Found September 06, 2013 on
Football is back! (Photo Credit: ATLANTA,GA- The Atlanta Falcons are just two days away from their season opener against a tough division rival in the New Orleans Saints. Many Georgia-based fans are expecting the Falcons to at least make the playoffs and possibly a Super Bowl appearance for the future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez. Allow me to divert your attention from the NFL for a moment to draw a quick parallel. The Georgia Bulldogs and the Falcons both suffered a heart wrenching loss while nearing the precipice of the end zone. The Georgia Bulldogs had their plates full with the inspirational Tajh Boyd, and a Clemson Tiger team that managed to squeak out a victory over Les Miles’ LSU Tigers. Now, the Falcons are facing an equal challenge. The emotionally ecstatic Drew Brees and a pissed off Sean Peyton. This year the Saints will play like they have something to prove even if the sentiment is self-fabricated. Making that comparison, one may think that I might have the Falcons not winning the NFC South this year. With the Carolina Panthers stacking their defense and Tampa Bay’s acquisition of Darrelle Revis, the Falcons cannot afford to let Matt Bryant decide the fate of almost half their wins or losses this season. Here is a quick rundown of my take on the Atlanta Falcons season. Follow isportsweb on twitter At New Orleans Saints (L) Since Matt Ryan has taken the reins as quarterback for the Falcons, his win percentage against the Saints sits at about 30 percent. With all of the dangers listed above I think this game comes down to whoever has the ball last and I am predicting that will be Drew Brees & company. Saints win 28-21. Hosting St. Louis Rams (W) Jeff Fisher is a good head coach and I believe the Rams will have a winning season. However, expect Steven Jackson to take out some of his residual anger on the team that had him run straight into stone walls made of stout linebackers for years. Falcons win 30-21. At Miami Dolphins (W) The receiving corps of the Falcons is too talented to be contained by the Dolphins secondary even though the Dolphins front seven looks promising this year. Falcons win 17-14. Hosting New England Patriots (W) The loss of Tom Brady’s most valuable targets will take a toll but Brady will eventually get back to form and turn those rookie wide receivers into Pro Bowlers this year. This will not happen by the fourth game of the season though. Falcons win a close shootout 35-34. This game will almost be as sad as when Fireman Ed retired his fandom. (Photo Credit: Debby Wong/ US Presswire) Hosting New York Jets (W) The Jets are going to play at the Georgia Dome while being hosted nationally on ESPN? With or without Mark Sanchez at the helm, this game is a highlight reel in the making. The Falcons steamroll the Jets 38-17, most of the Jets’ points will come in garbage time. BYE WEEK Whew, three weeks of whooping on the AFC East sure works up a sweat. Hosting Tampa Bay Buccaneers (L) If Doug Martin is healthy and still running wild I think this game comes down to the corners and their ability to cover each other’s big play receivers. I think Atlanta drops the big play here and suffers another heart wrenching loss after a great win streak. Tampa Bay wins 20-17. At Arizona Cardinals (W) I haven’t been convinced that Carson Palmer can get the job done ever since I saw him go down with that knee injury so many years ago. I do however respect Larry Fitzgerald with a half-decent quarterback though. The defense hasn’t shown me enough to give me a second thought. Falcons win 24-14. At Carolina Panthers (W) Cam Newton is going to have his hands full this season. I think the Falcons’ defensive coordinator Mike Nolan has spent all offseason game planning for quarterbacks like Newton and Colin Kaepernick. Falcons win their first division game in overtime 23-20. Hosting Seattle Seahawks (W) One of the toughest matchups the Falcons will face this season. Both of these teams are equally talented and mimic each other with very good balance. In last year’s playoffs the Falcons were able to gash this team with Michael Turner. Now the Falcons have acquired a running back equally as talented but with greater downhill speed. Expect Jackson to be the difference maker here in this close game. Falcons win 24-21. At Tampa Bay Buccaneers (W) At this point in the season I am counting on a few injuries to both teams, and the Falcons have done a fairly good job at staying healthy, especially two premier players in Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez. Matt