Falcons 32, Cardinals 10 - Warner out as QB

October 2nd, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Falcons 32, Cardinals 10 - Warner out as QB


ATLANTA - The Atlanta Falcons' defense is doing just fine without John Abraham.
In Week 1, the three-time Pro Bowl end hobbled off with a groin injury in the closing minutes of a dominating performance against Carolina. Naturally, the Falcons were a bit concerned how they would perform without such a key player.
Not to worry.
In three of the first four games, the Atlanta defense hasn't allowed a touchdown. In fact, cornerback DeAngelo Hall scored one of his own Sunday, returning an interception 36 yards for a touchdown in a 32-10 rout of the Arizona Cardinals.
Abraham hasn't played since the opener, the coaches wanting to make sure he's fully recovered before they bring him back. The Falcons (3-1) made it to their bye in good shape, ensuring he has two more weeks to recover from an injury that could easily flare up again.
"Nobody wants to see us with all of our guys healthy," Hall boasted. "We are going to heal up during this bye week and get all of our guys back in two weeks."
The Michael Vick-led offense is having trouble getting into the end zone - not that it matters the way the defenders are playing. They have allowed only one touchdown all season.
"Everyone is stepping up," said Patrick Kerney, who tied a career high with three sacks. "Maybe we don't have many guys who are explosive as John, but we're not giving up any big plays."
That's good, because the offense is struggling to score touchdowns. When rookie Jerious Norwood scored early in the fourth quarter on a 78-yard run, the longest in Falcons' history, it was the Falcons' first offensive TD in nearly 10 quarters.
Atlanta came into the game ranked 26th out of 32 teams in red-zone efficiency, which is sure to go lower after they went 0-for-6 Sunday and slipped to 3-of-17 on the season.
The Falcons are playing as well defensively as any team in the league. The only touchdown they have surrendered came on a trick play by New Orleans last week (the other two against Atlanta were produced by a blocked punt and Wilson's return).
Linebacker Michael Boley had a huge game against the Cardinals. He deflected the pass that Hall returned for a touchdown, forced a fumble, and came up with an interception on another tipped ball.
Arizona's lone TD was a 99-yard interception return by Adrian Wilson, the longest in franchise history. Kurt Warner had another miserable game in Arizona's third straight loss and was promptly demoted to backup quarterback.
Coach Dennis Green announced that rookie Matt Leinart will start next week against Kansas City.
"I'm going to do whatever I can to help him," said Warner, who lost to the Falcons for the first time in seven career starts. "Maybe he can turn things around."
Warner was 11-of-20 for 128 yards with an interception and two fumbles. Edgerrin James was held to 41 yards on 20 carries as the Cardinals managed just 31 yards on the ground.
Leinart took over with 13 minutes remaining and got off to a rough start. On the rookie's second play, Grady Jackson blew right by the line to knock the ball away from the quarterback before he could even hand off on a running play.
Rod Coleman recovered to set up 46-year-old Morten Andersen's fifth field goal, a 28-yarder. The second-oldest player in NFL history also connected from 34, 40, 36 and 26 yards, equaling a career high.
Vick had his second 100-yard rushing game of the season and seventh of his career, extending his own NFL record for quarterbacks with 101 yards on 11 carries. But the Falcons quarterback made a horrible play with six minutes left in the first half.
He tried to force a pass for Michael Jenkins in the end zone, but Wilson picked it off in front of the goal line and streaked down the sideline to give the Cardinals a short-lived lead of 10-9.
"I should have thrown it out of bounds," Vick said.
The Falcons had their third 200-yard rushing game of the season, piling up 262 yards. Norwood set a career high with 106 yards on six carries - most of them on the longest run from scrimmage in Falcons' history.
October 2nd, 2006  
Rob Henderson
Damned straight. My Falcons dont need John Abraham. Yes, he's good, but defence is a team effort. Just because we lose one of our better backs doesnt mean we arent gonna kill anyway. Now the loss to the Saints...That was a bit embarassing...

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