November 18, 2017

Falcons Make Statement in Romp of Jags

The Atlanta Falcons took a giant step last night in their efforts to solidify a playoff spot with their rousing romp of the Jacksonville Jaguars by a score of 41-14.

It didn’t take long for the rest of the league to get the message from the Georgia Dome……”Future opponents, Beware!” The Falcons were clicking on all cylinders in a match-up that featured the now seasoned veteran Matt Ryan versus the rookie Blaine Gabbert.

The offense always gets most of the attention, so let’s look at the Birds defense first this time. It was a defense that brought a relentless pass rush all night long, sacking Gabbert not once, not twice but five times. John Abraham was credited with 3 ½ of the sack total.

The Falcon D also registered another defensive score as defensive tackle, Corey Peters swooped up a Gabbert fumble and ran rough shod into the end-zone on the opening drive of the third quarter, hammering the final nail in the coffin for the Jags.

David Goldman-AP

The Atlanta offense continued to shine for the second game in a row. Ryan had three touchdown passes on the night.

In the past two games, Ryan has seven passing touchdowns: Julio Jones has caught three of them, Roddy White two, Tony Gonzalez one and Quizz Rodgers one.

Jones’ touchdown last night demonstrated his pure athleticism and raw speed.

He caught a pass on a crossing pattern and then flat-out ran three defenders that were rapidly closing in on him.

He looked well worthy of they price the Falcons paid to acquire his services. He continues to remain a front-runner for “Rookie of the Year” consideration.

The win ensures the Birds of their fourth consecutive winning season, all under the direction of Head Coach Mike Smith and General Manager Thomas Dimitroff. It also sets up some very interesting scenarios.

Earlier this year, Atlanta’s loss to the Saints came on a controversial call in overtime in the Georgia Dome. On a fourth down and one, Mike Smith decided to go for it and failed.

The Saints then gained yardage on the next three plays and kicked a field goal which may have booted Atlanta away from its second divisional championship in a row.

The re-match is scheduled for December 26th when the will play New Orleans in the Superdome on Monday Night Football. The Birds are currently (9-5) with the Saints owning a (10-3) record, having clinched a playoff berth last week.

This weekend the Saints travel to Minnesota to play the Vikings on Sunday. With a loss to the Vikings and a loss to the Falcons on the 26th there appears to be a deadlock tie for the NFC South Division Championship between the Falcons and Saints, who will both be (10-5) at that point. Talk about drama!

Even if the Falcons don’t get the opportunity to win the division, they appear on track to make the playoffs. They own the fourth best record in the league behind Green Bay at (13-0), San Francisco at (10-3) and New Orleans at (10-3).

The worst thing that could happen would be the Falcons facing all road games in the playoffs if they enter in as a wild card.

But none-the-less, teams should be on the lookout for the Birds from the South as they may be migrating across the country in an attempt to bring the elusive Lombardi Trophy to the ATL.

If last night’s performance shows us anything, it is that the Falcons can be a dominating force to be reckoned with. Opponents beware!

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