Ryan closes the deal as Josh Smith begins to flounder late in the season again. By this time Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford should be confidant and solidifying their roles in this defense. Falcons casually stroll to a 24-10 win. Roddy White stiff arming Saints defender. (Photo Credit: Hosting New Orleans Saints (W) This epic rematch at the Georgia Dome will be extremely intense this year due to the NFL making an outstanding schedule this year. Both teams will be vying for the number one playoff berth position as the Saints will have more division wins but more non-division losses than the Falcons. The Falcons will need to win this game to pull ahead in the rankings. At home in the dome they are familiar with, the game will boil down to defense. The Falcons have added a lot of young talent during the offseason that will be able to handle this moment better than the players the Saints have drafted. Falcons win in the dome 31-24. At Buffalo Bills (W) After last week’s emotional rollercoaster this game will be the Falcon’s ultimate test of not getting distracted. E.J. Manuel will probably be a bust but the Bills still have C.J. Spiller who can bust an 80-yard touchdown at anytime. Let’s not forget about the mouthy diva Steve Johnson either, he is still an underrated deep threat. For this game I have two scores. If the Falcons are riding the high the Bills take them to overtime and lose with a safety 32-30. However, if they are challenged in the first quarter the Falcons win 42-19. At Green Bay Packers (L) At this point in the season Aaron Rodgers’ pass protection should have had enough time to gel with each other. No amount of time this season will prepare Atlanta’s young secondary for Aaron Rodgers however. Brady’s receivers will be easier to handle than Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson, and James Jones all over the field. Prepare to see the “Lambeau Leap” a few times as the Packers turn up the heat to secure their number one seed. The pass rush will fail Atlanta and the Packers win 38-24. Hosting Washing Redskins (L) Even if Robert Griffin III doesn’t quite make it this far in the season with his style of play, this game will be one of those heart wrenching losses. Kirk Cousins or RGIII are in an excellently balanced system designed by Mike Shanahan. Alfred Morris is a well disciplined running back but in the Shanahan system he has transformed into a complete beast. With 10 wins secured the Falcons will just need one or two more to lock up the number one seed as the Saints will be nipping at their heels all season long. Unfortunately, the run defense of the Falcons will break down this game. Redskins win in overtime 28-21. At San Francisco 49ers (L) Another epic rematch with epic consequences, at this point the 49ers will be tied with Seattle in division wins and in non-division wins. Atlanta will be in a similar position. The 49ers are stacked deep on defense, but their offense will start to show signs of weakness as there will not be enough receivers to make the big plays that they made last year. Ryan will be sacked hard and sacked often as Julio and Roddy struggle to even get open. Gore and Jackson will run hard but traditional running will be hard pressed in this game. Expect to see Jacquizz Rodgers and Kendall Hunter have great games. Someone will get hurt in the Falcons secondary, allowing Colin Kaepernick the small window of opportunity to throw the game-winning touchdown. 49ers pull it off in the final seconds 24-17. Hosting Carolina Panthers (W) With the Saints locking up the division the Falcons will be emotionally drained as their efforts the past three weeks seemed to be wasted. With hope slipping away they face a familiar foe. The Carolina Panthers trot into the dome with an identical win-loss record. This game will determine who is going to the playoffs as a wildcard and who gets to have an extended Christmas break with the family. Samuel L. Jackson will be contacted to make another Rise Up commercial for the upcoming game. Arthur Blank will call for a Falcon red-out of the Georgia Dome. Fans will cleverly craft “Stay out of our redzone” signs. Tony G will make an excellent pregame speech that will immortalize him in Falcons history. Mike Nolan will call exotic blitzes that Cam Newton will misread. All of this will result in a crazy back-and-forth game that the Falcons take control of in the fourth quarter. The city of Atlanta wins 37-27. Season Record: 11-5 Feeling confident? Feel Free to give me your own predictions on the Falcon’s season in the comments below.

