The Atlanta Falcons wanted to quickly wash away the bad taste left in their mouth after their three-point loss to the New Orleans Saints Monday night. They did just that with a 10-play scoring drive that took 10 plays and lasted nearly five minutes and concluded with a Matt Ryan touchdown pass to Tony Gonzalez for a 7-0 lead. The Falcons opening drive was exactly the type of drive they have completed all season; methodical and time-consuming. Ryan called a handful of audibles and a number of short passes kept the chains moving.
Ryan finished the drive 5-for-7 for 41 yards and one touchdown while Michael Turner carried twice for 19 yards including a 16-yard burst behind the blocking of Justin Blalock. Michael Jenkins caught two passes for 16 yards on the opening drive as well.
A fumble on the ensuing kickoff ended up being recovered by the Panthers, avoiding what could have been a disaster for John Fox in his last game as head coach.