‘Burner’ blazes in 2nd preseason loss

AP/John Bazemore The Falcons couldn’t pull out a win in their home opener in the preseason by going down to the Indianapolis Colts 16-9. The Falcons had issues with turnovers as they gave up the ball five times. The only touchdown of the game for either team came on a 67-yard interception return by Kelvin Hayden off a Matt Ryan interception.

Joey Harrington got the start, but only appeared in two series in the first quarter. Matt Ryan got most of the reps at quarterback. He led the team with 62 yards, completing 8 of 16 passes with an interception. Harrington was 2 of 3 for 17 yards. Chris Redman was 3 of 4 for 56 yards with an interception. Shockley also had an interception and a fumble, and completed 2 of 5 passes for only 24 yards. On the ground, Michael Turner was one of the few shining stars for the team. He had 113 yards on only 4 carries, with his first touch going 52 yards and having another for 63 yards. Jerious Norwood added 25 yards on 7 carries. Michael Jenkins led the receivers with 4 grabs for 25 yards. Laurent Robinson (3 catches, 48 yards) and Roddy White (2 catches, 26 yards) also contributed.

Defensively, the Falcons were fairly solid, keeping the Colts offense out of the endzone and limiting them to field goals in multiple red zone opportunities. Blue Adams led defenders with 10 tackles. Michael Boley (5 tackles), Keith Brooking (4 tackles), Tony Taylor (4 tackles), Kroy Biermann (2 tackles, 1 sack), Curtis Lofton (3 tackles, 1 sack), and Daren Stone (1 tackle, 1 interception) also made notable contributions.

Jason Elam scored the team’s only points with 3 field goals of 25, 35, and 40 yards. Michael Koenen had 4 punts for an average of 47.5 yards, placing 1 inside the 20-yard line. Adam Jennings had 2 kickoff returns for a 28-yard average and Harry Douglas averaged 7.5 yards on 2 punt returns.

The Falcons will have another home again next week against the Tennessee Titans. Some of the questions about who may be the starting quarterback for the regular season opener could be answered in that game.

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Aaron Freeman
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