Jeff Schultz blog 

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

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]

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]

Falcons can survive without Baker, not others

  • 10:25 am Monday, August 18th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Julio Jones is one player Falcons can't afford to lose. (Kent Johnson, AJC)

There have been two general reactions from Falcons’ fans since Sam Baker was lost for the season: 1) OMG, we lost our starting left tackle; or 2) That’s OK, we only loss Sam Baker.

Both are understandable. The left tackle protects the quarterback’s blind side. Kind of important. But Baker widely has been considered a bust since the Falcons traded up to draft him late in the first round in 2008, and part of the reason is he’s been injured so often.

He played only eight games (five starts) in his rookie season. He started only six games in 2011 and four [More]

Roddy White meets winner of big Twitter bet

  • 7:39 pm Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Dylan Hoyt (bet winner) mets Roddy White (bet loser) Wednesday at Falcons' training camp. (Jeff Schultz, AJC)

FLOWERY BRANCH — In the Twitterverse, where too often the silly becomes serious and the serious turns silly, Roddy White says he learned a valuable lesson.

“Never bet anything unless you’re willing to pay up,” the Falcons’ wide receiver said Wednesday.

White actually more than paid up for what in reality was a goof bet with a fan last March. He told a follower on Twitter before the first-round NCAA tournament game between Duke and Mercer that if the 14th seeded Bears from Macon upset the heavily favored Blue Devils, he would buy the man Falcons season tickets.

Oops.

Mercer won. White paid off … [More]

Weatherspoon out (Is this happening again?)

  • 9:49 pm Tuesday, June 10th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
Sean Weatherspoon, who had been working his way back from previous injuries, is lost for the 2014 season. (AP photo)

Last September, when the Falcons were in only the early stages of what would become a calamitous string of injuries, I offered my, “Can’t Afford To Lose” top 10 list of players. The list:  Matt Ryan, Julio Jones, Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez and Steven Jackson on offense; Sean Weatherspoon, Osi Umenyiora, William Moore, Jonathan Babineaux and Asante Samuel on defense. (Looking back, I don’t know if I overrated the aging Samuel before last season or he just couldn’t get healthy.)

This year’s list wouldn’t change much, which means the Falcons just took a big hit — and they didn’t even [More]

NFL must deal with Irsay (and Roddy White weighs in)

  • 1:21 pm Monday, March 17th, 2014 by Jeff Schultz
irsay18n-1-web

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has admitted to abusing painkillers in the past and as recently as five months ago claimed to have not had a drink in 15 years. But he was arrested Sunday night on suspicion of driving while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance, and now many are wondering if NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will deal with an owner as severely as he does the league’s players.

If Irsay has relapsed, that’s far more significant than anything else that may come his way, including the four felony charges stemming from his arrest. Carmel, Ind., police said they [More]