Falcons vs. Eagles: News and Notes

Falcons vs. Eagles: News and Notes

FLOEWRY BRANCH - News and notes for Atlanta's upcoming game with the Eagles.

--The last time ABC gave Atlanta three dates on Monday Night Football, the results were rather unpleasant. In Week 2 of 1999, Jamal Anderson tore his ACL in a gruesome loss at Dallas, and the Steelers knocked Chris Chandler silly the next month in an ugly defeat at Pittsburgh. Worse yet was the Falcons' last appearance on MNF. They lost 36-0 at St. Louis in October 2003, a performance so utterly horrific that owner Arthur Blank wrote a letter of apology to the network after it hosted the lowest-rated game since the league debuted a Monday game in 1970.

That dropped Atlanta to an MNF-worst 6-18;

--In going 7-1 last year in the regular season, the Falcons allowed an average of just 86 rushing yards on defense. Opponents managed to score only 6.9 points in the fourth quarter and 3.0 in the first.

--RBs Warrick Dunn and T.J. Duckett complement each other so well partly because Duckett has always taken a deferential approach to the two-time Pro Bowl selection, who often is erroneously described as a scatback with little staying power between the tackles.

For the record, Duckett is approximately 65 pounds heavier than the 5-foot-8, 180-pound Dunn, but both run as much inside as they do outside. Dunn will continue to get more snaps as long as he puts up big numbers like the 1,106 rushing yards he had last year.

Because QB Michael Vick is so electric as a runner and the Falcons averaged a league-best 5.1 yards per carry last year, most of the attention goes to him, but Mora quickly points out that FB Justin Griffith provides is a versatile option as a third running back.

"In this style of offense, if you can have a fullback that can run the ball effectively when he is called to and is an effective blocker and yet has that dimension where he can catch the ball out of the backfield and get vertical and get yards after the catch, then I think it's really a weapon," Mora said. "Justin does all of those things really well. You don't feel like you have to take him off the field in any type of situation. He can play for us as a running back in a one-back set. He is our third halfback, and he is a darn good runner."

BY THE NUMBERS: 23 - false-start penalties by opponents in Atlanta's nine home games last season, thanks to the piercing noise of Georgia Dome fans.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "They've done a great job adding pieces year after year to make this a strong ball club year in and year out. Believe me - I was in Philly when we went to the championship game four straight years and we finally got (to the Super Bowl) when the ball finally bounced our way, and that's what you want as an organization, to be competitive year in, year out, so that one year that door opens for you." - LB Ike Reese comparing the Falcons and Eagles.

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