Editor's Note: Atlanta Falcons fullback Ovie Mughelli, a former Porter-Gaud star, chronicles the NFL season each Sunday for The Post and Courier.
Sometimes you can see games like this coming. It's something in practice during the week or on the flight up for the game or during pre-game warm-ups. You get that feeling that something just isn't right with the team.
I can honestly say that there was nothing that I saw during our preparation or before the game that foreshadowed the kind of game we played last Sunday against the Chicago Bears (30-12 loss).
We had a good week of practice, we were focused, we were on task and I felt like we were going to go up to Soldier Field and make a statement to the rest of the NFC that we were a team to be reckoned with this season. That the 2010 season wasn't a fluke.
Well, we made a statement all right. That when you're not focused on the job at hand, you're going to be whipped in this league.
Everything that could go wrong, went wrong last Sunday against the Bears. The Bears have a very good football team, but we beat ourselves with mistake after mistake. Turnovers obviously killed us. We were so good last year at protecting the football and we put the ball on the ground a couple of times.
Of course, my day didn't start out that great either.
During a first quarter kickoff, I injured my knee and essential had to watch the rest of the game from the locker room. Nothing is more frustrating than watching a game from your own locker room and seeing the team struggle. You want to be out there, fighting with your teammates, but you're helpless because of an injury.
I've been practicing most of the week, so I'm confident that I'll be ready to go today against Philadelphia.
This is the third time that we've played against Michael Vick.
For the guys on the team, the whole Michael Vick vs. the Falcons thing is a dead issue. Honestly, I don't think it came up more than a couple of times during the week.
Michael still has a lot of friends on the team, but he plays for the Philadelphia Eagles, so between those white lines today he's still our enemy.
I thought Michael said the right thing during the week when he mentioned that the Georgia Dome wasn't his house anymore, its Matt Ryan's house.
That's the way it should be.
I know there will be some Philadelphia Michael Vick jerseys in the stands, but I hope those same fans will be cheering for the Falcons.
Last week was a tough loss for us, an eye-opening game that I'm hoping we learned from. You can't give a lackadaisical effort and expect to win in this league. Philadelphia is one of the favorites in the NFC to make it to the playoffs.
We've been a pretty tough team to beat in the Georgia Dome over the last couple of years, so I'm hoping we can put the Chicago loss behind us and get a win.