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After the Falcons swung past the 49ers with seconds to go, a disgusted and frustrated Mike Singletary left the field without meeting Mike Smith at midfield, as is custom. This has led to much uproar and shirt-rending. Singletary acknowledges this wasn’t his finest work. Matt Barrows:
Mike Singletary admitted today that he did not shake Falcons coach Mike Smith’s hand after Sunday’s loss in Atlanta. Singletary acknowledged that he was “ticked” after the 49ers lost the lead in the final seconds. “It was poor sportsmanship on my behalf,” he said. “That’s all it was.”
Singletary is a genuine hothead and the Ron Artest of NFL coaches, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. I doubt Mike Smith lost any sleep over this.
At least he saves some of his best crazy for us. As Barrows points out, last year Singletary also got in a shouting match with Harvey Dahl and called all three of his timeouts while down by 35 with a minute to go.
Best part of these postgame quotes: Roddy big-upping his teammate, Harvey Dahl, who ultimately wrestled the bouncing ball away from various defenders.
I just watch (the defensive backs) every day at practice and watch them get the ball out on me at practice. You just learn from that. Any time that you see defensive players carrying the ball, they aren’t used to it so you’ve got a chance.
I knew that he was going to try to score. When I saw him running to the sidelines, I knew that he was going to try to score. I just told myself, ‘Just get there, just get there,’ and I got there and got the ball out
Never die. (Dahl) doesn’t have to run down there. Nate had already passed the offensive linemen. For me to get there and strip it and for Harvey to get there to recover it and to give us a second chance, it’s big. It just speaks volumes about our team and those guys and the conditioning and effort that we put into games.
I just kept on it. I just put the G.I. Joe grip on it.
He (CB Nate Clements) made a great play on the ball. I am sure he thought he was going to score. That is all there is to it. Roddy White made a great play, coming up behind him and knocking the ball out. All the blocking was in front of him. It’s that guy behind you that you can’t see.
I said to myself, ‘We got this game.’
It was an unbelievable effort on Roddy’s part. It’s obviously frustrating when you throw an interception in those situations, but I was hustling back trying to keep the guy in play. Roddy came out of nowhere and really made the play of the game. Harvey Dahl fell on it, which is an incredible effort by him being 60 yards behind the play as an offensive lineman. It kind of speaks to the character of our football team. Regardless of the situation, we are going to go out there and play hard. It really was a breath of new life when we got the football back and we went right down the field.
I was just trying to run him down the sideline. I think all of us had played this game so long that you never know what is going to happen. At that point it was jus trying to keep him out of the endzone. I was hustling back trying to force him either to cut back or do whatever, so it never creeps in to your mind at that point.
He was carrying it like a loaf of bread, and Roddy got it out.
We have to thank Roddy for that. That’s a never die situation. He just kept running. He kept playing and he ended up making a big play. No bad talk about Clements, but he should have got down. . . It shocked me. In that situation you know you have to get down and save the game for your teammates.
It’s things we’re doing to ourselves that’s killing us.
John Abraham, to Twitter:
They sit on it, and the game’s over.
We’ve a lot of things that we have to correct but I really like the fight and the resolve of our team. It showed on a number of occasions today, to throw that interception and have them running in, going to score to have Roddy White run down the field and strip that ball out, was a huge play. It was an effort play. Then to have offensive linemen running 70 yards basically from where the ball was snapped, again I don’t know exactly who got it, but from what I’ve been told it was Harvey Dahl who recovered the fumble underneath that pile. That says a lot about what this team is all about.
When he did it and we got the ball back, I was like ‘We’re going to win this game.’
So today's game was full of frustration, a glimmer of hope, dagger through the heart and then a defribulator to the chest. Here's some highlights from YouTube, but my goodness, doesn't it feel good to be 3-1?
Revel in the win my Falcons friends, because next Sunday is just another game.
The last time a losing coach left the Georgia Dome field while refusing to shake the hand of his senior counterpart? Lane Kiffin dissing Frank Beamer after the 2009 Chick Fil A Bowl.
Singletary and Kiffy are both California boys now, too. Pretty bad company.
And From Today:
It might be time for the 49ers to learn from their past or they are doomed to repeat it.
The Atlanta Falcons dominated every statistical category in this one but never led until Matt Bryant's 43-yard field goal sailed through the uprights with two seconds remaining in the fourth quarter giving the Falcons a 16-14 win and a 3-1 record on the season.
