Tag Archives: Tony Gonzalez

NFL 2012: Falcons monster mash the Chargers

The Atlanta Falcons hopped time zones to the west and went up against the San Diego Chargers.  The first quarter was mostly uneventful until Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and running back Jacquizz Rodgers put together a touchdown. There was no extra point, though, due to wonky ball trajectory.  I didn’t watch the second quarter or part of the third quarter, but when I did tune back in, I was amazed that the Falcons were in the lead with 20 points to the Chargers’ 3.  And then the top of the fourth quarter happened.  Although the Falcons defense was sharp and nimble, the Chargers’ defense brought out their own glow sticks when cornerback Antoine Cason intercepted Matt Ryan.

The Falcons weren’t about to be disheartened, though.  By the end of their next possession, running back Michael Turner made a trip to the end zone.  Atlanta 27 and San Diego 3.  Final score.


Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Michael Turner’s fourth quarter TD was followed by brief end zone celebrating in the form of him giving wide receiver Roddy White a piggy-back-ride for a couple of steps.

2.  The Falcons second quarter TDs were made by tight end Tony Gonzalez and wide receiver Julio Jones.

3.  Upon returning from commercial break at the two minute warning, the Fox broadcast included some footage of Matt Ryan and Falcons owner Arthur Blank talking and intertwining forearms.

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

NFL 2010: Falcons boxing day the Packers

Given the weather systems that have swept through the central continental US over the past several days, the Green Bay Packers must be thrilled to ball-toss at the Georgia Dome today against the Atlanta Falcons.  Televised on Fox, the first quarter began with the Falcons on offense and a thirty-eight yard field goal.  Atlanta 3 and Green Bay 0.  Quarterbacked by Aaron Rodgers, the Packers put on a solid offensive display that put them in the red zone.  The Falcons defense kept the Packers out of the end zone, so Green Bay had to field goal.  Both teams 3.

The second quarter demonstrated Packers umph on offense.  The Falcons defense responded as well as can be hoped (?), if you discount the personal fouls incurred as of five minutes into the quarter.  Just when it would appear that the Packers would certainly get into the end zone, Aaron Rodgers lost the ball and the Falcons pounced on it.  Hopefully that turnover would fuel the Falcons offense prowess.  Despite Matt Ryan getting sacked and an incomplete pass, a “connection” with tight end Tony Gonzalez gave the Falcons another set of much-needed downs.  With only eleven seconds left in the quarter, Matt Ryan threw a touchdown catch to Tony Gonzalez, who was standing near the back of the end zone.  After making the TD, he dunked the ball over the cross bar of the uprights.  Atlanta 10 and Green Bay 3.

The third quarter ticked halfway through with bursts-and-pauses for each time.  The Packers’ second possession, however, proved fruitful as they tied the game with a TD (the quarterback himself crossed the goal line).  Packers 10 and Atlanta 10.  When the third quarter was a sneeze from ending, the Falcons got all the way to the edge of the end zone.  The Packers defense successfully kept the birds from scoring twice.  Would third-and-goal pay off for the Falcons?  No.  Head coach Mike Smith decided to challenge the ruling on the field of whether or not Tony Gonzalez had control of the ball (his feet were in the end zone, he was facing the field and flanked by two Packers.  Did the ball break the plane).  He lost the challenge.

The fourth quarter started with a fourth down and goal attempt by the Falcons to make a TD and running back Michael Turner answered the call.  Atlanta 17 and Green Bay 10.  The Packers’ offense did not give in or give up, neither did the Falcons’ defense.  Packers wide receiver James Jones nearly had a TD but he landed out of bounds.  In jumping up to catch the pass, Jones had to leap up and back so that by the time he came down, his left foot was half-in-half-on the white.  The two minute warning came and went…and on fourth-and-goal for the Packers, after a false start penalty, wide receiver Jordy Nelson made a TD at the edge of the end zone.  Both teams 17.

Falcons wide receiver Eric Weems got face-masked as he was returning the kick with under a minute left.  That penalty on the Packers put the Falcons at the fifty yard line.  Kicker Matt Bryant had the victory on your shoulders.  Would he make the forty-seven yard FG? YES!!!!  SWEET DICED, CANNED PEACHES!!! Atlanta 20 and Green Bay 17. Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1. Narration was provided by Brian Billick and Thom Brennaman.

