Atlanta  27
Detroit 07


Team 1234OTTotal
VISITOR: Atlanta Falcons107100027
HOME: Detroit Lions000707

Scoring Plays
TeamQtrTimePlay Description (Extra Point) (Drive Info)VisitorHome
Falcons110:13T.Peterson 21 yd. Field Goal (9-77, 4:47)30
Falcons10:52T.Duckett 1 yd. run (T.Peterson kick) (8-42, 4:21)100
Falcons210:44A.Crumpler 6 yd. pass from M.Vick (T.Peterson kick) (7-60, 3:37)170
Falcons311:46A.Crumpler 32 yd. pass from M.Vick (T.Peterson kick) (4-45, 2:04)240
Falcons35:11T.Peterson 23 yd. Field Goal (11-46, 5:34)270
Lions49:18R.Williams 31 yd. pass from J.Garcia (J.Hanson kick) (6-80, 2:06)277

Paid Attendance: 62,390Game Length: 3:19

Atlanta Falcons vs Detroit Lions
11/24/2005 at Ford Field
Final Individual Statistics
Atlanta Falcons Detroit Lions








Atlanta Falcons

Detroit Lions

Atlanta Falcons vs Detroit Lions
11/24/2005 at Ford Field
Final Team Statistics

   By Rushing134
   By Passing812
   By Penalty14
   Total Offensive Plays (inc. times thrown passing)6766
   Average gain per offensive play6.04.6
   Total Rushing Plays4513
   Average gain per rushing play5.75.8
   Tackles for a loss-number and yards1-41-1
   Times thrown - yards lost attempting to pass0-05-29
   Gross yards passing146258
   Avg gain per pass play (inc.# thrown passing)6.64.3
KICKOFFS Number-In End Zone-Touchbacks6-2-12-2-2
PUNTS Number and Average4-48.54-47.5
   Had Blocked00
FGs - PATs Had Blocked0-00-0
Net Punting Average35.334.0
TOTAL RETURN YARDAGE (Not Including Kickoffs)10733
   No. and Yards Punt Returns2-542-13
   No. and Yards Kickoff Returns0-05-101
   No. and Yards Interception Returns2-531-20
PENALTIES Number and Yards11-849-50
FUMBLES Number and Lost1-13-2
EXTRA POINTS Made-Attempts3-31-1
   Kicking Made-Attempts3-31-1
FIELD GOALS Made-Attempts2-20-0

Atlanta Falcons vs Detroit Lions
11/24/2005 at Ford Field
Ball Possession And Drive Chart
Atlanta Falcons

# Time
How Ball
Given Up
115:0010:134:47KickoffATL 209743773*DET 3Field Goal
28:537:271:26InterceptionDET 4534040DET 41Punt
35:130:524:21FumbleDET 428357424*DET 1Touchdown
414:2110:443:37PuntATL 407600603*DET 6Touchdown
55:572:493:08PuntATL 2736-1352ATL 37Punt
60:530:050:48DownsDET 465300302*DET 16Interception
713:5011:462:04PuntDET 454450452DET 32Touchdown
810:455:115:34InterceptionATL 491156-10463*DET 5Field Goal
91:1111:244:47PuntATL 11746-10362ATL 47Punt
109:186:562:22KickoffATL 203-10-10ATL 19Punt
113:242:141:10DownsATL 244180181ATL 40Fumble
120:150:000:15FumbleATL 61-10-10ATL 6End of Game

    (394) Average ATL 33       
Detroit Lions

# Time
How Ball
Given Up
110:138:531:20KickoffDET 173340342ATL 49Interception
27:275:132:14PuntDET 206220221DET 47Fumble
30:5214:211:31KickoffDET 23520-1551DET 28Punt
410:445:574:47KickoffDET 427155203ATL 38Punt
52:490:531:56PuntDET 216205252ATL 44Downs
60:050:000:05InterceptionDET 351120121DET 35End of Half
715:0013:501:10KickoffDET 2036060DET 26Punt
811:4610:451:01KickoffDET 203-10-10DET 19Interception
95:111:114:00KickoffDET 19526-5211DET 40Punt
1011:249:182:06PuntDET 2066020804ATL 31Touchdown
116:563:243:32PuntDET 36950-10402ATL 24Downs
122:140:151:59FumbleATL 441240-2383*ATL 3Fumble

    (329) Average DET 27       
* inside opponent's 20

Time of Possession by Quarter1st2nd3rd4thOTTotal
Visitor  Atlanta Falcons10:347:338:497:2334:19
Home  Detroit Lions4:267:276:117:3725:41

