Cardinals fly past Falcons in OT

AP/Paul Connors Despite a fourth quarter comeback, the Falcons fell to the Arizona Cardinals eventually in overtime by a score of 30-27. The Falcons entered the fourth quarter down 24-14, but were successful in taking the lead until the waning minute of regulation. In overtime, the Cardinals won the coin toss and were able to march down the field 58 yards on 10 plays to kick the game-winning field goal.

Chris Redman led the team, completing 28 of 42 passes for 315 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Jerious Norwood led rushers with 33 yards on 7 carries. Jason Snelling had 2 carries for 18 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown run. Roddy White had a great performance catching 12 passes for 141 yards. He becomes the first Falcon receiver to break 1,000 yards since Terance Mathis did so in 1999. Laurent Robinson (7 catches for 114 yards) and Alge Crumpler (2 catches for 12 yards) were the recipient’s of Redman’s touchdown strikes. The Falcons offense found its groove in the fourth quarter, as Redman was successful in leading the team on three scoring drives. They converted 4 of 6 third downs in that quarter, while only converting 2 of 9 the rest of the game.

Defensively, the Falcons did not have much of an answer for the Cardinals passing game, particularly Anquan Boldin who had 13 catches for 162 yards and 2 scores. They wound up giving up 361 yards in the air. But they picked it up in the second half, forcing the Cardinals to punt on their first five second half possessions. But they allowed the Cardinals to drive down the field 58 yards on 6 plays in the waning minutes of the game to tie it up and send it into overtime. Brent Grimes, in his first action of the season led the team with 11 tackles. Jonathan Babineaux (8 tackles, 1 pass defended), Demorrio Williams (8 tackles), Keith Brooking (7 tackles), DeAngelo Hall (7 tackles), and Chris Crocker (5 tackles, 1 pass defended) had noteworthy games.

On special teams, Morten Andersen connected on both field goal attempts of 23 and 21 yards, the latter being the one that put the team up 27-24 with a minute to go in the game. Michael Koenen had 5 punts for an average of 40 yards, placing one inside the 20-yard line. DeAngelo Hall returned 3 punts for an average of 12.3 yards. Jerious Norwood had 5 kickoff returns for an average of 26.6 yards. Travis Williams even ran 37 yards on a successful fake punt, which was the catalyzing conversion which eventually led to Snelling’s score.

The Falcons will try to close out the season with a win at home against the Seattle Seahawks. The Falcons have lost three straight against the Seahawks. Their last win came in 1997, and their last home win against them came in 1991. But the Falcons may be able to sneak a win since the Seahawks have already clinched their division and playoff berth, and thus will not be helped nor hurt to any significant degree depending on the outcome of next week’s game.

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Aaron Freeman

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