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Sam Baker might Play Sunday?!?

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Division rival Atlanta up next for Panthers

By David Scott


Posted: Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2008

Atlanta Falcons (6-4)

Last week: Lost to the Denver Broncos 24-20

What went right

The Falcons “held” Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler to 216 yards passing (he'd thrown for 447 yards the week before against the Browns).

Running back Michael Turner rushed for 81 yards and two touchdowns and is closing in on 1,000 yards for the season (he's got 971).

What went wrong

Receiver Roddy White dropped a potential game-winning touchdown pass in the end zone with about a minute left.

Atlanta had the ball for more than seven minutes longer than the Broncos and ran 15 more plays, but obviously couldn't make all that translate into a winning number of points.

3 players to watch

Defensive end John Abraham: He remains near the top of the league's sacks list with 11.0. He's had two three-sack games – in the season opener against Detroit and Nov.2 against Oakland.

Receiver Roddy White: Although he had that crucial drop against Denver, White's 903 receiving yards rank third in the NFL. He's a legit deep threat.

Free safety Erik Coleman: He's got three interceptions and has provided stability in the secondary after coming to the Falcons from the New York Jets.

By the numbers

1 Loss this season in the Georgia Dome (to Denver, after four victories).

4 Victories in 2007 (the Falcons have already exceeded that by two).

153.4 Yards rushing per game (second in NFL, but held to 114 by Denver).


The Falcons have been without rookie offensive lineman Sam Baker, a first-round draft choice who had hip surgery in late October. There's a chance he'll play against the Panthers.

Ryan is pretty much a prototype drop-back passer, but he ran a naked boot leg against the Broncos and picked up eight yards.

The Falcons also lined up Ryan wide on one play, with a direct snap going to running back Jerious Norwood.

The series

The Falcons lead 16-11. The Panthers won their first meeting of 2008, 24-9 in Charlotte on Sept.28.

It was quarterback Jake Delhomme's best game of the season – he completed 20-of-29 passes for 294 yards with touchdown passes to Steve Smith and Muhsin Muhammad.

-That can't be true about baker...Could it?

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