* The game is on Fox today rather than CBS, which is awesome, because it means we get to hear from Jay Glazer instead of, well, whoever is on those CBS pre-game shows. I don't remember, honestly. So, in honor of Jay Glazer looking like a larger version of John Taylor, we will pay tribute to our departed post-game ranter** by following in his footsteps with a much dorkier version. I am not fit to trod in JT's footsteps, mainly because I am not agile enough to dodge all the discarded beer bottles, but here goes.
* Will someone please let the Cincinnati Bengals know that there is a fundamental disconnect between being filmed for national television shouting "We gonna hit them in the mouth" with extended whining about getting slobberknockered in the end zone. Does TO think that getting hit in the mouth - which, by definition - means that the helmet has been removed, or is that a cheap hit? Which body parts does TO consider "cheap" and which are "gonna hit them" worthy?
* Would JT say something like "slobberknockered"? How am I doin' so far?
* I should have copyrighted "Ratbirds" as a term for the Ravens back in 1996. Today, I thought of the term "Falcwads" for the "Falcons" and used it extensively in the chat room. That's pretty darn good, if I say so. It sounds sort of like something a lot dirtier but won't even get stopped by Scout's forum software. If the term Falcwads is not already in heavy rotation, it means that Panthers, Saints, and Buccaneers fans are sort of lame.
* I run the chat and post stories from OBR World Headquarters, for which I gave up my seat in the press box to Fred and Don. That means I have a chance to watch the game on TV while listening to the WTAM audio feed via my computer. The best thing about NFL Audiopass is that instead of hearing commercials, you listen to that awesome NFL films music during commercials. I can't conceive of watching the game any other way other than, um, being there.
* As the Falcons prepare to kick-off, the stands look half-empty. On the downside, it shows that a decade of crappy football chases away even the most dedicated fans. On the upside, the empty orange seats look like fall foliage, and really get me in the mood for some apple cider.
* The Browns first drive ended in a turnover, and the Falcons first drive is derailed by a Marcus Benard sack. There's no damage from the Hillis fumble, but I reminded of a radio show emailer who said that Hillis can't be tackled so teams will focus on ripping out the ball. Every time he puts that ball on the ground, that problem gets worse. Every team will be ripping away at that football by next week.
* Who is this Massiquon fellow?
* Most encouraging thing about the first drive. Solid bump and run coverage on Roddy White. Hard to tell from the TV, but it seems like there's more contact with the receiver inside of five yard than there has been in recent weeks. Second most encouraging thing - pressure on Matt Ryan during this first two sets of Falcons downs. That will make all the difference if it continues.
* Jerome Harrison gets some carries on the Browns third set of downs, but doesn't do much with them. Wallace and Cribbs bail him out, but John Abraham shows he still has some of "it" and beats Joe Thomas, of all people, for a sack.
* The first quarter features an impressive display of punting, or at least an impressive number of punts. Four punts in the first eight minutes of the game. We could be in line for 30 punts if this continues. We can hope.
* Note to Eric Wright: I know you've had a hard time recently, but you cannot arm tackle Michael Turner above the waist. Please make a note of it. I can't be any snottier than that because you came back and made a great play to knock the ball away from Roddy White.
* Amazing how quickly things can fall apart. Some very good secondary play all day, and then the Falcons run White underneath and he somehow runs free without someone to pick him up. Benard adds to that with the roughing penalty, and suddenly the Falcons are in the red zone.
* Kenyon Coleman gets called for unsportsmanlike conduct after tossing McClure down as the offensive lineman continued to block him after the play. The Falcons are now marching downfield because of the Browns brains, not their own brawn. The defense is a reflection of their coordinator, occasionally brilliant, occasionally doing things with their heart, not their head.
* The Browns mistakes put the Falcons at their six yard line as the quarter ends. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Keep your emotions in check, fellas.
** Bigger, better things. You know the drill. Not dead.