The St. Louis Rams tested the competitive waters with the Atlanta Falcons tonight at the Edward Jones Dome. Televised on NBC, the Falcons were first to go on the offense with Matt Ryan at the helm. A few plays later and touchdown courtesy of running back Michael Turner. Kyle Boller quarterbacked for the Rams on their first possession. Tony Gonzalez, former Kansas City tight end, caught a TD pass, increasing the Falcons’ numbers in the bottom of the first quarter. Atlanta 14 and St. Louis 0.
The second quarter saw DJ Shockley went to quarterback for the Falcons…three (?) plays into it, he threw an interception. Rams linebacker James Laurinaitis got his hands on the ball, which Falcons wide receiver Marty Booker nearly had. The Rams got a forty-three yard field goal out of kicker Josh Brown’s foot. Atlanta 14 and St. Louis 3.
The third quarter spelled a TD for the Rams–QB Brock Berlin to wide receiver Derek Stanley. Jason Elam made a thirty-four yard field goal with four minutes left in the third quarter. Atlanta 17 and St. Louis 10. John Parker Wilson went on as QB in last half a minute of the third quarter; DJ Shockley resumed in the fourth. On his second pass of the quarter, he was intercepted by Rams safety Todd Johnson. Keith Null quarterbacked the next drive for the Rams. They closed the point gap with a field goal. Atlanta 17 and St. Louis 13. JP Wilson went in again and threw quite well (even though he couldn’t send in a TD pass). Jason Elam upped the Falcons score by three. Atlanta 20 and St. Louis 13. With under two minutes left to play, the Rams got their legs down to the red zone, but the Falcons’ defense held strong (stood strong; held strongly–hmmm, adjective or adverb). In fact, safety Eric Brock intercepted Null’s pass in the end zone. Final score: Atlanta 20 and St. Louis 13.
Observations & Miscellania:
1. Randy Waters and Brian Baldinger provided commentary. During the Rams’ first possession, Baldinger noted that Falcons punter Matthew Koenan’s alma mater, Western Washington University, ended its football program due to financial reasons.
2. Falcons president Rich McKay spoke with Randy Waters and Brian Baldinger during the top of the second quarter.
3. Halftime including a segment with Jerious Norwood and defensive tackle Peria Jerry going fishing.
4. Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff stopped by the press box in the third quarter. Randy Waters asked and Dimitroff answered: he was born in 1966 (the same year as the Falcons).
5. Out of all the televised games I’ve seen in the last two to three years, network cameras are more likely to cut to the sidelines to get Kodak moments of the players and coaches than the crowd. On average, anecdotally speaking, every four sideline shot might yield a crowd shot. Today’s game, though, was more equal.
6. Matt Ryan had a much better first quarter tonight than in the game against the Lions.
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