As we begin the second half, it's interesting to note that Matt Ryan only has 53 passing yards in this first half despite having two TD throws. The Falcons need to give him more time in the pocket going forward if they want to win this game.
Having said that, on the opening possession of the half Ryan was sacked right off the bat, this time by Jason Babin. The Falcons quickly went three-and-out, which isn't quite the way I envisioned the Falcons beginning this second half.
However, Atlanta's fortunes were turned around, and very quickly at that. On the Eagle's first offensive play of the half, an errant Michael Vick pass somehow found its way into the hands of waiting Kelvin Hayden. There was some contention as to whether the ball came out of Hayden's hands, but there was no challenge and the game carried on. That last-minute signing is looking an awful lot better, considering Chris Owens' sub-par performance against Chicago.
It didn't take long for the Falcons to take advantage of that turnover either. Only two plays later, Matt Ryan would connect with Tony Gonzalez on a 17-yard TD pass, Gonzo's second of the night. That gave the Falcons a 21-10 lead early in this second half.
The Eagles, however, would quickly respond with a score of their own on the ensuing drive. LeSean McCoy, who was almost non-existent in the first half, broke off for a 23-yard run. That was followed with a 36-yard catch-and-run to Jeremy Maclin shortly thereafter that cut the Falcons' lead to 21-17.
And then on the first play of the very next possession was Atlanta's worst nightmare: another Falcons turnover. Asante Samuel made a spectacular interception that looked as if it may have hit the turn. Mike Smith challenged, but all was for nought. The Eagles took over, and with great field position they very quickly scored again.
What was once an 11-point lead vanished in the matter of mere minutes. The Falcons absolutely cannot allow the Eagles to gain any sort of offensive momentum. Even more so, they have to take care of the ball. The offense will have to respond big time on the upcoming drive. Eagles lead 24-21.
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