2.  In college football news, Notre Dame ousted USC, Ohio State clobbered Michigan, Oklahoma just barely out-performed Oklahoma State, Florida State destroyed Florida, Auburn took it from Alabama, Virginia Tech jammed Virginia, and UGA beat GaTech.

3.  The Falcons wore red jerseys and white pants, the Packers wore white jerseys and yellow pants.  The two together made me think of succotash.

4.  A helmeted Aaron Rodgers reminded me of a young Billy Joel.

5.  The slow-motion instant replay of the Falcons defense piled on top of the Packers’ ball carrier in the bottom of the first quarter was beautiful.

Click here for the Falcons’ roster and here for the Packers’ roster.

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

NFL 2010: the Falcons wrangle win from Saints

Seafood gumbo and sweet peaches rumbled in the Nawlins with Fox behind the camera.  The first quarter began with the Falcons on offense.  Two minutes in and there’s already a challenge on an incomplete pass call.  Mike Smith didn’t win the challenge.  Saints wide receiver Lance Moore demonstrated field-slicing swiftness by returning the ball seventy-two yards from a Michael Koenen punt.  A few plays later, Saints quarterback Drew Brees and tight end Jeremy Shockey connected for a touchdown catch in the end zone.  New Orleans 7 and Atlanta 0.  The Falcons responded with a steady momentum on offense courtesy of tight end Tony Gonzalez.  Nine plays into the Falcon’s second go and quarterback Matt Ryan threw a TD pass to Gonzalez.  New Orleans 7 and Atlanta 7.

The Falcons defense displayed their shining colors when cornerback Brent Grimes intercepted a throw meant for Saints wide receiver Devery Henderson.  Drew Brees “righted” that passing “wrong” when Lance Moore made a TD when the Saints got the ball back.  New Orleans 14 and Atlanta 7.

The second quarter started off with Drew Brees and posse performing solidly on offense…until four minutes in when Brees managed to wiggle out of a sack but was off-balance when he chucked the ball in the direction of another Saint.  Golden fleece carpet ride! Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud was there to make that catch (he then jogged along the sidelines a handful of yards, arms outspread and the ball in one hand).  Tony Gonzalez proved his abilities again when he out-maneuvered the Saints defensive player trailing him to become an open receiver for Matt Ryan and then later when he held onto the ball in the red zone.  It took a number of attempts, but the Falcons eventually got into the end zone via running back Michael Turner.  New Orleans 14 and Atlanta 14.

Halfway through the third quarter the ball got loose from one of the Saints players and one of the Falcons recovered it from under a pile of bodies.  Oh, but what a change of luck in the bottom of the third as Falcons running back Jason Snelling lost the ball as he was brought down to the ground and a Saints player scooped it up.  The Falcons have challenged the ruling of recovered fumble and won the challenge.  Snelling’s left elbow hit the turf before he lost the ball.  The Saints defense kept the running game from going anywhere.  The Falcons would go for a twenty-three yard field goal.  Atlanta 17 and New Orleans 14.

The Saints got luckier when an incidental ball-touch on Falcons DeCoud’s left foot resulted in a ricochet that enabled New Orleans to stay on offense.  How would the Falcons defense respond?  Not too well since Lance Moore eventually ran the ball into the end zone.  He then proceeded to do a celebratory dance involving foot kicks and arm waves a la clogging meets breakdancing.  New Orleans 21 and Atlanta 17.

The Falcons fought to close the score gap in the fourth quarter when they were on offense again.  Wide receiver Roddy White put his team on top of the board with a TD catch.  Atlanta 24 and New Orleans 21.  The score remained the same through to the two-minute warning.  The Saints were on offense with under a minute left to on the clock.  Would they go for a field goal to tie the game? Would they try to go for the end zone? Saints kicker Garrett Hartley ended up tying the game with a thirty-two yard field goal.

Atlanta won the coin toss in overtime.  The first three plays didn’t help the Falcons on offense.  Would their defense fare better?  Not much better.  Thanks to a complete pass to Lance Moore, the Saints got down the field far enough so that even if they don’t get into the end zone, they’d still have a FG try.  And field goal they went.  Garrett Hartley missed the twenty-nine yard field goal!  It went wide left.  Would the Falcons make their fans proud?  Specifically, would kicker Matt Bryant put the forty-six yard FG through the uprights?  YES!!! SWEET GRANNY SMITH APPLES!!!! Atlanta 27 and New Orleans 24.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Brian Billick and Thom Brennaman provided commentary.

