Victory, sweet victory is finally ours.
I watched the majority of the Atlanta Falcons vs. Houston Texans game (on CBS), the second half of the second quarter onwards. Sweet fancy Moses, the Falcons finally won a game–26 to 16. The two Falcons touchdowns were both made by wide receiver Michael Jenkins in the first and second quarters. By the time I got downstairs and flipped on the television, Atlanta’s subsequent scores would come from field goals (three of them; their first field goal of the game occurred in the first quarter).
The Texans made one touchdown in the first quarter (by wide receiver Andre Davis). The rest of their nine points came from three field goals, one in each of the remaining quarters.
Observations & Miscellania
1. Texans quarterback Matt Schaub used to be a Falcon; he was Michael Vick’s backup man.
2. Falcons kicker Morten Andersen is seven months older than head coach Bobby Petrino.
3. For some reason, I thought the game would be played at 4pm. I was in a slight panic as I turned on the TV and changed the channel to my local CBS station. I immediately looked to see what the score was and then which quarter it was–10 to 7 in the second quarter; I was so happy.
4. Football physics is about a lot more than how much force and momentum go into tackles or how fast the players can run. It also concerns windspeed, velocity, and throwing. A quarterback throwing the ball to an intended receiver who is running involves factors similar to dropping an object from a great height onto a moving target. It takes time for the object to fall just as time would elapse for the moving target to get into the strike zone. Thus, in order for an object to land onto the target, one would have to let go to the object before the target appears within bull’s eye range. Visualize a right angle.
Imagine that you are standing at the top arrow head and you want to throw something down to that right angle (the little square at the intersection of the two lines). The horizontal line represents the path of your moving target, and it’s actually going to travel towards the right angle, not away from it as the arrowhead suggests. If you know how fast the target is moving, then you can figure out mathematically when you ought to drop the object (also considering your height and the effect that gravity has on all things on the planet). If, however, you didn’t know the speed of the moving target, then you’d have to approximate your drop time. Don’t let go of the object when it’s directly below where you’re standing. Instead, drop the object before the object is directly beneath.
One could apply this technique to when a quarterback ought to throw the ball. Assuming there isn’t a swarm of defensive players crowding around him, and he has some time to do some quick mental calculations, if he can’t find an open teammate to throw the ball to, he has to throw it to a receiver or running back who is in the process of arriving at a particular location. Theoretically, the quarterback can’t wait until his receiver is already wherever he needs to be; he has to throw the ball while his receiver is en route. Hopefully, the numbers (of speed and momentum) will work out and the receiver and ball will come together to make that right angle.
5. Given the role that wind speed has on field goals, kickers have to know as much about its impact on successful kicks as snipers would on successful hits.
To read more about football physics, I highly recommend Dr. Timothy Gay’s book The Physics of Football: Discover the Science of Bone-Crunching Hits, Soaring Field Goals, and Awe-Inspiring Passes.
For a game summary, stats, and play by play, click here.
Here’s an article on the game from the Texans’ web site.
Edit: The Indianapolis Colts leftthe Denver Broncos in the dust this afternoon, winning the game (on CBS) 38 to 20. Five touchdowns by the Colts, dude. Five (and one field goal). Get all the details here.
The Arizona Cardinals defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers!!! 21 to 14. Click here for all the goods behind the glory. (I consider myself a Steelers fan, so I’m not thrilled. But maybe a little impressed).
pix creds: amazon.com, google image search