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 Post subject: just win, baby
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:44 pm 
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ATLANTA (AP) — Al Davis would've loved these Atlanta Falcons.

All they do is win, baby.

Sure, it's rarely with a lot of flare.

Who cares?

There's no voters to impress or computers to win over in the NFL.

"Style points don't get you a ring," linebacker Mike Peterson was saying the other day, holding court beside his locker before practice. "Our goal is way bigger than pleasing the media or winning with style points. We've got some hefty goals. Everyone knows about them."

For this team, it's Super Bowl or bust.

With each grind-it-out win — seven of the triumphs on their 11-1 mark have been by seven points or less — the Falcons are looking more and more like a team that can finally bring the A-T-L its first Super Bowl championship. Don't listen to the skeptics, who seem to think the inability to blow out teams is a sign of vulnerability.

The Falcons are perfectly content to win by one or two or three points, as they should be, especially when they see what happened this past week. The 49ers losing at St. Louis. The Super Bowl champion Giants falling to Washington. The Bears getting tripped up at home by Seattle.

Just win, baby.

"There's no doormats in this league," offensive guard Justin Blalock points out. "If you're not playing well, you can be made to look pretty stupid in any game. They're not all going to be pretty. But we do our best to make sure we come out on top. At the end of the day, hardly anyone is going remember any games in September or October."

What they will remember is January.

The playoff-bound Falcons are carrying a troublesome monkey on their back; actually, more like a gorilla. Atlanta has made the postseason three of the last four years. All three times, they lasted about as long as Snooki at a Mensa meeting, including a blowout loss at home to Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers as the NFC's top seed during the 2010 season.

In all likelihood, the Falcons (11-1) will be in that No. 1 spot again, even if hardly anyone seems to think they're the NFL's best team. They've already locked up their division and hold a 2½ game lead over the next-best team in the conference with just four weeks to go.

So, why should people believe this team — with many of the same guys from the last three playoff flops — is suddenly going to shake its reputation as chokers?

For one, the Falcons have displayed impressive versatility. Some weeks, quarterback Matt Ryan has carried the Falcons on his sturdy right arm, taking advantage of perhaps the game's most impressive trio of receivers (Roddy White, Julio Jones and Hall of Famer-to-be Tony Gonzalez). Other times, it's the defense that provides the big plays, as was the case in Atlanta's most recent victory over New Orleans. With Ryan and the offense struggling, the defense picked off Drew Brees a career-high five times and ended his record touchdown pass streak at 54 consecutive games.

"You've got to find a way to get it done," Ryan says. "That's one of the reasons we've had a lot of success this year. We've found a lot of ways to get it done. It hasn't always shaken out the same way. It's a different person, a different unit, stepping up week in and week out."

Another thing to like about this team is the close-knit locker room. A lot of the credit for that must go to general manager Thomas Dimitroff, who factors character into the evaluation process, and coach Mike Smith, who leaves little doubt he's the boss but is willing to listen to his players, especially the veterans.

"I love the unity of this locker room," Gonzalez says. "There's no jerks on this team. There's no cancers on this team. Guys love to come to work, love to compete, love to get better."

Rest assured, getting on the Falcons bandwagon goes against everything I've learned over a lifetime.

Full disclosure: I grew up in Atlanta cheering for the Falcons. It was a largely an exercise in frustration, one losing season running into another, the slightest bit of hope always snuffed out quickly. They weren't lovable like the Chicago Cubs, either. No, they were just bad. Turnovers and missed tackles. Poor coaching and botched draft picks. Gallows humor was about the only thing that got you through. Hey, did you hear about the guy who left two season tickets on the windshield of his car, hoping someone would take them? When he got back, he had four.

The Falcons reached their only Super Bowl during the 1998 season with an entertaining group that called itself the "Dirty Birds." Of course, they found a most unique way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. The night before the big game in Miami, safety Eugene Robinson, probably their most respected player, was arrested for trying to buy sex from a woman who turned out to be an undercover cop.

