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Falcons

Hero of the Super Bowl might turn out to be a ‘Who’s he?’ guy

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It won’t be a quarterback. It won’t be a star receiver. It probably won’t even be the star pass-rushing defensive end. But sometime during Sunday night’s Super Bowl, a guy you’ve barely heard of might take over. A run-of-mill, blue collar guy from somewhere in the team photo. Hey, it happens in the Super Bowl. Despite all the millionaires cavorting beneath the stadium lights, there might be a guy or two emerge to be a star. Odds are, he won’t…

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Falcons, Matt Ryan run away from Green Bay to reach Super Bowl

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It was billed as a potential shootout. In the end, however, the Atlanta Falcons had most of the weapons. The Falcons, 6-4 at one point this season, blew out the streaking Green Bay Packers Sunday night, winning a runaway 44-21 game. The Falcons, who have never won a Super Bowl (and who have played in only one), will play in two weeks against either New England or Pittsburgh. Quarterback Matt Ryan, an MVP candidate, was excellent in the victory. He…

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Is defense as important as ever in winning NFL playoff football

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In a quarterback-driven world, does defense still win championships? The cliché says yes, of course. No coach is going to come out in favor of a soft defense. But is defense still as important as it was in the days of the Doomsday Defense and the No-Name Defense and the Steel Curtain? Is hounding the opposing quarterback as important today as it used to be? Often these days, it seems that winning a football game is a matter of holding…

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Tampa Bay Bucs’ defense riddled in lopsided loss to Atlanta

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Last year, it was Lovie. This year, it is Mike. And for the Tampa Bay Bucs, the result has been the same old Smith. Once again, the Bucs’ defense let them down Thursday night in a 43-28 loss to the Atlanta Falcons that really wasn’t that close. In a matter of days, the Bucs have given up 1,087 yards, 58 first downs and 73 points in back-to-back losses to the Raiders and Falcons. Tampa Bay beat Atlanta, 31-24, in the…

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Bucs’ Jameis Winston rebounds from early mistake to lead Bucs to a win in Atlanta

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It started with a mistake. Jameis Winston expected Vincent Jackson to zig, and instead, Jackson zagged. And the ball was intercepted by the Atlanta Falcons. It was early in the Bucs’ 31-24 victory over Atlanta, however, and Winston was just getting started. He responded with four touchdown passes, and 281 yards, and the victory. It wasn’t the first time Winston has responded. Coach Dirk Koetter says he hasn’t seen another quarterback who can move on from mistakes as quickly. “No…

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Former Bucs’ running back Warrick Dunn pleads for peace in Baton Rouge

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Few people have the perspective of former Tampa Bay Bucs‘ running back Warrick Dunn when it comes to violence of Baton Rouge. Dunn’s life was shaped with violence in that city. His mother, Betty Smothers, was a police officer who was killed in the line of duty. He grew up raising his younger siblings. Years later, he visited prison to speak to the man who killed his mother. “My heart breaks for the families and law enforcement officers in Baton…

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Falcons, Jaguars seeking win for different reasons

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Conversations about Atlanta’s Dan Quinn and Jacksonville’s Gus Bradley were a lot different a couple of months ago. The Falcons started the season 5-0, and the first-year coach looked like he would get the team back to the playoffs after a two-year absence. The Jaguars lost five of their first six games, couldn’t get out of their own way and were surrounded by speculation about Bradley’s future. The talk has changed dramatically since. Now, the good friends and former Seattle…

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