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Falcons’ Deion Jones runs for glory, not survival, in return home
Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Deion Jones (45) intercepts a pass from New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, not pictured, and returns it for a touchdown, in the second half of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

2:50 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016

Falcons rookie linebacker Deion Jones intercepts a pass from New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees and returns it 90 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of Monday night’s game. The Falcons won the game 45-32. (AP photo) NEW ORLEANS — Eleven years ago, Deion Jones had to run. Hurricane ...

Falcons create a new memory for themselves in New Orleans
Tevin Coleman of the Falcons celebrates a 2-yard touchdown run in the first half of a game against the New Orleans Saints at the Superdome on Monday night. (Jonathan Bachman / Getty Images)

Updated: 1:53 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2016

The homecoming didn’t belong to the New Orleans Saints this time. The Falcons provided no moment that would be commemorated in bronze, no joy to a division rival that has owned them for the better part of a decade, no fodder for more lampooning by a Monday night television audience.There ...
Falcons can’t create more happy memories for Saints
The memory of New Orleans’ Steve Gleason blocking a punt from the Falcons’ Michael Koenen in 2006 lives in in a sculpture titled, “Rebirth.”

6:23 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016

Ten years ago, the Falcons traveled to New Orleans for the third game of the season, having been summoned by the NFL to play the role of homecoming patsy. It was on that Monday night in 2006 when the Superdome reopened, just as the city was emerging from its post-Katrina ...
LSU just fired Les Miles — this is what lunacy looks like
The LSU Tigers head coach Les Miles, center, leads his team on the field before the start of their college football game with the Arizona Wildcats in Baton Rouge, La., on Saturday Sept. 9, 2006. It's September, and two SEC division rivals with national title hopes are meeting in a high-stakes game with compelling story lines. There's a twist, though: It's No. 3 Auburn vs. No. 6 LSU, a rivalry doing its best to emerge as this decade's version of Florida-Tennessee. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

5:29 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016

LSU reportedly has fired coach Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, the day following a loss to Auburn. (AP photo) Do you know how sometimes things happen in the SEC and people in other regions of the country will look in this direction and say, “What are they thinking?” ...

Jacob Eason wasn’t good but this isn’t time to blame quarterback
September 24, 2016  Oxford, Miss: Georgia and Ole Miss in Oxford Saturday September 24, 2016. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

8:05 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016

The focus on Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason needs to be shifted to other areas on the team. (Brant Sanderlin / bsanderlin@ajc.com) OXFORD, Miss. — There will be moments this season when Jacob Eason, because of his talent, size and fearlessness, will be able to rescue a flawed and wounded Georgia ...

New Georgia looks like the old Georgia in ugly loss
Georgia quarterback Jacob Eason looks for an escape route before being sacked by Ole Miss Rebels defensive tackle D.J. Jones during the first quarter in Oxford Saturday. (Brant Sanderlin / bsanderlin@ajc.com)

Updated: 6:27 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016

This is the kind of game that got a head coach fired.This is the kind of game that would cause everybody — boosters, fans, administrators, media, a series of Ugas — to look around and wonder: Shouldn’t Georgia be better?Shouldn’t Georgia be at a level where the offense doesn’t go ...
Weekend Predictions: NCAA over Ole Miss but Ole Miss over Dogs

4:41 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016

Before getting to this week’s game between Georgia and the next football program to be dropped into the NCAA Tub of Leeches, Weekend Predictions Investments and Assorted Googled Obscure History References would like to remind you: It was 64 years ago Friday when Richard Nixon gave his “Checkers” speech. For ...

Credit to Georgia Tech for going after the right choice in Stansbury

8:55 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016

Georgia Tech has hired former Oregon State athletic director Todd Stansbury, a former Tech football player and assistant athletic director, as their new AD. (AP photo) The search was fast. The search was quiet. The search was conducted with far more efficiency than many things at Georgia Tech have been ...

This week will say a lot about where Dogs, Jackets headed
Kirby Smart’s Georgia team has more upside than Georgia Tech because of overall talent, including quarterback Jacob Eason, but will that potential be reached this season? (Brant Sanderlin / bsanderlin@ajc.com)

2:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016

It’s building in Athens because, well, it always builds in Athens after a win. Jacob Eason makes a big throw to win an SEC game on the road and suddenly, the overwhelming thought among Georgia fans is, “If he can do that at Missouri, he can do it at Ole ...
Overreaction Monday: Everybody wins! What can possibly go wrong?
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan speaks at a news conference after an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Oakland, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

3:09 p.m. Monday, Sept. 19, 2016

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 ...

