• Falcons talking trades for Takk McKinley, will hold him out against Panthers
    by Dave Choate on October 28, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    Mark Brown/Getty Images The McKinley era will end with the kind of trade the Falcons weren’t able to complete for Vic Beasley last year, evidently. The Falcons didn’t figure to be major sellers at the deadline. After firing Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff, the team largely promised to keep things the same for the next regime to have full reign to sort through their options with the roster. As we’ve discussed, trading Matt Ryan and Julio Jones will not be traded due to huge dead money hits if they’re moved, which only leaves a handful of players who would have expiring contracts and would command any kind of return. Takk McKinley is one of them. The veteran pass rusher’s deal will be up after 2020 with the team electing not to pick up his fifth year option, a decision made both because Takk hasn’t been a hugely productive sack artist and because he’s dealt with injuries throughout his career, with a splash of Vic Beasley’s disappointing fifth year hanging over the proceedings. Takk has been hurt a lot this year, too, and hasn’t yet been able to make a persuasive case on the field for his next big deal, even if he’s looked good in his limited snaps. That’s why it’s not particularly surprising that Takk is reportedly going to be on the move before the trade deadline, with the team holding him out of Thursday night’s game against the Panthers to avoid any further injuries. Falcons are holding pass rusher Takk McKinley out of Thursday night's game against the Panthers, per sources. The team is doing so to heal up a lingering groin issue. But league sources believe McKinley is available for a potential trade, so no need to risk further injury.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) October 28, 2020 The #Falcons have had trade talks about DE Takk McKinley and other teams believe the former first-round pick gets moved before Tuesday’s deadline, though no deal is imminent, per sources. McKinley (groin) was held out of practice the past 2 days. Atlanta visits Carolina tomorrow.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 28, 2020 It’s disappointing that it will end this way for Takk, a player I thought was better than his final stats in Atlanta would indicate. When healthy, he was good at getting pressure on quarterbacks and solid all-around, and there’s no question if he’s healthy later this season he can be impactful as a rotational pass rusher for a contender. I have no idea what kind of return to expect for what’s essentially a half season rental, but it’s unlikely to be higher than a 5th round pick, and it might not even be that. Any picks help, though, and the Falcons will be able to give the next regime one more selection instead of nothing for a player who is almost certainly headed elsewhere in 2021 regardless. The Falcons will be looking at a pretty bare cupboard at defensive end next season, a disappointing outcome given that they spent first round picks on Beasley and Takk, and getting capable pass rushers at the position will be one of the biggest priorities for the next GM. The team could also look at moving Todd Gurley and Alex Mack, two players on expiring deals who don’t figure to return next year, but Takk appears to be the focus. We’ll see if they get a deal done. For what it’s worth, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jason Butt is reporting the Falcons aren’t satisfied with the offers they’re getting and may not move him. One source told me while teams have called about Takk McKinley, there’s an “85% chance” he’s with the Falcons after the deadline. Although the door is open for a trade, the Falcons haven’t liked what‘s being offered in return so far. Led’s report below https://t.co/jOtPDDvTjH— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) October 28, 2020 Wherever he goes, we wish Takk well and hope he finds more success at his next stop.

  • What to know for Falcons - Panthers on Thursday Night Football
    by Dave Choate on October 28, 2020 at 4:00 pm

    Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports Carolina already beat Atlanta once, so expecting vastly different results here is probably a fool’s errand. It’s a short week for the Atlanta Falcons, who have to travel to face the Carolina Panthers for the second time this season. They’ve lost to Carolina once already and are coming off another crushing last second loss that I’m going to harp on in this piece because it’s still annoying me, so this is not exactly the week you’d want to be facing a divisional opponent who seems very capable of playing them tough again. Let’s take a closer look at the matchup, which features a couple of significant injury-related changes for the Falcons and Panthers. Falcons - Panthers comparison Neither team has changed all that much since two weeks ago. The Falcons are healthier now and should, in theory, thus stand a better chance against the Panthers. In practice I have no idea if that’ll be true, because in theory a healthy Falcons team should’ve been able to score more than 22 points against the Lions and utterly failed to do so. The Panthers are weirdly bad at scoring, but they’re quietly pretty effective between the 20s and have a strong defense. Pair that with a habit of taking care of the football and you have a team that is not going to be easy for the Falcons to beat again, and a team that took the Saints almost to the wire on Sunday. The Falcons, meanwhile, remain one of the most frustrating teams in the league. They clamped down hard on the Lions until late in the game, when the defense customarily collapsed, and on balance it’s still one of the worst Ds in the NFL. The offense has a ton of talent and they are perfectly capable of hanging at least a 30 burger on Carolina, but in practice the results have been too uneven to believe anything special is going to happen. This game could go either way based on the talent on the field, but the Falcons didn’t give us much to feel good about last time and are coming off another tough loss, so expect nothing. How the Panthers have changed since the last time The only major item of note is that Christian McCaffrey seems to be on the verge of returning, and could suit up Thursday night against the Falcons. Yes, the Panthers might be stronger than they were the last time, which would help negate any advantage Atlanta gets by being healthier themselves. McCaffrey is not a Falcons killer by himself—he somewhat improbably has just one touchdown in six games against them—but he rarely struggles to keep drives alive both on the ground and through the air, and this Falcons defense looks worse than the one he saw a year ago. Mike Davis did very well against Atlanta the last time out, so it’s fair to worry about what a difference McCaffrey might make. What to know for the game ahead In a way, the Falcons did us all a favor by losing in that fashion against Detroit, because it pulverized any germinating hopes that things might get better and stay better for Atlanta the rest of the season. They’ll win more games, I’m quite certain, but it’s going to be difficult to go into any week except the one against the Broncos and feel confident about a victory. This one’s no exception. The Panthers could have their hyper-productive lead back in action, Teddy Bridgewater was incredibly efficient en route to 313 yards and 2 touchdowns last time out, and the return of Julio Jones may or may not be enough to lift this passing game to the kind of heights that will be necessary to win this game. Remember, Todd Gurley annihilated the Panthers last time out, and a shaky passing game still translated to just 16 points for Atlanta. The Falcons probably need to score 30 to win this one, but that’s easier said than done given that they’ve done so just once this season. This is a winnable game, but the last Panthers game was winnable and the Falcons lost it. Heck, Detroit was a winnable game, and the Falcons lost it. That’s been the story of the season, by and large, and Carolina is going to be motivated to push hard for a victory because they’re still nominally in the NFC playoff picture. It’d take the passing attack getting untracked in the same fashion it did against Minnesota for me to feel really good about victory here, and a balanced Carolina team that excels at keeping games close is not the opponent a team that just lost in the final seconds to Detroit wants to see on a short week.

  • Report: Falcons in trade talks for DE Takk McKinley
    by Matt Urben on October 28, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the Falcons are in trade talks for starting defensive end Takk McKinley and are expected to (...)

  • Report: Falcons in trade talks for DE Takk McKinley
    by Matt Urben on October 28, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    According to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, the Falcons are in trade talks for starting defensive end Takk McKinley and are expected to (...)

  • Dump the NFC East: How to fix the 2020 NFL playoffs
    by Lindsay Jones on October 28, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    Everything in 2020 is negotiable.The next major change the NFL should consider for this year only is its playoff format.

  • 8 players to watch in Falcons' Week 8 matchup vs. Panthers
    by Matt Urben on October 28, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    Here are eight players to watch when the Falcons take on their NFC rival in Week 8 on Thursday Night (...)

  • 8 players to watch in Falcons' Week 8 matchup vs. Panthers
    by Matt Urben on October 28, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    Here are eight players to watch when the Falcons take on their NFC rival in Week 8 on Thursday Night (...)