Kickoff Drive No. - Start AverageFalcons: 2 - ATL 20Lions: 6 - DET 24

Atlanta Falcons vs Detroit Lions
11/24/2005 at Ford Field
Final Defensive Statistics
Atlanta FalconsRegular Defensive PlaysSpecial TeamsMisc

J.Webster617001200  00000  0000
D.Williams606000001  10000  0000
K.Brooking4260.55.50000  00000  0000
P.Kerney3361.510.50110  00000  0000
B.Scott415000100  10000  0000
A.Lake3251.5100010  00000  0000
K.Carpenter224000100  00000  0000
R.Coleman1231.530110  00000  0000
A.Rossum123000000  00000  0000
M.Boley202000200  00000  0000
J.Babineaux202000000  00000  0000
D.Hall101001100  00000  0000
Ch.Davis000000001  00000  0000
I.Reese000000000  30000  0000
O.Lowe000000000  10000  0000
A.Ulmer000000000  10000  0000
A.Crumpler000000000  00000  1000
E.Beverly000000000  00000  1000
Total3515505292932  70000  2000

TKL / TK = TackleAST / AS = AssistCOMB = CombinedIN = Interception
PD = Pass DefenseFF = Forced FumbleFR = Fumble RecoveryBL = Blocked

Detroit LionsRegular Defensive PlaysSpecial TeamsMisc

K.Kennedy729000000  10000  0000
J.Davis347000000  00000  0000
B.Bailey246000000  00000  0000
T.Holt505000000  00000  0000
S.Rogers415000010  00000  0000
J.DeVries404000001  00000  0000
D.Curry404000000  00000  0000
S.Cody224000000  00000  0000
J.Hall303000000  00000  0000
J.McGraw303000000  00000  0000
N.Wayne213001100  00000  0000
W.Rainer213000000  00000  0000
C.Redding123000000  00000  0000
R.McQuarters202000000  00000  0000
D.Bly101000200  00000  0000
A.Goodman101000000  00000  0000
D.Wilkinson101000000  00000  0000
E.Drummond000000000  10000  0000
S.Bryson000000000  00000  1000
K.Butler000000000  00000  1000
M.Williams000000000  00000  1000
D.Orlovsky000000000  00000  1000
J.Harrington000000000  00000  0001
Total471764001311  20000  4001

News: Millen deserved the axe as well!!!

The wrong guy was handed a pink slip Monday and shoved out the fuselage door of Air Lions. Matt Millen ought to be the one hurtling earthward toward unemployment, not the guy he fired Monday morning, Steve Mariucci. moochchi.jpg - 405837 Bytes Matt Millen had plenty to answer for a Lions' news conference Monday.

Do the Detroit Lions stink like diesel exhaust? Absolutely. They can clear out a stadium faster than a bomb scare. But if Lions ownership (Hello, anybody there?) can OK the canning of Mariucci, the least William Clay Ford could do is make it a package deal.

Ford knows all about deals. His car company is pushing the Keep It Simple promotion these days, "where everybody pays the same price," it says in the full-page newspaper ad. Perfect. Let's apply the same logic to Lions president and CEO Millen: He should pay the same price as Mariucci.

It isn't easy making a case for a Year 4 of the Mariucci regime. The Lions are 4-7 in the NFC's worst division, put up Honda Accord city gas mileage numbers in every meaningful NFL offensive ranking (25th in rushing yards per game, 26th in points per game, 27th in pass rating, 27th in total yards per game), and are fresh off a Thanksgiving Day loss so mind-numbingly dismal that Detroit fans began chanting, "Let's go Red Wings!"

Since his arrival in 2003, Mariucci has gone 5-11, 6-10, and now this. No playoff appearances. moochsd.jpg - 14957 BytesNo nothing, but the occasional brown paper bag sightings at Ford Field.

"I believe that this was a roster capable of making a playoff run," said the suitably grave Millen at Monday's news conference. "And I still believe that. I still believe that. Quite frankly, we have not lived up to our expectations. I believe we've underachieved as a football team. And I also believe that we have not developed our younger players and that's bothersome, especially the way we had anticipated it going."

Let's be honest here: Was this roster really capable of a playoff run, or did everyone confuse potential with production? The offense looked good on a sheet of 8x10, but it also looked very young, and fragile, too.

Quarterback Joey Harrington is a wonderful guy, plays a nice piano, but it wasn't an accident that Millen brought in veteran Jeff Garcia as a 2005 insurance policy. Harrington, pulled from the Thanksgiving Day disaster, still plays as if they just handed him the playbook 30 minutes before kickoff. Is that Mariucci's fault? Harrington's fault? Or Millen's fault for drafting him in the first place?

