From Hot Cold ‘Lanta, here is a sample of reactions to the Falcons loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday night.

Atlanta Falcons Play Terrible, Chump to Patriots | Atlanta Journal Constitution

The Atlanta Falcons continued their tour of crap on Sunday Night Football and they looked every bit as terrible as those old Falcons, pretty pitiful overall, in their attempt to beat a quality opponent that was severely handicapped. This team is now 1-3, reeling, and looking like the end of an Era because this team looks as lifeless as a dead jellyfish. Half the stadium was empty in the 4th quarter of a nationally televised game. More to come on the garbage that was, but for now, give your take if you can hold the vomit at bay……….

Report card: Kenbrell Thompkins a.k.a. Lynn Swann Jr. | Atlanta Journal Constitution

With Falcons rushing three and dropping eight, Brady had enough time to read a book before tossing a 26-yard dart to Kenbrell Thompkins (who?) for the first down.

F — Offensive Line: Sam Baker tried to go. But it was no surprise when his left knee buckled and he had to depart the game. Baker is a fighter, but he stalled one drive on his own. Holmes was pressed back into action and doesn’t seem to fight very hard after the initial contact. Right guard Garrett Reynolds got knocked back into the ball carrier on one play and some guy named Joe Vellano got a key sack while coming between the Reynolds-Peter Konz gap. The line received a break with Vince Wilfork’s injury, but couldn’t take advantage of the backup.

F — Defensive line: Has anybody seen Osi Umenyiora? The great ones come up with a sack when the team needs one. On the third-and-19 from New England’s 12, the Falcons needed a sack. He didn’t get it. Also, after the game he was nowhere to be found. He must be embarrassed by his play as he’s been regularly been hiding out from the media. Come on Osi! Defensive line coach Ray Hamilton’s crew had no sacks and just three quarterback hits. They also were not stout in the run game.

F — Linebackers: The Falcons tried to use their 3-4 with Osi and Joplo Bartu (as Biermann) as the outside linebackers. Akeem Dent and Paul Worrilow started as the inside linebackers. Worrilow got the start over Stephen Nicholas. The Patriots gashed the run defense for 132 yards on 31 carries for a respectable 4.3 yards per carry. Blount’s 47-yard touchdown run was inexcusable. Dent got hurt on the play and had to receive medical treatment after the game. It could be Nicholas and Worrilow at inside linebacker against the Jets.

F — Defensive backs: Kenbrell Thompkins caught six passes for 127 yards. Who is Kenbrell Thompkins? According to Wiki he’s “an American football wide reciever for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He played colllege football for El Camino Community College from 2008 to 2009 and Cincinnati from 2011 to 2012.” That’s bad. I went to Cincinnati’s College of Law and I didn’t know him until Sunday. The Mighty Bearcat caught six passes for 127 yards and a touchdown. Julian Edelman had his way with nickel back Robert McClain as he caught seven passes for 118 yards.

When the Falcons see red, they stop – and lose | Atlanta Journal Constitution

Remember those stat folks who said the Falcons wouldn’t win as many close games this time around? The 2012 team was 7-2 in one-score games. The 2013 team is 1-3 and has already lost as many regular-season games as the 2012 Falcons – and also the 2010 Falcons. And it wasn’t as if the Falcons stunk out the joint against New England: They gained 457 yards against a Bill Belichick defense and made only one turnover. They made some plays; they just didn’t make winning plays. A year ago, the Falcons made winning plays even on days when they probably shouldn’t have won.

Some in Atlanta may be wishing that the Falcons had re-signed backup tackle Will Svitek:

Falcons bench tackle Lamar Holmes for Jeremy Trueblood | Atlanta Journal Constitution

After offensive tackle Lamar Holmes faltered in three regular-season games, the Falcons finally saw enough. Veteran Jeremy Trueblood replaced Holmes as the starter at right tackle Sunday night against New England in the Georgia Dome.

The Falcons entered training camp short on experienced offensive linemen. Holmes struggled at right tackle during the exhibition season but the Falcons waited until the eve of the regular season to sign Trueblood.
Holmes, Atlanta’s third-round draft pick in 2012, said he’s still confident in spite of getting benched.

Falcons Bench Stephen Nicholas, Lamar Holmes Sunday Night | The Falcoholic

The Falcons are looking for answers right now and can’t seem to find any. Just hope this team is as healthy as possible for the game against the Jets coming up, because they need some hope right now.

Patriots withstand rally to down Falcons, 30-23 | Atlanta Journal Constitution

The jury had been out on the Patriots, who had raced out to a 3-0 record against the likes E.J. Manual, Geno Smith and Josh Freeman, who’s been benched in Tampa Bay.

This was the Patriots first test against a marquee quarterback in Matt Ryan, but the Falcons defense could not hold up against a power-running game and slew of Brady passes to the likes of Kenbrell Thompkins and Julian Edelman. And Ryan couldn’t pull out another miracle finish.

Ryan’s record dropped to 34-6 at the Georgia Dome. With a victory he would have tied Brett Favre for most wins by a quarterback in his first 40 home games.

