Jeff Schultz blog 

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Short takes: Falcons’ offense goes belly up

  • 4:02 pm Sunday, October 19th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan spent a lot of time in this position Sunday. (AP photo)

I’ll be back shortly with a full column to wrap up some of the ugliness associated with the Falcons’ 29-7 loss to Baltimore. Until then, here are my three “Short Takes.”

UPDATE: Here’s a link to the full column.

1. So where’s the explosive offense? The Falcons were expected to struggle defensively this season. But nobody could have anticipated the offense would border on anemic at this stage of the season, even with injuries to the offensive line. They had only 61 yards in offense at halftime and until the final minutes botched what few chances they had. It was five [More]

LIVE: Falcons try for something new — a win

  • 11:40 am Sunday, October 19th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Mike Smith needs to figure out a way to end his team's losing streak. (AP photo)

BALTIMORE – Good morning. I just arrived in Baltimore after covering last night’s Georgia Tech game in Chapel Hill, N.C., where I watched a former 5-0 football team continue to stomp on hope with its second straight unexpected lost.

If the Falcons also lose today, at least it won’t be unexpected. I know, Mr. Nattering Nabob of Negativism, right? (Credit: Spiro Agnew. Kids, Google.) But consider the backdrop to today’s game against the Baltimore Ravens:

– The Falcons have lost three straight and four out of five since a season-opening, 37-34 win over New Orleans.

– They are have lost 10 of [More]

Short takes on Tech’s 48-43 loss to UNC (updated)

  • 10:28 pm Saturday, October 18th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Georgia Tech's defense allowed too many plays like this one: a 36-yard touchdown pass to Mack Hollins in the fourth quarter. (AP photo)

My full column on Georgia Tech’s 48-43 loss to North Carolina will be posted soon. Until then, here are my three “short takes” on the game.

UPDATE: Click here for a link to the full column:

1. Tech’s defense gets an “F”: I know Georgia Tech has expressed confidence in defensive coordinator Ted Roof, but the Jackets struggled again, and you have to wonder if this is really just a case of a team being weak and undermanned up front. Before the third quarter was over, North Carolina already had five touchdowns, 424 yards in offense  (259 passing) and a [More]

LIVE: Jackets hope to bounce back vs. UNC

  • 6:53 pm Saturday, October 18th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — One week ago, Georgia Tech was coming off impressive victories over Virginia Tech and Miami and appeared in control in the ACC Coastal Division. Then the Yellow Jackets lost at home to Duke, and the noise and public doubt returned.

What Jackets will show up tonight? Tech plays a team it should beat, North Carolina, even if winning on the road sometimes is problematic. The Tar Heels lost four straight and their only two wins this season have come over Liberty and San Diego State.

Paul Johnson is an offensive coach. North Carolina is a defensive wreck.

The Tar [More]

Predictions: Dogs win, Falcons lose, Jameis safe

  • 3:56 pm Thursday, October 16th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
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With Mississippi State ranked No. 1, the Kansas City Royals going to the World Series and the usually profitable Weekend Predictions struggling in the first half of this economic season — there’s hope: I’m in the NFC South with the Bucs and the Georgia state ethics commission — let me stall a paragraph before getting to the uncertainty surrounding this week’s featured event: Arkansas vs. No Todd Gurley again.

Down in Tallahassee, home of the police force with selective investigations and future Baltimore Ravens executive Jimbo Fisher, No. 2 Florida State faces No. 5 Notre Dame. It’s such a big event [More]

Georgia being realistic, unlike Jimbo Fisher

  • 7:53 am Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Jameis Winston, Florida State

I understand Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher’s desire to stand up for his guy. But at what point does even he realize how silly he sounds?

In regards to more than 950 items with quarterback Jameis Winston’s authenticated signature being claimed by a company, James Spence Authentication, Fisher told media in Tallahassee Tuesday. “Feel very good. Talked to [Jameis] and everything, people have talked to the owners of the company and different people, from what I understand. We’ll see.”

More: “He’s never taken a dime for anything. He’s signed thousands of things. I mean, the guy sits for an hour and a [More]

Short takes: Georgia responds in big way (34-0)

  • 3:59 pm Saturday, October 11th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Hutson Mason and John Theus celebrate Mason's 11-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. (Getty Images)

COLUMBIA, Mo. — For my full column on Georgia’s 34-0 win over Missouri, click here.

Here are my three “Short Takes” on the game.

1. DEFENSE GROWS UP: Georgia’s young defense had some erratic moments in the first five games of the season, which was expected given the number of personnel changes and the overall youth. But the Bulldogs dominated Missouri. The Tigers had five turnovers, including four interceptions. They managed only 28 net yards on their first five possessions. They failed to convert a third down  (0-for-7). Some of it was the result of their own ineptitude but a [More]

LIVE: Georgia gives it a go minus Gurley

  • 10:47 am Saturday, October 11th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
If the Vanderbilt game was Todd Gurley's exit from UGA, the Dogs must improve in other areas. (Brant Sanders/AJC)

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Good morning and welcome back to actual football. It should be a nice departure from everything else that’s happened since 5:23 p.m. Thursday night, when Georgia sent out the following email: “University of Georgia tailback Todd Gurley has been indefinitely suspended from competition by the UGA Athletic Association during an ongoing investigation into an alleged violation of NCAA rules.”

The NCAA is expected to resolve the Gurley matter by early next week. The AJC’s Danny Robbins and Chip Towers reported that the ongoing probe into Gurley’s relationship with memorabilia dealers who allegedly paid him to sign items may [More]

Minus Gurley, Dogs have flaws to overcome

  • 2:19 pm Friday, October 10th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Hutson Mason may not have Todd Gurley to hand ball to for rest of season. (AP)

Georgia plays its final regular-season game in seven weeks. In the perfect Bulldog world, there will be a berth in the SEC championship game in two months and a golden ticket to the inaugural college football playoffs in the first two weeks of January.

In other words, at worst — or best — Georgia running back Todd Gurley would be free in three months to start making his millions as a professional athlete. But there are growing indications that Gurley couldn’t wait and now there’s a good chance he has played his final college game.

A source has told the AJC [More]

Predictions: No Gurley, no Dogs, no kidding

  • 7:14 pm Thursday, October 9th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
chalkboard

Welcome back to Weekend Predictions and Occasional Spectacular Grease Fires, Inc., where we will vigorously defend your right to deduct all incorrect financial assumptions that the Falcons’ defense might someday force a punt but never will defend Adrian Peterson, who is alleged to have pilfered donations meant for his fraud foundation to fund an orgy, leading to the question, “Wait. Hookers are deductible? Or does that go under “miscellaneous business expense” with printer ink, desk chairs and Swedish independent contractors?

More on A.P.’s option offense later.

But first, we go to the big story: The End of the World.

There was an incorrect [More]