Tag Archives: Fred Kalil

Pre-S 09: the Lions squint over the Falcons

Ah… it’s time to relax.  You know what that means.   A glass of wine, your favorite easy chair, and of course this televised pre-season 2009 NFL game playing on your home television.  So go on and indulge yourself.   That’s right.  Kick off your shoes.  Put your feet up.  Just lean back and enjoy the instant replays.  After all, pigskin soothes even the crabbiest of beasts.

The Atlanta Falcons marked their first pre-season 2009 display in the north lands of the Detroit Lions.   Broadcast on NBC, Randy Waters (of 11alive, my local NBC station) and Brian Baldinger provided commentary for the competitive sports affair.  The first quarter chugged off to a sluggish start.  It wasn’t until the Lions got their hands on the ball for the first time, and were ten yards away from the end zone, that there was any likelihood for a score.  Quarterback Daunte Culpepper was integral to the series of plays that moved his team down the field.  He passed to receivers but also ran the ball.  Detroit put the first number on the board with a field goal.

On the Falcons’ second possession in the first quarter, Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan connected with wide receiver Brian Finneran, which was followed by a forty-yard touchdown courtesy of running back Michael Turner (and the protection skills of tackle Tyson Claybo and fullback Ovie Mughelli).   Atlanta 7 and Detroit 3.

Chris Redman took over quarterbacking duties in the second quarter for the Falcons.  Kicker Jason Elam nailed a forty-six yard field goal halfway through the quarter.  Atlanta 10 and Detroit 3.  Matthew Stafford made his appearance as QB for the Lions in the second half of the second quarter.

The third quarter bounced out with Falcons linebacker Tony Gilbert intercepting Matthew Stafford’s forty-two yard pass for a TD.   The extra point did not happen.  Atlanta 16 and Detroit 3.  Stafford redeemed himself a few minutes later with a TD throw to wide receiver Derrick Williams.  Atlanta 16 and Detroit 10.   DJ Shockley took over as quarterback in the middle of the quarter.   Falcons running back Jason Snelling pushed his way through the Lions defenders to break the plane and toss up another TD.   Atlanta 23 and Detroit 10.

Falcons linebacker Jamie Winborn intercepted Stafford in the second half of the third quarter…oh, but it wouldn’t count due to penalties on both teams.  A few plays later, Drew Stanton went in as quarterback and Lions running back Aaron Brown galloped thirty-some-odd yards into the end zone with few Falcons on his trail.  Atlanta 23 and Detroit 17.

John Parker Wilson quarterbacked for the Falcons in the middle of the fourth quarter.  In the bottom of the quarter, Jason Elam made a forty-one yard field goal, giving the Falcons a lead of 26 to Detroit’s 17.  A minute later,  Aaron Brown ran the ball fortyish yards into end zone for a TD.  He did a cartwheel and a backflip and was flagged for unsportsman-like conduct.  Atlanta 26 and Detroit 24.  Lions kicker Jason Hanson made a forty-seven yard field goal to give his team a one point win over the Falcons.  Detroit 27 and Atlanta 26.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Matt Stafford looks pretty good in a Lions uniform.  Oh la la, that blue suits him tres bien.

2.  Oh wow.  Did the Falcons’ spandex pants get even more shimmery?  Mon dieu, I’d love to caress a Falcon kneecap.

3.  Randy Waters noted in the first quarter that Calvin Johnson, a wide receiver for the Lions, would not be in today’s game because of a slight mishap in training camp.  There weren’t any more details but I surmise it’s the kind of injury that would compel Johnson to heal and rest through the pre-season.  Wait, I typed too soon.  Brian Baldinger remarked a few minutes later that Calvin Johnson sprained his thumb in practice.

4.  Tight-end Tony Gonzalez is so handsome.  There was some interview footage (horizontal split-screen/boxed window) after a commericial break.  可是 他的眼睛 好像有畫眼線.  也許是影子.  He was wearing a cap.  He looks awesome in Falcons colors.

5.  Falcons linebacker Mike Peterson likes to “run and hit” as he told Fred Kalil in sidelines interview.

6.  Fred Kalil interviewed Matt Ryan before the third quarter.   The QB definitely has a more confident and calmer air about him.  Less eager-scrappy-puppy and more alert-comfortable-soul.

