Jeff Schultz blog 

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not
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LIVE: Which Falcons will show up tonight?

  • 7:41 pm Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz

In  Week 1, Matt Ryan and the Falcons gave us a view of this team’s upside.

In Week 2, they showed us their ugly alternate universe.

So projecting what happens tonight, even against the apparently horrible Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is risky. But if the Falcons had to pick an opponent in this situation — a short week and coming off a bad game — they might choose Tampa.

The Bucs are 0-2. They’ve lost to two backup quarterbacks, Carolina’s Derek Anderson and St. Louis’s Austin Davis (19-17).  Tampa is in the early stages of a transition/reconstruction under coach Lovie Smith and [More]

Predictions: Falcons win, Jackets lose, Goodell cowers

  • 4:28 pm Thursday, September 18th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Determined to improve on last week's regrettable investment advice.

Before continuing with our investment season, which has been quite profitable if you discount the last three weeks and 35 picks and the fact it’s really hard to handicap NFL games when you’re not sure which team has more players in leg chains and how many times the invertebrate commissioner is going to stick his finger in the air (editors made me type “air”; my mind was thinking somewhere else), here’s this week’s legal update:

Roger Goodell has placed three highly paid dunderheads on the NFL’s double-secret Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission List, which almost nobody knew even existed until about 10 [More]

Braves see Nats celebrate (Pirates may do same)

  • 11:04 pm Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz

The Braves celebrated the signing of a title sponsor for their next stadium Tuesday.

Washington celebrated something that moves the meter a little more with fans — the National League East Division title.

There’s your balance-of-power update, Braves fans.

The Braves lost to the Nationals 3-0 at Turner Field. They watched the Nationals stream out of the dugout for a brief on-field celebration, which was followed by a dizzying champagne-and-beer soaked party in the visiting clubhouse.

This kind of thing isn’t new in Atlanta. The Braves have lost elimination games in 10 postseason series at home since 1992, and this might as well [More]

Braves’ opponents often celebrate here

  • 9:51 am Tuesday, September 16th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Freddie Freeman and Braves have had reason to be angry, and another may be coming tonight. (Curtis Compton/AJC)

UPDATE: Here’s a link to tonight’s MyAJC column, addressing how much responsibility manager Fredi Gonzalez shares for this season.

The Braves have been dead in the National League East for a while. But adding an element of humiliation to the recent free fall is that Washington, which is on the verge of clinching the division title, can celebrate at Turner Field with a win tonight or Wednesday.

It wouldn’t be the first time the Braves have seen another team celebrate on its home field (either Turner or Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium). Since 1992, the Braves have lost postseason elimination games at [More]

Short takes on Falcons’ loss to Cincinnati

  • 4:20 pm Sunday, September 14th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Matt Ryan struggled behind Falcons' banged up offensive line. (AP photo)

I’ll be back shortly with my column on the Falcons’ ugly 24-10 loss to Cincinnati Until then, here are my three short takes on the game.

UPDATE: HERE’S A LINK TO THE FULL GAME COLUMN.

1. Problems up front: The Falcons’ offensive line was pretty good against New Orleans in Week 1. Not Sunday. Losing starting tackle Jake Matthews (ankle), after already having lost starter Sam Baker in the preseason, was too much. Matt Ryan was sacked only two times but he was forced out of the pocket on several occasions and rushed on throws. Ryan was only 24-for-44 and threw [More]

LIVE: Falcons’ line to get tested by Bengals

  • 12:04 pm Sunday, September 14th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
This guy look familiar? Falcons face former Georgia star A.J. Green today. (Getty Images)

CINCINNATI – There are a number of ways to gauge how good an NFL team really is, but here are two of them: 1) How well do they play in December; 2) How well do they play on the road.

December is a few months away. But we’ll learn a little more about the Falcons’ level and toughness today when they play their second game against the Cincinnati Bengals. They were impressive in many ways in last week’s 37-34 home win over New Orleans, showing both their strength (Matt Ryan and the offense) and their weaknesses (defense). But today they will [More]

Short takes on Georgia Tech’s 42-38 win

  • 4:42 pm Saturday, September 13th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Justin Thomas had three touchdown passes and ran for a fourth in the first half. (AP photo)

Here’s my three short takes on Tech’s win.

For my column on the game, click here.

1. BAD SIGNS, MAN:  This is the shakiest 3-0 team I’ve ever seen. The Jackets led 35-10 but allowed four straight touchdowns to open the second half and fell behind 38-35. This came against a team that — great 1-AA resume not withstanding — Tech should handle, especially this being their third relative warmup before the ACC season. Only an overturn on replay that gave Tech the ball with 4:12 left followed by a remarkable 13-yard touchdown pass from Justin Thomas to Deon Hill with [More]

LIVE: Jackets seek improvement before ACC

  • 11:29 am Saturday, September 13th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Paul Johnson wants to see improvement today against Georgia Southern. (Hyoub Shin/AJC)

Hello. I have nothing else to write at this time about Bruce Levenson, Danny Ferry and the Hawks. Let’s say we break this up with some actual sports.

For the third time this season, we ask: Is Georgia Tech ready for the ACC season? The Yellow Jackets play their third non-conference game of the season against Georgia Southern today (noon, Fox Sports South). They’re 2-0 after wins over Wofford (38-19) and Tulane (38-21) but it both games struggled in the first half and last week at Tulane fumbled twice in their first three possessions.

This game is different in that Tech might [More]

Hawks finally get honest, Ferry takes leave

  • 4:41 pm Friday, September 12th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Danny Ferry is taking an indefinite leave from the Hawks. (AP)

The Hawks finally got honest about something Friday: It wasn’t going to work.

It doesn’t matter what side of the debate you were on about Danny Ferry’s remarks or the (latest) continental divide in team ownership. Ferry couldn’t function as a general manager. His image had been tarnished. He had become toxic. He couldn’t operate in an organization where the managing owner who had his back (Bruce Levenson) was exiting in shame and the next most powerful partner (Michael Gearon Jr.) wanted him out.

The Hawks didn’t fire Ferry, nor did he resign. For now, the team’s general manager is in relative [More]

Hawks giving lessons in how not to contain fire

  • 4:05 pm Friday, September 12th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Raise your hand if you thought Bruce Levenson's exit was going to end the Hawks' problems. Anybody? (AJC photo)

This was earlier post before the announcement of Danny Ferry’s leave of absence. For the updated post that include elements of this one, please click here or go to http://jeffschultz.blog.ajc.com/2014/09/12/hawks-finally-get-honest-ferry-takes-leave/

Some day they are going to study this entire ugly chapter in Atlanta Hawks history in public relations schools. The professor will stand in front of the class, clear his throat, maybe take some Dramamine, and tell his students, “This is what a grease fire looks like.”

The Hawks’ situation isn’t getting better. It’s just getting more stupid.

The last chapter in, “How not to run a PR campaign and make yourself [More]

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