Patriots 14, Falcons 13 (halftime)

Atlanta punter turned kicker Michael Koenen just drilled a 58 yard FG at the end of the first half, the longest field goal in the league this season.

Moments earlier, a wide-right attempt by Koenen was nullfied as the Patriots’ Mike Vrabel had signaled for New England’s third and final time out of the half just as the ball was being snapped. Take it easy, Graffanino, you’re not quite off the hook.

Other than that, the commercials have been very educational today. If you’re one of CSTB’s dozens of readers who have waited with baited breath for Mandy Patinkin to return to network television, your prayers have been answered. And the NFL’s new “The Road To Forty” commercials are very classy, just the sort of thing you’d expect from a collaboration between Bart Starr and Tarsem. Why haven’t these guys worked together before?

With all due respect to Green Bay’s Al Harris (two first quarter picks, one TD), the day’s most dubious decision (save for Vrabel’s) has to be the Saints’ Aaron Brooks throwing deep to Donte Stallworth with third-and-one on the New Orleans’ 25. With Joe Horn unavailable, I’m sure everyone at Lambeau figured Deuce McAllister would be getting the ball in such a situation. So let’s hear it for Jim Haslett and the element of surprise.