That’s more like it. After a disappointing opener, the Atlanta Firebirds showed signs of life in a 29-0 shutout win over the Philadelphia Bulldogs in week two.
“It feels good to get that nasty taste out of our mouths,” said Coach Rob Ryan. “I’m really proud of the effort on both sides of the ball tonight, we just have to keep it going.”
Defenses dominated early with punts ending first five drives of the game. The Firebird offense got in gear heading into the second quarter, scoring on three-straight possessions.
They got on the board with a 40-yard touchdown pass from Nick Arbuckle to Preston Williams, and Wil Lutz added a 24-yard field goal. Arbuckle and Williams connected again, this time from 19 yards, to cap the half off with a 17-0 lead.
The Firebirds opened the second half with a methodical 14-play, 75-yard drive that burned nine minutes off the clock. They finished it off with a 1-yard pass from Arbuckle to Chandler Cox.
Lutz hit two more field goals in the fourth to seal the 29-0 victory.
Arbuckle was much improved in his second start, completing 28 of 38 passes for 313 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no turnovers.
Rookie running back Rodney Anderson was strong, as well, running for 100 yards on 23 attempts.
Preston Williams, the number two overall pick, hauled in 6 catches for 119 yards and 2 scores. Ricky Seals-Jones caught 7 passes for 78 yards.
The Firebird defense was simply dominant, limiting Philly to just 105 total yards of offense. Kony Ealy led the way with 5 tackles and 2 sacks. Aldon Smith added another sack.
Atlanta looks to make it two in a row this week when they travel to play the 2-0 Birmingham Predators.