Robinson played anyway. Not surprisingly, he got beat for a long touchdown pass on the game's most crucial play, the Denver Broncos romping to their second straight championship.

But, truth be told, things have changed over the last decade, ever since Arthur Blank bought the team.

Three of the five division titles in franchise's 46-year history have come during the Blank era. Most impressively, the team bounced right back after star quarterback Michael Vick went to prison for running a dogfighting ring. Dimitroff, Smith and Ryan arrived the following year; since then, the Falcons have strung together five straight winning seasons.

Not bad, considering they had gone through their entire history, which begins in 1966, without putting together two in a row.

Now, there's only one thing left.

Just win, baby, in the playoffs.

"We can't steal that from Oakland. That's their thing," Peterson says, when reminded of the late Davis' famous mantra as owner of the Raiders.

But he can't help himself.

"Just win, baby," Peterson repeats, mulling it over for just a second. "That's nice. I like it."


http://news.yahoo.com/column-falcons-co ... --nfl.html

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 Post subject: Re: just win, baby
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:31 pm 
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Well I hope the Falcons just keep winning baby.

If the Falcons are 1 and done this year, this is going to be wind up being a very, very ugly off-season.

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 Post subject: Re: just win, baby
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:52 pm 
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If I understand what you mean by an "ugly off season" comes to pass I will also describe it as a very "stupid" off season.

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 Post subject: Re: just win, baby
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:03 pm 
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backnblack wrote:
If I understand what you mean by an "ugly off season" comes to pass I will also describe it as a very "stupid" off season.

I don't kind of understand this line of reasoning...It's very 'Braves-like'.

Good enough to win regular season, but postseason depression in every year , except the one after the srike ( which I'm sorry, was kind of 'fluky')..After awhile, it becomes rote and your team beats themselves ( see BUffalo Bills, San Diego, etc)

The 'glass half empty' would be there, and I would not blame it. We are not like the 'Cubs', we have been to a SB before. We screwed that one up ourselves. ( BTW, I still remember in the early days of the internet in 98 when we still had a phone modem reading various 'wacky theories' how the Eugene Rob thing was a 'Honeypot' plant :lol: , after all he was our leading Christian). We cannot be the Braves of the NFL with a shiny new stadium .

Everyone is on record, saying they dont wanna 'hat' ( NFC South Champs) they want a RING.

Now, winning one and losing out in the finals, I think were all cool with that. But a one and out? NO way.

With respect, BnB what would be 'stupid' would be to keep doing the same thing over and over and getting the same results. I understand the variables ( injuries, opponents, etc) but this is a watershed year. Either this year we get 'on the map' or we become Smith-y-ball and as much as I want to laude the current staff this simply has to happen. We must win one playoff game.

Anything else is a failure. ...

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 Post subject: Re: just win, baby
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:53 pm 
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How'd the Bills do after they fired Levy? Wanna can TD and Smith? Who do you hire? Or do you dump Ryan? Come on...he's the guy at the most important position during all the one and dones. Petrino still looking for work! and I think Vick will be too. He won a playoff game.

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 Post subject: Re: just win, baby
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:20 pm 
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backnblack wrote:
How'd the Bills do after they fired Levy? Wanna can TD and Smith? Who do you hire? Or do you dump Ryan? Come on...he's the guy at the most important position during all the one and dones. Petrino still looking for work! and I think Vick will be too. He won a playoff game.


:lol: :clap: :up:

Look, we can take this thing all the way back to Reeves, when we let him go. I know the narrative is 'if' he did not get run out of town on a rail, somehow he would have stayed and turned MV7 from his evil ways, but I never bought that either...I just dont think that 'rescuing the franchise' at this point should be some sort of 'golden parachute' that exempts TD or Smith.

I get it. They did 'great' when they took over the sh*tstain of what was left of the team.

But, you ask 'who'. Y'all know I'll always try to pull some sort of solution out if I have to...Okay, I'll play.

So, we go one and out. What should happen?

We fire Smith if we can replace him with Dungy. We offer Nolan a kings ransom and hire a new OC.

