Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Falcons to be tested this week and other thoughts...
The Falcons are 2-0 after beating 2 teams that were in last years playoffs and have the big bad New England Patriots on the schedule for this week. The Falcons have played good enough to win in their last two games but have came away from both games with plenty of things that they need to work on. The defense continues to be better than expected but took a step back last week with the Carolina game. The Patriots game could be coming at the right time or the wrong time. The Patriots are 1-1 this year and have looked very ordinary in their first two games. This could be bad news if the Patriots come out firing but I'm not sure that the Patriots defense can stop the Falcon offense. I project this one as a shoot out cause I am really not sure the Falcon defense can stop the Patriot offense. If the Falcons win this game they will be seen as one of the early season elite teams at 3-0. If the Falcons lose then we are still 2-1 after playing 3 teams that made the playoffs last year. The Falcons are in a good position and should be loose going into the week.
Here are the Top Reasons I am a happy Falcon fan so far this year:
1. Matty Ice- It's amazing that I wanted the Falcons to go with Glenn Dorsey with their number 1 pick instead of Matt Ryan. Let's face it, Matt Ryan's college numbers were ordinary. However, he's a much better pro then he was a college QB. Maybe it's the personnel that's surrounding him, maybe his game is just suited to the pro game or maybe he just has better coaching at this level. After two games Matt Ryan has the 4th best QB Rating in the NFL (behind Brees, Peyton and Favre), he's completing 68% of his passes and he has 5 TDs to 1 INT. It's nice to have a new toy like Tony Gonzalez. Matty Ice is also a hard worker and is a football nerd. He's constantly studying and putting in extra work to get better.
2. Jacksonville's Trash- I'm so glad Jacksonville decided they no longer needed Mike Peterson and to a lesser extent Brian Williams. Mike Peterson has been the key to the Falcon defense so far this year. Peterson is the play maker that we've been missing. Keith Brooking was a solid line backer but he was unspectacular and rarely came up with a big play. In his two games he's played as a Falcon Mike Peterson has 2 Forced Fumbles, 1 Interception (and returned it 39yds), 3 Passes Defensed, 16 tackles and he recovered a blocked punt. Add that to the fact that he is hitting people hard and he's brought an edge to the line backer unit and this has gone from a ho hum signing to a HUGE off-season signing. On September 6th the Falcons added free agent CB Brian Williams to the team. About a week later he was our starting CB. I'll be honest, I haven't noticed his play on defense and as a fan I appreciate when I don't notice my teams starting corner back (especially after years of guys like Charles Dimry and Meangelo Hall) and Oh yeah, and he also blocked a punt last week. I'm wondering if Jacksonville has any more guys that they want to send over to the Falcons.
3. Tony Gonzalez- I thought this guy would be good but damn this guy is amazing. Through 2 games he has 12 catches, 2 touchdowns and has converted 9 first downs. Adding him to Roddy White and Mike Jenkins has made the Falcons very prolific and formidable through the air.
4. Thomas Dimetroff and the Coaching Staff- I have complete confidence in our GM. He's only been our GM for 2 years but he's already done some amazing things. First of all he assembled a first rate coaching staff of Mike Smith, Mike Mularkey, Brian Van Gorder, Paul Boudreau, Bill Musgrave and many other talented coaches. This is a breath of fresh air after suffering through the Greg Knapp and Bobby Petrino eras. Next he had one of the best off-seasons this city has ever seen by drafting a franchise QB and landing a Pro-Bowl RB in Free Agency. Some of his other great moves have been: moving up to the 1st round to grab OL Sam Baker, he got CB Dominique Foxworth off the scrap heap last year and he contributed nicely before signing a big FA contract elsewhere, he's re-signed young talent like Roddy White, Mike Jenkins and Jonathon Babineaux. He signed Mike Peterson this off-season. He traded for Tony Gonzalez. Even his pick-up of 4th WR Marty Booker looks good right now. I can't think of a GM I've ever had more faith in.
I've been pretty excited for all the Falcon games so far this year but this one is really a litmus test for us. I think we have a more talented and better coached team then we've had in years. This game will go a long way to proving if the Falcons are going to be a contender this year.