2.  The Saints wore white jerseys, the Falcons red.

3.  After Matt Bryant put the extra point on the board following the Falcons’ first TD in the first quarter, Matt Ryan (sans helmet) got a medium close-up screaming “lets go” and “yeah!”.  It was in slow-motion.  He might have fist-pumped the left side of his chest.

4.  Thomas Decoud’s intercepting of Drew Brees resulted in a Falcons TD.  Atlanta had the ball for eleven game-play minutes.

5.  Awww, a few nuns attended the game in support of the Saints.

6.  The Falcons spent their last OT time-out with four minutes left.  Matt Ryan got into the faces of his offense teammates.  He probably demanded that his guys ‘finish this thing.’

6.  Did the Saints use a time-out after running back Pierre Thomas couldn’t get off the field after catching a pass in the bottom of the fourth?

Click here for Falcons roster and here for the Saints.

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

NFL 2009: Falcons ground the Jets

The Atlanta Falcons flew north to hang-glide on New York Jets’ thirty degree and 17mph wind territory.   Having started with a season full of possibilities, the Falcons have seen their season slip into uncertainty.  By the time they went up against the New Orleans Saints, running backs Jerious Norwood and Michael Turner, wide receiver Ben Finneran, and quarterback Matt Ryan had missed games due to injury.  Atlanta’s record was 6 – 7 going into today’s game.  Would Turner and Ryan’s reactivated status yield a victory for the Falcons?  They may be out of playoffs running, but a first ever back-to-back winning seasons is still up for grabs.

Televised by Fox, and narrated by Dick Stockton and Charles Davis, the first quarter began with the Falcons on offense without scoring.  A few plays into the Jets’ turn, Falcons safety Thomas DeCoud intercepted Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.  The Jets’ defense allowed a Matt Bryant field goal for the Falcons in the middle of the first quarter.  Atlanta 3 and New York 0.  The Jets got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the quarter with sixty-five yard touchdown reception by wide receiver Braylon Edwards.  New York 7 and Atlanta 3.

Halfway through the second quarter, the Falcons defense was able to keep the Jets to a field goal attempt, which turned out to be a fake field goal attempt.  Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes was there to nix that option.  Moments later, Mark Sanchez threw a second interception towards the bottom of the quarter–Brent Grimes was on it.  The rest of the first half ticked down to three seconds and the Jets tried but failed at a real field goal.  New York 7 and Atlanta 3.

The third quarter saw the Jets performing well offensively and Jets running back Thomas Jones was flagged for unnecessary roughness for getting his hands on Falcons defensive end Kroy Biermann’s face mask (after the whistle had blown on a play).  Both teams’ defensive players have been doing much better than the other team’s and their own team’s offense.

Watch me eat seaweed during the commercial break before the fourth quarter started:

Matt Bryant missed a forty-eight yard field goal in the top of the fourth quarter.  The Jets had a chance to score three points nearing the bottom of the quarter, but Falcons defensive end Chauncey Davis blocked it.  The clock ticked down to under the two minutes and VERDANT VALENTINE VIXENS Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez caught a TD pass just inside the end zone (and then used the uprights’ cross bar as a basketball hoop, dunking the ball behind it).  Three or four plays into the Jets’ last go on offense, Brent Grimes made another interception.  Atlanta 10 and New York 7.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Mike Smith wore a Falcons beanie.  What a cutie-in-beanie.

2.  After glancing up from my laptop just before the third quarter began: “Did I just see cheerleaders wearing Santa skirts?”

3.  Michael Turner only played for half of the first quarter, if memory serves.

4.  The top of the fourth quarter began with a shot of a Jets-supporting Santa.

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

~!~

Attention all male readers, do you like cheeseburgers?  If you answered yes, do not consume these CB’s anymore.

Brittany Murphy has died from a heart attack?!

Classic film star Jennifer Jones passed away at age ninety on Thursday.

Finally, an explanation for cousins twice or thrice removed.

NFL 2009: Saints absolve the Falcons

Before I begin with the post-proper, I have to share something that I saw this morning while I was on my Starbux run.  I was driving down the street and saw a fifteen or sixteen-year old guy walking on the sidewalk on the same side of the road I was driving but in the opposite direction (we were facing each other).  I was possibly eight car-lenghths away from him when I noticed a small sedan drive by and splash him.  The youth turned around and patted the back of his head and neck.  I checked my rearview mirror and saw that no cars were behind me, so I approached very slowly.  Had I had a towel in my car, I probably would’ve rolled down the window when I got to where he was standing and asked, “Hey, I saw that … would you like a towel for your head?”

