Tag Archives: Atlanta Falcons

NFL 2017: Season Opener, and Falcons munch on the Bears

I didn’t watch the inaugural regular season game today, but I checked NFL.com.*  The Falcons went at it against the Chicago Bears and came out victorious.  23 to 17.  And now the pressure has only just started for quarterback Matt Ryan and friends.  Good times.

grateful

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

* Pour quelque raison, je pensais que le match etait chez Falcons.  Woops.

Super Bowl LI: Patriots pinch the Falcons

The New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons converged in Houston, Texas today to see who would take home NFL Championship bragging rights.  Broadcast on Fox and narrated by Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, Super Bowl LI started with the Patriots on offense (the Falcons won the coin toss but they decided to save it for the third quarter).

sb51

Neither team gained much on offense on their first possessions.  Patriots quarterback Tom Brady did get sacked twice in back-to-back plays with five minutes left in the first quarter. The second quarter, however, revealed some Patriots’ offensive momentum…until the Falcons linebacker Deion Jones forced a fumble and his teammate corner back Robert Alford recovered it.  A few plays later, running back Devonta Freeman ran five yards and leaped into the end zone.  Atlanta 7 and New England 0.  By the end of the second quarter, the Falcons increased their lead by two TDs, courtesy of Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan connecting with tight end Austin Hooper and Robert Alford intercepting Tom Brady’s pass.  He ran eighty-two yards into the end zone.  The Falcons defense was able to keep the Patriots from getting into the end zone, but New England did put up a field goal.  Atlanta 21 and New England 3.

YT4

I’ve seen the Patriots come back from being outscored in the first half of a game to winning the whole thing; it’s not impossible for Tom Brady to do (as Joe Buck remarked as much before the first half ended).  Of course, I hoped it wouldn’t happen today.  About halfway into the third quarter, Matt Ryan threw a TD pass to running back Tevin Coleman.  Atlanta 28 and New England 3.  In the bottom of the quarter, the Patriots finally put up a TD via running back James White but the extra point was no good.  Atlanta 28 and New England 9.

And then came the fourth quarter and the Patriots’ offense game was shining more as they’d made it down the field even when Tom Brady was sacked twice by Falcons defensive tackle Grady Jarrett and they had to settle for a field goal instead of a TD.  Matt Ryan was sacked and the Patriots recovered the loose ball.  They got into the end zone (thanks to wide receiver Danny Amendola) and went for a two-point conversion.  Atlanta 28 and New England 20.   Would the Falcons be able to put more points on the board or keep the Patriots from scoring with less than two minutes left in the game?  The Patriots were able to tie the game with a TD (another James White) and a two-point conversion.  Atlanta 28 and New England 28.

And the first time the Super Bowl ever went into overtime would be today.  The Patriots won the OT coin toss.  And they got into the end zone (another James White).  New England 34 and Atlanta 28.  Final Score.  The Patriots have won Super Bowl LI.

04

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

 

Observations & Other Miscellany:

~ Luke Bryan sang the National Anthem.  Tom Brady got a close-up during the few lines of the song; he was mouthing the lyrics and looking up to screen left (possibly at the jumbotron?)  Matt Ryan then got a medium close-up at the “and the home of the brave” part.  He was looking very stoic.

George Bush and Barbara Bush helped with the coin toss.  As they made their way to mid-field, the camera cut away to Mike Pence for a few seconds.

~ Three defensive holding calls on the Falcons in one drive at the bottom of the second quarter?!  Yep.

~ A tap/slap of the helmet means “good job, teammate!”  Where does at tap/slap land if one did a bad job?  Punch to the forearm?

~ Lady Gaga performed during the Half Time Show.  She started off with some patriotic tune excerpts.  HerPoker Face” may be the only one that Westerners know, but the “Poker Face” I know first will always be Ayumi Hamasaki‘s.

