listened to us on Twitter so he’s only slightly less stupid now! I should coach this team! Hey, Fred, are we out of onion dip?”

Reality check: Not so much. But here’s what I think has been going on. Shanahan and quarterback Matt Ryan are figuring each other out. Offensive coordinators are, by nature, obstinate because they believe in their systems and sometimes they get caught trying to jam square pegs in round holes — or throwing all of the perfectly good pegs away. Shanahan has never been a big no-huddle guy, but has come to the realization that Ryan is pretty good in it. So the Falcons will use it periodically to change the pace of the game and keep defenses guessing. They used a lot of no-huddle against Oakland, and I’m not convinced that’s going to be the norm. But I do believe given Ryan’s success in it Sunday, and before Shanahan’s arrival, that it will become more of a staple in the offense than maybe Shanahan anticipated. It would be silly not to exploit one of Ryan’s strengths.

There is an argument to be made that Shanahan’s scheme is not the best offense for Ryan. But that doesn’t mean Ryan can’t succeed in it. I’ve long believed that Shanahan took way too much heat from fans, and some media, for some of last season’s failures. Ryan – by his own admission – did not play well and he and receivers at times seemed to not be on the same page. But consider the start Ryan is off to in his second year in the scheme: He has thrown for 730 yards on 72.6 percent passing (53 of 73) for five touchdowns and one interception. It would be six touchdowns but Ryan slightly misfired to an open Jacob Tamme in the end zone against the Raiders and the pass was intercepted. Nonetheless, Ryan leads the NFL with a 121.4 rating.

The stat of the game: Ryan went 12-for-12 for 195 yards and two touchdowns after the interception.

The only fault I find with Shanahan this season is at times he seems to forget he has possibly the league’s best wide receiver (Julio Jones) on the roster when it comes to red zone play selection.

Here’s an excerpt of a recap of the game by the football analytics’ site, Pro Football Focus:

“The Falcons’ offense rolled the entire day with balance, rhythm, and superb play-calling by Kyle Shanahan. Matt Ryan silenced some doubters on his ability to push the ball vertically, going a perfect three-for-three for 124 yards on throws that traveled 20-plus yards in the air …”

GEORGIA

September 17, 2016 Columbia, MO: Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Jacob Eason passes during the first half against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field in Columbia, MO. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason passes during the first half against the Missouri Tigers Saturday at Faurot Field in Columbia, MO. (Brant Sanderlin / bsanderlin@ajc.com)

Last week: Won at Missouri 28-27. Record: 3-0 (1-0 in SEC). Next game: Saturday at Mississippi.

Overreaction narrative: “Did you see Jacob Eason’s last touchdown pass! Ain’t no stopping us now!”

Reality check: Slow your roll. Any road win in the conference is huge. But when this season is over I doubt Missouri is going to be ranked or considered one of the better teams in the SEC. Georgia still has significant issues on both lines. Eason, for as much as he has off-the-charts talent and already has shown an ability to make game-winning plays, is still a freshman and will continue to make freshman mistakes.

This will be an interesting week. Coach Kirby Smart preaches about playing to a standard every week and avoiding the emotional ups and downs that can plague teams. Having that stability has been a key for Alabama since Nick Saban’s arrival. The Dogs did not play with the needed intensity against Nicholls State and to some degree learned their lesson. Do they fall back now against one of the better teams in the SEC and in a difficult stadium for visiting teams?

Ole Miss also can go either way after a 1-2 start in a murderous schedule (losses to No. 4 Florida State and No. 1 Alabama), with three more ranked teams coming in the next four weeks (Georgia, Arkansas, LSU). Their desperation this week can work for or against them, and Smart knows that. I’ll get into the Georgia-Mississippi game more later in the week but in short: It’s way too early to assume anything about Georgia this season.