  • 8 players to watch in Falcons' Week 8 matchup vs. Panthers
    by Matt Urben on October 28, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    Here are eight players to watch when the Falcons take on their NFC rival in Week 8 on Thursday Night Football.

  • 8 players to watch in Falcons' Week 8 matchup vs. Panthers
    by Matt Urben on October 28, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    Here are eight players to watch when the Falcons take on their NFC rival in Week 8 on Thursday Night Football.

  • Falcons vs. Panthers: a quick look at the series history
    by James Rael on October 28, 2020 at 2:12 pm

    Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports Fact: Dan Quinn regularly moisturizes his bald head with tea tree oil The Falcons and the Panthers have been on the opposite side of some competitive football games over the years. I’d personally be lying if I said I didn’t scream at a my TV when forced to endure a stupid Cam Newton celebration or two. But the Panthers ushered Newton out of Carolina during the off-season, welcoming Teddy Bridgewater with open arms. Bridgewater has the Panthers in contention at This will be the Falcons’ second divisional game this season. At 1-6, things aren’t pretty, but we’re still holding out hope that the Falcons can do some damage in the division. Let’s take a quick look at this series history before kick off tomorrow. Because they play in the same division, the Falcons get to play the Panthers twice a year. Interestingly, they’ve never faced off in the playoffs. The Falcons hold a respectable 32-19 lead in this series. Historically, there have been stretches where the Falcons simply dominated the Panthers. For example, between 1998 and 2004, the Falcons won 12 of the 15 games they played against the Panthers. And lucky for us, we’re currently living through one such stretch: The Falcons have won 8 of their last 10 games against the Panthers, taking us all the way back to December 2015. The Falcons and the Panthers first played on September 3, 1995; the Falcons won that game in overtime, 23-20. The last time these two teams faced off was earlier this month, a 23-16 Panthers victory. That game took the Falcons to 0-5 and led to the firing of both Dan Quinn and Thomas Dimitroff. Your thoughts about this fun-filled series history, Falcoholics?

  • The Falcons have a 2nd and 3rd down problem on offense
    by Dave Choate on October 28, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images This is a potentially great offense being held back by a lack of conversions in key opportunities. There are several weird things going on with the Falcons offense this year. This is a team that has had the opportunity to run more plays than all but two teams, but is 18th in the NFL in yards per play and 8th in the league in scoring. They have the opportunities and personnel to be one of the greatest offenses in the NFL, but if you dig beyond yardage alone (4th in the NFL), there’s obviously a lot being left on the field. There are numerous clues here, some of which we’ve covered already, including Kevin Knight’s deep dive into this team’s failure to take care of conversion opportunities on 2nd downs. One that looms particularly large, though, is the team’s failures on 3rd down. A year ago, the Falcons were second in the NFL in terms of first downs generated, and in 2020 they’re 3rd in the league. That’s the sign of an offense that can grind away but can’t always generate big plays, something that’s confirmed by the fact that Atlanta has 100 third down attempts, the highest number in the entire NFL and in the same company as teams like Philadelphia, Washington, and the Jets. They’re 13th in the NFL in conversion percentage, and when you’re generating more third downs than anyone else with some of the best receiving options in the league, that’s a huge concern. I’ve been trying to be fair to Dirk Koetter and give him credit when it’s due, especially when this team put together a couple of brilliant, long drives against Detroit last week. But while straight up player execution failures have been a genuine factor on third down, the larger issue remains an offensive coordinator who frequently fails to put his offense in a great position to succeed on third down. Case and point. #Falcons #All22 https://t.co/ZDs6gqTFhW pic.twitter.com/6YOMjGarhc— #BringMeBieniemy (@mattkaroly) October 28, 2020 As Aaron Freeman noted, this is not a new problem for Koetter, and the contrast between his Falcons offenses in 2020 thus far and 2019 to Steve Sarkisian’s in 2018 is jarring. Back in 2018, the Falcons were 4th in the NFL in conversion percentage (45.3%) and were 18th in attempts, owing partly to an offense that was capable of being more explosive. In contrast, they were 11th in conversion percentage last year (42.0%) and 13th in attempts, and as mentioned, 13th in conversion percentage this year and 1st in attempts. They are getting to third down too often, and not converting often enough for an offense that essentially plays to get to a short third down. Solving this involves doing two things effectively: Getting to third down less frequently, and then figuring out to convert when they do get there. On the first item, the Falcons need to stop running so many plays that aim to get them to a manageable third down, period. The Falcons convert second downs to first downs at just a 31% clip through the air and 32% on the ground, a very telling sign of what their priority is on those downs. For the second item, the Falcons desperately need to avoid long third downs as a start, which plays into more productive early down discussions. They’ve converted just 25% of their third down tries with 10 yards or more to go, compared to much more productive totals on all other distances. They’ve had 25 chances at 3rd and 4-6, and their 44% conversion rate there could also stand to go up, likely by figuring out better route combinations as Freeman and Karoly allude to above. They also need to need run again on 3rd and 7 or longer, because they’ve done so 7 times and have converted on exactly none of them. I can’t stand in Dirk Koetter’s sensible shoes and pick out the right way to solve these issues besides advocating for this team to take more 1st down shots on early downs, because I’m absolutely sure my results would be worse. I can say with some confidence, however, that until the Falcons start taking care of their inability or unwillingness to convert on 2nd and getting the job done on 3rd downs, the offense will fall well short of its considerable potential.

