Tag Archives: Michael Turner

NFL 2009: Falcons depreciate the Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Atlanta Falcons ground the axe the day after UGA out-played GaTech by one touchdown.  Televised by Fox, with commentary by Dick Stockton and Charles Davis, the first quarter commenced with the Falcons on offense.  First pass from quarterback Matt Ryan?  a would-be interception.  Running back Michael Turner was back in the game after resting last week.  No Falcons pointage resulted from the first go.  When the Falcons went on offense again, Chris Redman stepped in as quarterback on account of a foot injury on Ryan.  His second throw was complete to tight end Tony Gonzalez (wow, that play elapsed very slowly even in real-time).  The Falcons had to punt the ball away but due to an off-sides penalty on the Buccaneers, the Falcons got the ball back.  The  first quarter ended with no score for either team.

Chris Redman continued as quarterback in the second quarter.  Three minutes into the quarter, Matt Ryan went into the locker rooms.  Kicker Jason Elam broke the 0-0 of the scoreboard with a field goal.  About halfway through the second quarter, Falcons running back Jerious Norwood proved, with an eighteen-yard run, just how much his five-game absence impacted his team.  A few plays later, Redman’s shovel pass to Norwood led to a touchdown.  Atlanta 10 and Tampa Bay 0.  When the Buccaneers went on offense, quarterback Josh Freeman threw a forty-two yard TD pass to wide receiver Antonio Bryant.  The Buccaneers tied the score with a field goal with half a minute left in the second quarter.  Atlanta 10 and Tampa Bay 10.

The third quarter did not march off too well for the Falcons.  A punt was blocked, the Buccaneers got amazing field position and churned out a TD (via running back Carnell Williams).  Tampa Bay 17 and Atlanta 10.  Michael Turner made a pretty good run but had to step off the field shortly thereafter due to a right leg misfortune.  Jason Elam narrowed the score deficit by three halfway through the third quarter.  Tampa Bay 17 and Atlanta 13.  The Falcons were going strong in the bottom of the quarter when running back Jason Snelling lost control of the ball.

And then there was a fourth quarter…my eyes remained averted from the screen, afeared to see what wouldn’t feel so bad just to hear.  Can I even smile that that Tony Gonzalez caught Redman’s pass in the second half of the fourth quarter (with Buccaneer safety Tanard Jackson covering him)?  A forty+ yard FG was tried and failed.  Fortunately for the Falcons, the Buccaneers missed a field goal attempt in the bottom of the fourth quarter.  How would the Falcons perform with likely their last dance with the ball?  Thirty seconds left in the game.  One more chance.  Chris Redman to wide receiver Roddy White complete! It’s a touchdown! Atlanta 20 and Tampa Bay 17.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  The Falcons wore black jerseys and red helmets.

2.  Halfway through the fourth quarter, footage of Matt Ryan standing on the sidelines (out of uniform) was aired.  In a medium close-up, Ryan wore an expression of bewilderment and disbelief.  When he was shown walking around the sidelines in the bottom of the fourth quarter, shock had turned to discontentment.  His frown was turned upside down after Redman and White connected for a TD.  Arthur Blank was all smiles and thumbs up too.

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NFL 2009: Panthers dodge the Falcons ball

True story.  My alarm clock went off at 6:30 in the morning.  There were string instruments.  I got up, went to the bathroom, started brushing my teeth, and then thought, hey, the Falcons haven’t played yet.

The Atlanta Falcons in Carolina Panthers home turf on Fox.  Any predictions?  The first heart-thumping play of the first quarter occurred when Falcons running back Michael Turner ran forty yards into Panther territory.  Jason Elam went on the field at the end of that possession to make a thirty-five yard field goal.  Atlanta 3 and Carolina 0.  The Panthers weren’t going to have any Falcons’ scoring first and responded with a mean drive down to the end zone thanks to wide receiver Steve Smith’s catch and run, and running back Jonathan Stewart crossing the goal line (who gave the TD ball to a female fan behind the end zone).  Carolina 7 and Atlanta 3.

