2013 NFL Playoffs: Falcons to pick up pace during bye week

Kevin C. Cox

Atlanta will practice hard despite the bye week.

The Atlanta Falcons aren't going to let a bye week do them in, writes D. Orlando Ledbetter of the AJC.

The Falcons are the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs, but the last time they had a bye, they suffered because of it:

The Falcons had a bye week in the 2010 playoffs before the Packers pounded them 48-21 on their way to the Super Bowl title. Smith said the lessons learned from the bye-week preparation that season prompted him to come up with a new plan this time.

"We are not going to do anything like we did last time," Smith said.

The Falcons will practice more frequently - holding four practices - this week. They also will spend less time in practice emulating the schemes run by their potential playoff foes and do more "Falcons on Falcons" work.

The idea behind the heavy practices is to keep the team "primed," Ledbetter wrote. Considering the Falcons ended the year on a sour note -- losing to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 22-17, despite playing all their starters -- they will need to be primed for their potential opponent.

The Falcons will play either the Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings or Seattle Seahawks. If the Vikings win, the Falcons will play them. If the Vikings lose, though, the Falcons will play the winner of the Redskins-Seahawks game.

It's likely that not much will change for the Falcons once the postseason starts. Opposing teams will know that they need to shut down quarterback Matt Ryan, who had his best season as a pro. The former Boston College quarterback completed 68 percent of his passes this season for 4,719 yards and 32 touchdowns. He threw just 14 interceptions.

In This Article

Teams
Players

Trending Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SB Nation Atlanta

You must be a member of SB Nation Atlanta to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Atlanta. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Atlanta

You must be a member of SB Nation Atlanta to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Atlanta. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.