GEORGIA TECH

Georgia Tech running back Dedrick Mills breaks away for a touchdown as Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham tries to stop him in the second half at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday. (Hyosub Shin / hshin@ajc.com)

Georgia Tech running back Dedrick Mills breaks away for a touchdown as Vanderbilt linebacker Zach Cunningham tries to stop him in the second half at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday. (Hyosub Shin / hshin@ajc.com)

Last week: Defeated Vanderbilt 38-7. Record: 3-0 (1-0 in ACC). Next game: Thursday against Clemson.

Overreaction narrative: “We’re about to get smacked!”

Reality check: Yeah, maybe. But maybe not. Clemson opened as a 13-point favorite and the line is down to nine. What does that tell you?

You could pick an All-Star team from Georgia’s Tech’s first three opponents (Boston College, Mercer, Vanderbilt) and it still wouldn’t match up talent wise to the Clemson team the Jackets will face at Bobby Dodd Stadium. The Jackets’ defense, not often the most comforting element of the team, will be tested big time by quarterback Deshaun Watson. However . .

Clemson, expected to compete for the national championship, hasn’t proven anything yet this season. It struggled in the opener against Auburn, struggled against Troy and took apart South Carolina State (which really doesn’t count). Also, the Jackets’ offense has improved each week, rushing for 289 yards against Vandy.

And there’s this: Tech coach Paul Johnson has had a fair amount of success against Clemson, despite having less talented rosters and usually being the underdog. He’s 5-4 in the series and 3-0 at Bobby Dodd Stadium since taking the Tech job in 2008. (Note: Technically, the NCAA vacated a win over Clemson in the ACC title game and Johnson is 4-4. But he’s 5-4 on the field.) The home wins: 2009 (30-27), 2011 (31-17) and 2014 (28-6). It helped in 2014 that Watson was injured in the first quarter of the game two years ago.

This isn’t a gimme for Clemson.

Recent ramblings

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158 comments
Big Wally
Big Wally

Come on home EJ,  come on home.  All is forgiven.

Big Wally
Big Wally

Hey Blowhio.  ESPN is saying that the Big Mac East is the toughest division in CFB with Ohio St, Meatchicken and Meatchicken State. I'll give 'em that for now.  What you need to worry about is, the last time Urban found himself in a tough Division, he started having all those fake heart attacks and quit cause he couldn't hack it in the SEC.


I see the same thing happening again to him at Blowhio State.  It is already documented that he is butting heads with the Ohio State Administration over some of the garbage he is bringing on the campus.  


In another year or two, I see him doing ESPN game day, and putting on mascot heads.  Would be fitting eh?

TOJacket
TOJacket

And you guys think he's obsessed?

Big Wally
Big Wally

@OH:IO @Big Wally an intellectual midget like yourself accusing someone else of being 6 or 7?


Ice cold, Doctor Pepper............

Big Wally
Big Wally

@OH:IO I thought tattoos were extremely important and overlooked, oh sorry, wrong Ohio St. coach.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Now, Chip is recycling dog local interest on myacj. 


Whining about muzzled Savior Skinny. 

Big Wally
Big Wally

@OH:IO Like night follows day, Blowhio lives and breaths Eason 24/7.

OH:IO
OH:IO

@Big Wally


No, that's Chip Towers. Just like he was on Gurley watch a couple years ago. 

Big Wally
Big Wally

@OH:IO @Big Wally That would be part of his job Einstein.  No one forces you to follow along night and day, it is not your job, but you sure do make it your passion.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO

"Whatever"???

That's what dimbulbs who lose arguments say.

Looks like the shoe fits.

dawg fan
dawg fan

Overreaction Narrative:  Kirby won't let me talk to the freshman QB and doesn't want to be my BFF.  Wawawawawawawawawa . . .I'm going to take my ball and go home to mommy.  AJC=JOKE. 

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Play somebody that Houston hasn't already exposed. 4 weeks into 2016. Good grief!

#woodshed

OH:IO
OH:IO

This is too funny. 


sbatl 2 hours ago

A 2 point win against Nichols State and 1 point win over a mediocre Mizzou team and the National Championship talk starts getting thrown around.