Sour puss’n boots.  How are the Panthers “doing this” offensively?  This meaning getting down to the red zone in a matter of breaths in the top of the second quarter.  Steve Smith made a pretty awesome TD catch.  Carolina 14 and Atlanta 3.  Have the Falcons taken a cue from their opponents in getting down the field?  Quarterback Matt Ryan made a lovely pass to wide receiver Roddy White to get the birds just shy of the goal line.  After two unsuccessful tries (a pass to tight end Tony Gonzalez and a run attempt by running back Jason Snelling), the Falcons finally made it in for a TD with six minutes left in the first half–thanks to Snelling.  Carolina 14 and Atlanta 10.  Matt Ryan threw an interception in the bottom of the second quarter; Panthers cornerback Sherrod Martin got his bosom to the ball.  Steve Smith TD number two but at the expense of his noggin lower back.  Replays suggested that Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud’s knee might’ve rammed into Smith’s lower back.  Carolina 21 and Atlanta 10.

The third quarter commenced with much potential for a Falcons touchdown.  But, there would be a field goal instead.  Carolina 21 and Atlanta 13.  Nearing the bottom of the third quarter, I was overcome with feelings of “I can’t watch!”  et j’ai mal a la tete.  What was that? Hope? L’espoir est retourne!  Jason Snelling, Michael Jenkins, and Tony Gonzalez made necessary strides to get the Falcons into the red zone.

The fourth quarter began with a Falcons TD catch by tight end Justin Peelle.  Peelle was able to get away from the huddled mass at the line of scrimmage.  The two-point conversion wasn’t successful.  Carolina 21 and Atlanta 19.   By the middle of the quarter, the Falcons had summoned up a substantial amount of rhythm and agility to get across the field (Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White made important catches)…and then Mike Smith threw in the red flag to contest the exact location of the ball after the ball was just snapped and a heap of bodies converged on Matt Ryan.  Smith lost the challenge and Jason Elam’s field goal was nowhere near the uprights.  Wide left.  No, not just wide left.  The ball appeared to be at least seven to ten feet away from the cross beam.   The shadow over innsmouth just got darker.  Matt Ryan threw his second interception of the day, over the head of Michael Jenkins and into the hands of Panthers cornerback Richard Marshall.  Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart made his second TD of the day just a few plays later.  Nearing the two-minute warning, Carolina 28 and Atlanta 19.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Kenny Albert and Daryl Johnston provided commentary.  For the love of the Forbidden City, why is there a yellow handkerchief in Moose Johnston’s breast pocket?  C’est moche.

2.  The Falcons had a pretty impressive second go “at bat,” but they were unable to get far enough into Panthersville.  Seconds before commercial break, the telecast cut to a high-angle medium close-up of a helmet-less, red-faced Matt Ryan walking to the bench on the sidelines.  The words, “shite, dayam” could be deciphered from his mouth.  He certainly said the latter.

3.  Michael Turner’s right ankle was battered a bit late in the second quarter.

4.  There was a moment when I started losing faith in a favorable outcome on the score board.  Middle of the third quarter when the Panthers were taking the ball down the field.  I’m not sure why it happened.  It just did.  But a sliver of hope re-ignited as the Falcons blocked a fifty-one yard field goal attempt by the Panthers.

5.  After the Justin Peelle TD in the top of the fourth quarter and it became apparent that the Falcons would go for two, Daryl Johnston kept expressing his criticism of the decision to go for two.  When the Panthers were on offense next, he reprised his thoughts that two-point conversions should be saved for the final six minutes of the fourth quarter.  Sure, most teams would probably save it for the last four to six minutes, but psychologically, perhaps the Panthers would see that they still have a lead (even a two-point lead) and let their anxiety down just enough for the Falcons to make another much needed TD.

