Originally posted on Mark Bradley blog:

Exiting Baltimore, bound for Blighty. (Gail Burton/AP photo)

Exiting Baltimore, bound for Blighty. (Gail Burton/AP photo)

After a month like this, you’d think about fleeing the country, too. The Atlanta Falcons have lost four consecutive games by the aggregate score of 127-68. (Not-so-fun fact: The Falcons beat Tampa Bay 56-14 in September and have still been outscored by opponents by 28 points on the season.) They’re 2-5. Not one of their losses has been by single digits.

We started off thinking (for good reason) that their defense was lousy. Now their offense is, too. They’ve scored 40 points and four touchdowns in three games. The lowest three-game output for the 2013 Falcons — who finished 4-12, you’ll recall — was 33 points against Arizona, Carolina and Seattle, but all three of those teams wound up winning at least 10 games. This brings us to the truly sobering part.

The Vikings beat the Falcons 41-28 and haven’t won since…

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Originally posted on Fan Buzz:

Former Aggie and current Atlanta Falcon offensive tackle Jake Matthews posted this photo on Twitter yesterday for Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

Matthews brought his sister, Gwen, who has down syndrome to the team’s facility. Jake is certainly one of the good guys in the league and Texas A&M fans should be proud to call him a former Aggie.

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Originally posted on HardballTalk:

Evan Gattis hasn’t played a full game for the Braves since September 7 because of strep throat and, more recently, a kidney stone. In that time, Atlanta has lost 12-of-14 games and been completely eliminated from postseason contention. But there will be no early shutdown for the 28-year-old slugging catcher.

David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Gattis is scheduled to return to the Braves’ starting lineup for Thursday night’s series finale against the Pirates. Gattis is only expected to play about five innings, serving as the catcher for spot starter David Hale, who’s filling in for Mike Minor.

Minor was officially shut down earlier this week due to inflammation in his left (throwing) shoulder.

Gattis is batting .268/.322/.503 with 22 home runs in 102 games played this season for the Braves. There has been talk of him being traded this winter to open up starting catching duties for…

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Originally posted on Atlanta Hawks blog:

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Al Horford is returning from a torn right pectoral muscle that limited him to 29 games last season.

The Hawks open training camp next week. Here are five things to look for as the team prepares for the 2014-15 season and the second year under coach Mike Budenholzer.

1. The health of Al Horford

The center’s season came to an abrupt end last year when he tore his right pectoral muscle in a game against the Cavaliers on Dec. 26. He was done after just 29 games. At the time of the injury, Horford led the team in scoring and rebounding and the Hawks were third in the Eastern Conference. Without him, they slipped to eighth and made the playoffs despite a below-.500 record.

Horford progressed in his rehabilitation and was doing some basketball activities – minus contact – during a summer trip to Italy with Basketball Without Borders. There…

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Originally posted on The Sports Tank:

Yeah, the Atlanta Falcons completely annihilated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during Thursday night’s matchup, but it was no contest for Falcons wide receiver Devin Hester. The 31-year-old Hester set an NFL record with his 20th career return touchdown, surpassing the previously record held by Hall of Famer and former Falcons cornerback Deion Sanders. It was such an epic moment as the three-time Pro-Bowler made history by taking a punt 62 yards for a score while displaying celebratory moves of Deion Sanders. Prior to signing with the Atlanta Falcons, Hester spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Chicago Bears.   

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Originally posted on Atlanta Falcons blog:

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FLOWERY BRANCH — The NFL is copycat league and the Falcons needs to steal a few pages out of the Eagles playbook and use Antone Smith and/or Devonta Freeman like the Eagles are using Darren Sproles.

The former New Orleans Saint was a terror in space last night against the Colts. He had 11 touches for 178 yards. He had four rushes for 26 yards and caught seven passes for 152 yards.

Curtis Compton Falcons running back Antone Smith breaks away from Saints safety Jairus Byrd picking up a block from Levine Toilolo for a 54-yard touchdown during the third quarter in their NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Atlanta. (By Curtis Compton/Ccompton@ajc.com)

Curtis Compton
Falcons running back Antone Smith breaks away from Saints safety Jairus Byrd picking up a block from Levine Toilolo for a 54-yard touchdown during the third quarter in their NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, in Atlanta. (By Curtis Compton/Ccompton@ajc.com)

He powered the Eagles to a 30-27 comeback victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

Now, Sproles did get some lovely blocking on those screens.

If the Falcons can make those blocks, Antone Smith has shown…

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Originally posted on Mark Bradley blog:

Bruce Levenson is leaving. Can Danny Ferry possibly stay? (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

Bruce Levenson is leaving. Can Danny Ferry possibly stay? (Johnny Crawford/AJC)

When first the Atlanta Hawks’ owners were squabbling over a general manager, it was semi-comical. In 2005, Billy Knight wanted to send Boris Diaw and two draft picks to Phoenix in a sign-and-trade for Joe Johnson; Steve Belkin thought that was too much to give and refused to grant his blessing. The whole thing wound up in a Massachusetts court — yielding the famous photo of Knight refusing Belkin’s proffered handshake — and led to the other owners deposing Belkin as NBA governor and holding what amounted to a pep rally for Knight on the floor of Philips Arena.

This is different. This isn’t amusing in any way. This involves racist language and could well cost Danny Ferry, who 36 hours ago was seen as this franchise’s shining light, his job.

Zack Klein of Channel 2 WSB reported last…

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Originally posted on WJCL News:

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) – Todd Gurley ran for 198 yards and three touchdowns, returned a kickoff 100 yards for another score, and No. 12 Georgia gained some early style points in the national race with a 45-21 victory over No. 16 Clemson on Saturday night.

If rating Heisman Trophy favorites after Week 1, Gurley would surely be among the favorites. He made the most of his limited touches on a sweltering night, averaging 17.2 yards every time he got his hands on the ball. He set a school record for all-purpose yards with 293, breaking the record of 290 set by Rodney Hampton in 1987.

Georgia (1-0) broke open a game that was 21-21 at the half, shutting down Clemson (0-1) and a fast-break offense that didn’t look nearly as effective without Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins.

Gurley pretty much finished off Clemson by himself, scoring on runs of 23…

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Originally posted on Atlanta Falcons blog:

FLOWERY BRANCH — Wide receiver Eric Weems, who made the Pro Bowl as a special teams player while with the Falcons, was re-signed by the team on Thursday.

Weems was recently released by the Chicago Bears.

The Falcons waived wide receiver Jabin Sambrano.

Weems, 5-foot-9. 195 pounds, was originally signed by the Falcons as a college free agent out of Bethune-Cookman following the 2007 NFL draft.

He played five seasons with the Falcons before signing with the Chicago Bears in 2012.

Weems set a franchise record for the longest kick return touchdown in Falcons history with a 102-yard return at Tampa Bay

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Originally posted on CBS Atlanta:

I hope you have been watching HBO Hard Knocks. The third episode last night took us more inside the organization. I don’t know how you can not see who the clear leader of the this team is? It’s Matt Ryan he wants to win, and has the desire to be the best and throughout this episode its very clear that he has his teammates trust and they listen to him. Matt Ryan was extremely bothered by the team’s performance in last Saturday’s 32-7 exhibition loss to the Houston Texans and rightfully so.

In the locker room afterward, Ryan asked for each player to get their “mind right so we can go out there and have a good week of work and go play the way we’re capable of.” I left out a couple of “F” bombs.

The guy that steals the show is Defensive line coach Bryan Cox as he…

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