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Falcons’ 2nd Half Offense Comes to Life, Secure Win

Posted By Josh Brown On Oct 17 2011 @ 9:44 am In Atlanta Falcons | 2 Comments

This had been the story for at least two of the Falcons’ losses and at least one of their wins: The Falcons score some points in the first half, and then score little to none in the second half.

Today however, that changed. Thankfully.

The Carolina Panthers and their prized rookie came into town looking for their 2nd win of the season. And they were poised to win. But good teams beat who they are supposed to beat, and the Falcons are a good team.

There’s not much I can complain about following a 14-point victory, but it was a little scary to see the Panthers leading in the 2nd half. Knowing how the Falcons have been playing this season, I was afraid this game would get away from us. But fortunately for the Falcons, good players make good plays.

At the end of the 2nd quarter, William Moore tipped a pass that probably would’ve been a touchdown for the Panthers, and Brent Grimes (one of my favorite players) went up and intercepted that ball over Steve Smith. This preserved a Falcons’ lead going into halftime, with the Panthers getting the ball back after halftime. If the Panthers had scored that touchdown, the 2nd half might have been different because the Falcons would have been playing catch-up. The Falcons’ don’t look that good in those situations if you haven’t noticed.

But the Panthers weren’t done. In the 3rd quarter, after a long drive in which the Panthers used up much clock by converting 3rd downs (the converted 8 of their first 9 3rd downs), Cam Newton scored on a 14 yard run to give the Panthers the lead. After watching his Deion Sanders impersonation, I was left hoping that the Falcons wouldn’t stay behind and that they would generate some offense. Fortunately they did.

The Falcon marched back down the field and tied the game at 17-17 with a Matt Bryant field goal. Then the Falcons defense came back strong, forcing a 3 and out for the Panthers and giving the ball back to the Falcons. And the Falcons suddenly remembered how to play 2nd half football. They were faced with a 3rd and 12, and Matt Ryan stood tall in the pocket. The Panthers sent a blitz up the middle and that blitzer hit Matt Ryan, but Matt Ryan got a perfect throw off before the hit and found Harry Douglas for a 34 yard gain. A couple plays later, the Falcons scored on a 1-yard run by Matt Ryan.

The Panthers were back on the field, but I don’t know who expected this next play. Cam Newton set the Panthers up for a screen play, but Defensive Tackle Corey Peters read the screen and made a ONE-HANDED interception which led to a Michael Turner touchdown late in the game to secure the victory. The Falcons also got another interception at the end of the game by Thomas Decoud.

Key Points:

  • Turner got the ball rolling: The Falcons needed to get the ground game going, and they did. Michael Turner rushed for 139 yard on 27 carries and the Falcons got back to what they do best. Matt Ryan also had a couple of runs and Jacquizz Rodgers had one also.
  • Matt Bosher can kick: Rookie Punter Bosher has been criticized lately for his lack of good punting, but today he looking good on punting and kickoffs.
  • Offensive line blocks/Defensive line sacks: The o-line only gave up one sack, while our d-line recorded two sacks on Newton.
  • Matt Ryan: He didn’t put up the big numbers, but he was sharp as ever, making good throws when he needed to and managing a good football game.
Next week, Falcons head to Detroit to take on the 5-1 (yes they lost this week) Lions.

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