Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Falcons Continue Their Second Half Dominance To Improve to 3-0

Atlanta Falcons' Devonta Freeman (24) is greeted at the sideline by coach Dan Quinn, right, during the second half of an NFL football game against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth )

Dan Quinn's Falcons and Dirty Bird Nation alike are dreaming of a successful 2015 campaign just three games into the season, as the Atlanta Falcons rallied from a 28-17 halftime deficit to beat the Dallas Cowboys 39-28 and improve to 3-0. Yesterday was truly a tale of two halves, as we saw Atlanta's defense struggled to stop the Dallas Cowboys rushing attack featuring Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden behind one of the best offensive lines in the National Football League. The duo posted over 131 rushing yards and a combined four touchdowns on the ground in the first half.
Matt Ryan first down scramble
In the second half, the Falcons completely changed the momentum of the football game as they posted a shutout defensively, with second-year phenom Devonta Freeman and stud Julio Jones destroying the Dallas Cowboys defense and leading Atlanta to another comeback victory. We have seen some highs and shocking lows thus far; however, the Falcons are standing atop the division heading into October with an undefeated September for the first time since 2012. Now, we'll recap the Thriller at AT&T Stadium and provide more analysis on the victory.


Joseph Randle first touchdown of the game 

Atlanta won the toss; however, they deferred to the second half. The Dallas Cowboys, who entered the game with many questions about how the team would perform without star quarterback Tony Romo and receiver Dez Bryant, stunned their sell-out home crowd with a two-play, 80 yard drive which took only 1:08 off the clock, as Joseph Randle ran for an electric 37 yard touchdown run to give the Cowboys an early 7-0 lead with 13:59 remaining in the quarter. Atlanta's first possession wouldn't be as pretty, as the Falcons would go three and out as Sean Lee sacked Matt Ryan forced the team to punt. Dallas would respond yet again with an eight-play, 77 yard drive that accumulated 4:37, ending with another rushing touchdown by Joseph Randle as the Cowboys jumped out to a 14-0 lead with 7:57 to go in the quarter. 
Devonta Freeman's first touchdown of the game

All of the momentum was in the Dallas Cowboys favor forcing the Falcons to step up to the challenge of rallying from a double digit deficit for the second straight week. Atlanta's offense would respond with a eleven-play, 80 yard drive which took 4:07 as Devonta Freeman rushed for a 3 yard touchdown and the Falcons trimmed the lead to 14-7 with 3:09 remaining in the quarter. Atlanta's defense would make their first impact of the game, holding the Cowboys offense to five plays for only 22 yards and ended the quarter punting back to the Falcons.


Darren McFadden touchdown to extend a 21-7 lead

Atlanta's offense didn't capitalize on their next opportunity to trim the lead, as the offense would go three and out, forcing another Matt Bosher punt back to Dallas who would begin their drive at their own 44 yard line with 12:44 left in the quarter. Dallas would make the Falcons pay on their next possession as the Cowboys capitalized on a eight-play, 56 yards drive taking up 5:09 as Darren McFadden scored a two yard rushing touchdown giving Dallas a 21-7 lead with 8:15 remaining in the half and would force the Falcons to punt yet again on another three and out from Atlanta's offense. 

Devonta Freeman touchdown to cut the deficit to 21-14

With all of the momentum in their favor, the Cowboys were about to put the victory away... right? WRONG. On the first play of their possession, under intense pressure from the Falcons front seven, Brandon Weeden threw an interception to William Moore and he would return it back to the Cowboys 23 yard line with 6:03 remaining in the half. The Falcons captialized on their turnover as Atlanta's offense would score on a seven play, 23 yard drive as Devonta Freeman scored his second touchdown of the day on a two yard run to trim the Cowboys' lead down to 21-14 with 2:28 left in the quarter.

Joseph Randle third touchdown
Dallas would answer yet again by driving on a six-play, 80 yard drive taking up only 1:38 off the clock as Joseph Randle scored for a third time on a one yard touchdown with only :40 remaining before halftime. With all three timeouts, the Falcons would put together a six-play, 66 yard drive in under :40 seconds as Matt Bryant booted a 32 yard field goal attempt as the Falcons trimmed the Cowboys lead to 28-17 at the half. None of us knew at the time, but this would begin the Falcons dominance in the second half of the contest.