~ Footage of the crew taking apart Lady Gaga’s stage sped up made them look like ants disassembling an insect.

~ Is Joe Buck trying to grow a beard or was he pressed for time and thus didn’t shave?

~ Patriots defense coordinator Matt Patricia reminds me of actor Josh Radnor.

~ Favorite Superbowl Commercial: the new Evony mobile game.

~ The sounds of a football hitting the uprights makes a distinct sound.  It’s a metallic thud…with notes of “whoomp.”

~ Matt Ryan went into Super Bowl LI as the MVP of the 2016 season.

NFC Championship 2017: Falcons crunchy roll the Packers with some Triple X

The NFC Championship game leading up to Super Bowl LI featured the Green Bay Packers at the Atlanta Falcons.  Broadcast by Fox and narrated by Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, the last game played at the Georgia Dome started with the Falcons on offense.  Halfway through the second quarter, they were on top in scoring with 17 points (courtesy of wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, a field goal, and quarterback Matt Ryan running the ball into the end zone).  The Packers made an unsuccessful field goal attempt in the first quarter, then in the second quarter, Packers fullback Aaron Ripkowski lost possession of the ball and Falcons cornerback Jalen Collins recovered it.

The bottom of the second quarter saw Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers throw an interception into the arms of Falcons safety Ricardo Allen.  With seconds left in the first half of the game, Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones made a TD touch, giving Atlanta a 24 to 0 lead.

a6

The third quarter came to a thrilling start as Julio Jones ran 73 yards into the end zone for a TD.  He had to get Packers cornerback LeDarius Gunter’s hands off of him first (Gunter received a defensive holding penalty).  Aaron Rodgers and wide receiver Davante Adams finally got some numbers on the board about halfway into the third quarter with a touchdown.  Falcons 31 and Packers 7.  Towards the bottom of the quarter, Falcons running back Devonta Freeman caught the ball right smack on the goal line, and the on-field call was fourth and goal.  The Falcons challenged it and won…and then didn’t get the extra point.  Falcons 37 and Packers 7.

The Packers’ offense increased their momentum in the last couple of minutes of the third quarter and got a TD via wide receiver Jordy Nelson.  They went for and got a two-point conversion (Aaron Ripkowski barreled his way into the end zone).  Falcons 37 and Packers 15.  The Falcons increased their lead with another TD at top of the fourth quarter (thanks to running back Tevin Coleman, whose momentum carried him partly into the tunnel, where he high-fived a guy in a Falcons shirt working the game).  The Packers closed the score gap with another TD soon enough but their two-point conversion failed.  Falcons 44 and Packers 21.  Final score.  FALCONS ARE NFC CHAMPIONS!!!

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

Observations & Miscellany:
~  Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosaline were in attendance today.
~ Joe Buck and Troy Aikman both wore blue ties; Joe’s was a very sharp, bright blue like this one.
~ There was so much red in the stadium today.
~ Packers backup QB Brett Hundley went into the game for the last couple of minutes of the game.

~!~

YT4
I watched xXx: Return of Xander Cage (D.J. Caruso, 2017) on Friday because Donnie Yen and Kris Wu are in it.  Yes, that Kris Wu who used to be in the Korean boy group, EXO.  He plays a DJ in the film and is there to make things more fun.  One of his songs also plays in the scene when Vin Diesel and his posse first meet Donnie Yen.

The film overall is terrible — the editing, the dialogue, and some of the camerawork, particularly in non-action sequences, were uninspired.  Yet, it’s so much fun to watch  Nina Dobrev was a scene stealer for me; Ruby Rose‘s character was badass (who wouldn’t want to hang out in the African wilderness and inflict injury upon trophy hunters?);  Deepika Padukone demonstrated much onscreen charisma (I hope to see her in more American films of all genres and budgets); and Ice Cube‘s cameo was awesome and cheesy at the same time.

