Redman leads comeback at home
The Falcons won their home opener in the preseason with only a few ticks on the clock. The defense struggled early, but Chris Redman was able to lead the team on a fourth quarter comeback in the fourth quarter to overcome the San Diego Chargers 27-24.
Matt Ryan led the way, completing 14 of 20 passes for 140 yards and a touchdown. Redman subbed in late in the third quarter, and finished with 134 yards, completing 15 of 19 passes with a touchdown pass of his own. Michael Turner led rushers with 47 yards on 12 carries. Jason Snelling added 19 yards on 5 carries. Redman scored on a 10-yard scramble as well. Marty Booker led receivers with 6 catches for 62 yards. Roddy White, Michael Jenkins, Troy Bergeron, and Brian Finneran each had 3 receptions for 45, 29, 29, and 24 yards respectively. Finneran scored on a 12-yard strike from Ryan. Eric Weems had 2 catches for 10 yards, including a 5-yard score that won the game for the Falcosn with 9 seconds left in the game.
Defensively, the Falcons had difficulty stopping the Chargers screen passes and on ending drives on 3rd down. The Chargers converted 10 of their first 11 third downs, and finished the game converting 11 of 16 total. The defense gave up 438 total yards, including 320 in the air. Curtis Lofton led defenders with 8 tackles, along with 3 passes defended. Erik Coleman (7 tackles), Mike Peterson (5 tackles), Brent Grimes (4 tackles, 1 sack), Kroy Biermann (4 tackles), Chris Houston (4 tackles), and Tony Gilbert (3 tackles) had noteworthy games.
On special teams, Jason Elam connected on both field goals of 40 and 39 yards. Michael Koenen had 4 punts averaging 43.5 yards, including 1 inside in the 20-yard line. Eric Weems lone punt return was for -1 yard, while Thomas Brown averaged 25 yards on 3 kickoff returns.
The Falcons close out the preseason next week against the Baltimore Ravens at home.