The Atlanta Falcons season came to an end with a win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a score of 34-32 on Sunday. Tampa jumped out to an early 17-0 lead and most Falcons fans believed we’d be picking 6th in the draft with the loss. The offense came to life late in the second quarter scoring a 19 yard touchdown to Julio Jones before the half to make it a 17-7 deficit.
The Falcons had the momentum coming out of half and were able to force the pressure on Tampa Bay by scoring on each of their first four drives in the second half, including Matt Ryan catching his first career touchdown! Calvin Ridley and Tevin Coleman each got a touchdown to put Atlanta up by a score of 31-20. The defense got pressure on Winston even though we only had one sack they were able to force bad throws and got him to turn the ball over as well.
Matt Ryan ended the game with another great stat line finishing with 378 passing yards with 3 TDs (2 passing, 1 receiving) and only 1 interception. We also saw Coleman, Hill, and Langford evenly split carries and combine for 100 yards on the ground and 1 touchdown. The Atlanta Falcons had 9 different receivers catch the ball on the Buccaneers defense with Julio, Sanu, and Hooper being the three top targets on the day combining together for 295 of the 378 yards and 1 touchdown.
The Falcons with this win fell to 14th in the draft order but before that they need to address the coordinator situation and make decisions on if they want to keep Sark and/or Manuel for another season. Hopefully we’ll know sooner that later on the two of them so we know what to expect going into next season.
But for Falcons fans we can finally look forward to the 2019 season with players coming back and making our run to win our first superbowl!
Le’veon Bell could bolster Falcons offense, but at what price?
It could be a long shot for the Atlanta Falcons, but could they possibly be a dark horse to acquire Bell from the Steelers? In Steve Sarkisian’s second year as offensive coordinator, he’s looking to rebound from a shaky first season with the team, and Bell could potentially help his woah’s.
We all know who Le’veon is from his early career. We know he’s an exceptional running back with elite elusiveness, route running, and pass catching ability. We also know he’s got a little bit of a hot head with an ego around him. But that’s understandable right?
The man wants to be paid. He’s been a top three running back in the league the last four seasons, and his numbers show it. Aside from Bell tearing his MCL in 2015, when he still put up over 500 rushing yards in just over 100 attempts, he’s been a very consistent back. He rushed for 1,361 yards in 2014 and over 1,260 yards in both 2016 and 2017. Not to mention is 75+ catches and 7+ touchdowns each of those years. Bell is a stud, he’s the elite runner every team wants. So why won’t the Steelers pay him?
Well that question is unclear. If Bell signed his franchise tender again, it will still make him the highest paid running back in the league at over $14 million. But understandably, Bell wants a long term deal with guaranteed money. He rightfully deserves it. But now the Steelers are listening to trade offers for him because he has shown that he won’t give in and report to the team until he is paid. Plus if you’ve been following the Steelers, especially if you’re a fantasy football player, you might have heard of a guy named James Connor who the Steelers love.
So this brings us to the Falcons now. Should Atlanta peruse Bell in a trade, and what would they give up for him? The Steelers have not come out and stated exactly what they want for him, but you would imagine at least a couple draft picks and some promising players for the elite back would be the minimum Pittsburgh would take. Well, what does Atlanta have to offer the Steelers?
I believe Atlanta will part with either Devontae Freeman or Tevin Coleman either this offseason or next. So right away you can include one of those backs in the deal. Coleman might be the better back for Atlanta to keep, but him and Bell have the same play style. Freeman is more of a pass catch, or run through the tackles type back. Coleman likes to run outside and around the tackles, as does Bell. Him becoming a free agent also in 2019 would allow Pittsburgh to sign Coleman for significantly cheaper than what they would sign Bell.
Vic Beasley is another interesting name to think about. He’s still on his rookie deal, and has only been impressive one season so far when he had 16 sacks in 2016. Again so far this year, he has yet to impress. The fans are tired of seeing it and they want a change. Well why not bolster the offense and keep the defense off the field?
One other guy the Falcons could look at trading would be Justin Bethel. Atlanta acquired him this offseason as a special teams specialist, but also to have depth at cornerback. The Steelers could possibly be interested in him to help improve their secondary that has struggled a bit to start the season. Plus he has a friendly contract making under $2 million.
As far as draft picks go, it’s unlikely the Steelers would be able to get a 1st or 2nd round pick for a running back. Giving running back’s history, most of them don’t last more than 10 years in the league and Bell is already half way there.
