I think Roddy White made up for that 15-yard penalty he got after celebrating his 90-yard touchdown. White is unquestionably the player of this game. Add "forced fumble" to his amazing statistics in this game that include 200 yards receiving and two touchdowns. The 200 yards are a career best.
After Matt Ryan threw an interception to Dre' Bly, White did not give up on the play. He caught Bly -- who put his right hand to his ear in celebration, carelessly failing to secure the ball -- from behind it stripped it out. Center Todd McClure recovered it. File this game under Murphy's Law for San Francisco: Whatever could have gone wrong has gone wrong.
White has been a game-changer today, but Ryan has had a great day. Give Fox broadcaster Daryl Johnston credit. He said before the game that the match-up of Ryan vs. San Francisco quarterback Shaun Hill could be decisive. Entering the game, Hill's record at Candlestick Park was 7-0.
Here are the results:
Ryan has completed 20 of 30 passes (67 percent) for 300 yards and 2 touchdowns with 1 interception for a rating of 107.5. Before theinterception, his rating was 148. *
Hill is 10-for-27 (37 percent) for 154 yards, no touchdowns and one interception for a 41.3 rating. *
Fox play-by-play broadcaster Kenny Albert just pointed out that 100 of Hill's yard came on two pass plays. He was on a 1-for-7 streak before completing a 5-yard pass to Glen Coffee.
Fox sideline reporter Tony Siragusa was throwing praise Ryan's way after Ryan threw a 15-yard pass to White.
"Matt Ryan is very imprssive the way he rolled out on that play."
Johnston also had this to say about the Falcons' performance: "This performance may have a lot to do with that loss to New England. They played one half of fotoball... This is a good San Francisco team. Theyr'e a last-second throw against Minnesota by Brett Favre from being 4-0. To come out here and play this type of game is very impressive by the Atlanta Falcons."
One of the very few negatives to come out of the game so far is Michael Turner's third fumble of the season in four games. Fortuantely for the Falcons, they recovered this one, which was caused by linebacker Patrick Willis. Willis, a two-time Pro-Bowler,has had a relatively quiet day.
I wonder if we'll see young players in the fourth quarter and, if we do, which ones. This could be a good spot to get rookie safety William Moore, making his NFL debut, some time, as well as rookie safety Christopher Owens some time at corner back. Both have played on special teams.