Falcons beat Rams with strong start
The Falcons grabbed their first win of the preseason with a 20-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams. The Falcons started off strong with two touchdown drives in the first quarter capped off by Michael Turner and Tony Gonzalez.
Matt Ryan completed 7 of 8 passes for 81 yards with a touchdown. D.J. Shockley subbed for him in the second quarter and finished the game 5 of 11 for 63 yards with a pick. He was replaced by John Parker Wilson in the fourth quarter, who had 33 yards passing and completed 3 of 6 passes with an interception. On the ground, Michael Turner led the way again with 65 yards on 7 carries and a touchdown, all of which came on the team’s opening drive. Jerious Norwood added 36 yards on 8 carries, and Jason Snelling had 12 carries for 61 yards. Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez led receivers with 3 receptions each for 38 and 32 yards, respectively. Gonzalez snagged Ryan’s touchdown pass on the team’s second drive. Verron Haynes added 2 grabs for 34 yards and Marty Booker also had 2 catches for 20 yards.
Defensively, the Falcons proved a bit more stouter this week than previously against the Lions, although several of the Rams starters were limited, including quarterback Marc Bulger. They held the Rams to 79 rushing yards and 204 passing yards. Jamaal Fudge led defenders with 6 tackles. Kroy Biermann (5 tackles), Trey Lewis (4 tackles), Eric Brock (3 tackles, 1 interception), Thomas DeCoud (3 tackles), Tony Gilbert (3 tackles), Curtis Lofton (3 tackles), Lawrence Sidbury (2 tackles, 2 sacks), and Brent Grimes (1 tackle) had noteworthy games. Brock’s interception capped the Falcons victory as he picked off Kent Null with 50 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter as the Rams attempted to tie up the score.
Jason Elam connected on both of his field goal attempts of 34 and 27 yards. Michael Koenen had 2 punts for an average of 32.5 yards. In the return game, Eric Weems returned 2 kickoffs for an average of 21 yards and 1 punt for 5 yards. Chandler Williams also added 2 kickoff returns for an average of 18 yards.
The Falcons will make their preseason home debut next week against the San Diego Chargers on Saturday night.