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First Half is Game of Inches for Falcons

Posted Nov 4, 2012

The first half between the Falcons and Cowboys wasn't quite the explosion of offense that was expected. Instead, the half ended in a 6-6 tie and the inches in the game became very important.

Things didn't go the Falcons' way as they started their second primetime affair of 2012 Sunday night against Dallas. With two of the highest-scoring offenses in the league facing off, points in bunches were anticipated, but instead the game became one of inches.

The Falcons couldn't get on the board after their first two possessions. To make matters worse, kicker Matt Bryant missed his first try of the game, a 37-yard attempt. Bryant's next attempt, on the third possession would connect from 45 yards out.

Meanwhile Dallas was moving the ball on offense, but only landing field goals and their kicker, Dan Bailey, hit both of his opportunities in the first half. That would change in the second quarter as a game of field position began to manifest. 

After Bailey missed an opportunity to add three more for Dallas, the Falcons took over looking to get a scoring strike and take some momentum. The drive stalled despite starting on their own 44-yard line. Smith chose to punt instead of trying a 55-yard field goal, forcing the Cowboys to begin their drive from the 3-yard line.

The back-and-forth battle carried on through the half until the Falcons were given one final chance to put points on the board. Starting on their 12-yard line, Matt Ryan used 4-of-4 passing to cover 60 yards in 1:03. Bryant connected on a 46-yard attempt to tie the game 6-6 as the first half expired.

Wide receiver Roddy White's third catch of the night tied him on top of the franchise record books with Terance Mathis for the most receptions in a career. Julio Jones is the team leader with three catches for 63 yards.

The defensive struggle that was the first half saw neither team put more than 200 yards of total offense in the stat sheet. Both teams also struggled on third down, Atlanta converting 43 percent and Dallas 33 percent.