The Falcons need to beat up on bad teams until the defense gets straight. After a 2-1 start the birds showed they can score with an average of more than 46 points per game in their wins. Both victories came at home and they have a great chance at their first road win in 2014 Sunday. Facing an Adrian Peterson-less Vikings club along with rookie Teddy Bridgewater getting his first start, the birds need to send heat all day. The Vikings defense is solid so it won't be easy but should be a win.
Fredi Gonzalez is not the problem yet. Fredi should've played Jordan Schafer more when he had the chance but Shafer was not going to save the braves because everybody else ... still can't hit. GM Frank Wren is a nice man but made some mistakes that were fatal leading to his dismissal. Dan Uggla, B.J. Upton, Derek Lowe,Kenshin Kawakami to name a few ... by the way Schafer is a career .229 hitter.
Under .500?! The Braves fans deserve better and the Braves should be better. Change was needed.
Georgia Bulldogs (2-1)
Blew out Troy 66-0. I would've like to see Hutson Mason throw more than 11 times as he will be needed to win games this season with his arm. Mason has the tools to be a good trigger man and the Dawgs can't solely rely on Todd Gurley to save the day all season. Freshman Sony Michel ran wild amassing 155 yards on 10 carries good to see him make the most of his opportunity.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (4-0)
At 4-0 they are the only undefeated team in town. QB Justin Thomas was named ACC Player of The Week and the Jackets have a big opportunity next week to get great positioning in the ACC if they can beat Miami. "The U" is coming off of a loss to Nebraska and doesn't want to fall too far behind the Jackets and Duke in the Costal division.
Georgia State Panthers (1-3)
Played a great first half of football on the road shutting out the Washington Huskies 14-0 in the first half at Husky Stadium. Special Teams turned the tide for the Huskies in the second half while their size and speed wore down the Panthers' defense. A week of rest is needed as Panthers leading rusher Kyler Neal left the game injured. The Panthers will need a good running attack Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns next week.
Atlanta Hawks (0-for Public Perception)
Have media day next Monday, September 29, 2014. They have a lot of work to do.
Why the Falcons should win
by Hometeam Brandon Leak
1-They are at home
The Falcons are 36-12 in the Georgia Dome under Mike Smith, third best in the NFC since 2008. The crowd will be off of the chain for the first NFL game and it could be a playoff-like atmosphere. Fast starts and comeback wins happen in that building.
2-More Receivers for Matt Ryan
The departure of future Hall of Fame tight end Tony Gonzalez certainly will be missed but the void in the offense could make the Falcons' passing attack ... better.
Matt Ryan will have more targets in his passing routes. Julio Jones and Roddy White will get the lion's share of passes but Harry Douglas, Devin Hester, Levine Toilolo, Steven Jackson, Jacquizz Rodgers, Devonta Freeman and Antone Smith will ALL catch passes. That's nine potential targets for a man who threw for more than 4,000 yards last season. Someone will be open always.
3-The Falcons usually win close games.
Falcons/Saints games are traditionally close and the Falcons win 64 percent of games decided by eight points or less. Matt Bryant can be a big weapon in the first half and for a game-winner in the clutch.
The Falcons had the Saints week one last year. A dropped pass by Steven Jackson on 3rd and game and a batted-ball intercepted on 4th and game stopped a Falcons win. The guys remember it and were mad about it. They will look to win this game for this year and last.
5-Better run D
The Falcons and no team will stop quarterback Drew Brees. If the Falcons stop the run they have a better chance of winning. Pierre Thomas has averaged nearly 90 yards per game in his last few games against the Falcons. Mark Ingram and Khyri Robinson have to be stopped as well. Paul Soliai and Tyson Jackson brought in to be run-stoppers will prove their weight in gold out of the gate.
You know how it goes no matter what happens, the game will be decided in the final four minutes of the contest. The Falcons should win.
Is there an agenda against the Heat. YES! Will there always be, YES! Is it ok to dislike the Heat's style ... YES!
People dislike the Heat because they want to. Each dissenter has their own reason and sometime rightfully so. The fact is the Heat will be the heel of the NBA like the Iron Sheik was to Hulk Hogan for as long as they are constructed with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Here are a few tangible reasons why:
Bandwagon Fans-Showing up because it's your team is not winning is not bad. Leaving early, having no knowledge of the team history and being obnoxious is.
The Decision- LeBron rubbed people the wrong way and still does taunting fans with Instigram messages and post-game rants. Just not likable.
Whiners- LeBron, his fans, and Heat fan base are angry everybody doesn't like him and his team. Question, did all fans root for Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Isaiah Thomas, Larry Bird or Michael Jordan ... NO! but everybody is supposed to bow to the king. Please.
Fake Celebrity Fans- Lil' Wayne and Justin Bieber are as real a two-dollar bills when it comes to loving the Heat and if Bieber is with you ... a good number of diehard fans are not.
Mocked Dirk Nowitzki- In 2011 Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki was ill and had a reported temperature of 102 degrees in Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Heat. Dirk dropped 21 points scoring 10 in the fourth quarter in an 86-83 win over the Heat. LeBron and Dwyane Wade were caught on video mocking Nowitzki being sick the next day. The Heat did not win another game. The sports gods were not happy.
