The Falcons got up to an early lead, winning 16-3 in the second half before the Lions were able to come back. The game came down to the wire, as Drew Stanton led his team down the field, and made a key 18-yard scamper to put the Lions into field goal range with less than a minute left. Jason Hanson kicked a 47-yard field goal to win it as time expire.
Matt Ryan led the Falcons with 33 passing yards, completing 5 of 7 throws. Chris Redman took over in the second quarter and completed 5 of 9 passes for 29 yards. D.J. Shockley was next to take over and completed 3 of 8 passes for 31 yards. John Parker Wilson wrapped up the game, completing all 3 of his pass attempts for 22 yards. On the ground, Michael Turner led the team with 63 yards on 6 carries and a 40-yard score. Jerious Norwood added 26 yards on 6 carries. Thomas Brown had 11 carries for 19 yards. Jason Snelling scored a touchdown, and had 3 carries for 4 yards. Roddy White led receivers with 3 catches for 29 yards. Eric Weems and Marty Booker each added a pair of receptions for 25 and 11 yards, respectively. Tony Gonzalez made his Falcon debut with one reception for 7 yards, snagging Ryan’s first completion.
Defensively, the Falcons gave up 454 total yards to the Lions, including 191 on the ground, much of which came in the second half. Eric Brock led defenders with 7 tackles, adding a tackle for loss and a hit on the quarterback. Antoine Harris (5 tackles), Coy Wire (5 tackles, 1 for loss), Chris Owens (5 tackles, 1 pass defended), Trey Lewis ( tackles), Thomas Johnson (3 tackles, 1 sack), Mike Peterson (3 tackles), and Jamie Winborn (2 tackles, 1 tackle for loss) had noteworthy games. Tony Gilbert had 1 tackle, but took a 42-yard interception back for a score.
Jason Elam connected on both of his field goal attempts, a 46 and 41-yarder. He missed an extra point however, which if made possibly could have sent the game in overtime instead of winding up with a loss. Michael Koenen had 6 punts for an average of 45.8 yards, placing 1 inside the 20-yard line. Chandler Williams returned 3 kickoffs for an average of 17.3 yards, and Thomas Brown added 2 kickoff returns for an average of 12 yards. Eric Weems had a 34-yard punt return and Williams added a 19-yarder for himself. Robert James had 2 stops on special teams in coverage.
The Falcons will next face off against the St. Louis Rams on Friday night in their second preseason game. This will be their first matchup against the Rams in the preseason since 1979, and only their third exhibition matchup ever.