BLOGGER’S NOTE: I’ve been away from the computer for a couple of days for personal reasons, but I’m returning with fresh typing fingers and a great matchup to write about. Falcons… Patriots… Insert Tom Brady reference here. Thanks to the AF.com crew for holding down the fort while I was away. Special thanks, as always, to those of you reading.
Some bad news for the Falcons while the blog was on autopilot: Peria Jerry out with a season-ending injury. Additional sad news for the franchise, as the team’s first quarterback — Randy Johnson — passed away at the age of 65.
Not every day in the NFL is thrilling. Sometime reality sinks in and the “real world” finds a foothold in the joys of playing — and covering — a game for a living. Season-ending injuries come with equal parts frustration and pain. The death of a former player comes with grief and realization.
Realization that, at the end of the day, all athletes are people first.
Notebook: Assessing impact of Jerry injury, AF.com
If there’s a silver lining to find, it’s the Falcons are deep at defensive line.
Falcons’ show ready to hit the road, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
It’s been more than a month since the last time the Falcons hit the road. I’m going to have to shake some dust off my travel bag. And, yes, I also have travel rituals. You develop them over what, to date, has been 49 trips on the road. I guess that makes New England my 50th. Cake and ice cream?
Jets’ Sanchez among young QBs playing well; old guys keep up, too, SI.com
Some interesting thoughts on the youth movement at quarterback.
Gonzalez proving to be a good catch for the Falcons, PatriotLedger.com
The Patriots will focus on Tony Gonzalez (every team does). But if you pay too much attention to him, watch out. Someone else will beat you.
Ex-BC coach Tom O’Brien in touch with ‘real’ Matt Ryan, Boston Herald
To think, Matt Ryan used to be a tall, skinny guy throwing a football. Wait…
Power Rankings: NFC South getting powerful, ESPN.com
Everyone expected the NFC South to be a strong division in 2009. I think the teams were in a different order, though.
Home Victories Set Up First Road Test, Time Machine
Can the Falcons make more history in New England? Perhaps pick up a win in the first trip to Gillette Stadium?
Patriots to host Atlanta in Foxborough, Patriots.com
“New England holds an all-time record of 25-4 against first-time visitors to Gillette Stadium and has won 21 of its last 22 games against teams making their inaugural appearance there.”
Matt Ryan returns to New England as a star, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
What’s the bigger story? Ryan returning to the city where he grew up (Philadelphia) or the region he played college football (New England). You be the judge.
Tony Gonzalez presents problem, Boston Herald
You can put all kinds of schemes in to slow an offense but, when it comes to a tight end, sometimes the best option is a one-on-one matchup.
Mid Week Quick Hit – Defense, Jerry, and Game Flags, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Still a laundry list of things to discuss and analyze from the last game. But we’re running out of time. The team, after all, has moved on to Week 3.
Falcons And Panthers Recap: This…Is…2-0!, The Falcoholic
What the heck, we’ll throw in one more recap for Birdseed. Just for good measure.
Falcons having success on third downs, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Note: Key third down conversions to Gonzalez and Marty Booker. Not only are they new targets, they’re savvy veterans. Coincidence? I think not.
Falcons sign DT Clark to practice squad, AF.com
Injuries require shuffling of the roster which often includes a promotion from and/or addition to the practice squad.
Falcons’ RB Snelling makes most of his chances, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
More on Jason Snelling coming up this week from AtlantaFalcons.com’s John Manasso.