6.  Footage of the Jason Elam missed FG indicated that there was likely some miscommunication between him and holder Michael Koenen.

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NFL 2009: Falcons go skyhigh over the Redskins

The Washington Redskins came down to the Georgia Dome to gauge the Atlanta Falcons’ performance capabilities after back-to-back losses (to the Dallas Cowboys and then the New Orleans Saints).  Televised by Fox and narrated by Kenny Albert and Daryl Johnston, the first quarter started with the Falcons on offense and a much stronger first impression than in recent memory.  The Falcons scored at the end of their first possession via a play-fake to running back Michael Turner.  Quarterback Matt Ryan threw the ball to tight end Tony Gonzalez for a touchdown.  Atlanta 7 and Washington 0.  A change-up of offense later, when the ball went back to the Falcons, Mr. Ryan threw an interception–sss-tew-rate into the grasp of Redskins linebacker Rocky McIntosh.  But…what soft through yonder window breaks! It is Falcons cornerback Tye Hill catching a loose ball–slipped through the hands of Redskins tight end Fred Davis–and making a sixty-two yard TD run!  Atlanta 14 and Washington 0.

The second quarter ticked down to seven or six minutes and the Redskins finally got themselves on board with a field goal.  Atlanta 14 and Washington 3.  With just over three minutes left in the first half, Michael Turner ran the ball in for a TD.   Seconds before the end of the first half, Jason Elam made a field goal for the Falcons.  Atlanta 24 and Washington 3.

Redskins QB, Jason Campbell, took five sacks in the first half.  He and his offense mates appeared to have improved in the third quarter with a sneeze more momentum, a whiff of better pacing, and more ground coverage.   Running back Ladell Betts broke the plane on 4th and goal, giving the Redskins their first TD of the game.  Fellow running back Rock Cartwright made a couple attempts but was stopped by the Falcons defense each time.  Atlanta 24 and Washington 10.

The fourth quarter shot out a TD connection between Jason Campbell and tight end Todd Yoder –or alleged TD connection.  Falcons head coach Mike Smith challenged the TD ruling on account of whether or not both of Yoder’s feet were in-bounds after catching the ball in the rear of the end zone.  The left foot was definitely in, but what about the right foot and knee? The ruling stood.  Atlanta 24 and Washington 17.  Now what?  Would the Falcons be able to finish what they started, as many Falcons fans were wondering moments before Michael Turner made a fifty-eight yard run for the end zone.  Redskins QB went down and out not in Beverly Hills when his team got the ball again.  He suffered an ankle mishap.  Todd Collins went in as QB for a possession.  Campbell came back with three minutes left to play.  The clock ticked and ticked to closing time.  Atlanta 31 and Washington 17.  Final score.

Not Another Teen Movie in German!

Nicht Noch Ein Teenie Film!


Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Former Falcons cornerback DeAngelo Hall was booed when he making a fair catch in the middle of the second quarter.

2.  According to Kenny Albert (methinks), Michael Turner’s TD in the second quarter marked his ninth for the season so far.

3.  Close-up to Matt Ryan under two minutes in the second quarter: is he wearing eyeliner?  Mike Smith was right there to see a late hit on Ryan by Redskins safety LaRon Landry.   Ryan had already gone out of bounds when Landry came at him.  Within nanoseconds, there was a convergence of jerseys on the Falcons sidelines; DeAngelo Hall (?) started pushing and shoving.

4.  Two strong offensive Redskins were absent: tight end Chris Cooley didn’t play at all and running back Clinton Portis went to the sidelines due to a concussion, if memory serves.

5.  There was a Veterans Day parade in Atlanta yesterday afternoon? Apparently so, Daryl Johnston saw some of it.

6.  After returning from the commercial break that followed Ladell Betts’s TD, one of the cameras cut to a close-up of Redskins wide receiver Malcolm Kelly’s left ankle being taped.  The camera was behind the seated Kelly, on the left side.  His foot ….his toes are all skin, bone, and sinews.  Blood vessels.  Made me think of a dancer.

