Sports


Warner Robins beefs up its support for Bulldogs’ Jake Fromm

Once you’ve had your name in lights in the butcher’s display, right between the chuck shoulder roast and the jalapeno cheddar burgers, what is left for a young man to accomplish?   The Fromm – as in Jake Fromm, the freshman quarterback for the No. 3-ranked Georgia Bulldogs – is a premade hamburger with bacon, swiss and mushrooms. Just the way he prefers his burgers...


What’s ailing the Falcons and Ryan? They’re not as good on first down

What’s ailing the Falcons and Ryan? They’re not as good on first down

Since winning the NFC crown, the Falcons are 3-3. Just sayin. (Curtis Compton/AJC) We’ve spent much of the week discussing the Atlanta Falcons, who are 3-2 , and Matt Ryan, whose passer rating of 87.3 ranks 20th among NFL quarterbacks . (His rating last season, when he was MVP, was a league-best 117.1. His rating...
One hometown’s motto: In Fromm you can trust

One hometown’s motto: In Fromm you can trust

Georgia head coach Kirby Smart appreciated quarterback Jake Fromm following a touchdown run against Tennessee. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com) You, the Georgia fan, must have something to worry about. You checked that little agreement box before signing up for this plan. It is a requirement. So, no matter that you are lapping people on the football field these days, winning the last...
Lawrence Austin doesn’t want to leave Georgia Tech without a touchdown

Lawrence Austin doesn’t want to leave Georgia Tech without a touchdown

Georgia Tech nickel back and team captain Lawrence Austin’s time is winding down. A senior, the number of games remaining is down to, at most, eight games. But there’s one particular personal goal he’d like to achieve before his time in a Yellow Jackets uniform is complete – score a touchdown. “I’ve dreamed so many scenarios,” Austin said. “You never...
Falcons looking to plug leaky run defense 

Falcons looking to plug leaky run defense 

The Falcons’ run defense must stop its slide. If they can’t stop the run against New England, it could be a long night in Foxborough on Sunday against the Patriots. The Falcons have given up more than 100 yards in each of the past two games. Miami and Buffalo had much success running up the middle.  The Falcons were without tackles Jack Crawford and Courtney Upshaw and cut ties with...
Five things to know about the Falcons on Friday 

Five things to know about the Falcons on Friday 

Here are five things to know about the Falcons on Friday:  1. DT tackle help Falcons coach Dan Quinn has not been happy with the run defense and signed 10-year veteran Ahtyba Rubin on Thursday. The Falcons lost some girth with Courtney Upshaw’s ankle injury, Jack Crawford being lost for the season to a biceps injury and with the release of defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman after...
KirVonte Benson probable, Brant Mitchell out for Georgia Tech

KirVonte Benson probable, Brant Mitchell out for Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech will play without linebacker Brant Mitchell for the Yellow Jackets’ Saturday night game against Wake Forest at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Mitchell was among four players ruled out on the team injury report released Thursday, with a lower-body injury. Mitchell left last Saturday’s game against Miami and did not return. He had ice taped to his midsection. However, B-back KirVonte Benson...
Patriots injury report unchanged; four starters remain questionable

Patriots injury report unchanged; four starters remain questionable

The Patriots injury report did not change Thursday with four starters listed in advance of Sunday’s game against the Falcons. Starting linebacker middle linebacker Elandon Roberts (ankle) and starting cornerback Stephon Gilmore (concussion/ankle) did not participate in practice and starting right guard Shaq Mason (shoulder) and starting wide receiver Chris Hogan (ribs) were limited. All four...
Corey Griffin has a message for Georgia Tech fans: Wear white

Corey Griffin has a message for Georgia Tech fans: Wear white

It might be a good idea initiated too late, but Georgia Tech safety Corey Griffin has urged Yellow Jackets fans to dress for a white-out at Saturday night’s game against Wake Forest at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Griffin sent out a tweet Wednesday evening with his hope/plan for a white-out for the 7:30 p.m. game. Tech great Justin Thomas was among those spreading the word with a retweet. Tech has practiced...
Weekend Predictions: Because it makes no sense, Falcons beat Pats

Weekend Predictions: Because it makes no sense, Falcons beat Pats

Hello and welcome back to Weekend Predictions, where we always stand for the national anthem but we’re big on the First Amendment, which is so important that it’s FIRST(!), and we’re thankful for not living in the Cobb County district of Sheriff Neil Warren and state Rep(rehensible) Earl Earhart, who right about the time of National Free-Thought Day, and...
Georgia Tech has dominated the Atlantic (besides Clemson)

Georgia Tech has dominated the Atlantic (besides Clemson)

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson led his team to a Super Bowl championship, but there are dozens of players who have done that. However, Wilson can make a claim that none of the planet’s 7.6 billion inhabitants can match. On Sept. 25, 2010, Wilson piloted N.C. State to a 45-28 win over Georgia Tech, torching the Yellow Jackets with 368 yards and three touchdowns through the air and...
Belinelli ‘still not 100 percent’ but shows he can help Hawks

