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Atlanta Shows They Deserve Respect; Beat Baltimore 10 to 9 to End Preseason

Atlanta finished the preseason with an even record of 2 wins and 2 losses but established the foundation of their season with confidence in their rookie starting quarterback and a defense that may become their saving grace.

Atlanta QB Matt Ryan (2/7, 17 yards) did not play much in the game but has already been named the starter for the season. Ryan finished the preseason with 34 completions on 59 attempts, getting 294 yards, 2 touchdowns, and one interception. QB D.J. Shockley (7/14, 98 yards, 1 TD) showed poise in the game when he threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to WR Brian Finneran with 26 seconds to go in the first half. Former number two pick QB Joey Harrington (2/5, 17 yards, 1 INT) was intercepted by DB Jim Leonhard in the fourth quarter to end a drive that had made it to the Ravens’ 26 yard line.

RB Jason Snelling had the majority of rushing yards with 88 yards on 15 attempts. RBs Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood had 18 and 6 yards respectively. Laurent Robinson led all receivers with 40 yards on three catches. The Falcons had three receivers with catches of 20 yards or more: Robinson, Eric Weems (31 yards), and Finneran on his touchdown catch.

Atlanta’s defense may be the brightest light for the season as they have not allowed an offensive touchdown in the last 13 quarters. Against the Ravens, the defense also had two interceptions (one by FS Thomas DeCoud in the second quarter and the other by CB Glenn Sharpe late in the third) and two sacks ( by DEs Kroy Biermann and Kindal Moorehead).

The Falcons start the regular season on September 7 against Detroit.

Baltimore was also trying to establish their rookie quarterback. QB Joe Flacco (8/13, 72 yards) played the first quarter, setting up their first field goal. He was replaced by Casey Bramlet (7/21, 100 yards, 2 INT) who had been claimed off waivers just before the game and has not yet thrown a pass in the regular season despite being on six different teams in his career. The Ravens scored on three field goals: from 25 and 31 yards in the second quarter and from 48 yards in the third. Baltimore finished the preseason with a 1-3 record.

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