No announcement yet.

[Falcons] Falcons have some fun in Frisco

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • [Falcons] Falcons have some fun in Frisco

    Atlanta's defense preserves 21-19 win over *****

    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Published on: 09/12/04

    SAN FRANCISCO — There's a long way to go, but the Falcons may not experience more fun this season than on the NFL's first Sunday.

    If your definition of fun is nearly losing, that is.


    You might think there's nothing traipsing into your house of horrors, and converting it into a fun house, and for the senior Falcon, reserve defensive lineman Travis Hall, maybe you'd be right.

    He's been around since 1994, or three years after the Falcons last won here before beating the ***** 21-19.

    But to end a 10-game losing streak in 3Com Park, the Falcons had to endure a few goblins popping out of closets in a terrifying fourth quarter that saw the game come down to one play. Good thing defensive tackle Rod Coleman swatted down the *****' two-point attempt with 40 seconds left.

    No wonder Hall was still spooked. Some habits die real hard.

    "This is huge," he said. "I've been here 10 years, and I haven't seen a victory here until today. It was weird because, I don't know what to say. We've gone through so many blowouts. I, I, I, I really don't know what to say. I'm just stumped with what to say."

    Leave that to Jim Mora. He sure enjoyed his first game as a head coach, returning to steal from his former employers, who outgained his team 359 yards to 227, and converted five of their final six third-down tries as Atlanta was good on just one of 11.

    "When we recovered the onsides kick [after the 'Niners pulled to within two], and I knew that we could clock it [run out the clock], I went over to [offensive coordinator Greg] Knapp," Mora said.

    "And he said, 'You get away from me. It's not over yet.' But I knew it was over, and it felt good. You try to keep your wits about you. We're supposed to win."

    Uh, yeah.

    But after controlling the game for three quarters with defense, the sun-burned Falcons had to sweat in a cool, stiff wind.

    They led 14-6 going to the final period, thanks to quarterback Michael Vick (13 of 22, 163 yards) connecting on his first five passes, including a 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end Alge Crumpler in the first quarter.

    Crumpler caught a quick, "smoke," pass at the right sideline, and followed the advice of a friend while making mincemeant of Pro Bowl safety Tony Parrish.

    "My college roommate, Marcus Cormier [who went by the last name of Jones at the University of North Carolina], got on my [butt] about my stiff-arm," Crumpler said. "Actually, he text-messaged me before [a preseason] game, and said to work on my stiff-arm because it would get me three more yards per catch."

    Try 14 more yards.

    The ground game pitched in early, too, as Warrick Dunn (18 carries, 63 yards, two touchdowns) paced a rushing attack that accrued 55 of its 95 yards in the first period.

    Shortly after Dunn's 2-yard scoring run with 6:17 left in the second quarter gave Atlanta a 14-0 lead, the offense left early for the return trip to Atlanta.

    The third quarter was bumbling and boring, but it set up serious drama, as San Francisco quarterback Tim Rattay came off the bench and went Play Station.

    He was out most of the second and third quarters after a blow to the head, and with a wrenched throwing shoulder. But he returned to complete 13 of 22 passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter alone.

    Rattay's one big mistake in the quarter was quite costly.

    His only third-down failure in the period came when he threw on third-and-goal from the 3-yard line to the end zone.

    Running back Kevan Barlow was open in the deep right corner, but Rattay aimed for wide receiver Curtis Conway in the front corner.

    Barlow was open, though, because reserve cornerback Aaron Beasley came off him. Then, he stepped in front of the throw, and weaved his way to an 85-yard return, putting the ball at the San Francisco 14.

    "I knew they weren't going to throw a fade to the running back," said Beasley, a nine-year veteran signed in April to a one-year, minimum-value contract. "I saw the end zone. My mind could see it, but my legs wouldn't carry me."

    Fortunately, Dunn scored two plays later on a 9-yard run, busting a tackle for a 21-6 lead with 8:57 left.

    Atlanta would need those points.

    San Francisco's next two drives went for 74 and 62 yards, ending in touchdowns.

