Atlanta Falcons Blog

Atlanta Falcons blog by D. Orlando Ledbetter, the pro football and Atlanta Falcons reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Cover 9@9: Why are fans so ticked about Falcons' 6-1 start?

1. RICH HOMIE QUAN: Should have been home breaking down film of Jalen Collins’ 37 snaps against the Titans, but my neighbor called and wanted to go to the Hawks’ season-opener.

George Gallman, who’s a Falcons’ season ticket holder and has brought his PSLs for the new stadium, pointed out that we went to the Braves’ opener and were of course at the Falcons opener and we needed to go see the Hawks.

It’s going to take a while to get used to those new uniforms. They are hideous.

I know they got an earful from Coach Bud after that poor defensive effort.

We stayed for the Rich Homie Quan concert and he turned out Philips Arena after the Hawks laid an egg against the Piston.

We left there feeling some type of way.

2. HERE'S WHY EVERYONE IS TICKED: The Falcons’ fans who voted in our pregame poll predicted a blowout.

A total of 60.66 percent of the voters predicted a Falcons win in a blowout.

A total of 33.6 percent correctly predicted the Falcons in a squeaker.

Only 3.39 percent predicted the Titans in a squeaker and 1.37 percent predicted the Titans in a blowout. Other were .97 percent.

Apparently, the Fans don't like to be wrong.

3. ANOTHER SLOPPY GAME EXPECTED: The Falcons have referees, including former running back Fred McCrary, at practice and they should have them cracked down on the frequent violators.

Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay could turn into a penalty-fest.

Tampa Bay has been penalized 76 times for 553 yards. The Falcons have been penalized 52 times for 428 yards.

The 76 penalties are the second-most in the league behind Buffalo’s 88 penalties.

The Falcons are tied for being the 20th most penalized team in the NFL with Detroit and St. Louis.

The Bucs were penalized 16 times for 142 yards in the loss to Washington.

The Falcons also have 169 nullified yards, which are yards nullified by penalties on the offense or the punt or kickoff return team. The Falcons had season-high 78 nullified yards against Tennessee.

Here’s the ranking of the most penalized teams in the league, according to NFL's Game Statistic and Information System.


Buffalo, 88 for 670

Tampa Bay, 76 for 553

Indianapolis, 71 for 459

Cleveland, 66 for 492

Philadelphia, 66 for 394

Oakland, 65 for 447

San Diego, 65 for 425

New Orleans, 64 for 500

Baltimore, 64 for 447

Houston, 60 for 421

Miami, 60 for 416

Washington, 59 for 394

Green Bay, 59 for 380

New York Giants, 58 for 403

Kansas City, 57 for 379

Seattle, 56 for 419

Chicago, 55 for 447

Jacksonville, 53 for 466

Dallas, 53 for 334

Denver 52 for 448

Falcons, 52 for 428

Detroit, 52 for 393

St. Louis, 52 for 338

Cincinnati 51 for 346

Tennessee, 50 for 364

Arizona, 50 for 353

New England, 48 for 387

San Francisco, 46 for 264

New York Jets, 42 for 370

Pittsburgh, 42 for 357

Carolina, 42 for 315

Minnesota, 41 for 305

4. PASS RUSH HELP ON THE WAY?: I keep getting emails about the pass rush and why the Falcons didn’t try to sign veteran pass rushers Jared Allen or Dwight Freeney. Allen is with Carolina and Freeney looked like he had some gas left in the tank on Monday Night against Baltimore.

Also, had a twitter questions about Jason Babin. He was signed by Baltimore after Terrell Suggs went down. He played poorly in 23 snaps against Cleveland and was released.

Babin, 35, has 55.5 career sacks and had 18 with Philadelphia in 2011.

Writing this so I’ll remember to ask Coach Quinn about it trying to add some pass rush help.

5. MIKE KENN TO BE HONORED ON SUNDAY. Former Falcons tackle Mike Kenn, who entered the league in the first round of the 1978 draft as a 6-7, 275 pound offensive tackle, will be honored on Sunday as part of the team’s 50th anniversary tribute to former players.

