Friday, September 25, 2009

Falcons Beat NFC South Rival Panthers In Key Divisional Tilt

By Ross Everett

The Atlanta Falcons are off to a fast start this season, and on Sunday used a potent offensive attack to top the Carolina Panthers 28-20 at the Georgia Dome. QB Matt Ryan threw a career high three touchdown passes, including one to his new favorite receiver Tony Gonzalez. The attack was well balanced, thanks in large part to running back Michael Turner who ran for 105 yards and a touchdown.

NFL football betting devotees who invested in the Falcons as -6 home favorites were rewarded with the pointspread cover. The Falcons have won and covered both games this season for a 2-0 record both straight up and against the spread. The Panthers, meanwhile, have dropped both of their 2009 contests straight up and to the number. The 48 combined points scored went OVER the posted total of 42. Carolina has now gone OVER in both of their 2009 NFL games, while Atlanta evened their O/U record at 1-1.

The offseason acquisition of Gonzalez has worked to a benefit of both so far. In his first two games in a Falcons uniform the future Hall of Famer has 12 catches for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Gonzalez wanted out of Kansas City to play for a contender, and hes found himself on a talented young Falcons team with a QB that already appears destined for superstardom.

Afterwards, Gonzalez admitted that he couldn't be happier with how things have gone so far:

"Not a bad start at all. It's just great to be part of a team like this."

Quarterback Matt Ryan was full of compliments for his tight end in his postgame comments:

"He's one of the greatest tight ends of all time. That was a huge pickup for us. He makes big plays for us in different situations when we need him. I've enjoyed playing with him thus far."

Despite the loss, Carolinas Jake Delhomme was relieved to put the horrible performance of the opening week behind him. This week only he gave up one interception during a late game rally attempt:

"It couldn't be any worse than last week. I felt good out there today. Last week, I put too much pressure on myself. This week, I got back to being just plain Jake."

The Panthers will head to Dallas for a game against the Cowboys next Monday night. Carolina is a +9 road underdog in that contest with the total set at 46. Atlanta has a pair of tough road games on the docket, beginning this weekend against the New England Patriots at Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Falcons have been installed as +4 road underdogs with the total set at 44.

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