Perhaps building some momentum coming off last week's comeback win over Carolina, the Atlanta Falcons have shown outright dominance in the first half of this Thursday Night football game.
After Atlanta settled for a field goal on their second possession of the game, Jaguars return man Jarrett Dillard muffed the punt, and it was quickly recovered by an opportunistic Sean Weatherspoon at the Jaguars five-yard line. One play later, Michael Turner would walk into the end zone untouched on a five-yard rush, extending the Falcons lead to 17-0.
Later in the half, Matt Ryan would lead the offense on an extremely methodical nine-play, 72 yard drive. Leading receiver Roddy White would catch all three passes thrown his way on the drive, including a six-yard reception good for a touchdown. White has had a big-time game thus far, reeling in seven passes for 90 yards in just the first two quarters of play. Ryan has also been impressive, going 14-for-21 for 160 yards and two TDs.
The Falcons would keep their foot on the gas on defense as well, holding an inept Jags offense scoreless in the first half. Though Maurice Jones-Drew has gotten his yards (eight carries for 74 yards), the real reason behind this success is Blaine Gabbert amassing only 21 yards so far. The Falcons have simply been able to stack eight men in the box and key in on MJD all game.
In the waning moments of the half, John Abraham would notch his second sack of the game and force the aforementioned struggling Gabbert to fumble, soon after recovered by Curtis Lofton. That turnover would eventually lead to another Matt Bryant field goal, and the Falcons now enter halftime leading 27-0.
The second half should be a good test to see whether Mike Smith's team can really dominate a team not named the Colts this season. Stay tuned.