The Falcons, though, almost never had a chance at the game winner after a bizarre sequence almost gave the 49ers the victory. Trailing 14-13 with 1:31 left in the fourth quarter, Matt Ryan was intercepted by Nate Clements all but sealing the win for the 49ers. But Clements, who didn't pay attention to film study of Dre Bly last season, was stripped of the ball by a hustling Roddy White at the Falcons seven-yard line, giving the Falcons another chance.
The Falcons took advantage.
Ryan faced a first-and-10 at the Atlanta 37 when he found White at the 49ers 41-yard line for a 20-yard grab putting the Falcons within striking distance. A few more short passes mixed in with some runs and out trotted Bryant to crush the 49ers hope.
Title says it all. Good god this is heart-wrecking.
He never takes his eyes off Alex Smith and gives the Falcons their 8th interception this season.
Watch Moore haul in his second pick of the season.
Watch Moore haul in his second pick of the season.
Adkins, Special Teamer by day, has cramps. His return is probable.
If the Falcons want to win this one, they’re going to have to learn how to score in the Red-Zone. The Falcons, who intercepted Smith, drove down near the End-Zone only to walk away with 3 points.
The play-calling has been bland and pretty much the same thing, and the 49ers seem to be holding onto this lead.
Still plenty of time, but the Falcons aren’t looking good.
Curtis Lofton is a tackling machine. There's no disputing that. Now he can add aerial raider to his resume. He made his first interception of his career when he caught a tipped Alex Smith pass in the second quarter of Sunday's game against the 49ers.
All week long, the media and fans warned of a trap game. Coming off an emotional overtime win against the defending Super Bowl Champion, New Orleans Saints, how could the Falcons maintain the same level of adrenaline against an 0-3 49ers team? Well, they may have had a point.
The 49ers came out swinging in this one, stopping the Falcons on their first drive and proceeding to take advantage of a Dunta Robinson pass interference call to take an early 7-0 lead on a Vernon Davis touchdown that capped a 10-play, 88-yard drive. The Falcons failed to move the ball on their next possession and that's when their special teams weren't so special. The 49ers blocked a punt and Taylor Mays made a tiptoe catch to give the 49ers a 14-0 lead and send the Georgia Dome into hushed tones.
The Falcons offense finally settled down and Matt Ryan found Harry Douglas for the receiver's first touchdown since November 30, 2008. It was another 12-play drive that is becoming routine for the Falcons' offense this season. After a back-and-forth of punts and turnovers, the Falcons had a chance late in the 2nd quarter to tie the game but a bizarre mistake by Matt Ryan - intentional grounding combined with illegal touching and a 10-second runoff - meant the Falcons had to settle for a field goal and a four-point halftime deficit.
Notes: Tony Gonzalez became the 17th player in NFL history to pass 12,000 receiving yards. Roddy White needs 25 yards in the second half to become the 4th Falcon to catch 5,000 receiving yards. Curtis Lofton recorded the first interception of his career that setup the Falcons' second quarter field goal. He also has a sack in this one.
Matt Bryant’s 37 yard field goal makes the score 14-10 with 5 seconds left in the half.
The Falcons who were off to an abysmal start have scored 10 consecutive points but have had several opportunities for touchdowns. The offense has been shooting themselves in the foot giving the 49ers the lead heading into the half.
With a nine-yard catch in the second quarter, Tony Gonzalez became only the 17th player - and first tight end - to catch more than 12,000 yards through the air.
There's been a lot of excitement among Falcons' fans about the prospect of what Harry Douglas could bring to the offense. His ACL injury last season put a damper on those expectations, but feel free to ramp those up again. Matt Ryan, who's just missed Douglas on a couple of long plays earlier this season, finally hooked up with the third-year speedster in the second quarter against the 49ers on an eight-yard touchdown.
Watch the video to see Tony Gonzalez's tremendous pick to get Douglas free. Sorry for no embed, blame NFL.com.
The Falcons have outgained the 49ers and controlled the time of possession yet they find themselves trailing 14-0 after the first quarter. The 49ers have taken advantage of a pass interference call and a special teams touchdown to get an early jump on the Falcons.
As the first quarter closed, the Falcons were driving. Will they turn it around in the second quarter?
The Atlanta Falcons sure know how to break your heart. After beating the Saints in a close one they have let the 49ers get a 14-0 lead after a blocked punt was recovered in the endzone by Taylor Mays.
