I saved the Atlanta Falcons for last in today’s series of team-by-team mailbags. There was a reason for that. In case you haven’t noticed, I went in reverse order of the NFC South standings, and the Falcons are in first place.
Patterson in Atlanta writes: Do you think that Roddy White has a legitimate chance of winning MVP, that is if he keeps up what he's got going on now?
Pat Yasinskas: I think it’s important to note that it’s much more difficult for a receiver to win that award than a quarterback or a running back. That’s just kind of the way the system works. That said, I still think White has a chance. He’s having a remarkable season. To have a true shot at the MVP award, he’ll have to continue playing the way he is and putting up the numbers he has been. Perhaps more significantly, the thing that might help his chances most would be for the Falcons to get on a big roll. If they can finish somewhere around 12-4 and White continues at his current pace, I think he’d get strong consideration.
Chris in Atlanta writes: I just finished reading a great ESPN Insider article about the Falcons. Looking at the numbers, it basically says that Brent Grimes has been one of the best corners in the NFL so far this season. I wonder how long he will stay completely under the radar. Comment?
Pat Yasinskas: Yes, KC Joyner did a nice job in that article. Grimes has been playing very well this season, and that’s a tribute to Atlanta’s coaching staff for believing in a guy that a lot of people said was too short to be an effective cornerback. Admit it, Atlanta fans, a lot of you said the same thing about Grimes over the past couple of seasons. But the coaches have long believed Grimes is the best athlete on Atlanta’s roster. His athleticism helps him make up for a lack of height. The one other thing I’ve noticed about him this year is that he’s no longer relying simply on his athletic ability. He looks very comfortable out there and has been making some savvy plays.
Joe in Commerce, Ga., writes: I apologize for calling you out a couple weeks ago for criticizing the Falcons on their Week One loss to Pittsburgh. I believed you were wrong then but I am big enough to see that you have turned the corner on your opinion of the Falcons and have credited them greatly the past few weeks. Thanks for all that you do. In response to your Pro Bowl considerations for each team, what about Jonathan Babineaux? It seems that he is the anchor for a greatly improved Atlanta d-line and that the offensive line doesn't get as much of a push when he is in the game.
Pat Yasinskas: First off, no need to apologize. Having different opinions helps make the world go round. All I ask is that you realize, I work with what I’m given. If the Falcons play a bad game, I’m going to say they played a bad game. When they’re winning, like they have been recently, I’m going to sing their praises. As for Babineaux, yes, that’s a good point. I think he’s a guy who deserves Pro Bowl consideration. He’s definitely the best defensive tackle in the NFC South.
Will in Milledgeville, Ga., writes: It seems like Mike Mularkey was reading your blog because boy did he air it out against the Bengals. I loved the call on third and short to go deep with Roddy White against Pac-man. Can we expect to see the Falcons go deep more?
Pat Yasinskas: Not sure the NFC South Blog has that much power, but I’m glad that Mularkey and Mike Smith opened up the offense a bit last week. Like I kept saying, I didn’t think they needed to blow the offense up and start over. I just thought they needed to tweak things and take a few more shots down the field. They did and that worked. After seeing that work, I would expect the Falcons to continue to take some shots.