Time Machine: Offense Rules Broncos in '04

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Most Falcons fans remember the most famous game in team history against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXXIII. But the Time Machine will not turn back the hands of time and re-visit that game for reasons that I think are self-explanatory.

So, today's series rewind focuses on a game eight years ago in Week 8 of the 2004 campaign. The Falcons offense that day used a 31-point outburst and season-best 467 yards to overcome a double-digit deficit for the second time in three weeks.  

Playing a pivotal role in the contest was a Falcons defense that picked off three passes and also held the Broncos scoreless during a stretch of more than 35 minutes when the Birds built a 20-point lead.

The way the game started though was no indication of the final outcome as Denver built an early 14-3 first quarter lead on a 10-play drive and quick strike score from QB Jake Plummer to WR Rod Smith covering 80 yards. (Yes, the same Smith who burned the Falcons for an identical 80-yard touchdown catch in the Super Bowl five years earlier.)

LB Keith Brooking intercepted a Denver pass late in the second quarter to help turn the tide, which would lead to a Falcons field goal and 20-14 halftime advantage. Brooking makes his first return trip back to the Dome on Monday night, ironically, wearing a Broncos uniform, after spending the first 10 years of his career with the Birds. (Adding even more irony, Brooking also suited up against Denver in the team's lone Super Bowl appearance as a rookie.)

Coming out of the gate strong in the second half, Atlanta padded their lead with a seven-play, 60-yard drive, culminating in a five-yard touchdown scamper by RB Warrick Dunn. WR Peerless Price hauled in his second score of the game on a 25-yard reception to start the fourth quarter to increase the margin to 34-14.

The defense got into the scoring act as crafty CB Kevin Mathis plucked an errant Plummer pass out of the air and raced 66-yards down the right sideline untouched to help the Falcons hit 41 points on the scoreboard in an eventual 41-28 victory.

Is it time for the Falcons high-octane offense of 2012 to hit 40 points for the second game in-a-row just as it did on October 31, 2005 against this same Broncos team? A nationally-televised audience on popular Monday Night Football will be tuned in to see.

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