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Morning Jolt: Ryan's play concerns Falcons


Monday, September 12

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Ryan's play a concern for Falcons

Two starts does not a trend make, but Matt Ryan can't like his recent line. The Falcons didn't lose Sunday's season opener against Chicago solely because [Ryan] played poorly, any more than they lost a playoff game to Green Bay last January solely because Ryan was a turnover machine. But doesn't it always start with the quarterback in football? ... Falcons coach Mike Smith declined to comment on the play of "specific players" until after he evaluated game film. But some things probably don't need heavy analysis. Ryan has three interceptions, two lost fumbles and only one touchdown pass in his last two starts. Success and failure in the NFL usually starts with the quarterback. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)Comment

Ortiz says it's time for Red Sox to panic

For his part, Terry Francona admits things aren't all that pretty these days for Boston. A man who knows a little something about unlikely comebacks, Johnny Damon, was asked how the Red Sox might be reacting after getting swept by the Rays this weekend. "Hopefully they can feel us coming," Damon said. If the Sox can't feel it by now, they never will. The Rays have won four straight and seven of eight to climb within three games of the wild-card lead in the loss column. The Sox have dropped five straight and were 1-6 on their road trip to nowhere. "[Heck], yeah, you've got to panic," David Ortiz said. The Sox are a mess at the moment. (Boston Herald)Comment

Shaq told Celtics not to deal Perkins

Shaquille O'Neal knew it was time to retire, though had he been healthy, he thinks he might have gone out differently. "At 39, I wasn't mentally on the down slope. But I used to feel really terrible after scoring eight points. This ain't me, the Diesel scoring eight points. My mind was on winning the whole thing, and we had a chance to get the second spot (in the Eastern Conference), and we ended up getting the fourth spot. I even told (Boston General Manager) Danny Ainge not to do the Kendrick Perkins deal with Oklahoma City. I told them I might not be ready, and I'm definitely not coming back. Those guys did what they've got to do. I wasn't surprised; I've seen it before." (The Times Picayune)Comment

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SI Vault: More Nolan Ryan

This Day in Sports

  • 1991 -- Nolan Ryan registers his 312th career win with a 4-3 victory over the Twins
  • 1979 -- Carl Yastrzemski becomes the 15th player in MLB history to get 3,000 hits
  • 1987 -- Vince Coleman steals his 100th base for the third straight season