The Atlanta Falcons hosted the Denver Broncos tonight on Monday Night Football. Televised by ESPN, the first quarter began with a dropped jaws as Falcons safety William Moore intercepted Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. Shortly thereafter, Falcons running back Michael Turner almost made a touchdown after two attempts. The third time was a charm — a running charge, a leap atop a pile of bodies to break the plane. Atlanta 7 and Denver 0.
Peyton Manning didn’t get too much time with the ball because he threw another interception (into the waiting grip of Falcons safety Thomas Decoud). This turnover resulted in a field goal. Atlanta 10 and Denver 0. Falcons’ defense intensified as cornerback Robert McClain intercepted Peyton Manning halfway through the first quarter. No score came out of that one. Broncos running back Knowshon Moreno lost control of the ball when a Falcons knocked it away; there was a scramble to recover it. The officials ruled that it became a Falcons ball.
The Falcons increased their lead with a field goal and then a TD (courtesy of tight end Tony Gonzalez) by the middle of the second quarter. Atlanta 20 and Denver 0. With under two minutes to play, Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas almost made a TD but William Moore broke that one up. Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson got his hand in the way of another Broncos near-TD. Peyton Manning was then brought to the ground before he could make a pass. The Broncos finally put some numbers on the board with under ten seconds left when Demaryius Thomas was able to hold onto the ball and have two feet in the end zone. Going into halftime, Atlanta 20 and Denver 7.
The third quarter’s momentum stalled somewhat compared to the first two quarters until Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan connected with wide receiver Roddy White for a TD. Atlanta 27 and Denver 7. The fourth quarter saw an increase in the Broncos’ score with a Willis McGahee TD. He made another end zone trip in the bottom of the quarter. Atlanta 27 and Denver 21. Final score.
Observations & Miscellania:
1. Jon Gruden and Mike Tirico provided commentary. (The names were not overlain correctly. During pre-game segment, Gruden was sitting screen left and Tirico was screen right. When they were introduced just before the start of the game, they had switched places but the titles didn’t).
2. Some women use clothes as a security blanket or a mirror, a portal into their soul or an instrument in social commentary. Clothes can be armor or a costume, a gateway into a different persona. I wonder if there are young men who pursue a career in professional sports partly because the uniform enables them to inhabit a mentality that would otherwise be unacknowledged or silenced.
3. Falcons defensive end Ray Edwards received a personal foul flag during a scuffle after the fourth Broncos turnover in the bottom of the first quarter. There was some pushing and shoving.
4. Sweet bobar with taro! I’m older than Willis McGahee by several months!
Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.