Tag Archives: atlanta falcons

The NFC Is Just As Good As The AFC

Matt Ryan and the Falcons might be the team to beat... in the NFL.

Maybe we should start rethinking this whole AFC is better than the NFC thing.

Think about it. A few weeks ago the top 5 on the NFL all hailed from the AFC. The Ravens, Steelers, Jets, Pats and Colts were all in our top 5 in some order with the Titans and Dolphins in the mix as well.

The Falcons, Packers and Bears were all after thoughts and the Giants, Eagles and Saints we we were iffy about. Now? Who wouldn’t take the Falcons and Bears over the Jets or Ravens?

After Sunday it’s become clear that the power in the NFL is just as big in the NFC as it is in the NFC. The Falcons sit atop the league at 9-2 in a loaded division with the Saints at 8-3 and the surprising, yet well playing, Buccaneers at 7-4 and they each play again in the last five weeks. With the Saints hard charging and the Bucs getting tougher with each week, the Falcons have no room to breathe easy.

However neither does the rest of the conference. With Matt Ryan behind center the Falcons have lost only one game at home in his two plus years in Atlanta… once. If the road to the Super Bowl does run through Atlanta then we should just pencil the Falcons in right now.

Problem is that they haven’t played the Bears and that rejuvenated defense that is playing like it’s 1986. Julius Peppers and company have a overshadowed a terrible offensive line that hasn’t gotten better. Yet it doesn’t matter. What they did to Mike Vick and the Eagles attack was mind bending. Four sacks, a pick that was Vick’s first all year and shutting down LeSean McCoy in a dominant performance that may finally have skeptics believing that the Bears are really good.

The Bears defense has turned them into a contender

Also, Jay Cutler is playing efficient, smart football… yeah, I just wrote that. He’s finally realizing that he doesn’t always have to go for home runs on every play. He threw for four touchdowns yesterday with no picks and no bad passes. His steady play gave Chicago’s defense room to be as aggressive as it was without having to worry about his mistake-prone ways.

They have a date at the end of the season with the Green Bay Packers who seem to have righted the ship after an early rough start due to a rash of injuries.

Aaron Rodgers is playing like the best QB in the league and that 3-4 defense les by Clay Matthews is looking like one of the league’s best heading into the home stretch.

The Packers hold pressing wins over Philadelphia and New York and go on the road to Boston to take on the Patriots in late November. Despite the loss on Sunday to Atlanta the Packers are still in great position to get a nber two seed in the NFC and a central division title.

The normally strong NFC East will come down to two enigmatic yet dangerous teams in The Philadelphia Eagles and the New York Giants.

The Eagles have looked in good in spurts, dominating Indianapolis, Atlanta and the Giants while looking terrible versus Tennessee, Chicago and Washington.

The offense has become the strong point of the team with the big play capabilities of Jeremy Maclin an DeSean Jackson and Mike Vick is an MVP front runner. The problem lies with their game to game consistency.

After destroying Washington on Monday night they almost let the Giants win a game that the Eagles should’ve won by 14 and then came the Chicago game where the Bears physically dominated them for four quarters and left the Eagles scratching their heads.

As good as they’ve been the Eagles need to put together consecutive good efforts if they want to go further than just a NFC East title.

Then there’s the 7-4 Giants who at one point were considered the best team in the NFC before injuries and the annual second half swoon kicked in. As good as they’ve looked the main issue for the Giants is turnovers… and lots if them.

They lead the league with 30 on he season which has overshadowed top 5 offensive and defensive units which have played outstanding throughout the season putting up points and getting to the quarterback (occasionally injuring them. They also lead the league with 5 injured QB’s at their hands.)

Unfortunaely that’s 7 well qualified teams for only 5 open spots (thank you pitiful NFC West). The race for the last two spots in the conference should be exciting as every team plays against each other in some fashion with Giants facing the Packers and Eagles, the Packers against the Bears and the Saints, Bucs and Falcons all with a game left against each other. It makes for some very exciting football down the stretch as the beat are goin against the best in the last 5 weeks.

Don’t sleep on the AFC however. This weekend the two main attractions in he league are on Sunday and Monday night as the Steelers go to Baltimore to face the Ravens and the Jets head to Gillette Stadium to play the Pats. Those two games should begin to decide the seeding in the AFC which seems to have its top 2 set with along the wildcard with the South and West a mess and seemingly non important.

However the rest of the season belongs to the NFC. The most intriguing and exciting teams and games will feature the conference that we all saw as an afterthought but might be the ultimate power in the league.

After ten weeks we thought we has the league all figured out. The AFC was the king and should’ve rolled to another Super Bowl victory. Then Tennessee fell off Baltimore, Jacksonville and the Jets fell to the best in the NFC in their stadiums and here we are wrong as ever. Hey it happens, I mean I did pick the Bengals to win the Super Bowl.

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Full Exposure

The Overrated dont last long at number one coach.

Congratulations Ohio State, thanks to Wisconsin you have been exposed as a fraud. The soft schedule and lack of a true early season road test all came to head this weekend in Madison as the Buckeyes got beaten up by the Badgers 31-18 in their first and only week as the nation’s number one team in the country.

