Falcons vs Titans week 7 preview“FALCONS LACK HEART OF A CHAMPION!”

NFL Report: Titans vs. Falcons
Week 7 Matchup
Sunday October 25, 2015 1:00 P.M.
– All-Star Steve

On paper, the Tennessee Titans vs. Atlanta Falcons matchup adds further support for football pundits who believe Atlanta’s once unbeaten record was a result of a weak schedule. Until the short week loss to the New Orleans Saints, the Falcons coaches had been able to mask the team’s weaknesses and had them playing at a high quality level no matter what grade you gave their schedule. And going into this week it was unlikely they were going to suffer a loss to a rookie starting quarterback, Titans’ QB, Marcus Mariota, and thus, allow him to win his first game against an above .500 record team. But with Mariota’s injury this past Sunday enters Zach Mettenberger and also enters the possibility that the Falcons could possibly lose their 2nd game of the season.

Record aside, Atlanta had been playing extremely well on both sides of the ball. Their three-headed offense attack of QB Matt Ryan, WR Julio Jones, and RB Devonta Freeman is lethal. But fumbles and turnovers quickly stalled their attack against the Saints. Also, on the defensive side of the ball, they remain tops in the league in rushing yards allowed. And despite giving up huge yardage in the passing game, until Thursday’s loss, the Falcons defense had been able to get stops when they needed to and to limit the scoring of opponents.

And that’s where it would have been more beneficial to play against Mariota than against Mettenberger. Mariota has shown the potential to be to be a long-time starter in the league, but he had not been a consistent long range passer. His strength was in throwing short and medium passes and in game management. Coach Ken Whisenhunt would have continued to lie on a very conservative game plan for his rookie quarterback which he doesn’t have to do with Mettenberger. He can now open up a more attacking passing style. Mettenberger has a stronger arm, more pocket presence, and is going to present the same problems to the Falcons pass defense that Drew Bress did in the Saints loss.

On the other side of the field, the Titans defense had not been playing strong enough to carry the team through the ups and down of a rookie quarterback in the first several games and thus the 1-5 record. But let’s not be too hasty to dismiss three things: 1. This is the NFL where the game is played on the field, not in press clippings and scouting reports; 2. This is a copy-cat league and once your weaknesses have been exposed in a loss, every team playing after that game is going to try to attack those same weaknesses and 3. Any team can win on any given Sunday.

Despite the great running of Freeman; look for the Titans’ defense under the direction of Hall of Famer, Dick LeBeau to limit Atlanta’s offense. He is slowly shaping Tennessee’s’ defense into the intimidating defense that he led with the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Titans rank near the bottom in rushing yards allowed per game. But they rank first in the number of passing yards that they allow. That doesn’t bode well for the Falcons offense that is short of a 100% Julio Jones who will play this week, but who is still ailing and needs time to rest from a hamstring injury. Roddy White and Leonard Hankerson have not adequately picked up the loss in Jones’s production and the offensive line still can’t pass protect long enough to allow Matt Ryan to stay upright.

Atlanta is one of the better teams in the NFL but has not proved itself to be one of the “Best” teams in the league such as Green Bay and New England and as evidenced by consistently winning the games they are supposed to win. Most people will predict this matchup as an easy win for the Falcons; noting that the Falcons will be seeking to come back strong from a loss and to prevent two losses in a row. But that takes the heart of champion and I’ll believe the Falcons have that heart when I see it.

Interview with Boss Man Cheeze – Good Money Made

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All Star Steve “Break Out The Gumbo” Falcons vs Saints

Break out the gumbo Falcons, SaintsThe NFL’s Thursday Night football matchup features the intense Atlanta Falcons/New Orleans Saints rivalry that has existed since both teams came into the league a year apart from each other. The Falcons lead the series 49-43. At stake for the Falcons is the opportunity for them to win their first NFC South division contest this year and allow them to keep pace with the also undefeated, Carolina Panthers. On the line for the Saints is avoiding a loss to every team in the NFC South division and basically shutting down any playoff hopes.

This year the two teams have been truly going in opposite directions. Atlanta goes into New Orleans brimming with confidence after a hard fought over-time victory against a really tough Washington Redskins defense. The Falcons have shown championship caliber resolve in winning 4 of their 5 games after trailing in the 4th quarter of each contest.

As for the Saints, somebody put out an all-points bulletin for the team that was once a playoff threat every year. The organization’s inept handling of the salary cap has resulted in the loss of several key players. Add to that, a steady diet of mistake-filled play on the field and what you have is a team going in the wrong direction in a hurry, from riches to rags.

Turnovers and penalties are the quickest way to lose games in the NFL and the Saints have been committing them in bunches. In just 5 short weeks they have already committed 40 penalties and last week Drew Brees committed 3 turnovers that led to 17 points for the Philadelphia Eagles in a 39-17 lost.

Yet, despite the Saints constantly shooting themselves in the foot, they still have the 3rd ranked passing team in the league and so cornerbacks Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford will be challenged with a real test if Brees gets any time at all. With no real run threat from the Saints, the front 7 of Atlanta will need to pressure Brees enough that his passing yardage can at least be managed to a reasonable level and keep the Saints scoring down.

The surprising Falcons defense is now ranked number 1 against the run and is allowing only 78 rushing yards per game. The Falcons have been playing outstanding overall defense as well during their five-game win streak. The Saints have allowed a sack in each game at a rate of 3 sacks per game; including 5 in this past Sunday’s Eagles game.

Offensively, the Falcons’ offense was slowed by the 3rd ranked Redskins defense, but made plays when they needed to make them in the end. The explosive duo of Julio Jones and Davonta Freeman lead a balanced attack that is ranked in the top ten in overall yards per game (406, 4th); passing (280, 8th); and rushing yards (126, 9th). Freeman had a particularly good day with 153 yards. A squad that has been decimated with injuries, the Saints are dead last in defense and will be no match against an offense that will no doubt attempt to score early and often to quiet the crowd and keep the Saints in a come-back position.

Thursday night games in the NFL can sometimes become lopsided affairs but in most division rivalry games you can disregard the team records and look for a tough fight. Also, the most dangerous opponent in the NFL is the team that is desperate for a win. The Saints are looking for answers to turn around their fortunes and at home in front of a much hyped crowd is just the right time and place to do it. The Falcons are just not the right team.

There’s just not enough meat left on the bones of the Saints’ roster for them to offer a real threat to end the Atlanta Falcons undefeated win streak. Falcon fans can break out the gumbo and celebrate on Bourbon Street with a sixth win.