Former NFL tightend Tony Gonzalez was in the previews for Triple X, which was the initial reason I wanted to see the film.  Gonzalez spent five of his seventeen years in the NFL as an Atlanta Falcon and was an incredible athlete.  He also had more screen time than I expected.

The Sounds of NFL Films on the Seahawks at the Falcons

I subscribed recently to NFL Films’ YT channel — I know, what took so long.  After watching a number of their highlight films over the years, I wonder on occasion whether or not NFL Films would be the ideal “nature filmmakers” of people.  Their narrator’s voice is perfect for it.

Stay until the end to see Arthur Blank do a little dance in the locker room.

“Play hard, but stay poised.” – Matt Ryan

NFC Divisional: Falcons pluck the Seahawks with Elle

The Seattle Seahawks at Atlanta Falcons NFC divisional game started twenty minutes after the 4:10 pm showing of Paul Verhoeven‘s award-winning psychological drama Elle (2016).*  And why would I opt to watch the film over seeing the entire game between Seattle and Atlanta?  Well, I’ve been wanting to watch Elle for several months and I knew the fourth quarter would still be happening after the movie and I could get myself to a TV.

leel

I have loved Isabelle Huppert since the moment I watched Hal Hartley‘s Amateur (1994).  She played a woman who went from being a nun to writing erotica.  Something about that premise fascinated me.

Likewise, the premise of Elle intrigued me too.  Huppert portrays a woman who is raped in her house while her grey cat watches (and then leaves before the crime is completed), but instead of turning into a shriveling, paranoid victim, she metabolizes the trauma with subversive rationale and emotional/psychological deviance.

Beyond the basic story-line, I was pleasantly surprised to see that her character was  co-owner of a video game publishing company.  She wasn’t a housewife or a teacher or a high end fashion consultant.  Any more discussion will lead to minor spoilers, so highlight the relevant words at your own discretion.  Verhoeven’s adaptation of  Phillipe Dijan‘s novel Oh… could be interpreted to suggest that a rape fantasy is something that women in general would grow to want if she is willing to sleep with her friend and business partner’s husband because he was there and she wanted to get laid.  Or that just because a woman doesn’t become a broken, ruined creature, that physical violation isn’t that big of a deal.  It is tempting to make such an assertion…or to focus on her character’s inability to have a “normal” reaction to being raped (depression, anger, fear, vulnerability) on account of what her dad did when she was ten years-old that got him locked up in prison.

These interpretations are easy to make, but misses the mark of the character’s narrative and thematic arc.  She colors outside the lines and doesn’t behave as expected and whatever motivates her to act as she does or to think as she does throughout the film, she is purposeful and consequential.  Moreover, her reactions present a perspective on how to make sense of (or pervert) the offender-victim dynamic, especially when the film reveals the identity of her rapist.   Either you, the viewer, knew it all along or figured it out based on formal and plot elements.

 

CR

And, I was right.  The fourth quarter had just begun when I got to a TV after the movie ended.   I started watching the game (broadcast on Fox and narrated by John Lynch and Kevin Burkhardt) about halfway into the fourth quarter and the Falcons had 29 points to the Seahawks’ 13.  Over the next nine minutes, though not in this exact order, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was intercepted twice (the first time directly into the arms of Falcons safety Allen Ricardo, the second time indirectly into the hands of Falcons linebacker Deion Jones) and threw a touchdown pass (caught by wide receiver Doug Baldwin); Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw a touchdown pass to wide receiver Mohamed Sanu and two 1st and goal complete passes (one of them caught by wide receiver Julio Jones).

The Falcons beat the Seahawks.  36 to 20. Final score.  Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.

*It isn’t drama quite in the way American dramas are drama — 98% seriousness with maybe a laugh or two.  Elle is quite comical throughout the film in dialogue and reality-of-the-situation tone.  I watched the film with at least twenty other people and everyone chuckled and laughed at the intended moments.  The more I think about it, the more I detect a satirical angle.