NFL 08: the Falcons kung pao spaghetti the Panthers

A brief detour:

The Dallas Cowboys put on their ritz against the San Francisco 49ers earlier today 35 to 22. Click here for details. In the top half of the fourth quarter, SF quarterback Shaun Hill threw to wide receiver Dominique Zeigler for thirty yards and the camera filmed that play from behind the 49ers offense. Their backs were facing the camera–it was pretty cool. Slow-motion instant replays included views from the high-angle, press-box POV (with Zeigler screen-right) as well as from in front of Shaun Hill and behind Ziegler.

Cowboys kicker Nick Folk made four field goals at a distance of greater than forty yards.

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The Baltimore Ravens wisecracked the Philadelphia Eagles 36 to 7. Click here for details.

The New York Jets broke the Tennessee Titans spotless winning streak today. Click here for how and why.

Retour:

The Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers at the Georgia Dome. Who would walk away from this game cradling the golden orb of victory? Broadcast on Fox, the first quarter commenced with a Falcons field goal. Upon their next possession, Atlanta scored a touchdown, courtesy of Harry Douglas, who flattened his body horizontally (parallel to the end zone’s sidelines boundaries, or perpendicular to the goal line) and essentially bourreed into the end zone. Falcons 10 and Panthers 0.

The second quarter took off with another Falcons touchdown, thanks to running back Michael Turner. Atlanta 17 and Carolina 0. The Falcons were on a hot cross bun in the second quarter. Quarterback Matt Ryan threw to wide receiver Roddy White, who was then tackled by Panthers cornerback Chris Gamble. Safety Charles Godfrey recovered the fumbled ball for Carolina. This turnover resulted in a field goal. Falcons 17 and Panthers 3 going into halftime.

The third quarter spat out a touchdown for the Panthers, nailed in by running back DeAngelo Williams. Carolina increased their score with a field goal not long after. Falcons 17 and Panthers 13. The third quarter concluded with a horse-collar personal foul on Carolina cornerback Richard Marshall. The fourth quarter sparked with a touchdown by Michael Turner. Falcons 24 and Panthers 13. The Panthers were not going to be disheartened. Carolina’s own quarterback Jake Delhomme ran the ball into the end zone. A two-point conversion was successful. Falcons 24 and Panthers 21.

Atlanta regained some of their first quarter momentum with a Ryan-Douglas connection. The Falcons got to the red zone and then the end zone on the fourth try, thanks to Michael Turner, in the middle of the fourth quarter. Atlanta 31 and Carolina 21. The Falcons widened the score gap when Harry Douglas returned a fifty-seven yard punt for a TD. He then received a taunting penalty because he extended his left arm while running towards the end zone (probably within fifteen yards of it) in a kind of “ha ha” expression. Atlanta 38 and Carolina 21. The Panthers wouldn’t be so visibly demoralized, though. Delhomme threw to wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad in the bottom of the fourth quarter. Atlanta 38 and Carolina 28. With under a minute left to play, the Falcons demonstrated one more dose of athleticism with yet another Michael Turner TD. Atlanta 45 and Carolina 28. Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Thom Brennaman and Brian Billick provided commentary. After the Falcons put 10 poins on the scoreboard, either Thom or Brian remarked that Matt Ryan has received a lot of praise for his contributions to the franchise even though the defense deserves some recognition too. I don’t think Falcons fans have taken the defense for granted. I don’t think the Falcons have taken their defense for granted.

2. In the seconds before the halftime commercial, the camera cut to a couple of hardcore Falcons fans. The first was a woman who donned this faerie-esque get-up )complete with glitter around the eyes). The second was a man who wore a full-body costume, including a cape, a left-handed claw hook contraption, and a plastic headpiece in the shape of a falcon head.

3. Camera coverage after Harry Douglas’s fourth quarter punt-returned TD included the back of Arthur Blank on the sidelines, making a “yes!” downward swoop with his right arm. As Brennaman and Billick discussed the taunting penalty on Douglas, the cameras cut to veteran Falcons telling Douglas something along the lines of “we know you’re excited, but you gotta refrain from doing that kind of stuff.”

4. Thom Brennaman noted that the “NFC South is (very) mystifying.” For the last five years, it seems, the team that came in last in the division one season would rise to the top the next season. Examples: Panthers, Falcons, Saints, and Bucs. See here.

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

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