But, I didn’t have a towel.  Moreover, I wouldn’t have wanted to startle him just by saying that I saw what happened and if he was okay.  Of course he was okay…just a bit wet.  I did what any considerate, courteous driver would do, I drove very slowly over that puddle.  The youth was still looking in the direction that the splasher was headed; in my rearview mirror, I observed the boy putting his hand up in acknowledgement.  He probably realized that I had seen him get splashed and did my best not to do the same thing.

All right.  The New Orleans Saints crossed over into east coast time in an effort to maintain their all-win season this afternoon at the Georgia Dome.  The Atlanta Falcons, once more without quarterback Matt Ryan and running back Michael Turner, didn’t perform — haven’t performed as well as they know they can, and we know they can.  Whatever the explanations, elaborations, and legitimate excuses, would the Falcons be able to muster and channel energy and confidence sufficiently to interrupt the Saints’ perfect season?

Broadcast on Fox, with commentary provided by Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, the first quarter started with the Falcons on offense.  Chris Redman reprised his role as QB; Sam Baker was back in the game today.  Running back Jason Snelling made a solid impression early in the drive with a thirty-eight yard run.  The Falcons put up the first score with a thirty-six yard Matt Bryant field goal.  Atlanta 3 and New Orleans 0.  One needn’t wonder what the Saints would do in reaction.  Shall we say red zone pronto? But no to touchdown, yes to field goal.  The Falcons made another field goal at the end of their second possession.  Atlanta 6 and New Orleans 3.

The second quarter banged out with the Saints in the red zone following a stellar pass between quarterback Drew Brees and wide receiver Robert Meachem.  Two plays later, running back Reggie Bush sliced through the front, right corner of the end zone for a TD.  New Orleans 10 and Atlanta 6.  With roughly seventy seconds left in the first half, wide receiver Marques Colston made a TD catch. The extra point was no good.  New Orleans 16 and Falcons 6.  The Falcons would’ve wanted to get a TD too going into halftime but they took a FG instead.  New Orleans 16 and Falcons 9.

The third quarter sprang out with the Saints on an energetic, and eventful, offense.  They got into the red zone, the officials called defensive pass interference on Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes, Falcons head coach Mike Smith fumed and sent his headset crashing to the turf, the Falcons broke up a Saints TD catch and nearly recovered a Reggie Bush fumble.  The Bush ran the ball in for a TD on the next play, though.  New Orleans 23 and Atlanta 9.  The Falcons didn’t lose momentum.  They came back with a fifty-yard TD catch and run by wide receiver Michael Jenkins (who had missed a similar set-up in the second quarter).  New Orleans 23 and Atlanta 16.

I assert that the Falcons played much better against the Saints today than they did against the Eagles last week (the Ch’i from last week was all off).  Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez made an excellent run, which preceded a Jason Snelling plane-breaking TD.  The Falcons tied the game in the top of the quarter 23 to 23.  The Falcons’ defense stayed the course as well, holding the Saints to an FG rather than another end zone visit with four minutes left to play.  New Orleans 26 and Atlanta 23.  Oh Lourdes.  After losing twelve yards, Chris Redman threw an interception…Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma snatched the ball.  With just about two minutes left, the Saints faked a field goal attempt but Mark Brunell’s pass to tight end Darnell Dinkins was incomplete.  Alas.  New Orleans 26 and Atlanta 23.  Final score.

Observations & Miscellania:

1.  Joe Buck and Troy Aikman looked like Ken dolls.   Joe wore a navy jacket, a white button-down shirt, and a shimmery light blue tie.  Troy wore a light gray jacket, a white button-down shirt, and a shimmery dark burgundy/purple tie.  It’s like Prom Ken and CEO Ken.

2.  Hmmm…the producers decided to air the feed from a camera that was taking in a high-angle close-up of Brent Grimes with a hand and an arm waving about while lining up for a snap.

3.  “That’s just good NFC South football right there: banging heads, knocking around…” Joe Buck remarked of the impromptu mosh pit that formed in the final second of the first quarter after the Saints returned a kickoff.

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