Michael Cunningham

Michael Cunningham has covered the Hawks and other beats for the AJC since 2010. He is the author of the AJC’s Mike Check blog.

Latest from Michael Cunningham

Falcons’ pass rush wasn’t really the problem against Saints
 During the game telecast on Sunday, Fox analyst Cris Carter kept calling for Falcons defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel to send more blitzes at Saints quarterback Drew Brees, and I had to agree. But, upon further review, the Falcons did generate good pressure against Brees under the circumstances.  Brees passed almost exclusively...

Posted: a minute ago

During the game telecast on Sunday, Fox analyst Cris Carter kept calling for Falcons defensive coordinator Marquand Manuel to send more blitzes at Saints quarterback Drew Brees, and I had to agree. But, upon further review, the Falcons did generate good pressure against Brees under the circumstances.  Brees passed almost exclusively...
Georgia’s defense passes first big test
 Look at the score and it’s what you figured. But Georgia 43, Missouri 29 wasn’t like it seems.  “I didn’t exactly expect it to go that way,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “I thought it might become a shootout, but not in that form.”  The Bulldogs won with defense, but even that isn&rsquo...

Posted: a day ago

Look at the score and it’s what you figured. But Georgia 43, Missouri 29 wasn’t like it seems.  “I didn’t exactly expect it to go that way,” Georgia coach Kirby Smart said. “I thought it might become a shootout, but not in that form.”  The Bulldogs won with defense, but even that isn&rsquo...
Weekend Predictions: Falcons top Saints, Georgia wins big at Mizzou
 Well, look at that, it turns out the guy you thought is clueless about football might just know what he’s doing. Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian had a good weekend, too.  Weekend Predictions is feeling a little cocky after going 11-4 against the spread in Week 4. A comeuppance is inevitable, of course, but I&rsquo...

Posted: 3 days ago

Well, look at that, it turns out the guy you thought is clueless about football might just know what he’s doing. Falcons offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian had a good weekend, too.  Weekend Predictions is feeling a little cocky after going 11-4 against the spread in Week 4. A comeuppance is inevitable, of course, but I&rsquo...
Tiger Woods is back at East Lake. Can he really win again?
 I was a golfer before I’d ever heard of Tiger Woods — the pro at the local muni took pity on the skinny teenager with empty pockets — but Tiger Woods made me a golf fan. It started when Woods famously dominated Augusta as a 21-year old in 1997, another early signal that the kid might be something special.  Those were...

Posted: 4 days ago

I was a golfer before I’d ever heard of Tiger Woods — the pro at the local muni took pity on the skinny teenager with empty pockets — but Tiger Woods made me a golf fan. It started when Woods famously dominated Augusta as a 21-year old in 1997, another early signal that the kid might be something special.  Those were...
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...

Posted: 5 days ago

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...
Derek Dooley keeps Missouri’s offense rolling
 Missouri led the SEC in yards gained and points scored last season. The Tigers won their last six regular-season games as quarterback Drew Lock went on a tear. Pretty much every important piece from that unit returned in 2018, except for coordinator Josh Huepel, now the head coach at Central Florida.  So, naturally, when Missouri coach...

Posted: 5 days ago

Missouri led the SEC in yards gained and points scored last season. The Tigers won their last six regular-season games as quarterback Drew Lock went on a tear. Pretty much every important piece from that unit returned in 2018, except for coordinator Josh Huepel, now the head coach at Central Florida.  So, naturally, when Missouri coach...
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).  While the Falcons were ...

Posted: 7 days ago

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).  While the Falcons were ...
For this Tech team, running isn’t the option when crucial yards needed
 I was wrong about Georgia Tech football. The Yellow Jackets are not better than expected. They are worse than I could have imagined, and new coordinator Nate Woody’s defense isn’t the only problem.  After all, Tech allowed three points to Pitt after halftime Saturday. The Jackets lost 24-19 because Paul Johnson&rsquo...

Posted: 8 days ago

I was wrong about Georgia Tech football. The Yellow Jackets are not better than expected. They are worse than I could have imagined, and new coordinator Nate Woody’s defense isn’t the only problem.  After all, Tech allowed three points to Pitt after halftime Saturday. The Jackets lost 24-19 because Paul Johnson&rsquo...
Weekend Predictions: Boring Bulldogs roll, Tech and Falcons bounce back
 It’s only Week 3 of Weekend Predictions, but already some trends have emerged. The Falcons still can’t score from the red zone, Georgia Tech still can’t hold a lead and, as one sharp reader noted, my picks still are bad. Nothing gets by that guy. Meanwhile, Georgia is ... kind of boring, which is new. I mean that as a positive...

Posted: 10 days ago

It’s only Week 3 of Weekend Predictions, but already some trends have emerged. The Falcons still can’t score from the red zone, Georgia Tech still can’t hold a lead and, as one sharp reader noted, my picks still are bad. Nothing gets by that guy. Meanwhile, Georgia is ... kind of boring, which is new. I mean that as a positive...
Injuries hurt Falcons defense, but the schedule might help
 I thought this would be the season coach Dan Quinn fields a great defense for the Falcons. They’ve been adding draft talent to that unit for three years, and now experience and Quinn’s knack for squeezing production would be the ingredients that finally make them elite.  But now maybe the two most talented Falcons defenders...

Posted: 11 days ago

I thought this would be the season coach Dan Quinn fields a great defense for the Falcons. They’ve been adding draft talent to that unit for three years, and now experience and Quinn’s knack for squeezing production would be the ingredients that finally make them elite.  But now maybe the two most talented Falcons defenders...
Football is back, but Braves aren’t going away
 For the past four years, this was the time to forget about the Braves. It was easy to do. They were buried in the standings, football was starting and busy lives in the fall don’t leave much room for watching bad baseball.  But these Braves will not let you forget about them. They might wobble but they won’t fall down. Since...

Posted: 13 days ago

For the past four years, this was the time to forget about the Braves. It was easy to do. They were buried in the standings, football was starting and busy lives in the fall don’t leave much room for watching bad baseball.  But these Braves will not let you forget about them. They might wobble but they won’t fall down. Since...