/Sports/NFL/Atlanta Falcons/ Last Updated: Mon, Aug 19th, 2019 @ 6:20pm EDT

The Falcoholic

Dave Choate

A reminder that preseason records don’t matter, but preseason performance might

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t focus on the record, but do focus on how the team is actually performing.

As the Falcons roll into Thursday night to play and potentially lose to Washington, it’s an excellent time to take a deep breath and remember what really matters about preseason.

This matters because the Falcons are on a pretty phenomenal run of preseason futility. If you count the Hall of Fame Game, the Falcons have dropped their last 11 straight, the kind of streak...

The Falcoholic

Carter Breazeale

RT Matt Gono working with 1st team offense; draws praise from Dan Quinn

Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The undrafted tackle has seen an opportunity emerge due to injury.

If there’s early reason to be concerned about the Falcons offensive line, it’s the “next man up” modus operandi that they’ve been forced into as a result of early injury. First-round draft pick Kaleb McGary is on the mend from a cardiac ablation procedure, one which he is beginning his return from but will still keep him out of the mix for multiple weeks. Newly re-signed tackle Ty...

The Falcoholic

Dave Choate

How to watch Atlanta-Washington in Week 3 of preseason

Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The crucial third game of the preseason features a matchup that has been lucrative for the Falcons in recent years.

The third week of preseason (and fourth Falcons game of August) is nearly upon us. What will be worth watching here is A) whether Washington is any good and B) whether the Falcons play their starters.

The latter is something we ought to get insight into over the coming days, though I’m hoping the Falcons are largely content to sit...

The Falcoholic

Matthew Chambers

Kaleb McGary returns to individual drills after heart procedure

Photo by John Adams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The team’s first-round pick is quickly getting back into the swing of things but is definitely still weeks from playing.

Atlanta’s second 1st-round selection Kaleb McGary last practiced on July 30. The team announced the next day that he was going to undergo cardiac ablation. McGary had undergone the same procedure twice before to fix an irregular heartbeat, but despite the scary sound of the issue, the team and medical...

Yardbarker: Atlanta Falcons

Is Matt Ryan poised for another MVP campaign?

Matt Ryan is hands-down the most underappreciated quarterback in the National Football League, and it’s not even close. Nick Wright of FoxSports, who I am fond of, has a thing called the “Matt Ryan line,” which essentially sets Ryan as the baseline for QBs that he would build a franchise around. Doesn’t sound too bad on paper until you realize he puts 10-15 quarterbacks ahead of him. It’s a disgusting display of ineptitude when it comes to judging production, but he’s far from...

The Falcoholic

Dave Choate

Report: Kaleb McGary to go through ‘full rehab’ process, timeline for return not certain

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

The good news is McGary’s ready to begin the journey.

Kaleb McGary’s most recent cardiac ablation procedure evidently went well, which is great news for the rookie and likely a major relief to his friends, family, and the team. The obvious question from the Falcons’ perspective is when their first round pick is going to be ready to play, but Dan Quinn is wisely not going to rush it.

“The first part is, like today, participating in the walkthrough,”...

The Falcoholic

Dave Choate

Updating the Falcons’ roster battles on the defensive side

Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Who is grabbing the final roster spots, as it stands today?

Yesterday, we took a closer look at who should be considered the frontrunners for those final roster spots on the offensive side of the ball. Today, we turn our attention to the defense, where the spots available are a bit less certain but the competition is legitimate and legitimately interesting across the board.

Tenth defensive lineman

Original Competition: Steven...

The Falcoholic

Carter Breazeale

Falcoholinks: All the Falcons news you need for Monday, Aug. 19

Photo by Frank Mattia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Another preseason game, another preseason loss.

Eleven straight preseason losses—that’s pretty impressive! The Falcons won’t be winning the preseason Super Bowl anytime soon, but we did learn a few things from their 22-10 loss to the Jets. Read on for Monday morning’s edition of Falcoholinks.

Preseason Week 2 notes and narratives

As you’re well aware by now, the Atlanta Falcons have run their preseason loss streak to 11,...

The Falcoholic

Dave Choate

Matt Ryan thrives under pressure, but that doesn’t mean he should have to

Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The Falcons have pledged to protect their QB and need to deliver, in spite of his excellence.

Matt Ryan has become a diamond. The man shines under pressure.

That was true last year, when he recorded one of the highest passer ratings in football under pressure. It was true in this last preseason game, when Ryan did this under duress:

Matt Ryan faced pressure on 14 of his 18 drop backs last night.

On those plays, he recorded a passing grade of 90.8.

The Falcoholic

Dave Choate

Russell Gage, Kendall Sheffield injuries don’t appear to be long-term concerns

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

This is a massive relief for a couple of likely core reserves.

The Falcons suffered three injuries on Thursday night that we knew about and a few others that were made evident just recently, such as the Ty Sambrailo shoulder injury. We had heard that the injury to Damontae Kazee was not a broken rib and that it was day-to-day. Well, we finally have a bit of an update on a couple of the other guys who got banged up. It looks like the injuries for both Russell...