FlatTire
FlatTire

Please tell us again how awesome it was when the big time 10 expanded and went and got two powerhouse programs; Rutgers and Maryland


OH:IO
OH:IO

@FlatTire


What they got was two major TV markets. Nothing more, nothing less.


While MIzzou won the LEAST! they've since become Safe Space U. 


And, A&M gave us Johnny Football but hasn't done squat since. 


Keep yappin', flat. 

Big Wally
Big Wally

@FlatTire Michigan and Ohio State didn't want football competition.  They only want it to be a two school race in football, with the rest of them getting participation trophy's.  That way Mich. and Ohio State get to monopolize the midwest in regards to talent.  In other words, the rest of the conference just wants to ride Mich. and OSU's coattails.  They don't want new blood upsetting the pecking order.

OH:IO
OH:IO

@Big Wally


Um, last I knew Sparty is competitive. And Michigan has been down for a decade. 


And, last I knew, Urban gets the Ohio kids he wants, the GA kids he wants and the TX kids he wants and the FL kids he wants and the NJ kids he wants and the MI kids he wants. 


Get the point, sparkpotemous?


Don't even speak of coattails. That's all dogs got. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO: ". . . last I knew Sparty is competitive."

_________________

OK, that makes two teams out of 11--three if you count Wisc.

And you're bragging about that???

Lying hypocrite.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Week 4 and the Top of the SEC! SEC! plays a team from the bottom of the MAC. 


SEC! SEC!

WhatExcuseNow
WhatExcuseNow

Bama enjoys feasting on, Big MACs, Toppers, and Classics (usc). But don't get us near Krystals, no sir. We tend to dispense tea[bags] there.....

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@OH:IO

What does it matter Bucky, do you get extra bonus points for playing the top of the MAC? Although some in the MAC got brownie points for beating the weak sisters of the B1G.

OH:IO
OH:IO

@Buschleaguer


Top or bottom doesn't matter. Simply pointing out the hypocrisy of a couple of frequent posters. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@OH:IO 

And you damn sure know hypocrisy, don't you, lying hypocrite?!

DawgNole
DawgNole

JS: "The stat of the game: Ryan went 12-for-12 for 195 yards and two touchdowns after the interception."

__________________

The stat of the game is ATL 35, OAK 28!

TOJacket
TOJacket

Just how bad is Ole Miss going to beat the dawgs?......be careful with I-Mac.....that guy is little

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

How bad is Clemson going to beat Georgia Tech at the Joke Thursday?

Watch out for JT. dawgs pick him off all the time.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket

Hopefully as badly UNC did, and as badly as ATL beat TBay--both despite your imbecilic predictions to the contrary.

OH:IO
OH:IO

@DawgNole


My guess is 63-20. With 10 of the 20 coming in garbage time. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket

You asked a question; I answered it.

Stop whining--and don't ask questions if you don't want answers.

OH:IO
OH:IO

So, 6 or 7 says regarding Bama scheduling Kent State of the MAC Conference,  "cut them some slack". 


The epitome of riding coattails. 

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Hard to believe you really are too stupid to detect sarcasm Larry.

You invent that as well Larry?

OH:IO
OH:IO

My my, look who Bama scheduled this week. 


Say it ain't so. 


SEC! SEC! 

Buschleaguer
Buschleaguer

@OH:IO The 2nd best team in Ohio , right behind the Bobcats of Ohio U.

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Cut them some slack. Saban had a stressful time last week and needs to regain his voice from screaming at Lame @$$ Kiffin all game for tweeting at UT fans instead of calling plays.

Their turn to play the BG's of the CF world.

WhatExcuseNow
WhatExcuseNow

@12/13

'Nicholls FREAKIN State' paraphrasing your Lovah, Lovah, Big W.

Did he earn that name from you due to his hand size, crap size, or Other (details only you, 13, know)???

R T R !!!!!!!!!!!!!

'Nuff said.......