Belinelli ‘still not 100 percent’ but shows he can help Hawks

Marco Belinelli says he’s not 100 percent but he looked good against the Mavs. (AP Photo) DALLAS--Hawks guard Marco Belinelli (Achilles) looked good while playing 25 minutes against the Mavericks in his first competitive game since the Oct. 1 exhibition contest at Miami. “I felt good,” Belinelli said afterwards. “I’m still not 100 percent. I’ve been...
At 40, Tom Brady still a menace to NFL defenses

At 40, Tom Brady still a menace to NFL defenses

At age 40, New England quarterback is going after his sixth Super Bowl ring. Despite moving on in age when his knees should be starting to ache, his powerful passing arm should be getting tired and when a slide should bring on unthinkable pain, he’s still playing at an elite level a little over eight months after he ripped the heart out of the Falcons and earned his fifth Super Bowl ring. ...
Road to Atlanta: More turns ahead in College Football Playoff race

Road to Atlanta: More turns ahead in College Football Playoff race

By the time the College Football Playoff selection committee unveils its first rankings of the season Oct. 31, it’ll be able to weigh some compelling additional evidence.  It’ll know how Penn State, ranked No. 2 in this week’s Associated Press and coaches’ polls, measured in telling  games against Michigan (Saturday) and Ohio State (Oct. 28).  It’ll know...
Atlanta United players excited about MLS All-Star Game

Atlanta United players excited about MLS All-Star Game

A few of Atlanta United’s players  said Thursday they were excited that the MLS All-Star game is expected to come to the city in 2018. The league is expected to formally announce Monday that the game will be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of Atlanta United. “I think that’s great,” said Mark Bloom, an Atlanta United fullback who grew up in Marietta. “I think...
Falcons add Tripp to injury report, Sanu and Upshaw progressing

Falcons add Tripp to injury report, Sanu and Upshaw progressing

The Falcons have added linebacker Jordan Tripp to their injury report after he entered the NFL’s concussion protocol. Head coach Dan Quinn said that all other players on the report are progressing ahead of Sunday’s game at the Patriots. Tripp, a fourth-year veteran signed on Sept. 5, has seen action on special teams in three games. Starting wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (hamstring) returned...
Arthur Blank: Goodell extension is not done, making progress

Arthur Blank: Goodell extension is not done, making progress

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank said although NFL owners have not finalized their contract extension for Commissioner Roger Goodell, the owners are confident the deal will get done, according to a report by the Washington Post. The chairman of the owners’ compensation committee that controls Goodell’s contract negotiations, Blank told the Washington Post after the NFL owners meeting...
The good, bad and ugly of Braves’ 2017 season

The good, bad and ugly of Braves’ 2017 season

The Braves' 72-90 record in 2017 marked the club’s fourth consecutive losing season. So it wasn’t all pretty. Here is the good, the bad and ugly of the Braves’ first year at SunTrust Park.
10 things to know about the Georgia Tech-Wake Forest matchup

10 things to know about the Georgia Tech-Wake Forest matchup

It’ll be prime time on the Flats Saturday as Georgia Tech hosts Wake Forest at Bobby Dodd Stadium.  The Jackets will play their first Saturday night home game since 2015, and will look to bounce back from last week’s 25-24 loss against Miami. Here are a few things you should know about the Jackets-Demon Deacons matchup: > When, where: Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Bobby Dodd Stadium...
Road closings set for Georgia Dome implosion

Road closings set for Georgia Dome implosion

Road closings have been announced for next month’s implosion of the Georgia Dome. Beginning Friday, traffic message signs will advise motorists of surrounding road closures that will be in effect on the morning of Nov. 20, the scheduled implosion date: • Andrew Young International Blvd from Philips Drive to Centennial Pkwy NW  • Phillips Drive from Centennial Pkwy NW...
Hawks rookie Collins looks NBA-ready in debut

Hawks rookie Collins looks NBA-ready in debut

The Mavericks couldn’t keep John Collins away from the basket. (Smiley N. Pool/Dallas Morning News/TNS) DALLAS–Hawks forward John Collins was talking to reporters about his strong NBA debut when veteran teammate Ersan Ilyasova leaned in from the next locker with a teasing reminder for the rook’. “We’ve got 81 more games!” Ilyasova said. That’s...
Five questions with a Wake Forest beat writer

Five questions with a Wake Forest beat writer

To provide insight on Wake Forest, Georgia Tech’s opponent in its homecoming game Saturday evening at Bobby Dodd Stadium, we turn to Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal reporter Conor O’Neil, the team’s beat writer. This is his first year on the beat. Our thanks to Conor, whom you can follow on Twitter here and whose work you can read here. Q. It's been a long time since Georgia...
Where to watch, listen to Falcons at Patriots 

