The Atlanta Falcons forced Arizona quarterback Josh McCown into three fumbles and managed to win with a pair of field goals by Jay Feely, beating the Cardinals, 6-3, in a downright ugly game Sunday.
The Falcons had to rely on their defense and Arizona's inept offense to reach 3-0 for the first time since 1986. There were nine fumbles (seven resulting in turnovers), five calls that had to be reviewed by the referee (two were overturned) and not one touchdown, despite countless opportunities by both teams, in the game. The Cardinals (0-3) lost three fumbles inside the Falcons 20-yard line.
Atlanta did its best to give the game away in the fourth quarter though. Michael Vick threw a pass that was intercepted by Adrian Wilson and returned to the Falcons 18, but the Cardinals had to settle for Neil Rackers's 30-yard field goal with 9 minutes 24 seconds remaining.
Warrick Dunn, who rushed for 117 yards, fumbled at the Falcons 19 with 3:19 remaining, giving the Cardinals a chance to at least kick a game-tying field goal. Of course, the Cardinals promptly returned the favor by giving the ball right back to the Falcons.
On a reverse, Arizona receiver Karl Williams got to the 7-yard line, but the ball was jarred loose by Atlanta's Chris Draft. Bryan Scott recovered for the Falcons with 2:26 left in the game.
On the next possession, finally, Vick broke loose. He ran for 58 yards on a bootleg -- the longest carry of his career -- to seal the victory. The Falcons are 3-0 for only the third time in their 39-year history.
The Falcons managed just 283 yards against the Cardinals, who gave up an average of 412.5 in their first two games -- the worst in the NFL.