However, with Bell’s explosiveness and his play style, he could still be elite for seven more years and relevant five years after that. A 3rd round pick or several late round picks would be more likely to do the trick.
With all this being said my trade offer to the Steelers would be:
This trade is also within implications the Falcons will be able to sign Bell to at least a 4 year deal, making him by far the highest paid running back in the league. Yes, Atlanta would have to give up a lot of money, but as far as offense goes nobody else on the team is due a big contract for a while. The defensive side of the ball is where Atlanta will have to watch their money.
We want to hear from you Falcons fans! What, if anything, would you give up for Le’veon Bell? And why? Rise up Atlanta!!
The “Atlanta curse” continues to haunt the Falcons.
On Sunday the Falcons explosive offense wasn’t enough to hold off the division rival, Saints. As New Orleans came out on top in overtime, 43-37.
However, this wasn’t the most disappointing thing that happened on Sunday.
The Falcons lost another important player on the defensive side, Ricardo Allen. It was announced Monday that the starting safety would miss the remainder of the season with an achilles injury that happened in overtime.
This is the third starter Atlanta has lost this season. Keanu Neal and Andy Levitre were hurt earlier in the season. Falcons are also going to be missing key defender Deion Jones for about six or eight weeks.
It was blatantly obvious in Sunday’s game that the Falcons were missing captains on the defense. Throughout the game against the Saints, it was clear that there was lots of confusion and times where the defense had no idea what was going on, which led to a high-scoring loss.
Drew Brees took advantage of the broken down Atlanta defense and threw for 396 yards and 5 total touchdowns. Hopefully, this wasn’t a preview of what’s to come the remainder of the season.
On Monday, Dan Quinn said that the Falcons aren’t planning on signing or trading for starting defensive players to fill these roles according to Vaughn Mcclure. Atlanta will most likely lean on Damontae Kazee, Jordan Richards and Kemal Ishmael at the safety position. Weeks two and three Duke Riley has filled in for Deion Jones.
The good news is, the Falcons offense has looked great during weeks two and three. After arguably one of his worst games in his career week one, Matt Ryan has been on point the past two weeks slinging it for a combined 646 yards and seven touchdowns. On Sunday, Ryan showed doubters signs of “MVP Matt” with his deep ball finally connecting multiple times.
The entire offense has been involved, however, the star rookie has been the most impressive. Calvin Ridley has made his mark in the NFL quickly. Ridley has four touchdowns and has picked up 210 yards on 11 receptions in the early season.
Julio Jones continues to prove why he is arguably the best wideout in the league, however, he has yet to get a touchdown in the first three games.
The running game has also been fairly good, even with starter Devonta Freeman out. Tevin Coleman has carried must of the load with 40 attempts resulting in 159 yards. Rookie, Ito Smith, has also made some big plays in his limited runs.
The offense has looked good on almost every aspect. The pass blocking has still sometimes been suspect but progression is there. However, the offense is going to be asked to do a lot more every game now with defense being hurt.
The young defense is going to have to learn fast if the Falcons want to still be contenders this year.
Hopefully, the Falcons are able to get over the injury bug and able to show their true potential with the highly talented team.
The Atlanta Falcons fell to the Philadelphia Eagles 18-12 in Thursday nights contest. While everyone is harping on Matt Ryan‘s performance, there are many underlying factors that are concerning for the team going forward. Starting with the pass rush as they could not get to the quarterback all night long.
The Eagles have one of the best offensive lines in football but such little production should not be acceptable. The Falcons have invested to too much into their defensive line to have their best pass rusher be a run stopper (Derrick Shelby) who only won against his match-up 20 percent of the time.
The Falcons offensive line also got their butts handed to them on a silver platter resulting in a poor output from Matt Ryan. Ryan Schraeder gave up more pressures in this game then he has in his entire career as an Atlanta Falcon which just cannot happen.
Matt Ryan was under pressure 63% of the time he was under center. The Falcons have one of the best offensive lines on paper but this performance did them no justice. Let this game be a wake up call as they will have another tough test versus the Carolina Panthers this Sunday.
Ryan finished the game an abysmal 21/43 for 251 yards, zero touchdowns, and an interception. Part of the blame for how the offense looked should fall on offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian.
