‘Tis the Season: Falcons can’t quite bat away the Saints

So close and yet so far. My sixth grade PE teacher uttered those words more often than anything else.

Physical distances may be small, but bridging the gap isn’t necessarily easy or guaranteed. “Your locker might be right outside the classroom door, but I won’t let you get your homework because then I’d have to let everyone go get their homework if their locker is right anywhere near the classroom door.” The Atlanta Falcons fell under the ideological implications of this phrase today in their game against the New Orleans Saints (televised by Fox). The Falcons lost by a touchdown. They got a field goal in the first and second quarters and a touchdown in the second (courtesy of wide receiver Roddy White), and just when their spirit and resolve were strengthening, Saints running back Pierre Thomas put six points on the board. Shortly thereafter, Byron Leftwich (who swapped places with Joey Harrington as starting quarterback) suffered a right calf or ankle injury in the third quarter. The score became 14 to 13 with the Saints in the lead.

Numerically, Atlanta was so close, and a field goal in the top of the fourth quarter put the Falcons on top. Nevertheless, psychologically, they were so far behind. Atlanta could not maintain their position. Saints running back Reggie Bush made touchdown and a two-point conversion in the bottom of the fourth quarter. 22 to 16, final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. When the camera goes to a close-up of Byron Leftwich (on the sidelines or immediately after a play), his face makes me think he is very self-aware…not just because he may be on camera or people are watching him. It’s a total, conscious understanding of the present, of being in the moment. It’s hard to describe–his expression is a mixture of “oops,” “phew,” and “thank you, thank you very much.” It was especially heart-scraping to see him writhing on the field and clutching his right leg after Saints defensive end Will Smith tackled him.

2. Yellow = 1st and Ten line. Blue = line of scrimmage. Red = 1st and Ten when there are two minutes left on the game clock? So why was there a red line on the field in either the third or fourth quarter with twelve minutes on the clock? Production team error I suppose.

3. Actor Anthony Anderson was at the game supporting the Saints.

Get game summary, stats, and play by play here.

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