It's the season for giving, the season for miracles, the season for sharing, the season for eating, and apparently the season for throwing snowballs. Yesterday, in an eerily desolate stadium wheezing through its last few breaths of air before it is decommissioned in favor of a younger, more accommodating sibling, snowballs fell like bombs to the earth. One icy torpedo nearly hit recently returned wunderkind Matt Ryan as he barked out what was destined to be his final snap count of the day. A white bundle of chill exploded near the right hash-mark on the six yard line, mere inches from the very same foot that had kept the 2008 Offensive Rookie of the Year sidelined in sweats during a two game home field losing streak. Unfazed by the disgruntled Jets fans' attempts to throw him off his game, Ryan hiked the ball and somehow managed to squeeze a perfectly spiraled ball between four Jets defenders and into the waiting hands of master catchman Tony Gonzalez.
The gutsy, last-possible-moment score defines this Falcons team: all heart, regardless of the outcome. A week ago, they nearly beat the Saints, needing a last-possible-moment score of any kind to take away the W. The week before that, they were thoroughly dismantled by the Eagles, though saved from a complete shutout by a last-possible-moment touchdown. A week before that, they were, what else, scoring a last-possible-moment touchdown to eek out a win against the Buccaneers. These Falcons, though eliminated from the playoffs, are getting good at the last-possible-moment and are, despite what the Jets players and other analysts would have you believe, playing for something: pride, fun, and to rid Atlanta and its fans of that ever present elephant in the room.
Despite a previously porous defense and a overwhelmingly underperforming offense, the Falcons turned in as complete a defensive game as they have since the Candlestick Beatdown earlier this season. Brent Grimes, the Mighty Mouse of the at-times woeful Falcons secondary, picked off two of greenhorn quarterback Mark Sanchize's three interceptions. Spiderman jumped in the fray early on, accounting for an athletic if not telegraphed INT. The front defensive line may be to blame for this out-of-the-norm performance of our defensive backfield, as the previously MIA John Abraham made his presence known via a key sack with the Jets dangerously close to the goal-line.
Nothing, and yet everything went the Falcons' way yesterday. Despite the Jets' best efforts to stop them, they scored. Against all statistical odds, Jay Feely shanked one fieldgoal, had his holder bobble a snap, and had Mount Davis block his last effort to put points on the board. All of this luck/skill/madness combined to create a sitaution where the boys in red and black needed only seven points to pull off the upset. Oddly enough, an offense that had all but been dominated all game had enough spark, enough tenacity, enough drive to take the ball down the field and on its last gasp, haul in the win. The proof is in the pudding, most say. I say it's in the heart; and this Falcons team has plenty of it.
This ode to old school football journalism brought to you by Nostalgia (tm). Remember the good old days? Us neither.
Follow the jump to find a more modern take on the game.
What Had Me Screaming
- Brent "Air" Grimes. The man has a future with this franchise. Anyone who says otherwise is...a not so nice person.
- The Defense has a whole. They held the Jets' superfluous rushing attack to like...not a lot. Kudos!
- Matt Ryan and our put-together-with-duct-tape offense managing to win another game with a last-gasp TD. Gotta love that maturity under pressure.
- Chauncey Davis with his second blocked fieldgoal of the year (I think... I know we've blocked one before).
What Had Me Booing
- Mr. Stockton, an "announcer" for the network. I don't know what kinda "cough syrup" he was using to keep his voice smooth and mellow in the icy press box, but apparently he had too much of it before hitting the air. He called the Jets the Eagles, he was convinced that the game was tied when we went up by three in the waning moments of the game, and he acted as if his cohort was some kind of genius when he predicted a pass rush on third and long (durrrrr).
- Giving up the Jets' longest pass play of the year with a 65yd TD. In between that horrendous blown coverage, it was all great...
- The Jets' fans. I mean, really, you throw snowballs at the opposing team while the game is still going on? Guess class doesn't come with those expensive green jerseys.
What Dave Seems to be Forgetting
- He owes us a YouTube DaveCast if we post a .501 record or better. The challenge has been layeth downeth.
Some Pep for your Step
Highlight of my day: I saw a man in a full Santa suit get arrested for throwing snowballs at our team. @FalconsMMoore - Falcons Multimedia Producer
tlozwarlock's Fan of the Game
Anyone in the stadium with Falcons garb on. You are a braver soul than I.