The best news of the evening: nobody got hurt. Middle linebacker Curtis Lofton, who scored a sack early in the game (which failed to trigger a police car siren on the Dome's PA), was slow to get up after one play, but that's about it. Eleven Falcons, including four or five likely starters (Dunta Robinson, Michael Jenkins, Mike Peterson, Corey Peters, and Harry Douglas), skipped the game altogether.
The Falcons and Chiefs attempted to out-ugly each other tonight. Both teams struggled with pass protection, and all six quarterbacks had to do a little evading and bailing. Both teams missed two field goals. Neither team passed for more than five yards per attempt. In short, it was definitive preseason football.
The Chiefs piled up more first downs and yards than the Falcons, as halfbacks Jamaal Charles and Dexter McCluster broke off several long runs. But the difference was the Falcons' defense forcing three turnovers, led by Kroy Biermann's strip-sack of Matt Cassel and interceptions by Shann Schillinger and Chevis Jackson. The Falcons' offense simply had better starting field position to work with than the Chiefs'.
Tony Gonzalez celebrated the reunion with his former teammates by grabbing two receptions, both third-and-long conversions from Matt Ryan. Vintage 2009 Ryan's habit of locking on to Gonzalez, for better or worse, appears intact.
Rookie linebacker Sean Weatherspoon found his way to four tackles, playing all three downs for at least the entire first half. He read one misdirection outside run very well, shifting before the snap into the eventual running lane, but got negated by a tight end.
First-year wide receiver Kerry Meier played much less than expected, catching two passes and whiffing on one target as he fell to the ground.
Also, we finally realized Roddy White's voice sounds a lot like Mos Def's.
The Falcoholic delivers
a fistful of dollars the good, the bad, and the ugly from tonight's game: