Michael Turner #33 of the Atlanta Falcons rushes upfield past London Fletcher #59 of the Washington Redskins at Georgia Dome Sunday.
(Cue Charlie Brown. "Aaaauuuuggggghhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!")
Next time, DeAngelo Hall might want to keep his mouth shut before he faces his former team.
Hall, who made two Pro Bowls playing for the Falcons from 2004-07, yapped away all week about how Atlanta treated him
unfairly before a trade to Oakland. He didn't even make it through one season with the Raiders before landing in Washington.
But Michael Turner and the Falcons (5-3) got the last laugh, winning the game 31-17 on Sunday. The burly running back broke off two long touchdown runs.
Turner ran for a season-high 166 yards, breaking away from Hall on a 58-yard touchdown that finished off Washington early in the fourth quarter.
Washington (2-6) looked down and out, losing running back Clinton Portis to an apparent concussion, and Hall lost his cool after LaRon Landry delivered a late hit to Matt Ryan along the Falcons sideline. As flags flew, the outspoken cornerback jumped into the middle of things, surrounded by Atlanta players and coach Mike Smith.
Hall was yanked away before any punches were thrown, and the Redskins came to life after halftime. Jason Campbell directed two
13-play scoring drives to closing at 24-3 gap to 24-17.
But Turner wasn't done. Taking the handoff on what looked to be a routine play between the tackles, he found an opening, leaped
over a diving Landry trying to take him down at the ankles, shook off Hall's attempted tackle with ease and rumbled the rest of the
way for the clinching score.
The speedy Hall didn't even attempt to chase Turner down, realizing he was gone. So was any chance of getting revenge against
Turner finished second in the league a year ago with 1,699 yards rushing, trailing only Minnesota's Adrian Peterson, but defenses
had hemmed him in much of this season. He eclipsed 100 yards only once through the first six games.
Looking to get back on track, Turner took home some DVDs showing the way he ran last year. He saw a back playing with more abandon and vowed to get back to that style.
That he has. Turner was coming off his best game of the season, a 20-carry, 151-yard effort against New Orleans, and he was even
better against the Redskins, who had one of the league's top-rated defenses.
Campbell took quite a beating in the first half behind a makeshift line, playing without two key players lost to season-ending injuries. The Falcons matched a franchise record by sacking Campbell five times before halftime, knocking him out of the game for one play late in the second quarter.
Campbell went out again after taking another shot in the fourth but returned to finish the game. He was 15 of 22 for 196 yards,
including a 3-yard touchdown pass to Todd Yoder that gave the Redskins a chance. But Campbell also threw a pass that was
intercepted by Tye Hill and returned 62 yards for a touchdown, part of Atlanta's early barrage.