Last season had such promise, so early on, that I had allowed myself to entertain the possibility that the Falcons might beat the Steelers. Sure, the Steelers are an amazing football team, but the Falcons were brimming with promise.
So it was a minor surprise that the Falcons managed to drop a close one to the Steelers. It was a bigger surprise that their offense crapped out and the defense nearly managed to win it for them. It was, in its way, foreshadowing for the strong defensive effort and mixed offensive effort that would get the Falcons to the playoffs...though it failed to carry them past the Packers. Agh, flashbacks!
Fortunately, we all know the loss to the Stillers didn't sink the Falcons' season. After the jump, a little look back for you history buffs.
The game was, by most standards, a snoozefest.The Falcons' defense buckled down in a big way, led by a monster game from Curtis Lofton. With eight tackles and a sack of Dennis Dixon, he led the way on a strong team effort that included sacks from John Abraham and Kroy Biermann and a pick from Mike Peterson.
Unfortunately, the offense was stifled by the second coming of the Steel Curtain. With the exception of Roddy White--who set the table for his amazing season with silver forks and knives--the offense got very little done. Michael Turner faltered and Matt Ryan was average, largely as a consequence of the aforementioned Steelers defense.
Still, it was a credit to the resilience of this team that they were able to hang in until overtime, when the defense finally broke down on Rashard Mendenhall's 50 yard run. That was all she wrote, assuming that "she" in this case is a capricious Football God with a vendetta.
As you know, the Falcons took that loss as a bit of an affront. But we'll get to that soon.
Add your memories of the game, if you would.