If the Falcons don’t wake up soon, the game could be out of their reach.
Tight-End Vernon Davis got into the end-zone on the 49ers opening drive in the first quarter against the Falcons. Davis, who was ruled down at first, received a bubble screen pass and dove for the end-zone to momentarily end the 49ers offensive woes.
The 49ers got into the end-zone on a “iffy” pass-interference call on Dunta Robinson.
The Falcons meanwhile had very questionable defense, not being able to stop San Francisco on consecutive 3 and shorts.
Peters is now Probable to return. He was down with a back injury.
We mentioned One Tree Hill would be using the pre-game festivities to film a scene with one of their actors - wearing Joey Harrington's jersey no less!. Our leader, Jason Kirk, was on the scene to capture the (faux) excitiement.
From Mike Sando:
So as the temperatures drop, Singletary's seat will be warming up even more. But the 49ers believe that the NFC West is wide open, nobody will run away with the division, and Singletary still represents this team's best chance to have a winning season.
What also helps Singletary's staying power is that the 49ers do not have a logical head-coaching successor on staff that they would be confident to promote to interim head coach.
San Francisco defensive coordinator Greg Manusky has a strong reputation, but he never has been a head coach. Thus the 49ers are sticking with Singletary -- for now.
But the team is making a stadium push and that always factors into a team's head coaching situation as well.
Via Jay Adams:
Look for Jenkins to make his debut against the Browns in Week 5 and hopefully we see Weatherspoon back and healthy next week. The complete list of inactives:
More notes from Jay Adams:
My favorite gameday ritual? Reading through the Gameday Cheatsheet from Daniel Cox. Download the full sheet here and review my favorites now.
- Roddy White and Matt Ryan both had career days last season against the 49ers. White set a franchise record with 210 yards receiving and set a personal best with his 90-yard touchdown. Ryan’s 329 passing yards was a career high.
- Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes intercepted his first pass of the season last week against the Saints. The undrafted free agent led the team last season with six interceptions and now a full-time starter, he has the second-most interceptions by an undrafted free agent since 2008.
- Last week’s rushing touchdown by Michael Turner was his first of the season, giving him 28 as a Falcon which is tied for the most rushing touchdowns in the NFL since 2008. The Falcons are 13-5 when Turner steps into the endzone at least once.
- Ryan compiled a QB rating of 108.8 in last week’s win, the second straight game that he’s recorded a rating above 100. It was the 11th time in his career and Atlanta is 11-0 in those games.
I’m still reasonably confident in an Atlanta victory, but we might want to be prepared for a much, much more explosive San Fran offense than we (or anyone) saw last year.
Though he hasn’t accomplished much so far, think about starting Michael Crabtree as a no. 3 against the Falcons.
San Fran’s mid-week offensive coordinator switch promises to open the offense up, with many more targets coming Crabtree’s way. As Niners Nation mentions, new OC Mike Johnson is expected to test the Falcons’ deep coverage.
The Falcons defense hasn’t given up very many points, but they’ve shown a big play weakness, allowing an 80-yard scoring strike to Lance Moore last week, part of Moore’s 149-yard day. In fact, they’ve made way for a touchdown of 50 yards or more in all three games. Hines Ward and Larry Fitzgerald also had decent outputs against the Falcons. With starting cornerback Brent Grimes missing a practice this week, the trend may continue.
With Crabtree’s lack of production so far, he may be available in your league for a song. Last year, he averaged more than twice the yardage per game he’s produced so far this season, and he’s certainly capable of a career day this Sunday.
It’s worth nothing that, in Johnson’s previous two-game stint as an emergency offensive coordinator at the end of 2003, his offenses produced 30 and 21 points, both well above the team’s season average.
You did not see this coming:
A production crew from One Tree Hill will be at the Georgia Dome shooting scenes for an exciting new episode prior to Sunday’s game.
A television production team will film actor Steven Howell, who plays Troy Jameson (No. 13), a quarterback recently drafted by the Falcons.
Howell will sprint out of the Atlanta tunnel wearing the current Falcons uniform. He will be introduced to the Georgia Dome crowd by public address personality K.D. Bowe.
NUMBER THIRTEEN BELONGS AND ALWAYS WILL BELONG TO MY JOEY HARRINGTON, HOLLYWOOD.
