Falcons hold heads high in return to Dome


It was a similar story that we’ve heard three times this season for the Falcons on Sunday in the Meadowlands against the Giants. They lost their third game of the season 30-20 to New York and have lost every road game this season.

The good news this time is that the Falcons did not surrender a ton of yards on the ground or through the air. The Giants ran for 124 yards and passed for 198. The difference became the Falcons not making the most of their red zone opportunities and New York did. The G-Men scored three out of four times in the red zone, whereas the Falcons scored once out of three opportunities.

All this being the case, the Falcons are still only one game behind the Carolina Panthers for the NFC South lead. They are currently tied with the Saints for second place in the division.

Head coach Mike Smith isn’t pushing the panic button after his team picked up their second straight loss.

“There’s a lot of football left,” Smith said. “We’re disappointed in the outcome of the game yesterday. Let me make one thing perfectly clear, if it’s the only thing you take from this press conference. We’ve played five football games and we’ve been inconsistent. We’re 2-3 and do we like where we’re at? No. But, there’s a lot of football left to be played. Our number one goal is to win the NFC South, because that is the cleanest way into the second season. There’s a lot of football to be played and this is a very competitive division. You can look at the records of the teams right now and see. It’s going to be another competitive year, I really believe that.”

The veteran players on the Falcons have been through this situation before and made the playoffs. The 2011 team started the year 2-3 and eventually went on to finish second in the division and grabbed one of the two NFC wild card spots. They would eventually lose to the same New York Giants in that wild card playoff game.

Veteran wide receiver Devin Hester might not have been with the Falcons in 2011. However, he’s played a lot of football in the NFL and knows the formula to getting out of this hole.

“You’ve got to win,” Hester said. “This is a home game (this week) for us and I’ve noticed that we played good at home and struggled on the road. We’ve got to change that situation from losing on the road and turn some games into a W. But, right now we just need to focus on this week. We’ve got Chicago coming in and it’s a home game for us. Just make sure we win this one.”

Until they kickoff late Sunday afternoon inside the Georgia Dome against the Bears, it will have been almost a full month since the Falcons played at home. That last game was September 18th on Thursday Night Football against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That night very much went their way, with a dominant 56-14 performance in front of a national television audience.

That win came early in the season and even though some players that were in that game aren’t around for the Falcons going into this next game, starting center Peter Konz says that morale is still high.

“This is only going on week 6 now, no time to jump ship,” Konz said. “Obviously very disappointing just because there’s been a lot of close games so far and a lot of games we felt we should have won. (There is) a lot of optimism Moving forward, because we have plenty of football going forward. Plenty of time to rack up some wins and get a good away trip going in here, after Chicago we’ve got about four games. So, time to start working.”

The Falcons could get some good news on the injury front this week. Mike Smith is hopeful they could have wide receiver Harry Douglas (foot injury) and left guard Justin Blalock (back injury) back for this game. The first official injury report for this week’s game against the Chicago Bears will be released on Wednesday.



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