NFC South: Chuck Smith

Superlatives on the Falcons

September, 10, 2012
9/10/12
9:14
AM ET
Let’s take a look at some statistical superlatives from the Atlanta Falcons 40-24 victory against Kansas City on Sunday, courtesy of the Falcons.
  • The Falcons scored on their first eight possessions and had 376 yards of total offense. Atlanta had four drives of 70-plus yards and three of those resulted in touchdowns.
  • The victory was the 300th in franchise history.
  • Quarterback Matt Ryan has thrown at least one touchdown pass in 16 consecutive regular-season games. He’s thrown at least one touchdown pass in 31 of his last 32 games.
  • Ryan and Julio Jones connected on two touchdown passes. But the second one was significant because it was a screen pass. As most of you know, the Falcons threw fewer screens than any team in the league last year and new coordinator Dirk Koetter has pledged to change that.
  • Jones now has put together consecutive regular-season games in which he’s had two touchdown receptions. Jones also had two touchdown catches in last season’s finale against Tampa Bay.
  • Jones, a second-year pro, now has six 100-yard games. He had six catches for 108 yards against the Chiefs.
  • Ryan had three touchdown passes. The Falcons are 25-5 in games in which Ryan has thrown two or more touchdowns.
  • Dating back to last season, Ryan has attempted 197 straight passes without an interception. That ties the franchise record set by Steve Bartkowski in 1982 and ’83.
  • Ryan had a 136.4 quarterback rating, the fifth-best total of his career. The Falcons are 24-0 when Ryan has had a passer rating over 100.
  • Jacquizz Rodgers set up a field goal with a 77-yard kickoff return. It was the first kickoff return of Rodgers’ career.
  • The Falcons forced three turnovers. All came in the second half and on consecutive possessions by the Chiefs.
  • Defensive end John Abraham recorded a sack to give him 59.5 since joining the Falcons in 2006. Abraham moved into sole possession second place on the franchise’s sack list. He had been tied for second with Chuck Smith (58.5 sacks). Abraham now has 113 career sacks, which ties him for 15th in NFL history and he has more sacks than any other active player.

Bonus mailbag: Falcons

May, 4, 2009
5/04/09
6:09
PM ET
Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

Here's a bonus edition of the Atlanta Falcons mailbag, since today's earlier version led to many more questions.

Andrew in Alpharetta writes: I'm concerned about the Falcons size at DB. Who do you see manning up on bigger receivers, like Colston, Jarrett / Muhammad, Clayton / other buc 6'5 receivers?

Pat Yasinskas: Chris Houston and rookie safety Will Moore are the two guys that have the size to do it, so they're the logical candidates. The other thing that would help would be getting a pass rush beyond John Abraham.


Mark in Hegins, PA writes: Pat, I know that Atlanta gave away their 2nd round pick next year to KC. Any thoughts on if Atlanta gives away next years 1st round pick to bring in Peppers?

Pat Yasinskas: I wouldn't count on Atlanta making any play for Julius Peppers. First, I don't think general manager Thomas Dimitroff would give up a first-round pick. Second, I don't think the Panthers want to trade Peppers to a division opponent.


Blake from Athens writes: Pat, I keep hearing that Jamaal Anderson is going to have his breakout year this season! I love Chuck Smith, but Ray Hamilton said the same thing before the start of last season! So, do you think JA has really made progress and if so are the Falcons really going to let him start? I don't understand why they paid Chauncey Davis starter money if they planned to keep him as a rotational player.

Pat Yasinskas: I respect the wisdom of Smith and Hamilton. I still think there's an opening for Anderson to emerge. The guy does have physical skills. But this clearly is a make-or-break season for him. If he doesn't have a good training camp and preseason, the Falcons won't hesitate to start Davis.


Neil in Nebraska writes: Hey Pat great job read your stuff every week, how many of the falcons rookies would you project to start right away and who would you project to start at ss if Moore isn't ready?

Pat Yasinskas: I'm thinking Peria Jerry starts at defensive tackle and Moore at strong safety. If Moore's not ready, Thomas DeCoud is the other option.

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

 

At least there's someone in Atlanta, beyond the inner circle of the Falcons, who is not ready to give up on defensive end Jamaal Anderson.

Daniel Cox reports former Atlanta defensive end Chuck Smith believes Anderson is ready to have an impact after two disappointing seasons.

"I expect Jamaal to have a huge jump this year," Smith said.

Although a lot of fans believe the Falcons need to move on from Anderson, Smith doesn't. Smith said the third season often is when a defensive end fully evolves.

Sure, that's just Smith's opinion. But I covered him during his brief stay with the Carolina Panthers and have dealt with him since his career ended and the guy is one of the more cerebral players I've been around. Smith was a solid defensive end before his knees betrayed him.

He's remained a student of the game and runs Defensive Line, Inc., where he works with college and pro defensive linemen to improve their skills. I respect Smith's opinion's very much.

"The key to this year's team ... on the defensive side of the ball, it's got to be the development of Jamaal," Smith said. "The guy still has huge upside."

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