Atlanta Falcons Week 1-2 Mid Week Report: Kickin' It Old School

Mike Foster@michaelsfosterCorrespondent ISeptember 16, 2009

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 13:  Mike Peterson #53 of the Atlanta Falcons against the Miami Dolphins at Georgia Dome on September 13, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Atlanta Falcons are in the process or preparing for the division rival Carolina Panthers on Sunday, following the team's impressive 19-7 victory of the Miami Dolphins this past weekend.

Atlanta will debut fresh throwback uniforms for the occasion.

Speaking of throwback, nothing settled Atlanta fans stomachs last week more than some good ole hard-nosed defense.

Mike Peterson, John Abraham, and rising standout Kroy Biermann gave the Fin's hyped "Wild-Cat" offense serious problems throughout the contest.

Atlanta finished allowing just 259 yards, which was pleasing considering a rather porous performance during preseason.

Not only that, but the defense forced three fumbles, one interception, and sacked quarterback Chad Pennington four times. Abraham and Biermann both had two sacks a piece.

As for Mike Peterson, the seasoned veteran knocked all memories of Keith Brooking out the door, recording the lone interception and a forced fumble.

The corners did not get exposed nearly as much as they had in the preseason contests, however an incredible circus catch involving Greg Camarillo's ankle and behind inflated the statistics a tad.

The Dolphins also got one of their lone big plays on a halfback throwback to Pennington, who threw the ball downfield to a wide open tight end.

Besides the tush grab and the trick play, the Falcon's defense was outstanding and did not give up a score until the final minutes with the game already decided.

The score might have also looked a little bit more impressive had the usually sure footed Jason Elam connected more often. Elam, uncharacteristically, missed two field goals and a point after. A more pleasing score would have been 26-7, but 19-7 works too.

Matt Ryan did a good job of quieting critics who believe Michael Turner is the best passing game Atlanta has.

Many pundits have preferred to claim that Atlanta's imposing rushing threat had a direct influence on the Falcons' ability to throw last year.

However, with the running game getting stuffed all day, Ryan was still able to complete 22 of 36 attempts for 229 yards and two touchdowns—and he had a "sloppy" outing.

Tony Gonzalez helped with five grabs for 73 yards and a touchdown, while Jerious Norwood showed off some good hands with five grabs of his own.

Receivers Michael Jenkins and Roddy White picked up where they left off last year, both hauling in everything thrown their way. White, who had just 49 yards receiving, would have stood out more had Ryan not completely missed him on a beautiful double move on the Falcons first scoring threat.

Overall, the Falcons played a sloppy opening game, but showed they can win ugly—and more importantly, rely on their defense to win them ball games.

Coming into this weekends showdown with the Panthers, it seems like the week two opponent has lost its leverage. Jake Delhomme threw four interceptions and fumbled in the season opener.

Considering how the Falcons defense played in week one, a lack of major strides from Jake Delhomme could mean another dominating performance from the Falcons.

What we can look for this weekend is for the defense to prove their opening game was not a fluke, and for the balance of the Falcons offense  to return.

I'm going to say 23-14 Falcons.

As for the game day attire, the Falcons will be wearing a designated "throwback" uniform for the first time in their history (minus the 1994 season, where every team donned one as part of a special event).

The threads are b-e-a-u-timus! They are very accurate replications of the original Falcons uniform worn in 1966. The jerseys are plain black templates with the old Falcons crest on the sleeves and white block numbers laced in red.

The helmet is red with the original white, black, and gold—yes I said gold—stripe.

White pants, and striped socks complete the uniform.

They are by far one of the sharpest throwback uniforms the NFL will see this year.


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