Fans leaving Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals early- The Heat won one of the best games in franchise history while clowns in Heat garb were outside talking to the media about how the team lost and attempting to beat traffic. Weak. The celebration parade is Monday, June 24, 2013-I wonder how many fans will leave early for that. Weak.
Truth is when LeBron leaves with his three or four titles with the organization, so will the so-called fans who are loudly passionate now about their team.
Could Be The Last Hurrah
Only four players on the Hawks’ roster are under contract for next season, and the coach's deal is up too. This will be the last incarnation of the Billy Knight-Rick Sund projects in the Atlanta Hawks era. Danny Ferry has already gotten rid of two players whose contracts were extended by the two previous general managers (GM) – Marvin Williams and Joe Johnson; he’s also brought in a new assistant GM, a new vice president of public relations, and upgraded the media room with new paint and free food ... awesome for the media!
In short, the new sheriff is bringing in his own deputies. With this, the organization is likely to get a new coach and new players; let's make some final memories with this crew.
They've Been Hurt
The Hawks started 29 different starting lineups this season, which may have worked in their favor. After all, rooting for a banged-up team is just flat-out American. Insert Lou Williams and Zaza Pachulia in the lineup, and this team could be the number four seed in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks have been undersized all season; so losing Pachulia is was a huge blow. Williams was "money in the bank" in the fourth quarter of games; he came off of the bench and solved a lot of the offensive power-outages the Hawks had at times. This season, the Hawks seem to have always been a man/shooter short and have persevered in spite of their circumstance.
They Have Beaten The Doubters
The Hawks are not supposed to be here – in the playoffs. According to several publications, the Hawks should be headed for a lottery pick and should have been an embarrassment all season. Instead the Hawks:
Started the most lineups in the NBA this season – due to injury;
Finished 25-16 at home;
Won 19 road games and were second in the NBA in assists (first in the Eastern Conference), third in fast-break points and sixth in three-point shots made.
Their Style Is Fun
When the Hawks run, they are a devastating team on the fast break. The Pacers, and hopefully a second-round opponent, will pay for turnovers and rebounds that end up in the hand of Hawks' guards in transition. The Hawks beat the Clippers, Grizzlies, Thunder, Lakers, and Celtics by utilizing their speed throughout the course of the season.
They Are The City's Most Successful Team in the Last Six Seasons
The fact is – in the last six years, the Atlanta Hawks have been in post-season play more than any other professional sports franchise in Atlanta. While we can debate which sport has the toughest road to the post season, we cannot argue about which team has been there the most consistently over the last six years. Let's keep a good thing going.
It's going to come down to speed for the Hawks to be successful the remainder of the season and in the playoffs. With the absence of center Zaza Pachulia in the lineup, the lack of size the birds will have on the floor nightly can only me matched by one element ... speed. The Hawks can outrun anybody in the NBA if you don't believe me look at what they have done to the Lakers, Celtics and Heat on the fast break this year.
Jeff Teague and Devin Harris are tough covers in transition and when Teague makes up his mind the pick and roll can be a devastating weapon for the Hawks. Attacking and playing with an up-tempo style is not an option, but a requirement in every game. The bench has seen energy from rookie John Jenkins and Ivan Johnson this year, and defensively, Al Horford and Josh Smith have started many of the Hawks fast break opportunities by blocking shots and grabbing rebounds.
The Hawks have three elements that regularly show up in losses:
A lack of energy
A lack of rebounding
All off the above can be offset by running the daylight out of our opponents. The Hawks can make shots and knock down 3-pointers without blinking an eye and can score in bunches early and late in games. The team can punish larger teams with quickness but can hurt themselves when the offense becomes stagnant. Either way slowing the game down for the Hawks is the only way to ensure the team is not utilizing. best strategy to win.
Entering the week of march 18, the Hawks are third in the NBA in fast break points with more than 17 per game. If we see less than that number, something has gone wrong. The Hawks have the talent to put up nearly 20 points per game in the break.
Run, run, run! Even if the shots don't fall ... run run run ... even if the 3-pointers are off target. Speed has hurt bigger teams and forced big men to be off balance when the Hawks are playing fast. When we run, we win. Let's keep winning.
With the Hawks making the push to the post season, the team has players who will be instrumental in making the run but who will not be on the roster next season. Some should stay some should go, here are my thoughts on who the Hawks who should return that have expiring contracts.
Yes ... for the right price. A unique player who is active on both ends ... but for the right price. The organization learned a lesson by paying Joe Johnson a kings' ransom. That mistake won't be made again.
No. Solid point guard and can finish at the rim. But has dealt with injury the latter part of his career and this season with the Hawks. Could be a starter or back up but may be hampered by injury. Hawks may need to go younger at point guard.
Yes. He's 7-feet tall and brings energy. Plays his role well as a starter or reserve and can be big on the offensive glass. Hawks need to build a team with size, Zaza can be a solid anchor.
Yes. There are men and then there are special men. Kyle Korver was born to shoot three-pointers. Sign him up.
No. I love DeShawn as he uses most of his energy on defense. He is very reliable shooting three-pointers. But father time and achy knees will only hurt him minutes-wise moving forward.
No. A big man but not enough impact on the floor. Has length but is not active enough to get minutes.
No. A defensive piece for this season but is north of 30 and does not have enough offense to bring him back.
No. Not a lights out shooter but his size and versatility allow him to get minutes. He can knock down the three but is not consistent enough to make a second run with the Hawks.