7.  Falcons owner, Arthur Blank, sat in the press box with Randy Waters and Brian Baldinger in the third quarter.  When the camera cut to the three of them (in a medium, low-angle shot), Baldinger was nodding earnestly like a disciple soaking up words of wisdom from a guru.  Among the questions that Waters asked Blank were whether or not there was a moment in last season where Blank knew the Falcons were doing things right.  Blank mentioned a game against Green Bay and how confidently the Falcons had played — Roddy White had a great day.  Waters also asked about Blank visiting Michael Vick.  And then Stafford threw a TD.  When Blank answered the question, he had summarized the meeting as one of how Vick’s life had changed since his personal and professional lowpoint.   Blank and Waters then gave a shoutout to Harry Douglas.  Blank also wished Vick well.

8.  Stafford’s “second” intercepted pass was a surreal one.  To me, a beautiful or awesome interception is the sort where a defensive player plucks the ball from mid-air.  In-the-blink-of-an-eye sort.  A surreal interception occurs when a quarterback misses his intended target so substantially that he might as well have just thrown the ball straight to whomever intercepted the pass.

9.  The game-winning Lions field goal was filmed in a long shot and very, very far behind the Lions on the field.  I couldn’t tell if Jason Hanson had succeeded for failed based on where the ball went.  I saw Lions fans behind the end zone stand up with their arms extended to the stars, and I knew the field goal was good.

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

NFL 08: Saints out-charades the Falcons

When the New Orleans Saints voyaged to the Eastern time zone a month ago to stare down the Atlanta Falcons, the home team proved to be the master of the ceremonies.  Today, the Falcons were over in  the Saints’ playground aiming to capture another victory.   Broadcast on Fox, the first quarter started with Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan throwing an interception.  Saints cornerback Jason David plucked the ball right out of the air as it was traveling towards Falcons wide receiver Roddy White.  Saints running back Reggie Bush made a touchdown a couple plays later.  New Orleans 7 and Atlanta 0.

The second quarter started with Saints quarterback Drew Brees throwing to wide receiver Marques Colston.  The ball ended up in the hands of Falcons cornerback Chevis Jackson, but it hit the ground.  Thus, incomplete pass.   The Saints shot up a field goal at the end of that possessio.  New Orleans 10 and Falcons 0.   The first play of Atlanta’s next possession was a fifty-nine yard pass to Roddy White.  Spectacularly projected and cradled.   The end of that drive led to a touchdown, courtesy of running back Michael Turner.  The Saints flung up another field goal (of forty-six yards) not long after the Falcons got on the board.  New Orleans 13 and Atlanta 7.   Towards the bottom of the second quarter, Matt Ryan connected superbly with wide receivers Harry Douglas, Michael Jenkins, Roddy White, and finally  Brian Finneran for a TD.  Atlanta 14 and New Orleans 13.  Going into halftime, though, the Saints reclaimed the lead with a field goal.  New Orleans 16 and Atlanta 14.

The third quarter pulsed halfway through and Matt Ryan launched two awesome passes while under much pressure (once to Brian Finneran, who was flanked by two Saints, and a second time to Michael Jenkins).   Edging towards the bottom of the third quarter, as that possession ended, Jason Elam’s field goal placed the Falcons back in the lead.  Atlanta 17 and New Orleans 16.

The fourth quarter commenced with a Saints touchdown by running back Pierre Thomas.   They would attempt a two-point conversion but it was not successful.  New Orleans 21 and Atlanta 17.   On the Falcons’ next possession, Matt Ryan ran twelve yards into the end zone himself for a touchdown.  A two-point conversion was tried and it worked (Michael Jenkins caught the ball).   Atlanta 25 and New Orleans 22.   The Saints responded with a zippy kickoff-return and a drive that culminated in a Pierre Thomas TD.  Saints 29 and Atlanta 25.   Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Two of the pre-game segments were a vignette on the Falcons and a getting-to-know Roddy White sequence.  White was also featured on 11alive’s (my local NBC station) Falcons Face to Face last night.  It’s taped at the ESPN Zone in Buckhead and is hosted by Fred Kalil, one of 11alive’s sports reporters.   Roddy White was born in November of 1981.  I’m older than him by nearly a year.  He’s adorable.  His off-field, onscreen persona is remarkably different from his on-field, onscreen persona.

