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Game Notebook: Falcons at Jaguars

Posted Aug 28, 2014

Quarterback TJ Yates drove the Falcons to an early lead over the Jaguars at Everbank Field, while running back Antone Smith made big plays Falcons fans have come to love in Thursday night’s 24-14 win

  • The Falcons outgained the Jaguars 340-289 in total yards and Atlanta held Jacksonville to one-of-12 on third down conversions (eight percent). Since 2008, the Falcons have posted a 46-22 record when they gain over 300 yards and a 23-4 record when holding opponents under 300 yards.
  • QB TJ Yates led the Falcons on an eight-play, 70-yard drive that ended with RB Devonta Freeman punching in a one-yard touchdown run to give the Falcons a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Yates completed three of three pass attempts for 48 yards on the drive.
  • Freeman once again showed his versatility, totaling a game-high 42 yards on 12 carries while adding 45 yards on five receptions, including a 21-yard gain. The rookie runner from Florida State finished the preseason as the team’s leading rusher as he posted 134 yards on 32 carries (4.2 yards per carry) with one touchdown on the ground. Freeman was also the club’s leading receiver, notching 146 yards on 11 catches, including a 57-yard catch and run in his debut at the Georgia Dome against Miami.
  • Since 2008, the Falcons own a 45-16 record when scoring first. Atlanta scored first in three of its four preseason contests in 2014. The Falcons also held the lead at half time and going into the fourth quarter, under Smith, the club has posted records of 46-5 and 45-2 in those situations.
  • RB Antone Smith caught a short pass from Yates, broke a pair of tackles and raced 66 yards to the end zone for his first touchdown of the preseason. Smith showed off his explosive abilities last season when he tallied 145 yards on five rushes, including a 50-yard touchdown run. He averaged 29 yards per carry and more than 22 yards per offensive touch.
  • Smith finished the preseason with 77 yards on three receptions while adding 36 yards on 19 carries. He averaged more than five yards per touch from scrimmage.
  • Yates connected with WR Freddie Martino for a 67-yard touchdown, giving the Falcons four touchdowns of 30-plus yards in the preseason. The touchdown grab was Martino’s first reception as a member of the Falcons and was the longest play of the preseason for the club. A college free agent signing, Martino caught 296 passes for 3,766 yards, and 26 touchdowns at North Greenville University.
  • Yates finished his night at the conclusion of the first half completing 15 of 20 pass attempts for 243 yards with two touchdowns and a 148.5 quarterback rating. Yates totals would top his career-best passer rating (115.6) and would rank as his second highest passing yardage total (300).
  • QB Sean Renfree completed nine of 12 pass attempts for 62 yards and posted an 86.1 quarterback rating while leading the offense in the second half.
  • K Matt Bryant connected on his only field goal attempt of the game, a 27-yard kick in the fourth quarter. Bryant was three for four on field goals in the preseason. His lone miss was a blocked kick at Houston in Week 2.
  • Defensively, the Falcons posted multiple sacks for the second straight game. LB Paul Worrilow turned in his second consecutive game with a sack when he combined with DE Kroy Biermann to drag QB Blake Bortles down for a 10-yard loss. DE Malliciah Goodman also sacked Bortles for a 10-yard loss finishing off a play started by DE Osi Umenyiora who forced Bortles to step up into the waiting arms of Goodman. DE Jonathan Massaquoi notched a three-yard sack stopping Stephen Morris on fourth and two in the second quarter.

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