Good news to begin this second quarter is that Garrett Reynolds, who was shaken up at the end of the first, is now back in the game. Even better news is that the Falcons were able to cap their drive off with a one-yard Michael Turner touchdown, giving Atlanta a 14-0 lead.
The second Falcons offensive possession again saw a great mix of run and pass. Julio Jones, Roddy White, and Jason Snelling all had receptions on the 10-play, six-minute scoring drive. The more Atlanta can keep the ball out of Aaron Rodgers' hands, so much the better. Mike Mularkey, you've won my approval so far tonight. I know that means a lot to you.
Perhaps fired up by the offensive success, the Falcons defense came out onto the field with a little swag in their step. Sean Weatherspoon absolutely nailed James Starks for no gain on a first-down carry. But then on third down, the Falcons inexplicably only had three men rushing. Rodgers naturally had all day, and did his best Drew Brees impression by shovel-passing it to John Kuhn for a first down. You're killing me, BVG.
Fortunate for the Falcons- though you never like seeing any player get hurt- Chad Clifton went to the locker room with an apparent leg injury. The very next play, rather unsurprisingly, the Falcons were able to get some actual pressure on Rodgers. But on the other side, William Moore also came out of the game with an injury, being replaced by James Sanders.
And then the Falcons made me scratch my head for the second time on this drive. For some reason, Chris Owens was matched up against Greg Jennings on third down. Rodgers found him for a 39-yard gain, and the Packers had first and goal at the four.
But soon after, we got to see the athleticism of 'Spoon on display as he came on a blitz and sacked Rodgers for an eleven yard loss. Lawrence Sidbury followed that up with a sack of his own, forcing the Pack to settle for a field goal. The Falcons red zone defense came up huge on that drive. They now lead 14-3 with just over five minutes left in the half.
The next offensive possession, however, wasn't so fruitful. After two Matt Ryan incompletions, a third down connection with Harry Douglas that went for 47 yards was called back because of a holding penalty. Ouch. Matt Bosher's punt went for a mere 35 yards. Double ouch. Let's not let this lead get away, Falcons.