Where to watch, listen to Falcons at Patriots 

The Atlanta Falcons (3-2) are set to play the New England Patriots (4-2) at 8:30 p.m. Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. in a matchup of the Super Bowl LI teams. TV: NBC — Play-by-play: Al Michaels; Color: Cris Collinsworth; Sideline: Michele Tafoya LOCAL RADIO: 92.9 The Game — Play-by-Play: Wes Durham; Color Analyst: Dave Archer;  Sideline: John Michael; Producer...
Analytics: Tom Brady the No. 1-rated quarterback in the NFL

Analytics: Tom Brady the No. 1-rated quarterback in the NFL

New England quarterback Tom Brady, at the age of 40, is still playing at an elite level. He ranked first among starting quarterbacks in the NFL, according to analytics website Football Outsiders. They evaulate quarterbacks according to a defense-adjusted yards-above-replacement (DYAR) measure, and Brady has a 651 rating, which ranks first in the league. They also rank the quarterbacks according...
On the hot seat: Falcons tight end Austin Hooper 

On the hot seat: Falcons tight end Austin Hooper 

Falcons tight end Austin Hooper was distraught after he was stripped of a ball in the red zone on a potential game-winning drive against Miami on Sunday. He’s pulled himself back together in time to face the New England Patriots.  Hooper has 22 catches for 242 yards and one touchdown and is the 10th-rated tight end in the NFL by Football Outsiders.com. He has a very strong 77 percent catch...
LEADOFF: Collinsworth says Super Bowl rematch ‘not just another game’ for Falcons

LEADOFF: Collinsworth says Super Bowl rematch ‘not just another game’ for Falcons

Cris Collinsworth, who was on the losing side in two Super Bowls as a Cincinnati Bengals receiver in the 1980s, will be in the broadcast booth Sunday night for the Falcons-Patriots rematch.  The NBC “Sunday Night Football” analyst discussed dealing with a Super Bowl loss, especially one as cruel as the Falcons’ loss after leading the Patriots 28-3 last February, on a conference...
X-factor: Can the Falcons stop tight end Rob Gronkowski? 

X-factor: Can the Falcons stop tight end Rob Gronkowski? 

New England tight end Rob Gronkowski will be the X-factor against the Falcons on Sunday. The Falcons have spent a lot of resources on players who they hoped could help cover tight ends better.  The Falcons were doing a good job against tight ends until Buffalo’s Charles Clay broke loose for 112 yards on five catches, including a 44-yard pass play, on Oct. 1. They held Green Bay’s...
What Matt Ryan had to say about the Patriots 

What Matt Ryan had to say about the Patriots 

Here’s what Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had to say before returning to the Boston area to face the Patriots: On the Falcons’ offense: “We’re close. We’re not clicking on all cylinders, but we’re close.” On the Patriots’ 32nd-ranked defense: “When you watch them, they are giving up some big plays for sure, but they’ve done a lot of really...
WATCH: Hawks guard Josh Magette makes NBA debut at age 27

WATCH: Hawks guard Josh Magette makes NBA debut at age 27

Cool story for Josh Magette. Josh Magette (AP Photo) Related headlines Hawks begin longest-ever trip to start season but opponents not fearsome Bettors back Hawks to exceed expectations Hawks practice report: ‘Gifted and talented’ defensively...
3 key matchups: Falcons at Patriots 

3 key matchups: Falcons at Patriots 

Here are three key matches to watch when the Falcons play the Patriots:  Falcons RB Devonta Freeman vs. Patriots LBs: Freeman, who failed to pick up a blitz on a key play in the Super Bowl, has been chipping and blocking well this season. He'll be ready to atone for his Super Bowl mistake against the Patriots, who like to send their linebackers, especially Dont'a Hightower, off the edge. Falcons...
Ten observations from Hawks victory at Mavs

Ten observations from Hawks victory at Mavs

Hawks guard Dennis Schroder drives by Yogi Ferrel. (AP Photo) DALLAS–Ten observations from Hawks-Mavs . . . 1. The Mavs cranked up their intensity after halftime and quickly trimmed an 11-point deficit. The Hawks matched their energy but the Mavs made a few challenged 3s as Atlanta’s offense bogged down. The reserves kept the Hawks in it with a spirited close to...
Shawn Davis “probably” out for the year for Georgia Tech

Shawn Davis “probably” out for the year for Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech kicker Shawn Davis likely will not play again this season because of a leg injury suffered Saturday in the Miami game. Coach Paul Johnson said that Davis “probably” is out for the season after he was injured trying to make a tackle on a kickoff in the third quarter against the Hurricanes. It’s believed to be a tear of his ACL. On the play, Davis was getting in position...
Falcons ready for the great Gronkowski challenge 