Matt Ryan to Juliooooooooo Jones

Atlanta's opening possession of the second half wasn't pretty, as a holding penalty by Jake Matthews forced the drive to stall after six plays, forcing the Falcons to punt back to the Cowboys with 12:46 remaining in the quarter as Dallas took over in Falcons territory at the 47 yard line. However, the Cowboys would earn two penalties that ended their possession on a three and out and Atlanta would take over on their own 13 yard line. The Falcons offense started their second half dominance, capitalizing on a six-play, 87 yard drive which took 3:15 as Matt Ryan completed a pass to Julio Jones, who used his athleticism to turn the play into a 45 yard touchdown pass. That sliced the Cowboys' lead to 28-23, but the Falcons weren't done yet. 

Matt Ryan completed a two-point conversion to Levine Toilolo, who was filling in for Jacob Tamme. That trimmed the deficit down to 28-25 with 8:01 remaining in the quarter. With the need for a score desperate, the Dallas Cowboys next possession was anything but impressive, as the offense stalled out after a questionable roughing the passer penalty, punting the football back to the Falcons offense. Atlanta's offense capitalized yet again with an eleven-play, 89-yard drive which would continue into the final period.

Devonta Freeman go ahead touchdown

Atlanta's drive ended with a seven-yard touchdown run by Devonta Freeman, his third touchdown rush of the day. That gave the Falcons their first lead of the afternoon at 32-28 with 12:10 remaining in the final period. The Dallas offense took the field attempting to score again; however, the Falcons defense would continue their shutout in the second half as Dallas went three and out, ending the drive with a critical sack by rookie Vic Beasley. The Falcons took over at their own 38-yard line with 9:26 left in the contest looking to close the contest out with a road victory.
Matt Ryan to Julioooo Jones for a second time
The Falcons offense would close the game out on an eleven-play, 62-yard drive that took 6:12 off the clock, as Devonta Freeman posted a few solid and clock-eating runs. The drive ended with a Matt Ryan touchdown pass to Julio Jones, giving the Falcons a 39-28 lead with 3:52 remaining in the contest. The Cowboys offense got the ball back one more time, but they couldn't get to Atlanta territory, going four and out as the Falcons took a knee to clinch the victory. Atlanta won their first contest in Dallas since a 27-7 victory in the 2003 season and added on another road victory to their 2015 regular season.

GAME MVP's: Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones

Devonta Freeman with a VIOLENT run

 Where do we begin? Oh yeah..Devonta Freeman!!! Entering this game, Tevin Coleman was injured and the rushing attack was decent but we weren't sure how they would fare against a Dallas Cowboys defense that contained DeMarco Murray and the Eagles rushing attack just a week ago. Freeman, Atlanta's fourth round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft had a breakout game for the ages. Freeman posted 30 carries, 141 rushing yards, and 3 touchdown rushes against the Dallas Cowboys, a team that entered the game as the league's No. 1 rushing defense. 

Devonta Freeman crucial run before the half

This was the first time we've saw an individual effort that dominant on the ground in a few seasons, probably since the dominant days of the early Michael Turner era. One of the biggest questions this season was how the running game would fare this season under Kyle Shanahan's new scheme. Yesterday, we saw the potential of this unit and how they could turn out for the future. Freeman had a rough pre-season battling through injuries and yesterday was a statement that he'll be a force to be reckoned with in Atlanta's rushing attack. Once Tevin Coleman recovers, look out for the backfield tandem!

Julio Jones #11 of the Atlanta Falcons leaps over the goal line to score a touchdown as Tyler Patmon #26 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on the in the third quarter at AT&T Stadium on September 27, 2015 in Arlington, Texas…
(Getty Images)

JULIOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Yes, the star wide receiver Julio Jones continued his impressive start to the 2015 NFL season. Against Dallas, Jones posted (12) receptions for 164 receiving yards and two touchdowns making it his third straight 100-yard game to start the season, In total, Jones has (34) receptions for 440 yards and four touchdowns, and also has the highest receiving yards per game (90.3) in NFL history, which is amazing! 

The Matt Ryan to Julio Jones connection is turning into one of the best quarterback to wide receiver tandems around the NFL. In his 5th season, Julio Jones is well on the pace towards becoming one of the best, if not the best receiver in the National Football League. After battling injuries on and off early in his career, it's special to watch this phenom in action and it's even sweeter to watch considering he's a member of the Atlanta Falcons.