TD can stay, but Dungy and 'New OC' build with him and Ryan gets another '5 year process' excuse.

Now I am awaiting being thrashed for even thinking about this where we are right now, but Im not trying to be Debbie Downer, but I dont wanna see the same thing again and again. Im spolied that way :ninja:

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 Post subject: Re: just win, baby
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:30 pm 
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backnblack wrote:
How'd the Bills do after they fired Levy? Wanna can TD and Smith? Who do you hire? Or do you dump Ryan? Come on...he's the guy at the most important position during all the one and dones. Petrino still looking for work! and I think Vick will be too. He won a playoff game.

I'm all for keeping Mike Smith and Thomas Dimitroff. But at least in my case, the "ugliness" (i.e. negativity) will shift to and center around my opinion that neither are doing their job to an adequate level, which I think I've stated before. But will emphasize from this point on, particularly the GM.

But my opinion really doesn't matter. If the Falcons are the #1 or #2 seed this year (as it appears to be 90-95% certain that will happen), and then wind up losing to one of the #3 thru #6 seeds in Round 2 of the playoffs after the bye, the negativity quotient in Atlanta is going to rise considerably.

Regardless of my more lower opinion of the overall quality of this team, the popular opinion inside and outside the fanbase is going to be that this team, more so than any previous one, was in the best position to make a deep run. And to lose again in the opening game given that belief, is going to have serious consequences. Which at the very least is going to be a sizable part of the fanbase calling for Smitty to be fired (a minority, but a significant one). And the media coverage around the Falcons next off-season is likely going to center around the Peter Kings, Pat Yasinskases, Rich Eisens, and Tommy Jacksons of the World actively defending Mike Smith while internet forums, bloggers, comment sections, twitter, etc. are beating him up.

It may not be as bad as it is in SD with Norv or Philly with Andy, but it's going to be the black cloud that hangs over this team throughout next season. With serious debates and discussions raging about whether 2013 becomes an "ultimatum year:" win or else. Something I'm sure Al Davis would have no problem with.

And as fun gus has pointed out numerous times, Arthur Blank will stop at nothing to get this stadium built. And that is made much harder with a negative fanbase. 2018 is the year they want this thing done right? So what does that mean they need to break ground around 2015? That basically means Blank can't afford 2014 to be a bad season.

But again, I say this only in the scenario stated above. If the Falcons win that 2nd round game and ultimately lose in the NFC Championship, or dare I say...Super Bowl (*knocking furiously on wood*)...none of this happens, and this off-season will be the polar opposite, the Barack Obama-iest Off-season Ever!

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fun gus wrote:
We fire Smith if we can replace him with Dungy. We offer Nolan a kings ransom and hire a new OC.

Heard on Peter King's podcast from Nov. 12 that Tony Dungy is completely done with coaching.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/podcas ... index.html

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 Post subject: Re: just win, baby
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 1:27 am 
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Yeah, fire Smith if you can replace him with Bellichick. Trade Ryan for Rodgers, etc. But back here in the real world coaches, GMs and starting QBs don't grow on trees. The good coaches are generally employed. Hey, but when can get Andy Reid since he always did so well in the playoffs, relatively speaking. He beat the Mighty Mike Vick--twice! An opening round loss will suck and will--once again--cause skepticism about the Falcons...just like this past year and, damn them, they juyst keep winning games in the regular season and blowing air into their hot air balloon. Are they the worst 11-1 team in league history? If they get hammered in the playoffs I guess you could say so....again. Somewhere out there may be the best 1-11 team in league history. I'll take my shot with the Falcons. Ever hear about the two statisticians who went hunting? One shot five feet over the deer and the other shot five feet under the deer and then they both looked at each other and said, "We got him!"

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 Post subject: Re: just win, baby
PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:40 am 
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backnblack wrote:
Ever hear about the two statisticians who went hunting? One shot five feet over the deer and the other shot five feet under the deer and then they both looked at each other and said, "We got him!"

:lol: :up:

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