Falcons Lose Key Starter

August 26th, 2016
Safer travels ahead

Safer travels on opening day

It’s already clear the Falcons have an aching pass rush, though Dwight Freeney is a fresh wild card.

But now it’s definite that the Falcons will be missing a key defensive starter against the Buccaneers on opening day.

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport says rookie first-round pick, ex-Gators safety Keanu Neal, will be out up to five weeks after damaging his knee in preseason last night.

This is serious news. Joe listened to “Falcons Day” on SiriusXM NFL Radio this month, and head coach Dan Quinn really believes Neal was/is a guy to take the Atlanta defense over the top with his speed and big-hitting ways.

Remember, Neal was a bit of a shocking pick when the Falcons grabbed him at No. 17 overall. He was projected as a very late first-rounder, or an early second-round guy.

Who knows how Neal would have performed, but Joe’s happy to keep a guy known for aggression and bone-rattling — one who likely would be overhyped in his debut — off the field.

26 Responses to “Falcons Lose Key Starter”

  1. al121976 Says:

    The good news just keeps pouring in, if we start out with a win, that will be a major confidence boost and hopefully set the tone for the season.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I wonder if this will change Bonzai’s prediction.

  3. Doctor Stroud Says:

    Let’s not take the opponent too lightly. How many times do we have to hear reports from the Bucs media about the alleged weakness of an opponent only to see those weaknesses turn into strengths? Our defense was supposed to feast on Derek Anderson when Cam Newton got injured, but he looked like a future Hall of Famer. Look for an “aching” Falcons pass rush to blitz us (“Remember the Titans”-style) all night and sack America’s Quarterback multiple times. I really hope that I’m wrong! Our offense needs to be ready for everything.

  4. BucFan20 Says:

    But the bad news is, looks like they have players that can catch the ball.

  5. SB with Jameis Says:

    Julio also tweaked his ankle and Claiborne got hurt too.

  6. Doctor Stroud Says:

    I’ve diagnosed the Falcons players (from my comfortable office and without actually seeing them), including Clayborn, Freeney, and Jones, and I declare them all fit for duty. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, can the coaches please prepare the Bucs’ players properly for the game?

  7. Dick Butkiss Says:

    Falcons looked like doodoo against the dreaded Fins last night. We should be more than fine in week 1.

  8. LakeLandBuc Says:

    Matt Ryan is killing the Falcons, as long as he’s their starting QB they don’t have a prayer. It don’t matter who is in or out, he need to be benched. But I know it won’t happen because of his salary.

  9. LargoBuc Says:

    Atlanta defense dosen’t scare me at all. Dougie should hit em in the mouth, exhausting them by the fourth quarter.
    But, Matt Ryan is usually at his best early in the year. I’d be shocked if he wasn’t focused and fired up in the dome. That said, I like our d lines chances against their run blocking. Shut down Devonta, blanket Julio and make Ryan win that game for them. Force him to lean on Sanu, Hardy, Tamme all the lesser guys. We have the personel. It’s just a matter of focus. If we are not focused and prepared, Ryan will shred us. And its not like we gotta blitz him much either, force him to go to his secondary read. He dosen’t like that and can result in coverage sacks.

  10. Buccfan37 Says:

    Three wins in a row against them will be special.

  11. Lord Cornelius Says:

    Vic Beasley hasn’t shown me anything special in the Falcons games I’ve checked out.

    In general so many pass rushers the last couple years have been disappointments for where they were drafted it seems. Very happy with what Noah Spence has shown already compared to a lot of those guys.

  12. SB with Jameis Says:

    I have the NFL game pass and watch all Falcons and Panthers preseason games. I don’t fear the Saints so I don’t watch. I’m not afraid of the Falcons so much anymore. As far as the Panthers go I would say that as long as we attack their rookie corners relentlessly we can beat them too.

  13. Defense Rules Says:

    Sure do hope the Bucs don’t start taking opponents as lightly as some media and fans do. If I remember right, our record last 3 yrs was 12 wins and 36 losses … meaning that we’ve won a whopping 25% of our games. Like many optimists on JBF, I’m hopeful for a 10-6 season, but I really hope that the Bucs view themselves as the underdog in each and every game. I’ve seen them come out totally flat far too often.

