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Playoffs? The Falcons are almost halfway there
Wide receiver Julio Jones of the Falcons can’t make the catch on fourth down as cornerback Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks defends on Oct. 16, 2016, in Seattle. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

2:00 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, 2016

We’ve been here before. Football Outsiders assesses the 4-2 Falcons’ chance to make the playoffs at 83.1 percent. A year ago, ESPN’s Football Power Index handed the Falcons a 91 percent chance of qualifying for postseason when they reached 4-0. Moral of our story: If you stop winning, your odds ...
When will it get good again for Johnson and Tech?
Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson receives applause from fans after Tech defeated Georgia Southern 35-24 at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016. HYOSUB SHIN/HSHIN@AJC.COM

2:02 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016

It’s time we salute the Georgia Tech coach who has, despite an apparent lack of institutional commitment to the sport, generated results of comparative high caliber. So here’s to you, Ted Roof. Your defense ranks 32nd nationally in yards against. Kudos. This makes two seasons running that Roof’s oft-criticized defenders ...
Dan Quinn’s Falcons are ‘coming together’
The Falcons are now 4-2 following Sunday's loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

Updated: 3:40 p.m. Monday, Oct. 17, 2016

We took that opening loss to Tampa Bay – and by “we” I mean you and especially me – and figured the Falcons wouldn’t be favored again until the Chargers arrived in the doomed Dome on Oct. 23 and might be 0-6 by then. The first part happened: The Falcons ...
The Falcons got jobbed but did themselves proud
Wide receiver Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons can’t make the catch on fourth down as cornerback Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks defends at CenturyLink Field on Oct. 16, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

8:44 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016

Sometimes you play your guts out and deserve to win, but a flag stays in a zebra’s back pocket and you lose. Had pass interference been called against Richard Sherman, the Falcons would have been within Matt Bryant’s range of one of the most stirring regular-season victories in franchise annals. ...
The Falcons rock a rookie in the Rockies
Denver Broncos quarterback Paxton Lynch is hit by Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Vic Beasley during the second half of a game Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

8:27 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016

Due to circumstances beyond their control, this wasn’t quite a Statement Game, upper-cased. But the Falcons did make a rather bold assertion — that this season won’t become last season, that they’ve grown capable of winning the games they should win. If that sounds like faint praise, it shouldn’t.The Falcons ...
Hart: Braves’ rebuild is going faster than expected
Braves president of baseball operations John Hart and general manager John Coppolella discuss the 2016 season and the process of selecting a manager for 2017 on Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

3:41 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, 2016

John Hart became the Braves’ caretaker on Sept. 22, 2014, the day Frank Wren was “terminated” as general manager. Two years and 11 days later, Hart – the officially titled president of baseball operations – sat in the same room at Turner Field and cast a backward glance. “If you’d ...
The Falcons look great! (Didn’t we say that last year?)
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones makes a catch against the Carolina Panthers during the first half on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Updated: 2:35 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2016

The Falcons are playing as well as a team with the league’s third-worst defense can play. They’re moving the ball and even scoring touchdowns as if — to quote the former Pirates announcer Bob Prince — tomorrow’s lunch was around the corner. They lead the NFC South by two games ...
The Braves must decide if Snitker, a good guy, is the right guy
Braves interim manager Brian Snitker (from left), president of baseball operations John Hart, and general manager John Coppolella discuss the 2016 season and the process of selecting a manager for the 2017 season on Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

2:27 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3, 2016

Brian Snitker has made this hard for the Braves. He did his job too well. He became something more than an interim manager. He became the man for whom John Hart and John Coppolella have nothing but esteem and affection. Put simply, Snitker — known universally and unfortunately as “Snit” ...
Moving day at Turner Field, in more ways than one
Braves Hall of Fame manager Bobby Cox, Braves vice chairman John Scherholtz (right), and former Braves players tear down the final number during the final game at Turner Field on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

7:01 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016

Walter Banks, 51 years a Braves’ usher, pronounced “Play Ball!” Jimmy Carter and Rosalynn smooched for the Kiss Cam. Two Bits the Drill, who hadn’t won the Tool Race all season, won the Tool Race. Fifteen minutes after the final game’s final out, Hank Aaron threw Turner Field’s absolute final ...
UGA should have won. Tennessee did.
Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason recovers a Sony Michel fumble in the end zone for a touchdown against Tennessee in Athens on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

Updated: 10:27 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016

Riley Ridley ran past Malik Foreman and gathered in Jacob Eason’s rainbow, the pot of gold in this case being pole position in the SEC East, and right then you thought: Justice has prevailed. Georgia scores with 10 seconds left to beat Tennessee, the Georgia that played — sorry to ...
If Tennessee is for real, UGA has a problem
Jauan Jennings of Tennessee runs into the end zone with a 67-yard touchdown reception against Florida in the fourth quarter at Neyland Stadium on Sept. 24, 2016 in Knoxville, Tenn. Tennessee defeated Florida 38-28. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

