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Falcons Overcome Early Miscues, Trail By Four At The Half

All week long, the media and fans warned of a trap game. Coming off an emotional overtime win against the defending Super Bowl Champion, New Orleans Saints, how could the Falcons maintain the same level of adrenaline against an 0-3 49ers team? Well, they may have had a point.

The 49ers came out swinging in this one, stopping the Falcons on their first drive and proceeding to take advantage of a Dunta Robinson pass interference call to take an early 7-0 lead on a Vernon Davis touchdown that capped a 10-play, 88-yard drive. The Falcons failed to move the ball on their next possession and that's when their special teams weren't so special. The 49ers blocked a punt and Taylor Mays made a tiptoe catch to give the 49ers a 14-0 lead and send the Georgia Dome into hushed tones.

The Falcons offense finally settled down and Matt Ryan found Harry Douglas for the receiver's first touchdown since November 30, 2008. It was another 12-play drive that is becoming routine for the Falcons' offense this season. After a back-and-forth of punts and turnovers, the Falcons had a chance late in the 2nd quarter to tie the game but a bizarre mistake by Matt Ryan - intentional grounding combined with illegal touching and a 10-second runoff - meant the Falcons had to settle for a field goal and a four-point halftime deficit.

Notes: Tony Gonzalez became the 17th player in NFL history to pass 12,000 receiving yards. Roddy White needs 25 yards in the second half to become the 4th Falcon to catch 5,000 receiving yards. Curtis Lofton recorded the first interception of his career that setup the Falcons' second quarter field goal. He also has a sack in this one.

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