  14. Mike Johnson Says:

    Don’t mean nothing! Teams have had 3 to 4 starters out and still beat our Bucs. Remember that infamous Carolina QB who..torched us playing an entire game? Simply put..Our Bucs gotta be clickin on all Cylinders to beat..ANYBODY! This first ATL game is very critical for our Bucs. Lose this one and you really stand a chance starting out 0-2. Cause you can bet your last $$, the AZ Cardinals will be ready!

  15. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Tampabaybucfan Says
    “I wonder if this will change Bonzai’s prediction.”


    But for what it is worth, I would be exceedingly happy to be proven wrong on game day.

  16. Kobe Faker Says:

    “I hope they dont pickup vet Donte Whinter” HC Koetter

    “How is our 180lb safety experiment Robert smith coming along” Kobe Faker

  17. Doctor Stroud Says:

    Good point, Defense Rules! Speaking of taking opponents lightly, the following QBs looked like Pro Bowlers against our defense in 2015 alone: Case Keenum, Ryan “released in the middle of the season” Mallett, Matt Hasslebeck (the really old version), and Jay Cutler. To paraphrase Dennis Green, a great coach who recently passed: they were who we thought they weren’t.

  18. Bucsfanman Says:

    Just to reiterate what a lot have said already; we simply cannot overlook ANY team for ANY reason.
    Our mindset has to be to walk out onto that field and curb-stomp the opposing team for 60 minutes! No let up, no prevent offense or defense.
    It’s a team game and there are 10 other “healthy” starters.

  19. R.O. Says:

    A Rookie Safety that would have been playing in his first game was a “Key” Starter… A bit of a stretch.

  20. Buc1987 Says:

    Well I have the Bucs at Atlanta as one of my 8 wins soooo I don’t care what ANY of you have to say about who wins or loses or who’s injured for that matter.

    1-0 out of the gate then it gets muddy.

  21. unbelievable Says:

    LakeLandBuc Says:
    August 26th, 2016 at 1:00 pm
    Matt Ryan is killing the Falcons, as long as he’s their starting QB they don’t have a prayer.


  22. feelthepewterpower Says:

    that’s tough….knee injury and having to play on dome turf???

  23. Ben the Ga Buc Says:

    unbelievable Says:
    August 26th, 2016 at 2:15 pm
    LakeLandBuc Says:
    August 26th, 2016 at 1:00 pm
    Matt Ryan is killing the Falcons, as long as he’s their starting QB they don’t have a prayer.


    He’s not wrong. At all.

  24. unbelievable Says:

    ^^ Okay, so he has 1 bad preseason game and now they don’t have a chance at all?

    Sorry, just not buying it.

    Would love to be wrong though.

  25. Sacbuc$ Says:

    Can you say Dwight Freeney and that dam spin! Might win the game by himself against our tackles. The blindside is subject to get the old one two. Outside inside move and the franchise floored. Only person I’m not worried about is Ali because Gerald made him better from going against him like Davin made GMC better. The rest of the line is suspect.

    Hawley blocks like he in a fight, wild and wreck less at times. He has a motor if there’s a such thing for a Olinemen.
    D.Smith can and will get beat inside. I seen Barwin do it twice in Philly and one of the Dlinemen on the Jags got him with the double move.
    Evan looks like he’s a better center then guard but I would shift the whole line around. LT Dotson LG Donovan C Marpet RG Evan RT Pamphile.

  26. Pickgrin Says:

    I never thought Matt Ryan was anywhere close to “elite” like many were saying as recently as 2 years ago. He’s definitely ranked in the bottom half of QBs in the NFL IMO.

    Matt Ryan’s greatest attribute as a QB was Dirk Koetter putting him in great positions to succeed. Since Koetter has come to the Bucs – we have seen and will continue to see the real “Matty Ice”.

    Regarding the injuries to Keanu Neal and Julio Jones… Awwww – that’s a shame