In his debut season, the Falcons made their first postseason appearance in franchise history, finishing second in the NFC West Division. The Falcons qualified for three more playoff appearances before Kenn retired in 1994.

Kenn was a mainstay on the Falcons offensive line as the Michigan alum holds Falcons records in most games played

and games started (251) while ranking second in most seasons played with Atlanta (17). During his tenure, Kenn posted a streak of 94 consecutive games played and earned Pro Bowl selections from 1980-84. His workmanship also earned him five first- and second-team All-Pro honors (1980-83, 1991).

Kenn appearance is well time as there are efforts to get him consideration to get enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

6. RYAN IS HEALTHY. Quarterback Matt Ryan announced himself healthy on his weekly radio show on 680 the Fan on Tuesday. He’s likely going to repeat that nothing is wrong with the offense and that the players just need to execute better.

This is the fourth in a series introducing you to the members of the Atlanta Falcons' cheerleading squad.

7. COLLINS UPDATE: Defensive coordinator Richard Smith will speak after practice. He’ll give us his take move of Jalen Collins into the right cornerback spot in the nickel and Robert Alford moving to nickel back in place of Phillips Adams.

8. WHICH JAMEIS WINSTON WILL WE SEE?: In the Washington game, Winston posted a passer rating of 128.1, his highest over his first six NFL games. He completed 21 of 29 passes for 297 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. It was his third game without being intercepted. His first pass in the NFL was returned for a touchdown in the season opener against Tennessee.

9. OFFICIAL DEPTH CHART: The team’s depth chart in the weekly release. The Falcons label it as unofficial, but that actually makes it the official depth chart:


WR 11 Julio Jones, 85 Leonard Hankerson, 16 Justin Hardy

LT 70 Jake Matthews, 75 Jake Long

LG 67 Andy Levitre, 62 James Stone

C 68 Mike Person, 66 Gino Gradkowski

RG 65 Chris Chester, 62 James Stone

RT 73 Ryan Schraeder, 72 Bryce Harris

TE 83 Jacob Tamme, 80 Levine Toilolo, 81 Tony Moeaki

WR 84 Roddy White, 14 Eric Weems, 15 Nick Williams

QB 2 Matt Ryan, 12 Sean Renfree

RB 24 Devonta Freeman, 26 Tevin Coleman, 33 Terron Ward

FB 42 Patrick DiMarco


DE 44 Vic Beasley Jr., 99 Adrian Clayborn, 71 Kroy Biermann

DT 77 Ra’Shede Hageman, 97 Grady Jarrett

NT 96 Paul Soliai, 95 Jonathan Babineaux

DE 94 Tyson Jackson, 93 Malliciah Goodman

LB 52 Justin Durant, 59 Joplo Bartu, 51 Philip Wheeler

LB 55 Paul Worrilow, 54 Nate Stupar

LB 50 O’Brien Schofield, 56 Brooks Reed

CB 23 Robert Alford, 32 Jalen Collins

CB 21 Desmond Trufant, 20 Phillip Adams, 22 Dezmen Southward

S 37 Ricardo Allen, 27 Robenson Therezie

S 25 Wiliam Moore, 36 Kemal Ishmael, 30 Charles Godfrey


K 3 Matt Bryant

KO 5 Matt Bosher

P 5 Matt Bosher

KR 14 Eric Weems, 15 Nick Williams

PR 14 Eric Weems, 15 Nick Williams

LS 47 Josh Harris

H 5 Matt Bosher

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The Falcons are admittedly having some issues on offense. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter and CineSport’s Noah Coslov get in those details while previewing Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers.

How did the Falcons get to 6-1?

Here's a look back at the game stories, news and notes from their win over the Titans (10-7), the loss to the Saints (31-21) and their victories over the Redskins (25-19 in OT), Texans (48-21), Cowboys (39-28), Giants (24-20) and Eagles (26-24).