Falcons ready for the great Gronkowski challenge 

The Falcons didn’t have to deal with New England tight end Rob Gronkowski in Super Bowl LI. He was out after undergoing back surgery, and Martellus Bennett started his spot. Gronkowski, a four-time Pro Bowler, has returned from surgery and is off to a fast start with the Patriots, who are set to host the Falcons at 8:30 p.m. Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.  Gronkowski has...
Injury updates for KirVonte Benson, Brant Mitchell

Injury updates for KirVonte Benson, Brant Mitchell

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson gave an optimistic projection for the availability of B-back KirVonte Benson for the Yellow Jackets’ game against Wake Forest on Saturday night. Benson left the team’s loss to Miami on Saturday with a leg injury. “We don’t know right now,” Johnson said on the ACC teleconference Wednesday. “I think he’s got a good chance to play...
Dayton Moore still won’t comment on Braves opening

Dayton Moore still won’t comment on Braves opening

Dayton Moore may be a preferred candidate for the Braves’ open general manager position. However, the Royals’ top baseball executive has been unwilling to talk about a possible return to the organization where he began his career. Moore again declined to address the topic during a press conference in Kansas City Wednesday. Moore, the Royals’ president of baseball operations and...
Game thread: Hawks at Mavericks

Game thread: Hawks at Mavericks

Mavs forward Dirk Nowitzki is entering his 20th NBA season. (AP Photo) When/where: 8:30 p.m. today, American Airilines Center, Dallas TV: Fox Sports Southeast Stream: Fox Sports Go Radio: 92.9 The Game Injuries: Hawks—Miles Plumlee (quad) is out. Mavericks—  Seth Curry (leg) is out. Projected starters: Hawks — Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore, Taurean Prince, Ersan Ilyasova...
How ex-Braves are faring in the postseason

How ex-Braves are faring in the postseason

There’s eight former Braves on postseason rosters but none are having much impact so far. Take a look: Alex Wood: The left-hander made his first postseason start Wednesday night and lasted 4 2/3 innings, giving up three earned runs and four hits. Three of the hits he allowed were home runs. Jason Heyward: The right fielder is batting .118 with no homers or RBIs in eight games. He was not in...
Georgia Tech punter Pressley Harvin has been ‘great help’

Georgia Tech punter Pressley Harvin has been ‘great help’

Five games into his career, Georgia Tech punter Pressley Harvin has demonstrated that he’s equal to the advance billing. On a sloppy field with footing that grew increasingly worse, Harvin played the best game of his young career, repeatedly pinning the Hurricanes to set up the Yellow Jackets’ defense. Had Tech prevailed, Harvin’s role would have been hailed as pivotal in the upset...
Falcons re-living Super Bowl for professional reasons, not psychological

Falcons re-living Super Bowl for professional reasons, not psychological

The Falcons don’t much like talking about the last Super Bowl, where they lost 34-28 in overtime to New England, but they haven’t burned videotapes of the game. Instead, they are watching repeatedly this week while preparing to play the Patriots again. It wouldn’t be right to say that Atlanta players and coaches could learn more for this Sunday’s game in New England from watching...
What Falcons head coach Dan Quinn had to say Wednesday

What Falcons head coach Dan Quinn had to say Wednesday

Falcons head coach spoke with media before Wednesday’s practice, the first in preparation for the team’s Super Bowl rematch against the Patriots in New England. Here’s what he had to say [edited for length]: “We had a good meeting and we talked about consistency, and [Houston Astros pitcher] Justin Verlander was one of the examples we showed the guys. That kind of consistency...
Falcons owner Arthur Blank comments on meeting with NFL players, owners

Falcons owner Arthur Blank comments on meeting with NFL players, owners

In a brief interview on ESPN’s “NFL Live” on Wednesday afternoon, Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank discussed his thoughts on Tuesday’s meeting with the NFL, players and select owners. Blank was one of several owners to meet with players during this week’s NFL owners meeting to promote discussion about why players are protesting and what the NFL can do.  Owners...
Really, you can play golf at SunTrust Park

Really, you can play golf at SunTrust Park

The Braves are – again – turning their stadium into a golf course. For a limited time, of course. From Oct. 25-29 (next Wednesday through Sunday), SunTrust Park will be converted into a nine-hole golf course by Stadiumlinks. The event is open to the public. The Braves did the same thing with Turner Field for three days last year and the Padres did so at Petco Park. Not to worry, grounds...
How to watch: College football games this week with TV times, network, online Week 8

How to watch: College football games this week with TV times, network, online Week 8

Here are the TV times and networks and streaming opportunities for all FBS games Thursday, Friday and Saturday on the eighth full weekend of the season. All times are EDT.  Noon, Louisville at Florida State, ESPN 12:20pm, Pitt at Duke, ACC/Raycom 12:30pm, Boston College at Virginia, FSSO 3:30pm, North Carolina at Virginia Tech, ESPN2 3:30pm, Syracuse at Miami, ESPN 7:30pm, Wake Forest at Georgia...
So here we go again: What’s the deal with Matt Ryan?