Falcons’ 35 points, 528 yards should quiet criticism of Shanahan
OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates with Matt Ryan #2 after a 21-yard touchdown against the Oakland Raiders during their NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 18, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

10:24 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016

Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones celebrates with quarterback Matt Ryan after the two hooked up for a 21-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter that gave the Falcons a 10-7 lead. (Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images) OAKLAND, Calif. — This would be a good time to pull a dart ...

Falcons put on an offensive show — and win
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, here calling out signals in the first half of Sunday’s game against the Oakland Raiders, threw for 396 yards and three touchdowns in Sunday’s win. (AP photo)

9:06 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016

This might just be one of those seasons when the Falcons keep us guessing … not merely from game to game but series to series … touchdown drive to too-many-knuckleheads on the field during a punt return … blown lead to, wait-whose-hands-did-that-pass-bounce-off-of? … red zone ineptitude to, um, red zone ...
Falcons try to avoid going from 0-1 to off the rails
Falcons second-year linebacker Vic Beasley Jr., who failed to make a tackle in the season-opening loss against Tampa Bay last week, is among those who need to make significant improvement. (Curtis Compton /ccompton@ajc.com)

12:00 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, 2016

Hear that? It sounds like a series of splashes. Fans jumping ship. Media dumping on coaches and players. Odds mutating to unexpected forms.Panic … 6.25 percent into the season.The Falcons lost their season opener and now enter a series of games (at Oakland, at New Orleans, home against Carolina, at ...
Weekend Predictions: Dogs rebound, Jackets win, Falcons fall

3:24 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016

Before we get to this week’s big game between the Missouri Tigers and the Georgia Afterthoughts on Nicholls State’s Schedule, this important update: Sunday is National Cheeseburger Day. This came as a complete shock to me because I didn’t realize there were was only one of these, more like 297, ...

Coppollella acknowledges on Twitter starters have been disappointing
Atlanta Braves assistant general manager and director of pro scouting John Coppolella talks on the phone in the dugout during batting practice before a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park, Friday, Sept. 4, 2015, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

9:43 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016

Braves general manager John Coppolella acknowledged acquiring Hector Olivera was his biggest mistake and admitted he has been disappointing in the team’s young starting pitchers this season. (AP photo) The first time Braves general manager John Coppolella tried to connect with its fan base on another level came in January, ...

Sports has a hammer: Get used to it
The NCAA and president Mark Emmert have been criticized for several issues but moving seven championship events out of North Carolina, including men’s basketball tournament games, because of the so-called “bathroom law” was the correct decision. AP photo)

Updated: 5:51 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016

When will it dawn on people that this is reality? When will some understand that many athletes don’t just run fast and jump high but have thoughts on significant issues facing society and choose to use their platform to further their causes? When will local governments understand that when legislation ...
Overreaction Monday: Red zone, tackling and can anybody run block?

9:35 a.m. Monday, Sept. 12, 2016

Matt had a nice stat line (27 for 39, 334 yards, two touchdowns, 0 interceptions) in the season opener but he and the Falcons again self-immolated in the red zone. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com) Welcome back for another season of Overreaction Monday, where if you can run block, you possess ...

As season opens, it’s Mike Smith 1, Falcons 0
Former Falcons head coach Mike Smith gets a hug from owner Arthur Blank after speaking with general manager Thomas Dimitroff before Sunday’s game. Smith, now Tampa Bay’s defensive coordinator, was victorious in his return to Atlanta. (Curtis Compton /ccompton@ajc.com)

6:40 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016

Allow Mike Smith this departure from his norm. The man was known to speak in shades of beige when he was the Falcons’ head coach, by design. But if there was any day when he might pop just a little bit, it would be Sunday. First game of the season. ...
Smart’s limited media access accomplishing nothing
September 10, 2016  Athens, GA: Georgia Bulldogs head coach Kirby Smart prepares to take on Nicholls Colonels at Sanford Stadium Saturday September 10, 2016.  BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

7:25 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016

Georgia coach Kirby Smart has limited media access to players, particularly his quarterbacks. (Brant Sanderlin / bsanderlin@ajc.com) ATHENS — Jacob Eason hasn’t been allowed to speak to the media since signing day. Greyson Lambert hasn’t been allowed to speak publicly since last year’s bowl game. When Georgia’s offensive linemen had their ...

Georgia exposed by team it should’ve handled easily
Georgia coach Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs narrowly escaped with a victory against Nicholls 26-24 at Sanford Stadium on Sept. 10, 2016. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

Updated: 6:41 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016

They’re still Georgia.They’re still sooooo Georgia.Their ranking said ninth. Their performance said Liberty Bowl.You want to obsess over some dazzling freshman quarterback and cling to fantasy that it will easy to turn this program into something greater than what it has been? Have at it. But when a team like ...
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