    "They spread us out, and hit some good plays," said defensive coordinator Ed Donatell, whose blitzes suddenly stopped working.

    The second score, a 16-yarder to leaping tight end Eric Johnson, left some folks jittery, and it should've. On the two-point try attempt, wide receiver Brandon Lloyd appeared to be open.

    But Coleman, whose sack earlier knocked out Rattay, wiggled his right hand loose while engaged with a blocker, and reached back. Plunk!

    "We saw Rattay got them down the field with quick stuff, over the middle," Coleman said. "So I figured they would try that again. I was able to get into the passing lane, and knock it down. It was huge. Huge, man. That's the first time the Falcons have done that in years."

    See, even a player who's brand new to the team knows what Sunday meant.

    Hall knows what it meant for Mora, too. He could tell before the game, when the head coach approached every player during warmups, and either slapped him on the helmet, the back, the butt, or shook his hand.

    "He was excited, but I don't know if he was fired up more before or after," Hall said. "It will get this team off to the right start. When you get the first win in this league, it makes such a big difference. Now, we just got to start piling wins on."

Related Topics


  • Nick
    Falcons hold on 21-19 win over *****
    by Nick
    Falcons hold on 21-19 win over ***** wire reports

    SAN FRANCISCO (Sept. 12, 2004) -- Although the swirling wind was the most impressive force at Candlestick Park, Atlanta's maligned defense made sure coach Jim Mora's homecoming was a hit.

    Aaron Beasley returned a goal-line interception 85 yards in the fourth quarter, and Rod Coleman batted down Tim Rattay's pass on a 2-point conversion attempt with 40 seconds left in the Falcons' 21-19 victory over the San Francisco ***** on Sunday.

    Warrick Dunn rushed for two touchdowns and Michael Vick was 13-of-22 for 163 yards in an uninspiring debut under Mora, the longtime San Francisco defensive coordinator who took over the Falcons last January.

    Though Mora still has plenty of work to do, his defense showed marked improvement from last season's 32nd-ranked squad. And the team he left behind is in even worse shape.

    Both teams struggled in the relentless wind, which made long passes risky and caused an afternoon of comically bad kicking. But Atlanta kept San Francisco out of the end zone until the final minutes, then weathered the Niners' comeback.

    Rattay left his fourth career start in the second quarter with a shoulder injury, but returned to lead two fourth-quarter touchdown drives. He finished 18-of-31 for 175 yards.

    Cedrick Wilson caught Rattay's first scoring pass with 6:14 left. Rattay then hit Eric Johnson with 16-yard TD pass, capping a gritty 62-yard drive. But Coleman, who knocked Rattay out of the game on a second-quarter sack, blocked Rattay's low pass to Brandon Lloyd on the conversion attempt.

    Neither team was particularly impressive in its first action of the season. Case in point: San Francisco's Keith Lewis blocked Chris Mohr's punt on Atlanta's first possession, but Kevan Barlow fumbled on the *****' first play.

    Alge Crumpler scored the Falcons' first touchdown, catching a short pass and shoving past safety Tony Parrish for a 15-yard score. The Pro Bowl tight end finished the first half with six catches for 82 yards.

    Dunn added another score in the second quarter on a 2-yard run, but the Falcons mostly struggled in their first game running the West Coast offense favored by coordinator Greg Knapp, who left the ***** with Mora.

    Vick spent much of the day running from All-Pro linebacker Julian Peterson, who forced two fumbles and sacked Vick twice.

    San Francisco's fans probably recognized Knapp's offense from last season: short passes, shorter runs and plenty of punts. Unfortunately, ***** coach Dennis Erickson's offense wasn't much better, eliciting boos most of the afternoon.

