Atlanta Falcons Shred Arizona Cardinals In Runaway Victory 41-7
September 19th, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

The Atlanta Falcons dominated the battle of the birds on Sunday afternoon in the Georgia dome against the Arizona Cardinals, asserting themselves from the opening kickoff en route to a 41-7 win.

The Falcons (1-1) benefited from quarterback Matt Ryan matching his career high in touchdown passes with three, and got production from an unexpected source in third-string running back Jason Snelling.  Snelling rushed for two touchdowns and had a receiving touchdown on the day after both Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood left the game earlier with injuries.

Turner was having a productive first half before he went out, rushing for 75 yards.  His return for the second half was questionable after leaving with a groin injury.

Fortunately for the Falcons, they had plenty of players who stepped up in place of Turner.  Ryan shredded the Cardinal secondary, throwing a touchdown to receiver Roddy White in the first quarter to jump out to an early 7-0.

After a Matt Bryant field goal in the second quarter to make the game 10-0, Arizona (1-1) answered on an 80-yard touchdown run courtesy of running back Tim Hightower.  That would be all the scoring that the Cardinals could muster however.

Shortly thereafter it was the Jason Snelling show, as he caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Ryan in the thirdquarter and rushed for a one-yard score on consecutive scoring drives for Atlanta to put the game out of reach for Arizona 24-7

The Falcons kept piling it on however, as Ryan tossed another touchdown pass to receiver Brian Finneran early in the third quarter on the opening drive for Atlanta after the half.

The Falcons would add two more scores before they were done by way of a second Bryant field goal, and a final Snelling touchdown run to close out Arizona.

Coming into the game, Arizona had settled on quarterback Derek Anderson, and were pleased last week after getting a win over St. Louis.

In that game against the Rams, the Cardinal secondary went up against a rookie quarterback in Sam Bradford.  This week however, the third-year Falcon quarterback showed that he may still be young, but he is developing.  In the loss for the Cardinals, they showed several weaknesses on defense at the line and in the secondary that they will have to address as the season moves forward.

Atlanta racked up 444 yards of total offense, including 221 yards on the ground in spite of an absent Turner in the second half.

The Falcons entered the game as a seven-point favorite on USA Online Sportsbooks and NFL Weekly Betting Lines.  The game went the over, as it was installed prior to the match up as 43 points.

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