NEXT OPPONENT: Houston Texans (1-2)

Alfred Blue scores a touchdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

As the Falcons return home for the next two weeks, we will welcome J.J Watt and the Houston Texans defense to the Georgia Dome. Sunday's contest will be the first biggest test for Atlanta's offensive line but I am fully confident in this unit's ability to step up and deliver another victory on Sunday afternoon. 

GAME INFO: October 4, 2015
                      1:00 PM (CBS)
                      Georgia Dome, Atlanta G.A.


What a special afternoon of Falcons football we were able to witness on Sunday. After a discouraging first half, Atlanta made halftime adjustments and put together one of the best second half efforts I've seen from this ball-club in a long time. What a difference in the culture and coaching staff!! Although I would love to see the Falcons put together a better start to games and a full sixty minute effort, the 3-0 record is undeniable indeed. Let's take it one game at a time, Falcons Nation. Until next week, FALCONS RISE UP!!!!!

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Curse of Joe Buck

Joe Buck And Troy Aikman after the Falcons NFC Championship Loss in 2012

The 2-0 Atlanta Falcons will head down to Arlington, Texas to face off against the 2-0 Dallas Cowboys this week, with  Joe Buck and Troy Aikman commenting. Buck revealed this during the Cowboys-Eagles game last week, and he has a history with this team.

As a Falcons fan, hearing that announcement made my heart sink, because I feel as if some of the worst losses of the Matt Ryan era have come under the play-by-play stylings of Joe Buck. 

With piqued curiosity, I conducted a search of every Atlanta Falcons game since 2008 and noted each one that Joe Buck commentated. Here are my findings:

Since 2008, the Atlanta Falcons are 0-5 when Joe Buck is on commentary.

--- Three of these losses have occurred in the playoffs 

                           2010 Divisional Round vs Green Bay Packers 

                              2011 NFC Wild Card @ New York Giants 

                               2012 NFC Championship vs San Francisco 49ers

§  FYI: Thom Brennaman called the Falcons-Seahawks playoff game

The two regular season losses occurred in 2009

                                        Week 3 @ New England Patriots 

                                           Week 14 VS New Orleans Saints

 The average score when Joe Buck calls a Falcons game:

                                                    Atlanta- 16 Opponent- 30

So it turns out that since 2008 the Falcons haven’t just taken some ugly L’s with Joe Buck performing play-by-play…they’ve never earned a W.

Now I understand this argument falls under the fallacy of mistaking correlation and causation. To put it simply, just because X is related to Y does NOT mean that X caused Y. But it’s a bit disheartening to hear that for the past eight years your favorite team hasn’t won when a certain guy is commenting, whether it's actually related or not.

Some good news though: Head coach Dan Quinn has broken some of the most discouraging patterns in recent Atlanta Falcons history. Before the Monday Night Football victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in week one, the Falcons had only earned one victory in seven MNF games since 2009. In week two, Atlanta won its first game on the road against the Giants since 2004. Since that year, the dirty birds were 0-3 at the Giants before last week’s 24-20 victory. 

Now Dan Quinn’s Falcons look to defeat a depleted Cowboys team that is missing some key players (QB Tony Romo, WR Dez Bryant, and DE Randy Gregory). A win on Sunday will mean a 3-0 start for Atlanta as well as the first victory of the Matt Ryan era with Joe Buck on commentary. 

Will it happen? 

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Falcons Week 2 Recap vs Giants

Undefeated and jumping for joy. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Wow! That is truly the only word that comes to mind when thinking of the 2015 Atlanta Falcons. Your energy level is raised when watching William Moore light up the receivers across the middle, Julio giving defensive backs nightmares, and Matt Ryan carving up defenses with ease. It all gets you to RISE UP.

You got that last part? It was a Falcons pun.

Anyways, let's move to major highs and lows of last Sunday's game against the New York Giants:
Odell Beckham second quarter touchdown

If there was one urging question of the game, it was surely why CB Robert Alford handled Odell Beckham Jr and not his elite counterpart Desmond Trufant? Honestly, I was OK with the decision to keep Alford on Beckham's side. Of course he struggled constantly and was picked on by QB Eli Manning but it was all for reasonable cause. As a first-year head coach, Dan Quinn is trying to build trust amongst his players. One way to do this is trusting players in hard times.

