Dunn Fails to Deliver
So much for Warrick Dunn’s potential Hollywood script of becoming the 22nd man in NFL history to reach 10,000 yards and doing so against his former club.
And so much for Atlanta actually making some headway in the lame-ass NFC South.
Neither happened today as Tampa Bay ended its skid and regained control of the division by thrashing the Falcons 31-7 and holding Dunn to 32 yards, leaving him 26 shy of the coveted milestone.
Still, Dunn has surprisingly been useful in the last two weeks heading into today’s action, piling up 189 yards after managing a mere 292 yards over the season’s first seven games.
After racking up over 1,100 yards in each of the past three seasons under Atlanta’s West Coast offense, Dunn has struggled this year to adapt to new coach Bobby Petrino’s system, as has the rest of team. Of course, the whole Michael Vick thing threw a wrench in the works before this team ever had a chance to get untracked.
Today’s loss drops Atlanta to 3-7, snapping its two-game winning streak and making the playoffs ” even in this crappy division ” look like a very long shot.
Despite Joey Harrington spearheading the winning streak, the Falcons went back to Byron Leftwich, returning from ankle surgery this week. That didn’t work out so well (two interceptions and two fumbles), so it’s conceivable Atlanta will switch back to Harrington for Thursday’s game. If Harrington does start, Roddy White could be almost startable — he’s clicked well with Joey.
Things were so bad for Atlanta today that it took a touchdown with 1:10 left to avoid suffering its first shutout since 2005. And this against a Bucs’ defense that has been giving up points ” especially since October. But really, it’s been the D, not the O, that had dragged the Falcons back into the race.