A dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind.
A journey into a wondrous land of imagination…”
It began after the final second elapsed on the Bills 23-17 win over the (formerly) undefeated Atlanta Falcons. All around Western New York, a low murmur of voices were expressing wonderment. Disbelief. Excitement. Almost every caller to the local radio post-game shows began their comments with, “I know there’s a lot of the season left, but do you think…?” Or, “I know I shouldn’t be getting my hopes up yet, but…” Or, “The team wasn’t supposed to be any good this year. How do you explain…?”
It does feel as if we’ve entered the Twilight Zone. Staring at the AFC East standings, seeing the Buffalo Bills, 3-1, all alone at the top of the heap, is nothing if not surreal. The previous week’s win over the Denver Broncos was a terrific accomplishment for coach Sean McDermott’s team. But getting a win on the road, against last year’s NFC Champions is something else altogether.
This week, the road to Super Bowl 52 brought the defending NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons to Detroit. This was going to be a great showing of how the 2-0 Lions would match up to some of the best talent in the division. At first, the game almost looked like Atlanta was going to run away with it, but safety Glover Quin got the Lions back in the game with a quick pick six of Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan. It looked like quarterback Matthew Stafford was up to his usual 4th quarter come back antics, however a crazy, arbitrary rule kept wide receiver Golden Tate from scoring a last second touchdown. The Falcons came away with the win, and handed the Lions a heartbreaking loss.
King Of The Pride: Safety Glover Quin. Quin’s pick six pretty much kept the game from getting out of hand and gave life to the crowd at Ford Field. It appeared that he came out of nowhere to intercept Ryan. Honorable mentions go to kicker Matt Prater and corner back Darius Slay. Prater was perfect on his field goals including two from over 50 yards away. Slay was able to pick off Matt Ryan twice in the game. According to ESPN Stats & Info, Matt Ryan had previously gone 309 passes without an interception, but had 3 today. Continue reading “The Pride Report: Week 3”→
For this edition of #PrideReport, I decided to try something new. Can’t say that it will happen every game, but I figured I’d try it out and see how you liked it. Hit me up and let me know what you think!
Aaron Freeman (@Falcfans) who is the host of Locked on Falcons Podcast and co-host of the @FalconsPFC podcast, was nice enough to chat with me, and let me ask him some questions about Sunday’s game against the Falcons. It is early, but at the same time, it’s a pretty good test for the Lions to see if they really are who we think they can be!
Me: What one thing do you think the Falcons have to do to get a win??
Aaron: Stick with their identity. Which is being aggressive on both sides of the ball. They have an explosive offense that thrives off pushing the ball down the field with play-action passing. And their defense is as fast and athletic as they come in the NFL, so not being afraid to get physical at the line of scrimmage with the Lions wide recievers and also mixing in a healthy dose of blitzes to help offset the absence of [linebacker] Vic Beasley are good ways to continue that aggression on defense.
Me: Yeah, good ol [Falcon’s Head Coach Dan Quinn] DQ is really turning your defense into a machine out there. The Lions defense really came around Monday night against the Giants. We know that the Falcons are a little but better, but…Do you see the Lions defense taking [quarterback] Matt Ryan off his game and maybe losing some of that identity???
Aaron: It’s possible given some of the question marks the Falcons have on the right side of their O-line. [Right tackle] Ryan Schraeder might miss the game with a concussion and the Falcons already were trying to overcome new starting [right guard] Wes Schweitzer after a rough performance in Wk 1 vs. the Bears. If Schraeder misses the game, his replacement (either right tackle Ty Sambrailo or right tackle Austin Pasztor) could cause the right side of the OL to be an area where the Lions choose to exploit with stunts and blitzes to catch the two least experienced starters on the team unaware, pressure Ryan and slow down this Falcons offense.
While there is no actual football being played, football season is in full effect with the NFL Draft completing this past weekend. The Atlanta Falcons traded up, then back and ended with six picks this season, split evenly between adding to the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. The big splash will be defensively, but is that a surprise for a Dan Quinn coached team?
Falcons 2017 Draft Class
1 – 26: Takkarist McKinley, DE from UCLA; 6’2, 250 lbs
3 – 75: Duke Riley, LB from LSU; is 6’0, 232 lbs
4 – 136: Sean Harlow, T from Oregon State; 6’4, 303 lbs
5 – 149: Damontae Kazee, DB from San Diego State; 5’10, 184 lbs
5 – 156: Brian Hill, RB from Wyoming; 6’1, 219 lbs
5 – 174: Eric Saubert, TE from Drake; 6’5, 253 lbs
Takkarist McKinley, will forever be known as the emotional, cuss word dropping draft pick with the new Falcon catch phrase, “Fine Me Later.” While some may be concerned about his language seconds after being drafted, my take away was that this kid WANTS to play and prove himself and is full of passion. As he was leaving the stage, he also mentioned something about getting to the quarterbacks. I assume he knocked down a couple of prospective quarterbacks around back stage. Please note, Takk, in class act fashion, has apologized for his unplanned, emotional language. Can this rookie be my new favorite player already?