Now to many fans, you'd love to put Trufant on Odell all day—man on man—but you can't do that when you have players trying to buy into your system and trust you as an individual. The choice to keep Alford on Odell was not more of a game plan decision but more of the Falcons playing their system and not changing their play for one person. Plus, veteran safety William Moore came and straightened out the problems with his fellow defensive backs after Alford gave up a long touchdown to Odell Beckham Jr. before the half. Leadership like that is critical when building a team.

After the game, one of my favorite things to do is listen to 92.9 The Game and laugh at how fans go on ridiculous rants about the game. Still, I respect their opinions. However, it was pretty funny until one fan hit me with a great question: Where was Roddy White? The 11-year veteran had no catches and made little to no impact in the victory. So what is the reason for his absence? Was he schemed out of the game by Kyle Shanahan or did he have a lingering injury that others did not know about? Either way, it was strange not to see #84  get involved in the win but to be honest, I don't think Roddy really cares if he played or not. Players like Roddy White love to win regardless of the circumstances.

Tevin Coleman #26 of the Atlanta Falcons runs the ball past Mark Herzlich #94 and Uani' Unga #47 of the New York Giants for a first quarter touchdown at MetLife Stadium on September 20, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Getty Images)

Injuries did hit the team pretty tough when promising rookie running back Tevin Coleman fractured his ribs. He will be out for a few weeks to recover. This really hurts the running game since Coleman was the team's leading rusher and looked only to get better in his second career game. Second-year back Devonta Freeman looks to get more touches until the return of Coleman. Undrafted free agent Terron Ward did get some snaps against the Giants and he may be involved a little going forward. When Coleman went down, Freeman made some critical runs that won't show up in the stat book. The offensive line did well enough to open up a few holes for the back to burst through. The play of both Ward and Freeman is going to be critical to the team's next game against the Dallas Cowboys.
Kroy Biermann's game changing play

There was a time in the game where it seemed like the Falcons were going to lose as the Giants were inside the red zone with a 10-point, 3rd quarter lead. Then OLB Kroy Biermann got a sack-strip fumble on QB Eli Manning. Though many have had doubts and harsh opinions of Kroy, we were all glad he made a much-needed play boosting our team back up to speed. The offense capitalized on the new-found momentum to drive all the way down the field and close the deficit early in the 4th quarter.

Leonard Hankerson 4th quarter touchdown

Now of course Kroy Biermann isn't an All-Pro linebacker, but he does serve a great purpose when you let him do what he does best which is not covering slot receivers but being a rotational player who can play multiple positions. Along with Biermann, both backup linebackers Allen Bradford and Nathan Stupar showed flashes of why they should stick with the team by coming in when others were down like Paul Worrilow. Stupar showed his value as a strong side linebacker, something that could benefit Atlanta's defense down the line.

Julio Jones sets up the game winning drive

In the end, the Falcons pulled off a comeback and won the game 24-20.

Devonta Freeman touchdown

It was a game to remember and one Atlanta can learn from. No matter what haters may say, 2-0 is a pretty good start for a team that virtually started fresh across the board. Now we have to prepare ourselves for another difficult challenge against the Dallas Cowboys but still they have flaws just as any other great teams.

Quick Notes to know:

- CB Desmond Trufant ranks #1 among NFL CBs in cover snaps per reception. He allows just 1 catch per 48 snaps.

- No NFL CB that's played at least 75% of his team's snaps has been thrown toward less than Desmond Trufant (4 times in 2 games)

- Atlanta's highest graded defensive player (5.6) & pass rusher (4.3) yesterday was rookie LEO Vic Beasley.

- Jackson (2.7), Schofield (2.2), Stupar (2.2), Soliai (2.1) & Babineaux (1.5) all had favorable run defense grades.

- Ricardo Allen is ranked NFL's 10th best cover safety. Allows only 1 reception per 30 snaps.

-Through 2 games, Adrian Clayborn ranks 11th & Jonathan Babineaux 21st in pass-rush productivity among NFL DTs.

- Ra'Shede Hageman (1.2) was the only other defensive player yesterday to get an above average pass-rush grade from Pro Football Focus.

