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Falcons vs. Cardinals update: Three Matt Ryan picks have Atlanta losing 13-3

If you're a little confused by the first quarter of this Falcons game, don't feel alone.

In events only capable of occurring in Bizarro World, Matt Ryan pulled a Peyton Manning and threw three first quarter interceptions in the Georgia Dome.

Now, these weren't all Ryan's fault of course. His first pass of the game, intended for the usually reliable Roddy White, was tipped and intercepted by Rashad Johnson.

Arizona took over on the Atlanta nine, and took only two plays to work its offense across the goal line for a LaRod Stephens-Howling touchdown.

A three-and-out on the ensuing Falcons possession was followed up by the team's porous run defense allowing Stephens-Howling to rumble 40 yards into Atlanta territory. Jay Feely's 48-yard field goal attempt held true.

Later in the quarter, another tipped pass - this one redirected by Darnell Dockett - landed in the hands of Cardinals defender William Gay.

And to complete the hat trick, a wobbly third down pass intended for Tony Gonzalez found its way into the waiting arms of Kerry Rhodes. Arizona would convert that turnover into another field goal, giving itself a 13-point lead.

I'm not sure who has been worse: Ryan, or the offensive line. Matty Ice has looked shaky on a couple of his throws, but the line has offered minimal if any protection when the Cardinals have blitzed.

The lack of a running attack - Michael Turner has six carries for 15 yards at time of writing - has only exacerbated the problems.

It's not all gloom and doom yet. John Skelton is still an ineffective passer, and the Falcons only trail by 10 at home with over 40 minutes left to play. The Cardinals are still a solid team in their own right as well.

But for as good as we thought this team was just two weeks ago, it's been a cold splash of water to the face for Falcons fans.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.