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Notes & Milestones: Falcons vs. Ravens


The Falcons dropped the first preseason game of the 2012 season 31-17, but got plenty of bright spots from the first team offense and defense, led by Matt Ryan and Akeem Dent, respectively.

  • Atlanta jumped out to an early lead, but Baltimore responded with 24 unanswered points in the second half to top the Falcons 31-17 in the 2012 preseason opener at the Georgia Dome. The Ravens now lead the all-time preseason series between the two teams 5-4.
  • The Falcons opened the game with an eight-play, 80-yard touchdown drive. QB Matt Ryan looked sharp, connecting on all five of his pass attempts and punctuating the drive with a seven-yard touchdown pass to WR Julio Jones. During the regular season, the Falcons own a 40-13 record when Ryan throws at least one touchdown pass since 2008.
  • Under Head Coach Mike Smith, the Falcons have been one of the fastest starting teams in the NFL. Since 2008, Atlanta leads the League with 173 points on their first offensive possession. Last season, the Falcons ranked third in the NFL with 51 points on their opening drive, including six touchdowns.
  • Ryan ended his night completing nine of 13 pass attempts for 155 yards with one touchdown and one interception and a 103.0 quarterback rating. In regular season games, the Falcons are 23-0 when Ryan posts a passer rating above 100. He opened the game by completing his first six pass attempts, while four of his first six passes were to Jones.
  • The Falcons defensive unit also looked sharp in its first action of 2012, holding the Ravens to just six yards and forcing a three-and-out on Baltimore's first three offensive possessions. Since 2008, the Falcons have allowed a stingy 20.1 points per game, which ranks third in the League during that time. One of the keys to the Falcons ability to limit opponents scoring was their success on teams' first offensive possessions. The Falcons surrendered just 16 points on opponents' first offensive possessions in 2011. The Birds allowed just one touchdown on such drives last season.
  • After the Falcons second drive was stalled on the Ravens side of the field, P Matt Bosher skied a 35-yard punt to the Baltimore eight-yard line where WR Jacoby Jones was forced to make a fair catch. Last season, Bosher pinned opponents inside their own 20-yard line 27 times, which was tied for 10th in the NFL.
  • Last season, Falcons opponents started 62 of their 180 offensive possessions inside their own 20-yard line, which led the League. Additionally, Atlanta's punt coverage unit was the League's best, holding opponents to just 4.8 yards per punt return.
  • The Falcons jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first half when RB Jacquizz Rodgers punched in a two-yard touchdown run. Rodgers' score capped a 10-play, 85-yard drive that chewed up 4:59. The Falcons offense has thrived on ball control over the last four years. Since 2008, Atlanta leads the League with 62 touchdowns on 139 drives lasting 10 plays or longer. The Falcons 83 percent scoring efficiency on 10-play drives is also the best in the NFL during that span.
  • Rodgers finished the night as the Falcons leading rusher, carrying the ball nine times for 33 yards and one touchdown. As a rookie in 2011, Rodgers rushed for 205 yards with one touchdown on 57 carries. He also added 21 receptions for 188 yards and one touchdown.
  • Atlanta's starting lineup kicked the game off in impressive fashion as second-year WR Julio Jones caught six passes for 109 yards with one touchdown. Jones also hauled in a game-long 36-yard reception setting up Rodgers two-yard touchdown run. In his rookie season, Jones recorded five 100-yard games, including a season-best 128 yards on eight receptions at New Orleans (12/26).
  • DE Kroy Biermann, LB Akeem Dent, and LB Robert James each recorded one sack. Biermann dragged down Ravens QB Joe Flacco for a six-yard loss on a third down in the first quarter. The sack forced a Baltimore punt and helped setup Atlanta's second scoring drive.
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