Eagles completely dominate Falcons, but lose DeSean Jackson after nasty collision

Philadelphia Eagles DeSean Janckson catches a touchdown pass ahead of the arms of Atlanta Falcons William Moore during first quarter Philadelphia Eagles-Atlanta Falcons game action in Philadelphia at Lincoln Financial Field October 17, 2010.  UPI/John Anderson Photo via Newscom

If you type “complete and utter domination” into Google right now, your search will probably yield this:

Eagles 31, Falcons 17.

The Falcons are completely petrified of the Eagles and they have been for the better part of a decade now. Philly has beaten Atlanta 62 of the last 63 times its faced the Falcons (don’t look that figure up – it’s right) and it once again dominated them on Sunday.

The score might as well been Eagles 98, Falcons 0 because the game was never close. Brian Van Gorder had no clue how to defense Marty Mornhinweg’s playing calling, while Sean McDermott’s defense completely befuddled Mike Mularkey, whose going to get Matt Ryan killed if he can’t incorporate more plays that stretch the defense. I swear Mularkey has more stop routes in his offense than L.A. has traffic at 5:00PM on a Friday evening. For once in your life, Mike, get Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez running vertical.

Of course, Ryan didn’t play well Sunday either. He missed open receivers, he freaked out at the sight of pressure, freaked out when there wasn’t pressure and he wasn’t more aggressive late in the game when the Falcons needed a couple of big scores.

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Will inexperience at cornerback hold the Texans back in 2010?

INDIANAPOLIS - NOVEMBER 08: Pierre Garcon #85 of the Indianapolis Colts runs with the ball while defended by Jacques Reeves #35 and Glover Quin #29 of the Houston Texans during the NFL game at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 8, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts won 20-17.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Merry preseason, everyone. It’s been a long offseason, but football is finally gearing up again and to celebrate I’m rolling out a new series on TSR entitled “2010 NFL Question Marks,” where I discuss one or two of the biggest concerns that teams have heading into the new season. Granted, some teams have more issues than others, but I’ll primarily be focusing on the biggest problem areas. Today I’ll be discussing whether or not inexperience could derail the Texans’ playoff hopes.

As we head into a new season, you get the sense that the Houston Texans are on the verge of making their first playoff appearance in franchise history. They have a great core on offense featuring Andre Johnson, Matt Schaub and Owen Daniels (when healthy), as well as several young defensive playmakers in Amobi Okoye, Mario Williams and DeMeco Ryans.

But unfortunately, the Texans still have plenty of question marks at the cornerback position, enough to make you wonder if this team will once again come up short in their bid to make the postseason.

Their top corner left via free agency this offseason when Dunta Robinson signed with the Falcons. Some pundits will point out that Robinson struggled last year – and he did, recording zero interceptions despite playing the full 16-game slate.

But I asked both Daniels and wide receiver David Anderson this offseason about what Robinson brought to their team and they both essentially said the same thing: Toughness. Despite being 5’10” and 182 pounds, Robinson often played like a middle linebacker in that he never shied away from contract and loved coming up to make a big hit.

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2010 NFL Question Marks: Atlanta Falcons

FLOWERY BRANCH, GA - JULY 30: Chevis Jackson , Dunta Robinson  and Brent Grimes  of the Atlanta Falcons celebrate after a defensive turnover during opening day of training camp on July 30, 2010 at the Falcons Training Complex in Flowery Branch, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Merry training camp season, everyone. It’s been a long offseason, but football is finally gearing up again and to celebrate I’m rolling out a new series on TSR entitled “2010 NFL Question Marks,” where I discuss one or two of the biggest concerns that teams have heading into the new season. Granted, some teams have more issues than others, but I’ll primarily be focusing on the biggest problem areas. Today I’ll be discussing the Falcons, who still have some holdover questions from last year in their secondary.

When you look up and down the Falcons’ current depth chart, you don’t see a lot of weaknesses. Their offensive core of Matt Ryan, Michael Turner, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez is outstanding and while their offensive line is comprised of five no-names (save for maybe former first rounder Sam Baker), they’re solid as a collective unit (even underrated to some extent).

Atlanta’s biggest question marks come on the defensive side of the ball, although they’re not as prevalent as some may think. John Abraham saw his sack total drop from 16.5 in 2008 to only 5.5 in 2009, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t effective. He still provided the Falcons with a steady pass rush – he just didn’t get to the quarterback as frequently as he did in ’08.

That said, the Falcons definitely need him to pick up his game if they’re going to make a trip back to the postseason this year. The good news is that he’ll have help in the form of Jonathan Babineaux (the team’s most underrated defensive player and best interior pass-rusher) and Peria Jerry (assuming he’s healthy), as well as two ends in Kroy Biermann and Lawrence Sidbury that I firmly believe will turn heads this season. Plus, if former 8th overall pick Jamaal Anderson ever lives up to the potential he displayed during his final year at Arkansas, the Falcons could have the makings of a great defensive line.

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David Anderson chats with The Scores Report

HOUSTON - NOVEMBER 23:  Wide receiver David Anderson #89 of the Houston Texans avoids a tackle by safety Kevin Kaesviharn #26 of the Tennessee Titans in the fourth quarter at Reliant Stadium on November 23, 2009 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Do a YouTube search of Texans’ receiver David Anderson and what usually pops up first is his imitation of Conan O’Brien’s “String Dance” following a touchdown against the Bengals in 2009.

That’s usually not something a player wants to be known for, but after chatting with him while he was on break from football at Manhattan Beach, we get the impression that David doesn’t mind.

During our 15-minute chat, Anderson was kind enough to fill us in on what to expect this year out of the Texans, including what players he believes are in store for breakout campaigns. We also shared a few laughs after he found out that a fantasy publication ranked him No. 125 out of 125 receivers for the 2010 season and what transpired immediately before he called us, when he and his mother had to go to the pound after their dog ran away. (He was amused, although she wasn’t.)

For more on David, check out his Twitter page, whiteout89.

The Scores Report: Hi, this is Anthony.

David Anderson: Hey, this is David Anderson calling in.

TSR: Hey David, how are you, man?

DA: I’m good. I’m sorry, man – my mom lost her dog and we had to go to the pound.

TSR: Oh, no! Is everything all right? Did you find her dog?

DA: Yeah, it’s not the most gracious place to be – the dog pound.

TSR: I bet. How long did it take you to come up with that excuse for being late for our interview?

DA: No, no! We just found it – it’s my mom’s golden retriever, Houston. Now I’m all set – I promise!

TSR: (Laughs) I’m just giving you a hard time!

DA: (Laughs)

TSR: How has the offseason been?

DA: It’s going, It’s going. This is my last trip – I’m at Manhattan Beach right now. It’s kind of like my favorite beach, so I’m out here for about a week to workout and train and then it’s back to Houston.

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Dunta Robinson a Falcon by the end of the day?

Using Atlanta GM Thomas Dimitroff’s exact words, the Falcons have publicly stated over the past couple weeks that they would be “fiscally responsible” when it comes to spending money on free agents this offseason. In other words, the Falcons are expected to be awfully quiet in free agency and instead focus on the draft.

But as of Friday morning, the Falcons appear to be a lock to land former Texan Dunta Robinson, who along with Leigh Bodden is one of the top cornerbacks on the market. Robinson is currently in Atlanta now and a deal could be wrapped up by the end of the day.

Despite Dimitroff’s stated plan to fly under the radar this offseason, the Falcons know that their number one need is in the secondary. They re-signed veteran Brian Williams to a one-year deal on Thursday, but he’s 31 and missed most of the 2009 season after tearing his ACL. Chris Houston (a 2007 second round pick) was eventually supposed to emerge as the team’s No. 1 corner and while he’s a tremendous athlete, he has trouble playing the ball when it’s in the air and often gets beat in coverage. Brent Grimes is arguably the team’s best athlete, but he can be beat by taller, more physical wideouts that tower over his listed 5-10 (that’s being generous) frame. Chevis Jackson and Chris Owens are bigger corners that Dimitroff drafted in the middle rounds over the last two years, but they still have a ways to go in their development.

For the Falcons, it’s all about matching up with the Saints. They know they need all the corner help they can get since they have to play New Orleans twice a year, which is why they’re willing to spend big on Robinson. Obviously we don’t know what the final contract numbers will be, but there’s a good chance Atlanta slightly overpays for Robinson because corner is such a need area.

Robinson failed to produce an interception last season, but still displayed the skills necessary to be a top-flight corner. He certainly wasn’t great in coverage, but with a new deal and a new team, he should be motivated to play well next year. If the Falcons do land him, they’ll be taking a significant step in their efforts to return to the playoffs.

12:20PM ET Update: Adam Schefter reports that the Falcons tried to acquire Robinson before the trade deadline last year. If that’s the case, whatever Atlanta signs Robinson for today will be a bargain, seeing as how they didn’t have to give up a draft pick on top of a long-term contract.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

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