  • NFL Power Rankings Week 7: Bucs, Steelers rise while Patriots tumble
    by Sheil Kapadia on October 28, 2020 at 1:49 pm

    Tampa is 5-2 with an NFL-best plus-80 point differential, which makes the decision to bring in total wild card Antonio Brown so confusing.

  • Week 8 preview: Falcons vs. Panthers
    by EricJRobinson on October 28, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images On a short week, the Falcons hit the road to take on their division foe. After another tough loss in an unprecedented fashion against the Detroit Lions, the Falcons are back on the road for Week 8. This time, they have their second matchup of the season against division rival Carolina Panthers, a team that knocked off the Falcons a couple of weeks back in Atlanta. There is a bitter, bitter taste in the Falcons mouth and to do away with that distaste, the Falcons must find a way to regroup quickly. Here is the preview of upcoming matchup against Carolina on Thursday night. About their opponent Since beating the Falcons in week five, the Panthers have found themselves on a two game losing streak. Losing to the Bears and Saints in back-to-back weeks have the Panthers wanting to get back to their surprise winning ways. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was his normal efficient self this past week against the Saints with a stat line of 23-of-28, 254 yards, two touchdowns, and zero interceptions. His 128.3 was his best passer rating of the season. The run game for the Panthers has been bogged down a bit the past couple of weeks and is something to keep note on with the Falcons having the sixth best run defense in the NFL. Key matchups Falcons WRs Julio Jones/Calvin Ridley vs. Panthers secondary - Going back to the first matchup, third-year receiver Calvin Ridley was a tough matchup for the Panthers after posting eight receptions for 136 yards. That was with Ridley being the primary target of the game as veteran Julio Jones was sidelined with an hamstring injury, and nobody else really contributing in the passing game. Ridley has had his best games against Carolina with more receptions (28), yards (509), and yards per target (15.4) than any other team he has faced. The same goes for Jones, who has a career total of 1,390 yards in 15 games against Carolina. The passing defense has improved for Carolina this season but the factor of having Jones on the field poses a real challenge for a defense that struggled to bottle up Ridley a few weeks back. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Falcons 3rd down offense vs. Panthers 3rd down offense - In this matchup, two offenses that are in the top-10 of third down conversions are on display. The previous matchup between the two teams saw the Panthers win the battle of third down conversions after being successful at a 50% clip compared to 46% for the Falcons. Between defenses, the Panthers are 31st in opposing third down conversions while the Falcons come in at 13th overall. Being that the Falcons have alarming issues in generating turnovers and registering sacks, the next best bet for them to get defensive stops is to win on third downs and not allow the Panthers to have extended drives. Analytical outlook The story of the 2020 season for the Panthers has been the efficiency of veteran quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The Panthers are 11th in the NFL in passing behind Bridgewater, but what has stood out in their passing phase is the amount YAC that is being registered by the team. The Panthers are third in the NFL in yards after catch with 922 yards, just behind Kansas City and San Francisco. To take it one step further, the Panthers have two players in the top five in total YAC yards (Mike Davis, Robby Anderson) and three in the top 20 (DJ Moore), the most of any team. So the efficiency of the Panthers passing game should be credited to Bridgewater and their offensive weapons generating notable yards after the reception, something the Falcons need to watch out for given their sometimes shaky coverage and tackling issues. Final thought It has been a very troubling season for the Falcons. A team that has lost games this season in unfathomable manners has to know that playoffs are an incredibly dim possibility at this point and the players are playing for pride instead of postseason seeding. But their schedule is going to get even more rocky from here, believe it or not. Remaining on the slate are the Buccaneers (2x), Saints (2x), Chiefs, and Raiders, just to name a few. There are very few “winnable” games left for the Falcons, but this upcoming matchup with Carolina is one that the Falcons can definitely steal. The previous affair came down to the final drives in the fourth quarter but the loss led to the firing of a former head coach and general manager. While there is not much to play for at this juncture, it will be interesting to see if the Falcons are able to muster any fight at all against a Panthers team that is improving but still beatable at this point in the season.

