Man, we needed this. For the first three weeks of the season the Falcons faced nothing but skepticism, scorn and slaughter at the hands of opponents and pundits alike. A victory over the Texans--and like it or not, Matt Schaub--ought to turn the national current our way a little. Even if it doesn't, Sunday's battle produced a great win for the Falcons. Yeah, it was partly due to Texan injuries, but that doesn't account for all of it.
As Tim from Battle Red Blog said, the Falcons were just the better team.
It starts with Joey Harrington, who would like to invite his critics to kiss his ass. He completed 23 of his 29 passes for 223 yards and 2 TDs, not quite as good as last week but more than enough for the Falcons. If Harrington is actually finding some consistency here, then Leftwich needs to stay as far down the bench as possible. A lot of people have wondered what Harrington could do with a good supporting cast and a decent line, and now we appear to have an answer. Never mind that the running game is now a legitimate cause for concern; what Joey Joe Joe Junior Shabadoo is doing for this team is enough right now. Poster Templar appears to have been right about Joey, and I'd say I owe both of them a round at this point. Kudos to Mike Jenkins, as well, who continued his own personal renaissance with 6 catches, 64 yards and two touchdowns. It's fair to ask now, as commenter falcon882007 did in the open thread, whether or not White and Jenkins were being held back by Vick's inconsistency. Bearing in mind that it's early, they're both delivering pretty emphatic affirmatives.
On defense the game ball goes to Michael Boley, who continued to be an absolute monster. I'm totally clueless as to why this guy can't buy credit from anyone at the national level; he's a 25 year-old tackle machine who seems to author at least one big play a game. Credit John Abraham for notching 3 tackles, a sack and the other forced fumble in the game. It was especially significant because both were actually recovered for a change, and they ended up being incredibly costly for the Texans. Schaub put up some pretty nice numbers, but the defense avoided making too many costly mistakes and made critical stops when they needed to. Petrino also didn't shy away from throwing that challenge flag when he needed to and the callback on the Schaub touchdown saved the Falcons' bacon.
Last but not least, don't forget literally immortal kicker Morten Andersen. His four field goals were part of his biggest day since he sailed to the new world with Christopher Columbus, and he should be given all the credit in the world for it.
So let's bask in the glow of this win and ignore all the terrible things that have happened so far this season. At least for this week, all we should be hearing about is how ready the Falcons are to beat the crap out of the Titans.
Game MVP: Joey Joe Joe!
Theme Song: The Happy Days Theme
One Thing To Take Away: This team is scrappy as all hell, which I enjoy.
Next Week: The incredibly lucky Titans and their incredibly overrated quarterback face off against the mighty Falcons.
Final Word: An incredibly satisfying win that needs no analysis. It's all sunshine this week.