The Atlanta Falcons up at the Carolina Panthers (broadcast on Fox).
Literally, the second play of the game, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw an interception; Panthers cornerback Richard Marshall ran into the end zone. Luckily for Atlanta, a personal foul (roughing the passer) penalty on Panthers defensive end Julius Peppers nullified that TD. Halfway through the first quarter, Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart helped his team take the lead with a TD. By the bottom of the first quarter, the Falcons narrowed that lead with a field goal. The top of the second quarter decreased that lead even more with another Falcons field goal. Towards the bottom of the second quarter, Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith runs fifty-six yards into the end zone for a TD. 14 to 6. At the very bottom of the second quarter, Falcons kicker Jason Elam got a do-over with a field goal kick because the Panthers had too many players on the field. Elam got it the second time. 14 to 9. Carolina might be ahead in terms of score going into halftime, but both teams made enough mistakes that the numbers could’ve been flip-flopped. In other words, if neither team made the personal fouls, false starts, and holdings, perhaps the Falcons would be the one with fourteen points and the Panthers with nine.
The third quarter ended with a Carolina field goal and the fourth quarter progressed with a touchdown (executed by wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad). 24 to 9. Final score.
Observations & Miscellania:
1. On the matter of defensive tackles in the red zone. Due to laws of physics concerning momentum and velocity and what happens when two moving objects collide not from opposite directions, would it be fair or scientifically correct to suggest that a defensive linebacker could inadvertently aid the other team’s runner in crossing over the goal line? Of course, if the runner’s knees touch the ground before the ball breaks the plane, it’s not a touchdown. But, is it so improbable that the knees don’t go down first? What happens when a thigh goes down first?
2. There are so many conditions and variables when it comes to taking and keeping the lead on the scoreboard. Does Team A’s offense have to be equally good if not better than Team B’s offense? Couldn’t Team A have a comparable if not slightly worse offense than Team B but have a stellar defense? I suppose what I’m ultimately wondering is if Team’s A’s offense has to be as good if not better than Team B’s defense. The skill and talent of the special teams rounds out the conditions. If Team A’s offense is only comparable to or a smidgen worse than Team B’s defense (or Team A’s defense is only a tad better than Team B’s offense), then Team A’s special teams would have to effectively kick arse-bottoms. Eh?
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