I asked my wife what One Tree Hill is, since she watches Vampire Diaries. She says One Tree Hill is sort of a Dawson’s Creek spinoff. One minute of Googling did not confirm or deny this, so I’m just leaving it.
It’s cool the NFL allowed the show to use official Falcons branding. Three years removed from being Dogfight Central, and Mr. Blank’s team is suddenly clean enough for something like this. Actually, I guess we don’t know whether Jameson uses his signing bonus to start a terror cell or whatever, so maybe let’s wait and see on that part.
Apparently the NFL had a hand in choosing which team could be used, though presumably the Birds were only chosen over other Southeastern teams, as the thing is filmed in North Carolina.
“This is a very dangerous team, I mean they’re a good football team, eventually things are going to come together for them,” Robinson said to the media. “We can’t look at their win-loss record and say ‘Oh look guys they haven’t won a game, this is an easy win for us.’ This is a very good football team, with a lot of good players on both sides of the ball.”
Now usually I’m one to show my respect to a team, heck I even wrote a couple of days ago that this could be a trap game. But this is a game we should win, and if we don’t expect me to be the first to get angry.
The Atlanta Falcons have struggled on special teams through the first three weeks of the season giving up long returns to the Cardinals and the Saints. They'll get another chance to fix their mistakes this Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers rookie kick returner, Kyle Williams, offered his thoughts on the Falcons third unit.
From the 49ers official site:
When I looked at Eric Weems on the Falcons, who does both kick and punt returns, I noticed how quickly he starts to get down the field. The second he catches the ball he begins moving north to south, which is something I think I need to work on.
Atlanta does a pretty good job of opening holes for Weems, and once those holes are there he hits them pretty well. This is a guy who had more than 1,000 kick return yards last season, but I know if we can play smart and stick to our assignments we should be able to contain him.
Atlanta’s kicker, Matt Bryant, is a pretty good player. He hit a game-winner against the Saints last week, but personally, I’m more concerned with what he does on the kickoffs. Bryant and their punter Michael Koenen do a god job of putting some air under the ball, so I have to make sure I look it all the way in.
Williams also added:
But going back to the Falcons, everything I have seen from them looks pretty good. They fly around on special teams and they make plays. They’re going to make it difficult for us, but once again, it’s a matter of us executing and getting our jobs done. I’m confident we’ll make plays.
The 49ers will need to make some plays on special teams if they have any hope of pulling an upset. It has been the Falcons only weakness this year and if they can avoid a letdown on those plays, their talent level on offense and defense will be too great to overcome.
Jenkins was listed as "Limited Participation-Questionable" last week too and ended up not playing. It's anybody's guess if we'll see him out there or not on Sunday. They could hold him out this week and then let him get his legs underneath him against the Browns in Week 5. They really don't need him until Week 6 when the Falcons travel to the Linc to play Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles.
I expect to see Coleman out there after fully participating in Friday's practice. I think it will be more of a timeshare with William Moore though. Moore has shown he can make plays and his talent is too great to be used only sparingly.
The biggest worry is with Weatherspoon. Every Falcons fan held their collective breath when he left on a cart during the Saints victory but he relayed via Twitter that all was fine. That's obviously not the case and three straight days of not practicing likely means Stephen Nicholas will get the call from the bullpen.
The Atlanta Falcons have been trying to build a more college-like atmosphere at the Georgia Dome by getting fans to the dome earlier. It started with the first home game against the Arizona Cardinals but a large number of fans were still late arriving. They'll try again to get fans excited before the first quarter starts with more discounts, giveaways and fiery tailgate celebrations. Jay Adams of the official site has the details:
Beginning when gates to the Dome open at 11 a.m. through 12:30 p.m., fans can take advantage of Early Bird food and merchandise discounts.
The Early Bird food options include the Falcons Family Plan, which includes four hot dogs, four bags of chips, four sodas and four candy items, all for $40. The Falcons Combo Plan, consisting of two hot dogs, two bags of chips, two sodas and two candy items is available for $20.
Additionally, the club is offering bottomless specials for souvenir sodas ($6.00) and popcorn ($5.50) throughout the game. These specials are available at all concession locations that serve those two items.
Fans who want to purchase Falcons merchandise on game day will receive $10 off purchases of $50 or more and $20 off purchases of $100 or more at all Falcons365 locations in the Dome. These specials are available until 12:30 p.m.