  • VIDEO: Matt Ryan was mic'd up during Falcons' Week 7 loss
    by Matt Urben on October 28, 2020 at 10:00 am

    Matt Ryan wore the NFL Films microphone in the Falcons' Week 7 loss to the Lions.

  • VIDEO: Matt Ryan was mic'd up during Falcons' Week 7 loss
    by Matt Urben on October 28, 2020 at 10:00 am

    Matt Ryan wore the NFL Films microphone in the Falcons' Week 7 loss to the Lions.

  • Falcoholinks: All the Falcons news you need for Wednesday, Oct. 28
    by James Rael on October 28, 2020 at 10:00 am

    Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images Fact: Raheem Morris puts his hand upon his hip, when he dips you dip we dip Happy Wednesday, Falcoholics! It’s hard to believe, but we are a mere 24 hours removed from game day. I can understand why such a quick turnaround might induce some anxiety. “No! Not another game!” After all, we’re still processing our emotions after that Lions loss. But here is actually where things could get fun. If the Falcons can influence the race for the division crown (e.g., defeating a Panther squad that’s 1 win away from being .500 on the year) or playoff seeding, the second half will at least be marginally entertaining. Our links stop sweat better than virtually no antipersperants. Short week Want to stay up late Thursday night and watch the Falcons get dismantled by the Panthers? Then we have all the info you’ll need to catch the game. The Falcons were predictably tabbed as underdogs on the road this week. And David Walker took a closer look at the Panthers offense vs. Falcons defense matchup nobody wants to see go awry. Falcons-Lions Eric Robinson has 4 takeaways for the Falcons after an inexplicable loss to the Lions. Dave Choate was kind enough to break down snap counts for us. This week’s “hat tips and head scratchers” is definitely worth a read, as well. This and that Cory Woodroof suggests a new perspective for Falcons fans struggling to find some meaning during a loss season. Evan Birchfield hit us with some cold hard stats we all need to take note of this week. Last but certainly not least, the injury report isn’t as scary as it could be at this point in the season.

  • The NFL's Secret Superstars of Week 7
    by Matt Urben on October 28, 2020 at 9:30 am

    Every NFL season features a certain number of players who come out of nowhere to surprise and entertain at a level we did not expect.

