Two in a row, baby! That bye week seems to have washed the defeat right out of this team's system, as they once again bumbled their way to victory. Some Falcoholic highlights:
Upon further review (read: actually seeing it), Joey Joe Joe's pass to himself was probably the epitome of the entire season. It seems like everything's going horribly wrong and that Joey Harrington has ruined everything, but then miraculously everything works out in some fashion. The fact that Harrington managed to catch his own pass and still make it forward four yards is just freaking amazing. If I find the video I'll take a crack at posting it here.
The Panthers desperately need to Jake Delhomme. Vinny T was showing both his age and his injury today and Matt Moore made a stunning debut by throwing an interception on his only pass. If David Carr comes back, it's possible the hapless Tealcats will actually get worse. That's not a fun situation, but I'm very glad the Falcons were on the right end of it.
So this running game thing...I've come to the conclusion that regardless of the blocking, this is all Pet Rhino's fault. It's not that Warrick Dunn was awful; he was actually doing very well in the first half. But m-m-m-my Sharona, he's no longer a featured back. Our fearless coach seems oblivious to the fact that more than one person can get carries in a game. I know Pinner's only carry went for minus-3 yards, but Dunn still only mustered 3.4 yards per carry for the game. If Norwood comes back healthy next week, he damn well better get at least ten carries or I'm writing a letter to my congressman.
It's good to see the rookies getting some action. Though Rod Coleman (2 sacks) and Chris Crocker (the pick off Matt Moore) stole the day, Chris Houston quietly accumulated eight tackles and was rock-solid in coverage. David Irons and Trey Lewis also each got a couple of tackles, and Lewis continues to impress the hell out of me, especially for a late round pick from a tiny school. These guys are all worth watching going forward, and I expect Houston and Irons to have big roles with the team next year.
As much as I think Tampa Bay is a pretender, the Falcons are going to have to play better than they did today to beat the Bucs. The defense continues to be aggressive and get the job done week after week, so I have no gripes with them. Even Morten Andersen, who is actually older than the practice of pirating, has been consistent. The offense has even been consistent.
It's just been consistently poor. I don't know what exactly should be done to remedy that, but I have a feeling it doesn't involve giving the same back almost 30 carries.
Still, great win. If the Falcons keep gutting it out, they might even exceed the 4-4 pace I set for them.