The picture above was not taken in Pittsburgh. It wasn’t even taken in the state of Pennsylvania. It was taken in CONYERS, GEORGIA. That makes perfect sense…right?! this is a perfect example of one of the struggles TRUE Falcons fans have dealt with for quite sometime. But let’s be honest, from time to time, any stadium/venue in our city can be about a 50/50 mix, if not worse, when certain visitin teams come to town. There are going to be enough Terrible Towels, waving frantically, at the Dome this Sunday to make a real Falcons fan sick. That’s sad, but it’s part of being an Atlanta sports fan. The Falcons have one last shot against an AFC North opponent this Sunday versus the Steelers, one of the perennial contenders, and most respected organizations in the conference. After tough losses in Cincinnati and Baltimore, and coming up short in a
brutal time management debacle nail biter here at home against the Browns, the Birds need to prove they can win at least one game against an AFC North opponent, and the Steelers represent the perfect opportunity to do just that! Here’s what Atlanta needs to do to take care of business.
Don’t give up 400 yards on defense! Which is something they’ve done (on average) all season. For shit’s sake, somebody put some pressure on Big Ben! This season, the guy has had back to back games with 6 touchdown passes. Not only can the Steelers hurt you in the air, but Leveon Bell is carving up defenses with over 1200 yards rushing and an average of 5.1 yards per carry. Desmond Trufant will need to bring his A-game to cover Antonio Brown, who is averaging 13.1 yards per reception and has 11 touchdowns on the season.
Also, don’t give Pittsburgh’s mediocre defense an opportunity to make big plays. Dick Lebeau has run a tight ship on defense in Pittsburgh for the past ten years. He’s also been drawing social security for the past fifteen. This year, the Steelers rank 19th against the run and 31st against the pass, which should bode well for Atlanta’s potent pass attack, especially after seeing the offensive performance in the 2nd half of last week’s game against Green Bay’s suspect secondary.
I hope the Falcons pumped some crowd noise into the speakers during practice this week because it will no doubt be a factor on Sunday. Unfortunately, one of the biggest key performances last week was turned in by our beloved Julio who, as it was announced this morning, is inactive for the game. Considering Roddy hasn’t competed at 100% in the past month either, it will be critical for HD, Eric Weems and (my boy) Devin Hester to be ready to go. Speaking of my homie, it just so happens I saw Devin Hester out this week and bought him a beer. I told the bartender to tell him it was from me and when he looked over, I raised my glass and said “Rise Up man, I’m glad you’re in Atlanta.” He respectfully acknowledged and nodded. Possibly one of my
creepiest coolest moments in recent history. Either way, I’m considering us close friends now…
Finally, we all know this season hasn’t been easy Mike Smith this season. I’m sure at this point, he probably has a throw up routine down pat before each game, because he knows he may only have a few left as head coach in Atlanta. Each week into this final 3 game stretch is a must win for the Birds, or for that matter, it has been that way since the half way point this season. Either way, lest we forget to bess the Bears and the Bucs this week, as they face the Saints and the Panthers respectively. So crack open an ice cold Matty Ice and take some Tums in Smitty’s honor. Let’s get this win!
Atlanta 31 Pittsburgh 24