The Falcons did another second-half flop.

Over the last six games, they have established a pattern of playing strong in the first half before fading. Over those last six games, including the playoffs, the Falcons have been outscored 110-46 in the second halves.

This game followed that pattern.

Patriots keep Falcons guessing, win again | Atlanta Journal Constitution

New England returned home as one of three 4-0 teams in the AFC, though Miami could become the fourth with a victory Monday at New Orleans.

Unlike the Falcons, who have sunk to 1-3 while struggling to overcome the losses of running back Steven Jackson, linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, cornerback Asante Samuel and defensive end Kroy Biermann, the Patriots keep winning.

Two-time Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski has yet to make his season debut because of back and forearm injuries. Receiver Danny Amendola and running back Shane Vereen have been out since Week 1
At the Georgia Dome, the Patriots lost Vince Wilfork, their five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle, to an ankle injury on Atlanta’s opening drive.

Patriots receiver Aaron Dobson left the game midway through the third quarter after colliding with Falcons free safety Thomas DeCoud in the end zone.

But none of these setbacks slowed down New England.

Takeaways from Week 4 |

Honestly, losing to the Miami Dolphins on the road wasn’t that shocking to me. Losing to the Patriots at home, however was. I just expected the Falcons to play much better than they did on Sunday night.

While I think people far too often go to the well of “bad play-calling” as a reason for why an offense stagnates, I do think Dirk Koetter is open to some criticism. At least in the sense that he needs to find ways to get the ball into the end zone when the Falcons get into the red zone. The Falcons were downright atrocious in the red zone against New England, only scoring touchdowns on 1 of 6 trips there. It’s a results-oriented business, and Koetter needs to do whatever it takes to get better results. Whether that means he has to change his play-calling remains to be seen, but the Falcons have to do better. The Falcons seemed to have little to no interest in running the football, with only 1 of 18 red zone play calls being runs against New England, and them having a 30:70-percent run-pass balance through the first three quarters. It should be noted that the game was within one score throughout that period, and thus it’s not as if the Falcons were throwing just to catch-up.

Defensively, the Falcons simply gave up too many big plays. That 3rd-and-19 play where Kenbrell Thompkins gained 26 yards was a killer. The very next play they gave up a 47-yard touchdown run to LeGarrette Blount. Not to mention the 49-yard bomb to Thompkins earlier where he made William Moore look like Haruki Nakamura, the 44-yard play to Julian Edelman where he beat Robert McClain on an option route on 3rd-and-8, and the 34-yard bomb to Edelman where he blew past Joplo Bartu deep down the middle. You just can’t get gashed for big gains like that and expect to win.

The Falcons pass rush is non-existent. The early returns on the Osi Umenyiora signing haven’t been promising, even with a two-sack effort against Miami. Nobody else is really stepping up, and it’s not as if the Falcons are going to be able to sign a player off the street tomorrow and think he’s going to add much of anything. Frankly, the Falcons are hanging their hat that the current players pick things up or maybe they can fleece some team out of a promising young pass rusher as we approach the trade deadline at the end of October. I’d love it if the Falcons could get their hands on Lamarr Houston, Michael Johnson, or Brandon Graham, butthose guys are probably unlikely to get traded or the price tag will be a bit too high. But regardless how this season plays out, the Falcons are going to have to look very long and hard at pass rushers in next May’s draft. At this point, I don’t see how the Falcons couldn’t use their top pick on a lineman on either side of the ball.

And that is the main issue the Falcons have had: they can’t win in the trenches. That just doesn’t cover this season, but goes back multiple years.

One fan site wants to use the injury excuse for the Falcons loss. Are you kidding me? Apparently they didn’t bother to look even as far as across the line of scrimmage in that regard.

Falcons vs. Patriots Recap: Falcons Drop To 1-3 | The Falcoholic

The Falcons are looking for answers right now and can’t seem to find any. Just hope this team is as healthy as possible for the game against the Jets coming up, because they need some hope right now.

Falcons vs. Patriots Recap: Falcons Drop To 1-3 | The Falcoholic

The Atlanta Falcons came into Sunday Night Football in dire need of a win. They didn’t play like it in a 30-23 loss.

We’re at a point where this team’s troubles need to be acknowledged. We can’t keep pointing out what this team has done in previous years, because thanks to injuries and ineffectiveness, this team bears little resemblance to the teams that were perennial playoff contenders from 2008-2012. The Falcons are playing uninspired football, they look anemic and sloppy on defense and they hurt themselves on offense constantly with penalties and poor execution. There’s a ton of talent on this team, but there’s also major weaknesses along the lines, and ultimately those are swinging relatively close games into the “crushing loss” column.

The injuries are absolutely getting ridiculous, sure, but unfortunately there’s nothing the Falcons can do but play through them.

Falcons-Patriots: Another Injury-Ridden Loss | The Falcoholic

Fact: Bill Belichick has a grizzly bear carpet in his living room; the bear isn’t dead, it’s just afraid to move.

For more reactions from Atlanta, check out the fan forum at the team’s website,

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