  • The NFL's Secret Superstars of Week 7
    by Matt Urben on October 28, 2020 at 9:30 am

    Every NFL season features a certain number of players who come out of nowhere to surprise and entertain at a level we did not expect.

  • Updated 2021 NFL Draft order after Week 7
    by Matt Urben on October 28, 2020 at 12:56 am

    We’re nearly at the halfway mark of the 2020 regular season, and the race for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft is in a New York (...)

  • Updated 2021 NFL Draft order after Week 7
    by Matt Urben on October 28, 2020 at 12:56 am

    We’re nearly at the halfway mark of the 2020 regular season, and the race for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft is in a New York (...)

  • Falcons injury report: Takk McKinley held out of practice on Tuesday
    by Evan Birchfield on October 27, 2020 at 11:45 pm

    David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images Practice report for Tuesday, Oct. 27 We have a short week this week as the now 1-6 Atlanta Falcons prepare to travel to Charlotte to take on the Carolina Panthers for the second time this season. Because of this, the practice schedule this week will be altered. On Monday the team didn’t practice, but released an estimated practice report giving us insight into where certain players stand health-wise. On Tuesday, the Falcons released their official practice report, and although it wasn’t a padded practice, we still got a look at the current health of the team leading up to Thursday Night Football. FULL PARTICIPATION n/aLIMITED PARTICIPATION WR Russell Gage (knee) WR Julio Jones (hip) C Alex Mack (knee) T Kaleb McGary (elbow) NO PARTICIPATION DE Takk McKinley (groin)If you looked at Monday’s estimated practice report, everything is essentially the same. The only real change is that McKinley did not participate in practice on Tuesday. For the past few weeks, McKinley has been dealing with a groin injury, which also flared up during the week 7 loss to the Lions. It’ll be something to monitor leading up to Thursday’s game. On the Panthers side of things, the team had three players held out of practice on Tuesday: offensive tackle Russell Okung (calf), cornerback Eli Apple (hamstring) and defensive tackle Zach Kerr (toe). Apple has since been released from the team. Not listed on the team’s official report, running back Christian McCaffrey who has been absent since week 3 has been designated to return from the reserve/injured list. His status for Thursday is unclear, but he did return to practice.

