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falcons' 2nd win a struggle, but no late fold


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falcons' 2nd win a struggle, but no late fold

by steve wyche

the atlanta journal-constitution

published on: 11/05/07

with an extra week to prepare for one of the nfl's worst teams, falcons coach bobby petrino opted to break out much of the uncreative part of his vast playbook sunday against the san francisco 49ers.

instead of asking quarterback joey harrington to toss the ball around the field to a variety of receivers, he called for runs left, right and, for better or worse, up the middle.

this time, a little throwback was far more effective than the throwing as atlanta ground its way to a 20-16 victory over the 49ers before a georgia dome crowd that was thousands less than the 66,049 announced to have bought tickets.

"offensively, we wanted to be persistent with the running game," petrino said. "i thought warrick dunn did a nice job of getting yards after contact. he managed to get yards even when there was not a lot there."

dunn, an old-school tailback who simply looked old as the falcons lost six of their first seven games, broke loose for his first 100-yard game of the season. highlighting his effort was a dazzling first-quarter drive he capped with a 9-yard touchdown run that started with him getting bottled up inside and ended with him bouncing around left end.

"for so long this season it has been up and down for me," said dunn, 32, who is 147 yards from 10,000 career rushing yards. "i actually am starting to feel healthy. now i just want to be at the point of playing consistently."

atlanta (2-6) rushed for a season-high 155 yards on 39 carries, which allowed dunn backup jerious norwood (six carries, 39 yards) suffered an ankle injury to get into a rhythm and the offensive line to establish a physical posture.

the "swagger" that was established prompted veteran after veteran to follow suit.

safety lawyer milloy (eight tackles), who has had many great games in his 12-year career, has another one to add. after grabbing his first interception of the season, he made a fourth-quarter, goal-line tackle of michael robinson that forced a joe nedney field goal and allowed the falcons to hold on to a fragile one-point lead.

defensive end john abraham recorded his sixth sack and forced his third fumble. middle linebacker keith brooking nearly broke already battered san francisco quarterback alex smith in half with a late-game sack. heck, even 35-year-old wide receiver joe horn led the falcons with four receptions.

"a number of our veterans made great plays," petrino said. "the players did a nice job in the bye week of sticking together, preparing and practicing with the attitude we're looking for."

the falcons caught a break when 49ers tailback frank gore was kept out of action while he recovers from an ankle injury. san francisco still rushed for 116 yards, but for the first time in weeks the falcons made the plays when they had to have them.

the most crucial might have been a clutch fourth-quarter tackle by veteran safety chris crocker as san francisco (2-6) was at the precipice of gutting the falcons.

with the 49ers at atlanta's 10-yard line after driving from their 23, crocker slightly bit on a play-action fake by smith and allowed a completed pass to tight end vernon davis. however, he closed the gap enough to yank down the 6-foot-3, 253-pound davis after a 9-yard gain one yard short of a touchdown.

"i had no idea where that guy came from," said davis, who had seven catches for 77 yards. "i was going to the end zone. before you know it, someone grabbed my shoe."

had crocker allowed davis to score, not only would atlanta have fallen behind, but it likely would have lost.

for much of the season, the falcons have played well enough to stay competitive only to buckle down the stretch. instead, crocker's play allowed milloy to hustle his way from outside of the tight end to the other end of the line of scrimmage and stop robinson for a 3-yard loss on third-and-goal.

"it actually was my man from the get-go and i got caught cheating," crocker said. "i was fortunate enough to chase him down. i really laid it all on the line. at this point, we have nothing to lose, so go out there and lay it all out."

sorry if already posted. sad.gif

http://www.ajc.com/sports/content/sports/f...05_falcons.html

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way to support the atlanta teams ajc. i'm sure steve and terence moore collaborated on this.

at one point during the mv saga, i actually though to myself that the paper couldn't get any worse. they continue to prove me wrong.

so biased against anything from georgia, it's sickening.

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man i love the way our paper gets behind our teams. terrence moore and jeff shultz are genius. they always pick georgia to beat florida and have the upmost confidence in the falcons organization. they were very supportive to our qb during the summer and wearn't at all quick to convict him before the evidence agianst him actully came in. i love the way they coverd our 1st place arena team and how they didnt make fun of the fact we had a blackout today.

keep up the good work ajc. your well balanced carefully thought of articles are an insperation to us all wink.gif

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man i love the way our paper gets behind our teams. terrence moore and jeff shultz are genius. they always pick georgia to beat florida and have the upmost confidence in the falcons organization. they were very supportive to our qb during the summer and wearn't at all quick to convi.ct before the evidence agianst him actully came in. i love the way the coverd our 1st place arena team and how they didnt make fun of the fact we had a blackout keep up the good work ajc wink.gif

almost threw up on that particular line.

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way to support the atlanta teams ajc. i'm sure steve and terence moore collaborated on this.

at one point during the mv saga, i actually though to myself that the paper couldn't get any worse. they continue to prove me wrong.

so biased against anything from georgia, it's sickening.

i travel alot and i'm sorry, the ajc has the worst sports coverage of any large city. no city has the perpetual hate that the ajc does.

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great way for the hometown newspaper to start an article about a win.

who knows what they would have written if we had lost.. huh.gif

we would have seen 3 polls this week on if the falcons should forfeit the rest of the game, should petrino be fired, and should blank sell the team.....the ajc has some sort of creepy wish to see every atlanta team fail.

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way to support the atlanta teams ajc. i'm sure steve and terence moore collaborated on this.

at one point during the mv saga, i actually though to myself that the paper couldn't get any worse. they continue to prove me wrong.

so biased against anything from georgia, it's sickening.

i don't think i've ever read anything possitive written about the falcons by terence moore....

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