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The Atlanta Falcons battled the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium today in the first game of the regular 2012 season. Televised on Fox and narrated by Brian Billick and Thom Brennaman, the first quarter began with the Falcons on offense. With Matt Ryan in quarterback duties, their first possession resulted in a touchdown via wide receiver Julio Jones. By the end of the quarter, the Falcons put up three more points with a field goal. By the top of the second quarter, though, the Chiefs tied the score with a field goal and a TD (QB Matt Cassel threw to tight end Kevin Boss. Atlanta 10 and Kansas City 10.
The Falcons regained the lead in the middle of the second quarter with another Julio Jones TD catch-and-run. Atlanta 17 and Kansas City 10. The Chiefs responded with forty-six yards of running back Jamaal Charles. Shortly thereafter, the Chiefs tied the score again with a Matt Cassel TD. Atlanta 17 and Kansas City 17. By the bottom of the third quarter, the Falcons got on top again with a field goal, a Matt Ryan TD, and a Tony Gonzalez TD. The Falcons were poised for another trip to the end zone but wide receiver Roddy White couldn’t quite keep his hands on one of Matt Ryan’s throws. A field goal followed. Atlanta 37 and Kansas City 17.
The fourth quarter began with Falcons defense skills that turned a Stephen Nicholas interception into a field goal. The Chiefs managed to squeeze out a TD with fewer than 20 seconds left to play, thanks to running back Shaun Draughn. Atlanta 40 and Kansas City 24. Final score.
Observations & Miscellanea:
1. After making his first TD of the game in the bottom of the third quarter, Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez dunked the football over the horizontal bar of the uprights. He used to be a Chief.
2. There was a scuffle on the sidelines in the middle-ish of the fourth quarter where a Chief got his fingers in the wrong part of Falcons cornerback Chris Owens.
Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.
The Atlanta Falcons opened their 2009 pre-season with a one point loss to the Detroit Lions. The preying birds welcomed the 2010 pre-season against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Georgia Dome tonight. Would the Falcons do their fans proud? Televised by NBC, the first quarter started with the Chiefs kicking to the Falcons. Matt Ryan took his place as quarterback. Several plays later, kicker Matt Bryant made a thirty-yard field goal. Atlanta 3 and Kansas City 0. Matt Cassel went in as quarterback when the Chiefs went on the offensive. Three plays later, the Chiefs punted the ball back to the Falcons. Matt Ryan’s complete vs. incomplete passes during Atlanta’s second possession was about even. Kicker Steve Hauschka was sent in to attempt a fifty-three yard FG–it was no good. Slow-motion instant replay after the commercial break revealed that his ball was two to four feet too low; it hit the crossbar.
With three minutes left in the first quarter, Falcons Kroy Biermann knocked the ball out of Matt Cassel’s hands and the Falcons recovered it. Chris Redman stepped in on QB watch; unfortunately, he didn’t perform as well as he’s demonstrated in the past. They had to punt the ball away by the bottom of the quarter. The second quarter began with the Chiefs improving upon offensive execution. Kicker Ryan Succop tried but missed a fifty-three.five yard FG. The ball ricocheted off the left upright. Chris Redman was at QB in the top of the second quarter and his first pass was complete to wide receiver Roddy White. Matt Bryant’s second field goal, at fifty yards, was unsuccessful (wide right). Ryan Succop’s second FG attempt, at fifty-three yards, was no good either (wide right). Brodie Croyle took over quarterback gig for the Chiefs in the bottom of the second quarter. The Chiefs were focused on making a touchdown with under a minute left in the first half. They’d have to settle for a twenty-yard FG. Atlanta 3 and Kansas City 3.
The Chiefs went on offense first in the third quarter. Brodie Croyle was back as QB and threw an interception two or three plays in…right into the bosom of rookie safety Shann Schillinger. Chris Redman returned as quarterback. A series of good plays led to a touchdown via running back Dimitri Nance. Atlanta 10 and Kansas City 3. The Chiefs’ defense was making more noise in the middle of the quarter, at which point John Parker Wilson had gone in as QB for the Falcons. He moved his teammates down the field to a sneeze away from the end zone.
