November 18, 2012
Upset of Falcons not in the Cards
By John Kryk, QMI Agency
The Atlanta Falcons sure do come up with creative ways to let crappy teams nearly beat them at home.
In September, they needed a Hail Mary from their one-yard line in the last minute to eke past Carolina.
In October, they needed a Carson Palmer brain-cramp pick-six to slip past Oakland.
And on Sunday, the Falcons overcame six turnovers, including a career-high five interceptions from their quarterback Matt Ryan, to edge the visiting Arizona Cardinals, 23-19.
Five picks? From the guy many are still touting as the NFL's MVP this season?
"You can't worry about it," Ryan said. "Part of playing this position is knowing there are going to be times when you make mistakes, when you fall flat on your face.
"You've got to keep playing, keep throwing it. In those kind of situations, I'm just worried about the next play."
Ryan became the first NFL quarterback to win despite throwing five interceptions since Bart Starr did it with the Green Bay Packers in 1967, reports said.
The only things that gave the Cardinals a chance to score at all were Atlanta's miscues and the dogged rushing of their running back, LaRod Stephens-Howling. He had 137 yards.
Cards head coach Ken Whisenhunt benched quarterback John Skelton early on, after his 2-of-7 start, and turned the reins over to rookie Ryan Lindley.
Lindley was horrible. He completed just 9-of-20 passes for 64 yards, as Arizona finished with 178 total yards on the afternoon. It was that bad.
Next Sunday, the Falcons (9-1) cannot afford to be nearly as sloppy. They play at fast-rising NFC South rival Tampa Bay (6-4).