Atlanta Falcons


Inactives: Saints at Falcons 

With the rash of injuries, most of the inactives were set before the Falcons (1-1) braced for their game with the  Saints (1-1) at 1 p.m. Sunday in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Falcons’ inactives: running back Devonta Freeman (knee), defensive end Takk McKinley (groin), defensive end Derrick Shelby (groin), tackle Matt Gono, offensive guard Zac Kerin, cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson and safety...


Falcons’ Julio Jones back at practice Friday 

Falcons’ Julio Jones back at practice Friday 

Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones, who has a calf injury, was limited at practice Friday, per the team’s official injury report.  The Falcons (1-1) are set to play the Saints (1-1) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Where to watch, listen to Saints vs. Falcons

Where to watch, listen to Saints vs. Falcons

What you should know about Sunday’s NFL NFC South game between the Falcons and the Saints: - Time: 1 p.m. - Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium - TV: Fox Sports:  Play-by-Play: Sam Rosen. Color Analysis: Cris Carter. Sideline: Sara Walsh. - Local Radio:  92.9 The Game — Play-by-Play: Wes Durham. Color Analyst: Dave Archer. Sideline: John Michael.
QB corner: What Matt Ryan had to say about the Saints 

QB corner: What Matt Ryan had to say about the Saints 

Here are three questions with Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan on the Saints: On which team is he preparing to see – a team playing man or zone: “I mean we’ll be prepared for a lot of different things. One of the things that their scheme has is multiple looks whether it’s in the front seven or in the backend.
X-factor: Falcons must slow down Kamara, Thomas 

X-factor: Falcons must slow down Kamara, Thomas 

The Falcons must contend with the Saints’ dynamic offense which features running back Alvin Kamara and wide receiver Mike Thomas when the 1-1 teams play at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.   With running back Mark Ingram out on suspension (performance-enhancing drugs), Kamara, who led Norcross High to a state title, and Thomas are putting up computer game-type numbers.
On the hot seat: Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley 

On the hot seat: Falcons defensive end Vic Beasley 

The Falcons (1-1) hope to discover their pass rush when they face the Saints (1-1) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  The Falcons haven’t mounted much of a pass rush this season, and defensive end Takk McKinley, who’s tied for the team lead with two sacks, will be slowed by a groin injury if he plays.  Also, reserve Derrick Shelby has a groin injury.
Three key matchups: Saints at Falcons 

Three key matchups: Saints at Falcons 

Here are three key matchups for when the Saints (1-1) face the Falcons (1-1) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium: Saints LDE Cam Jordan vs. Falcons RT Ryan Schraeder Matthews: In the last meeting, a Saints 23-13 victory on Dec. 24, Jordan moved around the line and had two sacks, two tackles for losses and four quarterback hits.
Rash of injuries to test Falcons’ roster depth

Rash of injuries to test Falcons’ roster depth

The Falcons are getting ready to find out, over the course of the 2018 season, if they have quality depth along their roster. Over the first two weeks of the season, the Falcons lost four starters – two with season-ending injuries.
Falcons brace for 98th meeting with Saints

Falcons brace for 98th meeting with Saints

The Falcons made major progress from the season opener Sept. 6 to the victory over the Panthers on Sunday. They decreased their penalties from a league-high 15 to 2, improved red-zone scoring from 1-of-5 to 4-of-4 and found their rushing attack. The Falcons (1-1) will be challenged to take another leap forward in Week 3, when they host the New Orleans Saints (1-1) at 1 p.m.
Falcons’ Julio Jones, McKinley, Shelby and Freeman miss practice 

Falcons’ Julio Jones, McKinley, Shelby and Freeman miss practice 

Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones was in a group of five players who did not practice Thursday, per the team’s official injury report. Jones plans to play against the Saints (1-1) at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. He likely will be listed as questionable in Friday’s final injury report of the week.
Falcons seek better pass rush, particularly from defensive line

Falcons seek better pass rush, particularly from defensive line

It’s no secret that the Falcons’ chances of beating the Saints on Sunday will improve if defenders consistently pressure quarterback Drew Brees, and the Birds figure to have even better odds if they can get after their NFC South nemesis with minimal blitzing.
Damontae Kazee bracing for fine from the NFL 

