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Hard Fought Effort Comes Up Short in Falcons 30-27 Loss

Atlanta Falcons' John Abraham (55) squats on the field after being flagged for a penalty for being offside as Arizona Cardinals' Elton Brown (61) and Reggie Wells (74) wait for the referee to make the call prior to the Cardinals' game-tying field goal in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 23, 2007, in Glendale, Ariz. The Cardinals defeated the Falcons 30-27 in overtime.

After getting beat up bad last week by the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay, the Falcons it seemed did not have a lot to play for heading to Arizona. But give the Birds some credit, as Sunday they played their hearts out before finally falling to the Cardinals 30-27 in overtime. The back and forth contest came to a close when Neil Rackers was true on a 31-yard field goal at 9:30 of overtime after he tied the game on the final play of regulation.

Kurt Warner, who earlier in the week stated he wants a shot at being the teams starter at QB in 2008, made a big case for that today, throwing for 361 yards and three touchdowns. Falcons QB Chris Redman, who last week was beaten up badly a week ago, came back with a strong game himself, throwing for 315 yards and two TD’s and one pick.

It was a wide open affair, as the two teams combined for 842 yards, 43 first downs, and a total of 57 points. After the Cardinals built a 24-14 lead at halftime, the teams went scoreless in the third quarter, only to see the Falcons run off 13 straight points on a Morten Anderson 23-yard field goal, a Redman to Alge Crumpler 7-yard TD, and antoher Anderson field goal to make it 27-24 with 1:38 left.

Arizona came right back, with Warner hitting big pass plays for 19, 9, 18, 5 and 7 yards to set up Rackers for the chip shot 29-yard field goal to send the game into the extra session. In OT the Cards won the toss, and used a successful 10-play, 58-yard drive to set up Rackers final game-winner to send the home folks home happy and the Falcons a loser to send them to 3-12.

Two opposing wide outs also had big days, as Anquan Boldin, who has been banged up, caught 13 passes for 162 yards and two scores from Warner. Roddy White, who caught just one pass for four yards last week, pulled in 12 catches for 141 yards to go over 1,000 for the season. Laurent Robinson also had a good day for Atlanta, catching 7 passes for 114 yards including a 74 yard score.

The Falcons just want to put everything that has happened in 2007 behind them. From Michael Vick, to Bobby Petrino, to the latest – Bill Parcells, it’s been a tough year for a franchise that simply has gotten no breaks whatsoever. Next week they will end the year at home vs Seattle.

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