Wide receiver Charles Rogers leads the league in Most Blue Cross Filings. Fellow wideout Roy Williams has shown moments of brilliance, but not enough of them. Running back Kevin Jones has done a second-season belly flop, though NFL Films isn't exactly cranking up the editing room for a special on the Lions offensive line. And receiver Mike Williams is still a work in progress.

Rather than assume his share of responsibility for the Lions' annual collision with icebergs, Millen fired his third head coach since assuming the job in 2001. With the exception of Los Angeles Clippers VP Elgin Baylor, I can't think of a front office executive who has won less and still kept his job. In fact, Millen recently received a contract extension, which is like giving an Oscar to Jackie Chan.

At what point does Millen start not living up to expectations? When exactly does he admit that he has underachieved? Under Millen's remarkable leadership the Lions are 20-55. The only thing they've changed is their uniforms. Otherwise, they remain eligible for federal disaster relief.

moochcle.jpg - 19767 Bytes

"Let me reiterate and say it's not a happy day," said Millen (duh). "Steve is, like I said, he's as good a person as I've been around. He's a close friend of mine and it bothers me."

Mariucci will be fine. He's a class guy, a U.P. guy, plus the Lions owe him the remainder of his $5 million salary this season and the combined $11.5 million they were going to pay him in '06 and '07. That should ease the hurt.

But Mariucci deserved better than an exit interview with five games still remaining in the season. Does anyone really think interim head coach Dick Jauron is going to make much of a difference? Not even Jauron, who joined the Lions because of Mariucci, is that na´ve.

"We're not going to install much in a five-week period," said Jauron, when asked about the possibility of scheme overhauls. "You're not going to significantly change anything and hope they can function."

Jauron, the good soldier, will be gone soon enough, too. Or back to defensive coordinator under the next victim Millen hires.

"Some of you may ask, 'Why [fire Mariucci] now? Why not at the end of the season?' " said Millen. "To me, it's simple. We have five games left. We have five games left to develop our younger players. We have five games to prove we are who we think we are, especially with our younger players."

Actually, the question I'd like to ask Millen is this: Why are you still here?

How did Steve Mariucci leave Ford Field late Thanksgiving afternoon still employed?

If he isn't immediately relieved of his duties after the holiday disgrace that the Lions subjected the nation to, then owner William Clay Ford is guilty on all counts of detached indifference. If Mariucci isn't served up like a Butterball on a platter after the utter nonsense of the Lions' 27-7 loss to Atlanta, then the seats at Ford Field should reflect the emptiness of thought and desire within the organization in the final two home games.moochatl-1.jpg - 71079 Bytes

It's no longer a season. It's a wake.

The Lions resembled a team fairly certain its coach won't be around much longer.

So why wait?

Team president Matt Millen declined comment when asked about the likelihood of Mariucci not coaching another game with the Lions. He also declined comment when asked if there was an emergency meeting scheduled with him, Mariucci and Ford either after the game or sometime today.

According to one team source, there was talk around the team compound this week that if the Lions embarrassed themselves on national television Thursday, Millen probably wouldn't wait until after the season to fire Mariucci.

The concession against the Falcons certainly qualifies as an embarrassment.

A frustrated Kevin Jones reportedly blasted the offensive philosophy and several players privately suggested a sudden coaching change wouldn't surprise them. The mood of the locker room didn't match the festiveness of the holiday.

The only thing they were thankful for was that it was over quickly.

"I'm sure that there probably are some folks smelling some blood in the water," guard Damien Woody said.

They are no longer a team, only individuals looking at the season's final five games as a chance to pad statistics in the hopes of padding their bank accounts in the off-season.

An interim coach is rarely the answer in football, but brooming Mariucci would at least blow away the smokescreen that for but a few injuries and bad breaks, the Lions would be a playoff contender.

Contention demands confidence and this team has no faith in the direction that Mariucci has them pointed.

It's time for the Fords to acknowledge that this was just the latest in a litany of misjudgments and bad decisions. Cut bait and move on. They were unusually proactive when they stalked Mariucci three years ago after San Francisco released him. Never before had the Lions hired a head coach that was in high demand.

But just like his offense, the relationship hasn't clicked.

