- Obama downplays IRS scandal, blames Obamacare rollout on ‘outdated’ agencies
- Pregnancies decline overall, up among older women
- Pentagon plans to destroy Syrian chemical arms on ship at sea
- Paris Metro issues ‘politeness manual’ to improve passengers’ behavior
- Justin Bieber, crew detained at Australian airport in drug search
- Lee Rigby trial: Muslim who machete-hacked soldier calls it ‘humane’ kill
- GM ending Chevy sales in Europe to focus on Opel and Vauxhall
- Putin’s diplomats to U.S. busted for living high life off $1.5M bilked from Medicaid
- Happy Meal: Couple goes to McDonald’s, leaves with bag packed with cash
- Boehner: It took me 3 to 4 hours to sign up for Obamacare
Mike Smith isn’t complacent despite high-flying Falcons’ 4-0 liftoff
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. — The Atlanta Falcons are an imperfect 4-0.
That was the message from coach Mike Smith on Monday, one day after Atlanta's 30-28 win over Carolina.
Matt Ryan, whose health is crucial to the Falcons' continued success, was sacked a career-high seven times.
Smith said the defense gave up too many explosive plays to Cam Newton and the Panthers.
Smith also critiqued himself. He says he was too emotional when he grabbed assistant coach Ray Hamilton as the Falcons had only 10 defensive players on the field in the closing seconds after Matt Bryant's 40-yard field goal with 5 seconds remaining gave the Falcons the lead.
"We were trying to get 11 guys on the field," Smith said. "We only had 10 guys out there on the field. One thing I'm not going to do, I'm not going to have our team at a disadvantage before the snap. We were trying to make sure we handled that situation."
Even so, Smith said he shouldn't have grabbed or bumped Hamilton.
"There was something that happened, and it was in the heat of the battle," he said. "I've had a conversation with coach Hamilton.
"I try to be 100 percent. I wasn't 100 percent yesterday. I've got to do better. I've got to be better."
Smith said his next move was calculated and even rehearsed.
Carolina was about to line up from its 20-yard line when Smith called a timeout -- even though the Falcons were out of timeouts.
Smith said his called timeout was a planned maneuver because the NFL doesn't penalize a team for calling too many timeouts. As an official came over to remind Smith he was out of timeouts, the Falcons had the time needed to get the 11th defensive player on the field.
Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was sacked by John Abraham on the final play, securing the win.
"There's a lot of pressure out there, but that's what we signed up for," Smith said. "I thought our guys handled it very well. We've got some things that we've got to do better. I've got some things I've got to do better in terms of managing the end of the game. It's something we're all going to learn from in terms of what we've got to improve on."
The Falcons play Sunday at Washington.
Despite the imperfections, Atlanta leads second-place Carolina and Tampa Bay by three games in the NFC South.
"I'm aware of it, but I don't pay attention to it," Smith said when asked about the big lead in the division. "This early in the season, you've got to concern yourself with your team. You don't even think about what is going on with the other teams until you're getting ready to play them.
"We've started out fast, and it's just a start."
The seven sacks allowed are the most obvious concern. Ryan was sacked only four times in the team's first three games.
"We gave up way too many sacks, but they weren't all on the offensive line, I can assure you of that," Smith said. "It was an effort that everybody was a part of."
Smith said if wide receivers don't run proper routes, Ryan "is going to be left with nowhere to go with it and have to eat it. That happened a couple times."
Ryan still passed for 369 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. He set up Bryant's go-ahead field goal by driving the team 77 yards with no timeouts in the final minute.
Why such hatred toward America's freedom of religion?
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality: liberal group
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Russian diplomats busted bilking $1.5 million from Medicaid
- Democratic infighting erupts over 'we can have it all' fantasy on entitlements
- NAPOLITANO: Pope Francis should be saving souls, not pocketbooks
- Hack attack: 2 million Facebook, Twitter passwords stolen
- Obama returns to class warfare as poll numbers plunge
- CARSON: Getting to the top by starting at the bottom
- Activists encourage Obama to circumvent Congress, use more executive authority
- Obama lived with Uncle Onyango Obama in the 1980s, White House admits
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
Understanding economic events with a free market explanation
John Wood illustrates a new American politics, and the path to get there.
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
White House pets gone wild!