Atlanta Falcons News: Falcons Face Saints in Super Dome

The Atlanta Falcons are set to kick off their season on Sunday, as the trip makes the trek to New Orleans to face off with the rival Saints in the Super Dome. The Falcons look poised for a special season in 2013, as the offense looks ready to bring memories of St. Louis’s “Greatest Show on Turf” with big plays from former Ram Steven Jackson, Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White...

Saints defense to face tough test from Jackson, Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons have added 13 rookies to their squad: seven draft choices and six free agents. But it's a long-time veteran addition that might prove the most problematic for the Saints Sunday. The Falcons have a locked and loaded team already don't forget they narrowly missed out on playing in the Super Bowl last year. Returning are key weapons like quarterback Matt...

Falcons preview: Insight, predictions for 2013 season

Here's a capsule preview of the Atlanta Falcons' 2013 season, a much-anticipated campaign full of Super Bowl promise. Three Things To Know 1. Replacing Michael Turner with Steven Jackson will make a huge difference Last season, the Falcons ranked 29th in net rushing yards per game, as Turner, who finished third in the MVP voting in 2008, fell off a proverbial cliff with...

Matt Ryan as QB2 Headlines our Week 1 NFL Ranks

Finally, the time has arrived and we’re publishing our first set of weekly NFL ranks. Jon Collins’ FantasyPros Week 1 Fantasy Football Ranks are shared below for your convenience, with player notes to help make your lineup decisions. Agree, disagree, looking for advice? Hit us in the comments below. [Rankings displayed at the jump] I’m a few pegs too low on Colin Kaepernick...

Falcons' Roddy White vows to play against Saints

Roddy White isn't promising he'll be 100 percent for the Falcons' opener at the Saints on Sunday. White is guaranteeing he'll be on the field - just like every game of his career. The streak of 128 consecutive games played - every regular-season game for eight seasons - appeared to be at risk when White sprained his left ankle in Atlanta's second preseason game...

WR Roddy White returns to practice, ready for season opener against Saints

According to D. Orlando Ledbetter of, Atlanta Falcons WR Roddy White sustained an ankle injury in the second exhibition game against Baltimore on August 15, returned to practice on Wednesday. White has started 128 straight games and has not missed a start in his NFL career. He's been out ever since but hasn't suffered any setbacks. As a veteran who knows the system...

Asante Samuel Questionable vs. Saints

Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel is questionable for Sunday's season opener against the Saints. He's battling a thigh injury. SOURCE: Falcons on TwitterFantasy Spin:Samuel was a limited participant at practice on Friday. He'll have his hands full if he plays on Sunday. New Orleans has led the league in passing offense each of the last two seasons.

New Falcons OL bracing for first test from Saints

It's no secret that the new starters on Atlanta's offensive line, especially right tackle Lamar Holmes, will get a lot of attention from the Saints in Sunday's opening game. The new-look line must adjust to the departures of center Todd McClure, who retired, and right tackle Tyson Clabo, who was not re-signed. Holmes, who has played in only one game, was rushed into...

Roddy White is Questionable

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Falcons receiver Roddy White (ankle) is questionable for Week 1.Fantasy Spin:White suffered a minor ankle sprain in the second preseason game and should be fine to play despite the questionable tag. He has played in 128 of 128 over his eight-year career. Make sure he's in your lineup Sunday against the Saints.

The Falcons and Saints give us an outstanding opening weekend match-up. Week 1 picks

The Falcons and Saints are going to give us one of the best match-ups of the weekend. After postings a record of 164-92 last season, I'm ready to breakthrough to 70% this season. We've started off on the right foot by getting the Broncos game right. Here's a look at Week 1. Vikings @ Lions - Detroit wins.  This game will give fans for both teams...

Blogging with the Enemy: Q&A with Grits Blitz

It's a bit of a tradition by now that twice a year I connect with Grits Blitz, an Atlanta Falcon blog, to talk about the game and get some pot shots in in the process. Always a good time and they are good enough sports to indulge me despite rooting for such filthy trash. Of course it's always in good fun, if you suspend my deep seated hatred for the Falcons. But seriously...

NFC South Beakdown

Atlanta Falcons Prediction: 1st in division (13-3 overall) Strengths: Offensively, they have so many weapons. Two top ten receivers in Roddy White and Julio Jones. Addition of Steven Jackson will be huge. Matt Ryan is a top 10 QB. Defense is pretty solid as well. Causes for concern: Not too many causes for concern in Atlanta. Only concerns would result from injury.. Not a lot of...

Saints NT Bunkley injured vs. Falcons

Saints nose tackle Broderick Bunkley has left New Orleans' regular-season opener against the Falcons with a lower right leg injury. The Saints have announced that his return is questionable. Bunkley appeared to be tangled up on a short running play in which Steven Jackson gained 3 yards deep in Saints territory. John Jenkins, a rookie out of Georgia drafted in the third round...

DirecTV and NFL Network Present: Tehol and his associates MJD and Roddy White

Greetings! Ya’ll wanna see my face?  Well, now’s your chance as for the second year in a row I’ve been handpicked by Andrew Siciliano to participate in DirecTV’s promotional fantasy football extravaganza. Receiving the opportunity to ask MJD and Roddy White questions pertaining to fantasy was like a dream come true for me, not so much unlike my other dream that came true...

Atlanta Falcons vs. New Orleans Saints: The Rivalry By the Numbers

Say what you want about the rest of the country, but there is no better way to start off the NFL season in the deep south than by pitting the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints against each other in Week One. This is a rivalry that just seems to get more bitter with age. The teams don't like each other, the coaches don't particularly care for each other, and the fans...
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