Atlanta Falcons fans got to greet their home team this week in their regular season home opener against the St. Louis Rams. It was an electrifying first half with 24 unanswered points scored by the ex-Ram Steven Jackson and the beastly Julio Jones who caught a 24-yard pass and ran 57 yards after the catch to the end zone to set a career-record for himself.
Then the defense decided to let their light shine and showed the improvements they made over the week. By consistently putting pressure on Sam Bradford a ball was tipped in the air and intercepted by ex-Giant Osi Umenyiora. GM Thomas Dimitroff impresses me every time with what he does offseason. Also on a good defensive note, the young secondary, consisting of two rookies in Desmond Trufant and Robert Alford, kept the Rams receivers covered.
But this beat down only lasted one half and every Falcons fan has experienced the dread of watching the team struggle to keep the gas going the entire game. If the Seattle Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers playoff games don’t ring a bell, than the New Orleans Saints game this past week should.
Head coach Mike Smith always talks about consistency and finishing strong. And once again, they slacked in this category as usual. Thank the football gods for “Matty Ice” being cool, calm, and collected and getting the last touchdown drive that the Falcons needed without a few of his starters.
Regardless, the last thing the Falcons need this season is a bunch of heart-racing, nail-biting, teeth chattering games that go to the last second when the lead is up by more than 2 touchdowns in the first quarter or half. Playing that way will only get them so far and when it gets there, it’ll just send them home.
If the Atlanta Falcons want to make it to MetLife Stadium in February and win it, they must not only Rise Up, but keep it up the entire 60 minutes until the clock strikes 0:00.