You know that feeling you get when you smell some homemade cooking in the oven as you get home? You know it's there, and you just can't wait until dinner. That's exactly how I feel about this Falcons offense. They're already looking pretty strong against one of the best defenses in the NFL, and I am really excited about the prospect of watching this group come regular season.
Taking the field after the defense had just allowed a 77-yard TD pass, the offensive unit again went to work and calmly, methodically marched its collective way down to the red zone yet again. Ryan hooked up with Julio Jones twice for 32 yards, and also connected with Roddy, Gonzalez and Harry Douglas on the drive.The Falcons made it all the way down to the two-yard line, and just as it seemed Ryan had completed the game-tying TD pass to Gonzalez, the play was called back due to an interference penalty.
So, again the Falcons settled for a field goal as Matt Bryant made it two for two on the night. What's worth noting on that drive, however, is that we saw Ryan go long to Julio on a deep post route to the end zone. The pass was incomplete, but it just shows you how dangerous this offense can be. A 'la Roddy White, "you can't cover all of us."
For the secondary, it's just been a tough night. The Falcons defense had Pittsburgh in a 3rd-and-10 and Ben Roethlisberger again went deep to Antonio Brown. The pass, nearly picked off by Grimes, somehow floated over two Falcon defenders and Pittsburgh was credited with a 44-yard touchdown pass.
The Falcons offense took the field once more before halftime, and Ryan was able to hook up with Roddy a couple of times on third down and push the offense into field goal range. Matt Bryant nailed a 46-yarder, making him a perfect three-for-three on the night. The offense was at the very least able to come away with points and finish their night on a high note.
As the first half comes to a close, Ryan finishes his night with a respectable 22-for-42, 220 yard performance (1 TD, 1 INT). Roddy White has already racked up eight catches for 101 yards, and his new partner in crime Julio Jones grabbed five catches of his own, good for 59 yards. While the ground game was pretty quiet, this Falcons passing attack is looking like quite potent against a notoriously tough Steelers defense.
On the negative side, the secondary could stand to tighten things up a bit. I understand Roethlisberger is a good quarterback, but I wouldn't exactly mistake Antonio Brown for Larry Fitzgerald, either. Falcons trail 24-16 at halftime. Bring on the backups!