Tag Archives: Harry Douglas

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 are all the rage in the Chargers parade

The Atlanta Falcons fast-boat to California to grill some steaks with the San Diego Chargers. Televised by Fox, the first quarter trotted to about five minutes on the game clock before anybody scored. The Falcons did–Jason Elam and a field goal. Chargers running back LaDanian Tomlinson got his team on the board with a touchdown at the bottom of the first quarter. The Falcons responded with another field goal. San Diego 7 and Atlanta 6.

The second quarter twinkled about the nine minute mark with former Charger tight end Justin Peelle making a TD catch. Atlanta 13 and San Diego 7. Halfway through the second quarter, I noticed two more points for Atlanta on the TV scorebar graphic. Que? Apparently, Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers incurred a penalty which translated into a safety for the Falcons, so 15 to 7.

The third quarter commenced with Chargers safety Eric Weddle recovering a fumbled catch by Falcons wide receiver Brian Finneran for an eighty-six yard touchdown. Falcons head coach Mike Smith challenged the interception call. Smith did not win the challenge. Atlanta 15 and San Diego 13. The fourth quarter shot out a TD catch by Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas, his first TD reception of the year (the others were run in). Atlanta 22 and San Diego 13.

The Chargers’ next possession included a few strong plays but their field goal attempt was blocked by Falcons defensive end Jamaal Anderson. Falcons linebacker Curtis Lofton recovered the ball. Not long afterwards, San Diego got their hands on the ball after their defense brought Falcons running back Michael Turner to the ground. Mike Smith challenged the call and lost it. The Chargers picked up a field goal at the end of that cul-de-sac run. Atlanta 22 and San Diego 16. At about the two minute mark in the fourth quarter, Philip Rivers hurtled the ball towards wide receiver Malcom Floyd. Falcons safety Erik Coleman went in for the tackle/ball. He and Floyd collided quite audibly in mid-air. It sounded like two plastic trains being smashed into each other. Or bamboo sticks being whacked against each other (a la kendo or tinikling).

Paraphrasing the commentators, Atlanta pivoted the ball to San Diego three times but still managed to stay in the lead…and then ultimately win the game 22 to 16. Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Matt Vasgersian and JC Pearson were commentators.

2. Michael Turner was focused on the game–so much so that before he kept to himself before the festivities started. He didn’t acknowledge his former teammates (of four years) on the field.

3. The second quarter ended with four attempts by the Falcons to cross the goal line. The Chargers were able to stop them each time. In watching those exchanges, I started thinking about red zone offense and defense. Why would the offense make four running tries instead of two runs and two passes? Or, if three running attempts were fruitless, why not try passing on the fourth? Well, because you wouldn’t want the other team’s defense to take advantage of any imperfections with a pass. And then there’s how the defense would respond to what they think the offense would do. It really isn’t too different from the game of rock, paper, scissors in that respect. If your opponent went with paper three times in a row, would you think they would go with paper on the fourth? If you had gone with paper three times in a row as well, would you switch to scissors or rock on the fourth? If you believed your opponent would bust out the paper once more, what would you do?

4. I have, and I bet you have too, seen this Peyton Manning Mastercard commercial at least seven times as of today. While some of you are probably sick to toadstools of it, the more I see it, the more I like it. I especially adore the way Peyton says, “the weather is sweet. Nice.”

5. Matt Vasgersian remarked that Jamaal Anderson is a Ludacris lookalike. Hmmm. Do you concur?

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

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The Pittsburgh Steelers clobbered the New England Patriots 33 to 10. Click here for details.

NFL 08: the Falcons kung pao spaghetti the Panthers

A brief detour:

The Dallas Cowboys put on their ritz against the San Francisco 49ers earlier today 35 to 22. Click here for details. In the top half of the fourth quarter, SF quarterback Shaun Hill threw to wide receiver Dominique Zeigler for thirty yards and the camera filmed that play from behind the 49ers offense. Their backs were facing the camera–it was pretty cool. Slow-motion instant replays included views from the high-angle, press-box POV (with Zeigler screen-right) as well as from in front of Shaun Hill and behind Ziegler.