For fans tailgating outside of the Dome, a pyrotechnic salute will launch from Falcons Landing at 12:15 p.m., signaling it’s time to begin the "Journey to the Dome."
Will you be there?
Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez are each approaching their own personal milestones this Sunday when the Atlanta Falcons play host to the San Francisco 49ers. For Gonzalez, breaking records is nothing new. He already holds every major receiving record among tight ends so every new hurdle crossed is one he put there. For White, however, it's rarified air.
White is 53 receiving yards shy of reaching 5,000 receiving yards for his career. He would become only the fourth Falcon to pass the 5,000 yard barrier and third-fastest to do so behind Andre Rison (67 games) and Terance Mathis (76) but ahead of Alfred Jenkins (86). Sunday's game against the 49ers will be White's 83rd as a Falcon.
Gonzalez already caught his 1,000 reception in Week 1 but now he needs only 29 yards to surpass 12,000 receiving yards for his career. He's averaged over 900 yards receiving during his 14 years in the league, never dropping below 600 yards since his rookie year. If he has another "average" season, he'll pass Charlie Joiner and Jimmy Smith to end up 14th all-time on the receiving yards list.
While many of the experts are predicting an easy Falcons win, at least there'll be something to keep an eye out for when two players - one a legend already and one in the making - reach new milestones.
Welcome to the pre-game quick hit stats-apalooza. Enjoy.
Their Week 4 meeting will be the 74th time the Falcons and 49ers have played each other in their team's history. The 49ers hold a 44-29-1 edge but the Falcons have won the last three including last year's 45-10 embarrassing thrashing in Candlestick.
The Falcons record against the 49ers (by decade):
Average Score in all 74 meetings:
Most Points Scored:
Falcons 45, Oct. 11,2009
Highlight: Roddy White catching a 90-yard touchdown en route to a 210-yard receiving day.
49ers 56, Oct. 18, 1992
Fewest Points Scored:
Falcons 0, Four occasions but not since 1986
49ers 0, Oct. 9, 1977
The 49ers' Mike Singletary is 13-15 as a head coach. He is 1-1 in Week 4 games lifetime.
Mike Smith is 22-14 as Falcons head coach and has a 0-1 record in Week 4.
Best Individual Performances Against the 49ers:
Roddy White needs 53 yards to become only the fourth Falcon to reach 5,000 yards receiving for his career.
Tony Gonzalez needs 29 yards to reach 12,000 receiving yards for his career.
The 49ers already fired their offensive coordinator. Is Mike Singletary next in line to collect unemployment? Maybe so, if he doesn't straighten things out in San Francisco, and it doesn't get any easier for the 49ers this week as they face the red-hot Falcons. According to the "Madden" simulation, the Falcons take a 22-10 lead into the fourth quarter, then watch as the 49ers score 10 straight points to get within two. It's a Crabtree fumble in the final minutes, however, that ends any comeback hopes for San Francisco, dropping them to a miserable 0-4 record to start the season.
Player of the Game: Matt Ryan
This makes yet another prediction to go in the Falcons favor - albeit with a bizarre 22 points. If there's an expert predicting the 49ers, I've yet to find it. Madden simulations correctly predicted the Week 3 winners at a 66% clip.
A clean sweep. All 21 experts I tracked picked the Falcons to beat the 49ers. Some disagreed on whether it would a close win or a blowout but nobody thinks the 49ers should win on Sunday. It feels weird to be the favorite. I kinda like it.
Guys it's tough for me to understand what the tailgating experience is, when I've never had one. Well, not outside of Australia.
Jim 'The Crazy Weather Dude' Cosek of NFL.com brings the good news outside the Dome.
So take it from me guys get out to the game and support the Falcons. After all we are remembering some of the greats, Steve Bartkowski, Jessie Tuggle, Jamal Anderson and err...DeAngelo (more like MeAngelo) Hall.
In all seriousness if you don't go we'll play Knifey-Spoony, and this time I'll win!
This would be bulletin board material if the Niners’ bulletin board was not obscured by Mike Singletary’s nude ass. Roddy White’s Twitter has not been known to pull punches, though.
A sampling of some previous work, you say? Here goes.
