Jeff Schultz blog 

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

Falcons’ implosion may have just begun

  • 2:46 pm Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Matt Ryan figures to be under duress even more after losing two (or three) more offensive linemen. (AP photo)

Well, look at it this way: The Falcons are still tied for first place.

A season that has the potential of spinning out of control quickly — and we reference last season as Exhibit A — took a bad turn Tuesday when the Falcons confirmed they’ve lost at least two more starters for the season. Center Joe Hawley (knee) and tackle Lamar Holmes (foot) were placed on season-ending injured reserve after injuries suffered in Sunday’s 41-28 loss in Minnesota. Safety William Moore was placed on designated for return-IR with a shoulder injury, which means he is not allowed to practice for [More]

Falcons: No defense, no line, no chance

  • 7:42 pm Sunday, September 28th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Teddy Bridgewater celebrates after his 13-yard touchdown run. (AP photo)

MINNEAPOLIS — I’ll be back shortly with a column on the Falcons’ 41-28 loss to the Minnesota Vikings. Until then, here are my three “Short Takes” on the game.

UPDATE: Here’s a link to the column.

1. DEFENSE! (NOT); DEFENSE! (NOT): Minnesota quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was making his first NFL start. He had tougher days at Louisville. He threw for 317 yards before leaving with an ankle injury. The Vikings drove 73, 53, 61, 80, 84 and 43 yards on their first six possessions for three touchdowns, two field goals and a missed field goal, as well as having one TD [More]

LIVE: Falcons face Vikings minus Peterson

  • 2:58 pm Sunday, September 28th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Inside Vikings' fan store, Adrian Peterson's jersey is not for sale.

MINNEAPOLIS — Welcome to middle America, where the contrasting emotions of how Minnesota Vikings’ fans feel about suspended running back Adrian Peterson continue.

Outside of the University of Minnesota’s football stadium, where the Vikings are playing during new stadium construction, I saw several fans wearing No. 28 Peterson jerseys despite the fact he has been indicted in Texas on child abuse charges. But in the team’s official stadium pro shop, the player’s jersey is not available for sale. (See photos.)

Meanwhile, a Minneapolis Star-Tribune poll has ignited larger debates on: 1) whether parents are justified in hitting their children and, 2) [More]

Predictions: Falcons win, Rocker (duh) loses

  • 6:23 pm Thursday, September 25th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
I got a feeling about this week. Honest. I think. (W.P. Glamour Shots)

Welcome back to what has been an enormously profitable investment season, if you ignore the 28 slight miscalculations against the spread — which I honestly was just joking about, so help me Roger Goodell — and this week’s big event! (No,  I’m not talking about John Rocker’s appearance on “Survivor,” which is something that happens when you can’t get a job any more, sit behind a folding table at Hall of Fame weekend in Cooperstown begging for spare change or Anabol, behind a sign that reads, “Speak English,” and most of the literate world views your place on the evolutionary [More]

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]

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]

Predictions: Goodell sees alibis, I see Dogs

  • 3:02 pm Thursday, September 11th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Some of this weekend's rock solid investments. (Photo by W.P. Glamour Shots.)

According to legend, my third favorite source after Netflix and the Google search window, where you can find just about anything except the Ray Rice video, and we know this because Roger Goodell did an exhaustive seven-second search from his Barcalounger before declaring, “Nothing to see here!” and retiring for his afternoon nap, the expression, “The dog ate my homework” predates Goodell by over 100 years.

“There is a lure in power. It can get into a man’s blood, just as gambling and lust for money have been known to do.” – Harry Truman

Last week: 11-2 overall, 7-6 against the line.

Through [More]

Predictions: Falcons (real ones) over Saints

  • 3:29 pm Thursday, September 4th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
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Before getting to this week’s lox — oh, you thought I meant locks last week? Uh, no – here’s an update from the programming department at HBO. In this week’s episode of, “Jonah From Tonga,” Fobba-lisicious and Kool Kris pick up a triumphant Jonah from prison, just in time to take part in the Feel Da Beat dance competition with their song “Don’t Be A Bully.” While Jonah has been locked up, everything seems to have changed and Jonah is forced to make some real adjustments.

I’m not sure — because the lines between real and unbelievably-stupid-and-scripted-made-for-TV-verbal-undressings-of-characters often seem to get [More]