2.  Brian Billick, Dick Stockton, and Brian Baldinger were the commentators.

3.  Jason David made that interception in the first quarter, was then brought to the ground by Roddy White, and then proceeded to do the Carlton Dance upon standing up.

4.  Before cutting to commercial after the second quarter ended, one of the Fox cameras got a shot of a Saints fan dressed up as the Joker a la Heath Ledger.  Only, his jacket was chartreuse.  In fact, the fan bore a strong resemblance to actor Crispin Glover.

5.  Falcons defensive end John Abraham has Chinese character tattoos in his left bicep.  I can’t make out what they are, though, from the camera angle that revealed them (in the top of the fourth quarter after Falcons cornerback Dominique Foxworth got a penalty for illegal contact).

6.  Falcons owner Arthur Blank got a medium close-up after Atlanta lost the forward progress challenge in the fourth quarter.  His face could be read as blank–ha! pun–or stoic.

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

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But the Eagles beat the Giants.

NFL 08: Falcons de-pride the Lions

Opening day of the 2008 NFL regular season on Fox. The Detroit Lions went southwards to size up the Atlanta Falcons. The Lions tried (not well at all in the first quarter) and put up a decent retort (in the second and third quarters), but in the end. Falcons soared above.

Sweet holy tuna sandwich! Just two minutes into the first quarter and Matt Ryan, Falcons starting quarterback, threw a sixty-two yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Michael Jenkins. On the Falcons’ second possession (about halfway through the first quarter), running back Michael Turner made a sixty-six yard dash into the end zone; he then put another TD on the board towards the end of the first quarter. Falcons 21. Lions nope.

Jon Kitna quarterbacked for Detroit. After three (?) attempts to make it into the end zone, Lions running back Kevin Smith finally made it through near the bottom of the quarter. Falcons 21. Lions 7. And then, like a giddy spatula on icing, wide receiver Roy Williams caught a TD pass (in a far corner of the end zone) with fewer than twenty-five seconds left on the clock. Going into halftime, Atlanta 21 and Lions 14.

Third quarter. Falcons safety Lawyer Milloy intercepted a Kitna pass in the top of the quarter. It was an awesome blossom. That drive ended in a field goal. Atlanta 24. Detroit 14. A bit after the halfway point of the third quarter, wide receiver Roddy White caught a forty-six yard pass from Matt Ryan, which got the Falcons down to end zone country. Running back Jerious Norwood made the TD. Atlanta 31. Detroit 14. In the bottom of the third, after Falcons cornerback Chris Houston gets a penalty (pass interference/illegal contact, je pense), the Lions put a TD on the board, thanks to tight end Casey FitzSimmons and a play action fake. Falcons 31 and Lions 21.

The fourth quarter began with what might have been a lovely third Michael Turner touchdown. Alas, it was subtracted–holding penalty on Roddy White–and that drive yielded a field goal instead. Falcons 34 and Lions 21. Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. It was still, and I suspect always will be, a pleasure to watch Calvin Johnson reach into the air for the ball–even when he doesn’t hold on to the ball.

2. JC Pearson and Matt Vasgersian provided commentary for Fox.

3. Bottom of the second quarter and Jon Kitna became quite expressive on the sidelines with his frustration. Understandably expressive.

4. I do believe UGA’s Redcoat marching band performed during halftime.

5. According to the commentators, Lawyer Milloy did a stint in the MLB before venturing into football. They also said he is a “soccer dad in the off-season.”

6. Visually, the first thing that came to mind when Jerious Norwood went into the end zone in the third quarter was “prance.” A stag leap, which happens to be a gymnastic maneuver.

7. After returning from the commercial break at around ten minutes, one of the cameras revealed 11Alive’s Fred Kalil at the game sitting next to Gerald Riggs, a former NFL player. Michael Turner broke Riggs’s rushing record.

8. Matt Ryan is the eighth rookie quarterback to dominate and win on opening day.

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

Fabulous. GaTech and UGA beat their respective opponents yesterday, Boston College and Central Michigan. Click here and here for details.