Vikings take down Falcons

AP/Tom Olmscheid The Falcons struggled putting points on the board in their opener, losing to the Minnesota Vikings 24-3. Joey Harrington had two interceptions returned for touchdowns, one of which sealed any chance of a late comeback.

Harrington completed 23 of 32 passes for 199 yards with two interceptions. His first turnover occurred on the Falcons first offensive series, leading to a 54-yard return by Kevin Williams. The second came late in the fourth quarter as the Falcons tried to mount a comeback down 17-3. Harrington was sacked 6 times. Warrick Dunn led rushers with 55 yards on 22 carries (2.5 avg), while Jerious Norwood added 33 yards on 5 carries (6.6 avg). Alge Crumpler, Warrick Dunn, and Roddy White led the team with 4 receptions each for 40, 29, and 26 yards respectively. Rookie receiver Laurent Robinson also had 3 grabs for 32 yards as well.

Defensively, the Falcons played fairly well, but gave up a few big plays. They allowed 139 rushing yards on 27 carries (5.1 avg). In the air, they were better, only giving up 163 yards, but they did give up a 60-yard scoring reception to Adrian Peterson. Keith Brooking led the team with 8 tackles. Lawyer Milloy (6 tackles), Jimmy Williams (5 tackles), Michael Boley (5 tackles), Stephen Nicholas (5 tackles), and DeAngelo Hall (1 tackle, 1 interception) had notable performances as well.

Kicker Matt Prater missed his first field goal attempt of 44 yards, but later connected on a 45-yarder for the team’s only score. Michael Koenen punted 5 times for an average of 46.8 yards. Adam Jennings had 5 kickoff returns for 98 yards, including a 31-yarder.

Next week the Falcons will travel to Jacksonville to take on the Jaguars (0-1), hoping to get their first win of the 2007 regular season under new head coach Bobby Petrino.

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