A great season comes to a close in the Arizona desert


Well the Falcons came into the desert as favorites to beat the Arizona Cardinals. But, alas it was not meant to be….

Matt Ryan played well. Michael Turner played tough and Roddy White was looking good. The Arizona Cardinals had an answer for everything the Falcons threw at them.

This is not an angry post. I was at the game and it was a great experience to see the Cardinals fans (yes, they actually exist) show up and be so excited. The Cards were well prepared and they showed it from the first drive on. Warner was playing like the seasoned vet he is and Matt Ryan showed his youth and inexperience by throwing a pick on his first passing attempt.

The Falcons showed their indomitable spirit and played from behind the entire first half until taking a lead into half time. The first drive for the Falcons in the third quarter was a disaster as Darnell Dockett pushed the offensive line into Michael Turner as Ryan was transferring the ball and Antrell Rolle took the knocked ball and ran it in for an easy TD. This one play proved to be the difference maker.

We all saw the game we all know how it ended but there are a few good things for both teams I wanted to address and a few not so great things.

1. Ken Whisenhunt is a hell of a coach and he proved it yesterday with the way his team played. Ken wanted his team to take the strength of the Falcons, the run and make the rookie QB throw the ball way more than they wanted.

2.I am impressed that a team that I thought was just miserable and did not deserve a playoff spot let alone a home game played so well. They came through and made me eat my words.

3. The Cardinals found a run defense. I don’t know where they found it and I don’t know how but they looked stout and limited Michael Turner to under 50 total yards rushing, quite an accomplishment.

4. Edgerrin James proved that he can still play and play he did. I was amazed that someone who appeared to be washed up and basically left for dead in the NFL found a way to be the best player on the field at times. Good work!

So, in closing the Falcons are a young team and a team that can build off of a great season and continue to grow and mature and be set for 2009. Ryan will have more experience, Turner will be ready and the Falcons can continue to build through another strong draft.