It wasn’t exactly an encouraging first half for the Atlanta Falcons but somehow, the two teams are tied at the break.
For the most part, New England looked largely in control of the game. Tom Brady was the quarterback you would expect but the run game for the Patriots has really been the difference maker. For most of the half, the Falcons looked miserable trying to stop Stevan Ridley and although he only wound up with 35 yards, he moved the chains with ease and Brady struck in the red zone for their lone TD.
Early in the second quarter Brady threw a tight pass to Matthew Mulligan on the goal line to take a 7-3 lead. William Moore just barely missed deflecting the pass, but it had enough zip to get by. Moore was also burned on a deep 49 yard pass to Kenbrell Thompkins that set up a New England field goal to increase the lead to 10-3.
Yet, Matt Ryan and Tony Gonzalez made a statement late in the quarter and managed a 21-yard touchdown hookup to bring the game back to an even 10-10.
While Matty Ice had some iffy moments in the half (most notably a terrible pass in the red zone to Julio Jones) Tony Gonzalez is looking like a man on a mission. He has nine receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown. He’s undoubtedly been Ryan’s go-to guy so far and made the most of his chances. Julio Jones and Roddy White have been quiet, combining for just four catches and 26 yards.
The defense is going to have to create some stops in the second half and the offense has to create something when they get into the red zone. So far they have two trips in and have just a field goal and a turnover to show for it. Like many have said, you aren’t going to beat Tom Brady and the Patriots with just field goals.
The Falcons will kick off to start what should be an exciting second half. Stay tuned.