It's pretty obvious that Mariucci won't be around next season, so what's gained in delaying the inevitable? Yes, it would be an expensive lesson. Firing Mariucci now could cost the Fords more than $10 million to satisfy the final two years of his contract. But if they're truly serious about selling a skeptical city on their commitment to winning, they'll move swiftly, decisively and immediately.

A hesitancy to quickly admit mistakes has long been an indictment of Ford.

The last time he fired a head coach during the season was 1988 after Darryl Rogers' infamous plea of "What does a guy have to do to get fired around here?" Rogers gave up on his players, leaving Ford with no alternative after the 11th game and a 2-9 record but to jettison him immediately after a 23-20 loss to Tampa Bay.

harringtonatl.jpg - 63887 Bytes

Ford elevated defensive coordinator Wayne Fontes, who went on to become the winningest -- and losingest -- coach in team history during an eight-year run that's sadly considered the gold standard during Ford's 40-plus years of sole ownership of the franchise.

But it was the players who bailed this time. First, the team gave up on Joey Harrington and now they've given up on Mariucci. But accountability has a funny way of never stopping at just one or two culprits. Sure, the quarterback bears some responsibility and certainly the coach merits a sizeable share of liability.

But it's only a question of time before the talent that claims misuse under Mariucci comes under fire for their flaws as the well as the executives who drafted and signed them.

"That's a good question," Woody said when asked if he thought the team might need a coaching change. "Apparently something hasn't gone right. But I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions."

Mariucci resembled a dead coach walking when he faced the post-game inquisition. He knows you can no longer preach when the congregation has ceased listening.

"There is a multitude of things that a head coach is responsible for," a clearly sullen Mariucci said. "Whether it is the offense, the defense, the kicking game, the conditioning, the fitness level, the health on and off the field -- all of it. That is what a head coach is responsible for. From that standpoint, I take responsibility because I am the head coach."

But it's a tenuous title right now.


Michael Vick's arm, Alge Crumpler's hands and Warrick Dunn's legs were too much for the Detroit Lions.

Vick threw two touchdown passes to Crumpler and Dunn ran for 116 yards to lead the Atlanta Falcons to a 27-7 victory against Detroit.

Atlanta (7-4) took advantage of playing the lowly Lions (4-7), closing the gap behind NFC South co-leaders Carolina and Tampa Bay to a half-game after losing two back-to-back games at home.

The only positive for Detroit was the result of its annual Thanksgiving game wasn't as bad as last year's, when Indianapolis beat the Lions 41-9, handing them their most lopsided loss on the holiday.

Like last season's matchup, however, the visitors were ahead by so much in the fourth quarter they rested their star quarterback.

Vick was 12-for-22 for 146 yards with two TDs and an interception. Crumpler tied career highs with seven receptions and two touchdowns, and had 104 yards receiving. Dunn went over the 100-yard mark on only 17 carries, thanks in part to some huge holes opened up by the offensive line.

The Lions had such a rough day on offense they went through three quarterbacks.

Joey Harrington started and was 6-for-13 for 61 yards with an interception. Jeff Garcia entered the game late in the first half and completed 14 of 24 passes for 154 yards with a TD and an interception. Rookie Dan Orlovsky, who got a chance to play late in the game, was 5-for-11 for 43 yards and, fittingly, a fumble with 15 seconds left just outside of Atlanta's end zone.

When Detroit's quarterbacks did make good passes, receivers often dropped them.

The Falcons led 17-0 at halftime after scoring on three of their first four drives while Detroit had turnovers on its first two possessions.

Vick's second TD pass to Crumpler, a 32-yard connection, put Atlanta ahead 24-0 on its first second-half possession.

On the ensuing drive, Garcia was intercepted when he threw a long pass to Mike Williams, who had instead run an out pattern.

That's when the first wave of fans at Ford Field headed for the exits.

Todd Peterson's 23-yard field gave the Falcons a 27-0 lead midway through the third quarter.

A lucky bounce helped the Lions avoid the shutout.

Garcia's pass to Roy Williams was broken up by DeAngelo Hall, then bounced off safety Keion Carpenter before Williams caught it for a 31-yard TD with 9:18 left.

In what has become a Motor City tradition, some fans chanted, "Let's Go Red Wings!" late in the fourth quarter as perhaps 5,000 spectators stuck around to watch the end of the awful performance.

The Falcons proved from the start they would not play down to their competition.

Vick made plays with his arm and feet on the opening drive, throwing for 39 yards and running for 17. But he sailed a pass over Brian Finneran in the end zone on third down, leading to Peterson's 21-yard kick.

Detroit gained 34 yards on its first two plays, then receiver Roy Williams fell down before Hall intercepted Harrington's pass.

