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Five Things from Falcons at Houston

Posted Aug 16, 2014

The Falcons suffered a 32-7 loss to the Houston Texans in the second preseason game of the year after rocky starts for the first team units

1. Texans Go Up Early: The Falcons’ defense started strong on the Texans’ first offensive drive, forcing quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Houston first unit into a three-and-out with good run defense. The next time the Texans got the ball, it was a very different story. Fitzpatrick guided the Texans down the field on a 12-play scoring drive that included just two passes. The Texans put up just nine first downs last week in a shutout loss to the Cardinals.

2. Baker Carted Off: With just more than 10 minutes to go in the second quarter, the Falcons’ first-team offense came back onto the field for a fourth series. On the first play, Matt Ryan hit Julio Jones with a first-down pass. Jones was hit hard on the play, but got up fine. In the backfield, however, left tackle was down in the backfield clutching his right knee. Baker was carted off the field and there was no update available before the end of the game.

3. First Offense Can’t Find Rhythm: The Falcons’ offense had no problems getting rolling last week against Miami. Against the Texans’ vaunted defense, however, the rhythm wasn’t easy to come by. Even with Julio Jones returning to the mix for a quarter-and-a-half, the offense couldn’t get moving consistently. With manageable third-down situations, the Falcons’ first-team went 0-for-4 on the crucial down.

4. Second Offense Finds Paydirt: Sean Renfree entered the game at quarterback for the Falcons midway through the second quarter and the Falcons offense was able to put something together, thanks in part to Texans penalties. Four total penalties by Houston on the drive, including three in a row before the final scoring play put Devin Hester in position to take a wide receiver screen into the end zone.

5. Renfree Puts Together Solid Night: A bright spot for the Falcons was backup QB Renfree, who took plenty of snaps with the Falcons' second-team offense during the practice week. He came in before TJ Yates and put together a good night of work. He left the game in the second half after going 7-for-10 for 49 yards and one touchdown. His quarterback rating was 114.2.

Extra Reps: The Falcons' special teams units had a rough night. A field goal attempt and a punt were both blocked while the returners couldn't get clear running lanes. If they did, a penalty would set the offense back. ... Kemal Ishmael recorded his first NFL interception during the fourth quarter of the game. ... Penalties were an issue for both teams as more than 200 yards were racked up by flags.


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