  • Falcons vs. Lions: Hat tips & head-scratchers
    by Carter Breazeale on October 27, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images The makings of a meltdown. Inventing new ways to lose is the raison d’être of the 2020 Atlanta Falcons. We’ve seen massive leads evaporate, and this week we were treated to a game-losing touchdown. Say what you want about the Falcons this season, but they’re anything but predictable. Read on for this week’s Hat tips & head-scratchers from the Falcons’ collapse against the Lions. Hat tips Foye Oluokun (Dude is good) Calling linebacker Foyesade Oluokun a bright spot amid the muck of 2020 feels like an understatement through seven games. He’s clearly played above his sixth-round draft status, and indeed looks every bit an unexpected Pro Bowler. As has been the case all season long, Oluokun was flying to the football all game long, including a clutch pass break-up on the goal line late in the first quarter. There’s only a few positives for the Atlanta Falcons in 2020 — Foye Oluokun’s level of play is one of them. Hayden Hurst’s performance Turning in his best performance in an Atlanta Falcons uniform — on National Tight End Day, no less — Hayden Hurst was essentially the Falcons’ offense for the entire first half. He finished the afternoon with six catches for 68 yards, including a play where he corralled a ball that had deflected off of two separate sets of feet. His awareness on the play generated a first down that would continue a 79-yard drive capped off by a Todd Gurley touchdown. The 98-yard offensive drive Knotted up at 7-7 in the second quarter, the Falcons proceeded to secure a huge defensive goal line stop on 4th & 2. Following that clutch sequence from the defense, the Atlanta offense marched 98-yards downfield — a drive that included yet another highlight reel grab from Calvin Ridley — eventually culminating in a touchdown. The drive took nearly six minutes off of the clock and sent the Falcons into the locker room with a lead. Head-scratchers Roughing the passer penalty on A.J. Terrell The refs had a terrible afternoon, and it started right here. While Lions quarterback Matt Stafford shuffled around the pocket looking for an open option he was sacked by Falcons corner A.J. Terrell. It looked like a clean, textbook hit by the rookie, but he was inexplicably flagged for a personal foul. This head-scratching call generated a new set of downs for the Lions’ offense which led to a touchdown run by D’Andre Swift. Miscommunication on Amendola’s long reception With the Falcons up 7-7 midway through the second quarter, there was a glaring coverage mix-up between between linebacker Deion Jones and cornerback A.J. Terrell on who would cover wide receiver Danny Amendola. Nobody picked him up, and as a result he was wide open for the 36-yard reception. Without the defense’s subsequent goal line stand it’s a 14-7 game, Lions. Jake Matthews gives up the sack Left tackle Jake Matthews is one of the most underrated offensive linemen in the league, but his sloppy play against Detriot defensive end Romeo Okwara directly led to a sack and a fumble, which the Lions would recover. Detroit would settle for a field goal, but it forced the Falcons into comeback mode — a comeback that they would secure and then immediately blow. THE MELTDOWN I am not focusing merely on the Falcons electing to run the ball with Todd Gurley instead of kneeling and taking the chip shot field goal for the win, although I do agree that it was a bonehead decision. Looming larger is the defense’s inability to prevent the opposing offense from taking a Ginsu to the unit with a minute on the clock and no timeouts. It was simply inexcusable, and it’s become blindingly apparent that every faction of this franchise, from coaching to on-field personnel, has the yips when a lead is on the line. They play not to lose, they play scared, and as has been the case all year they inevitably surrender the lead. At this point it feels like a feature not a bug of the Atlanta culture, and in what will be a busy offseason it needs to be addressed. No more taglines, no more slogans — bury the dagger when you have the lead.

  • NFL trade deadline grades: Cowboys deal Everson Griffen to Lions
    by Sheil Kapadia on October 27, 2020 at 9:54 pm

    From now until the trade deadline on Nov. 3, we'll grade every major deal, starting with the Ravens' trade for Yannick Ngakoue.

  • Falcons Injury Report: Takk McKinley out, Julio Jones limited Tuesday
    by Matt Urben on October 27, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    The Atlanta Falcons got back to work on Tuesday as they prepare for a Thursday night matchup against the Carolina Panthers.

  • Falcons Injury Report: Takk McKinley out, Julio Jones limited Tuesday
    by Matt Urben on October 27, 2020 at 9:13 pm

    The Atlanta Falcons got back to work on Tuesday as they prepare for a Thursday night matchup against the Carolina Panthers.

  • Falcons Week 8 Injury Report: Takk McKinley out, Julio Jones limited
    by Matt Urben on October 27, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    The Atlanta Falcons got back to work on Tuesday as they prepare for a Thursday night matchup against the Carolina Panthers.

  • Falcons Week 8 Injury Report: Takk McKinley out, Julio Jones limited
    by Matt Urben on October 27, 2020 at 9:00 pm

    The Atlanta Falcons got back to work on Tuesday as they prepare for a Thursday night matchup against the Carolina Panthers.

  • Watch: Falcons rookie CB A.J. Terrell was mic'd up in Week 7
    by Matt Urben on October 27, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    Before we completely turn our focus to Week 8, though, let's check out this video of rookie A.J. Terrell being mic'd up in Week 7

  • Watch: Falcons rookie CB A.J. Terrell was mic'd up in Week 7
    by Matt Urben on October 27, 2020 at 6:48 pm

    Before we completely turn our focus to Week 8, though, let's check out this video of rookie A.J. Terrell being mic'd up in Week 7

  • 20 possible GM candidates for the Falcons in 2021
    by Matt Urben on October 27, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    Let's take a look at 20 possible general manager candidates for the Falcons in 2021.