- Raekwon Gilbert (@RXGilbert97)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Falcons Week 1 Recap vs Eagles

ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 14: Head coach Dan Quinn of the Atlanta Falcons celebrates beating the Philadelphia Eagles at the Georgia Dome on September 14, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The season is officially underway and the Atlanta Falcons are UNDEFEATED. The Falcons held the lead for most of a highly anticipated game against the Philadelphia Eagles. Ultimately, Atlanta came away with the win against a relentless Eagles squad. Taking advantage of a few of the Falcons’ mistakes, the Eagles fought back from a 17-point halftime deficit, but could not put together enough of a comeback to knock the Falcons. Let’s take a look at a quarter-by-quarter analysis:

1st Quarter:

The Falcons defense took the field first in the season opener and began their test against Chip Kelly’s fast-paced offense. The defense exemplified Dan Quinn’s motto of “fast and physical” held the Eagles to a 3 and out on the opening drive. They went on to force three more punts throughout the quarter and barely allowing the Philly offense to cross the 50 yard line. The defense was on fire!

Kirk Alonzo stunning INT to end a Falcons drive

The offense came out firing as well. However they could not capitalize on opportunities in the 1st qtr. The opening drive stalled after 12 rushing yards by Tevin Coleman and 42 passing yards by Matt Ryan (2/3 passing with 17 yards to Julio and 25 yards to White). And the Falcons were forced to settle for a field goal ($). On the next Falcons drive, the ball was pushed all the way up the field and into the redzone. Then Kiko Alonso happened. The LB made a one handed interception in the endzone leaving the Falcons, yet again, with a missed opportunity. A 3 and out would be the final full drive of the quarter for the Falcons.
Falcons 3, Eagles 0

2nd Quarter:

Julio Jones first touchdown of the evening

The Falcons began the second quarter with the ball and thus began the Quintorris Lopes Julio Jones show. Julio racked up 31 receiving yards in the last minute of the 1st qtr. and finished the drive off by punching it in from 4 yards out for his first score of the season. And yes, I yelled “Juliooooo” from my seat. The Eagles responded with an 11 play, 69 yard drive that resulted in a field goal. The Falcons and Eagles traded 3 and outs followed by a Falcons drive that stalled due to penalties and produced yet another field goal ($). The Eagles received the ball with 1:05 left on the clock before the half. The next set of plays had me on the edge of my seat. 

Julio Jones second touchdown

On the first play of the Eagles’ drive, Grady Jarrett successfully put pressure on Sam Bradford forcing him to throw a pass into coverage. Willy Mo intercepted the pass and the Falcons took over on the Eagles 27 yard line. On the VERY NEXT PLAY, Matt Ryan was sacked by Fletcher Cox and fumbled the ball. The ball was recovered by the Eagles on their 33 yard line, however there was some yellow laundry on the field that wiped out the whole play; Kiko Alonso was called for Illegal Contact giving the ball back to the Falcons on the Eagle’s 22 yard line. Julio then proceeded to be Julio reeling in a 22 yard TD pass from Matt Ryan. Mr. Jones ended the half with 8 receptions for 97 yards and 2 TDs.
Falcons 20, Eagles 3

3rd Quarter:

Ryan's second and momentum changing Interception

Up 20-3 I was extremely excited for what the Falcons would come out and do with a possible shlacking on the table. However they digressed to a much more Mike Smith-like team committing offensive errors and allowing the Eagles to dig their way back from a 17 point deficit (sound familiar?). Facing 3rd and 14 on the opening drive of the half, Matt Ryan dropped back and threw his second interception of the game to former Seahawk Walter Thurmond. This set up the Eagles in excellent field position with which they would capitalize off of an 8 yard DeMarco Murray run, making the score 20-10.

No worries right? Wrong.

Another offensive penalty against the Falcons forced Atlanta to punt. Matt Bosher booted a 62 yard punt that placed the Eagles on their own 5 yard line. The Eagles would have to drive 95 yards against a defense that, previously, they could not move the ball against in order to make this a game.

Demarco Murray trimming the lead to 20-17.

Logic says no, but momentum said yes.

