Falcons down Bengals at home

AP/John Bazemore The Falcons made their home and Monday Night debut in the preseason with a win over the Cincinnati Bengals 24-19. The Falcons starters saw extensive action, with most playing until the first series in the third quarter, which resulted in a Billy Cundiff field goal to give the Falcons a 17-13 lead.

Joey Harrington led the way, completing 13 of 21 passes for 164 yards and 2 scores, a solid home debut for the Falcon faithful. Chris Redman followed, and completed 8 of 9 passes for 76 yards. Third stringer Casey Bramlet had a few snaps late in the game with the Falcons predominantly running out the clock. But still managed to completed 1 of 2 passes for 12 yards. On the ground, Jason Snelling once again led the team with 26 yards on 8 carries (3.3 avg). Jerious Norwood added 25 yards on 9 carries (2.8 avg). Ovie Mughelli had the team’s lone rushing score from one yard out in the third quarter. He added 3 carries for 9 yards. Warrick Dunn was rather unimpressive in his preseason debut, carrying the ball 6 times for only 8 yards. For the receivers, Adam Jennings led with 5 grabs for 67 yards, including a 28-yard score that put the Falcons on the scoreboard first. Michael Jenkins (4 catches for 45 yards), Roddy White (4 catches for 43 yards), and Jerious Norwood (2 catches for 17 yards, 1 touchdown) also contributed.

Defensively, the Falcons gave up some running room early on, allowing 83 rushing yards on 15 carries (5.5 avg) in the first half. Jamaal Anderson led the team with 5 tackles, including 2 sacks. Michael Boley (4 tackles), Lawyer Milloy (4 tackles), Keith Brooking (3 tackles), Chauncey Davis (2 tackles, 1 sack), Trey Lewis (1 tackle, 1 sack), and Nic Clemons (1 interception) had notable contributions.

Cundiff’s third quarter field goal was the team’s only successful attempt in the game. Punter Michael Koenen had two long attempts of 54 and 53 yards in the second half, missing on both. Koenen also punted 3 times for an average of 34.7 yards. Adam Anderson had 1 punt for 47 yards. Allen Rossum had an impressive 59-yard kickoff return in the first half, his lone shot there. Noriaki Kinoshia returned 2 kickoffs for 40 yards. On punts, Rossum returned 2 for 19 yards, while Adam Jennings had 3 returns for 9 yards.

On Friday, the Falcons will stay at home to host the Baltimore Ravens in their final preseason game. They will kick off the 2007 regular season on the road against the Minnesota Vikings on September 9.

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Aaron Freeman
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