Sugar and Salt – Week XII


November 25, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) catches the pass for a touchdown as Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Leonard Johnson (29) defends during the second half of the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-US PRESSWIRE

Each week for my post game analysis, I will give one offensive and defensive Falcon player a little “sugar” for his “sweet” playing on the field. I will also give one player on the Falcons a little ”salt” for his salty, lackluster play for the week. Please feel free to leave comments and provide your own “Sugar and Salt” for the week. You can also tweet me at @ianborders7 or all of us at @bloggingdirty to provide input for your picks each week.

Sugar (offense)- Julio Jones- Injured ankle? You think that can phase the artist formerly known as the “Predator”. Child please! Even with a slightly sprained ankle and a questionable game time decision, Julio was able to notch off six catches for 147 yards, including one 80 yard touchdown catch where he was able to explode past the corner, trip himself up, catch the ball, step on the corner, and stride away for a gloryful touchdown. In that one play, Julio was a combination of Usain Bolt (sprint off the line), Clumsy the Smurf (trip on the line), Jerry Rice (what a catch), Ndamukong Suh (stomp that fool), then back to Usain Bolt (he gone). This guy continues to aww not only Falcons fans, but the national media and fans alike. It is almost embarrassing to some of the veteran receivers that this is only his second year in the league and he has already solidified himself as one of the top 5 receivers in the league (can you name 5 that are better?)

Sugar (defense) – Sean Weatherspoon- It is hard to miss ‘Spoon’ when he is out on the field, and this is why the Falcons more than missed him when he was out of the line-up. ‘Spoon’ delivered shot after shot on Bucs behind the line all day in Tampa. Even when he wasn’t making tackles, he was blowing up  blocks so teammates could pursue free handed, or he was disrupting the route of a runner by taking away the outside lanes, forcing them back to the middle where the help was head-hunting. He helped hold one of this years top performing running backs in rookie Doug (muscle hamster) Martin to just 50 yards on 21 carries (his long was 10 yards). Sean is critical to the success of the Falcons this post-season, especially with the line-backing core being as thin and old as it is. He brings a certain amount of life and energy to the position that Falcons’ fans haven’t seen in this decade. I guess he missed out on Thanksgiving, because dude was hungry on Sunday. Gobble gobble!!!

Salt – Matt Bryant – I won’t even get into the fact that he is on my fantasy team and let me down in a critical match-up to win the league (can you tell I’m bitter…)…Aside from all of that, one thing you constantly hear from the media is how accurate the kickers are in the NFL. Up until this point, with the exception of maybe one other game, Bryant has been just that. Something went wrong against the Bucs though. Bryant went one for three on field goals in the game, one of which he missed from extra point range at the end of a fantastic drive to end the first half. Talk about a waste. Instead we entered halftime tied at 10 with the Bucs having the momentum of gaining the ball after the break. I’m sure Bryant will be extra focused this week at practice, especially since it is a short week and he will have a quick turnaround to redeem himself against the rival Saints. If my wits are about me, I think he will play a crucial role in the Thursday Night showcase.

November 25, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon (56) claps as he gets pumped up during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Atlanta Falcons defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24-23. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE