Whatever the Falcons are paying Jason Snelling, it isn’t enough

ATLANTA - SEPTEMBER 19: Jason Snelling  of the Atlanta Falcons cuts back against Greg Toler  of the Arizona Cardinals at Georgia Dome on September 19, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

With Jerious Norwood already out of the game after suffering an injury on the opening kickoff, the Cardinals had to have felt pretty good about their situation once Michael Turner hurt his groin early in the second quarter. “The Burner” had already rushed for 75 yards on nine carries in the first quarter alone and the last man standing for the Falcons was four-year player Jason Snelling.

Granted, Snelling already proved last year that he could handle a full rushing load by gaining 613 yards on 142 carries as a fill-in for Turner. But still, Turner had just got done shredding them in the first quarter, so Jim Brown in his prime would have looked better to the Cardinals at that point.

Too bad Snelling played like Brown for the final three quarters.

Snelling rushed for 129 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries in the Falcons’ 41-7 rout on Sunday. He also chipped in with five catches for 57 yards and caught a touchdown pass from Matt Ryan, who followed up a shaky game in Pittsburgh last week with a 225-yard, three-touchdown effort today.

Even without Turner (whose injury is considered mild), the Falcons’ offense resembled the unit that everyone thought it would entering the year. They racked up 33 first downs, 444 total yards of offense and 221 rushing yards. They were also 5-of-8 inside the red zone and only turned the ball over once, which came when Ryan fumbled right before the half after scrambling for six yards.

Of course, Bert and Ernie could have compiled 444 yards of total offense on the Cardinals, who must have forgotten that they had to play today. Their normally solid front seven was absolutely abused by the Falcons’ offensive line and was blown backwards on nearly every snap. Snelling and Turner would gain at least two yards before an Arizona defender would come close to laying a hand on them and even then, the Cards failed to properly wrap up Atlanta’s running duo. ‘Zona was also flagged 10 times for 109 yards, with most of the penalties coming in the first half.

It was a day that the Cardinals would like to forget, although something tells me they’re going to have many more Sundays like this. Ken Whisenhunt may want to pick up the phone and dial Kurt Warner’s number just for the hell of it.

“Hey Kurt, it’s Ken. Just wanted to see if maybe you wanted to swing by the old stomping grounds and check out a game……………………while also suiting up and taking all of the snaps?”

“Sorry Ken, those days are over for me.”

“I’m begging you, Kurt.”

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