SEATTLE -- The Falcons will cap off Week 11 in the NFL with an exciting matchup against the Seattle Seahawks on "Monday Night Football." Let's catch up on any final pieces of news regarding the Falcons that developed over the weekend.
Today's Early Bird Report includes several pieces of information on tonight's game as well as the Falcons getting the first crack at the new-look secondary.
FALCONS HEADLINES FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY
ESPN.com: Sarkisian on Julio: 'Attention he gets makes life a lot easier'
The Falcons' offense looked much sharper on third downs and in the red zone during their win over the Cowboys, and offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian viewed that as a game in which the offense executed they way they're capable. With so many options available on offense, including All-Pro receiver Julio Jones, the Falcons don't need to force feed any one player. According to ESPN's Vaugh McClure, Sarkisian detailed the advantages of having Jones on this unit and why he hasn't been given the number of chances in the red zone that some believe he should.
"A, we haven't gotten the best look for those [opportunities], and No. 2, we haven't take as good as advantage of them as I would like," Sarkisian said, per McClure. "We keep striving for it, we keep grinding for it. But I do know this: The attention he gets makes life a lot easier for a lot of the other guys, and I think we're seeing the benefits of that."
*Atlanta Journal-Constitution: *Falcons look back warmly on Georgia Dome before it dies
The Georgia Dome was imploded early Monday morning, and many Falcons players were asked about their memories of the facility over the course of the week. The AJC's Matt Winkeljohn discussed the Dome with many former players and coaches, including quarterback Matt Ryan.
"One game? The last one there was a pretty good one. Playing in the NFC championship last year, that was a fun memory of that Dome," Ryan said. "That will be something I'll always remember.
"I think my first game in there, too, in the NFL was special, playing the Detroit Lions back in 2008, first time playing in the NFL."
Here are some additional headlines on the Falcons:
- *Atlanta Journal-Constitution: *Falcons, Seahawks will be without key stars
- *The News Tribune: *Falcons set to test Seattle's 'Legion of Backups'
- ESPN.com: Falcons' Jones finds 'clean' diet is his key to staying on field
NEWS ON THE FALCONS' OPPONENT: Seattle Seahawks
NFL.com: Kam Chancellor expected to miss rest of 2017 season
The neck injury preventing Seattle's starting strong safety, Kam Chancellor, from playing Monday night will reportedly keep him out for the rest of the year, according to NFL.com's Nick Shook. Shook cites a report from NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, who was informed by inside sources familiar with the situation.
When asked about Chancellor's possible absence for the year, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said they were still evaluating his status.
"We're still looking at what our options are," Carroll said, per Shook. "And we'll continue to do that and keep evaluating what's going on. We're working very closely with him on that."
*The News Tribune: *Carroll vows Seahawks won't abandon the run. Should they?
Seattle has continued to search for a consistent ground game this season. Currently ranked 22nd in the NFL in rushing yards per game, the Seahawks' leading rusher is none other than quarterback Russell Wilson. Without Wilson's 290 rushing yards, Seattle would be ranked last in the run game. In analyzing the Seahawks' offense, Gregg Bell of *The News Tribune *asks, is it time to abandon the run?
Here are some additional headlines on the Seahawks worth reading:
- *The News Tribune: *Seahawks walking a delicate line with popular players
- *Seattle Times: *Seahawks open the LOB-lite era on 'Monday Night Football'
BIGGEST NEWS FROM AROUND THE NFC SOUTH
ESPN.com: Saints so hot that a 15-point deficit in final minutes doesn't stand a chance
The Saints erased a big, 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter against the Washington Redskins to earn their eighth straight victory on Sunday afternoon. New Orleans once again gained over 500 yards of offense, mixing a nice blend of run (160 yards) and pass (375), but its defense gave up over 450 yards to Washington. Despite the comeback victory, Saints coach Sean Payton didn't let his team off the hook for falling behind in the first place.
"There's a lot of things we've got to get cleaned up," Payton said, according to ESPN's Mike Triplett. "There's no 'Victory Monday' tomorrow. We'll be in early tomorrow ... and that's just how it's gonna be."
*Tampa Bay Times: *Instant analysis from Tampa Bay's win over Miami
It appeared as though Tampa Bay would be on the wrong side of a dramatic comeback, nearly letting a 13-point lead in the first half slip away. The Buccaneers held firm, however, and Ryan Fitzpatrick improved to 2-0 as the team's starting quarterback, helping earn a 30-20 victory against the Dolphins. After the win, several members of the Tampa Bay Times staff weighed in.
"This might have been the worst NFL game I ever saw," said the *Times' *Tom Jones. "The Dolphins committed a zillion penalties, but somehow the Bucs were in a dogfight until the very end. They survived and won on a late field goal. I guess in the end, it doesn't matter how. The Bucs won. But, man, that was ugly. The Bucs will be fine for the rest of the season as long as they play teams as bad as the Dolphins."
Here are some notable headlines on other NFC South teams:
- CBS Sports: Saints sure look like NFL's most complete team
- *The Times-Picayune: *Miracles are happening as 2017 Saints summon signature moment
- ESPN.com: Bucs rookies come up big in key moments in win over Dolphins
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