Finneran Can't Be Forgotten

The Altanta Falcons are full of big names, but Brian Finneran probably wouldn't be among them in the minds of most fans. However, the wide receiver is coming on, just as the rest of the Falcons appear poised for another strong showing.

Brian Finneran made an acrobatic catch along the Atlanta sideline for an 18-yard gain early in the second quarter of the Falcons' win over Buffalo Sunday. The ball was sailing out of bounds when Finneran grabbed it and had the presence of mind to get both feet down and keep the chains moving. Four plays later, Vick drew the defense toward him on a rollout to the left side before he dumped a nice fade pass into the end zone for Michael Jenkins' 12-yard catch.

"That was a good catch; just the way he got his hips and got his feet down," head coach Jim Mora said of Finneran. "He is capable of that. He makes those acrobatic catches on the sideline. He has real awareness of where he is on the field."

  • Michael Vick promised his coaches and teammates that he would create something good from the strained left hamstring he suffered in the fourth quarter at Seattle in Week 2.

    Sure enough, Vick delivered the goods at Buffalo. He trusted his protections and avoided a sack for the first time in 16 games. Staying in the pocket when necessary, Vick looked his best when he converted a third-and-six from the Atlanta 7 midway through the third quarter.

    Vick connected with Finneran again, who ran a nice corner route toward midfield, and the ball was right where the receiver needed it for the 17-yard gain. Keeping that drive alive was critical, even though Atlanta punted seven plays later.

    The difference, however, was that Michael Koenen was punting from the Buffalo 43 instead of the Atlanta 7. This part of the game was critical because Vick had thrown an ugly interception on the previous drive, and the Bills' rowdy fans still had hope with the Falcons only leading 17-16.

    "That drive in the third quarter, where we changed field position drastically, was huge for us," head coach Jim Mora said. "That was really big, because then our defense went out and we started rolling a little bit. We started feeling better about ourselves and playing better."

    On the next Atlanta drive, which ended the scoring on T.J. Duckett's 12-yard run, Vick connected with Finneran for another 17-yard completion on third down. The Buffalo defense had too cautious an approach when the next third-down chance arrived, which allowed Vick to exploit the middle and scramble 27 yards.

  • Rod Coleman jumped for a nice pass breakup that stifled Buffalo's second drive, and forced the Bills to kick a field goal. He sacked J.P. Losman for a nine-yard loss in the second quarter when Buffalo actually left him unguarded.

    Coleman's best play, however, was a game-ending sack of Losman in which he forced a fumble that Patrick Kerney recovered for Atlanta.

    "Just try to leave a lasting impression," Coleman said. "That's my game."

  • Viking Update Top Stories