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16 Sundays; Week 5 - Atlanta @ Green Bay

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To read the full origin and explanation of this project click on the below link:

http://life.atlantafalcons.com/forums/Topic3545779-45-1.aspxhttp://life.atlantafalcons.com/FORUMS/Post.aspx?SessionID=xor44cm5uqpmwxevs45hhk45' s_oid="http://life.atlantafalcons.com/FORUMS/Post.aspx?SessionID=xor44cm5uqpmwxevs45hhk45" s_oidt="0">

I figured I would embark on a project. Fact is, if you are still coming to message board during these dog days, you truly are a die-hard.  My endeavor would be to project each game on the Falcons schedule and provide a box score and write-up for it.  Sometimes the write-ups would be detailed accounts of the game, others might focus on a players contribution to the game or their role with the team.  But each game and write-up would unravel the story of the Falcons 2008 season in as realistic a fashion as possible. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

The goal?  Try and re-create the excitement and enthusiasm of going through the week by week trials and tribulations of watching the Falcons again.  Each week is linked at the bottom of the article if you want to catch up.


Heartbreaker; Crosby FG With :02 Drops Falcs to 2-3


There was plenty of room to spare, at least 5 yards when Mason Crosby s FG with :02 left on the clock left the Falcons with a crushing defeat.  The shame of the result was that as a whole, it was probably the Falcons best effort of the season.  After stinking up Bank Of America Stadium for 60 minutes last Sunday, the Falcons had last years NFC Conference Finalists on the ropes it seemed all afternoon.  Even when compared to the wins against <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Kansas City & Detroit, on Sunday the feeling you got from this team was that it was more focused and confident in its ability to win than at any time this season.  Truth be told, I think we were a bit too giddy about 2-1 Lawyer Milloy remarked earlier this week It s OK to get out to a good start, but it s only 3 games.  We ve got more business to do.  Last week woke us up asked us the question of are you a fluke? .


All week, you could tell that the Falcons were simmering.  They knew that their performance in Carolina was horrendous and whatever soul searching they did uncovered a team that was significantly more confident in its ability to compete with anyone. Up until now, the Falcons seemed more interested in competing and if they could pull out a victory, that was great.  Not today& coming into Lambeau 9.5 point underdogs, the Falcons never backed down and if not for a questionable illegal hands penalty on Von Hutchins to keep the Packers last drive alive the Falcons would have more than likely left with an improbable victory.  With the exception of one poor throw that turned into 7 points for Green Bay, Matt Ryan had his most effective day thus far as a pro.  He looked confident in the pocket and had plenty of time to throw.  The offensive line, which was embarrassed in Carolina, stepped up.  Ryan was hardly touched all game and the two pronged rushing attack of the Falcons of Turner & Norwood combined for 125 yards.  There was little room for Ryan Grant to run and Aaron Rodgers was harassed all day.  With the exception of the scoreboard, the Falcons had beaten Green Bay.  But at the end of the day they lost in the most important and only category that mattered.


As for Ryan, he looked like a veteran who started to assert his physical ability for the first time in his career.  Since he arrived in Atlanta, he s handled himself with maturity and poise, patiently waiting for the game to come together for him as he diligently works to improve.  But on Sunday, he rifled throws to his receivers downfield with more conviction, showing how he s starting to understand how he can affect the game from play to play.  He didn t allow for any back-patting in the locker room but did admit that he felt a level of comfort on the field Sunday that he hadn t yet this year.  At 2-3, the feeling in the locker room was much more subdued than two weeks ago.  The level of play for this reborn outfit has improved across the board, but young teams will let games slip away that shouldn t and there wasn t a Falcon in that locker room who felt they should have lost.


All is not lost a quarter of the way into the season, there are noticeable improvements.  Jamaal Anderson is much more disruptive this year than his rookie year.  Newly signed Michael Boley continues to play at a Pro-Bowl level, maybe even All-Pro.  In 4 games, the Falcons defense has caused 9 turnovers with Brent Grimes having accounted for 3 of them.  For a unit that was largely deemed to be this team Achilles leg, the Falcons defense has held its own, but it is definitely still a bend but don t break outfit.  For now, the Falcons are riding a two game losing streak and their next game against the Bears at home will be their last prior to the bye week.  A loss then and any positive momentum the Falcons had built from their 2-1 start will be lost.  Seasons can be a little like runaway trains.  The two teams on the field know this feeling from just last year.  The Packers snuck up on everyone by jumping out to an improbable 10-1 start.  Even Brett Favre couldn t believe the run the Pack were on, but that s what positive momentum can lead to.  For the Falcons well, we needn t rehash what occurred, but you get the point.


For Mike Smith, this is truly his first test and challenge.  The Falcons are coming off two losses, both brutal in different ways.  Another loss and the season might start seeming like it s slipping away.  While it wouldn t be entirely unexpected, the Falcons would prefer to keep on surprising. 


PlayerCompAttemptsYardsComp%YPATDINTSKDYds LostScoring Summary
Matt Ryan173223453.13%7.3121001st Quarter
Chris Redman         Jason Elam 45 Yard FG
D.J. Shockley         Greg Jennings 37 Yard TD Reception
TOTAL173223453.13%7.312100Jason Elam 34 Yard FG
PlayerRushesYardsTDYPCReceptionsYardsTDYPRFumbles2nd Quarter
Michael Turner17820 110010.00 Charles Woodson 48 Yard TD INT Return
Jerious Norwood8430 1303.001
Thomas Brown         3rd Quarter
Ovie Mughelli1-10      Laurent Robinson 56 Yard TD Reception
Matt Ryan130      
Chris Redman         4th Quarter
Roddy White    557011.40 Jason Elam 38 Yard FG
Laurent Robinson    496124.00 Ryan Grant 1 Yard TD Run
Harry Douglass    231015.50 Ben Hartsock 4 Yard TD Recpetion (2Pt Failed)
Ben Hartsock    21316.50 Mason Crosby 50 Yard FG
Martrez Milner         
Michael Jenkins    
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