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Mike Smith understands Falcons won’t get respect until they win in “second season”

Mike Smith AP

The Falcons have rocketed to 5-0, and only a home game with the Raiders next Sunday stands in their way of entering the bye week at 6-0.  Coupled with the struggles of teams like the Panthers, Buccaneers, and Saints, it’s a matter of when Atlanta clinches the NFC South, not if.

Still, true respect for the franchise hinges on the question of if they win in the postseason.  And coach Mike Smith understands that.

“We have not played well in the second season,” Smith told PFT by phone after Sunday’s 24-17 win over the Redskins, in reference to the team’s 0-3 postseason mark since 2008.  “We’ve got to continue to play well now.  We’ll worry about the season season when it comes.”

Playing well now includes playing well on the road.  The Falcons are 3-0 in open-air games, with 52 passes thrown Sunday under rainy conditions at FedEx Field.

Was it in the game plan to put it in the air that much?  “I just kind of happened that way,” Smith said, pointing out that even with more than half of a hundred throws the Falcons still won the time-of-possession battle.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan did an excellent job of finding the open receiver, given that the Redskins changed the coverages to focus on different players at different times.  In the end, less attention was devoted by the Redskins to tight end Tony Gonzalez, who caught 13 passes for 123 yards and a touchdown.

Sunday’s performance from the future Hall of Famer is the kind of thing that could get the Falcons to try to persuade him to stick around in 2013.  Smith pointed out that Gonzalez said before the season that he’s 95 percent certain that 2012 will be Gonzalez’s final year.

“You hope for the five percent,” Smith said, laughing.

The Falcons also were hoping for the five wins they now have before the season started.  And they’ve gotten each of them, putting them atop the NFC and, pending Monday night’s game between the Texans and Jets, possibly atop the league.

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24 Responses to “Mike Smith understands Falcons won’t get respect until they win in “second season””
  1. rcunningham says: Oct 7, 2012 6:49 PM

    Finally, a coach who gets it. Sick of all these coaches saying “we’re better than our record shows” and the like to keep backpedaling and save face. I’m definitely not a Falcons fan (I’ll be permanently butthurt about the 98 NFCG), but I like Mike Smith.

  2. bobulated says: Oct 7, 2012 6:54 PM

    Falcons have looked good most of the time and dominant at others. The biggest factor has been winning the turnover battle and getting takeaways which has mitigated an at times porous defense. They are beatable but whoever does it will have to take care of the ball better than their first 5 opponents have. Not sure the Raiders are that kind of team and wouldn’t be surprised to see them go into their bye week 6-0.

  3. iceshocker says: Oct 7, 2012 6:55 PM

    looking like the falcons will have 4 players over 1,00 0 yards (white,turner,julio,gonzalez)…ridiculous

  4. daknight93 says: Oct 7, 2012 7:05 PM

    smart coach, no one cares about regular season success…this is a league based on what have you done for me lately, falcons cruise thru 1st half of their schedule…Falcons haven’t faced a team that will punch them in the mouth yet…that’s when you know what kind of team the falcons are..long season, congrats for fast 5-0 start tho it means nothing.

  5. thelionsrgreat says: Oct 7, 2012 7:05 PM

    Won’t happen with Ryan at the helm. He really isn’t that good. His receivers make him look so much better than he is. Stafford is so much better than him it’s funny.

  6. The Prophet says: Oct 7, 2012 7:06 PM

    Falcons fans should be happy their coach has things in perspective, because as good as they are playing, they also seemed lights out in 2010 and were smoked by an overrated Packers squad at home. Even if they go 15-1, good for them, but I wouldn’t bet a penny on them winning a Super Bowl until they win a playoff game and erase one of the collosal choke jobs in playoff history.

  7. kelshannon19 says: Oct 7, 2012 7:09 PM

    Depending on Mondays Texans-Jets game? Lets get real.

  8. beckzhere says: Oct 7, 2012 7:15 PM

    The Greatest Show on Turf has returned!!!

  9. dogluverssuck says: Oct 7, 2012 7:17 PM

    Still haven’t won a playoff game in 9 years.

  10. dogluverssuck says: Oct 7, 2012 7:17 PM

    The most irrevelent 5-0 team in NFL History.

  11. trefkennedy says: Oct 7, 2012 7:26 PM

    Wait till week 9, when TeamCowboys go to ATL

  12. kinguga says: Oct 7, 2012 7:27 PM

    Of course, the key to doing well in the second season is getting there in the first place. The Falcons seem focused on doing that. After all, they could have turtled in the last two games and didn’t.

  13. hardh3ad says: Oct 7, 2012 7:51 PM

    True enough we must win in the playoffs, ppl can say what they want but we cant worry about that till the time comes. I’d rather be 5-0 than have any other number than zero in the loss column I’ll tell u that much

  14. rcunningham says: Oct 7, 2012 7:56 PM

    dogluverssuck says:
    Oct 7, 2012 7:17 PM
    The most irrevelent 5-0 team in NFL History.

    No way, they aren’t the 2009 Broncos or 2008 Titans.

  15. ebrownwareagle says: Oct 7, 2012 7:57 PM

    Funny all the negative post about irrelevancy and a one Matt Stafford, from people who’s team hasn’t won a Super Bowl this decade either. I’d rather be 5-0 leading mr division now and going forward than to be one of the bottom feeders like the Detroit Lions, Saints and others. Can’t worry about tomorrow gotta focus on 2Day! Go FALCONS! One game closer to winning the division unlike the vast majority of the league. We will deal with the playoffs when we get there.

  16. seenoland54 says: Oct 7, 2012 7:59 PM

    ” The most irrevelent 5-0 team in NFL History.”

    They are sure relevant to the five they beat. No one has beat them folks.

  17. nolaisadump says: Oct 7, 2012 8:04 PM

    One step at a time. Just as your team has to learn how to win,learn to win on the road,learn to winwhen you don’t play your best. You have to learn how to win in the post season. The falcons Re doing just that.

  18. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Oct 7, 2012 8:04 PM

    Falcons really haven’t been tested yet. Not their fault but it has been an easy schedule so far.

    They look better than last year to me. Want to see them play a good team. Think everyone they have played has a losing record but the Chargers.

  19. jmsincla says: Oct 7, 2012 8:09 PM

    Ryan has already made plans for late January.

  20. dzor22 says: Oct 7, 2012 8:55 PM

    One reason that the 4 of the 5 teams that Atlanta beat is because of…Atlanta.

  21. mannyicey says: Oct 8, 2012 3:16 AM

    …but it’s still good to be undefeated. And it looks like a shoe-in for the division.

  22. JMil_ATL says: Oct 8, 2012 6:04 AM

    He knew he had to say it because you can’t write an article without bringing it up. You could be writing about the good things that the Falcons do for charity…but it doesn’t mean a thing until they get a playoff win.

    Give me a break. Last 3 losses are to Giants (won Super Bowl), Packers (won Super Bowl), and Cardinals (lost in Super Bowl). Do you know what every team that doesn’t win the Super Bowl have in common? They all lost a playoff game! Some just played a game or 2 (or 3) more.

    The thing is…you picked against them this week and instead of being humble you still have to be snarky. I’m betting you won’t even post this unedited or at all.

  23. roddytorock84 says: Oct 8, 2012 6:28 AM

    I love the “the other teams have losing records” comments. I’m pretty sure if atl lost those game 3 of 5 would have winning records right?

  24. roddytorock84 says: Oct 8, 2012 6:30 AM

    Its always “they have yet to play a good(my) team” like the cowboys or someone bad… lol

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