ATLANTA – The Falcons hold a 27-0 lead on the Jacksonville Jaguars at halftime. Let’s run through some observations on the first half.
The Falcons were extremely efficient on their first offensive drive. Matt Ryan completed all four of his pass attempts for 57 yards and capped the drive with a touchdown pass to Julio Jones. It was the 90th touchdown pass of Ryan’s career.
The pass rush, which hasn’t been a point of pride most of the season, looked pretty good early in the game. John Abraham sacked Blaine Gabbert on Jacksonville’s first offensive play. Defensive tackle Corey Peters had a sack that was negated by a penalty. Abraham forced a Gabbert fumble late in the second quarter with yet another sack. Linebacker Curtis Lofton recovered the fumble to set up an Atlanta field goal at the end of the half. Abraham now has seven sacks on the season.
Rookie punter Matt Bosher struggled early in the season. But the Falcons stuck with him and that’s starting to pay off. Bosher has been kicking better recently. He got off a booming punt early in the second quarter that was muffed by Jarett Dillard. Sean Weatherspoon recovered the ball at Jacksonville’s 5-yard line and Michael Turner scored on the next play.
Cornerback Brent Grimes missed his third consecutive game after having what the team described as minor knee surgery. But Grimes is on the sidelines in street clothes and appears to be walking well. The Falcons, like a lot of teams are pretty guarded about injuries, but I’m guessing there’s a decent chance Grimes could return for the next game, Dec. 26 in New Orleans.
Peters suffered a knee injury sometime in the first half. He left the game briefly, but returned.
Receiver Roddy White caught a touchdown pass late in the second quarter. White now has a touchdown catch in each of the past four games.