Shawn Bryson fumbled on the Lions' next possession, and the Falcons took advantage.

T.J. Duckett's 1-yard run gave Atlanta a 10-0 lead, one play after a score was reversed by replay.

One of Vick's sensational runs set up Atlanta's next score.

He ran to the left, cut back across the field and sprinted between the hashes for a 19-yard gain. Two plays later, Vick rolled left and showed patience as Crumpler got open in the end zone for a 6-yard catch, giving the Falcons a 17-0 lead early in the second.

Atlanta had to make the ensuing kickoff from its 10 after two penalties. Just when the Lions finally moved the ball, getting to Atlanta's 29, Patrick Kerney had back-to-back sacks to end the threat.

Scott's Game Commentary:

For the second straight Thanksgiving, the honolulu blue and silver failed to show up. What was easily the worst home loss of the year, the Atlanta Falcons, who came in on a two game losing streak, dominated the game until they were up 27-0 and put in their reserves. The Offense, which seems to get worse as the weeks go on, had two turnovers in their first two drives! That pretty much summed up how the game was going to go. The Defense was just as atrocious as the Offense as they allowed Vick and company to control the line of scrimmage the entire game. Steve Mariucci, who sounded like he's ready to get fired at his post game news conference, has lost control of this team. Great job Mooch having that secret practice and not letting anyone know who the starting QB was going to be until game time. I knew immediately who it was before the game since the Defense was announced - the Lions refuse to announce the Offense when Harrington starts since they know he will get booed. Harrington couldn't even last the half before he got benched for his inept play. Unfortunately, Garcia was no better. The bottom line is it seems like this team has quit on its head coach. I have never heard a Lions crowd so quiet on a Thanksgiving Day game in my life. Just like last year, I left the game in the 3rd quarter knowing the only thing left to be hopeful for is the end of another miserable season.


*Offense: --- F. Can this Offense be more pathetic??? For the first time since the Tampa Bay game, the 1st round trio of Roy Williams, Mike Williams and Charles Rogers were playing in the game. Yet, there was undrafted Scottie Vines who had the most catches until mop up time. And how about Kevin Jones??? He had a nice 20 yard gain on th3 first drive and had three more carries the rest of the game finishing with 32 yards! Charles Rogers had a great game himself by getting one catch for four yards and dropping a touchdown. Talk about someone that needs a change of scenery! It is so painful to think how good this Offense could be with all the talent they have assembled! Unfortunately, they are nothing more than a bunch of massive underacheivers who look destined to all be Matt Millen draft flops!

*Defense: --- F. Great job controlling the Falcons rushing attack! The Defense only gave up 256 rushing yards and over 400 for the game. It would have been much worse had the Falcons not put in their scrubs after they went up 27-0 in the third quarter. Vick had a field day running against the Defense and doing what he wanted - unlike a year ago where the Defense had shut him down. It was quite sad to see the Defense get mauled for the second straight Thanksgiving.

*Special Teams: --- C. Nick Harris had some good punts and Eddie Drummond continued his year long slump of failing to get any good returns. Nice decision Drummond to hold out for a contract extension - I think your value took a huge hit his year. Hanson never got a chance to kick a field goal since the Offense was inept.

*Coaching: --- F. I would be shocked if Steve Mariucci is around to see another Thanksgiving as Lions head coach. The lengths he went to so no one would know who the starter was showed how desperate he was. What difference does it make Mooch? Both your QB's are not going to be around next year either! For the life of me, I do not understand why he doesn't play Kevin Jones more. Nice job Mooch running the ball a grand total 13 times the entire game! The bottom line is he knows he is a dead duck at the end of the year and was quite obvious in his voice. At least he admitted he was to blame for the loss today - how about the entire season Mooch?

*Overall: --- F-. For the fifth straight year, I cannot wait for this season to get over with! Two straight games the honolulu blue and silver failed to show up and that speaks volumes. All I'm going to say is if the Fords think the current regime is going to lead the Lions to glory, they are sadly mistaken. Has anyone heard a peep from Matt Millen this year? Talk about someone that lives in obsurity! He's afraid to show his face knowing he destroyed this team and had several years to build it back up only to see just about every one of his first round draft picks turn out to be flops! Bill Ford Jr. said at the beginning of the year he expected the Lions to reach the playoffs this year - my question now is will he have the brains to rid the organization of the worst GM in football and find a coach that a team plays for? My guess is probably not. As they always say - Same Old Lions - and that goes for the owners as well!

*Click HERE to go back to my LIONS page!!