    Ken Dorsey replaced Rattay in the second quarter and guided the ***** to two field goals, cutting Atlanta's lead to 14-6. Jeff Ulbrich intercepted Vick's tipped pass midway through the third quarter...
    -09-12-2004, 04:57 PM
  • RamDez
    Dunn-Vick one-two punch KOs the Rams
    by RamDez
    Dunn-Vick one-two punch KOs the Rams
    By Dan O'Neill
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Sunday, Jan. 16 2005

    ATLANTA - The Rams were concerned about Michael Vick getting loose at the
    Georgia Dome on Saturday night, as well they might be. The first time the
    lightning-quick quarterback ran with the ball, he streaked 47 yards to set up a

    But the Falcons have more lightning in the bottle, rather, in their backfield.
    And while the Rams concentrated on Vick, the Falcons were unleashing Warrick

    "One of the great things about our running game is you get a great runner going
    one way and a great runner going the other way," Atlanta coach Jim Mora said.
    "And one of them is Warrick or T.J. Duckett and one of them is Mike. And you
    have to figure out which one of them has the ball and you have to defend the
    whole field ... it's like keep-away."

    The choice is obvious, Dunn added.

    "When you have a guy like Mike running one way and another guy running
    another," he said, "they tend to go with Mike."

    The effect was devastating for the Rams, particularly when the diminutive Dunn
    had the ball. The former Tampa Bay Buccaneer back ran through the Rams' defense
    as if he was licensed to do so. With the kind of speed and elusiveness one
    associates with Vick, Dunn Vick-timized the Rams for 142 yards in 17 carries,
    an average of 8.4 yards per tote.

    "For me, this is the best playoff game I've ever played in," said Dunn, who was
    playing in his ninth postseason game. "I've played in a lot of playoff games,
    but I've never been a huge factor. And tonight, that was one of the things I
    said before the game. I wanted to be a factor, I wanted to come out and make
    plays and I was just feeling it."

    Dunn, in his third season in Atlanta and his eighth in the NFL, even upstaged
    his high-profile partner. Less than five minutes after Vick's run set a Falcons
    playoff record for the longest run from scrimmage, and only moments after the
    Rams' Kevin Curtis scored on a 57-yard pass play to tie the score 7-7, Dunn
    produced an even bigger play.

    On a second-down play from the Atlanta 38, Dunn took a handoff, scooted past
    the line of scrimmage, cut toward the sideline and - as Jackie Gleason might
    say, aw-a-a-a-a-y he went. Sixty-two yards later, he handed the ball to a
    patron in the stands and handed the Falcons a 14-7 lead.

    Dunn was far from done. On the next Atlanta series, he dashed 21 yards to give
    the Falcons a first down at the Rams' 48. Seven plays later, Dunn finished the
    sequence by sprinting 19 yards into the end zone. The score gave the Falcons a
    21-7 lead, a commanding position...
    -01-16-2005, 03:48 AM
  • RamWraith
    Rams storm back, but lose 34-17
    by RamWraith
    By Jim Thomas
    Of the Post-Dispatch
    Sunday, Sep. 19 2004

    ATLANTA - The Rams had spent the better part of the first half watching Michael
    Vick run circles around them. Surprisingly, they watched the normally
    accommodating Falcons run defense put the clamps on Marshall Faulk.

    They stared at 14-0 and 17-7 deficits on the Georgia Dome scoreboard. But after
    a 46-yard field goal by Jeff Wilkins late in the third quarter, suddenly it was
    17-17 and the momentum was all Rams.

    But momentum can be a fleeting thing, especially when you're playing on the
    road in the NFL. Just when it looked like St. Louis had gained control of
    Sunday's game with Atlanta, things went south for the Rams in the Heart of

    The result was a 34-17 loss to Atlanta, a loss that left glaring questions
    about the Rams' run defense, run offense, pass blocking, takeaway-giveaway
    ratio, play calling. ... Well, you get the point. It's a long list.

    "We just didn't do much of anything, really, in any phase of the game," coach
    Mike Martz said. "It's hard to identify. They just wanted it more than we did.
    They played harder than we did. They were more physical. We got outplayed and

    Apparently, effort, attitude and physical play were at the crux of Falcons
    coach Jim Mora's pregame speech to his team. According to Falcons wide receiver
    Peerless Price, Mora told his team: "Just close the gate, lock 'em in here, and
    don't let 'em out until you kick their (butts)."