2:09 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26, 2016

On a sunny Saturday by the Tennessee River, it was possible to wonder if Georgia’s second-worst nightmare had come true. If the Tennessee Volunteers have really and truly gotten it going, that’s not good news for the Bulldogs. (The only thing worse would be if Florida again gets it going.)Eight ...
From flop to Rocky Top: Tennessee’s wild win
Josh Malone #3 of the Tennessee Volunteers runs into the end zone with a 42-yard touchdown reception against the Florida Gators in the fourth quarter at Neyland Stadium on Sept. 24, 2016 in Knoxville, Tennessee. Tennessee defeated Florida 38-28. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Updated: 8:45 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016

Once in a while, the best thing that can happen is for the absolute worst thing to happen. Tennessee was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct on the opening kickoff. It yielded a 51-yard reception on the second snap. It was handed the ball on the Florida 2 and couldn’t score. Its ...
Tech’s offense throws a clunker against Clemson
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Dedrick Mills (26) is brought down by Clemson Tigers defenders in the first half at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Updated: 10:50 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016

Not much to see here, and really not much to say. Clemson is better than Georgia Tech. We knew that already. What we didn’t know is that Tech’s defense, long the poorer side of Paul Johnson’s operation, is better than his beloved offense. Clemson’s offense, which came close to carrying ...
A September to remember for, yes, the Braves
The Braves’ Ender Inciarte celebrates with Matt Kemp after scoring a run in the third inning against the Washington Nationals at Turner Field on Sept. 17, 2016. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)

Updated: 5:07 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016

It being football season, maybe you’ve stopped tracking the Braves. Maybe you got so fed up that you tuned out way back when it was basketball season. Maybe you should consider giving them another look. What they were is not what are and, better yet, what they’re becoming.Beggaring-belief stats: The ...
Opportunity knocks. Will Georgia Tech answer?
Paul Johnson and the Jackets will host unbeaten Clemson Thursday night at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

Updated: 3:49 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, 2016

“A tremendous opportunity,” Paul Johnson called it, and he told no lies. Beating the nation’s No. 5 team in prime time would serve as an HOV lane for Georgia Tech’s return to national prominence. One thing, though: Man for man, the nation’s No. 5 team is way better than Tech. ...
Eason throws and UGA passes its road test
Georgia wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie eludes Missouri defensive back Aarion Penton on a first-down reception that set up UGA’s first=quarter touchdown at Faurot Field in Columbia, Mo. (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

Updated: 12:33 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016

The road is different. Every coach says so. The road can humble the most talented of teams and players. It came close to humbling Georgia and Jacob Eason here Saturday, but the Bulldogs and their freshman quarterback danced away loud and proud, scoring on fourth-and-10 with 1:29 remaining to win ...
The Falcons’ Quinn needs to demand better
Falcons head coach Dan Quinn confers with cornerback Robert Alford after a penalty by Alford gives the Buccaneers a first down during the third quarter on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016, in Atlanta. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

1:58 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016

These were Dan Quinn’s opening comments after Sunday’s game, presented without editing.Quinn: “After coming back in the locker room, the guys played hard. We knew it was going to be a physical division game. That’s exactly what it was. It was a disappointing loss. Also, one of the topics we ...
Is Georgia’s issue a lack of … talent?
Nick Chubb stiff-arms Nicholls State defensive back Ahmani Martin during the fourth quarter at Sanford Stadium on Saturday Sept. 10, 2016. (Brant Sanderlin/bsanderlin@ajc.com)

2:05 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12, 2016

Maybe we had it wrong. Maybe Mark Richt’s problem wasn’t his failure to coach up the great talent he’d assembled. Maybe the talent wasn’t so great.Let’s assume that, over two games, Kirby Smart hasn’t coached anybody down. (If he has, Georgia is in trouble.) Let’s also assume that an SEC ...
The Falcons open the season by laying an egg
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan walks off the field after throwing an incomplete pass to turn it over to the Buccaneers on downs during the final minutes of a game against Tampa Bay on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

6:24 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016

They’d had an offseason to sign and draft better players; to evaluate and presumably correct their inability to score touchdowns; to rush the passer harder; to be better stem to stern. They thought they’d figured things out. Turns out they’d only figured out yet another way to lose to Tampa ...
Thomas sits for a half. Tech wins anyway
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets head coach Paul Johnson instructs Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets running back Isiah Willis in the first half of a game against Mercer at Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Updated: 7:55 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016

If you liked last year’s Georgia Tech football team, you’ll probably like this one. Trouble is, nobody liked last year’s team. That one finished 3-9 after winning its first two games by the aggregate score of 134-16.This one won’t go 3-9. The schedule’s much easier. But if two games are ...
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