The Falcoholic

Adnan Ikic

Matt Ryan looks to build on longest active 4,000-yard streak in 2019

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Ryan is a prolific passer.

Matt Ryan is a prolific passer. He racks up yards in bunches, so much so that he has more yards than any player in the NFL history through his first 11 years in the league.

Ryan’s numbers go under the radar because he’s not respected by large chunks of the media (or his peers) as much as he should be. But here’s the thing about numbers — they aren’t subjective in nature, they don’t care about player popularity....

The Falcoholic

Dave Choate

Ty Sambrailo injured, Matt Gono may start at RT Thursday night

Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

It’s an opportunity for Gono, but Sambrailo’s shoulder ailment may help explain his difficult Jets game.

Ty Sambrailo had a difficult effort against the Jets on Thursday night. You can argue that he mostly played fine and only had a handful of difficult plays, which would be fairly accurate, but on his worst plays he looked completely and totally overmatched.

I’m not saying it was definitely caused by the shoulder ailment he’s currently nursing,...

The Falcoholic

Matthew Chambers

Dirk Koetter talks wide receiver battles, Kaleb McGary, and more on the Mike Tice Podcast

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Falcons offensive coordinator was an open book on the podcast, covering every offensive position.

Fans typically do not hear from coordinators. They may hop in front of the media a few times per year to give some general, uninteresting answers. So when Dirk Koetter joined former Falcons offensive line coach Mike Tice on his podcast Odds and Ends with Mike Tice, it seemed like there would not be much newsworthy there.

Instead, Koetter covered every single...

The Falcoholic

David J Walker

Falcons’ Dan Quinn mics up his defense to fix communication issues

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

In a great article from Robert Klemko, we get a glimpse of how critical the Falcons coach thinks communication is.

Falcons head coach Dan Quinn is not a perfect coach. Ask any Falcons fan to list off his issues and you could get a very depressing list. I don’t want to rehash that here, because this recent article from Robert Klemko at si.com presents a trait in Dan Quinn that I personally find admirable, and critically important: his willingness to try...

The Falcoholic

Dave Choate

Updating the Falcons offensive roster battles

Photo by Frank Mattia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Who is in the lead to take a roster spot at key positions?

Backup quarterback

Original Competition: Matt Schaub, Kurt Benkert

Current Competition: Matt Schaub, Matt Simms, Danny Etling

Schaub locked this up the moment that Kurt Benkert was lost for the year with a toe injury, but he’s more than salted it away by playing quality ball each of the last two weeks. Matt Simms is essentially auditoning for a gig elsewhere at this point,...

Yardbarker: Atlanta Falcons

Falcons release linebacker Stephone Anthony

Stephone Anthony‘s return trip to the NFC South proved short. The Falcons announced the former first-round pick’s release on Saturday, with his departure creating room on the 90-man roster for cornerback Jalen Myrick. his departure creating room on the 90-man roster for cornerback Jalen Myrick. Atlanta added Anthony at the outset of its training camp, but he will now venture back to free agency. This continues a lengthy swoon for 2015’s No. 31 overall selection. The former Saints draft...

The Falcoholic

Dave Choate

Falcons sign CB Jalen Myrick, cut LB Stephone Anthony

Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The Falcons move on from the veteran linebacker and add another defensive back option with Kendall Sheffield and Damontae Kazee banged up.

We still don’t know how serious the Kendall Sheffield injury is, but we know Damontae Kazee is day-to-day and the Falcons could use more defensive back depth. That’s why they’ve gone ahead and signed CB Jalen Myrick and cut ties with LB Stephone Anthony.

We have agreed to terms with CB Jalen Myrick and have...

The Falcoholic

Dave Choate

Which young Falcons deserve a longer look Thursday against Washington?

Photo by Jeffrey Vest/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There are deserving choices on both sides of the ball.

Another week, another list of young players who either excelled or need to excel, and deserve the shot to do so. Let’s get at this one ahead of the team’s game against perhaps the most dysfunctional franchise in football.

QB Danny Etling

He didn’t even play against the Jets and I’m including him here. Why?

Simply put, the Falcons like to keep a third quarterback on the...

The Falcoholic

David J Walker

3 Falcons up, 3 Falcons down in preseason Week 2 loss to the Jets

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

That was more painful than it should have been.

The Falcons gave their fans a hell of an experience Thursday evening against the Jets. After just one series, fans were ready to wrap QB Matt Ryan in bubble wrap until the regular season.

It was a frustrating game with some unfortunate injuries. We’re glad it’s just the preseason.

Three Up Ito Smith

So far this preseason, most of the attention at running back has gone to Brian Hill. Hill has had a strong...

The Falcoholic

Jeanna Thomas

The state of the Falcons’ offensive line

Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Here’s where this unit stands after Thursday’s loss to the Jets.

The Falcons’ offensive line on Thursday night against the Jets was ... well, it was offensive.

They let Matt Ryan get sacked three times and absorb eight hits. At times they looked like five damn turnstiles out there on the field. But it’s not necessarily time to panic.

Thursday’s game was a bit different, because while the Falcons trotted out a standard vanilla preseason game...

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