7.  Todd Yoder reminds me of actor David Morse.

8.  When Todd Collins stepped in as QB for Jason Campbell in the fourth quarter, he patted Campbell on the back as they passed each other on the field.  Campbell kept his head down, flanked by Redskins personnel.

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NFL 2009: Cowboys tie down the Falcons

Televised by Fox and narrated by Thom Brennaman and Troy Aikman, 80,000 spectators watched the Atlanta Falcons knit a sweater in  Texas with the Dallas Cowboys.  Question: who would finish first?  The first quarter began with the Falcons on offense and a touchdown, courtesy of a great Jason Snelling run and a Matt RyanRoddy White connection.  Atlanta 7 and Dallas 0.  The first quarter ended with Cowbacks backup quarterback Jon Kitna going in for Tony Romo (who fell pretty hard against the turf and was experiencing neck/head discomfort).

Romo returned in the second quarter.  The Cowboys got a field goal.  Atlanta 7 and Dallas 3.  The ball volleyed between the teams for the next several minutes.  Cowboys wide receiver Miles Austin TD run in the second half of the second quarter put his team on top.  The quarter ended with wide receiver Patrick Crayton catching a TD pass in the back of the end zone.  Dallas 17 and Atlanta 7.

The third quarter progressed halfway through before the Falcons demonstrated substantial momentum.  Jason Snelling ran the ball well, and Roddy White caught a pass that tight end Tony Gonzalez was supposed to catch.  Running back Michael Turner punctuated that rise in power with a touchdown.  Dallas 17 and Atlanta 14.  Miles Austin widened the score gap with his second TD in the bottom of the quarter.  Dallas 24 and Atlanta 14.  The fourth quarter enlarged that space for the Cowboys with a forty-seven yard field goal by Nick Folk.  Dallas 27 and Atlanta 14.  What on Galileo’s good planetary beliefs would the Falcons do offensively? Would Matt Ryan sharpen the accuracy of his projectiles?  Well, nothing really.  Patrick Crayton returned a punt for seventy-three yards for a TD.  Dallas 34 and Atlanta 14 with essentially half a quarter left to play.

Cowboys cornerback Mike Jenkins ran into Falcons wide receiver Marty Booker, picked up the ball and headed straight for the end zone because no whistle blew.  Falcons head coach Mike Smith challenged the alleged fumbled ball.  He won the challenge.  Six minutes left in the game and Atlanta was down twenty points.  Would a one-point win be a lost cause? a pipe dream? Well, Matt Ryan connected with Falcons wide receiver Eric Weems for a TD.  When the fourth quarter was drawing near the two-minute warning, Nick Folk launched another field goal.  With what was surely the Falcons’ last possession, Matt Ryan was intercepted by Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick.  One of the cameras caught his reaction in a medium close-up.  He huffed and puffed and unbuckled his helmet as he walked to the sidelines (towards the position of that camera).  Dallas 37 and Atlanta 21. Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  How strange was it for some of the Falcons offensive player to go against their former teammate, Keith Brooking?

2.  Matt Ryan’s shoes were hot pink.

3.  The mantra or hype over the Falcons ever since Mike Smith, Thomas Dimitroff, Matt Ryan, and Michael Turner joined the Falcons family is one of strike hard in the first and rock steady thereafter.  By mid-season last year, a pattern had emerged with respect to the Falcons’ scoring.  They’d put the numbers up on their first few possessions in the first half of a game and then work to maintain the lead in the second half.  With roster changes, both offensively and defensively, in the 2009 season, why must we all assume or expect that strike hard in the first and rock steady thereafter would necessarily still apply?  The Falcons have had to play with a stronger emphasis on adaptability this season.  Whatever gets you through this drive, whatever will get the ball back.  And then, sometimes you just need a reality check.  Yes, you were just intercepted; yes, you just fumbled that ball; yes, you just got that first down, now do something with it.