Damontae Kazee bracing for fine from the NFL 

Falcons free safety Damontae Kazee likely will hear from the NFL on Thursday about a fine for the hit he put on Carolina quarterback Cam Newton on Sunday.   “Next question,” Kazee said Wednesday when asked if he’d heard from the league office.  He’s likely to become the third Falcons player to be fined this season.
What Drew Brees had to say about the Falcons 

What Drew Brees had to say about the Falcons 

The Atlanta Falcons (1-1) face the New Orleans Saints (1-1) in an early NFC South division game Sunday (1 p.m, FOX) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Here’s what Saints quarterback Drew Brees had to say during his Wednesday press conference with the New Orleans media:  “Completions are good right? Those are positive plays. Trust and confidence in the guys I’m throwing to.
Exclusive: Name, logo revealed for new pro football team in Atlanta

Exclusive: Name, logo revealed for new pro football team in Atlanta

The Atlanta franchise in the new Alliance of American Football, which will kick off its inaugural season in February, will be named the Atlanta Legends. “Atlanta makes legends — that’s what the city does,” league co-founder Charlie Ebersol said. “It does it historically, it does it in terms of sports.
Matt Ryan says Falcons look to keep up ‘momentum’ against Saints 

Matt Ryan says Falcons look to keep up ‘momentum’ against Saints 

The Atlanta Falcons (1-1) face the New Orleans Saints (1-1) in an early NFC South division game Sunday (1 p.m, FOX) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan shares his thoughts on what to expect: On preparing for the Saints and how it went Wednesday:
What Sean Payton had to say about the Falcons 

What Sean Payton had to say about the Falcons 

Here’s what Saints coach Sean Payton had to say in a conference call with the Atlanta media Wednesday: On the two different games the Saints played against the Bucs and Browns: “I think the best word would be ‘inconsistent.’ I think early in the season defensively, Week 1, we struggled with Tampa Bay.
In absence of Neal, Richards gets expanded role in secondary

In absence of Neal, Richards gets expanded role in secondary

As the Falcons attempt to replace strong safety Keanu Neal, Jordan Richards figures prominently in their plans.   The Falcons were looking for backup safety help when they made the trade with the Patriots to land Richards, a former second-round draft pick, on Aug. 31.
Julio Jones misses practice with calf injury

Julio Jones misses practice with calf injury

Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones missed practice with a calf injury Wednesday, according to the team’s official injury report.  Jones  was a surprise addition to the injury report. He played 48 of 63 offensive snaps (76 percent) in the 31-24 win over the Panthers on Sunday. Jones was limping a little bit after the game in the locker room.
Ex-Gainesville star Deshaun Watson not fazed by racist comments

Ex-Gainesville star Deshaun Watson not fazed by racist comments

Former Gainesville High School star Deshaun Watson, now an NFL standout with the Houston Texans, says he’s not worried about a racist online post by an East Texas school superintendent who wrote: "You can't count on a black quarterback," in the comment section of an article.
Here’s a guide to four busy days in Georgia sports

Here’s a guide to four busy days in Georgia sports

Listen up local sports fans, the next four days will be action-packed with championship golf to high school football. The Braves could put the finishing touches on a division title before the weekend is over. Tiger and Phil are in town, and Drew Brees will be here shortly. Here’s a guide to the some of the top events over the next four days: - Braves vs.
Cover 9@9: Coleman ran with power, speed against Panthers 

Cover 9@9: Coleman ran with power, speed against Panthers 

1. Run Coleman run: With the play of Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith, the Falcons don’t have to rush running back Devonta Freeman back from his knee contusion. Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Freeman is “day to day.” It’s been reported that Freeman will be out two to three weeks. Under the two to three scenario, he’ll miss the Saints game and maybe the Bengals game.
The Bow Tie Chronicles: A look ahead to the New Orleans Saints 

The Bow Tie Chronicles: A look ahead to the New Orleans Saints 

In the 76th episode of The Bow Tie Chronicles podcast, we look at the Falcons’ injury situation and ponder whether Wes Schweitzer is ready to take over at left guard after a sketchy season as a starter at right guard in 2017.
Falcons release official depth chart for Saints’ game 

