On Sunday, the Atlanta Falcons traveled to Baltimore for a challenging away matchup against the Ravens. Prior to the game the Falcons had lost 10 out of the last 11 games away from the Georgia Dome and now the record is 11 defeats in the last 12 as they were dominated 29-7 by the home side, meaning the ever struggling Atlanta Falcons are now on a four game losing streak.
The only player out for the Atlanta Falcons was 3rd receiver Harry Douglas, who showed last year that he was a very good back up option to have and possibly explains the struggling of the Atlanta Falcons offense in this game. The defense had moments of positivity with two interceptions both thanks to young cornerback Robert Alford. But as an entire unit the defense once again was poor, with just one sack in the game.
The opening Falcons drive with Matt Ryan at the helm, who was drafted in 2008, came to nothing productive. So, next up was Joe Flacco, who was also drafted in 2008, to come out and show the Falcons how it is done. The drive owed itself to the running game with the Ravens going the length of the field with just seven passing yards, showing the arguably the strength in the running game or the weakness in the Falcons running defense.
The drive was rounded off by Joe Flacco however who was unchallenged in the pocket and managed to find tight end Owen Daniels for a five yard touchdown pass taking the game to 7-0 after just four minutes. The rest of the first quarter was a particularly dull one as neither side added anymore points to the scoreboard. Matters were not helped by how often the Falcons went three and out in the middle of the field. The second quarter however saw 10 points all go in the favor of the home side as they took firm control of the game without really breaking into a sweat. After some great passes by Flacco, including a large gain which was downed at the one, the Atlanta defense was hopeless to stop Pierce forcing his way over from just one yard. What stood out the most from this touchdown was not that the Falcons were unable to stop the run, because from one yard that is very hard. What is shocking was how the defensive line disintegrated under forward momentum from the Ravens offensive line. Justin Tucker then knocked a field goal over from just 38 yards to finish off the half and make the game 17-0. A very comfortable lead and dominant game for the Ravens through two quarters.
A dull third quarter saw only 3 points in the entire 15 minutes which was a Tucker field goal from 38 yards again. The Atlanta Falcons started off the scoring the fourth quarter to give them the faintest of chances at 20-7. Atlanta Falcons receiver Roddy White secured a personal moment of history as he hauled in his 58th career touchdown setting a new receiving touchdown record for the Atlanta Falcons franchise. Matt Ryan dropped into the pocket on the Ravens four yard line and forced a ball just on the outside the reach of the cornerback who couldn’t prevent White from catching the ball before he fell out of bounds.
But sadly for the few traveling Atlanta fans the game was quickly put to bed when pro-bowler Terrell Suggs forced a safety after dropping Matt Ryan in the end zone. The game was finished when and pretty well summed up when Torrey Smith beat his marker with relative ease and hauled in a 39 yard touchdown pass with a diving catch into the end zone.
The game ended 29-7 in Baltimore’s favor. It was a very steady performance from the Ravens side with no one player standing out as being exceptional, just every player doing exactly what was asked of them and making plays. The Falcons on the other hand had many poor players but Roddy White stood out during the difficult game to make a 100 yards and break the Falcons franchise receiving touchdown record with his 58th touchdown reception.
The Falcons next game is the second of this year’s NFL Wembley games against Detroit Lions team that is in top form, whereas the Ravens travel to Cincinnati to face their fierce rivals the Bengals.