Cowboys kicker Nick Folk made four field goals at a distance of greater than forty yards.

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The Baltimore Ravens wisecracked the Philadelphia Eagles 36 to 7. Click here for details.

The New York Jets broke the Tennessee Titans spotless winning streak today. Click here for how and why.

Retour:

The Atlanta Falcons and the Carolina Panthers at the Georgia Dome. Who would walk away from this game cradling the golden orb of victory? Broadcast on Fox, the first quarter commenced with a Falcons field goal. Upon their next possession, Atlanta scored a touchdown, courtesy of Harry Douglas, who flattened his body horizontally (parallel to the end zone’s sidelines boundaries, or perpendicular to the goal line) and essentially bourreed into the end zone. Falcons 10 and Panthers 0.

The second quarter took off with another Falcons touchdown, thanks to running back Michael Turner. Atlanta 17 and Carolina 0. The Falcons were on a hot cross bun in the second quarter. Quarterback Matt Ryan threw to wide receiver Roddy White, who was then tackled by Panthers cornerback Chris Gamble. Safety Charles Godfrey recovered the fumbled ball for Carolina. This turnover resulted in a field goal. Falcons 17 and Panthers 3 going into halftime.

The third quarter spat out a touchdown for the Panthers, nailed in by running back DeAngelo Williams. Carolina increased their score with a field goal not long after. Falcons 17 and Panthers 13. The third quarter concluded with a horse-collar personal foul on Carolina cornerback Richard Marshall. The fourth quarter sparked with a touchdown by Michael Turner. Falcons 24 and Panthers 13. The Panthers were not going to be disheartened. Carolina’s own quarterback Jake Delhomme ran the ball into the end zone. A two-point conversion was successful. Falcons 24 and Panthers 21.

Atlanta regained some of their first quarter momentum with a Ryan-Douglas connection. The Falcons got to the red zone and then the end zone on the fourth try, thanks to Michael Turner, in the middle of the fourth quarter. Atlanta 31 and Carolina 21. The Falcons widened the score gap when Harry Douglas returned a fifty-seven yard punt for a TD. He then received a taunting penalty because he extended his left arm while running towards the end zone (probably within fifteen yards of it) in a kind of “ha ha” expression. Atlanta 38 and Carolina 21. The Panthers wouldn’t be so visibly demoralized, though. Delhomme threw to wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad in the bottom of the fourth quarter. Atlanta 38 and Carolina 28. With under a minute left to play, the Falcons demonstrated one more dose of athleticism with yet another Michael Turner TD. Atlanta 45 and Carolina 28. Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Thom Brennaman and Brian Billick provided commentary. After the Falcons put 10 poins on the scoreboard, either Thom or Brian remarked that Matt Ryan has received a lot of praise for his contributions to the franchise even though the defense deserves some recognition too. I don’t think Falcons fans have taken the defense for granted. I don’t think the Falcons have taken their defense for granted.

2. In the seconds before the halftime commercial, the camera cut to a couple of hardcore Falcons fans. The first was a woman who donned this faerie-esque get-up )complete with glitter around the eyes). The second was a man who wore a full-body costume, including a cape, a left-handed claw hook contraption, and a plastic headpiece in the shape of a falcon head.

3. Camera coverage after Harry Douglas’s fourth quarter punt-returned TD included the back of Arthur Blank on the sidelines, making a “yes!” downward swoop with his right arm. As Brennaman and Billick discussed the taunting penalty on Douglas, the cameras cut to veteran Falcons telling Douglas something along the lines of “we know you’re excited, but you gotta refrain from doing that kind of stuff.”

4. Thom Brennaman noted that the “NFC South is (very) mystifying.” For the last five years, it seems, the team that came in last in the division one season would rise to the top the next season. Examples: Panthers, Falcons, Saints, and Bucs. See here.

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