So here we go again: What’s the deal with Matt Ryan?

“We lost to Miami. How is that possible?” (Curtis Compton/AJC) Today we offer the 10th annual installment in that Atlanta-based series, “What’s Wrong with Matt Ryan?” Most every year, the answer has been: Nothing much. It might well be the same this time, meaning that in six days or six weeks we’ll feel, yet again, silly for having said anything...
Hawks begin longest-ever trip to start season but opponents not fearsome

Hawks begin longest-ever trip to start season but opponents not fearsome

The Hawks won’t have to face Nicolas Batum when they play at Charlotte on Friday. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images) Before the NBA opened play on Tuesday, FiveThirtyEight.com’s projection system said the Hawks will win an NBA-low 26 games. The Vegas over/under for Hawks is 25 1/2 (though bettors really like the over). Considering the low expectations for...
Falcons’ run defense drops two spots in the NFL rankings 

Falcons’ run defense drops two spots in the NFL rankings 

Falcons dropped two spots in the run defense rankings after giving up a season-high 138 yards rushing against the Miami Dolphins.  The Dolphins became the second consecutive team to rush for more than 100 yards against the Falcons. The Bills rushed for 117 yards.  The Falcons are giving up 102 yards a game, which ranks 13th in the league. Before the Miami game, they were giving up 93 yards...
Georgia Tech question of the week vs. Wake Forest

Georgia Tech question of the week vs. Wake Forest

Following a crushing 25-24 loss to No. 11 Miami last Saturday, Georgia Tech faces Wake Forest at Bobby Dodd Stadium for a 7:30 p.m. matchup. In the wake of the last-second defeat, the question of the week is: Can the Yellow Jackets rebound? Tech players, at least, were saying the right words - that they can’t let Miami beat them twice and that their focus needs to be on the Demon Deacons. &ldquo...
What Bill Belichick had to say about the Falcons 

What Bill Belichick had to say about the Falcons 

Here’s what New England coach Bill Belichick had to say about the Falcons during a conference call with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday:  BELICHICK: “I think they are a very impressive group. They have a lot of talent. They are strong at every position. The offensive line is good. The quarterback is good. The running backs are good. Tight ends, receivers, they have a...
5 of basketball’s most gruesome injuries (if you can stand to watch)

5 of basketball’s most gruesome injuries (if you can stand to watch)

Boston Celtics star Gordon Hayward suffered a gruesome ankle injury on the NBA’s opening night. Less than six minutes into the game, the guard jump toward the basket for an alley-oop that went tragically wrong. Hayward’s foot landed at a 90 degree angle from his leg. Players and fans in the stands turned away in angst. TV cameras recorded the action, before he was taken off the floor in...
Do Falcons linemen want to run ball in short-yardage situations? 

Do Falcons linemen want to run ball in short-yardage situations? 

The Falcons ran the football while trailing 7-3 late in the second quarter on first-and-goal from the one-yard line against the Bills two weeks ago. Yep, in a short-yardage situation, running back Devonta Freeman took a handoff from Matt Ryan and got in behind left guard Andy Levitre and center Alex Mack and scored a touchdown. Later in the Bills game and early against the Dolphins last week, the...
Evander Holyfield to be honored with statue in Atlanta

Evander Holyfield to be honored with statue in Atlanta

Evander Holyfield, here giving his speech at the International Boxing Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony in Canastota, N.Y., on June 11, will soon have a statue in his honor in Atlanta. (Kyle Mennig/Oneida Daily Dispatch) Atlanta’s history of championship parades is brief. So is the city’s list of sport heroes, and it follows that few have been iconic enough...
Atlanta Braves: Keep ’em or deal ’em?

Atlanta Braves: Keep ’em or deal ’em?

The Atlanta Braves compiled a fourth consecutive losing season for the first time since 1990. But it wasn’t all bad. The 2017 season saw a roster of fresh faces, the opening of a new ballpark, Freddie Freeman at third and Ender Inciarte registering 200 hits in a season.  Looking ahead to next season, the Braves face some uncertainties. Look back through the players who contributed to the...
Baseball’s playoffs have been fun. But they … take … so … long

Baseball’s playoffs have been fun. But they … take … so … long

Here comes the Judge. But should we sequester the jury? (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) On Oct. 11, 1972, the baseball playoffs – in their fourth year of existence, nobody yet referred to them as ALCS or NLCS – grew up. As someone who watched the end of that Wednesday’s first game (having just gotten home from high school) and the entirety of the second, I&rsquo...
Cover 9@9: Patriots have undergone a makeover since Super Bowl LI

Cover 9@9: Patriots have undergone a makeover since Super Bowl LI

FEBRUARY 5, 2017 HOUSTON TX – Falcons center Alex Mack (51) was playing with a fractured leg. The Atlanta Falcons lost to the New England Patriots in overtime, 34-28, in Super Bowl LI at NRG Stadium in Houston, TX, Sunday, February 5, 2017. Bob Andres/AJC Good morning! Welcome to The...
The Bow Tie Chronicles: Falcons can’t back down 

The Bow Tie Chronicles: Falcons can’t back down 

Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley and linebacker DeVondre Campbell can’t back down against New England quarterback Tom Brady and his potent offense. Campbell is looking forward to checking tight end Rob Gronkowski in this rematch of Super Bowl LI here in the 16th episode of The Bow Tie Chronicles podcast. (Music by the late great Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers -- I won’t back down.)...
LEADOFF: How far have Falcons fallen in NFL power rankings?

