Wow, what a game! Atlanta beat Tampa Bay 24-14 in a game that had a little bit of everything. For starters, the crowd was really into the game. I would like to think we were responsible for several false starts, and in some small way a great defensive effort that produced 7 – yes, count ‘em – 7 sacks. I am not sure what the final tally was, but Atlanta easily held Tampa Bay under 200 total offensive yards. Simply impressive!
Vick continues to be an enigma. At times he has flashes of genius, which usually results in an amazing highlight reel scramble or a great pass that makes you wonder “how in the heck did he pull that off?” Then he does something pretty boneheaded like throw the ball to a wide open defensive back. Vick has amazing talent, but lacks anything that you would call consistency. It is pretty frustrating, but as long as the Falcons are winning, who the heck cares?
The Dome does not usually rock and roll except for the SEC Championship game, but today was different. Right from the start the crowd was into the game (especially when the Falcons were on defense), and we kept it going full blast for most of the game. I have seen enough Falcons games where the visiting team has as much fan support as the good guys, which is always disappointing, but I guess it has something to do with the nature of Atlanta. When I lived in Atlanta six years ago, everyone living in Atlanta was from somewhere other than Atlanta, and they were always proud to show their non-Atlanta colors. Anyway, except for the preseason this was the first game I made it to this year so maybe the crowd has been this supportive all year long. I am not sure if it came across that way on TV, but it was a raucous performance; the 12th man was alive and well.
Perhaps Atlanta’s defensive lineman Ed Jasper said it best “There’s not a lot of rah-rahs and cheering going on just because we beat the Bucs. We’re trying to get to the Super Bowl.”
Unless things go really bad down the stretch, the Falcons should win the division going away. Right now at 7-2, the Falcons have a commanding three games on second place New Orleans. Things are indeed looking good.