4.  Miles Austin has Hyori smiley eyes (the eyes disappear!)….and horrific teeth.  My gourd.  He’s got too many teeth.

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NFL 2009: Falcons thwart the Bears

In a weekend that brought much love to local collegiate football (GaTech and UGA beat their respective opponents), the Chicago Bears fished their way to the Georgia Dome in Sunday Night’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.  Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth were the commentators.   The Falcons started on offense but were unable to score.  When the Bears got the ball, they made it down to the red zone and quarterback Jay Cutler might’ve thrown a touchdown pass…were it not for Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud intercepting the pass.  The first quarter came and went and no one put any numbers on the board.

The second quarter sprang out with a Bears TD made by wide receiver Johnny Knox.   On the Bears’ next possession, Jay Cutler threw another interception…to Thomas DeCoud.  What would the Falcons do with this turnover?  Well, running backs Jerious Norwood and Michael Turner ran the ball, and wide receiver Roddy White a touchdown.  Chicago 7 and Atlanta 7.  It took some time, but Matt Ryan found his sea-talons.  The second quarter ended with Matt Ryan connecting with tight end Tony Gonzalez for a TD (he caught the ball in the back of the end zone and then dunked the ball across the cross bar–towards the field).  Atlanta 14 and Chicago 7.

The third quarter started with Matt Ryan throwing an interception.  Bears cornerback Zackary Bowman got his paws on the ball.  Fortunately, his teammates didn’t capitalize on it.  In the bottom of the quarter, the Bears offense got down to TD vicinity but weren’t able to execute.  On a third attempt, Falcons defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux caused knocked the ball loose and linebacker Coy Wire recovered it.

The fourth quarter spelled out a second intercepted Matt Ryan pass (Falcons wide receiver Michael Jenkins couldn’t catch the ball).  Falcons cornerback Brian Williams was able to keep the Bears from scoring a TD in the middle of the fourth but landed on his right knee when he came down to the field of the end zone.  Bears tight end Greg Olsen was able to get a TD after all (on the next play).   Atlanta 14 and Chicago 14.  How would the Falcons retaliate?  Michael Turner ran into the end zone for a TD with fewer than four minutes left on the clock.  Atlanta 21 and Chicago 14.  And then there were seventy-five seconds left in the game.   Forty-seconds and Jay Cutler threw to wide receiver Earl Bennett to put the Bears offense closer to the end zone (after a series of penalties that put them back to the twenty-nine yard line).  A false start penalty, however, took away any opportunities for the Bears to score.  Atlanta 21 and Chicago 14.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  In the pre-game interview with Bob Costas, Matt Ryan explained that he wore number 2 in high school, 12 at Boston College, and after joining the Falcons, decided to go back to wearing the 2.  He recently hung out with Florida Gators QB Tim Tebow at Hartsfield–more people recognized Tebow.

2.  70,000 Falcons and Bears fans gathered at the Dome tonight.

3.  The Bears and Falcons wore hot pink gloves and shoes.

4.  Jerious Norwood got hit pretty heavily in the bottom of the second quarter.  He limped off the field towards the tunnel.

5.  After the Falcons got their second TD in the first half, Cris Collinsworth remarked, “Matt Ryan has absolutely fallen in love with Tony Gonzalez especially in the red zone…all those veteran moves,” which was soon followed by “Matt Ryan and Roddy White, Matt Ryan and Michael Turner, Matt Ryan and Tony Gonzalez; that’s more like the Quadruplets.”

6.  After returning from a commercial break in the top of the third quarter, Al Michaels mentioned that Bears long snapper Patrick Mannelly went to Marist.

7.  Matt Ryan in a Gillette Fusion razors commercial.

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