FALCONS FALL TO RAVENS 27-23 AT M&T BANK STADIUM
Atlanta’s late-game drive fell short as the Falcons fall to 0-2 in the preseason
· The Falcons fell to 0-2 in the 2013 preseason despite racking up 422 yards of total offense and outgaining the Ravens by 173 yards (422-249). Atlanta tallied 27 first downs and its running game got untracked gaining 170 yards on 40 rushes to average 5.1 yards per carry.
· The Falcons opened the scoring on their second possession of the game when K Matt Bryant connected on a 45-yard field goal. Since joining the Falcons in 2009, Bryant has connected on 31 of 41 (75.6) field goals from 40-plus yards, including eight of nine from 50-plus yards out.
· WR Julio Jones looked to be in mid-season form as he hauled in three passes for 55 yards, including a 32-yard gain and an eight-yard touchdown catch on Atlanta’s third offensive possession which gave the Birds a 10-7 lead.
· Jones has established himself as one of the most explosive receivers in the NFL over the last two seasons as his 27 receptions over 25 yards rank tied for third. His 16.2-yard per reception average ranks 11th in the League during that span.
· QB Matt Ryan played into the second quarter, finishing his night completing eight of 15 pass attempts for 97 yards with one touchdown and a 95.7 passer rating.
· RB Steven Jackson finished his night with 42 yards on eight carries, averaging 5.3 yards per carry. He also added one reception for 13 yards. During his career, Jackson has proven to be one of the most versatile running backs the National Football League has ever seen as he is not only the NFL’s leading active rusher (10,138 yards), but also the League’s active leader in receptions (407) and receiving yards (3,324) among running backs.
· Atlanta recorded its first points off of a turnover on Thursday night when CB Asante Samuel picked off QB Joe Flacco and returned the ball 33 yards to the Ravens two-yard line. One play later, RB Jacquizz Rodgers punched in a two-yard touchdown run. Last season, the Falcons scored 103 points on 31 takeaways, which was the ninth-best mark in the NFL.
· The Falcons first-team defense played the entire first half and held the Ravens first-team offense to 131 yards of total offense, including just 13 yards on 10 carries and just seven points during the first 30 minutes of the game. Excluding Flacco’s 77-yard touchdown pass to WR Torrey Smith, the Falcons held the Ravens signal-caller to 41 yards on six of eight passing with one interception.
· DT Jonathan Babineaux continued to show his ability to get into the backfield as he logged two tackles for loss in addition to three solo tackles. Last season, Babineaux notched 8.5 tackles for loss (according to Stats Inc.), which ranked second in the NFL among defensive tackles. Since 2005, Babineaux’s 49.5 tackles for loss are the most by any defensive tackle.
· LB Paul Worrilow had another productive game, leading the team with six total tackles (six solo). He also dragged down Ravens QB Tyrod Taylor for a 13-yard loss on a third-down play to force a punt.
· QB Dominique Davis finished the game completing eight of 10 pass attempts for 98 yards with a 107.5 passer rating while leading the Falcons on three scoring drives ending with two field goals and one touchdown. Davis also added three carries for 13 yards and at one point completed eight consecutive passes.
· Falcons quarterbacks completed passes to 11 different receivers on Thursday night, including rookie WR Darius Johnson who led all receivers with six receptions for 50 yards. WR Drew Davis also had a strong game catching four passes for 45 yards, including a 24-yard reception.
· P Matt Bosher punted six times for 250 yards, including a 51-yard punt. He also dropped two punts inside the Ravens 10-yard line, one at the two-yard line and one at the eight-yard line, both of which resulted in three-and-out series from the Ravens.
· The Falcons dominated time of possession, holding the ball for 39:40. Under Head Coach Mike Smith, the Falcons have been nearly unbeatable when they win the possession battle posting a 38-8 record in the regular season in those games.