Any of Roddy’s Sunday tweets could be included, such as the one in which he said Lance Moore “is not that good” and a “we dat,” but here’s my favorite:
Obviously a newer Hawks fan:
Playing to the locals:
What could possibly go wrong:
And here he is divulging his financial plans:
Plus he gives away Falcons tickets to his followers, picked Duke in his March Madness bracket, picks on Matt Ryan, and provides regular practice weather updates. Roddy White, millions spend hours every day debating whether they love your play or your Twitter more.
From D-Led at the AJC:
Singletary, a 1998 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, likes Lofton's style of play and called him a "throwback."
"He plays the position the way it’s supposed to be played," said Singletary, who terrorized offenses for 11 seasons in the NFL before entering the coaching ranks.
During game weeks coaches - not wanting to provide bulletin board material - are generally flowery with their praise of other teams. This could be considered as such but I think it brings to light something Falcons' fans have known for two seasons, Lofton is an All-Pro talent and now it appears he has the surrounding talent needed to garner that attention from the rest of the league.
It seems Atlanta's defensive problems are no longer the Achilles Heel for the team. When the Falcons host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday they will lead the league in interceptions (tied with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers).
"He is the quarterback of the defense in terms of making calls and making checks," Falcons coach Mike Smith said. "Our system relies heavily on making adjustments to things that happen from the time the team comes out of the huddle until the ball is snapped."
If the Falcons are to win this coming Sunday expect Lofton and his defense to be a major reason why.
The Atlanta Falcons are aiming for their third consecutive win since losing their season opener when they host the San Francisco 49ers this coming Sunday. A few injury notes and updates from Thursday, a day that saw the Falcons head indoors due to heavy rains in the area:
Head coach Mike Smith closed practice off, but did share with reporters several injury updates, including….
ON WR MICHAEL JENKINS: "We would like to get him back as quick as possible. It’s going to be him being cleared by the doctors. He is participating in practice again this week. That participation is much more than what he did last week. He will get evaluated here at the end of the week and we’ll make a decision as we get closer to game time. He has ramped up his reps this week."
ON LB SEAN WEATHERSPOON: "He did not practice again today. He was out. He still has an issue with his (right) ankle. We will try again tomorrow. He worked with our athletic performance people. That’s something that flaired up after the game. We will re-evaluate him on Friday."
We’ve known for a while that the Falcons have been trying to make Sundays more atmospheric and interactive for attendees. They’ve introduced a drumline, top-down chants, and non-stop Chick Fil A merchandise giveaways, though all three of those sound like walking down the street in Atlanta on a Tuesday.
This new one is a can’t-misser. D. Led reports:
The Falcons plan to honor all of the former Pro Bowl players during Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers at the Georgia Dome.
The team, through a spokesman, denied a report on ProFootballTalk.com which stated that they didn’t plan to honor defensive back DeAngelo Hall.
Oh, the booing that’s about to rain down. For the love, somebody please get this on video.
Here’s hoping this becomes a Ten Minutes Hate thing that we do every week, with Mike Smith putting a DeAngelo Hall impersonator in a camel clutch for at least nine of those minutes.
Comparing resumes: They've been pummeled twice on the road by teams nobody was expecting to be any good (Seahawks and Chiefs), and they've given away* a home game to the defending champions. Meanwhile, the Falcons took two great teams to the limit, beating one, and crushed a crappy team.
* If you have six minutes, I can explain how the Saints win over the Niners was significantly less merited than the Falcons win over the Saints. No, this'll be good.
49ers to watch: After giving up two 100-yard receiving days (to Hines Ward and Lance Moore, plus 83 yards to Larry Fitzgerald), the Falcons contend with a less star-powered unit led by tight end Vernon Davis. Actually, it's technically led by Frank Gore. The Vice President leads the team in both rushing and receiving, so what say we keep an eye on him?
We hate to be so obvious, but when the Falcons have the ball they'll need to be aware of Patrick Willis at all times, and not just because Matt Ryan has to yell "51'S THE MIKE." He's the perfect monkey wrench to what it is the Falcons do. What the Falcons do is
RI ISE UP! called The TURNER SNELLING TURNER SNELLING TURNER SNELLING BAIL US OUT, RODDY Plan. By the fourth quarter defensive tackles can be seen weeping into bowls of Crispix, but the league's best linebacker could have something to say about all that.
Vegas says: Falcons by 7. FULL DISCLOSURE: I have accepted Vegas' offer.
Coleman and Jenkins have combined to miss five games this season and let's be honest, they haven't exactly been missed. Still, their return creates more depth at key positions and makes the number-two ranked Falcons an even stronger team.