The game was over before it truly began. The Badgers jumped out to a 21-0 lead thanks to a kickoff return by David Gilreath and two John Clay scores. In fact the Badgers running attack is what really did Ohio State in. James White, John Clay and the Badgers offensive line completely controlled the line of scrimmage and pushed back the now overrated defensive line of the Buckeyes  for 184 yards on the ground and Clay become the first runner in 30 games to gain 100 yards on the Buckeyes.

So once again the Buckeyes fail in a game of great importance for their program, OSU should be used to it by now. However Buckeye faithful keep those chins up, because you have plenty of company in the house of frauds this week in both the NCAA and NFL. This weekend was the weekend of the exposed as many teams that we thought we really good were really overrated and their performance showed it.

OHIO STATE

Not to beat a dead horse but Jim Tressel your play calling is quite suspect. Look at the second quarter drive with the Buckeyes inside of the Badgers 10 yard line down 21-0.  Three runs, one up the middle, one QB option and a wildcat formation with Dan Herron at the QB position. Three plays, no points. I guess Tressel forgot about that 6’3 receiver named Devier Posey that he has on the outside and forgot that throwing the ball in that area is a neat option.

However, what really irks me about Ohio State is the lack of fixing the problems that they already knew existed. The special teams was horrible versus Miami and coach said that he would take a big look at it. Guess it wasn’t too good a look after the Gilreath touchdown that put the Buckeyes from behind from the beginning of the contest.

Personnel isn’t the problem it’s the way they play the game and that falls on the coaching staff. The fact that the Buckeyes don’t have a reliable short yardage runner or an intermediate passing game falls on Tressel. You can only live so long with Terrelle Pryor running options and chucking the ball downfield all game.

NEBRASKA

So much for that revenge against Texas.

Well, there goes the Taylor Martinez for Heisman talk and the talk of Nebraska looking to avenge that loss to Texas last year. Texas came in and punched the Huskers in the mouth and sent them off to the Big Ten with a not so lovely parting gift.

As talented as Martinez is the Huskers relied on him a little too much during their first few games and their lack of offensive depth showed as Texas slowed them to a standstill and built up an insurmountable 20-3 advantage.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Gee, thanks Steve Spurrier. After I give you all of those props for closing out the defending national champs at home. You go on the road and can’t hold a 28-17 fourth quarter lead against the SEC’s perennial underachiever in Kentucky.

How does a defense that kept Alabama in check let Kentucky rack up 401 total yards? How does Stephen Garcia go from looking like he turned the corner to throwing two costly picks and the offense struggling with 4 turnovers after running over the Crimson Tide? Take back what I said last week.

NEVADA

I mean I didn’t expect them to get to the Fiesta Bowl, but I did expect them to set up a good undefeated matchup with Boise State in Reno in a couple of weeks. Unfortunately Colin Kaepernick and company couldn’t get that dominant run game going and now we get to not talk about Nevada again for awhile.

THE GREEN BAY PACKERS

I mean it’s not their fault that the entire team seems as though its injured, but to lose a ten point lead in Washington after dominating most of the game and then to come home and lay an egg like they did?

This isn’t the work of a Super Bowl contender. The Packers should have done a better job looking for a backup to Ryan Grant so their running game wouldn’t be abysmal. Also Mike McCarthy’s game management right now is starting to rival Les Miles in Baton Rouge. Maybe they exchanged notes or something.

THE CHICAGO BEARS

I guess that Giants game wasn’t an aberration, that offensive line is poor. Matt Forte is back to being that unproductive running back that teased us with an awesome rookie season. I can’t blame Jay Cutler for being a burden to this team, its every area but the quarterback position this year. He’s probably wishing that he didn’t hurry back from that concussion.

THE ATLANTA FALCONS

Funny story; after watching the Philadelphia Eagles jump to a 21-0 lead with Kevin Kolb slinging the ball all over the Falcons I sent my buddy Scully a text that said that Atlanta was trash, he responded by saying that, you’re only saying that because we’re (the Eagles) are winning. After further review this is not so.

Who do I have to yell at to get us going?

The Falcons can’t defend the pass. Kolb and company turned the game into a track meet and ran all over the field against these guys. They don’t seem like they have the personnel to keep up with speedy playmakers.

Also, this is a horrible road team. Forget the Saints win for a minute, the Falcons in the Matt Ryan era are two games under .500 and routinely come out flat. If they want to win the NFC (which they won’t) then they have to get more focused on the road.

THE SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

Ugh. It doesn’t get any uglier than this team. Contract disputes, lack of a running game, an immature and volatile quarterback and a defense that underachieves like no other.  Watching the Chargers on Sunday made me realize how truly dysfunctional this team is. They seem to lack leadership and direction.  They were constantly out of position on defense and the offense couldn’t get a continuous flow going.

With all of that said they still may win the AFC West because the Chiefs may have finally come back down to earth and no one in that division really has any consistent game plan week in and out to make that next step. Still the Chargers are no threat to go anywhere this year, well except Norv Turner. He might be fired in three weeks.

See Buckeyes you weren’t the only contender that laid an egg this week. So cheer up as you and the rest of these teams watch your game film and wonder what went wrong. Also watch as you get passed by every other team in the standings and miss out on another title shot. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from being a Buckeye in the last four years it’s that no one gives an underachiever a shot, especially when they get it wrong by overrating you to begin with.