LEADOFF: How far have Falcons fallen in NFL power rankings?

Consecutive home losses to the Bills and Dolphins have sent the Falcons tumbling in various versions of NFL power rankings.  The Falcons’ biggest drop this week was in NFL.com’s rankings, which dropped Atlanta eight spots to No. 12 with this assessment: “Maybe the Falcons aren’t that solid. Julio Jones was out there against Miami on Sunday, and Matt Ryan is the...
Bettors back Hawks to exceed expectations

Bettors back Hawks to exceed expectations

Can Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer’s team win more than 25 games? (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com) The statistical projections and pundits believe the Hawks will be among the two or three worst teams in the NBA this season. Accordingly, most bookmakers have set the over/under win total for the Hawks at 25-½ games. But the betting public is bullish...
Honor for Georgia Tech’s A.J. Gray from Pro Football Focus

Honor for Georgia Tech’s A.J. Gray from Pro Football Focus

Georgia Tech safety A.J. Gray was recognized for his play against Miami by the website Pro Football Focus, as he was named to the PFF ACC defensive team of the week. Gray received a grade of 87.2, the highest of any ACC safety from this weekend’s games. Gray made a particularly memorable play in the fourth quarter on the Hurricanes’ two-point attempt, reading quarterback Malik Rosier&rsquo...
Georgia Tech, Georgia State arranging exhibition for charity

Georgia Tech, Georgia State arranging exhibition for charity

Georgia Tech is attempting to arrange an exhibition basketball game with Georgia State to be played Oct. 28 at McCamish Pavilion. The game would raise money for hurricane relief. The news was first reported by ESPN on Monday. Tech associate athletic director Marvin Lewis confirmed the effort Tuesday. Tech and Georgia State need to receive a waiver from the NCAA to play the game, as NCAA rules permit...
A quick look at the New England Patriots 

A quick look at the New England Patriots 

New England quarterback Tom Brady is still doing his thing at age 40. There hasn’t been a noticeable drop off in his play as the Patriots (4-2) are set to host the Falcons at 8:30 p.m. Sunday at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. in a rematch of Super Bowl LI.   Brady, who tormented the Falcons and led the unprecedented Super Bowl comeback from a 28-3 deficit, has carried his team...
Stansbury doles out raises for Georgia Tech assistants

Stansbury doles out raises for Georgia Tech assistants

An open-records request revealed another reason why Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson has offered his approval and support of athletic director Todd Stansbury – he’s putting more money in his assistant coaches’ pockets. Stansbury increased the assistant coaching salary pool by 15 percent, with $50,000 raises for most of the nine-member staff. For three of Johnson’s five assistants...
Falcons make roster moves to practice squad

Falcons make roster moves to practice squad

The Falcons made several roster moves involving the practice squad Tuesday. Running back Brian Hill, quarterback Garrett Grayson and defensive lineman Joey Ivie were signed. Grayson and Ivie are new to the team. To make room, the Falcons released kicker Mike Meyer and placed quarterback Trevor Knight on the practice squad-injured list. Grayson played collegiately at Colorado State and threw for 9...
Paul Johnson gives Andrew Marshall update after season-ending injury

Paul Johnson gives Andrew Marshall update after season-ending injury

After suffering a season-ending leg injury, Georgia Tech senior offensive tackle Andrew Marshall will meet this week with coach Paul Johnson to discuss his future, Johnson said. Because he never played this season after suffering a leg injury in the preseason and then again before the Miami game, Marshall can take a redshirt this season and return for his senior season in 2018. Marshall didn&rsquo...
Budenholzer on changes: ‘Coaching is most important thing I’ve done’

Budenholzer on changes: ‘Coaching is most important thing I’ve done’

Mike Budenholzer returned this as only the Hawks’ coach after stepping down as team president. (Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) This was not the typical summer for Mike Budenholzer. His job description changed. His power was reduced. The final remnants of a veteran roster that he helped create were excised, giving his team a new level of obscurity. But the Hawks let him keep his stapler...
Falcons release official depth chart for Patriots game  