Dimitri Nance crossed the goal line two plays into the fourth quarter. He did a little dance, just a little one. Atlanta 17 and Kansas City 3. The Chiefs turned the game over by way of Falcons cornerback Chevis Jackson intercepting Brodie Croyle. Steve Hauschka’s thirty-seven yard FG went through minutes later. Atlanta 20 and Kansas City 3. Chiefs defensive back Javier Arenas made a 100 yard return for a TD when Kansas City received the ball next. A holding penalty on Chiefs lineback Justin Cole quashed that TD, though. Tyler Palko was QB for that possession. The fourth quarter was scoreless for the Chiefs until there were fewer than thirty seconds left in the game. Palko flung his body over the goal line and broke the plane for a second. Atlanta 20 and Kansas City 10. Final score.
Observations & Miscellania:
2. The Chiefs’ white tops (with red numbers), white bottoms (with red-yellow stripe down the side), and red helmets made them look like cheesecake.
3. Matt Ryan looked fantastic tonight, corporeally speaking. Great form. The South has certainly rubbed off on him; he now talks with a more pronounced accent. Giddy yup.
4. Former Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis is now offensive coordinator for the Chiefs.
6. Brodie Croyle is only two years younger than ming!
7. On Falcons head coach, Mike Smith, Randy Waters remarked in context of when/where a Chiefs’ player’s knee went to the ground in the bottom of the second quarter, “Doesn’t matter if it’s the pre-season or recess in the fifth grade; Mike Smith competes.”
8. Falcons President Rich Mckay joined Waters and Baldinger in the top of the third quarter to chat about his team. McKay mentioned that he’s beginning to see John Parker Wilson’s arm strength.
9. The Falcons had the ball for some ten minutes from the middle of the third quarter through the top of the fourth. Upon returning from commercial break following Nance’s second TD, the camera was on a medium shot of the Falcons’ QBs sitting on a bench, backs facing the camera. Redman on the left, Wilson in the middle, and Ryan on the right. Numbers 8, 4, 2 respectively. Hmmm. 4^2=16. 16/2=8. 8/4=2. 2^2=4. 4×2=8. 2^3=8. 8-4=4. Redman and Ryan were wearing green caps. Forest green caps.
10. Sam Crenshaw interviewed Falcons on the sidelines throughout the evening. When he spoke with wide receiver Harry Douglas, Roddy White played peek-a-boo with the camera from behind Douglas. White smiled like a boy on his sweet sixteen birthday. Harry soon started chuckling.
Gee, the dragon. Psst. It’s official now.
Tony Gonzalez, a tight end for the Atlanta Falcons? But when? But how? Don’t just sit there with your eyes wide shut and your mouth ablaze.
The following song parody came to me while I was washing my hair, so I had to get it down on “paper.”
Prove it to me, prove it to me, baby
Strange voice on the phone
Even though I’m in a dead zone ~ it goes through
I smell a premonition
Quit doubting and let us play ball ~ oh yeah
No blows, no holds
So make me throw
Relent, you show
Trace my footing, would ya
You’ll spill, or you’ll choke
Own all the tricks of the trade for you, baby
Save one for me
All I need is proof
count after me, baby
All I need is proof
You’re shaping up nicely
All I need is proof
Now, baby don’t shoot high
You swore you wouldn’t try
I’m gonna win you, right
All I need is proof.
–yiqi 23 April 09 5:52 pm
PS. Here’s that Tugboat Annie.
The Indianapolis Colts and the Pittsburgh Steelers. A thumb-war set or two.
Going into halftime, the Steelers were in the lead with 17 points to the Colts’ 14. I started watching from the top of the third quarter. The Colts had a near-touchdown halfway in the third quarter but wide receiver Marvin Harrison couldn’t keep ahold of the ball. Kicker Adam Vinatieri then tied the game with a field goal. The tie would continue through the top of the fourth quarter. And then the Steelers hurled out a field goal. Pittsburgh 20 and Indianapolis 17. Colts defensive back Tim Jennings intercepted a Ben Roethlisberger pass in the bottom of the fourth quarter. The result of that turnover was a TD by Dominic Rhodes. Colts 24 and Steelers 20. After a sweetly exciting last minute of the game, Indianapolis took the cake, the icing, and the knife. 24 to 20 final score.
Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.
I also watched the final fortyish seconds of the Kansas City and San Diego game. The Chargers won by one point. Read all about it here.