The St. Louis Rams descended upon Georgia Dome today to either make fools or victors of the Atlanta Falcons in the second game of the 2013 season. Broadcast on Fox, the Falcons scored on their first possession. Running back Steven Jackson, a former Ram, broke the plane with his hands. Atlanta 7 and St. Louis 0.
Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones blasted into the end zone at the bottom of the first quarter. What a TD, what a TD — after Jones caught the ball, there was only one Ram that was near enough him to stop him. Jones outran this Ram (safety Rodney McLeod). Atlanta 14 and Rams 0.
Four minutes into the second quarter, Rams quarterback Sam Bradford’s pass was deflected off the torso of Rams running back Daryl Richardson and Falcons defensive end Osi Umenyiora grabbed the ball out of the air and launched his body sixty-eight yards down the field for a TD (his first career interception). After he’d gotten into the end zone, he let the ball enthusiastically drop and raised both hands into the air, each arm curved like a crescent moon, and shook them. Atlanta 21 and St. Louis 0. The Rams managed to get to the red zone upon their next possession, but the Falcons defense kept them to a field goal. The Rams returned that favor by keeping the Falcons to a field goal at the bottom of the second quarter. Atlanta 24 and St. Louis 3.
The third quarter ticked and tocked to under four minutes and neither team had done anything remarkable…until Sam Bradford connected with wide receiver Tavon Austin, who was standing at the bottom corner of the end zone right by the pylon. Atlanta 24 and St. Louis 10.
The Rams carried over their momentum into the fourth quarter with Sam Bradford running down the field like it was college ball and wide receiver Austin Pettis making a TD. Atlanta 24 and St. Louis 17. The Falcons brought their offense back up with a series of complete passes and a Jason Snelling TD. The Rams continued to go after the end zone. With just over two minutes left in the fourth quarter, Sam Bradford and Tavon Austin hooked up for a TD (Austin’s body was just able to break the plane with the ball in hand). Atlanta 31 and St. Louis 24. Final score.
Observations & Miscellania:
1. Kenny Albert and Daryl Johnston were the commentators. Daryl’s outfit reminded me of a green tea matcha mousse cake.
2. Has Mike Smith really been the head coach of the Falcons for six years already? Six years — that’s three graduating classes of Master’s students, most of a PhD program, the number of years between the release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007).
3. Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas has a gorgeous shoulder to hip ratio. His catch was a part of the drive that led to the Falcons’ first TD of the game. I’m three years older than he!
4. In watching both the Rams and the Falcons receivers and running backs try to move the ball down the yard whilst avoiding being tackled, I noticed the prevalence of juking, I don’t know why it became so conspicuous to me today compared to the number of NFL games I’ve watched over the last seven years. It likely has something to do with what those movements look like as movements themselves — Wile E Coyote trying to run.
5. Falcons cornerback Robert McClain often shook his head after a play where the Rams were on offense. Was he not fast enough? Was he stretching his neck? The way he walked around/towards the sidelines made me think of ballet dancers that, by all appearances, hit every rotation and landed every jump and still are not satisfied. They huff and puff and shake their heads with their hands on hips as soon as they get backstage.
6. Pre-commercial instant replay of Osi Umenyiora’s TD consisted of an extreme close-up of Osi’s face, clasped by a teammate (foreground and blurry). Both players with smiles from ear to ear.
7. Have any NFL players with braids ever had one of their locks ripped out during a tackle? Just curious.
8. Are there defensive players who throw themselves at the bottom half of offensive players in possession of the ball not necessarily to take the guy out but more to disorient?
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