The Oakland Raiders moseyed on down to the home of the Atlanta Falcons today. Broadcast on CBS, with commentary by Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf, the first quarter started with the Falcons on offense. Ten minutes into the game and both teams generated shock and awe: Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw an interception (into the bosom of Raiders cornerback Joselio Hanson), Falcons cornerback Robert McClain recovered a fumbled Raiders ball, Falcons kicker Matt Bryant missed a forty-three yard field goal, and Raiders defensive back Michael Huff intercepted another Matt Ryan pass. Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski put the first numbers on the board with a fifty-two yard field goal in the bottom of the quarter. Oakland 3 and Atlanta 0.
The second quarter smiled upon the Falcons with a touchdown pass between Matt Ryan and wide receiver Roddy White. Atlanta 7 and Oakland 3. The Raiders looked good for a TD on their next possession but the Falcons defense had other plans; the Raiders went for a FG. Atlanta 7 and Oakland 6. Shortly thereafter, Matt Ryan threw another interception, this time into the wide-open Raiders safety Tyvon Branch. Did someone spike Matt Ryan’s breakfast or is he getting all mistakes out of his system in the first half so that the second half will be all glory?
The Raiders took the lead with a TD by wide receiver Denarius Moore. Oakland 13 and Atlanta 7. The Falcons closed the score gap with a FG about halfway through the third quarter, then tied the score with another FG in the bottom of the quarter. Oakland 13 and Atlanta 13. HOLY LOCALLY GROWN FRIED OKRA!!! The fourth quarter progressed more or less in the Raiders’ favor until there was about three minutes left to play when Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel intercepted Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer and ran seventy-nine yards for a TD. Atlanta 20 and Oakland 13. The Raiders tied the game with forty-four seconds left in the game courtesy of running back Darren McFadden. Would Matt Ryan be able to spirit his team to good field position for a field goal attempt with forty seconds left on the clock? Yes, but would Matt Bryant be able to make a fifty-five yard FG?
YES! YES! YES!
Atlanta 23 and Oakland 20. Final score.
Observations & Miscellania:
1. The Falcons wore red tops and white bottoms. The Raiders wore white tops and white bottoms. Players from both teams wore pink shoes. Speaking of pink, how much of the pink gear sales is going to cancer research?
2. Falcons owner Arthur Blank went to the Falcons sideline and thanked Asante Samuel for his TD. Samuel was taking in oxygen and nodding in response to Blank’s words (likely of encouragement and praise). Blank wore a light gray suit, a white button-down shirt, and a mauve-esque tie–if memory serves.
3. The Falcons have gone 6-0 and can go into their by-week more assured.
Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.