Falcons release official depth chart for Patriots game  

Marvin Hall is listed third wide receiver behind Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel on the Falcons official depth chart released by the team Tuesday. The Falcons play at the Patriots on Sunday. Hall, who had a 40-yard touchdown catch against the Dolphins last Sunday, is listed ahead of Nick Williams. The Falcons added running back Brian Hill, defensive lineman Joey Ivie and quarterback Garrett Grayson...
One bright spot vs. Miami: No fumbles for Georgia Tech offense

One bright spot vs. Miami: No fumbles for Georgia Tech offense

Georgia Tech lost in heartbreaking fashion to Miami on Saturday, but it did successfully address one major problem in its first four games. The Yellow Jackets did not fumble in 61 offensive snaps. Entering the game against Miami, Tech had fumbled 14 times, which was tied for 126th out of 130 FBS teams. Coach Paul Johnson made ball security a high priority during the team’s open week before...
Atlanta United not worried about Martinez

Atlanta United not worried about Martinez

Josef Martinez was not happy. The Atlanta United striker was subbed out in the 77th minute of Sunday’s game at the New York Red Bulls. He had failed to record a shot. He pulled down his socks, ripped the pink tape off his calves and left it strewn on the field like confetti before he slowly walked to the sideline. He shook his head slightly before passing Gerardo Martino and his assistants...
Hawks practice report: ‘gifted and talented’ defensively, ‘learning curve’ on offense

Hawks practice report: ‘gifted and talented’ defensively, ‘learning curve’ on offense

Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer likes Ersan Ilyasova’s defensive grit. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com) Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said the Hawks will use the same starting five at Dallas to open the season: Dennis Schroder, Kent Bazemore, Taurean Prince, Ersan Ilyasova and Dewayne Dedmon. Budenholzer thinks that can be a good group defensively. “I usually start with individually...
Field conditions ‘really bad’ at Hard Rock Stadium

Field conditions ‘really bad’ at Hard Rock Stadium

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson acknowledged that it would sound like an excuse. But he was not satisfied with the condition of the field at Hard Rock Stadium during the Yellow Jackets’ 25-24 loss to Miami last Saturday. He recognized that “you’ve got to make plays” despite the conditions and that Miami was playing on the same field. But he deemed it a factor in the outcome...
New stadiums won’t be complete until home-field advantage is installed

New stadiums won’t be complete until home-field advantage is installed

Atlanta United is the exception – a team enjoying a home-field advantage in its fancy new digs. (Branden Camp/Special) When you plow many hundreds of millions of dollars into building new stadiums – whether they were needed or not – you envision fabulous returns. After all, when you move into a new house, the mortgage comes with a dream. Happiness, success, the making...
Will the Hawks NBA’s worst team? Experts make their predictions

Will the Hawks NBA’s worst team? Experts make their predictions

Taurean Prince (left), Dennis Schroder and coach Mike Budenholzer are key factors for Hawks this season. (AP Photo) The NBA season starts tonight. The Hawks open at Dallas tomorrow. Here is a collection of season predictions for the Hawks. FiveThirtyEight.com Projected wins (rank): 26 (29th out of 30) Notes: FiveThirtyEight’s predictions use 50,000 simulations based on its CARM-Elo...
Atlanta United’s Almiron posts “I’m back”

Atlanta United’s Almiron posts “I’m back”

Atlanta United midfielder Miguel Almiron posted “I’m back” on Instagram on Monday with a photo that showed him at one of the team’s training fields at its headquarters in Marietta. Almiron, who has nine goals and 13 assists, has missed the past four games after suffering an injured hamstring in a win against Montreal on Sept. 24. Atlanta United has gone 1-1-2 without him. Almiron...
The Hawks are upset with Schroder. They’ll penalize him … eventually

The Hawks are upset with Schroder. They’ll penalize him … eventually

Dennis Schroder in last season’s playoffs. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) The Atlanta Hawks — you remember them, right? NBA team? Plays in this town? — issued a statement Monday that was, even by Hawks standards, fascinating. (Read: bewildering.) Seventeen days after Dennis Schroder was arrested in DeKalb County for misdemeanor battery, Hawks general manager...
LEADOFF: Braves’ McGuirk says MLB probe ‘basically wrapped up’

LEADOFF: Braves’ McGuirk says MLB probe ‘basically wrapped up’

Good morning. This is LEADOFF, an early look at Atlanta sports.  NORTH PORT, FLA. – Braves chairman and CEO Terry McGuirk, who had made no public comments about the rule-breaking scandal that has rocked the franchise for the past two weeks, largely held to that stance when asked about the MLB investigation before Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony for the team’s new spring-training...
Five things to know about the Falcons on Tuesday 

Five things to know about the Falcons on Tuesday 

Here are five things to know about the Falcons on Tuesday:  1. Woody Hayes rule -- Run the ball.  Running backs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman ran the ball 12 times for 82 yards in the first half against the Dolphins. They ran it only six times for 18 yards in the second half. Jeff Saturday (old Shamrock High) and the guys on ESPN’s NFL Primetime show ripped the Falcons for...
Johnson: Defensive play calling, execution need improvement