Falcons release official depth chart for Saints’ game 

With Andy Levitre out for the season, Wes Schweitzer isprovi the proverbial next man up at left guard for the Falcons. Schweitzer lost the starting right guard battled to Brandon Fusco and was the backup swing guard. Levitre was placed on injured reserve with a torn tricep on Tuesday.
Film Review report card: Falcons 31, Panthers 24

Film Review report card: Falcons 31, Panthers 24

Here are the grades, after reviewing the film on gamepass.nfl.com, for the Falcons from their 31-24 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Run offense: Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith proved to be a lethal combination. Things started slowly with Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly shutting things down.
Good injury luck runs out for Dan Quinn’s Falcons

Good injury luck runs out for Dan Quinn’s Falcons

The Falcons enjoyed remarkably good injury look over Dan Quinn’s first three seasons. They ranked second-, sixth- and second-best in Football Outsiders’ Adjusted Games Lost metric, which accounts for the role of the players who miss games and includes those who take the field with reported injuries.  That good luck has run out for Quinn’s Falcons.
Another injury: Falcons guard Levitre out for season 

Another injury: Falcons guard Levitre out for season 

Another injured starter. Falcons starting left guard Andy Levitre suffered a triceps injury and was placed on injured reserve for the season on Tuesday, the team announced. “Andy worked extremely hard to get back on the field after a similar injury last year, and there is no doubt his leadership will continue to be felt this year,” Falcons Dan Quinn said.
Ridley dazzled in second NFL game 

Ridley dazzled in second NFL game 

Falcons rookie wide receiver Calvin Ridley earned his first NFL touchdown Sunday on quite the precise play. The crafty route runner, lining up at the Carolina 11, faked like he was going outside. Then he took off back to the inside. Carolina rookie cornerback Donte Jackson was left in Ridley’s wake.
Falcons’ defensive end Takk McKinley has groin injury 

Falcons’ defensive end Takk McKinley has groin injury 

Falcons defensive end Takkarist McKinley suffered a groin injury late in the 31-24 victory over the Panthers on Sunday, according to head coach Dan Quinn on Monday. Quinn said that he’d update McKinley, defensive end Derrick Shelby (groin) and left guard Andy Levitre (left elbow when he releases the Wednesday injury report, per league rules.
Falcons favorites to win NFC South as Saints slip

Falcons favorites to win NFC South as Saints slip

The Saints opened as three-point underdogs against Falcons on Sunday. The game is in Atlanta, which means the bookmakers see the teams as roughly even, but that spread seems low to me. (FiveThirtyEight.com’s statistical projections, updated after Sunday’s game, puts the spread at Falcons -4.5).
A few words not in defense of the Falcons’ defense

A few words not in defense of the Falcons’ defense

Apologies for picking nits, but that’s kind of why I’m here. (Well, isn’t it?) The Atlanta Falcons played well and were deserving winners against Carolina on Sunday. Their offense was terrific. Their defense was, if not quite good, then good enough. Therein rests our quibble.  The Falcons managed 442 yards against a solid defense. That’s an A.
The Bow Tie Chronicles: McKinley, Campbell were stout in 31-24 win over the Panthers

The Bow Tie Chronicles: McKinley, Campbell were stout in 31-24 win over the Panthers

In the 75th episode of The Bow Tie Chronicles podcast, defensive end Takkarist McKinley and linebacker DeVondre Campbell stop by to discuss the 31-24 victory over the Panthers.  The Falcons defense overcame injuries and the ejection of safety Damontae Kazee to help slow down Carolina quarterback Cam Newton and the Panthers.
Kazee under scrutiny after questionable hit on Newton 

Kazee under scrutiny after questionable hit on Newton 

The Falcons’ defense had to hold on until the bitter end. The unit, which was trying to replace Pro Bowl defenders Keanu Neal and Deion Jones, suffered another blow when promising young safety Damontae Kazee was ejected for unnecessary roughness in the second quarter of Sunday’s 31-24 win over the Panthers.
What Falcons players said after 31-24 win over Panthers 

