With the position of being the best team in the NFC South at stake the Falcons went out this Sunday and played some great football. There were times when our defense and offense forgot where they were, but aside from a few bad plays the team played very well overall.
Matt Ryan and the offense had another great day between the lines and a lot of it had to do with Michael Turner and the run game. Turner gained 107 yards on 24 carries and was able to pound it in for 2 touchdowns. I would have liked to see more carries from Snelling, but Turner was getting the job down and Snelling was making himself available in a number of ways on 3rd down. Aside from a couple of “almost interceptions,” Matt Ryan did almost everything that could have been asked of him. He threw for more than 200 yards and a nice first career touchdown to Michael Palmer. Tony Gonzalez played a big game in the receiving game when Roddy White went out a for awhile with a knee injury. The offensive line also played a great game allowing no sacks even though Tampa hasn’t been known to apply a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks. It was good to have Ovie Mughelli back because as he added some needed blocking skills to the team and made a really nice block on one of Turner’s touchdowns. Though the Falcon’s offense became anemic during the 3rd quarter they managed to get enough points on the board to win the game.
Like a lot of Sundays the Falcon’s defense played very well despite allowing big plays in the passing game because they were able to force turnovers in the game. Kroy Biermann was able to apply enough pressure on Tampa’s quarterback Josh Freeman, so that he threw up a wild pass that was intercepted by Jonathan Babineaux. Brent Grimes also added another interception to the game after allowing a big completion to Mike Williams. Dunta seemed a bit shaky after coming back from his time off with the concussion, but it was nice to have his veteran presence on the field. Stephen Nichols played another great game filling in for injured Sean Weatherspoon, and Mike Peterson added the only sack of the game. Great job by the linebackers and the defensive line only allowing minimal rushing yards in the game. Also major props to Thomas DeCoud for making that key tackle on the 4th and goal in the 4th quarter. Great job by the defense against a promising Bucs offense.
This game was a little distorted due to some poor play of the Falcon’s special team coverages, but those are problems the Falcons can work on. We have a short week ahead of us, but at least we are staying at home as we host the Ravens for NFL Networks first Thursday night game of the season.