Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

NFL 2012: Falcons barely shave by the Buccaneers

How was your Thanksgiving break? Did you gravy and pumpkin pie (but not together)?  Watch the Houston Texans sneak a win over the Detroit Lions?  Or maybe you went to the movies?  I did.  I had some Breaking Life of Karenina  Kristen Stewart is a hot vampire.  Is she hotter than Nina Dobrev as a vampire?  It’s debatable.  The visual style of Anna Karenina reminded me of Baz Luhrmann and Mira Nair.  Although the reason I went to see the film was Keira Knightley, I ended up enjoyed Jude Law‘s performance much more.

And now back to your regularly scheduled blog post.

The Atlanta Falcons headed south to Tampa Bay to go up against the Buccaneers.  Broadcast on Fox, the Falcons were on offense first and put a thirty-one yard field goal on the board.  Atlanta 3 and Tampa Bay 0.   The Bucs responded with a touchdown courtesy of running back Doug Martin.  The Falcons then put up a TD, thanks to running back Jacquizz Rodgers.  Atlanta 10 and Tampa Bay 7.  Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan threw an interception with about six minutes left in the first half.  Buccaneers safety Ronde Barber intercepted the ball.  The Falcons’ defense was able to keep the Bucs to a field goal.  Atlanta 10 Tampa Bay 10.  Falcons kicker Matt Bryant’s twenty-two yard FG attempt was no good.

The Bucs took a brief lead with a FG in the middle of the third quarter.  Matt Ryan then connected with wide receiver Julio Jones for an eighty-yard TD.  Atlanta 17 and Tampa Bay 13.  The top of the fourth quarter saw the Bucs regain the lead with another Doug Martin TD.  Tampa Bay 20 and Atlanta 17.  The Falcons might have been able to bait-and-switch the Arizona Cardinals last week for a win, but the Tampa Bay Bucs cannot be defeated with similar tactics.  Following a fumble recovered by the Bucs (Matt Ryan was tackled and the ball fell out of his hands), they increased their lead with another FG.  Halfway through the fourth quarter the Falcons responded by getting running back Michael Turner into the end zone.   A few minutes later the Bucs would attempt but not nail a FG.  The Falcons had the ball in the last couple minutes of play.  Matt Bryant’s forty-eight yard FG try was no good.  Atlanta 24 and Tampa Bay 23.  Final score.

Observations and Miscellania:

1.  Thom Brennaman and Charles Davis were the commentators.

2.  The Falcons have to play better next week.  Don’t win by a yawn or a skip-to-my-lou; win by a mile.

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

Thanksgiving 2007: Packers ziplock the Lions

But first, a little something to make you smile.  When I was leaving work yesterday, I overheard someone talk about a Sears gift card.  Another person said, “There’s nothing like a Sears card that says ‘Merry Christmas.'” I thought it was funny.

And now for the football.

Turnovers and interceptions make for a narratively and visually thrilling game.  And when the producers decide to vary the kinds of camera angles that get air time (field goals and punts filmed from behind the kicker and punter), football game-play can’t get any lovelier (unless you’re NFL Films, of course).

The daytime Thanksgiving game between the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions (on Fox) was such a game.  The first and fourth quarters were quite stirring athletically and aesthetically.  Both teams started defensively impressive, but then Green Bay’s defense and offense took control of the game in the second quarter when Packers wide receiver Greg Jennings made a touchdown (running ten yards into the end zone and then catch!), and then running back Ryan Grant put in one.  By the end of the first half, the Lions sustained a slow pace by making field goals, three of them.  Green Bay got three points from a field goal in the very end of the second quarter, giving them a total of 17 points before halftime.  The Lions had 9 points.

The third quarter started with another Green Bay touchdown, courtesy of Jennings.  Packers 24. Detroit got a fourth field goal shortly thereafter for 12 points–that Jason Hanson has a great leg.  Great leg or not, the Packers still demonstrated their skill, grabbing another TD thanks to wide receiver Ruvell Martin.  Green Bay 31.  Detroit 12.

The Packers’ field goal in the top of the fourth quarter increased their score to 34.  Then hallelujah, Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (a former GaTech Yellow Jacket) caught a touchdown pass.  Detroit 19. After Johnson caught two more passes, the Lions made it to the end zone and running back Kevin Jones galloped into the the zone for a TD.  Detroit 26.  Alas, in the final two minutes, Green Bay widened the point gap with a field goal, and ultimately winning the game 37 to 26.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Katherine McPhee sang the national anthem in the Packers vs. Lions game.  After singing a few lines, the camera cut to Calvin Johnson.  It then cut to Packers wide receiver Koren Robinson who had overcome an addiction to alcohol and has lived the redemption narrative in the last couple of years.

2. Although Calvin Johnson didn’t make that touchdown in the first quarter (around 6 minutes on the clock), simply watching him attempt the catch was enough.  His body sailed through the air and achieved a kind of slow-motion look without actually being in slow-motion.  Good stuff.   He caught but then dropped the ball towards the bottom of the first quarter; in one of the replays, the camera cut to Lions quarterback Jon Kitna, who slammed his arms downward to his knees, where he remained hunched down.  His back was facing the camera.  Johnson made a thirteen yard catch in the third quarter, jumping in the air (nearly straight up) with the grace of a dancer.

3. The Goo Goo Dolls performed for the 70,000 or so fans at Ford Field in Detroit during halftime.   I wasn’t too keen on that modern ballet dance number.  I would’ve preferred something by a color guard (nevermind that a color guard performance would probably be saved for a college game).  A United Way banner was unfurled halfway through the Dolls’ second song.

4. Aside from after-Thanksgiving shopping ads, the commercials that appeared throughout this telecast included holiday wishes from family members of players in the game.  Pretty creative idea on the part of the marketing/sales/advertising folks.

5. Green Bay quarterback Brett Favre is thirty-eight years-old.  Brad Pitt is forty-one.

For game summary, stats, and play by play, click here.