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Notes & Milestones: Falcons at Steelers


Atlanta struggled to find the end zone in a road loss to Pittsburgh.

  • The Atlanta Falcons fell to 0-3 in the 2011 preseason with a 34-16 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • The Falcons battled back from a 10-0 deficit after surrendering a long kickoff return and an early interception. Trailing 7-0, the Falcons faced a first and goal from their own four-yard line after LB Lawrence Timmons returned an interception 44 yards before being brought down by WR Harry Douglas. The Birds defense held the Steelers to a field goal, stuffing RB Rashard Mendenhall twice and keeping WR Hines Ward out of the end zone on a short pass.
  • Atlanta answered with 10 straight points as K Matt Bryant capped a 12-play, 75-yard drive with a 23-yard field goal to cut the lead to 10-3, and QB Matt Ryan found WR Roddy White for a 10-yard touchdown to tie the game at 10-10.
  • Ryan got extensive work in Saturday night's contest completing 22 of 42 passes for 220 yards with one touchdown and one interception in just one half. His 10-yard connection with White was his third scoring strike of the preseason. In 2010, the season opener at Pittsburgh was the only game in which Ryan did not throw a touchdown pass. Since that game, Ryan has connected for at least one touchdown in 15 straight regular-season games.
  • White finished the game with eight catches for 101 yards and one touchdown. In 2010, White caught a career-high 13 passes for 111 yards in the season opener at Pittsburgh. He went on to set franchise records with an NFL-best 115 catches and 1,389 yards. White's 13 catches in last season's opening game are the third most in a single game in team history.
  • Atlanta's touchdown drive was setup by special teams ace WR Eric Weems, who took a punt 48 yards to the Steelers 38-yard line. Weems was named to his first Pro Bowl as a specialist in 2010 after returning both a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns and leading the team with 14 special teams tackles. Additionally, his 102-yard kickoff return for a touchdown at Tampa Bay on 12/5/10 set a new franchise record. He is also the only player in team history to return a kickoff and a punt for a score in the same season.
  • Bryant showed his consistency once again, connecting on all three of his field goal attempts from 23, 30, and 46 yards. The veteran kicker has hit all eight of his field goal attempts in the preseason and dating back to 2010, Bryant has converted 23 straight field goal attempts (including the 2011 preseason).
  • Offensively, the Falcons got solid production from a pair of rookies. WR Julio Jones was the team's second leading receiver with five catches for 59 yards and RB Jacquizz Rodgers led the team with seven carries for 38 yards. Fourth-year wide out Harry Douglas had another strong showing hauling in three catches for 31 yards and averaging more than 10 yards per catch. In all, 13 different receivers caught passes in Saturday night's game.
  • On the defensive side of the ball, S William Moore led the team with six tackles (four solo), while DT Jonathan Babineaux and DT Vance Walker each chipped in with one sack each.
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