"In the ballgame, he left the game with cramps," coach Mike Smith said. "But 24 hours after the game, he was starting to feel the ankle. When the adrenaline wore off he had an ankle issue.
The Falcons don't believe the injury is serious.
"We're hoping that we'll get him back out [Thursday] and get him some reps."
Weatherspoon, the team's first-round draft pick, and middle linebacker Curtis Lofton lead the team with 27 tackles each. If Weatherspoon isn't able to return quickly, Stephen Nicholas, last year's starter, could return to the lineup.
Needless to say this would be a huge loss if Spoon can't go. The Falcons should be able to beat the 49ers without him but in these rivalry games anything can happen. Hopefully, he's back out there on Thursday preparing to introduce himself to Frank Gore.
If last week was HATEWEEK, this week is Hate Week. For Falcons fans older than 25 or so, at least.
Series history: A boot crushing a bird's face forever until Steve Young retired or thereabout. The Niners lead 44-28-1, having outscored Atlanta by almost 500 points.
The '80s and early '90s were the darkest ages in Falcons football history, with the team mustering only one playoff appearance between 1981 and 1994. During that same span, the 49ers missed only one non-strike playoff tournament -- and they still won ten games that year. San Fran set up what looks like three mini-dynasties strung together under football god Bill Walsh's presence and legacy, winning a literal handful of Super Bowl rings and fielding at least three of the greatest football teams ever in 1984, 1989, and 1994.
In case you've forgotten, we were also shoehorned into the Niners' division during all this. Not only did we have to fly cross-country to play Joe Montana and Jerry Rice every year, we got to watch them light us up at home as well.
It's on this point that we can sympathize with even Saints fans, as they were also dumped in the NFC West as Niner fodder.
But since we've been gone, the West has become the worst division in pro football. Yep, they produced three Super Bowl losers last decade, but other than that they're the NFL's ACC Atlantic. The Niners haven't had a winning season since their first year without us, back in 2002.
The Falcons have never lost to the Niners since leaving the NFC West, with a three-game win streak including ...
Last meeting: 45-10.
Lord I hate the 49ers.
You know what the gold stripes are for? They were meant as a nod to Atlanta's original football team.
The Falcons will be wearing their throwback uniforms from the 1966 and 1967 seasons. They were 4-23-1 in that time but are undefeated (2-0) since last season in the retro jerseys. The 49ers will be facing the red-orange helmets with black jerseys instead of the standard black helmets with red jerseys. The white pants, of course, remain the same.
Despite the fact they look angry, I'm certain it's not because of the uniforms. Maybe.
The Atlanta Falcons have had a relatively light injury report through the first three weeks of the season and this week they hope to have an even cleaner report with the possible return of WR Michael Jenkins and S Erik Coleman.
On whether he is hopeful that WR Michael Jenkins and S Erik Coleman will be back Sunday:
"We are hopeful that we’ll get those guys back. Again. Erik Coleman was a scratch from the game this past week as well as Michael Jenkins. I think it’s going to really have a whole lot of bearing in terms of where they’re going to be based on what they’re able to do Wednesday and Thursday. I know they’re anxious to get back. Again, the final say will be the people in our Athletic Performance and the doctors, in terms of these guys are ready to go. Again, it’s a long season and we don’t want to make decisions just based on one game. We want to make decisions based on what is best for our football team over the 16 games of the regular season."
Jenkins' shoulder injury was originally diagnosed as a four-to-six week injury but now we're heading into the eighth week without the services of number 12. He was limited in practice last week and didn't suit up against the Saints so hopefully the Falcons were playing it safe and he'll be able to suit up against the 49ers this week. Of course, the Falcons are sixth in the NFL in points scored so they haven't exactly been treading water waiting for Jenkins' return.
Mike Singletary is insane. You already knew that.
Raye has not seen eye to eye with Coach Mike Singletary about scope of offense. QB Alex Smith has been erratic and run game hit or missless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®Jason La Canfora
QB Coach Mike Johnson takes over coordinator duties from Jimmy Raye, who had received a vote of confidence from Singletary Sunday.less than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®Jason La Canfora
Johnson was in his second year with 49ers as QB coach, and served as Ravens WR coach from 2006-2007 and Falcons QB coach for 3 years w/ Vickless than a minute ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®Jason La Canfora
More to come, most of it giddy.
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