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Published: Monday, 10/1/2007

Falcons' Hall sits out - but only for a quarter

ASSOCIATED PRESS

ATLANTA - Pro Bowl cornerback DeAngelo Hall did not start the Atlanta Falcons' game against the Houston Texans yesterday after a run-in with the coaching staff the previous week.

Hall came in to start the second quarter and played the rest of the game. The Falcons defeated Houston for their first win of the season.

Atlanta also fined Hall $100,000, which he plans to appeal. Rookie Chris Houston got his first career start at cornerback and gave up a 35-yard scoring pass to Andre Davis, the Texans' only touchdown, before Hall took over.

Hall had started 43 of the past 44 games, including 19 in a row, and earned Pro Bowl honors the last two seasons.

"It's something we thought we had to do," said Bobby Petrino, the Falcons' first-year coach. "I think it's behind us."

MILESTONES

The Raiders' 299 yards rushing against Miami was their fourth highest since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970, and highest since 1987. ... Denver kicker Jason Elam scored eight points to pass Jan Stenerud for eighth on the career scoring list. Elam has 1,702 points; Stenerud finished with 1,699. ... Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez caught the 62nd touchdown of his career, tying him with Shannon Sharpe on the all-time list at his position.

SWINGS

Chad Pennington was 32-of-39 for 290 yards, and was leading the Jets to a potential tying field goal when he was intercepted with six seconds left in a 17-14 loss to Buffalo. ... The Falcons overturned two fourth-quarter calls with replay challenges. One of them took away a Houston touchdown, and one play later Kris Brown yanked a field goal attempt wide left.

SIDELINED

Alex Smith left the 49ers' loss to the Seahawks in the first quarter with an injured right shoulder. ... Carnell Williams was carted off the field with a right knee injury in the first quarter of Tampa Bay's win over Carolina. The Bucs also lost left tackle Luke Petitgout to a right knee injury. ... The Colts' Joseph Addai left in the third quarter of a win over Denver with a shoulder injury. Safety Bob Sanders missed most of the second half with a rib injury, and receiver Marvin Harrison and linebacker Rob Morris each sustained knee injuries.

SPEAKING

"What's he going to guarantee next week? It's tough when you run your mouth." - Raiders defensive tackle Warren Sapp, after Miami linebacker Joey Porter failed to deliver on his guaranteed win.

"I think the players owe the fans an apology. I would be as upset as they are if I had to sit in the stands for four quarters and look at that garbage. As a team collectively we have no heart. We have no energy. We have no drive." - Panthers defensive tackle Kris Jenkins after a 20-7 loss to Tampa Bay.

"They have a right to voice their opinion, just like everybody else. They showed their frustration with us, the way we've been playing. I can't say that I blame them." - LaDainian Tomlinson, after fans booed at the end of the Chargers'loss to Kansas City.

LEARNING EXPERIENCE

Over the years, Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck has learned to read between the lines with Seahawks coach Mike Holmgren, deciphering exactly what the coach means when he makes a call. That wasn't always the case.

"He would call a play from time to time in my headset, and at the end of it he'll say, 'Tell [Shaun] Alexander to get the first down,' " Hasselbeck said.

"Well, that translates into, 'Under no circumstances do I want you to audible.' Now I know that. Early on, I didn't know that."



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