Falcons strike first with a touchdown by a lineman

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When I picked the Falcons in my weekly battle with Florio, I noted that Atlanta has so many offensive weapons — Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez, Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers — that the Saints’ defense wouldn’t be able to stop them all. I somehow neglected to mention Mike Johnson.

But it was Johnson, an offensive lineman lined up as an eligible receiver in the Falcons’ goal-line offense, who scored the first touchdown of the game today in New Orleans, a one-yard catch in the end zone that the Saints’ defense didn’t see coming.

That touchdown came at the end of a seven-play, 80-yard drive on which the Falcons’ offense had an easy time picking apart the Saints’ defense. It’s going to be a long day in New Orleans if the Saints can’t fix that in a hurry.

The Saints’ first possession lasted one play, with Drew Brees throwing an interception to Asante Samuel. That set up the Falcons in field-goal range, where they went up 10-0. Right now, the Falcons look like they’re going to have a steady march to 9-0.