Falcons defensive end John Abraham was the guest of this week’s Falcons Face t0 Face with Fred Kalil. Abraham is incredibly witty; and he can speak in analogy. He was discussing the contrast between the 2007 and the 2008 seasons. He likened the change from feeling not so wonderful to feeling great to the way in which a woman’s husband can cheer her up after having a bad day at work.
Oh. Yes. The Baltimore Ravens rang around the GA Dome’s rosy tonight against the Atlanta Falcons in the final pre-season game of 2009. Televised by NBC and narrated by Randy Waters and Brian Baldinger, the first quarter purred down to about two minutes before anyone put any numbers on the board. It would be a touchdown setup by Ravens quarterback John Beck and caught by fullback Jason Cook. Baltimore 7 and Atlanta 0. John Parker Wilson relieved Matt Ryan of quarterbacking duties in the bottom of the quarter. The second quarter very nearly ended with a Falcons TD between Parker Wilson and wide receiver Robert Ferguson. It would’ve been a beauty of a catch, if it remained a catch. Jason Elam then sent a forty-five yard field goal through the uprights. Baltimore 7 and Atlanta 3.
After a predominantly lackluster first half, the third quarter foxtrotted to about 9.5 minutes when Falcons tight end Keith Zinger made a nice catch. Running back Thomas Brown then made a twenty-five yard run. After a few more solid plays, Jason Elam missed a thirty-five yard field goal. The camera cut almost immediately to a slight high-angle, medium shot of him unstrapping his helmet and walking towards the sidelines. He looked as displeased as the rest of us Falcons fans. DJ Shockley went in as QB in the bottom of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter increased the Ravens’ lead with a thirty-three yard Steve Hauschka field goal. Ravens wide receiver Eron Riley made a TD catch a few minutes later. Baltimore 17 and Atlanta 3. Hauschka’s kicked it again with under two minutes left on the clock. Baltimore 20 and Atlanta 3. Final score.
Lookin’ forward to NFL 2009 proper on September 13 when the Falcons serve up some Dolphins.
Observations & Miscellania:
1. Randy Waters and Brian Baldinger nearly wore the same outfit–dark navy suit, white button-down long-sleeved shirt (on Waters, Baldinger’s was light blue), and a square-patterned yellow tie (Waters’s tie was more yellow, Baldinger’s was more pastelish).
2. Sam Crenshaw interviewed Falcons head coach Mike Smith before the game started. Coach looked like he lost about twelve pounds since the last game. Thomas Dimitroff and Arthur Blank were seen walking across (from screen right to left).
3. The Ravens’ uniforms looked very nice. White bottoms with a blackish/dark purple stripe on the outer thigh; white jerseys.
4. There was a shot of Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes sitting, sans helmet, on the bench not long after Baltimore scored in the bottom of the first quarter. He looked so young and so cute. He’s only two years younger than I am.
5. Randy Waters confessed just past the middle of the second quarter that he doesn’t own an iPod. Neither do I, Randy! High-five.
6. Falcons defensive tackle Peria Jerry’s favorite food is macaroni and cheese. His favorite movie is Life. Directed by Ted Demme, the film was released theatrically in April of 1999. I was a high school senior itching to graduate. Probably studying for or taking AP exams. I was eighteen years-old; Jerry was fourteen. I wonder if he saw it in theatres or waited until it was released on DVD.
7. Falcons safety Erik Coleman is a year younger than I am. The folks at 11alive had put mics on Coleman and wide receiver Michael Jenkins during a practice this week. What fine human specimens. Jenkins is a year younger than I too!
8. Thomas Dimitroff stopped by the press box to speak with Waters and Baldinger in the top half of the third quarter. Ben Hartsock, Von Hutchins, and Willie Evans are no longer Falcons. Tye Hill (of the Rams) is now a Falcon.
9. Perhaps I should not have praised the Ravens’ uniforms. Middle of the fourth quarter and the Falcons’ numbers were limited, confined to a field goal. Baltimore saw a loftier passing game. Pun absolutely intended. I realize that pre-season games function more like call-back auditions for rookies and staging, full wardrobe-and-makeup rehearsals for the veterans. And, since the scores don’t contribute officially to team and individual stats, why not play for something other than scoreboard numbers? Why not play for a charitable cause?
Get game summary, stats, and play-by-play here.
Dogs and infants are very much alike. Wolves cannot be fooled. So says an NPR broadcast.