What Falcons players said after 31-24 win over Panthers 

On the red zone: “We didn’t’ come out with new plays or nothing like that. We just went out there and executed.” On Matt Ryan’s rushing touchdowns: “I know, he needs to be careful. He can get hurt out there and we are going to fight. No, that was a great job. He did a great job.” On Jordan Richards: “I know he practiced hard this week.
What Matt Ryan said after 31-24 win over Panthers 

What Matt Ryan said after 31-24 win over Panthers 

Here’s what Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan had to say after the 31-24 victory over the Panthers on Sunday:  On what went well today other than him running over people: “Our execution was better than it had been before. Proud of the way the guys worked all week. When we got our chances, we nailed them across the board today.
What Falcons coach Dan Quinn said after win over Panthers 

What Falcons coach Dan Quinn said after win over Panthers 

Here’s what Falcons coach Dan Quinn had to say after the 31-24 victory over the Panthers on Sunday:  Opening statement: “I thought today the fans created an unbelievable atmosphere for home-field advantage that felt awesome, and the players certainly recognized that. At the end, I don't think there was anybody who wasn't up and screaming and feeling wild.
Ryan’s runs power Falcons over Panthers 

Ryan’s runs power Falcons over Panthers 

Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones doesn’t want to see Matt Ryan flying through the air trying to cross the goal line again any time soon. “He needs to be careful,” Jones said after the Falcons 31-24 victory over the Panthers on Sunday. “He can get hurt out there and we are going to fight.” But Ryan’s 8-yard touchdown run helped power the Falcons to victory.
Bradley: At a needed time, Sarkisian has a big day

Bradley: At a needed time, Sarkisian has a big day

Steve Sarkisian will never be Kyle Shananan, but it’s days like these when he reminds us he’s not Elmer Fudd. The man who replaced Shanahan as the Falcons’ offensive coordinator had another in a series of underwhelming showings in the opener at Philadelphia. Ten days later, Sark was a veritable shark. Almost every play he called Sunday had, ahem, bite.
Five things we learned from Falcons’ 31-24 win over Panthers

Five things we learned from Falcons’ 31-24 win over Panthers

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, channeling his inner Michael Vick, rushed for two touchdowns to power the Falcons to a 31-24 victory over the Panthers on Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  The Falcons needed Ryan’s sixth and seventh career rushing touchdowns and a strong rushing performance from running back Tevin Coleman to earn the victory and improve to 1-1.
Falcons safety Damontae Kazee ejected against Panthers 

Falcons safety Damontae Kazee ejected against Panthers 

Falcons safety Damontae Kazee was ejected from Sunday’s game for unnecessary roughness after an illegal hit on Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. The hit came as Newton was sliding after a rushing gain.  Shoving and pushing ensued after the hit. Newton briefly left for the sidelines in the Panthers’ medical tent but returned to the game without missing a play.
Watch: A time lapse look at pregame activity before Panthers-Falcons

Watch: A time lapse look at pregame activity before Panthers-Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons hosted the Carolina Panthers in an NFC South divisional game of the 2018 regular season.  The Falcons entered the game 0-1, losing to the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles, 18-12 in Week 1. The Panthers entered the game 1-0, defeating the Cowboys 16-8 at home in Week 1. 
Panthers at Falcons: Inactives 

Panthers at Falcons: Inactives 

The inactives have been declared for today’s game against the Carolina Panthers and the Atlanta Falcons, which is set for 1 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium: Falcons inactives: cornerback Isaiah Oliver, running back Devonta Freeman, guard Ben Garland, wide receiver Russell Gage, defensive end Steve Means, offensive tackle Matt Gono, and defensive tackle Justin Zimmer.
Five things to know before today’s Panthers at Falcons kickoff 

Five things to know before today’s Panthers at Falcons kickoff 

Here are five things to know before today’s Panthers (1-0) at Falcons (0-1) kickoff at 1 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium: 1. Freeman is out: Falcons running back Devonta Freeman will not play. He has a bruised right knee and is expected to miss two weeks. Tevin Coleman will take over in the starting line up and will be backed up by Ito Smith and Brian Hill. 2.
Falcons’ Sarkisian plans to get Ridley more involved 

