Ravens rally past Falcons


The Falcons were looking to improve in their second preseason game of the year against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night. They were able to do that as they totaled 27 first downs and 422 yards of total offense. But the Falcons were not able to hold on to a 16-point lead in the fourth quarter and ultimately fell to the Ravens 27-23.

The Falcons first-teamers played most of the first half and outplayed the Ravens first-teamers which played the entire first half. Matt Ryan was efficient, completing eight of his 15 attempts for 97 yards and one touchdown. Ryan was able to be efficient because of the production of Steven Jackson who ran for 42 yards on eight carries. Julio Jones was Ryan’s main target, catching three passes for 55 yards and one score. Roddy White went down with an ankle injury midway through the first quarter. He left the game and did not return.

The first-team defense for Falcons was just as sharp. They did allow an explosive play in the first quarter when Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw a 77-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith midway through the first quarter to give the Ravens the 7-3 lead. Other than that, the Falcons defense allowed only 54 yards on 18 plays in the first half. Jonathan Babineaux led the way for the defense with three solo tackles and two tackle for loss. Asante Samuel nabbed one of the two Falcons interceptions, and the pick set up a 2-yard touchdown run by Jacquizz Rodgers late in the second quarter to give the Falcons the 20-7 lead.

Al l the reserves for the Falcons played the entire second half and could not hold on to the lead produced by the starters. After a 29-yard field goal by Jeremy Shelley to give the Falcons the 23-7 lead late in the third quarter, it was all Ravens after that. Backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter and Asa Jackson scored the game-winner when he returned a 78-yard punt for a touchdown.

Despite the struggles with the reserves, there were a couple players that stood out. Quarterback Dominique Davis was 8-of-10 for 98 yards and had a rating of 107.5. He led the Falcons on three scoring drives ending with two field goals and one touchdown. Running back Josh Vaughan led all rushers with 44 yards on five carries.

On defense, Paul Worrilow continues his impressive play at linebacker. He led all Falcons defenders with six tackles and one sack. Overall, the defense allowed only 249 yards and three first downs.

The Falcons will play their third preseason game on Saturday against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field. The starters are expected to play through the first half and the game on Saturday will mark the 2013 debut of Tony Gonzalez who will return to the team on Sunday for practice.

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