The Eagles completed a 13 play, 95 yard scoring drive including a 27 yard run by Darren Sproles to close the gap to 20-17. Falcons STILL on top. The Falcons handled the ball for the remainder of the 3rd qtr. Tevin Coleman put up a grown man’s drive rushing for 42 yards with 16 of those yards being called back on a holding penalty. The drive went on into the 4th qtr. and the Falcons eventually settled for yet another field goal ($).
Falcons 20, Eagles 17

4th Quarter

Eagles go ahead touchdown in the 4th quarter

After the aforementioned field goal, the Falcons lead was pushed to 23-17. The Eagles received the ball with nearly 11 minutes left on the clock. Sam Bradford gave the Falcons D a hefty dose of Darren Sproles, Zach Ertz, and Jordan Matthews while finding his groove in the no huddle offense by pushing the team down the field in a little over 2 minutes. Eagles score.

Julio Jones critical catch on go-ahead drive for Atlanta

Its 24-23 with 8 minutes on the clock and the ball is given to Matty Ice and Matt Money Bryant with more than enough time to continue their stellar streak of 4th qtr. game winning drives. Matty Ice wasted no time finding Julio Jones for a 44 yard pass down the sideline. The drive stalled at the Atlanta 29 yard line and Matt Money Bryant easily converted the field goal ($). Falcons up 26-23.

Cody Parkey missed FG attempt

At this point, the Eagles seemed to find a groove against the Falcons defense by swiftly moving the ball down the field with, what seemed like, little effort. On their next drive, the Eagles moved the ball on an 11 play, 54 yard drive that was ended by a Paul Worrilow run stuff on 3rd and 1 on the Atlanta 26 yard line. The stage was set for the Eagles kicker Cody Parker to do his own Matt Money Bryant impersonation and put the Eagles ahead with 2:32 seconds left. The ball was snapped, the kick was up, and it beautifully drifted wide right. NO GOOD!

The Falcons received the ball on their 26 yard line and proceeded to eat as much clock as possible. However, 3 plays and 37 seconds later the Eagles would be set to receive the ball again. Matt Bosher booted another punt all the way down to the Eagles 10 yard line.

Now the fate of our first 2015 game rested solely on the shoulders of the defense.

On first down, Bradford hit Sproles for a 2 yard gain that was stopped by safety William Moore. On second down, Bradford again tried to go to his pacifier in Sproles, but the pass came up incomplete.

Ricardo Allen's game clinching interception

Then it happened: on 3rd and 8, Bradford threw a pass over the middle to wide receiver Jordan Matthews. The ball went through his hands, smacked him in the face and popped in the air. In what seemed like an eternity, free safety Ricardo Allen placed himself between the ball and the ground and came away with the game clinching interception. Matt Ryan and the offense entered the victory formation and inked a 1-0 record onto the stat sheet.

FINAL: Falcons 26, Eagles 24

Record: (1-0)

Game MVP: Tough call not to choose Julio Jones with 141 yards and 2 TDs but I’m giving this one to Ricardo Allen. His journey from the practice squad to starting free safety was highlighted by the game clinching interception to go along with 7 tackles on the day.

Things to work on: PENALTIES. Offensive penalties in particular caused a few Falcons drives to stall and often settle for field goals.

Up Next?: The Atlanta Falcons head to New York to face the Giants who are coming off of a last minute loss to the Dallas Cowboys and are still without star players DE Jason Pierre-Paul and WR Victor Cruz

Until next time, Falcons fans.... RISE UP!!!!!

Follow Alphonso Thomas on Twitter: @_fortheloveofaj

Monday, September 14, 2015

Random Fandom Falcons Predictions: Our Season, According to the Fans

The smell of a new season is in the air, a time when every team is (0-0) and theoretically every ones odds to make it to the big game are the same. Though our Atlanta Falcons are far from the worst team in the NFL, most analysts don't think we even have a shot to make the playoffs. As we are hours away from kickoff, we asked some of our most dedicated members of Dirty Bird Nation, what was their view on the 2015 Atlanta Falcons. Here's what some of their thoughts were......

First, the Falcons fans who are hopeful but cautious:

We also have fans who are nervous due to our offensive line and other team issues:

And our fans who are amped and optimistic:

There are some extremely confident fans in Dirty Bird Nation as well

This is the most accurate way to describe the Falcons in a nutshell

This was a great outlook from some of the Atlanta Falcons fans. As we saw throughout the article, the opinions differ but there's one thing for sure.... Atlanta is excited to watch the 2015 Falcons RISE UP!!!!!!