TENNESSEE GAME COVERAGE -- Falcons 10, Titans 7

5 things we learned from the Falcons' 10-7 victory over the Titans

BRADLEY: Falcons do enough to survive

10 comments from Dan Quinn after the Falcons' 10-7 victory over the Titans

NEW ORLEANS GAME COVERAGE -- Saints 31, Falcons 21

5 things we learned in the Falcons' 31-21 loss to the Saints

Saints hand Falcons their first loss -- Quarter by Quarter

Matt Ryan: 'It was a tough night'

5 comments from Dan Quinn on the Falcons' loss

What the Falcons had to say after their 31-21 loss to the Saints

Why didn't the Falcons feed Freeman? -- Mike Check

Falcons flash some of their ugly past -- Jeff Schultz column

Falcons-Saints by the numbers

Tweetcap: Falcons flop in New Orleans

WASHINGTON GAME COVERAGE -- Falcons 25, Redskins 19 in OT

Falcons pull out 25-19 victory over Redskins in OT -- Quarter by Quarter

5 things we learned in the Falcons' 25-19 win over the Redskins

Alford's 59-yard interception return saves the day

What the Falcons had to say after the 25-19 win

Ryan, offense struggle with turnovers

Mark Bradley column: The Frenetic Falcons: Five-and-oh-my!

Roddy White hears support from the crowd

15 comments from Dan Quinn on the Falcons' victory

Roddy White: 'I'll be a Falcons for life'

Tweetcap: Falcons beat Redskins in OT

TEXANS GAME COVERAGE -- Falcons 48, Texans 21

How the Falcons hammered the Texans -- Quarter by Quarter

5 things we learned from the Falcons' 48-21 win over the Texans

Devonta Freeman stars again for the Falcons

What the Falcons had to say after pummeling the Texans

9 comments from Dan Quinn on the Falcons' victory

Jeff Schult'z column: Devonta Freeman, 7 TDs -- who didn't see that coming

Schraeder, Matthews keep Watt in check

Hankerson turns in a 100-yard receiving day (second of his career)

Houston's J.J. Watt tips hat to the Falcons

Former Falcons great Jessie Tuggle honored during Texans game

COWBOYS GAME COVERAGE -- Falcons 39, Cowboys 28

Falcons 39, Cowboys 28 -- Quarter by Quarter

5 things we learned from the Falcons' 39-28 win over the Cowboys

Mark Bradley's short takes: Julio, Freeman and the defense

Devonta Freeman is catalyst for Falcons run game

QUOTEBOARD: What the Falcons had to say after beating Dallas

Julio Jones does it again: 12 catches, 164 yards and two touchdowns

Mark Bradley column: A dominant half shows what he Falcons could be

Offensive line cracked the run-game code

Ryan directed second-half fireworks show

Beasley help lead resurgence on defense

Where's Falcons wide receiver Roddy White?

GIANTS GAME COVERAGE -- Falcons 24, Giants 20

Falcons 24, Giants 20 -- Quarter by Quarter

5 things we learned from Falcons' 24-20 win over the Giants

Mark Bradley column -- Don't stop believin': Dan Quinn's men are 2-0

A record day for Julio Jones: 13 receptions

Kroy Biermann: 'We're a ball-attacking team'


5 things we learned from Falcons' upset win over Eagles

Matt Ryan leads Falcons to 26-24 win over the Eagles

Jeff Schultz column: An impressive debut by Quinn's new Falcons

Mark Bradley column: A new year: The Falcons dig deep and hang on

Julio Jones moves into fifth on Falcons' all-time receiving list

Tevin Coleman powers new rushing attack

Ricardo Allen seals victory in first start at free safety

4 questions with Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones after the game

Falcons rookies Beasley, Jarrett make impact

Falcons' revamped offensive line shows positive signs

Falcons quotes after their victory over the Eagles

Falcons-Eagles: By The Numbers

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About the Author

D. Orlando Ledbetter is the Atlanta Falcons beat writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.