Why doesn’t anybody listen to me?!?! What did I say Atlanta needed to do?—“keep Ryan off his back and the defense on their toes”.
Let’s just track this thing (yes, for you pop culture enthusiasts/any person alive in the year 2009…that WAS a Hangover reference):
First quarter— The last thing you want to do is begin a game with a penalty, but unfortunately that’s exactly how the Falcons started off their season. They weren’t looking so hot(lanta) from the opening kick.
After a lengthy first drive, the birds from the Dirty South chalked up three points, thanks to the trustworthy boot of Matt Bryant. Granted that’s not quite what you’d expect, especially after chewing up so much time on the clock…you do have to score more points than the other team to win a football game and well, last time I checked, 3>0.
The good news is that wasn’t the only ball Bryant would send sailing through the uprights. The bad news is— those two field goals were the only times the Falcons’ offense scored the entire game. Last season, they were fifth in scoring in the entire league… SIX POINTS!?! Are you kidding me?!
Mike Smith said it best himself in his post-game… his team’s performance on Sunday was nothing short of “uncharacteristic”. What was characteristic, however, was the D-D-D-D-fense of Da Bears.
Coming into the game, Chicago’s typically sack-happy defense had yet to catch up with the Falcons’ starting quarterback. Coming out of the game, they made up for lost time sacking Ryan not one, not two, not three but five times, two of which came from Julius “I eat pieces of QB for breakfast” Peppers.
Going into the locker room at half, I tried to think of what I would say to my team if I were Smith. Then I realized he was probably doing exactly what we all were sitting on our couches watching it—scratching our heads.
The third quarter brought an all-too-familiar scene of Brian Urlacher scooping up a fumble and bullying his way into the Soldier Field end zone to put Chicago up 30-6. The deficit proved too much for the Falcons and although Kroy Beirmann would have a 50-yard interception return in the fourth, it was too little, too late.
There are some universal certainties in the NFL—Rex Ryan’s headset will take flight, Tony Romo will choke in crunch time and the Chicago Bears defense will be nothing short of dominating. Check.
There are also things that surprise you… Cam Newton’s 422 yard performance, Teddy Ginn’s kick AND punt returns for touchdowns and the lack of well, anything coming from the offensive side of the ball for the Atlanta Falcons.
Matt Ryan had statistically one of the worst games of his career. His nickname “Matty Ice” looked more like a reference to the cheap, watered down alcoholic beverage that enabled us all to save coin for Top Ramen our freshman year of college than it did a testament to his stone-cold, mistake-free play.
Regardless of their lackluster performance on Sunday, I don’t think anyone needs to get their panties all in a bunch. Atlanta is stacked with talent and most of the mistakes they made against the Bears can be prevented. Fear not lovers of ye’ Falcons—this ain’t a sprint, it’s a marathon.
About the Author
Written by Nicole Flanary
I am a 23-year old female from Dayton, Ohio. I am without a shadow of a doubt one of the biggest football fans you will ever meet...no, seriously...I have a tattoo of a football and a flower on my shoulder. THAT big of a football fan. I ran track and cross country in college and sports have always been a huge part of my life. That being said, it was incredibly easy to decide what I wanted to "do with my life" when I got older. I combined the two things I am most passionate about in the world--sports and journalism-- and proceeded to pursue a career in sports entertainment. I have a pretty cold sense of humor, which I find translates well about 85% of the time. I apologize in advance for anything I say that may be taken as too blunt and/or brash. I am simply not big on sugar coating. Get. Your. Popcorn. Ready.