Falcons’ Sarkisian plans to get Ridley more involved 

Rookie wide receivers Calvin Ridley and D.J. Moore are looking for their first NFL receptions as the Panthers (1-0) are set to play the Falcons (0-1) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Two picks before the Falcons selected Ridley, the Panthers tabbed Moore, who played at Maryland. “Both of them had real speed to go,” Falcons coach Dan Quinn said Friday.
Falcons’ DeVonta Freeman to miss Panthers game  

Falcons’ DeVonta Freeman to miss Panthers game  

Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (sore right knee) will not play against the Panthers on Sunday, coach Dan Quinn said Friday.  Kickoff is at 1 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Freeman, who suffered a sprained posterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his right knee in the regular-season finale against Carolina, was slowed in the playoffs.
QB corner: What Matt Ryan had to say about the Panthers

QB corner: What Matt Ryan had to say about the Panthers

Here are three questions with Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan about the Panthers:  A: “They look good. With Poe being here last year (we know) he’s a talented player. He works hard. Very stout on the inside. Having played against Short for a long time, he’s a good player. He physical. He’s disruptive in the run game. He’s disruptive in the pass game.
On the hot seat: Falcons linebacker Duke Riley 

On the hot seat: Falcons linebacker Duke Riley 

Duke Riley, a third-round pick (75th overall) in 2017, will take over for Pro Bowl player Deion Jones at middle linebacker when the Panthers (1-0) play the Falcons (0-1) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. “I don’t know how you replace the middle linebacker, that’s a tough one,” Hall of Fame general manager Bill Polian said on SiriusXM NFL Radio recently.
X-Factor: Who is tight end Ian Thomas? 

X-Factor: Who is tight end Ian Thomas? 

The Panthers lost tight end Greg Olsen to a foot injury in the opener. He will be replaced by Ian Thomas, a rookie tight end who played at Indiana, when the Panthers (1-0) face the Falcons (0-1) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  “I don’t think a lot of people know a lot about him, which I think is fine with us,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said.
Three key matchups: Panthers at Falcons 

Three key matchups: Panthers at Falcons 

Here are three key matchups with the Falcons host the Panthers at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium:  Panthers DTs Kawann Short and Dontari Poe vs.
Where to watch, listen to Panthers vs. Falcons in NFL home opener

Where to watch, listen to Panthers vs. Falcons in NFL home opener

What you should know about Sunday’s NFL home opener between the Falcons and the Panthers: - Time: 1 p.m. - Where: Mercedes-Benz Stadium - TV: Fox Sports:  Play-by-Play: Dan Hellie. Color Analysis: Greg Jennings. Sideline: Karyn Bryant, who is making her sideline reporting debut in this game.  - Local Radio:  92.
X’s and O’s: The Falcons’ plan to stop Cam Newton 

X’s and O’s: The Falcons’ plan to stop Cam Newton 

The Falcons will be without key defenders in safety Keanu Neal and middle linebacker Deion Jones. How will they stop Carolina quarterback Cam Newton? The Falcons (0-1) host the Panthers (1-0) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Sarkisian standing behind Falcons’ red-zone operation 

Sarkisian standing behind Falcons’ red-zone operation 

Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian is not ready to push the red-zone panic button one week into the 2018 season.  “At the end of the day, it’s ‘stay the course,’ ” Sarkisian said.
Falcons can’t afford to fall into the 0-2 black hole

Falcons can’t afford to fall into the 0-2 black hole

The Falcons are staring the down the barrel of the NFL’s 0-2 black hole.  The Falcons (0-1) will open NFC South play with a revamped defense after key injuries to Pro Bowlers Keanu Neal and Deion Jones when they host the Carolina Panthers (1-0) at 1 p.m. Sunday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Falcons’ Riley and Kazee ready to step in

Falcons’ Riley and Kazee ready to step in

You might think it a holy mess when the Falcons’ defense takes the field Sunday afternoon against the Panthers, like FEMA missing its director and first assistant amidst a hurricane, but the locals seem OK with what’s happening.
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