It looked like Julio Jones was the only wide receiver the falcons had because the other players weren’t being schemed open. Also, that wide receiver the Atlanta Falcons drafted this year named Calvin Ridley was an afterthought over the course of that game. For the Falcons to succeed going forward each and every weapon needs to featured in this offense some describe as prolific.
The Carolina Panthers will be reeling after losing TE Greg Olsen and RT Daryl Williams to season ending injuries. This week 2 match-up will be a statement game for the Atlanta Falcons because if they can’t get to the quarterback with an injured offensive line it would spell trouble for the rest of the season.
Vic Beasley and Takk McKinley will need to show up and make their presence felt to get into Cam Newtons head. The Panthers new offense under offensive coordinator Norv Turner features Cam Newton as a QB/RB and Christian McCaffery as an all purpose back. With Deion Jones potentially being out for Sundays match-up it will be up to De’Vondre Campbell and Duke Riley to fill his shoes. I predict that the Falcons will win this match-up and hopefully right the ship before the season gets rough.
Falcons Travel To New York To Face The Jets In First Preseason Game
That’s right football fans, Falcons football is officially back tonight at 7:30!! The New York Jets will host the Atlanta Falcons as both teams look to prove their worth.
The two players that all eyes will be on tonight will be Jets 3rd overall pick, Sam Darnold, and Falcons 26th overall pick, Calvin Ridley. Both these guys are NFL ready, star caliber players and they will look to show it tonight.
For the Jets, Darnold is looking to beat out Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater for the starting QB spot. He will want to show why he was picked #1 out of USC and what he can do. But on the other side of the ball, he will have Vic Beasley and Takk McKinnley coming at him, two players who have even more gas in their tank.
Some thought Calvin Ridley was drafted as Julio Jone’s replacement….but they would be wrong. Ridley was selected to add more fuel to the fire for this already explosive Atlanta offense. Ridley has had an excellent training camp, receiving praises from Julio Jones, Matt Ryan, and even Chad Ochocinco. Along with Ridley and Julio, the Falcons shouldn’t have a problem scoring with Sanu, Freeman, Coleman, and Hooper.
Many eyes will be on the Falcon’s offensive plays too. After a historic 2016 offensive season, the team saw a huge dip in numbers when first-year offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian, took over. The fans will want to see all of his new creative plays for the 2018 season and see if he has learned from his personal first year mistakes.
The Falcons announced late Wednesday night that Julio Jones will report to training camp tomorrow.
Ian Rapoport reported that the Falcons have agreed to a revised contract that will adjust his 2018 salary. Julio originally didn’t have any more guaranteed money left on his contract.
It’s a good thing that the Falcons organization got this together before training camp because who knew when Jones would show up to camp. It looks like it’s nothing to worry about now, and fans can go back to being calm about the situation.
Stay tuned for more details on ATLSportsHQ.
Malik Brown | @_MalikATL
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A report has surfaced that suggests the Falcons and Julio could be working to avoid the planned holdout.
Yesterday around 8:30 AM our fears were confirmed to be true. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen officially broke the news that Falcons star Wide Receiver Julio Jones would not be attending Training Camp without a revision to his deal.
Julio Jones does not plan to report to Falcons on schedule Thursday without an adjustment to his contract, which has three years remaining, per league sources. He is set to make $10.5 million in 2018. The team is aware of his mindset at this time.
While many Falcons fans saw this coming, it was still stomach churning when the news finally broke. While considered to be one of the best wideouts in the league, Julio barely cracks the top 10 in terms of salary. While still having three years on his five year, 71 million dollar deal, Jones wants a restructure that will make him the highest paid Receiver in the NFL.
It is widely expected that Jones will not be present when camp opens Thursday in Flowery Branch. But Wednesday evening a glimmer of hope shown on Twitter when ESPN’s Chris Mortensen once again broke news. This time it was that the two sides are speaking in hopes of reaching a resolution.
Julio Jones & the Falcons are working intensively to resolve their contract differences, hoping to avoid Jones’ planned training camp holdout. The sides are focused on creatively addressing Jones’ ability to earn more than his $10.5 milllion base in ‘18. Hopeful but not done yet
After the way the Offense sputtered last season, Falcons fans have to hope that the two sides are able to reach an agreement that will allow Julio to attend camp. It is vital that the SuperBowl hopeful Falcons are able to work out as many kinks as possible before toe meets leather in September against the World Champion Eagles.
Stay with ATLSportsHQ for full Training Camp coverage and all things Falcons.