    The Falcons pretty much played that way in front of an enthusiastic sellout
    crowd, and the Rams couldn't match their energy level - particularly in the
    fourth quarter when the Rams were outscored 17-0.

    "That's the life of playing on the road in the NFL," Rams wide receiver Isaac
    Bruce said. "We've got to make sure that when we're on the road, that we treat
    it like we're at home. And try to make sure that we have as (few) mistakes as
    we possibly can, and put the ball in the end zone."

    But there were a lot of mistakes, including 10 penalties and two turnovers.

    Only two touchdowns, despite 100-yard receiving games by Bruce and Torry Holt,
    and an impressive 102.2 passer rating by Marc Bulger.

    And several close plays down the stretch that went the Falcons' way.

    None was bigger than Brady Smith's strip and fumble recovery against Bulger in
    the end zone that resulted in an instant Atlanta touchdown and a 31-17 Falcons

    Martz generally takes a high-risk, high-reward approach to offensive football,
    and this time that approach backfired as the Rams attempted a deep pass...
    -09-20-2004, 04:13 AM
  • txramsfan
    Did you know.....
    by txramsfan
    That not ONE offensive tackle, not ONE, was called for holding against Leonard Little.....ALL YEAR?

    All frickin year. Not one holding call.

    That's something to ponder.
    -01-18-2005, 01:14 PM
  • MauiRam
    The pressure's all on Atlanta against upstart Rams
    by MauiRam
    By Jim Thomas

    ATLANTA • The numbers speak volumes and help explain why all the pressure is on the Atlanta Falcons this Sunday in the Georgia Dome.

    Since the NFL went to the 12-team playoff format in 1990, only 22 teams (11.5 percent) of the squads that started a season 0-2 have made it to postseason. Only three teams in that span have won the Super Bowl after starting 0-2.

    For a team with a Super Bowl-or-bust mentality, that’s bad math. Atlanta absolutely, positively wants to avoid getting tripped up by the upstart Rams in Sunday’s game that has a noon (St. Louis time) kickoff.

    When you coax a 37-year-old tight end (Tony Gonzalez) back for another season, when you sign a 30-year-year old running back (Steven Jackson) and a soon-to-be 32-year-old pass rusher (Osi Umenyiora) in free agency, you’re not building for the future. You’re trying to win now.

    A year ago, the Falcons were stopped on the 10-yard line with 1 minute 13 seconds to play in a 28-24 loss to San Francisco in the NFC title game. After coming that close, the Falcons want to take that last big step to football’s big game.

    After losing their 2013 opener 23-17 to division rival New Orleans, the Falcons don’t want to fall to 0-2 at the hands of a Rams team that has everything to gain and nothing to lose in this one. Nothing to lose because when the schedules came out last spring, it was universally marked down as an “L” by almost everyone who doesn’t draw a paycheck from Rams Park.

    However, just one week into the season, the task doesn’t seem nearly as daunting for the Rams. For one, the biggest problem area for the defending NFC South champion Falcons is pass-blocking; the biggest strength for the Rams is their pass rush.

    For another, Atlanta’s dynamic duo at wide receiver — Julio Jones and Roddy White — are banged up and listed at ‘‘questionable.’’

    White in particular has a high ankle sprain and isn’t anywhere near to full strength. Overall, the Falcons’ injury list reads more like it would in late November when bodies start to wear down, than for Week 2 of the regular season. No fewer than six Atlanta starters are listed as questionable, which by NFL definition means they have a 50-50 chances of playing.

    After parachuting into Atlanta at the end of the preseason, Gonzalez looked a little rusty against New Orleans and might need more practice time to get up to speed. Jackson, the long-time Rams great, still is feeling his way in terms of his role in Atlanta and how much he will be used.

    So for a team that remains under the radar league-wide, what would it mean for the Rams to somehow head home from Atlanta with a 2-0 record and a signature road victory?

    “It would mean a lot to us,” right tackle Rodger Saffold said. “I prefer us to just stay under the radar, just let us keep chipping away.”

    -09-14-2013, 10:53 PM