Is there something I don't know, or is Atlanta in the equivalent to the early Millen years? I checked out the ACJ (Atlanta Constitution Journal) this morning -- along with a couple of other Atlanta sites, just to see what they were saying. After all, team sites are for propaganda, and the papers...well, they usually take a more realistic (read: willing to say negative things) view.
Imagine my surprise when a couldn't find a story entertaining the notion the Lions will win! I know, situations reversed, at least half (likely 3/4) of the stories would be about "tough game" and "unfortunate blowout."
Here are the poll results on the straight up W/L:
Who will win Sunday's game between the Falcons and Lions?
Falcons WIN: 79.05% (936)
Lions WIN: 20.95% (248 )
One writer on there expressed concern about the Atlanta secondary. Afraid it was going to be "scorched earth" back there against Roy and CJ. Then proceeded to "dude, it's only Jon Kitna. Take the Falcons to cover the three." He thinks Kitna would be the reason the Lions would lose by MORE than a FG?!? I think he was hanging out with those Sumos. There are definitely a host of ways the Lions could lose, but Kitna being unable to get CJ and Roy the ball is not high on the list of "probable problems likely to occur." Michael Turner razing the Lions defense for a couple hundred yards? That would be number one, but appears to be lost in Atlanta in a host of Ryan is the next "insert successful QB name here" and jokes about WR, Matt Millen, and "hey its the Lions" (forgetting they beat a Vick led Falcons pretty handily in their last meeting in 2006, Rod's first year.)
I love this comment on a story:
By Ken Strickland
September 5, 2008 1:52 PM Link to this
For the Falcons to win they will have to effectively run the ball, convert on 3nd dn and control the clock. On DEF, they’ll have to pressure the QB and play solid run DEF. If they can successfully do those things, they’ll win. If not, they’ll lose. It’s just that simple. Oh yes, special teams play will be a factor as well.
Seriously, you could post this about every team for every game. It is at the heart of what a team needs to do in order to win.
then there was the usual stuff by those who don't actually look at what other teams did/have done, but do watch a lot of sportscenter...
September 5, 2008 2:07 PM Link to this
The falcons are a much better team this year for a lot of reasons. Detroit did not make a lot of solid changes. The birds will win this one 20-17. I hope!
There were also quite a few with more realistic takes. I think it will be a good game, with the Lions showing strong and getting the win.
The Film will tell us in a few hours. I have company this evening, so look for the Game blog early tomorrow, or tomorrow evening -- with my first impressions, and then tape analysis later in the week.