Johnson: Defensive play calling, execution need improvement

On Miami’s game-winning drive against Georgia Tech Saturday, coach Paul Johnson acknowledged that the play calling by defensive coordinator Ted Roof could have been better. The Hurricanes drove 85 yards in 15 plays for the go-ahead field goal in their 25-24 win, including a series of bubble screens that the Jackets couldn’t stop. “Certainly as coaches, we need to take some of the...
Paul Johnson’s injury update is inconclusive

Paul Johnson’s injury update is inconclusive

Georgia Tech has injured players, including B-back KirVonte Benson and linebacker Brant Mitchell. Coach Paul Johnson declined to offer much more information than that. “I wouldn’t be able to tell you (Monday) if I wanted to,” Johnson said Monday following the team’s first practice in preparation for Wake Forest this Saturday. “We don’t know whether they’ll...
Hawks agree to contract with point guard Isaiah Taylor

Hawks agree to contract with point guard Isaiah Taylor

Hawks GM Travis Schlenk. (HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM) The Hawks have agreed to a contract with point guard prospect Isaiah Taylor. The two-year contract is partially guaranteed for 2017-18. Taylor will fill the Hawks’ 15th and final roster spot and play behind Dennis Schroder and Malcolm Delaney. The Hawks also have Josh Magette on a “two-way&rdquo...
Braves break ground on spring-training stadium, race for 2019 opening

Braves break ground on spring-training stadium, race for 2019 opening

In a southwest Florida pasture, where cattle grazed as recently as last month, the Braves broke ground Monday for their new $100 million spring-training facility.  Bulldozers, trucks and other pieces of heavy equipment were lined up, ready for action, on the former ranch land as the groundbreaking ceremony marked the official start of construction of the stadium complex where the Braves plan...
Falcons dispute ‘choker’ label but late-game fizzles are concerning

Falcons dispute ‘choker’ label but late-game fizzles are concerning

Falcons coach Dan Quinn has seen his team lose consecutive home games that it was expected to win, including Sunday’s 20-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) FLOWERY BRANCH – Welcome to electro-shock therapy week. The days leading up to the Falcons’ game against New England was going to be difficult regardless of how their first five ...
Falcons’ Super Bowl hangover is toxic and real 

Falcons’ Super Bowl hangover is toxic and real 

The Falcons don’t want to call it a Super Bowl hangover.  One simply can call it getting outscored in the second half. By a lot. The Falcons have been outscored 72-40 in the second half of their five games this season, including 20 unanswered points by the Dolphins in a 20-17 loss at home on Sunday to drop to 3-2. Falcons coach Dan Quinn can’t explain the trouble putting away teams...
Georgia Tech’s next challenge: Respond after Miami loss

Georgia Tech’s next challenge: Respond after Miami loss

Georgia Tech quarterback TaQuon Marshall’s body language and the tone of his voice, to say nothing of his words, related plenty about his disappointment in losing to Miami Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium. “It’s going to be really tough to let go of,” Marshall said following the 25-24 defeat. “I’m not going to lie to you.” He and his teammates won’t have...
Schroder faces discipline from Hawks after arrest

Schroder faces discipline from Hawks after arrest

The Hawks said guard Dennis Schroder will face future disciplinary action from the team following his arrest last month on a misdemeanor battery charge. In a statement released by the team on Monday, general manager Travis Schlenk said the team will let the legal process play out in Schroder’s case before making a final decision on discipline. Schlenk said the team’s preliminary investigation...
Tweetcap of Dan Quinn’s Monday press conference

Tweetcap of Dan Quinn’s Monday press conference

Falcons coach Dan Quinn speaking to the media on Monday after the 20-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. (By D. Orlando Ledbetter/dledbetter@ajc.com) FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons coach Dan Quinn spoke to the media on Monday. It was somber 17 minute review of the 20-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Some of the highlights included Quinn discussing how tight end Austin Hooper...
Hawks practice report: Budenholzer ‘open’ to 11-man rotation

Hawks practice report: Budenholzer ‘open’ to 11-man rotation

Could Tyler Dorsey be the 11th man? (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com) The Hawks want to play at a faster pace. They want to create more fast-break chances. They want to be an aggressive, scrappy defensive team. It will not be easy for the Hawks to do those things over 82 games. But it would help if coach Mike Budenholzer can go deeper into his...
These former N. Fulton stars will be playing D1 hoops this year

These former N. Fulton stars will be playing D1 hoops this year

The sound of squeaky sneakers and bouncing balls is just around the corner. College basketball’s 2017-18 season — and the hunt for a ticket into March Madness — begins on Nov. 10. And folks in north Fulton County have plenty of options when it comes to picking a team to root for. Sure, there’s Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Kennesaw State and Georgia nearby, but there’s...
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