With the Monday Night Football game complete, the Falcons find themselves as one of 6 teams in the NFL who are 2-0. Ryan proved he’s a force to be reckoned with as he lead the Falcons to a 27-21 victory over the Denver Broncos.
Manning was almost unrecognizable giving up as many turnovers in the first period as he had in his last 5 MNF appearances combined. On the Bronco’s opening drive, Atlanta’s William Moore nabbed the first interception and takes a 43-yd return to set the Falcon’s up on the 2 yard line. On the Falcon’s next possession, Ryan finds Turner who goes airborne to break the plane and give Atlanta the early lead of 7-0.
On Manning’s first possession after the kickoff, DeCoud intercepts it f0r a gain of 15 yards. Falcons get a first down after Ryan finds Gonzalez for a 15-yd gain as well as a 15-yd face-mask penalty. Matt Bryant completes the 37-yd field goal with just under 10 minutes on the clock to put the Falcons up 10-0.
Right as Robert McClain stepped in for an injured Asante Samuel, McClain wasted no time picking off Manning for the third interception of the game. Atlanta punts on the 4th down. It’s Denver’s ball just before the clock runs out to end the first quarter and the Broncos fumble. Atlanta gains possession on a questionable call by referees – Denver’s 4th turnover ends the quarter at Falcons 10 Broncos 0.
The second quarter begins and before long the Falcons are advancing down the field for Gonzalez to get his 97th touchdown catch. Manning goes to Stokley for an incomplete pass. Holding interference is called on Atlanta’s Dominique Franks. Officials botch the penalty and the ball winds up 11 yards in front of the official line of scrimmage. Manning finds Thomas as Thomas heads to the endzone but it’s called incomplete as he lands out of bounds. After further review, it is ruled a touchdown. Broncos get on the board with 7 points trailing 20-7 at halftime.
Atlanta is forced to punt it on their first offensive sequence of the second half. Going tick for tack early in the second, the Falcons give the Broncos no option but to punt it right back. It quickly shifts to the dynamic duo of Ryan and Roddy as QB Matt Ryan finds Roddy White for 2nd and goal from the 4 yard line. White gets the touchdown and the Falcon’s extend their lead 27-7.
Bronco’s had a close call later in the third quarter as Manning passes to Brendan Stokley and the ball is deflected high into the air. Stokley recovers it to save the Broncos from another embarrassing turnover.
The 4th quarter gets things to heat up and we begin to see a glimpse of the real quarterback within Peyton Manning. Manning throws a power pass to Thomas and for a 1st down for the Broncos. It’s 2nd and goal as McGahee gets a Bronco touchdown. The extra point is good to give the Broncos a second wind and bring the score to 27-14.
Later in the quarter, the Broncos are back in possession. Manning begins his march up the field and hits RB Knowshon Moreno on a dump off pass to get the Broncos down to the 3 yard line with a 1st and goal. McGahee scores on the Broncos 4th down and the Broncos find themselves within sight as the score narrows to 27-21.
Time ticks down as the Falcons find themselves in possession. Ryan throws to Jones for a major 1st down conversion as the 2 minute warning strikes. Denver has one timeout remaining and the Falcons barely cling to their 27-21 lead. Play resumes with the
Falcons at 1st and 10 on the 31 yard line. Turner gets a 2-yd run and the Broncos call their final timeout with 1:54 till their fate is sealed. On the next play, Turner gets a crucial 15-yd gain which means a 1st down for the Falcons on the 48-yd line. Falcons take a knee to end the game and come out victorious!
Things got too close for comfort in the 4th quarter and with a QB like Manning, its impossible not to think he could lead an impossible comeback but the Falcons defense was not letting that happen. Ryan gave the nay-sayers visual confirmation that he has the ability to lead this team all the way as he threw his 1ooth touchdown pass. The Falcons are now the sole team in the NFC South that are 2-0 and while they may enjoy the sweet victory tonight, tomorrow it is all eyes on the Chargers.
Final score: Falcons 27 – Broncos 21.