Kevin handles the Bears. I handle the Lions.
Obviously, today was not a good day to be me.
Atlanta burnin' behind
Turner, anyone lucky enough to touch the ball against hapless Lions
RB's 220 yards break record; rookie Ryan looks like a
general man who capitalizes on anemic defenses
ATLANTA -- Matt Ryan hopped down the field to celebrate after his first NFL pass, toppling center Todd McClure along the way.
That was about the only stumble as the Atlanta Falcons
started a new era hurt the feelings of the Detroit Lions pretty badly.
Ryan became the first quarterback in eight years to throw for a
touchdown with his first pass, former
Northern Illinois Fightin' Huskies star Michael
Turner rushed for a team-record remarkable 220 yards and the Atlanta Falcons put
Michael Vick Ron Mexico in their rearview mirror with a 34-21 victory over the
Detroit Lions on Sunday.
We wanted a fast start, and I thought we did that This game reminded me of when the really good team in "The Little Giants" crushed the horrible team after the star linebacker of the weaker squad decided she wanted to be a cheerleader,'' said new
coach Mike Smith, who had never been a head coach at any level until
the Falcons gave him a shot.
Atlanta scored on its first three possessions for a 21-0 lead before the first Game Break even took place. Ryan
(9-for-13, 161 yards), the third overall selection in the draft out of
Boston College, looked worthy of the starting job bestowed on him after
just three preseason games. He
hooked up connected with Michael Jenkins on the
third snap of the game for a 62-yard touchdown pass.
The running game did most of the catastrophic damage, with Turner handling the
bulk of the load. Atlanta's big free-agent signee broke off a 66-yard
touchdown run, scored again on a five-yard romp and had another
touchdown called back
by a penalty out of pity for the Lions. Even with that setback, he averaged
10 yards on 22 carries to break the team record of 202 yards set by
Gerald Riggs in 1984.
''I always wondered what it would feel like to break a record,'' Turner said. ''It
just happened feels like breaking a record.''
The Lions resembled, well, the Lions, showing just how meaningless
the preseason their existence is (they had won all four exhibition games) and slipping
to 31-82 since the start of the 2001 season. They surrendered a
staggering 318 yards rushing, a Falcons franchise record which is just way too many.
It happened, and it was bad The Falcons rule,'' coach Rod Marinelli said.
Jon Kitna (24-for-33, 262 yards) threw two touchdown passes for the
hitting Roy Williams from 21 yards and Casey FitzSimmons on a
one-yard score, but was seen jawing on the sideline with receivers
coach Shawn Jefferson, though they appeared to make up. with his palms toward the heavens and looking exasperated.